Taxpayers may have to pay developer in I-77 toll lane project

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Interstate 77

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - New documents on the controversial plans for the Interstate 77 toll lane project were released and showed taxpayers could be on the hook to pay the developer if it loses money.
 
Those documents said if NCDOT builds more lanes on 77 in the future, and it causes Cintra to lose money, the N.C. Department of Transportation could have to compensate them.
 
Officials also plan to close financially on the project by December.
 
The documents released by the DOT revealed they want to complete the project by January 2019 but road work could last until March 2020.
 
The state signed its first contract with the company Cintra for the I-77 toll lane project a few weeks ago but there has been backlash over possible high tolls.
 
We learned on average, drivers pay about $10 for a round trip during rush hour on toll roads operated by Cintra.
 
On Thursday, an Iredell County representative introduced legislation calling for voters to decide if toll lanes should even be put on I-77.
 
Rep. Robert Brawley wants a statewide November ballot referendum about toll roads.
 
If it passes, the DOT would have to stop its plan to build high-occupancy toll lanes on I-77, at least until voters pass it.