Skip to main content

NCTA continues to look at tolling I-140/US 17 to pay for Cape Fear Skyway

The NCTA is looking at the possibility of tolling part of or all of the US 17/I-140 Wilmington Bypass as a way of generating additional funds for the Cape Fear Skyway.

Currently, the projected revenue from the 9.5 mile toll road would only pay for half the cost of the $1.0 - $1.5 billion project. As a result, that would require a minimum of $49.2 million per year gap funding paid for out of North Carolina's general budget for 40 years.

Tolling the entire bypass (when completed) could possibly reduce the gap funding at an $11 million per year rate. In fact, the NCTA estimates that in a 40 year period tolls on the Wilmington Bypass would generate more revenue than the Skyway. $2.4 billion over 40 years compared to $1.5 billion over 40 years for the Skyway.

Of course, because the Wilmington Bypass has been funded with federal tax dollars, it would need to get approval from not only the state legislature (which has to approve all toll projects) but from the federal government as well.

Story:
Tolls on the table for Skyway Project ---Wilmington Star-News

Commentary:
The NCTA has been hinting at this proposal for quite some time. In fact, nearly 18 months ago the Leland Town Council passed a resolution opposing any tolls on the Wilmington Bypass. The motion was passed unanimously.

As much as the Cape Fear Skyway is needed and as much as I applaud any suggestion to reduce overall costs to taxpayers, this idea isn't going to work. Tolling existing free roads to pay for future toll roads will not sit well with Wilmington residents, tourists, and citizens throughout North Carolina. The state is more likely to gain support for a transportation or road gasoline or even another increase in the sales tax than they would for tolling a previously 'free' highway just to build another toll road. That's not counting they would have to get approval from the FHWA and Congress.

My guess is that the NCTA will try to spin the Wilmington Bypass and Cape Fear Skyway as one total project - and looking at it on a map - yes you could. But the reality is, they aren't.

And hypothetically, if this proposal is allowed to happen - this just gives the NCTA the green light to toll other existing roads just to pay for the construction of another toll road.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley