Charlotte - Governor Pat McCrory recently announced that many transportation projects across the state will see construction dates moved up thanks to the signed 2015 state budget. Included among those projects is construction of the Weddington Road interchange with Interstate 485, as well as seven other local projects designed to improve mobility in the Charlotte region.
"The reforms I signed into law will get these roads built sooner," Governor McCrory said. "The primary purpose of the reforms was to ensure transportation funds were being spent on transportation projects and not diverted to other state programs."
Construction of the new Weddington Road interchange with I-485 was accelerated from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2016. Additional Charlotte-area projects with schedules expedited by the recently signed state budget include:
Upgrading the existing interchange at I-77 and Gilead Road in Mecklenburg County: Right-of-way accelerated from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2017 and construction accelerated from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2018;
Widening of West Catawba Avenue from N.C. 73/Sam Furr Road to east of Torrence Chapel Road in Mecklenburg County: Construction of Segment B accelerated from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal yea r2020;
Widening of N.C. 73 from N.C. 16 Business in Lincoln County to West Catawba Avenue in Mecklenburg County: Construction of Segment A accelerated from fiscal year 2024 to fiscal year 2023;
Widening of John Street-Old Monroe Road from Trade Street to Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road: Construction of Segment B accelerated from fiscal year 2024 to fiscal year 2022 and right-of-way acquisition for Segment C accelerated from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2020;
Reconfiguring to a superstreet design the intersection of U.S. 74/Roosevelt Boulevard and Rocky River Road in Union County: Right-of-way acquisition accelerated from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2017 and construction accelerated from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2018;
Widening of U.S. 21/Statesville Road from Northcross Center Court to Westmoreland Road in Mecklenburg County: Right-of-way acquisition accelerated from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2020 and construction accelerated from fiscal year 2024 to fiscal yea r2020; and
Widening of U.S. 21 from Gilead Road to Holly Point Drive in Mecklenburg County: Right-of-way acquisition accelerated from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2020 and construction accelerated from fiscal year 2024 to fiscal year 2020.
"These projects are designed to enhance mobility in the greater Charlotte area, and amendments to the state's 10-year transportation plan will help us deliver them to the public sooner than anticipated," said Tracy F. Dodson, Board of Transportation member representing Division 10, which includes Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly and Union counties.
The state budget included additional funding for transportation through the elimination of the transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund and through other fee and rate changes resulting in an additional $1.6 billion over the next 10 years for transportation construction. The additional money allows NC Transportation to add or accelerate a total of 248 construction projects across the state.
Ninety-two new segments of highway projects can now be funded in the recently approved 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the department's 10-year construction plan. The construction schedules of another 90 highway projects already approved in the STIP are being sped up. An additional 66 non-highway projects are also being added to or accelerated in the program.
The department followed the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law to identify new projects (either segments or entire projects) at the statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were identified from those previously scored based on the same weights and criteria (data) used to develop the 2016-2025 STIP.
For the complete expanded and accelerated list of highway and non-highway projects, go to the NCDOT's website. Additional information is available at the NCDOT's Strategic Transportation Investments website.
The schedule changes, called amendments, were presented to the Board of Transportation for their review at their December meeting this week, with the Board's approval expected in January 2016.
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