Skip to main content

Could a bond issue allow the Cape Fear Skyway to be toll free?

Yes, it is indeed possible.

The $550 Million Wilmington Bypass/Cape Fear Skyway Project is one of the several proposed NC Turnpike Authority (NCTA) projects.

In a recent Brunswick County Commissioners meeting, the NCTA presented an update to their Cape fear Skyway Toll Highway proposal. Afterwards, County Commissioner urged those in attendance to contact the 21st Century Transportation Committee in support of a bond issue that would help finance road construction throughout the state.

If built as a toll road, the tolls would only cover 50% of the cost causing the NCTA to look for other sources of 'gap funding', most likely from the state's General Fund. However, a member of the NCTA's Board of Directors, David Redwine, said that if a bond referendum is passed it could solve the funding gap problem for the Cape Fear Skyway. He also stated that tolling the highway is just a series of options to get the project underway.

Story: Wilmington Star-News

Commentary:

Well, the idea of a bond issue to pay for the Skyway not only caught the attention of the Brunswick County Commissioners, but it also made waves with the Editorial staff at the Star-News.

On Tuesday, the paper penned an editorial titled "Toll-free, if possible" voicing their support in "...the state should do everything in its power to avoid building [the Cape Fear Skyway] as a toll road."

They also point out and strongly urge (as it also has been in this blog as well) the legislature to phase down and ultimately eliminate the annual transfer of $170 million from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund. The suggestion has also been made by the 21st Century Transportation Committee, and it should come up in the upcoming short session of the NC Legislature.

The Star-News editorial also looks at the possibility of a state-wide bond issue along with county based sales tax increases (like the one recently approved in Horry County, South Carolina) to help fund highway projects.

It seems to me that the bond issue is being floated around as a trial balloon. If editorials and discussion of the possible bond issue continues, it may in fact make it to a state wide referendum in the near future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 1 over Old Pedro Mountain Road

California State Route 1 in western San Mateo County traverses the Montara Mountain spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 1 passes through Montara Mountain via the Tom Lantos Tunnels and the highway is traditionally associated with Devils Slide.  Although Devils Slide carries an infamous legacy due it being prone landslides it pales in comparison to the alignment California State Route 1 carried prior to November 1937 over Old Pedro Mountain Road.   Old Pedro Mountain Road opened to traffic in 1915 and is considered one of the first major asphalted highways in California.  Old Pedro Mountain Road clambers over a grade from Montara towards Pacifica via the 922 foot high Saddle Pass.  Pictured above an overlook of Old Pedro Mountain Road facing southward towards Montara as it appears today.  Pictured below it the same view during June 1937 when it was part of the original alignment of California State Route 1.  Today Old Pedro Mountain sits abandoned a

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo

Originally US Route 101 upon descending Cuesta Pass southbound entered the City of San Luis Obispo via Monterey Street.  From Monterey Street US Route 101 utilized Santa Rosa Street and Higuera Street southbound through downtown San Luis Obispo.  Upon departing downtown San Luis Obispo US Route 101 would have stayed on Higuera Street southward towards Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande.  Notably; beginning in 1934 US Route 101 picked up California State Route 1 at the intersection of Monterey Street/Santa Rosa Street where the two would multiplex to Pismo Beach.  Pictured below is the 1 935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County depicting the original alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in the City of San Luis Obispo.   Part 1; the history of US Route 1 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo lies at the bottom of the Cuesta Pass (also known as the Cuesta Grade) which has made it favored corridor of travel for centuries.  Cuesta Pass

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n