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nyxmike

Tolls on I-95?

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South Carolina got approval to toll I-95 in order to add new lanes. These new lanes are HOT lanes and will be seperated from the lanes there now. I think this would be a great idea for NC to implement as we all know I-95 needs some help. Anyone have any info or ideas?

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North Carolina got approval for and created a turnpike authority in 2002 to study alternative financing for transportation projects (tolls.) I-95 has been mentioned often, as well as some bridges in dire need of replacement. Right now, it appears their project list is limited, mainly as short alternatives in heavily traveled metro areas.

NC Turnpike Authority Website

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Just to clarify, SC got approval to add HOT lanes (High Occupancy Toll) to I-95 and I-26 south of Columbia. It would not be a flat out tolling of the entire road from what I understand.

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Currently, the NC legislation that formed the Turnpike Authority specifically barred the state from tolling any existing highways.

It'd literally take an act of the General Assembly...and Governor signature...to change that.

I don't see that happening before the next election.

Just FYI, the roads the Turnpike Authority are currently planning or considering:

- NC 540, "Western Wake Freeway", from NC 55 to NC 55 (an arch), Apex/Holly Springs/Cary, Wake County.

- NC 147 Extension, "Triangle Parkway", from I-40 to NC 540, RTP, Durham/Wake Counties.

- "Monroe Connector & Bypass", US 74 from I-485 to NC 205, Monroe/Marshville/Wingate, Union County.

- "Cape Fear Skyway", over Cape Fear River, from US 421 in Wilmington to US 17 in Spring Hill, New Hanover & Brunswick Counties.

- "Mid-Currituck Bridge", over Currituck Sound, from US 158 in Aydlett to NC 12 in Corolla, Currituck County.

- "Gaston East-West Connector", from I-485 to I-85, BessemerCity/Gastonia/Belmont, Gaston & Mecklenburg Counties.

- Potential I-74, Brunwick County, Supply to SC line.

Edited by RaleighRob

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I have said it all along, I-95 needs to be tolled and built to a minimum of 8 lanes, 4 each way. The state should not invest in that road anymore. They should also improve the Highway 301 corridor to 4 or 5 lanes so local traffic does not have to use I-95.

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It seems like the best idea would be to put a toll at the VA/NC line and the NC/SC line and use the money to widen the road to 4 lanes each way. I'm not sure how likely that is to happen due to not being able to toll existing highways, although they may change that law eventually. I'm not sure how feasible this would be, but what if they built a seperate toll road (2 lanes each direction) that runs parallel to I-95, similar to Florida's Turnpike in South Florida? The other idea is HOT lanes, which I'm sure would be barrier seperated. It could be similar to the NJ Turnpike except only the "express lanes" here would be tolled.

Edited by nyxmike

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I dont know I have traveled that road many of times and I just cant see why we need to spend money on expanding it. Its mostly rural and the only place I could justify is between Fayetteville and the 264 exit in Rocky Mount. Other then that the traffic pretty much thins out outside of those areas.

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I dont know I have traveled that road many of times and I just cant see why we need to spend money on expanding it. Its mostly rural and the only place I could justify is between Fayetteville and the 264 exit in Rocky Mount. Other then that the traffic pretty much thins out outside of those areas.

I-95 through North Carolina is very dangerous and was built to 1960's standards. There are fatalities every week, and frequently sections must be completely shut down because of horrific accidents.

Needless to say, because it is mostly used by out-of-staters heading to Florida, it will forever remain at the bottom of NCDOT's priority list.

None of us will live to see I-95 fully widened from Va. to SC. Constructing a new separate roadway seems the only viable option, because they estimate that adding lanes to the existing highway will take 75 years to complete. And when you think about the ten years it took to reconstruct the I-40/I-85 duplex which is only 40 miles, that estimate sounds about right.

They should start charging $5 at both state lines immediately. Travelers from the Northeast don't mind contributing. I pay about $25 in tolls to drive from NYC to Raleigh, and now it costs $8 to cross into Manhattan, and the Verrazano bridge's toll is $11.

Edited by architect77

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I dont know I have traveled that road many of times and I just cant see why we need to spend money on expanding it. Its mostly rural and the only place I could justify is between Fayetteville and the 264 exit in Rocky Mount. Other then that the traffic pretty much thins out outside of those areas.

I don't see the justification either. The maximum AADT for I-95 in 2008 was 50,000 vehicles per day, with an average of around 37,000 through the state.

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It could be similar to the NJ Turnpike except only the "express lanes" here would be tolled.

NJ turnpike is a ripoff. All traffic heading up or down I-95 through NJ must utilize their turnpike and pay those outrageous tolls. I can almost guarantee that a majority of the toll revenue is not going to the maintenance of that section of interstate.

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If a toll road is built parallel to I-95, then the General Assembly must tie it into widening the interstate by mandating that all revenue from the toll road goes to improving 95 and widening the road where necessary. The sorry state of I-95 is a very big indictment of state legislators--especially those who live in the eastern part of the state. Instead of updating the highway, they thought that it was much more important to build what's now I-795 and bypasses around small towns that are less than 10 miles.

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The following recommendations have been made in the EA:

• Widen I-95 to eight lanes (four lanes in each direction) from Exit 31 to Exit 81;

• Widen the remaining sections of I-95 to six lanes (three lanes in each direction);

• Make necessary repairs to pavement;

• Raise and rebuild bridges;

• Improve interchanges; and

• Bring I-95 up to current safety standards for interstates.

The total cost for making these improvements to I-95 is $4.4 billion. Current funding only covers about 10 percent of the costs of these improvements. In order to cover the cost of the improvements, the EA recommends tolling the interstate.

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