House Lawmakers Pass Toll Roads Bill

May 21, 2013

Credit Jessica Jones

Lawmakers in the House have approved a bill that would allow the Department of Transportation to add new toll lanes to interstate highways, but only if some of the old lanes are kept toll-free.

The new toll lanes would essentially be express lanes, with less congestion and higher speed limits. Republican representative John Faircloth says North Carolina's roads are desperately in need of funding. Faircloth says he agrees with Representative Jeff Collins, who is the bill's sponsor.

"I'm impressed that he's put together something that will work, that will get us going in the right direction again, and will recognize that we've...gotta be innovative in the ways that we address the future," says Collins.

Eastern counties along Interstate 95 would shoulder most of the toll burden, but according to some experts, they would also receive most of the benefits from road improvements.

The Department of Transportation wants to widen the interstate and build new interchanges, which will be expensive. The bill now goes to the Senate.