Winston-Salem - After Governor Pat McCrory recently announced in December that many transportation projects across the state will see construction dates moved up thanks to the signed 2015 state budget, the NCDOT Board of Transportation approved the plan Thursday morning that includes fully funding the final four segments of the eastern section of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway; as well as acceleration other Triad-area projects.
“The primary purpose of the reforms was to ensure transportation funds were being spent on transportation projects and not diverted to other state programs,” Governor McCrory said.
“Once complete, the long-awaited eastern beltway will complete the I-74 corridor through Forsyth County, thereby improving the transportation system by reducing congestion on U.S. 52, enhancing economic development and job creation opportunities and improving freight mobility and reliability throughout the Piedmont Triad region,” said Division 9 Board Member Jake Alexander.
The state budget includes 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 add or accelerate a total of 248 construction projects across the state.
“Other high-profile projects of note are the widening of I-40 from Harper Road to N.C. 801 and the widening of U.S. 158 in Forsyth County and the Old Beatty Ford Road interchange at I-85 and the Julian Road widening project in Rowan County, all of which will provide much-needed safety and congestion improvements in these counties,” said NCDOT Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey.
Ninety-two new segments of highway projects can now be funded through the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the department’s 10-year construction plan. Additionally, the construction schedules of another 90 highway projects already approved in the STIP are being accelerated. An additional 66 non-highway projects are also being added to or accelerated in the program.
The NCDOT followed the Strategic Transportation Investments 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.
The schedule changes, called amendments, were presented to the Board of Transportation for their review at their December meeting last month.
For more to the highway and non-highway projects approved this morning click:
http://www.ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments/download/Highway_Projects_STIP_Amendment.pdf and follow NCDOT on Twitter.