Friday, December 3, 2021

As Triangle toll road revenue beats expectation, prices still rise

When the first section of the Triangle Expressway opened in 2011, it was the state’s first toll road. It now runs from RTP all the way through western Wake County, connecting with Holly Springs.

Five years after the Triangle’s first toll road opened, the state has said it’s a big success.

DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said tens of thousands of people use it each weekday, as traffic and revenue grow every year.

“It’s been pretty steady growth as people get used to it,” Abbott said. “(Prices) are going up, because costs go up.”

Like many RTP workers, Michael Bridges said he uses the Triangle Expressway toll road every workday. One time, he tried taking the free roads home.

“I sat there an extra 20 minutes or so. I decided from then on, I’d just take the tolls,” he said.

Many drivers are willing to pay for a quicker commute.

Over the past four years, the DOT projected the Triangle Expressway would bring in about $77 million, while the actual revenue resulted in $95 million dollars. With this data, drivers will pay 3.5 percent more this year.

Abbott said the annual hikes pay back the bonds sold to fund the $1 billion road. It’s also helping to pay for two new interchanges, one that will opens later this year between Holly Springs and Apex. One between U-S 1 and the NC-55 Bypass in Holly Springs should open in the coming months. Another interchange at Morrisville Parkway will open in 2019.

Bridges says he doesn’t like paying more, but he can’t wait in rush hour traffic.

“I have a child in daycare, so I have to be at his daycare by 5:30, so I have to be on the tolls,” Bridges said.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.

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