Traffic

New highway fund could speed area road projects

Posted May 28, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Trips to the beach or around the Triangle might get a bit easier in the coming years, thanks to a new pot of state money for road projects.

Gov. Beverly Perdue proposed the Mobility Fund two years ago to generate more money for projects that ease congestion or make the state's transportation system more efficient. Lawmakers will set aside $45 million in the 2012-13 budget for the fund and $58 million a year in subsequent years.

Interstate 40 traffic, I-40 traffic Mobility Fund could accelerate I-40 expansion

Ninety-five projects, totaling $7.5 billion, were submitted for Mobility Fund dollars, and the state Department of Transportation scored them to determine which would get funding first.

"We'll be ready to fund (some of) these projects as early as this summer," said Don Voelker, director of strategic planning for the DOT.

The first project under the fund will allow buses in the Triangle to use shoulders on major highways during rush hour to bypass congestion.

An $82 million project to widen I-40 to six lanes between U.S. Highway 70 in Garner and the Clayton Bypass ranks high on the Mobility Fund list.

Lee Hargis, who has lived near the N.C. Highway 42 interchange off I-40 all of his life, said commuting on the interstate requires patience and planning.

"Friday afternoon in the summer, it's kind of rough. If you get off at 5, you want to leave around 3 because it's hard to get home," Hargis said. "I changed my hours. I leave at 6 in the morning just so I can get to work."

Other projects to score high on the Mobility Fund list include the following:

  • Upgrade the intersection at Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh
  • Widen Interstate 440 between Interstate 40 and Wade Avenue in Raleigh to six lanes
  • Widen both I-40 and Interstate 85 in Orange County to six lanes each
  • Add lanes and interchanges to Capital Boulevard from Interstate 540 to Thornton Road in Raleigh to make it a highway
  • Provide 25 percent of the $650 million cost of commuter rail from Durham through Garner
  • Widen N.C. Highway 54 to six lanes between I-40 and Barbee Chapel Road in Durham
  • Widen Glenwood Avenue to six lanes from west of Duraleigh Road to west of Triangle Drive in Raleigh and add an interchange at Lynn Road

Some projects remain years off, but Voelker said the Mobility Fund will allow them to be completed earlier than if the state waited for money from other sources to fund them.

115 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • knucklehead May 30, 2012

    I'd like to see the whole DOT system revamped. I cant believe the waste of money for the simplest interchanges in this state. the rt 70 to 17 bridge system in New Bern is a prime example of the kind of manure that needs to stop. Thanks Bev

  • mfarmer1 May 29, 2012

    Plenty Coups

    maybe, I know my Parents in NJ pay more property taxes in one year than I pay In 10 years here in NC.

  • Plenty Coups May 29, 2012

    mdozer-"And those of you saying we need to dump more money in education, you are wrong. We need to reform our processes (as a country)."

    Sorry. We were talking NC here. We are near the bottom of the nation in per pupil spending. And that U.S. spending you reference? It doesn't factor in PER CAPITA spending nor the fact that most educational spending increases over the last 30 years have been because of special ed services.

  • mdozer May 29, 2012

    affirmativediversity: NOTHING for the I95...or 90% of the rest of the state!

    Where do you think the 90% tax base is? I can tell you. Wake, Johnston, Orange, Durham, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Forsyth, Alamance, Cabarrus, & New Hanover.

    The projects were evaluated as to how the money could best be spent. Why was your county's projects not selected? Poor ROI.

    And those of you saying we need to dump more money in education, you are wrong. We need to reform our processes (as a country).
    http://mat.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/

  • beaupeep May 29, 2012

    "Simple. Not enough demand or private money to operate either .... for profit." - iprep4life

    ah, agreed. i thought you were saying the opposite.

  • fatchanceson May 29, 2012

    Guess what system Russia has. iprep, Oh, yea, the government regulates the money and who gets what. Just like Kennedy wanted. Kennedy was a Roosevelt Socialist in the truest since. Good thing his policies were never acted on. babedan

    So.... you advocate for the banking cartel rather than the American taxpayer? You actually believe that it is in The American People's best interest to have their money managed by the Federal Reserve, rather than by it's government or government branch? Please, expound on your point as it relates to economics as I have been addressing...

  • babedan May 29, 2012

    Guess what system Russia has. iprep, Oh, yea, the government regulates the money and who gets what. Just like Kennedy wanted. Kennedy was a Roosevelt Socialist in the truest since. Good thing his policies were never acted on.

  • affirmativediversity May 29, 2012

    "If you all would READ the supporting links, there's 95 projects across the state."

    Most people can't be bothered to read more than the headline and perhaps the first sentence. Reading additional materials before spouting off? Perish the thought. per baracus

    ----------------

    I read it and by far the majority of projects are in the Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro area...with a couple in Charlotte and Fayetteville...a TROLLEY SYSTEM out at the beach...a bunch of railway crossings work and a very limited smattering of other projects (mainly repair or replacing interchanges) in about 5 other counties.

    NOTHING for the I95...or 90% of the rest of the state!

  • pbjbeach May 29, 2012

    iprep4life:

    In my own personal estimation bernie is one of the smartest an wisestcongressmane in this entire country he definetly should be listened to an heeded as to what he says. an i feel certain that this enire country would be 1000% better off as a whole. thank you

  • Plenty Coups May 29, 2012

    Damien Thorne-"From your link: "North Carolina is one of the 13 states that collect no state-level property taxes"
    So they do not even calculate property taxes since they are not on a state level. I think Patriot has a point."

    You're misinterpreting that statement. NC has no STATE level property taxes. They're collected locally. The Tax Foundation makes it very clear that they calculate this and ALL other taxes. NC property taxes tend to be fairly low. The Tax Foundation clearly explains all this.

More...