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Charlotte could see tolls on Interstate 77

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TWC News: Charlotte could see tolls on Interstate 77
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CHARLOTTE – Drivers could be one step closer to seeing toll lanes on Interstate 77.

Charlotte's Transportation and Planning Committee got an update on the proposal Monday, ahead of next week's public hearing.

There are currently four scenarios on the table to convert the HOV lanes between Uptown and Exit 28 to toll lanes.

Officials said this plan gives drivers an option to get in and out of the city more quickly. The funds raised will help pay for eventually widening the road.

Many drivers said they shouldn't have to pay for the city's poor planning.

"You had an increase in population of about 12 percent and no one thought, hey, it might be a good idea to start making bigger roads,” said driver Brian DeKeyser. “People are having a hard time making it now as it is, now they're going to have them pay to drive on the roads? It's just too hard.”

Officials said they hope to address the public's questions and concerns during the public hearing.

"I think there's a lot of education that needs to happen,” said city councilman David Howard. “What it is, what it's not and how it works can be really confusing so we have to spend a lot of time educating the public about it.”

The hearing is scheduled for Wed., April 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Huntersville Town Hall.

If given the go-ahead officials say the toll lanes could be in place by the end of 2015.

Potential Scenarios

- Scenario 1: Convert the existing HOV lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) operations and extend them north to Exit 28. This could be completed by the end of 2015, with toll exemptions for those with two or more occupants.
- Scenario 2: Convert the existing HOV lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) operations and extend them north to exit 28. This also could be completed by the end of 2015, with toll exemptions for those with three or more occupants.
- Scenario 3: Convert the existing HOV lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) operations and expand them to provide 2 HOT lanes in each direction between I-85 and exit 28. Finished by end of 2015, with toll exemptions for those with two or more occupants.
- Scenario 4: Convert the existing HOV lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) operations and expand them to provide 2 HOT lanes in each direction between I-85 and exit 28. To be finished by end of 2015, with toll exemptions for those with three or more occupants.

Courtesy: Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Org.

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