WFAE 90.7 »

Despite strong public opposition NCDOT signed a preliminary contract with Cintra Infrastructure to design, build, operate, and maintain two tolled lanes on I-77, altogether known as the I-77 Widening Project. While a few transportation officials urged caution and more review time for the 50 year deal, NCDOT moved forward stating that this was the best path forward to get the relief that is needed on that road. Arguing that traditional project delivery and the lack of funding meant that there would be no relief for up to twenty years, the P3 was the best possible option. This is the first public-private partnership of its kind in North Carolina, hopefully they are not repeating the mistake of counting on over-optimistic traffic and revenue projections that could get the state in trouble should the lanes not generate the revenue to repay the private partners. The article provides details on those opposed to the project, the project’s schedule, and the official press releases from both NCDOT and Cintra.

Traffic crawls on I-77 southbound near Westmoreland Road in 2013.