CRTPO gives official green light to controversial I-77 toll lane project

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The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization voted to reaffirm it's support of a number of toll lane projects -- including the controversial I-77 tolls.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation also reaffirmed it's stance that toll lanes, through the private company Cintra, are the quickest way to get additional lanes built on I-77.

Around 20 people spoke during the public comment session -- many against the project -- even though a decision was all but said and done with representatives from respective council's across the region already announcing how they would vote.

The vote also surrounded toll projects on I-485 and U.S. 74.

"Based on the vote by local elected officials, work will continue on the planning and delivery of all four optional toll lane projects in the region," NCDOT said in a statement. "NCDOT will work with I-77 Mobility Partners over the next several weeks to identify possible project improvements."

Construction on the toll lanes has already begun and a completion date for the 26-mile stretch is scheduled for 2018.