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WidenI77 Files Lawsuit, Announces Upcoming Events


Cornelius, N.C. – January 20, 2015 – Widen I-77 and Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, the legal counsel retained by Widen I-77, filed a legal complaint in Mecklenburg County Superior Court this morning to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the I-77 toll project from moving forward.

The group will hold a 10:30am press conference to discuss the case at the Law Offices of Arnold & Smith, PLLC 200 North McDowell Street, Charlotte.

The project calls for Cintra, a Spanish company, to build private toll lanes on the remaining public right-of-way and operate them under a 50 year contract. Under the terms of the contract Cintra is required to secure financing by January 22, 2015 or forfeit a $15 million deposit to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The group anticipates NCDOT will extend the financing deadline.

“We hope the bond markets recognize the financial infeasibility of this project and decide against funding it,” said Kurt Naas, a spokesman for Widen I-77 “However, the bond markets have ignored the litany of recent tolling bankruptcies, so we are moving forward with the legal challenge.”

“We are confident in our position and look forward to having our day in court. Undeniably, this is a classic David versus Goliath battle, but we are ready for the fight” said Matt Arnold, Managing Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC.

Widen I-77 has begun the lawsuit by filing the Complaint. The group expects to have a hearing on its request for a preliminary injunction in the coming weeks. A full trial will likely happen a year or more from now. The group expects to incur significant legal expenses throughout the process.

“We have been able to take this step because our neighbors cared enough and donated generously,” added Naas. “Our opponents have retained two huge law firms- one with offices throughout the South and the other based in New York City. They have very deep pockets. We will take the case as far as our resources allow.”

To cover anticipated legal expenses the group has planned three Lake Norman area information sessions/fund raisers:

Monday, February 2, 7PM
Vinyl Pi
15906 Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC

Tuesday, February 17, 7PM
Charles Mack Center
215 North Main Street
Mooresville, NC

Thursday, February 19, 7PM
Waltrip Racing
20310 Chartwell Drive
Cornelius, NC

The events are free of charge, but donations will be accepted.  Widen I-77 is a registered 501 (c) (3) organization, so your contributions are completely tax deductible and confidential.

If you cannot attend an event but would like to contribute towards the continuation of the lawsuit, you can make checks payable to:

Widen I-77
PO Box 792
Cornelius NC 28031

or donate online:

About WidenI77.Org

Wideni77 is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation registered in the State of North Carolina and approved by the IRS to educate citizens on the tolling issue and take legal action as required to stop tolling. We are  a citizen’s group dedicated to widening I-77 with general purpose lanes and educating the public about the problems and inequity of the HOT lane approach. The group believes toll lanes are an expensive, non-solution that will negatively impact our local economy, increase congestion on the general purpose lanes, and unfairly burden drivers. To learn more about the toll lane proposal and other information pertaining to HOT lane projects in North Carolina, please visit or contact us at

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