The North Carolina House has passed a bill paving the way for tolls, but only if the state maintains free lanes.
The House approved a bill Tuesday that allows the state to add tolls only if it keeps the same number of non-toll lanes.
If highways were expanded, the state Department of Transportation could toll lanes to pay for the construction. The department could also offer limited access and higher speed limits to encourage motorists to take the toll lanes.
The measure targets potential tolling on Interstate 95 but would apply to all current interstates.
An amendment to restore a provision giving the legislature final say on tolls failed. Amendment sponsor Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern argued the elected officials should have that authority, not the transportation department.