Cook Announces Acceleration of Key Road Projects in 1st Senatorial District
Published: Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 @ 1:18 pm
By: Stan Deatherage ( More Entries )
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Raleigh, N.C. Sen. Bill Cook (R-District 1) announced Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 that five key projects in Senate District 1 will be completed sooner as a result of major transportation funding reforms passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2015.
According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, the accelerated projects include: Mid-Currituck Bridge in Currituck County, upgrades to a section of Bob Perry Road and replacement of a West Kitty Hawk Road Bridge in Dare County, widening and resurfacing parts of New Hope Road starting at Union Hall Road to Woodland Church Road in Perquimans County, and widening West 15th Street from North Bridge Street to Carolina Avenue in Beaufort County.
The Mid-Currituck Bridge will be scheduled to initiate the right of way and construction in FY 2017 rather than FY 2019. Both the West Kitty Hawk Road Bridge and Bob Perry Road projects will be accelerated from FY 2021 to FY 2019 for the right of way, while construction will be accelerated from FY 2023 to FY 2021. Construction for improvements around New Hope Road will be accelerated from FY 2019 to FY 2018. Finally, the operational improvements around West 15th Street will be accelerated from FY 2021 to FY 2017 for the right of way, while advancing construction to begin in FY 2019 instead of FY 2023.
Additionally, on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015 the N.C. Department of Transportation released a report updating the status of replacing the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in the Outer Banks. The Department is anticipating for physical construction of the Bonner Bridge to begin in the spring of 2016, with traffic on the new bridge by 2019. The final barriers were removed after environmental groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center dropped all remaining lawsuits that prevented the Department from replacing the 52-year-old aging bridge with a new bridge parallel to the existing one.
"The state's transportation infrastructure is by far one of our most vital assets. A high priority for me since being elected has been the improvement of our highways and bridges in Eastern North Carolina," Cook said. "The announcement of fast tracking these transportation projects will not only continue to foster economic activity, but will also improve the safety and congestion in Senate District 1. I thank my colleagues in the N.C. General Assembly, Governor McCrory, Secretary Tennyson, and N.C. DOT Division 1 Board Member Malcolm Fearing for their continued support of our projects in Eastern North Carolina, and for actually getting us over the finish line."
These local projects are among an additional 92 highway projects that will be built and another 90 existing projects that will be sped up statewide, due to a long-term, comprehensive plan for transportation funding lawmakers passed as part of this year's state budget.
The plan added more than $700 million in new funding for transportation needs over two years. It also ended a decades-long raid of state transportation funds for non-transportation spending and helped ensure that 99 percent of those dollars will actually be used to build and maintain safe roads and bridges.
Subsequently, North Carolina will spend an additional $4.5 billion on new construction and maintenance priorities over the next 10 years - without having to borrow money.
The complete list of accelerated schedules for transportation projects will be presented to the state Board of Transportation for review at its December meeting, with approval expected in January 2016.
The proposed project list may be viewed here.
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