The eight eastern counties in NCDOT’s Division 2 will spend all their federal stimulus money to jump-start work on the U.S. 70 Bypass around Kinston. For the five counties of Division 6, every stimulating penny will be poured into Fayetteville’s I-295 loop.
But the Triangle will spread its stimulus share around and spend it on less sexy stuff — mostly to reduce a maintenance backlog of overdue highway and freeway resurfacing jobs. (See column with comments.)
At the same time, DOT will make use of another federal money source to speed the start of Wake County’s top highway priority, widening I-40 between Wade Avenue and U.S. 1/64.
DOT is using a federal financing source called GARVEE bonds for the I-40 widening, in a $49 million job to be awarded in June (rather than November as previously planned). Also with GARVEE bonds, DOT will spend about $10 million to widen I-40 in western Wake County, from I-540 to Wade Avenue, in a contract to be awarded in April.
Gov. Bev Perdue is expected in the next day or two to announce DOT’s plans for spending the first big chunk of its stimulus money quickly, in contracts to be awarded over the next four months.
According to draft project lists circulated by DOT officials late last week, federal stimulus money recently approved by Congress will cover $468 million of the $705 million in road and bridge contracts to be awarded in March, April, May and June.
That will take care of more than half of the $735 million DOT expects for roads and bridges. Local and regional officials will have more direct input into spending priorities for the rest of the money, with decisions to be announce later this year. (Plans have not been announced yet for DOT’s $102 million in transit spending.)
In Durham, Wake and the other five counties of DOT’s Division 5, the draft stimu-list includes:
* New signs around Raleigh’s Beltline, $2 million.
A small part of this expense, but a big difference for drivers, will be the removal of Inner Beltline and Outer Beltline signs. Instead, the Beltline will be divided into two routes: on the south side I-40 and on the rest I-440, with all travel directions marked east or west.
* I-440 bridge painting from Glen Eden to U.S. 1, $1.2 million.
* I-440 bonded overlay pavement replacement, I-40 to U.S. 64, $7 milliion.
* I-440 resurfacing, Wake Forest road to Wade Ave., $4 million.
* I-540 resurfacing, I-40 to US 70, $4 million.
* U.S. 264 resurfacing, U.S. 64 to Nash County, $2.5 million.
* U.S. 64 resurfacing, U.S. 264 to Nash County, $7.9 million.
* N.C. 98 resurfacing, Junction Road to Sherron Road, Durham, $1.5 million.
* Old Oxford Highway widening, U.S 501 to Granville County, $2 million
* U.S. 1 resurfacing, Wake County to Vance County, $4.5 million