Thursday, March 5, 2009

More stimulating road projects

The Technical Coordinating Committee of the Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization voted Thursday on how to spend roughly $20 million in stimulus money. The committee's advisory vote is to spend the windfall on small projects, rather than on finishing Interstate 485.

Here are the projects that would be funded. A final vote by MUMPO would be taken March 18.

* Widening N.C. 73 from U.S. 21 to N.C. 115 in Huntersville, $14 million.
* Improving the intersection of Faith Church Road and Unionville-Indian Trail Road, Indian Trail, $400,000
* Improving the area's traffic signal and traffic management system, Charlotte, $4 million.
* Improving the intersection of N.C. 16 and N.C. 75 in Waxhaw, $550,000
* Improving Matthews-Mint Hill Road, from John Street to Independence Boulevard, Matthews, $550,000.
* Build a roundabout at Concord Road and East Rocky River Road, Davidson, $600,000.

One option was to dedicate the $20 million towards finishing I-485, which will cost about $220 million. Gov. Bev Perdue said last month that construction on the final leg of the outerbelt will begin by the end of 2009.

But there was uncertainty over how I-485 will be funded, and the committee was concerned that if doesn't spend the money by the end of the year, it will be lost.

The local Department of Transportation office will still have about $10 million to spend on area road projects by the end of the year.


Anonymous said...


JAT said...

Steve, buddy, you must have missed it. I solved all this last week:

Taylor Announces I-485 Completion to Start Tomorrow

PROVIDENCE RD. — Charlotte resident Jeff A. Taylor today announced that he intends to complete the final leg of Charlotte’s outerbelt starting tomorrow.

“Queen City taxpayers and motorists have waited too long for this vital roadway to be completed, decades now. That is why this last stretch must kick-off final construction tomorrow,” Taylor declared in a surprise announcement.

Federal stimulus money may or may not help supply the estimated $220m. required to complete the final five-mile leg and build a needed interchange with I-85, he explained. Taylor credited Gov. Bev Perdue with the idea to “blast-track” the oft-delayed project today.

“The governor took the first bold step to ‘fast-track’ this project without any source of funding, we’re just taking it to the next level with this exciting announcement. We couldn’t have done it without her leadership and that of NC DOT, the Mecklenburg delegation, and city and county elected leaders. They’re the real stars today,” Taylor said.

Details on exactly when and how construction will begin are still in formation. Taylor noted that he still has several cracks in his driveway which need to be filled and that cash-flow is constrained by the $61.56 he spent yesterday at Lowe’s for lawn chemicals.

“I hate effing crab grass,” Taylor explained.

Still, one likely source of revenue is the NC Education Lotto. Initial estimates are that millions of dollars may be available directly from the Lotto with the possibility that additional debt could be taken on to leverage all revenue sources. Should the pay-out prove large enough, Taylor said the project might be funded without additional cost to the state or taxpayers.

Taylor concluded by reminding everyone that except for professional and consulting fees “commensurate with the practice and operation of the General Assembly, NC DOT, and any interlocking bodies” he was undertaking the project free of charge.

He then referred further questions to his legal counsel at Dewey, Snowem, and Howe.

Anonymous said...

Dude JAT...You seriously have too much time on your hands.

Anonymous said...

Hey, no problem! Obama is our saviour and will take care of us.

Even if we are all so poor that we can't travel in our cars then.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the big deal... Many of these smaller projects are necessary and this way it spreads it around the metro area instead of just one area. This doesn't mean 485 won't be finished. It's only $20 million - that doesn't equal $200 million. If the state can find $200 million it can find the other $20 million to fix it. Gov. Perdue made a promise to start construction by the end of the year and if she fails to act on it it will cost her.

Anonymous said...

The big deal is that a beltway, when it's 360 degrees, connects the entire region. Now, travelers from the north to the east (and vice versa), must exit the highway and clog local roads in the University area. This debacle makes the region look retarted.

Hoagie58 said...

Spelling "retarded" wrong doesn't help either!

Anonymous said...

This was a good move by the local group. $20 million would not do much on finishing 485. Put those dollars on projects that can be started quickly as all those on this list can and let the Gov. figure out how to move the $220M 485 project ahead quickly as she promised.

Anonymous said...

"The big deal is that a beltway, when it's 360 degrees, connects the entire region. Now, travelers from the north to the east (and vice versa), must exit the highway and clog local roads in the University area. This debacle makes the region look retarted."

You obviously do not understand what I'm saying. This decision does not mean 485 won't be finished. It's going to get done. Gov. Perdue made a promise to complete it. She can't back down from that promise and if she does it will ruin her political career.

Anonymous said...

From what I can see, 485 already is a loop, when you include I-85, which both ends feed into.

As for "improving the intersection at Unionville-Indian Trail Rd. and Faith Church Rd.", really, $400,000 bucks? There's nothing wrong with that intersection. It only needs a traffic light. Do those things cost $400 grand?

Anonymous said...

I believe traffic lights are pretty expensive...

Anonymous said...

A traffic light costs $50,000, according to the DOT guy at a recent community meeting. Now, the consultants, overtime, productivity incentives, chin scratching time and light bulbs cost an additional $350,000. Road construction around here costas about $ 1Miilion per mile and it will be built by the same companies that have not finished I-85 or I-77.

Panix said...

Uh...I-77 & I-85 are finished to the level they were funded. In fact I-85 was completed faster than expected in the University area. What phantom projects are you think of?

As for the Governor, this is a joke, she rushed to Charlotte and threw us a bone because the Mayor of Charlotte was telling anyone who would listen that Charlotte was about to get the road funding SHAFT again.