Gov. Bev Perdue announced 70 highway and bridge projects throughout North Carolina will soon get under way using $466 million in federal economic stimulus funding. The money is the first half the state will receive for highway improvements through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new federal law requires states to obligate the first half of transportation stimulus money within 120 days of receipt, and the remaining half to projects within a year. According to state transportation officials, this round of infrastructure investment will create approximately 14,000 jobs for the state.
“Our overriding goal is to get North Carolina’s economy moving by funding transportation projects that will create jobs from the mountains to the coast,” Perdue said. “My administration is working closely with local communities to determine which projects can be ready most quickly and deliver the greatest benefit. I will stress accountability, transparency, and efficiency as we use the stimulus funds.”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has worked with local planning organizations across the state to determine which projects will be funded. The biggest factor is whether the projects can be under contract by June along with safety, mobility, infrastructure health, and equitable distribution.
The second half of stimulus-related road and bridge projects is expected to be announced in the next 45 days.
In addition, Perdue also will pursue discretionary grant money included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to use for the $300-million replacement of the Yadkin River Bridge on I-85 in Davidson and Rowan counties. Perdue and Transportation Secretary Gene Conti are working with U.S Sen. Kay Hagan, Rep. Mel Watt and the rest of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation to obtain funding.
Any discretionary grant money received would supplement the $838 million NCDOT has already received through the economic recovery plan, including $735 million for highway and bridge projects and $103 million for projects in other modes, including aviation, bicycle and pedestrian, ferry, public transportation and rail projects.
For more information, visit www.ncdot.gov/about/finance/federalstimulus/.