North Carolina could merge Turnpike Authority into DOT

| 7/9/2009

Massachusetts isn’t the only state merging its turnpike authority into another transportation department to save money. A legislative effort in North Carolina would consolidate North Carolina Turnpike Authority operations into the state DOT.

Proponents of the measure in North Carolina say the measure could save millions in turnpike administrative costs.

The North Carolina Senate included the turnpike provision in state budget proceedings earlier this year, while the House approved its consolidation measure in a separate bill, H1617.

Only two hurdles remain before the budget is approved and the consolidation can take place. A Senate and House conference committee must agree on final budget language and Gov. Bev Perdue’s signature.

If signed into law, the measure would take effect immediately. North Carolina currently does not have any completed toll roads or bridges, but the Mid-Currituck Bridge project and other tolled projects are proceeding.

In June, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed a transportation reform bill into law that included consolidating the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and other agencies into a streamlined DOT.

– By David Tanner, staff writer