MOORESVILLE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Local and state leaders are meeting in Mooresville to discuss the I-77 toll lane project. Some of them fear there could be a negative economic impact.
The leaders are meeting Wednesday for an Economic Development Forum on the topic, which is invite only.
"The roads are dangerous," said Huntersville Resident Dennis Kennedy. "No one wants to be on it because it's a mess," added Huntersville Resident Barbara Perrigo.
The topic has been a very controversial one for the region.
"I don't think it's fair," said Huntersville Resident Dewayne Moffat. "I don't think they ought to be charging us."
"I think it was a total mistake," added Kennedy. "I think if we have any toll lanes at all, they should be on highways coming from SC to NC."
Those in favor of the express lanes say the project will help provide more reliable travel times on 26 miles of I-77, from exit 11 in Mecklenburg County to exit 36 in Iredell County.
Not only has construction created a mess, making many worry about safety on the streets, but some local leaders amd state legislators fear it could have a negative impact economically.
"I don't think it will impact us negatively there," said Kennedy. "But I think the local people who live around here know all the back roads and we are going to avoid 77."
"They should eliminate the tolls and open up the lanes on 77 to let it flow freely," said Perrigo. "Rather than trying to fix something no one wants done."
State and local leaders are discussing the negative impacts the project could have on the region as drivers dread the design.
"Anywhere there's a toll road-- if we can get around it, it's just going to take us longer to get to where we need to go," said Kennedy.
"I hope no one uses them," said Moffat. "So they'll spend all that money for nothing."
The Economic Development Forum is being held at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville at 6 p.m.
It is by invite only, and is closed to the public.