Interstate tolls could be coming to RTP

June 21, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
The prospect of paying tolls on area highways is closer to becoming a reality and several drivers are not pleased.

The Turnpike Authority says they need one more piece to the puzzle, and the tolls on Interstate 540 will be a reality.

The Turnpike Authority wants to build what they call the Triangle Expressway and they say tolls are the only way.

"If you set money aside, it would be 30 years before you had enough money in the bank to build the road," said Beau Memory with the Turnpike Authority.

"Tolling today doesn't pay in any state for all the costs associated with building these astronomically expensive projects," Memory said.

The Triangle Expressway would keep RTP commuters moving from 147 to I-40 south to the NC 540 interchange.

"We're building a new building over in the area and it's going to impact our employees," Commuter Adam Basik said.

Some commuters say they don't want to pay 10 to 15 cents a mile for that, on an expressway that would eventually stretch 20 miles.

Other commuters say they'd be willing to make that financial sacrifice.

"I think we have a real increase in traffic around here and I think that if we had the tolls and we had better roads, I think that would improve things," said Lindsay Tallon of Durham.

The tolls would be electronic, so no stopping on the road.

The Turnpike Authority says they are in the final stages of securing the last piece of funding for the project and that is making drivers unhappy.

"Not a big fan of it. It seems like most of 540 is free so I'd like to keep the rest of it free," Basik said.

Officials with Turnpike Authority hope to start construction by the end of the year and have the Triangle Expressway open by the end of 2010.

Load Comments