The news about how the proposed I-77 toll lanes will cost $20 per day round trip — plus word about the Spanish contractor’s woes — has whipped up quite a political firestorm in northern Mecklenburg County. Local politicians are running away from the toll plan like it’s radioactive. Several of them have issued pleas to Raleigh to delay the implementation of the deal. Davidson-area blogger Rick Short has a lot of the inside story HERE.
A lot of Thom Tillis supporters are trying to insulate their guy from the controversy by suggesting the concept was well underway before Thom even arrived in Raleigh in 2006. The problem with that spin? Guerilla cameraman Chuck Suter has dug up HB 2318 — a piece of legislation sponsored in the 2007-2008 session by Democrat Nelson Cole and Republican Thom Tillis.
The bill authorized NCDOT to enter into public-private deals for road construction — kinda like the current I-77 deal.
State Rep. Robert Brawley (R) has helped keep the toll issue on the radar by introducing a resolution calling for a statewide referendum on tolling of state roads. I wonder how that one got past the speaker’s staff?