Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How the state will pay for the outerbelt

N.C. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti is scheduled to be in Charlotte Wednesday, where he will discuss with planning officials ways to finish the outerbelt faster, per Governor Bev Perdue's pledge.

I haven't seen the plan, but I understand it's pretty simple:

1) Postpone construction on Independence Boulevard.

2) Use some money programmed for the Monroe Connector/Bypass.

Conti's plan apparently doesn't call for using $20 million in stimulus money, which could be a small carrot to Mecklenburg in exchange for having the $176 million Independence Boulevard project delayed. Using about $50 million in Monroe funds won't necessarily delay that project. The N.C. Turnpike Authority believes it can still build the road with state funds and tolls.

Will the Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization go for an outerbelt-Independence Boulevard swap?

This proposal isn't exactly what many envisioned when Perdue pledged construction on I-485 would begin this year. But Conti has been getting solid reviews from many Charlotteans, who appreciate his willingness to spend time in the Queen City.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather I-85 in Cabarrus be widened. Doesn't it already carry more traffic than the final section of I-485 would carry?

If not, then finish I-485. Either way, I'm not holding my breath. Rawlee will finds a way to screw Charlotte over.

Anonymous said...

All those people that think that not improving Independence Blvd is no big deal don't realize that people avoid Independence and instead use I-77 to I-485 instead. Yes, completing northern I-485 is important but so is putting in interchanges all along Independence. Bev Perdue's promise to build nothern I-485 was not supposed to come at the expense of Independence. This is a classic bait and switch and the Governor should be ashamed of this proposal.

Anonymous said...

Agreed and agreed. Rawlee will find a way to screw over CLT, Independence is avoided and should be limited access all the way to the Monroe bypass. This IS bait and switch, but at the cost of projects in the same city with the same need.

A project that should be switched with 485 is the 295 loop around Fayetnam! Now before I get bashed for being a classic example of how CLT thinks everything is about them, I have lived in Robeson Co., Pitt Co., and now in Wake, all in the past 7 years; and I can still say Charlotte is a more pressing need than any other projects in NC.

As a planner, you have to do a cost-benefit analysis, and CLT has more ppl that the projects will benefit. It is also more high profile regionally as well as just plain common sense.

A loop around Fayetnam should not be given equal clout as 485 of 74. It's like comparing an air craft carrier to a john boat...

Anonymous said...

And another thing, besides all of those places I have lived the past few years that aren't Charlotte, in a recent trip to Charleston, I was reminded one thing that always shocked me. NC is known as the "roads state" for a reason. We are spoiled in the amount and quality of roads as NC is 2nd in the country for miles of paved roads. Not by population or any other ratio... but TOTAL! More than NY, Florida, Michigan, etc.

Just think about it. Everyone outside of CLT claims we get more money... well for the biggest city in NC, we should. Not to mention, everyone has roads in NC, we're 2nd in the country!

cp said...

Is there a plan to revitalize the last part of Independence Blvd. that was upgraded? It been years and it still looks like a combat zone- people just pass by, there's nothing there. Is that the plan for the next phase, also?

John said...

This is what you get for voting for Perdue. How far do you really think that apple fell from the Easley tree? How long before SHE is the next target for Federal investigations?

Business as usual in NC politics!

Anonymous said...

Don't just look at the relatively small amount of 485 that's not finished. For example, assume that's 15% by mileage. How many people avoid 485 because they know they can't complete their trip on 485 because it ends before they reach their destination? That might be 35%. That's under-utilization, which is a waste.

Anonymous said...

To add to John's comment - all of you knuckleheads that were so convinced that Obama was the Messiah and voted straight-party, these are the consequences.

These problems are never going to go away until this asinine "equity formula" is done away with. All state money should be distributed by population ONLY. Since Mecklenburg county has 9% of the state's population, it should get 9% of all state money - not just roads, but education (including UNCC, which is always 12th-15th in distribution of funds to UNC system schools, even though it's the 5th-largest school) and every other department.

So as long as NC voters continue to vote straigh-party or by name recognition or any other method that utilizes no brainpower, we will continue to have state government run by eastern NC rubes that think their own little farms are most important.

Anonymous said...

We are spoiled in the amount and quality of roads as NC is 2nd in the country for miles of paved roads. Not by population or any other ratio... but TOTAL! More than NY, Florida, Michigan, etc.

get your facts straight:
-Texas lays claim to the most road mileage with 296,651 miles
-California is a distant second with 170,601


Anonymous said...

The State could use prison labor to finish I-485 and commute their sentence and make room in prison at the same time. This comes to you at no charge for this advice. N.C. used prison labor all the time and in the Great Depression also. Prisoners would like to get out and enjoy the fresh air.They could say if you work on this until complete your a free man with skills.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

use all the brothers in jail they could help with the roads and let them out early; Throw a GHOUL tool on their back put a ghoon spoon on their back and send them out with a release when they are done.
Look most Brothers are in JAIL because of the WHITE RICH mans drug why should they have to stay in prison because of WHITIE cracker.

Sam N said...

The problem with this post is our great leaders in Raleigh (YA RIGHT!) don't read it.

Considering the economic powerhouse that Charlotte and Meck County is, and how much revenue in tax and tourism dollars it generates, as well as the number of new businesses that elect to relocate or start-up here, you would think that our good folks in Raleigh would be eager to make this city the jewel of the South. I think that the Charlotte Airport probably generates more revenue than those cities that have had roads built or widened, yet Charlotte remains passed up.

Wake up Raleigh! I'm getting I being stuck in traffic, driving two lane roads in Huntersville. Driving on 115, 21, or 73 with potholes. 485 relieves conjestion on Harris. I-85 in Cabarrus is a mess, but Rowan has a nice four lane highway. Widen 77 from Charlotte to Iredell before costs become so high you can't add a bridge over Lake Norman.

Oh Wait! Raleigh doesn't read this post. I guess I will just shut up and pay my $327.00 annual car tax bill and work on my building my business to pay more taxes.


Anonymous said...

Please update your blog.

Anonymous said...

Please, Please update your blog or take it off the front page as if something new has been said.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody out there?

Anonymous said...

Hello McFly?????????

Anonymous said...

Is there any other more current news avaible?

Anonymous said...

Lucy you got some splanin to do.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't know and haven't grown up around here, I-485 has been a work in progress since before I was born - and I was born in 1970. That means it's been talked about, planned, and built during the reigns of governors Moore, Scott, Holshouser, Hunt (four times), Martin (twice) and Easley (twice) before ever making it to Bev Perdue. That means this road has been well over 40 years in the making.

Yeah, it should be finished by now, but figure that in that time both I-77 and I-85, our two mainline freeways, have each been widened to serve this area. I-85 has received the higher priority not because of volume but because it is actually more important than I-77. I-85 is one of the Mother Roads in the Southeast. I-77, not nearly as much.

Additionally, NC 16 (Brookshire Boulevard), NC 24 (Harris Boulevard), and US 74 (Independence Boulevard) have ALL been widened and realigned since I-485 was originally proposed.

All that to say this - Charlotte has gotten its share of the road pie. It's up to the people doling out that pie to do a better job of prioritizing the projects that get that money.

Anonymous said...


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