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Triangle Expressway toll increase delayed 6 months

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. -

A toll increase for the Triangle Expressway has been delayed at least six months, the Turnpike Authority announced Thursday.

An automatic rate increase was scheduled to go into effect in July, but revenue generated by the Triangle Expressway has exceeded projections and the increase has been postponed until January 2014.

The 5 percent increase would have ranged from $0.01 to $0.04.

The Turnpike Authority said the increase could be postponed again before the January 2014 deadline, but it will not know that until it assesses incoming revenue.

The N.C. Turnpike Authority sold $353 million in bonds to finance the 19-mile Triangle Expressway. The bonds are backed by toll revenue generated by the Expressway.

N.C.  Department of Transportation Mike Charbonneau said usage of the Expressway is meeting expectations and revenue is exceeding expectations.

In December 2012, more than 960,000 toll transactions were processed by the Turnpike Authority, with the busiest section of the roadway averaging 19,800 drivers on a typical weekday. 

According to the 2013 first quarter statistics report, in March of this year, that number has jumped to more than 1,780,000 transactions and 24,900 vehicles. 

The NCDOT has sold nearly 70,000 N.C. Quick Pass transponders.

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