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Public apathetic about I-485 construction delays

For all the bluster made by local politicians about the NCDOT's decision to push back the completion of I-485 two years in addition to delaying the widening of the Interstate in Southern Mecklenburg County, one would think that the general public would have had an equally loud outcry about these two transportation issues.

Well, guess what...if you thought that...you were wrong.

Now I know, I am nearly two months behind in reporting this story...but it's still worth mentioning today.

At a January public hearing on the 2009-2015 NCDOT Draft Transportation Improvement Project List held in Charlotte, only four people showed up and not one spoke about the decision to delay Interstate 485. Furthermore, as of the January hearing date, the DOT had not received any letters or e-mail comments from the general public about the proposed pushback in construction. The only commentary that had been received at that point were from various politicians (which has been reported and commented on in this blog).

As a result of the lack of feedback on the decision - and the grim reality of shortfalls in transportation funding within North Carolina - it is almost certain that the two year delay in construction of both projects on I-485 will occur.

Ok, so I am guilty of not sending a message to the NCDOT either, and it's mainly because there are so many projects within the state, and the issue to me is not where the I-485 projects fall in line for funding or priority rankings; rather, the issue to me is the current funding system within North Carolina for transportation projects. Whether it is the district equity funding programs, the raiding of Highway Trust Fund monies for General Fund purposes by the state legislature, or various DOT practices that have ended up costing more money to complete past projects, these issues to me are more important to be address and fixed vs. moving the completion of the I-485 loop ahead two years or not. It won't be until these issues are addressed within the DOT and down the street here in Raleigh by our legislature that delays and funding gaps like these will be lessened if not eliminated.

Story: I-485 delay looks to be done deal ---News 14 Carolina

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