Skip to main content

Yadkin River Bridge Project only receives $10 million in TIGER Grants; NCDOT to consider other financing methods

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, NCDOT only received $10 million in TIGER Grant Funding for the I-85 Yadkin River Bridge project.  The state had applied for the maximum of $300 million for this project.  Though NCDOT was pleased to receive money for the needed project, they were disappointed, "Obviously the $300 million would have enabled us to build it faster, and be able to use those resources for other transportation needs in North Carolina. We’re extremely disappointed," said Ted Vaden, an NCDOT Deputy Secretary.

The overall project - building a new eight-lane Yadkin River Bridge, widening a total of eight miles of I-85 on both sides of the new bridge, and rebuilding interchanges - is estimated to cost closer to $400 million.

The Salisbury Post reports that the $10 million will basically cover administration costs that will be used to achieve additional funding to construct the bridge.  As part of the awarding of the grant, NCDOT is eligible for "optional innovative financing enhancements to support a direct loan for up to one-third of the project costs" or Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans.  TIFIA loans, similar to what the NCTA received last year for the Triangle Expressway, allow state and other DOT's to receive "federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance."

Of course, this money would need to be paid back.  And according to an interview with the Charlotte Observer's Mary Newsom, North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said without a revenue stream to repay the TIFIA loan it is best to take the cash.

So my initial thought was that the proposals to toll the Yadkin River Bridge may resurface.  But, I am incorrect.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer's Bruce Siceloff, NC DOT will use "...$150 million in federal GARVEE bonds -- basically a loan against future federal highway dollars -- plus $20 million in other state funding and the $10 million federal stimulus grant..."

So that's only $180 million...what about the remaining $200+ million for the whole project, you may be asking?.  Well, it's going to be put on hold.  NCDOT will now only construct the new eight lane Yadkin River Bridge.  The highway widening and reconstruction of Interstate 85 north of the bridge will be put on hold.  So the bottleneck will still exist from the Yadkin River to Business I-85 (Future I-285) near Lexington.  (Roughly from bridge to mile marker 86).

NCDOT plans to place the contracts for the new replacement Yadkin River Bridge out to bid this coming April.  Construction may start as soon as this coming October.  Construction is expected to last three years.

The good news - the 55 year old Yadkin River Bridge is going to be replaced.  But the Yadkin River Bridge area on I-85 is going to continue to be a choke point for years to come.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car