The cost of driving on the Triangle Expressway in western Wake County is going up a bit on New Year’s Day.
Tolls are rising an average of 3.5 percent. Drivers with an NC Quick Pass will pay 12 cents more, or $3.37, to drive the entire 17.4-mile length of the Triangle Expressway between N.C. 147 at Interstate 40 in Research Triangle Park and the N.C. 55 Bypass between Apex and Holly Springs. Drivers without a pass, who receive a bill in the mail, will pay $5.17, or 20 cents more, to make that trip.
Triangle Expressway tolls inch up every year on Jan. 1. The N.C. Turnpike Authority Board has set annual toll rate hikes through 2051 to pay off the bonds sold to finance the $1 billion highway. After three years at 5 percent, the annual rate hike declined to 3.5 percent in 2017 and will go down to 3 percent in 2022 and 2 percent or less from 2036 through 2051.
The tolls are also used to maintain the highway, down to plowing snow and mowing grass, and helped partially pay for two new interchanges at Veridea Parkway, which opened in 2017, and Morrisville Parkway, which is expected to open in late 2019.
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The NC Quick Pass transponders are available for free and are good on the Triangle Expressway and the Monroe Expressway near Charlotte and on toll roads that accept the Sun Pass and Peach Pass in Florida and Georgia. The NC Quick Pass E-ZPass, which costs $7.40 plus tax, is also good at dozens of toll roads, bridges and tunnels in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast.
For more information about the transponders, go to www.myncquickpass.com/ or call the customer service center at 877-769-7277.