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Davidson News

Toll cancellation bill debate in Capitol today


June 2. By Dave Vieser. House Bill 954, which calls for the cancellation of the I-77 toll lane project, passed the State House Transportation and Appropriations Committees by a verbal vote on Wednesday, and will now move on to the full House for debate this morning.

However, the bill was advanced “without prejudice,” as opposed to favorably. “Without prejudice” is a rarely used procedural action that usually reflects the lack of strong support for a measure while still keeping the bill alive.

“Under the leadership of Rep. Jeter and Rep. Hager and the support of many others too long to list we successfully moved the bill through the House Transportation and Appropriations Committees,” said NC Rep. John Bradford. However, the version of the bill which emerged from the committees added a list of those projects which will also be suspended should the bill be enacted into law. Those projects include:

I‑77/Gilead Road Interchange, I‑77/NC‑73 Interchange, widening NC-73, NC-21 and NC-115, the US‑21/Gilead Road Interchange, Hambright Road and Lakeview Road Improvements.

Every bill requires three readings and three passing votes. Bradford described the debate on Wednesday as “civil and professional. Speakers from both sides of the issue made their comments but, in the end, it passed.”

If approved the legislation would direct that the state cancel its contract with Cintra to build the toll lanes, and appropriates $25,000 from the state Highway Fund to be used for any legal fees incurred in determining the amount of damages that may be owed and other effects resulting from cancellation of the toll lane contract.
If the House bill is ultimately approved, it would still need approval in the Senate, and, if required, the Governor’s approval.