Economic Assessment for I-95 to Begin This Week Tuesday, October 02, 2012

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 Carolina.

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.

***NCDOT***

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