State Figures Bond Interest for U.S. 401 Work Is Cheaper Than Delay

Posted May 7, 2007

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— North Carolina is taking advantage of a new program that lets it borrow now against future federal highway aid, and six road projects that were on hold are now being talked about, including the widening of U.S. Highway 401 in northern Wake County.

The project is not far ahead of the people who will use it. Rolesville can see it coming.

The Rolesville Flea Market is an example of how things have been for years. It looks like it's miles away from the Triangle's explosive growth.

Look just outside of town, however, and there it is — a new shopping center and subdivisions that will double Rolesville's population.

Herbert Eddins, who owns the market, can see the growth happening.

“Ohhhh, it's growing fast. We even got a new Sonic in town, too. It's getting very busy down there — a lot of traffic, lotta traffic,” Eddins said.

The road work wasn't even on the state construction schedule, however, until the state decided to use Garvee Bonds to speed up construction.

“What we're doing it trying to get ahead of inflation, so the cost of borrowing, at least in today's terms, is a whole lot less than delaying those projects at double-digit inflation,” Mark Foster, NCDOT’s chief financial officer, explained.

With Garvee bonds, the state borrows against future federal funding and pays today's interest rates. That should work out better because some road projects can double in cost while they await funding. Garvee bonds will let NCDOT put the 401 widening and Rolesville bypass out for bids by 2009.

The federal government commitment against which the state is borrowing for 401 construction in the Rolesville area is $48 million.


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  • mep May 8, 2007

    Bonds... a way to spend money before you get it.
    That sounds very American.
    Then raise taxes to pay for all the interest, and issue more bonds to keep on spending. We will be living like yankee democrats soon enough.

  • Nobody but Carolina May 8, 2007

    MrGup2, I feel for ya'. That sounds just like my commute used to be from Wendell to Raleigh (although shorter) going down back roads or 64 business through Knightdale before we got the 64/264 bypass. I hope they get y'all taken care of as quick as they can without much disruption to future road financing.

  • TheDude abides... May 8, 2007

    I wish they would do something. I go from Louisburg to Raleigh every day and US401 traffic sucks! Its backed up a mile before Rolesville, all the way thru town, down two-lane 401 to the Neuse River. So you can understand how bad that is, it makes you wish you were on Capital Blvd. so you can drive!

  • salut2daking May 8, 2007

    no tax man...we need tolls in Raleigh. I like tolls. It really helps out the city. We need several tolls around the Wake County area. We need a subway system also.

  • Nobody but Carolina May 8, 2007

    I never understood why 401 wasn't widened all the way to Rolesville with the widening project that was completed a few years ago. That would have been the smart move, in my opinion.

  • Mr. Iowa May 8, 2007

    Good idea? So, let's exhaust our limited funds by borrowing against the next 5-10 years. Then, in 5 years when we have no money, everyone in Wake County will be complaining because nothing is being done on the roads while we pay back the loan. Just like Wake County getting their share of the tax dollars to build roads, and then when it's time for some other county to get its share we start whining. These people don't care about financial commitments because they'll be gone in 3 years anyway, so who cares if we just pile on more debt?

  • Tax Man May 7, 2007

    This is a good idea - let's use it to finish I540 WITHOUT TOLLS.