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I-77 contract fight enters new phase; discussion May 3

Widen I-77 will host a town hall​-​style ​discussion Thursday, May 3​ at the Charles Mack Center in downtown Mooresville. ​Organizers will present their​ response to the recent I-77 Advisory Group meetings regarding options for terminating the​​ contract​ with Cintra​ and modifying the I-77 toll project.

Kurt Naas

“The conclusion of the Advisory Group meetings and the announcement by Gov​. Cooper that he will either modify or cancel the contract this year gives us reason for cautious optimism,” said Widen I-77​ founder​ Kurt Naas. “But success depends on continued public engagement.” Anti-toll forces are pressing their case in Raleigh with legislators as well.

The price to buy out Cintra has been estimated as high as $350 million. Naas and others question the validity of the estimate.

The Widen I-77 meeting​, which gets under way at 7 pm,​ will consist of a ​20-minute presentation followed by an extended question-and-answer session.

Widen I-77 will ​also ​provide information on how the public can get involved to help ensure the private tolling contract is terminated.​ The citizens group ​has been a consistent leader in the fight against the I-77 ​toll lanes. Founder Kurt Naas is a member of the Cornelius Town Board as well as the I-77 Advisory Group.

The I-77 advisors will meet again on Monday April 30 to review the various options proposed by Mercator Advisors, and possibly combine some elements from each. Additional meetings will also be required according to NC DOT Secretary JimTrogdon, possibly during the summer, as more information is analyzed.

Prior to reviewing the “Complete and Delete” option several committee members again vocalized their unhappiness with the CINTRA toll lane contract. “This contract is a screw-up and there’s no other way to put it,” said County Commissioner Pat Cotham. “I- 77 is the Main Street in the Lake Norman area and impacts on most residents everyday.”

 

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