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I-540 tolls move forward

Over Apex's objections, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization endorsed tolls for the new section of I-540 today.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization voted Wednesday to approve long-range transportation plans that call for a toll road on a section of Interstate 540 in western Wake County.

Officials have said it will cost $800 million to complete the Western Wake Expressway, a 18.6-mile stretch of I-540 which includes a 2.8-mile segment currently under construction and set to open this summer from N.C. 54 to N.C. 55.

For a state strapped for cash, officials said tolls are an option that could cover most of the cost and move up the completion by at least 20 to 30 years. Without a toll, DOT officials said it will be 2032 before I-540 is finished. With the tolls, the work could be wrapped up by 2011.


Oh, by the way, remember that funding shortfall I mentioned earlier today?
Based on state estimates, there is a $6 billion shortfall in terms of meeting transportation needs for Wake County over the next 25 years.


Looking at that, it sure seems like tolls are the far lesser of two evils, eh?

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