Skip to main content

Charlotte's worst kept secret? Cintra behind I-77 unsolicited toll plans

When I posted about NCDOT receiving unsolicited plans for toll-managed lanes along I-77 from the Berkshire Freeway to the South Carolina State Line, a few commenters in various forums said it was obvious who the "anonymous" bidder was.  It would be Cintra - the same firm that built the infamous I-77 Express Lanes north towards Lake Norman.

Well, they were right.  It was Cintra that submitted the proposal - and WCNC-TV in Charlotte was able to get a look at it.  

The CINTRA proposal would build 9.4 miles of toll lanes at the cost of $2.3 Billion (with a B).  This proposal would include two tolled express lanes.  Cintra would not add any general purpose lanes to Interstate 77 - something that was and continues to be a sticking point with North Mecklenburg residents.

The plan would be to start construction in 2024 and complete the project in 2029.  Of course, that is, if the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) approves and requests it.  The proposal would allow Cintra to collect tolls on the new managed lanes for the next 50 years.

The proposal, embedded below, does not provide full design or conceptual drawings of the highway.  But it does go into some general detail.  It would be a design-build project.  Also, basic concepts of the construction stages and process are included.

Conceptual Unsolicited Prop... by Hank Lee

Some highlights include:

  • The managed lanes would have direct interchange access to 5th Street and Woodlawn Road.
  • It appears there may be a direct connection with Interstate 485 - the proposal discusses "new connector bridges" that would provide "ingress/egress to the [managed lanes]."
  • Two railroad bridges would be replaced - which is easier said than done (just ask Durham and I-885.)
  • Irwin Creek would be relocated.
Finally, Cintra's proposal touts what they believe are benefits to NCDOT by going forward. 
  • A $2.3 Billion project off the state's books
  • An annual avoidance of $58 million in operation and maintenance costs during the toll lanes operation.
  • A $200 million concession payment from Cintra.
Sources:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oldtown Toll Bridge - Maryland and West Virginia

  The Oldtown Toll Bridge linking Oldtown, Maryland over the Potomac River with neighboring Green Spring, West Virginia is only one of a few truly privately owned toll bridges located in the United States. It's a simple bridge by design, as the 318 foot long Oldtown Toll Bridge is a low water bridge. Low water bridges are designed to allow water to safely and efficiently flow over the bridge deck. Additionally, a dozen concrete pedestals have been secured in the Potomac River in order to support the bridge and wooden deck. The bridge was constructed in 1937 when a gentleman by the name of Mr. Carpenter obtained the proper permits to build the Bridge through an Act of Congress. This was a blessing for residents, especially on the West Virginia side of the Potomac River, as it saved motorists commuting to Cumberland an hour in travel time. Using Mr. Carpenter's blueprints, the Army Corp of Engineers and a number of local laborers constructed the bridge and it remained under the

Breezewood - The Rise and Decline of a Highway Rest Stop

It's the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange most people hate - and with a passion.  The Breezewood Interchange - a junction of two Interstates (70 & 76) that became complicated due to archaic rules, rural politics and power, and an unwillingness to change.  At its romanticized best, this small unincorporated community of under 100 residents is a reminder of travel days of the 1950s-1970s; at its worst, it is a gradually dying relic of old motels and services that drivers are forced to slow down and drive through on their way to bigger and more modern destinations. The Breezewood Strip - where Interstate 70 runs along a surface street (US 30) (Doug Kerr) The Breezewood Interchange is an exception to the rule in the Interstate Highway System.  Depending on your direction, Interstate 70 joins or leaves the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) here.  However, unlike nearly every Interstate junction in the United States - Interstate 70 must traverse on a roughly 1/4 mile stretch of

California State Route 120/New Priest Grade Road and Old Priest Grade Road

Depicted as the blog cover is a westward view along the descent on Old Priest Grade Road of Tuolumne County, California.  Below Old Priest Grade Road one can observe California State Route 120 across Grizzly Gulch on New Priest Grade Road.  Old Priest Grade Road is often claimed to have a maximum gradient of 17-20% and is one of the steepest roadways in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains.   What is new Old Priest Grade Road opened in 1859 as an alternate to Wards Ferry Road between Sonora and the Big Oak Flat-Groveland area.  New Priest Grade Road was completed in 1913 as a replacement for what is now Old Priest Grade Road.  New Priest Grade Road features a sustained gradient slightly exceeding 5% but is two and a half times longer than Old Priest Grade Road.  New Priest Grade Road was added to the State Highway System by way of 1915 Legislative Chapters 396 and became part of California State Route 120 during August 1934.  Below California State Route 120/New Priest Grade Road and Ol