Skip to main content

A full listing of NC Toll Projects and where they stand

An article in Friday's New Bern Sun Journal breaks down the status of the various proposed toll projects in North Carolina.

1. Triangle Expressway (Triangle Parkway & Western Wake Parkway)

Two toll parts. Part one: The Triangle Parkway - a 3.4 mile extension of NC 147 south and east to current NC 540 at Davis Drive. It's expected cost $110 million - $235 million. This section is the shortest toll project and could be open by 2010.

Part two: Western Wake Parkway - a 12.6 mile extension of NC 540 from NC 55 to Holly Springs. Estimated cost - $515 million - $930 million and could be open by 2011.

A request to cover a $20 million gap in funding for both projects is currently under debate in the NC General Assembly.

2. Garden Parkway (Gaston East-West Connector)

21.5 miles from I-485 near Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to I-85 west of US 321 in Gastonia. It is the longest and possibly most expensive of the toll projects. It will cost somewhere between $745 million and $1.6 billion.

The project would be built in stages. The first a 5.7 mile alignment from I-485 west over the Catawba River to NC 279 near Stowe Botanical Gardens south of Belmont. If funding is available, this could open by 2015. Tolls, which for the entire 21 mile section could run as high as $3, will not be enough to cover the costs to build the highway.

3. Monroe Connector & Bypass

Will run a close second to the Garden Parkway in length coming in at 21.1 miles. It will run from I-485 near Indian Trail to US 74 in Monroe. Costs between $352 million and $651 million. Portions of the highway could be open as soon as 2012.

4. Cape Fear Skyway

It will cost between $550 million and $1.2 billion to built the 9.5 highway and bridge over the Cape Fear River. It will connect US 17 in Brunswick County to US 421 south of downtown Wilmington. It has already been announced that tolls will cover about 55% of the costs to built the highway.

The Skyway could open as early as 2014. Supporters intend to ask for a 40 year annual allocation of $39 million from the state to finance the project.

A $1.75 toll for the entire 9.5 miles has been suggested for the Skyway.

5. Mid-Currituck Bridge

The seven mile highway and bridge would cost between $435 million and $928 million to build. The bridge would leave US 158 near Coinjock crossing the Currituck Sound to reach Corolla. Estimated opening is 2013.

6. I-74 in Brunswick County

What appears to be the least likely of toll projects to be built, the 18 mile project has preliminary costs of nearly $400 million.

Commentary:
So that's the state of the NCTA projects going into the upcoming NC budget debate and negotiations. What alarms me is the nearly ballpark numbers for the costs to build these projects.

Let's throw the politics out here, how could a legislator support and allocate funding to toll projects without a more specific funding number. For example, the costs of the Garden Parkway runs from $745 million to $1.6 billion. That's nearly a 1 billion (with a b) range of where the actual cost for the project could be. The same for the Cape Fear Skyway. Throw in questioning of the lower design standards and it sure looks like no one knows what we're in for.

Many of these highways are good projects. With the exception of the pointless I-74 proposal and not knowing enough on the impacts the Mid-Currituck Bridge would have on the Outer Banks, I support the idea of these projects being tolled.

However, with the inability to pinpoint the cost to build specific project and what appears to be incompetence at the NCTA. I can not support these projects as they are being managed and designed now. Maybe a 'NO' from the General Assembly will wake up the NCTA to get their act together and come to the legislature with much more solid numbers next year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…