NC Budget May Keep 2 Toll Roads And 2 Free Ferries

The Senate's updated budget would keep a pair of North Carolina toll road projects in place while exempting two ferry routes from new tolls.

The bill rolled out Tuesday as a potential budget deal would allow the North Carolina Turnpike Authority to keep building the proposed Garden Parkway from Gaston County to the Charlotte airport and the Mid-Currituck Bridge connecting the Outer Banks to mainland Currituck County. Last week's Senate budget would have eliminated those projects.

This week's proposal still would take away $82 million for the two road projects and use it for other purposes.

The final measure would require tolls on all state-operated ferries except for two routes -- between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands and between Knotts Island and mainland Currituck County.

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  • by Currituck Gal Location: Currituck on Jun 3, 2011 at 05:18 AM
    I do not want to see a bridge over Currituck Sound, we already have one at Powells Point. I don't get it. If you think that new bridge is going to solve any traffic problems, I beg to differ. Where will the traffic go after it gets to Corolla? Have you been through Duck lately? I do not understand why they do not just build a ocean highway from Va. Beach and bring 'em on down, and heaven forbid anything being done in Duck to alleviate any problems. I certainly wouldn't want any of those folks to suffer. Money can buy anything........I understand that some of you beach folk want less traffic, but you moved there.I didn't. I want some peace in the county in which I live, that's why I live here. The folks in Coinjock are gonna suffer even more when this bridge happens, already can't get out on the week ends. You folks on the beach chose to live that way, I did not. And all the talk about hurricane evac, please...with weather forecasting these days we know 2 weeks before one hits. If people would leave from that strip of land when they were told to , there would be no problem with evacs. That new bridge will make me leave the place in which I was born and raised. And I am absolutely sick of "Yes we're gonna build, No we're not gonna build".... I feel so sorry for the people in the beautiful and pristine communities that will be affected, Aydlett, Coinjock. We didn't ask for any of this, yet we got it....Progress.......Whatever! I'm a country girl, not a city girl......I'm packing and getting ready to leave, ya'll can have it....The craziest thing I have seen from this was last year when "they" were polling people who were stopped on 158 on the way to the beach, all tourist, of course they would say they wanted an alternate to get them there faster.......It's all ridiculous! Folks coming down in droves and I have to pay a toll to get to Chesapeake......unbelievable!
  • by Chris Location: vanceboro,nc on Jun 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM
    Why not put toll roads on I-95?If you want to make people pay to use the ferry system,make them pay to use our portion of I-95?That was once talked about and pushed to the side because it would cost too much to put the booths/collections in place.It is the samething with the ferry system.To those who say its socialism, paying twice to use a state highway is double dipping and highway robbery!!!!!!How would you like to have to pay twice to use something that you have already paid for???
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:36 AM
    That helps me out on my work travels to have the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry exempt from the toll fee (should do the same for the Knotts Island, Minnesott, and Bayview-Aurora ferries I'll agree there), but for the love of God get that new bridge from Mainland Currituck County to Corolla (and add a toll fee) so it will keep those Corolla tourists off of the 158 bridge as well as bring in more revenue for North Carolina, revenue from the NORTHERNERS for using our roads. Traffic gets bad enough as it is with too many wrecks on 158 anyways.
  • by Charles Location: Chocowinirty on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:26 AM
    In Reply To Really: I'm am not commenting on toll pratices outside of NC. I'm talking about right here in my home state and county. NC has been known for years as "The Good Road State" and for a good reason. I won't comment on the quality of roads I've driven on in other states. Each state can settle it's issues the way it's citizens see fit. Frankly, if you don't live in don't have a dog in this fight. And as already stated the monies already collected pay for our ferrys which are an intergal part of our highway system, not a stand alone convience or pleasure ride. Adding a toll is charging again for what has already been paid for.
    • reply
      by Really? on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:54 AM in reply to Charles
