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

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley