After more than a year of back and forth with critics and opponents of wasteful spending, NCDOT picked the contractor for the I77 HOT Lanes project. And the winner is...CINTRA, a Spanish firm with experience in this field.
As a sign the critics were right all along about the out of control costs, the initial price tag is a cool $665 million - well above the stated price of $500-$550 million used during the whole debate about the project. When all is said and done, it WILL be much higher than even that. These projects always work out that way.
Who pays all of this extra money? You, that's who.
Per Davidson Mayor John Woods at DavidsonNews.net...
Davidson Mayor John Woods said the I-77 widening would have “a long-lasting effect on our region.” He said the use of a public-partnership has been critical.
“Although we haven’t got all the details before us, this announcement certainly proves locally that P3s are a viable method to structure and pay for large projects,” he said. “In addition, this announcement confirms the viability of our I-77 widening project and certainly greatly accelerates the project completion, which is so badly needed in our region.”
If just getting a contract on the table without all the details that costs at least 25% more than originally stated qualifies as a plan that "confirms the viability" of a project, then we are all in big, big trouble.
Of course, why should you expect to hear otherwise from someone who thought Mi-Connection was a good idea? It's not his money.