PRESS RELEASE: NC Senator Jeff Tarte Issues Statement Condemning Governor Cooper’s Failure To Fix The I-77 Project

August 15, 2018

NC Senator Jeff Tarte Issues Statement Condemning Governor Cooper’s Failure To Fix The I-77 Project

Cornelius, N.C. – N.C. Senator Jeff Tarte today issued the following statement regarding the announcement today that Governor Roy Cooper will suggest no changes to I-77 Toll Lane project until at least 2025.

“Today Governor Roy Cooper and NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogden failed the people of North Mecklenburg County by suggesting no changes to the I-77 project until at least 2025. At least now we know where Governor Cooper stands: in favor of CINTRA and I-77 toll lanes. While the North Carolina legislature has voted unanimously in both chambers to fund cancellation of the I-77 project in one form or fashion, Governor Cooper campaigned on cancellation of this project, and has failed to live up to his word. All citizens of Mecklenburg County have been hoodwinked by the Governor’s promise. Everyone needs to strongly reconsider any support for the Governor and any candidates running with him as they have failed to keep their word of supporting immediate cancellation or modification of this project.

What we need to do is apply a little common sense: cancel the contract, buy out the project, and build two general purpose lanes. My colleagues and I unanimously passed legislation to do just that. For the past five years I have stood and will continue to stand with my local elected officials in bi-partisan opposition to this project. It is time for leadership on this issue. I am prepared to lead. I call on the Governor to immediately authorize cancellation of tolling I-77. I will take the responsibility for securing the necessary funds for that cancellation, as I have already done once in the Senate. I will work to pass legislation to fund and enact cancellation of tolling I-77 in the 2019 long session. If we cannot get this done together in 2019, we all deserve to go home.”