According to a press release from NCDOT funding has been released by the State of North Carolina to cover infrastructure projects around the state including the final four segments of the eastern section of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway, which is also part of the Future Interstate 74 corridor. Previously only one segment had been funded due to political games and battles going back to the early 1990’s. The completion of the belt-line is considered critical for Winston-Salem’s future economic growth.
“Once complete, the long-awaited eastern beltway will complete the I-74 corridor through Forsyth County, thereby improving the transportation system by reducing congestion on US 52, enhancing economic development and job creation opportunities and improving freight mobility and reliability throughout the Piedmont Triad region,” said Division 9 Board Member Jake Alexander.
The state budget included additional funding for transportation through the elimination of the transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund and through other fee and rate changes resulting in an additional $1.6 billion over the next 10 years for transportation construction. The additional money allows NC Transportation add or accelerate a total of 248 construction projects across the state.
“Other high-profile projects of note are the widening of I-40 from Harper Road to N.C. 801 and the widening of U.S. 158 in Forsyth County and the Old Beatty Ford Road interchange at I-85 and the Julian Road widening project in Rowan County, all of which will provide much-needed safety and congestion improvements in these counties,” said NCDOT Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey.
The NCDOT followed the Strategic Transportation Investments law to identify new projects (either segments or entire projects) at the statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were identified from those previously scored based on the same weights and criteria (data) used to develop the 2016-2025 STIP.
The schedule changes, called amendments, were presented to the Board of Transportation for their review at their December meeting this week, with their approval expected in January 2016.