RALEIGH — An economic assessment for I-95 will begin this
week. This study is in response to
questions raised from citizens during previous public outreach efforts performed
by the North Carolina Department of
Transportation regarding the economic impact of tolling I-95 in North
The study will
examine what the economic impacts, both positive and negative, will be to
adding lanes on I-95 and paying for them with tolling or utilizing other
funding that may exist. It will also examine the economic impact of not adding
the lanes or making any significant improvements outside of what can be funded
with existing funding sources.
"This study is
in response to the people and businesses of North Carolina and their concerns
voiced during the first stage of our study process,” said Roberto Canales, NCDOT
project executive. “We want to make the right decisions for the citizens of
North Carolina as we move forward.”
The study will take
six months to complete and will be conducted by Cambridge Systematics of
Atlanta, Ga. It will cost about $1.6
million and is being funded with federal transportation funds. Once the study
is complete, the state will determine the best way to proceed with the
improvements to I-95.
An advisory council
was established in April of this year to help structure and guide the direction
of the study. Council members and NCDOT staff collaborated to draft a Request
For Proposals (RFP) to find a firm of economic experts to conduct the study.
The advisory council
consists of representatives of major industries that voiced concerns over the
potential of utilizing tolling to add nearly 500 miles of new road lanes to
I-95. Members represent the N.C. Travel and
Tourism Coalition, N.C. Chamber, N.C. Trucking Association, N.C. Retail
Merchants Association, N.C. Travel Industry Association, N.C. Farm Bureau and
NC State University – Agricultural & Resource Economics (economist).
For more information
on plans to improve I-95, visit www.driving95.com.
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