Bill to cancel I-77 toll lane contract passes State House

- The North Carolina House has voted to cancel an agreement with a private developer to build toll lanes along I-77 north of Charlotte.

On Thursday the state house voted on House Bill 954. 80 voted yes and 28 voted no.

The bill will now go to Senate.

The House Transportation and Appropriations committees voted Wednesday to move to chamber floor the proposal to pull out of a 50-year contract the state has signed with Cintra.

Both committees accepted the bill "without prejudice," as opposed to favorably. "Without prejudice" is a seldom-used procedural action that often reflects the lack of strong support for a measure. 

The panels acted despite warnings from Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson that canceling the contract could cost millions of dollars in penalty fees and would leave the area without any clear traffic solutions.

The toll lane project is set to cost $650 million. The toll lane project, which would stretch for more than 20 miles north of Charlotte, is being funded by a Spanish company named Cintra. A completion date for the 26-mile stretch has been scheduled for 2018.

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