No tolls

Published 10:52 am Monday, March 26, 2012

JACKSON — The Northampton County Board of Commissioners have taken an official stance on the proposed implementation of I-95 tolling.

On Monday, the commissioners approved a resolution opposing the proposed tolling.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released a $6.4 million I-95 Corridor Planning and Finance Study that aims to improve the safety, connectivity and efficiency of the historical thoroughfare that connects the eastern coast of the United States.

In the study, DOT identifies tolling as the most feasible means of funding future improvements. Prior to the release of the study, DOT submitted an application to the Federal Highway Administration requesting approval for the tolling under the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program.

According to the resolution, the I-95 study reveals that 30 percent of travelers on the interstate will divert to other roads to avoid paying tolls.

“The 30 percent diversion rate represents the loss of 12,000 cars a day, which will have a significant negative impact for communities and businesses that depend on Interstate 95 travelers for their livelihood,” the resolution states. “The board believes that the 1-95 Corridor Planning and Finance Study does not provide sufficient information on alternative funding sources for future improvements to Interstate 95.”

The document also states the study does not provide “sufficient information on the economic impact of tolling to the citizens, businesses and communities in Northampton County and along the Interstate 95 Corridor.”

In the resolution, the commissioners request DOT to fully investigate alternative sources of revenue to finance the improvements and study the economic impacts of tolling for those citizens, businesses and communities along the I-95.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins also provided the Board with copies of adopted resolutions opposing tolling on I-95 from the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce, the Northampton County Tourism Development Authority and the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Fannie Greene moved to approve the resolution. Commission Vice Chair Virginia Spruill offered a second and the motion passed without objection.