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Cornelius News

Cintra announces new LKN egress points; key vote is tonight


Jan. 11. Just in time for what may be a pivotal meeting of the Charlotte City Council tonight, I-77 Mobility Partners has announced plans to add new entrance and exit points at Exit 23 and Exit 25 in Huntersville and Exit 28 in Cornelius.

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I-77 Mobility said the new plan will provide greater connectivity for drivers who use I-77 as a virtual Main Street through the Lake Norman business community.

“As we visited with residents and business owners from Lake Norman to Charlotte, we listened to what was important to people traveling the corridor in both directions. The proposed new access points reflect the feedback we heard from users of I-77,” said Javier Tamargo, CEO of I-77 Mobility Partners.

Of course, there has been a hue and cry about the toll plan, valued at some $650 million for widening 13 miles between Charlotte and Lake Norman with toll lanes. Indeed, John “Mac” McAlpine, a member of a powerful anti-toll group that meets weekly at the Lake Norman Chamber, called it a “hush tactic.” He said the potential impact on the local economy was $42 billion, far greater than any penalty.

Speaking for at least the Cornelius Town Board, Commissioner Dave Gilroy said “all of us remain opposed to the plan to toll I-77, our region’s “Main Street”, for the same 50+ reasons we’ve pointed out over the last four years.”

Political leaders and ordinary citizens, as well as leaders of the seminal anti-toll group Widen I-77.org will be attending tonight’s meeting of the Charlotte City Council. It is expected to direct Vi Lyles’ vote on the critical Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

Gov. Pat McCrory says the group can vote up or down on the toll plan. The hitch—well, there are two. Some people have estimated it could cost literally tens of millions of dollars—if not hundreds of millions—to cancel the 50-year contract and toll plan. The other hitch is that Charlotte, through Lyles, holds 46 percent of the CRTPO vote.