- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Charlotte City Council has voted to support toll lanes under construction on Interstate 77, a move that means the project will probably move forward.

The council voted 7-4 Monday night to back the project, multiple media outlets reported. Some voting members said they were not specifically endorsing toll lanes on Interstate 77, but their votes would allow the project to move forward.

The project has been criticized by other local governments in the area.

That opposition prompted Gov. Pat McCrory to ask for local transportation leaders to vote again on the toll lanes, including those planned for Interstate 77 north of the city and those on Interstate 485 around the city.

Some council members complained about the way city staff members and the governor presented the issue. Council members were asked to vote on supporting all toll lane projects for the region. Some asked what would happen if they voted in favor of toll lanes, but not the Interstate 77 project.



“I don’t appreciate being in the position of being asked to make that choice,” stated Councilman Ed Driggs.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she was disappointed by the choice presented to council members.

The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization is expected to vote on the toll lanes Jan. 20. Charlotte controls nearly half of the votes on the council.

Construction has already started on the toll lanes and state officials have said canceling the project would cost millions of dollars.

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