      I lived in NC for 22 years, so I believe I do have a dog in the fight. And I will be the first to say that NC's roads are the best in the nation, but at the same time there comes a point where you have to eventually isolate services such as the toll-free ferries who serve a select group of people. I mean, would you agree that 80-90% of those that utilize the Bayview-Aurora ferries are workers at companies on the other side of the river? In this case, what might make sense is to start charging a fee that is subsidized by companies such as PCS and deducted (pre-tax) from employees to cover the costs of operating the ferry. This is similar to what businesses up here do for people that ride Metro as opposed to driving and clogging the roads even more...
    • reply
      by Really? on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:57 AM in reply to Charles
      Another point: Many people down east complain about using government money to build a rail HS Rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte, well (ignoring the fact that Amtrack is a flash point) what about people who live in Raleigh and would pay to commute to Charlotte to work because it would be feasible? You might argue that this is a waste of money, as those people would argue that a free ferry to cross the river would be a waste of money when they could be collecting tolls to sustain it (since they don't use that service). It only makes sense to charge for the use of either rail or ferry service and if you dont like it, find another way to work or just move. (Hince why I live in VA and work in MD - don't want to pay higher income taxes, so I suck it up and commute) - I also don't want to get shot :)
  • by Charles Location: Chocowinity on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:18 AM
    The Senate was scheduled to vote at 11:00 AM today on this budget. Probaly a lost cause in the Senate. But, the House is not scheduled to vote until Thursday of next week (June 9). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call your state Repersenative and DEMAND our ferrys be keep free. They are the same as any state road in the state. Our taxes already pay for their use and operation. State legislatures who can't balance a budget should not be allowed to balance it by picking our pockets with more taxes, tolls, and fees. Enough is enough already. We are taxed near to destitution and still they want more. You all know that next year they will want STILL MORE. Stand up now and say "NO!"
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:35 AM in reply to Charles
      If you ride then you pay,that's the only fair way. Otherwise, folks who don't ride and enjoy the benefit of this free transportation end up paying your way ! That's called Socialism !
      • reply
        by Charles on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:17 AM in reply to anon
        Anon: You are so missinformed! Ferry riders do pay! We pay with our gas tax, with our vehicle registration fees, with EVERY tax and fee that NC collects to pay for our highway system. Ferrys ARE the SAME as ROADS! They are the road over the water instead of the bridge. Would you agree to pay a toll for every bridge you cross on your commute to work? I think not. Please, inform yourself about the highway system. Ferrys are not pleasure rides! Our tax dollars collected in Beaufort County build roads all across the state, roads right where you live and work. A toll (and for pete's sake, $10 each way) is us paying twice or three times or more for what we've already been taxed for, what YOU'VE already been taxed for. I'm all about each paying their own way, but I am NOT about stealing money out of my pocket so a politician can buy a vote or favor. Are you?
        • reply
          by NC resident on Jun 1, 2011 at 01:38 PM in reply to Charles
          Here;s an idea. If you have a residence at Ocracoke then you ride free. If you don't then you pay. The numbers of tourists that ride that Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry is unreal in the summerime and it is a pleasure ride for them. It would not effect the tourism on Ocracoke in the least. Even if you charged a nominal fee of $5-10 the tourists would still think it was a bargain. Secondly, you can't compare the money it costs to maintain a paved road and a ferry across that same distance. It's apples to oranges. That ferry route over a few miles of water costs millions of dollars each year to provide and maintain and 90% of the people that use it are visitors to Ocracoke, not residents most of whom don't pay NC taxes.
  • by ENC on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    You people voted them in! Like every thing else in this state...its fine as long as it doesnt effect me. you cry about jobs but protest a chicken plant or prison. You want justice but try to get out of jury duty or if you get on the jury you just kind find the guts to convict. Complain about the crime rate but complain about the police! Like I said....YOU VOTED THEM IN NOW SHUT UP, HERE"S YOUR CHANGE!!
  • by chris Location: vanceboro,nc on Jun 1, 2011 at 07:31 AM
