Local News

State, City Budget Cuts Impacting Daily Drive In Raleigh

Posted July 8, 2002 3:23 a.m. EDT

— State budget cuts are putting the squeeze on local governments. City and town officials say they cannot get by without cutting services. Experts say the budget crunch will impact the daily drive through Raleigh.

Raleigh was ready to break ground on the Lake Wheeler Road-widening project. Expanding the overstuffed secondary from the Beltline to Tryon Road would help frustrated commuters, but because of state budget cuts and the rough state of Raleigh's budget, the project is on hold.

The city also has a contingency plan that withholds millions for road resurfacing.

"We have significant resources, so I think people should be pretty optimistic, be a little tolerant of that pothole or that time in traffic as we look for options," City Manager Russell Allen said.

If all goes as planned, there will be a Triangle Transit Authority commuter rail station in Boylan Heights by 2007, but budget cuts have knocked planning off track. The contingency plan cuts $100,000 set aside for design work on all of Raleigh's commuter rail stations.

"We've never had this much of a shortfall in our revenues for road repairs either percentagewise or dollarwise and obviously, we have more roads, so we need to do more repairs," said Raleigh street supervisor Mac Jones. "We would like to have more money to spend, but we have to face reality."

Raleigh does have approximately 40 road projects under way that are paid for with voter-approved bond money. Those projects, including a major overhaul on Western Boulevard, will not be affected by the budget ax.