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DOT stimulus includes R-C projects

RALEIGH — Highway improvement projects are on their way to the Roanoke-Chowan area. Annie Mobley, who holds the District 5 seat in the North Carolina House of Representative, said that Governor Bev Perdue had announced 70 highway and bridge projects across the state that will be paid for with $466 million in federal stimulus money. Rep. Mobley said that the governor had approved the following Department of Transportation (DOT) projects in the Roanoke-Chowan area: Bertie County – Mill, strengthen and resurface 12 miles of NC 305 from US 13 to NC 11 ($2.1 million). Bertie County – Resurface .27 miles of NC 308 from King Street to Sterlingworth Street in Windsor ($85,000). Bertie County – Resurface one mile of NC 308 in Kelford ($161,000). Bertie County – Resurface 1.72 miles of NC 308 from SR 1119 to SR 1247 southeast of Lewiston near Mt. Olive Church ($225,000). Hertford County – Strengthen and resurface 4.21 miles of US 13 from SR 1130 (Modlin Road) to NC 461 ($700,000). Hertford County – Resurface 2.1 miles of NC 11 Business from NC 11 to Aulander ($255,000). A trio of Northampton County projects are also on the list, including $1.2 million to strengthen and resurface 7.5 miles of US 258 from the Roanoke River bridge to Rich Square. The other Northampton projects are to resurface 2.2 miles of NC 35 from Conway to Milwaukee (($310,000) and resurface 2.61 miles of NC 48 from SR 1200 to Gaston ($360,000). All totaled, NCDOT Division 1 is scheduled to receive $61.85 million of the total federal stimulus money. The Division’s most expensive project in the initial round of funding is $9.9 million to widen, to multi lanes, a 2.6 mile stretch of US 158 in Camden County. Three other major projects involve US 64 in Martin County. Combine, they total $12.7 million. In regards to the federal stimulus money, Rep. Mobley said it was about half of what the state will receive for transportation projects and that it had to be obligated within four months. She added that highway improvement projects statewide would create about 14,000 jobs. It is all part of the $838 million in economic recovery plan funding as recently approved by the United States Congress and signed by President Obama. The total funding includes $735 million for highway/bridge improvements and $103 for transit, including aviation, bicycle and pedestrian, ferry, public transportation and rail projects. “This funding will help us move forward with needed transportation improvements as well as create and sustain job opportunities for North Carolinians,” said North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said. “We’re in the process of working with communities across the state to determine which projects would best help us meet both these goals.” NCDOT plans to let highway and bridge projects funded through the first half of its share to contract by June. On the transit side, NCDOT is working with federal transportation agencies to determine funding distribution and continues to work with local transit partners to develop project priorities and schedules. The plan also includes $8 billion to deploy high-speed passenger rail systems and improve intercity passenger rail. The U.S. Department of Transportation will award these funds on a competitive basis and NCDOT is pursuing this funding to use for further development of the Southeast High-Speed Rail corridor between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. In November, NCDOT began identifying about $5 billion in highway/bridge improvements and about $1 billion in projects for other modes that could be ready quickly. The projects selected for funding will benefit communities across the state and help a wide range of industry partners. NCDOT is continuing to work with local communities across North Carolina to determine which additional projects could be ready most quickly and provide the greatest boost to the state’s economy. Most projects being considered have already been approved as part of NCDOT’s seven-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and have been delayed due to lack of funding. For more information about stimulus funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, visit www.ncdot.gov.