Category Archives: Analysis

WI77 Town Hall Thurs July 20

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, Widen I77 will be hosting a town hall meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to debrief the preliminary report given by Mercator, the consultant hired by NCDOT to analyze exit options. Mercator will be giving their preliminary report on Wednesday, July 19 at

Cooper Appoints Pro-Toll Transpo Secretary

One of the things about a new administration is that it promises a fresh start.  New faces, new beginnings. Unfortunately that may not be the case with Governor Cooper’s new Secretary of Transportation. Yesterday Cooper announced he had appointed Jim Trogdon as the new Secretary of Transportation. While Trogdon may be new to the position,

Caution! Road “Constriction” Ahead…

No, that headline is not a typo. If you have the ill fortune of driving over the causeways recently, you probably noticed construction of the toll lanes has begun there as well. Adding two toll lanes (one each way) plus buffers and shoulders is pretty tight fight. How will Cintra accomplish this? Well, if you

“By the Numbers” Pt 2: Cintra’s Annual Toll Revenues

Part Two of a four-part series analyzing Cintra’s and NCDOT’s public claims using their own numbers. In Part One we discussed Cintra’s projected toll rates. In this installment, we’ll look at how that translates into annual toll revenues. Fully Ramped Revenues Top $30M The chart below shows Cintra’s estimate for annual toll revenues for the

Justice Department Investigating Cintra

Widen I-77 recently obtained a copy of an Investigative Demand of the NC Department of Justice to I-77 Mobility Partners, the wholly owned subsidiary of Cintra. An investigative demand is an order from a law enforcement agency requiring the requestee to produce materials as part of a legal investigation. The demand was sent on Dec

New Penalty Estimate: Cintra’s Dream Scenario

Early last week, NCDOT released an analysis of the cancellation penalties. Unfortunately, the headlines have dutifully blared the cancellation penalty could be as high as $300M. Like so many other “independent analyses”, a look past the headline yields a different result. Consultant’s Independence Questionable The analysis was performed by Clary Consulting, headed by a Mr. Lowell

NCDOT’s Rebuttal

As required by the schedule set by the court, today NCDOT filed their brief in opposition to our motion for summary judgment. You can download it here: 15 CVS 1076 – State Defendants Response-Reply One thing that really caught our attention: Remember the “Toll Summit” that was held in Cornelius last month?  In order to

Just when you thought CRTPO was going to do the right thing….

When the Technical Coordinating Committee recommends a vote to CRTPO, it’s usually a fait accompli: perfunctory, box checking, zero drama. Usually, unless it has to do with I-77 tolls. Two weeks ago we reported CRTPO was poised to approve a project list at their next meeting. That list included a general purpose lane project, a

Toll Lane Thickness Half of GP Lanes

The I-77 toll lanes will be constructed with about half the thickness of standard general purpose lanes.  According to the contract between NCDOT and Cintra, the general purpose lanes are currently 32 inches thick, including an aggregate base course and a subgrade.  In contrast, the toll lanes will be 17 inches thick, with no subgrade.

Writing the intent of the law out of the contract

Let’s say you make $91K per year. You’ve just ticked over into the 28% income tax bracket and you’ve got to mail the IRS a hefty check. But all of a sudden the IRS does you a huge favor: they raise the tax bracket.  In fact, they raise it by a factor of a thousand.