The North Carolina Department of Transportation continues to conduct information sessions to educate residents along the corridor about the newly released economic impact study on highway funding for I-95, which includes an option to toll existing lanes on the interstate.
During the most recent session, Ernie Brame, chairman of the "No Tolls I-95 Coalition," and general manager of Kenly 95 Petro Travel Plaza, said that he doesn’t understand why the locations for the tolls were selected for Robeson County, which has one of the state’s highest unemployment and poverty rates. “I don’t want Interstate 95 to be treated any differently than I-40 or I-85," he said.
The North Carolina General Assembly has pending legislation that would limit the state's ability to toll existing interstate lanes. The legislation that passed the state House and awaits consideration in the Senate allows tolling only on new interstate capacity, which is in line with current federal law.
The new U.S. Secretary of Transportation nominee Anthony Foxx, who is currently the Mayor of Charlotte, N.C., said in his Senate confirmation hearing that tolling is one way to raise needed transportation revenue but it alone cannot solve the problem. In response to a question from Sen. Tim Scott from South Carolina regarding tolls on Interstate 95 in North Carolina, Foxx said, “We’re not going to toll our way to prosperity in this country,” but added that it “can be a tool in some cases to add capacity.”
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