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

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…