New developments in I-77 toll lane project could play into governor's race

Fallout on the controversial I-77 toll lanes continues, as Governor Pat McCrory orders a full review of the project's contract.

The governor’s order comes after a subsidiary of Cintra, the private company building the I-77 toll lanes, has just filed for bankruptcy on a road project in Texas.

That bankruptcy filing also prompted McCrory to send North Carolina's DOT Secretary to the Lone Star State. His mission is to find out what went wrong.

McCrory said, “You have to realize these are separate corporate entities. Some of the corporate entities have been successful. Others have not. I've got to make sure our taxpayers are protected with regard to this action in Texas. I'm going to make sure we do a thorough review of that.”

The group opposing the toll lanes, “Widen I-77,” wonders if McCrory's move is just for show.

The North Carolina DOT secretary leaves for Texas Monday to meet with his counterparts there and discuss the ins and outs of the project's bankruptcy there.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, McCrory's opponent in the governor's race, released the following statement:

In light of this company's bankruptcy, even Governor McCrory has to admit now that he cut a bad deal for North Carolina. He should stop stalling and cancel this contract that never should have been signed to begin with. Unfortunately, this boondoggle will leave people who deserve better waiting in traffic.

Ned Curran, NC Board of Transportation Chairman, responded with the statement below:

The Governor has directed the Secretary to take immediate action to review available options-both legal and financial- to assess any impact on I-77 Mobility Partners’ business model and current contract to protect the taxpayers of North Carolina.

It’s unfortunate the attorney general is making a reckless, knee-jerk political statement on a contract that from day one his own office reviewed and had no problem with.

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