Leaders demand answers on toll-lane project

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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Charlotte area leaders demanded answers Thursday about controversial toll lanes planned for Interstate 77. 
 
The questions came at one of several meetings with the project's developer, Cintra.
 
The meetings were supposed to be private, but the Department of Transportation said that was never the case.
 
A spokesman said the public's chance for comment will come in a few weeks; the Department of Transportation wanted Thursday's meetings to focus on questions from commissioners.
 
At the meeting, some commissioners demanded to know exactly how much it will cost for drivers on I-77 to use those lanes.
 
"You got to put that information out. It can't just be at the privilege of the lending community," said David Gilroy, a commissioner in Cornelius. 
 
He said his constituents were shocked by reports that a round trip from Charlotte to Mooresville could cost as much as $20.
 
He and a colleague asked for more details on the cost. 
 
"That is what we're after and we have not seen it. What is the conservative number? We've only seen the high number. Will you release it?" said  John Bradford, another Cornelius town commissioner.
 
Cintra's vice president of corporate affairs said right now it's difficult to answer that question and said, "We don't want to be creating expectations that may or may not be true."
 
Huntersville Town Commissioner Sarah McAulay left the meeting not worried about the cost of using the lanes.
 
"It does not bother me because I think it will be a competitive price and people will want to use the lanes," said McAulay.