Skip to main content

Triangle Expressway to become a reality

Yes, really.

We mean it.

Honest.

They're going to build the Triangle Expressway after all.

"They", of course, is the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, and according to the budget passed today by the General Assembly, they're going to receive their long-awaited "gap funding" to bridge the, well, gap between the immediate construction costs and the eventual toll revenue.

Bruce Siceloff managed to read through the budget -- no small feat, indeed -- and pulled out the details of the four turnpikes that received gap funding.
* TriEx, 18 miles in Wake County and Research Triangle Park. Total cost: $967 million. Gap funding: $25 million each year, starting this year.

* Monroe Connector / Bypass, 21 miles in Union County. Cost: $757 million. Gap funding: $24 million/yr, starting FY 2009-10.

* Mid-Currituck Bridge, 7 miles over Currituck Sound. Cost: $636 million. Gap funding: $15 million/yr, starting FY 2009-10.

* Garden Parkway, 15 miles in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Cost: $765 million. Gap funding: $35 million/yr, starting FY 2010-11.
So where's the money coming from?
They found the money by diverting part of a $172 million yearly transfer from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund, where the money has been spent in the past for non-transportation purposes. Transportation advocates have argued in recent years that Highway Trust Fund money — collected mostly from fuel taxes and automobile sales — should be used only for roads.
(What a novel concept, that last line.)

With this money now budgeted for construction, the Authority hopes to begin construction by the end of this year, and open the entire Triangle Expressway by the end of 2010. Of course, there's still a possibility that Gov. Mike Easley could veto the budget and we could start all over again, but for the time being, let's assume that won't happen. (Although given how convoluted the path to this point has been, nothing's impossible...)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the purpose of the Garden Parkway? Maps I've seen of it seem to show it paralleling I-85 for its entire run... why is this road needed? Is there that much traffic in that area that I-85 can't handle it all?
Anonymous said…
The $24 Million "gap' funding is actually Appalachian Highway Development Funds which have been diverted since mid 80's from Corridor's A and K in Division 14. Prior to the "Equity" formula, which now is admitted by NCDOT, though hidden deep in Corridor K web page, the State of NC passed Session Laws to create "Infrastructure Banking". This ADHS money was and remains under full oversight of the FHWA, so there had to be a conspired effort on Federal level as well. The "infrastructure Banking" tool is now widely used by all states and not just for highways. The State of NC RANKS LAST OF ALL 50 STATES IN COMPUTER TRANSACTIONS per Citizen ... and even as recent as December 2014, the NC State Computer Information Office (SCIO) issued this statement as part of a Statewide Restructuring Plan document ...and I quote " In today's siloed nature of (NC) government, it is NOT possible to determine true costs and responsibilities or enforce accountability. The Siloed Nature of government has resulted in disparate processes.... TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY CANNOT BE ACHIEVED!!" James R. Wilson, PE jamiewilson@enigneer.com

Popular posts from this blog

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w

North Carolina Continues to Move Forward with Rail

2023 and the first half of 2024 have seen continued growth in North Carolina's passenger rail system.  From increased daily trains from Raleigh to Charlotte, federal funds for studying additional corridors, and receiving a historic grant to begin the construction of high-speed rail between Raleigh and Richmond, the last 18 months have been a flurry of activity at NCDOT's Rail Division.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As ridership and routes increase - the engine of North Carolina passenger rail trains will become a more common sight. (Adam Prince) Increased Passenger Train Service: On July 10, 2023, a fourth Piedmont round-trip rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte commenced.  The four Piedmont trains plus the daily Carolinian (to Washington, DC, and New York) bring the total of trains serving the two cities daily to five. The current daily Piedmont and Carolinian schedule between Charlotte and Raleigh (NCDOT) The result was over 641,000 passengers utilized pa