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Cornelius News

Legislators holding I-77 press conference at 10 am


March 25. New legislation called “An Act to Clear Roadblocks to I-77 Toll Relief” will be unveiled at 10 this morning at a press conference near the EMS station just south of the West Marine/Gold’s Gym shopping center. The backdrop for TV new purposes is I-77.

Rep. Christy Clark and Sen. Natasha Marcus, who represent Cornelius, and Rep. Chaz Beasley, who represented Cornelius and Huntersville before legislative redistricting, plan to outline a bill that would give Gov. Cooper better negotiating power to modify the toll roads contract.

All three describe the new bill as a first step to getting a better deal for I-77 drivers in North Mecklenburg and South Iredell. Responding to criticism around Clark and Marcus being first-term Democratic legislators in a GOP-controlled statehouse, they said their Republican predecessors failed to stop the toll roads.

Beasley, a contract and finance attorney, has announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor.

“Natasha and I both ran on doing something about I-77, and we are still actively committed to that,” said Clark. She said she’s not certain how best to address the issue, but that discussing it in terms of safety is the most effective approach.

“All three drivers in my family have been rear-ended on I-77,” she said, explaining she and her husband moved their law firm because of I-77 safety concerns.

“It’s a mess we should never have gotten ourselves into,” said Marcus. “I read the contract in 2014. This is a contract I would never have let my clients get into. The problem is, the contract is signed.”

Clark represents House District 98, which includes all of Davidson and Cornelius and part of Huntersville. Marcus represents NC Senate District 41, formerly held by former Mayor Jeff Tarte.

Last June NC Rep. John Bradford went on Facebook to say he had some “incredible good news” about the hated I-77 toll lanes.

The news was that the House of Representatives was working on legislation to create a source to fund a modification of the CINTRA toll lane contract.

Ultimately, the bills went nowhere which did not help the incumbent’s chances in November.

The question is whether Marcus, Clark and Beasley will achieve a better outcome. “We can’t promise what will happen,” Marcus said. “We’re freshmen in the minority. We’re hoping to harness this new energy that we’re bringing to Raleigh.”