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Local leaders frustrated with state funding for roads

Posted November 26, 2008

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— Local leaders say they are frustrated with the amount of funding for road projects they are receiving from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker says Wake County generates more than $160 million in gas tax revenue.

But from January to October, the state Board of Transportation approved $31 million in the Triangle compared with $71 million through the same time last year.

Meanwhile, spending for roads statewide is up 21 percent.

"The only real road construction we now have in Raleigh is that paid for by the city through bond issues, not paid for by gas taxes from state or federal resources, where it ought to come from," Meeker said.

"There does appear to be money for a handful of other projects elsewhere, just not here and in Greensboro and Charlotte, where there is tremendous congestion."

The DOT says that although funding is down 56 from last year, Wake County and surrounding counties have received more funding than any other area of the state over the past eight years.

Some urban leaders say the state's funding favors rural areas.

"So, if you have a road that has 1,000 cars a day, it gets the same amount of funding as a road that has 50,000 cars a day," Meeker said. "It makes no sense."

Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan says he believes the DOT should be giving back to Wake County at least 80 percent of what it contributes in gas taxes.

This year, he said, the county received less than 20 percent.

"That's the reason everyone is so upset with this inequity formula that's out there," Bryan said. "That we know that money is being spread and sometimes not technically, but it would appear politically throughout the state."

16 Comments

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  • killerkestrel Dec 1, 2008

    Joe Bryan and Meeker need to check their facts. They got more than 20%. The Board of Transportation doesn't approve maintenance spending, but mainly big contracts. Also, NCDOT has cut spending on these big contracts statewide because of the budget crunch. Remember the billions spent recently on the new 540, widening 40, and the new bypass US 64, and other large projects? Of course not. Besides, the money is ALREADY split on three factors, road mileage, traffic, and population. So these urban areas win on all three counts. NCDOT is already required to balance it out over a multiyear period. Wake got more than its fair share in the past, and has to deal with cuts now. What about all the folks who buy gas in Wake County, and then drive to the coast without buying gas? People travel through rural areas creating traffic, but don't buy gas there.

  • OSX Nov 28, 2008

    They are not using the tax money for what is intended. Wait until they start taxing you for every mile you drive. Just wait, this is going to happen sooner than you think. You pay the tax on miles driven when you get your vehicle inspected.

  • mdaphoto Nov 28, 2008

    weather i stay at the beach or the mountains arn't i paying a "hotel tax" to fund some sports arena in wake county?

  • pbjbeach Nov 27, 2008

    ranquick

    The supervisors that you speak about have to sit in the trucks for the majority are scared that if they get out an get around the work that is going on someone will ask them a question that they cant answer with their degree knowledge an no practical experience to go with it that or they are scare that in this area of political deregulation that has been takeing place over these last past eight years that they are scared of making a wrong decesion that might make a powerful politican mad an that they will be punished or retailated against or transferred to an undersirable location as punishment this is the way that ncdot gert rid of people an forces them into situaations that have undeseriable working conditions making the work envirnoment so that they have a hostile work situation with their supervisors an that the way it is thank you

  • ranquick Nov 27, 2008

    The NCDOT is money hungry, they need to do as VA did a few years ago and get rid of of alot of un-needed supervisors. Everytime I drive by a road project I see countless Supervisors sitting in the DOT truck or standing around watching only a few doing the work. NCDOT waste so much money on project by NOT supervising project and then having to go back and repave roads that should have been paved right in first place. They has way to many pickups also being used to drive back and forth to work and home, There truely needs to be a investigation into NCDOT.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 27, 2008

    MeatHead - Most of us do not want light rail for a variety of reasons. The main one to me is that every study they have done shows a pitiful number of potential riders. It was so bad, not even the Federal Government would give the TTA money for the rail. I want the money they have stashed away for a long time now to be moved to roads. As to the formula for dividing up the money, it should not be complicated at all. The DOT should be able to prioritize the projects and the money is spent in that fashion regardless of the location in the state.

  • TheAdmiral Nov 26, 2008

    They get frustrated, but they keep voting these morons into the house and senate. If you want the problem to go away, you have to vote for the person running against them. If there is no one running against them then perhaps it might be your turn.

  • DrJ Nov 26, 2008

    Look no further than Marc Basnight. Some people think the governor is in charge. How naive those people are. Marc Basnight rules it all - and he's untouchable from all but a handful of the state's voters.

  • gotitmadecij Nov 26, 2008

    Hey Wake County, EASE up and let the Eastern part of the state grow a little. Wake County has four or more lane roads every where......

  • whatusay Nov 26, 2008

    The money is being diverted to more important needs...welfare for the illegals.

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