One last try: McCrory runs from tolls (redux)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday January 20th, 2015

Contact:  Ford Porter

FordPorter@ncdp.org

One last try: McCrory runs from tolls (redux)

Charlotte, NC – In a final attempt to dodge responsibility for his plan for 50-year tolls, Governor Pat McCrory has called on the Charlotte Regional Transportation Organization to affirm the plan in a public meeting tonight.

After tonight’s vote, Governor McCrory will remain the only figure capable of canceling the state’s contract with Spanish transportation firm Cintra. The controversial agreement:

  • Allows Cintra to set and collect toll fees along I-77 for 50 years
  • Does not set a cap on toll fees
  • Restricts the construction of any new free lanes for public use.

 

Cintra was selected by the McCrory administration after a closed bid process. The bid was a surprise to many given previous failed Cintra projects led by Republican governors in Texas and Indiana. Additionally, Cintra’s parent company was fined millions of Euros for price fixing, a fact the McCrory administration has insisted the company failed to disclose.

The tolling plan has been met with withering criticism in Charlotte and along I-77, even resulting in a primary challenge for McCrory from former state House Rep. Robert Brawley. At least three organizations, Widen I-77, No tolls On I-77, and I-77 Business plan, and a NASCAR legend have rallied against the plan. In the face of the controversy, Governor McCrory has attempted to pass responsibility to local leaders, while simultaneously threatening massive fees and the cancellation of an entire package of transportation projects in the region if local leaders fail to support the I-77 tolls.  In the end, though, the governor remains the only one capable of canceling the contract.

“It’s clear: Governor McCrory wants his 50-year tolls at all costs…but he doesn’t want the blame. After tonight, there will be no one else for the governor to point to. Governor McCrory signed this contract and only he can cancel it. When all the political posturing and handwringing is done, the fact remains that Pat McCrory wants to toll I-77,” said NCDP spokesman Ford Porter.

Thus far, Governor McCrory’s attempts to avoid responsibility have failed. Hundreds of angry North Carolinians spoke against the plan at a recent Charlotte City Council meeting.

 

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