North Carolina is bracing for a drastic reduction in federal road money as the federal Highway Trust Fund veers toward bankruptcy.
NCDOT has ordered a hiring freeze and may have to start delaying or canceling road and bridge projects for which Washington has, in the past, covered 80 percent of the cost.
Brad Wilson, chairman of the state's 21st Century Transportation Committee, says North Carolina should push its congressional delegation for action in Washington.
In recent years, the federal government has sent the state only about 85 cents out of every dollar North Carolinians pay in federal gas taxes. Now, we may get even less, and we may have to wait longer for it.
“We need to understand that our dependency upon the federal Highway Trust Fund may be even more tenuous than we realized, and North Carolina may need to be more aggressive in taking care of itself,” Wilson said today.
“To the extent that we don’t get federal reimbursement, we’ve got to make it up here or do without.”
Wilson's committee, which meets Thursday in Asheville, is preparing recommendations to boost state spending on roads, bridges and buses. Get ready to consider -- but not before the November elections -- new state and local taxes and a big bond issue.