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mybackyardis485

Toll Roads

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I just wanted to know if anyone could tell me what the options would be or if would even be feasible to put a toll station right at the NC/SC border at I77 and how we can manage to make the residents of other counties other than Mecklenburg help pay for our roads other than shopping here and paying a half cent sales tax.

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Infeasible. NC law forbids toll roads unless there is a redundant freeway for people to travel free of charge. There aren't any alternates in this case, so it is against NC law to put up a toll there.

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Infeasible. NC law forbids toll roads unless there is a redundant freeway for people to travel free of charge. There aren't any alternates in this case, so it is against NC law to put up a toll there.

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Which is infeasible, but not impossible. The federal government covers half the cost of the interstate system to avoid situations like this. It would not gain traction, even in the backward NC General Assembly to change the law to charge people a toll for coming into NC. It barely passed to allow toll roads at all, considering NC prided itself on having no tolls.

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I don't know if the reg is still on the books, but at least into the 90s, the only way an interstate highway could be toll was if it was constructed as a toll road and grandfathered into the interstate system (meaning it would have also needed to be built to interstate standards, or with a planned upgrade - the most dramatic example would be the W VA Tpk, which was built as a limited-access "super-2" toll road in the early 60s, signed as I-77, and then completley rebuilt as a 4-lane divided highway in stages some 15-20 years later); US highways built as limited access roads couldn't be toll at all (though at least one exception was granted in the 1990s in Oklahoma). Adding tolls to previously constructed highways was strictly forbidden at both state and federal levels.

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The current state of road building in NC this.

  • Cities are not allowed to build, fund or operate highways. They can only build and maintain city streets. There are a few specific exceptions to this in Mecklenburg where the city paid to upgrade some roads because the state didn't.

  • Counties are not allowed to engage in the matter of road building.

  • The NCDOT is responsible for all highways in the state including all the highways in and around Charlotte. This includes all the interstates in the area. Furthermore, the state has divided the state into districts and Charlotte is located in Distict 10 where the regional HQ is in Albemaro. Each district is alloted a pool of money and the NCDOT prioritizes how it is spent based on local reqirements. Obviously Charlotte does not get what it needs.

  • There is one exception to all of the above, Toll Roads. The NC Turnpike Authority was created to handle toll roads in this state. They are free to build roads where there is a need and I don't believe they have a restriction on whether there is an existing free road. They do have requirements to make sure there would be enough usage to make sure the road will fund itself over a certain period of time through the use of tolls. Obviously people will use a free highway if they can.

  • The Turnpike Authority has yet to build a road in this state. They do have two proposals for this area. One would connect Gastonia to Charlotte and would basically parallel I-85, Hwy 74 and would run to the South of these roads. I am not sure of the status. The other proposal is to build a bypass around Monroe to fix the horrible mess on Hwy 74. This is supposed to be a NCDOT project, but the Turnpike Authority may build it instead. It would connect to I-485, run north of Hwy 74 around Monroe, and then connect and terminate on Hwy 74 East of the city.

In light of this, the answer to your question is that it would not be allowed to put a toll booth at the NC/SC border. This is a NCDOT road and they are not allowed to operate toll roads. I believe there are some federal restrictions that prevent states from converting roads to toll roads that were paid for with federal gas tax money.

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Here are some additional facts from http://www.ncturnpike.org/faq/

Will the Turnpike Authority impose tolls on any existing roads?

By law, the Turnpike Authority is prohibited from tolling existing highways. However, in July 2006, Senate Bill 1381 was amended to allow the tolling of a segment of I-540 under construction as of July 1, 2006, located in Wake and Durham counties and extending from I-40 southwest to NC-55, with the approval of the local Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Who decides what toll roads will be built, and when?

The NCTA is currently authorized to study, plan, develop and undertake preliminary design work on up to nine toll facilities in the state. However, before the NCTA will consider a project for development as a toll road, it must receive a recommendation from local officials that the road/bridge construction project be studied as a toll facility. In addition, enabling legislation requires that any toll road developed in the state must have a free alternate route so that motorists have a choice in deciding whether to travel on a free road or toll road.

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Well, thanks for all of your responses. At least for Charlotte's case, I don't think sprawl will work as well as it did in Atlanta and other cities simply because the infrastructure won't support it which means more urban infill and more centralized downtown areas and edge cities such as southpark and university city....

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