Remember the Cornelius Resolution?

Remember this past January when the Cornelius Town Board passed a resolution requesting the Lake Norman Transportation Commission (LNTC) study alternatives to HOT lanes? Ever wondered what happened to it? In light of the LNTC’s upcoming meeting, I thought I’d share some status.

On Feb 13th, LNTC Exec Director Bill Thunberg responded to the request, saying the LNTC met to discuss.   We need a bit of context.

The resolution has five parts.  In summary, it requests the LNTC to:

1)     Look at the feasibility of widening I-77 from exit 23- exit 28 w/GP lanes

2)     Provide cost estimate, project timeline and plausible funding options

3)     Develop an operational life expectancy for each option

4)     Conduct the research in a timely fashion

5)     Ask the NCDOT to review its analyses prior to making a decision

The LNTC has committed to look at potential funding mechanisms and regulatory issues, but declined to provide cost estimates, timelines and operational life because they felt they lacked the expertise.  They committed to completing the study within 45 days and sharing the results with NCDOT.

Mr. Thunberg’s response also seemed to imply a green light was needed from the town.  I asked about this and was told about the only response needed was “Ok Bill, do your best.”

Obviously, we’re hopeful that the study demonstrates a path forward to GP lanes.

We’re hopeful, but realistic.  Unfortunately, the resolution only considered five miles of road, and we know the state is viewing the corridor as an integrated solution.  So even if feasible, the state could easily discount it.

But even more germane, the LNTC is not a fan of GP lanes.  In April 2010 they voted their support of toll lanes (I know- I was there).  Last month they hosted an information meeting with a “managed lanes expert.”  This Wednesday they’re hosting another with the same expert + a “P3 financing expert”.  (Are YOU going to be there?)

With that in mind, I’m wondering if it’s possible to be both hopeful and pessimistic?

Here is the text of Director Thunberg’s response:

The Lake Norman Transportation Commission received and reviewed your resolution regarding the widening of I-77.  The Commission asked that I share the results of that review and seek your direction.  On item #1, it is the Commissions judgement that the Commission is capable and has the resources available to fulfill that request.  On item #2, it is the Commissions judgement that we lack the capability and the resources required to produce cost estimates for each project and the timelines.  It is, however, within the Commission capability to identify plausible funding options and outline the necessary regulatory and legislative approvals.  On item #3, it is the Commissions judgement the request exceeds the Commissions capability and resources.  On item #4, the goal is to complete the task within 45 days and share the results with NCDOT at your request.  If this is satisfactory, please advise and note if there is an item that is of particular importance.

2 Responses to Remember the Cornelius Resolution?

  1. Mike M says:

    I could tell they were not interested or would make only a half hearted effort at this request. They have been given a mandate from Speaker Tillis who takes his direction from Governor McCrory to push the P3 Toll Lanes through. From the LNTC, to the Lake Norman Chamber, to the EDC the steam roller is moving. One point I would like to make as a long standing resident of the Lake Norman area. I am not sure about Jim Trodgins’ (NCDOT) estimates of growth for the area and really don’t care. If he did the traffic estimates on the Toll Road from Durham to Holly Springs I think anyone could come as close by picking a number out of a hat. My position is leave things the way they are until GP lanes can be built. I like the lake the way it is. 150,000 people is enough for me. I don’t need the growth or the corporations moving to the lake.

    Mike M

  2. Mark Neroni says:

    Has anyone in our elite government assessed the economic impact of taking all of those toll dollars out of our pockets?

    So, because North Mecklenburg and South Iredell have been neglected so long, and our tax dollars have gone to fund freeways for the rest of the state, we now get to pay a usage tax so that we can get the benefits that our tax dollars were supposed to be funding all along. That seems fair. The good news is that we will only be stuck with it for the next 50 years. That’s only three generations. No problem!

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