• 9 Investigates: NC State troopers work overtime to cover Monroe Expressway

    By: Blaine Tolison


    MONROE, N.C. - The Monroe Expressway opened just over a week ago and the North Carolina Highway Patrol came up with a plan to cover the new toll road, but trooper are working overtime. 

    Since the expressway opened in November, officials said there has not been much traffic on it, but that it can be enticing to drivers who like to speed. 

    [ALSO READ: Monroe Expressway, Charlotte area's first toll road, now open]

    "This is something new for drivers and it's also new for us," North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce said. "We're hoping our presence out here will slow the drivers down." 

    The Monroe Expressway is 36-miles of new roll road to patrol, if you could east and westbound lanes. 

    To cover it, troopers have to work overtime. 

    "If they want to and work an overtime day to where it does not take away from troopers in their perspective districts," Pierce said. 

    The Monroe Expressway is the first toll road in the Charlotte area. Soon, there will be more including the Interstate 77 Express Lanes set to open in January. 

    [ALSO READ: Monroe Expressway set to open next month]

    Eyewitness News Anchor Blaine Tolison checked in with Florida Highway Patrol, who patrol hundreds of miles of toll roads all over the state. 

    Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Kim Montes told Channel 9 about the tolls when they first opened in Orlando decades ago. 

    "We saw a lot of crashes, people not familiar with the road, people going faster because they could," Montes said. 

    [ALSO READ: First responders test out new Monroe Expressway]

    The Central Florida Expressway Authority paid for several full-time troopers just for toll roads. 

    On the Monroe Expressway, tolls will cover the cost of overtime for just two troopers currently assigned to the roadway. 

    "Should traffic increase and call volume increase, we might have to re-evaluate how we're doing patrols out here on the roadway," Pierce said. 

    Troopers said they have caught a handful of speeding and impaired drivers. Another issue, because the expressway is in such a rural area, several cars have hit deer so troopers are asking drivers to be careful driving in the area at night. 

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