While the controversy over the proposed I-77 toll lanes boils on, the new Monroe Expressway is set to open as the Charlotte region’s first toll road by the end of November.

The four-lane highway will serve as a twenty-mile bypass of U.S. Highway 74 between Interstate 485 and Marshville in Union County. This could save significant time on beach trips. The three-and-a-half-year construction project cost $731 million. That’s where you and I come in.

Driving on the Monroe Expressway will cost you $2.54 each way if you have an NC Quick Pass transponder, which allows the North Carolina Turnpike Authority to debit the toll from your online account. Without a transponder in your vehicle, you’ll pay $3.92 each way. Your license plate will be photographed every time you pass through an access point and a bill will arrive in the mail.

I’ve paid a lot of those bills from my many trips to visit family in the Raleigh area. That’s where North Carolina’s first toll road, the Triangle Expressway, opened in 2012. With the addition of the Monroe Expressway, getting a transponder looks like the way to go.

Phil Harris-WKQC

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige