nc hwy funding changes could halt obx projects
Responding to a growing revenue crisis in how highway projects are funded, the North Carolina State Legislature passed a law that changes the manner in which the state decides which projects will move forward. The new system creates winners and losers, and as Kip Tabb’s article on the Outer Banks Voice makes clear, the Outer Banks and northeastern North Carolina may be the biggest losers in the new system.
“The Mid-Currituck Bridge came close to being built.
A plan was in place to pay for construction through a private-public partnership. All that remained was for the state legislature to provide $24 million in gap funding to hold contracts in place until construction could begin.
But funding was never provided, the private partner has the option to withdraw, and a Record of Decision, the final step for a project first proposed more than 25 years ago, has been put on hold.”
So now, the fate of the Mid-Currituck Bridge is more in doubt now than it has ever been.
Funding for the bridge was a casualty of the Strategic Transportation Investment Law (STI).
The Mid-Currituck Bridge was intended to link the mainland with the northern Outer Banks and relieve the huge weekend traffic jams that plague the Wright Memorial Bridge into Dare County. Without it, travelers to Corolla will continue to cross the Wright Memorial Bridge, then loop north on two-lane N.C. 12.
It was probably the most visible local project killed by the new law, but it was not the only one. According to state Rep. Paul Tine, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s District 1, which covers northeastern North Carolina, will not see any projects move forward under the new ranking system.”