DAVIDSON – The Davidson town board will send a vote in favor of toll lanes along Interstate 77 at the next Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.
MUMPO's vote on May 22 will determine if the project will move forward into the bidding stage.
If approved, four public-private partnerships will bid for the contract estimated to cost $550 million.
The proposal is to add four toll lanes (two in both direction) from Charlotte to Cornelius' Exit 28 and then one additional toll lane in both directions from Exit 28 to Exit 36 in Mooresville.
The topic fueled long conversations and sparked angry citizen emails in Cornelius. On May 5, the Cornelius town board voted 3-2 in favor of the proposal.
Davidson town board didn't make an official vote, but took a few minutes at the beginning of its May 15 meeting to discuss the decision.
Every member spoke in favor of the project.
“I say go forth and vote on it Bryan, We've talked enough about this,” said Commissioner Connie Wesner. “We've talked and we've researched and we've talked again, and we've considered and looked at a million different viewpoints on this and I say go, go for it."
Commissioners Rodney Graham and Laurie Venzon agreed with Wesner's comments.
Commissioner Jim Fuller was the only board member to show hesitation, but in the end, agreed with sending a positive vote to MUMPO.
“I'm no fan of tolls, but I am absolutely opposed to not taking some steps to cure the congestion that we are facing in our future,” Fuller said. “So, you go with our support.”
Mayor John Woods ended the discussion with one last voice of approval.
“It's been a hectic subject to get our hands around,” Woods said. “I think you know that you go now with our full endorsement on this plan.”
Jenest said that the bids are expected to be submitted by July.
Visit http://www.mumpo.org/I-77 for more information about the project.