    I grew up on Knotts Island and had to ride the ferry to and from high school.If the ferry is a toll, who would pay the toll for the school buses to ride it?The is no high school on Knotts Island, just an elementary school that used to go from kindergarten to the eight grade.Is the state going to pay for the kids to get to school like the employees of PCS to get to work on the Bayview ferry?I support the Bayview ferry being exempt due the fact that PCS is just as important as Hatteras!!!!!
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:34 AM in reply to chris
      If you ride then you pay,that's the only fair way. Otherwise, folks who don't ride and enjoy the benefit of this free transportation end up paying your way ! That's called Socialism !
      • reply
        by Sam on Jun 1, 2011 at 09:38 AM in reply to anon
        Do you realize this Chris guy probabaly had no choice in his life other than to ride a 30 minute ferry to get to both high school and middle school? I know a few people from Knotts Island and wonder why has'nt the Virginia Beach school system take them in since their schools are a little closer.
        • reply
          by Currituck Gal on Jun 3, 2011 at 05:34 AM in reply to Sam
          Right...Do you know what kind of problems there were over the Corolla kids going to Southern Shores for School....In the same state, almost the same county....Do you really think there could be an agreement for those kids in Knotts Island NC to go to a school in Virginia???? Where have you been? It would NEVER happen. Sorry....The ferry should be free to the kids getting to school,if there is such a huge problem over the cost, it should be passed on to the tourist trade. It would be interesting to know how may out of state cars use the Knotts Island ferry during the summer.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2011 at 06:24 AM
    I agree w/ Ryan and Charles most of the people using the Minesott Beach and Bayview Ferries are locals who use the ferries as a means to get back and forth to work. Why not let these ferries be still be free and charge for people using the Hatteras ferry? I know most of the people that use the Hatteras ferry, especially this time of the year, are tourist that would be more than willing to pay for the ferry service to and from Ocracoke.
    • reply
      by taxman on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:33 AM in reply to
      If you ride then you pay,that's the only fair way. Otherwise, folks who don't ride and enjoy the benefit of this free transportation end up paying your way ! That's called Socialism !
  • by Ryan Location: Havelock on Jun 1, 2011 at 05:59 AM
    Charles, The same could be said for the Ferry that runs from Minesott Beach to Cherry Branch. Literally hundreds of people use this daily to get to work on the base. People have built their lives around a service our taxes paid for. Now, they are taking that service from us and giving it in handouts to the unemployed.
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:35 AM in reply to Ryan
      If you ride then you pay,that's the only fair way. Otherwise, folks who don't ride and enjoy the benefit of this free transportation end up paying your way ! That's called Socialism !
  • by Charles Location: Chocowinity on Jun 1, 2011 at 05:13 AM
    People, if we do not get busy contacting our NC House and Senate repersenatives, those of us who use the Bayview-Aurora Ferry on a near daily basis could find ourselves paying up to $5200 a year just to get to the other side of the county! Is anyone paying attention to this? Where is the public out cry? Please folks, write letters, send e-mails, make phone calls! Our gas taxes already pay for this ferry, now we may have to pay as much as $5200 a year on top of that! Come on, we have to nail this now or face driving the long way around for the rest of our lives. Act now!
    • reply
      by Mustang on Jun 1, 2011 at 06:54 AM in reply to Charles
      Your cost estimate would come to $10 each way with at least 5 roundtrips per week. It looks like $1-$2 per trip would be a more reasonable fee.
      • reply
        by Charles on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:11 AM in reply to Mustang
        You are correct. And $10 each way is the amount that was identified in an earlier story on this issue. Regardless, how reasonable would $1-$2 sound to you on your commute to work? This is not a pleasure ferry...this is a working ferry for working people. The option? Drive up to 70 miles each way to cross the Pamlico-Tar river bridge in Washington, NC. Beaufort County is divided along its entire length by this river. Still sound reasonable? I think not. Our gas taxes and other revenue already cover the cost of our highway system. The ferrys are an intrinsic part of that system.
        • reply
          by Really? on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:43 AM in reply to Charles
          What about people that have to use Toll roads (like they do up here near Dulles Airport) or other toll roads in major cities around the US? They pay 2-4$ a day. A solution would be to move to a more desirable location for your job or just pay for what most would argue is a convenient service. Or you could just drive around to the closest bridge and suck up the cost of gas.
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