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Budget change speeds up some highway projects

Posted November 19, 2015

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— North Carolina is hitting the accelerator on several highway widening projects across the Triangle, from U.S. Highway 401 north of Rolesville to Interstate 40 in Orange and Durham counties to Interstate 295, because of a change in the state budget, officials said Thursday.

The budget added more than $700 million to transportation spending over the next two years and ended the annual transfer of $216 million from the Highway Fund to the state's general fund. Over 10 years, officials said, those changes would provide an additional $1.6 billion for North Carolina Department of Transportation construction projects.

"The reforms I signed into law will get these roads built sooner," Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement. "The primary purpose of the reforms was to ensure transportation funds were being spent on transportation projects and not diverted to other state programs."

The state Board of Transportation still has to sign off on the updated timetables for the dozens of projects statewide in January.

According to a draft list published Thursday, the following are some of the area road projects that would happen sooner:

  • Widen I-40 to six lanes from I-85 split in Orange County to the Durham Freeway. Construction would start a year earlier, in 2023.
  • Widen U.S. 401 to four lanes from Rolesville to Louisburg. Construction would start in 2019.
  • Widen Creedmoor Road from Interstate 540 to N.C. Highway 98. Construction would start in 2025.
  • Extend McCrimmon Parkway between Aviation Parkway and Airport Boulevard. Construction would move up three years, to 2018.
  • Build the section of the Fayetteville Outer Loop from Interstate 95 to Bragg Boulevard. Construction would move up a year, to 2020.
  • Build section of the Spring Lake Bypass from N.C. Highway 210 to Bragg Boulevard. Construction would start a year earlier, in 2024.
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