More State Leaders Speak Out Against I-77 Toll Lanes


by Audrina Bigos

MOORESVILLE, NC- More state and local leaders are speaking out against planned toll lanes on I-77.

State leaders made final pleas Sunday in Mooresville - speaking out against the state's $550 million dollar toll road plan. There was lot's of talk about how much will come out of taxpayer's pocket.

"I don't think anyone would argue with me... toll roads are tax increases," said Representative Robert Brawley, R-Iredell.

That's why Brawley and a handful of other leaders spoke out Sunday against state plans for toll lanes on I-77.

"I don't believe in being taxed twice for the same piece of road. You're paying gasoline taxes and now they want to toll you too," said Representative Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.

The toll lanes would run from Charlotte to Mooresville. MUMPO - The Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization -  will vote Wednesday on whether to approve the toll lanes.

North Carolina Department of Transportation wants to give a foreign company $170 million dollar from taxpayers to build the hot lanes.That company would then add its own money, and make a ton of money from a 50 year contract.

"I think it's the people's power and legislative power that needs to be in control here. Not a consulting group telling us how to spend our money," said Sharon Mendoza, a Mooresville resident.

Brawley says the North Carolina General Assembly has the final say. So he's reaching out to his colleagues to sway them his way.

"Let's look at the options before go any further," said Brawley.

The group says a cheaper option is widening the interstate with general purpose lanes.

But the decision is in MUMPO's hands.

"There a group that seems to not hear the public. So I don't know what it takes to rattle their cages a little bit to make them understand that people don't want these toll roads," said Jeff Bubak, a Davidson resident.

Residents can speak about the toll lanes during a public meeting Wednesday night at the Government Center in Uptown Charlotte at 7p.m.

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