Skip to main content

Robbing 14 Peters to pay one Paul

Bruce Siceloff blogs about the tug of war between the Legislature and Gov. Easley regarding who's going to pay for the repaving of I-40 in south Durham (and, presumably, something to this effect will be in tomorrow's N&O):

Gov. Mike Easley's proposed budget would have let his DOT pay for its colossal blunders on I-40 in Durham County -- a 10-mile paving mistake that prompted a $21.7 million repair job, scheduled to clog traffic on nights and some weekends for the rest of 2007 and into spring 2008 -- by reducing its spending plans for other Triangle highway projects.

The House and now the Senate have a different idea: Take that pain to DOT statewide.

The Senate spending plan released today would cut $11.7 million from DOT administrative budgets for all divisions statewide this year and another $10 million next year, to finance the I-40 fix. (The House version released a few weeks ago proposed to take the entire sume [sic] from this year's DOT allocation.)

Triangle leaders have protested DOT's proposal to count its mistakes -- did we mention colossal blunders already? -- as a mere cost overrun on an I-40 widening project. Cost overruns are paid for out of funds earmarked for other local highway jobs.

If I'm the legislature, I'd probably go even further and spread the cost out over 3 or 4 years, just to make sure that statewide projects are impacted as little as possible. But it's a good start...no reason whatsoever that District 5 should be forced to pay for the same road twice, and while it sucks that the state has to pay for it twice at all, this is the fairest way out of a sticky situation.

Bruce also has a nugget about the proposed financing of the western soon-to-be-tolled extension of I-540:

Like Easley, like the House, the Senate is silent on the NC Turnpike Authority's request for $18 million per year to cover the projected gap between toll revenues and the cost of building the 18-mile Triangle Expressway in western Wake and Research Triangle Park.

Maybe they won't be able to start work on the state's first modern toll road this year, after all.

No big deal if they don't start it this year; that would be fast even by the most optimistic projections. But you'd have to think that at some point, someone on Jones Street would wake up to the fact that the Turnpike Authority can't pay for roads based on to-this-point nonexistent tolls and their good looks, and that the legislature needs to step in, even if it's to play bank and loan money to the Turnpike Authority.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was