About Those Toll Lanes


About Thom’s Tholl Road I wrote about yesterday,

Tillis expects to fund highway projects all across North Carolina using tolls. WSOC-Charlotte reported this summer that a round trip from Mooresville to Charlotte on Tillis’ I-77 HOT lanes could cost commuters $20 every weekday.

People in the Charlotte area — especially those struggling with low-paying jobs — are asking about the cost to use Spain-based Cintra’s toll lanes.

“Who knows?”

That’s how the man in charge of proposed Interstate 77 toll lanes responded to a town commissioner’s question about whether tolls could max out in another 20 years at more than $40 round trip.


“There is no one I have spoken to that believes an eleven dollar trip is reasonable in any way,” said Cornelius Town Commissioner John Bradford. “These numbers have really set off a lot of alarms and bells.”

Asheville has an interstate highway expansion project in the works, too. What would you be willing to pay? What would state Reps. Tim Moffitt and Nathan Ramsey consider reasonable for you to pay?


  1. andrewdahm says:

    If we’re getting into $20-a-day range for commuting costs, mass transit is more labor-intensive, hence better for the economy, than road building, whether it’s operated by government or for-profit corporations. Ideology aside, NC Republicans really don’t know how to manage for economic growth.

  2. Jeff Mclarty says:

    They should be looking at highway 400 out of Atlanta, which has recently taken out the toll lanes. It turned out the model was a win for the private company, not the state. So they learned their lesson. We could skip a step and just not do that.

  3. andrewdahm says:

    Georgia has pulled the plug on other public-privates (which sounds like a criminal offense that’ll follow you for the rest of your life, now that I think about it).

    Italy says, sure, do both.

    You got your state railway:

    You got your privately-held railway:

    And this (which your browser may be able to translate to English):

    This is post-Berlusconi baggage for our Mediterranean friends. They held their noses and let ‘entrepreneurs’ and French investors clip a very good state utility for a few bucks, but they kept the public utility.

    I cannot find the video clip in English, but there’s a debate where the Socialist, Berlusconi, and some right-wing crank all agree with the proposition that somebody who works full-time deserves a decent standard of living. Then they argue about how to do it, being Italian and all.

    Our political economy is more fucked than a country that’s formed like 60 governments in the last 70 years, folks.

  4. Jeff Mclarty says:

    We should maybe try forming some new governments.

  5. Italy also voted down by 95% a nationwide water privatization in 2011, part of a political drubbing for Berlusconi they called “the Italian Spring”.

    Domestic privateers take note.

  6. andrewdahm says:

    The disintegration of the Italian right (with a lot of help from the left) is hilarious reading and offers good insights on how something like that could work in, say, another country. Hint: Tacking to the center doesn’t get the job done.

    By the way, Mussolini accounts for over 20 years of this list. Frequent precipitous change – smells like democracy, though ‘Italian statesman’ is a bit of an oxymoron.