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Triangle Expressway clears first legislative hurdle

Construction of the proposed Triangle Expressway toll road took a small legislative step to becoming a reality this week when the NC House approved an annual transfer of $25 million for 39 years to finance the highway.

The $25 million will come from the phasing out of the controversial transfer of an annual $172.5 million from the Highway Fund to the General Fund. In the following year, 2010, the transfer would grow to $49 million to provide gap funding to the Monroe Bypass outside of Charlotte.

The decision to slowly eliminate the annual transportation funds transfer to the general fund was passed in the House's version of the state budget. The budget now goes to the House.

Last year, two different versions of 'gap funding' for toll roads were passed by the NC House and Senate. However, an agreement between both legislative bodies was never made and no money was allocated towards the highway.

NCTA officials claim that if the 'gap funding' is approved - construction on the highway could begin this fall. If this happens, the toll highway is expected to open in 2011.

Story: Raleigh News & Observer
Triangle Business Journal

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