N.C. opens its first modern toll road

Triangle Expressway will collect fares by transponders only

December 08, 2011

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority officially cut the ribbon to the Triangle Expressway on Dec. 8.

Known in the region as the TriEx, the route, which is six lanes and currently pulls State Rte. 147 south for almost four miles from I-40 to the 540 Outer Loop, is the first modern toll facility in the state. Officials opened the first leg, with the rest of the $1 billion, 18.8-mile thoroughfare set to open in December 2012.

The TriEx is an all-electronic toll road, with no coin-collection booths. Transponders have been selling at a rather crisp rate, with approximately 4,000 already distributed. A one-way trip in the first section of the TriEx will cost motorists 50 cents. Those without transponders will be billed in the mail and charged 77 cents every time they run through the toll-collection facility.

More toll roads are in North Carolina’s future. Construction of the 19.7-mile Monroe Connector/Bypass is set to begin soon and scheduled to be complete in 2015. North Carolina also is lining up agreements with neighboring states to make its transponder more universal.