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On cue...Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Officials Voice Displeasure over I-485 Delays

Right on cue, various Charlotte and Mecklenburg County officials have voiced their displeasure over the proposed funding delays to Interstate 485 and other highway projects.

The responses vary from blaming poor politics to calls to reform NCDOT, but the common theme was disappointment in construction delays for badly needed highway projects in a growing city.

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said that the delays "...smells of bad politics." McCrory who sent a highly critical letter to Governor Mike Easily pointing out that instead of completing freeway loops that have been underway for years, more loops get added to the list.

McCrory was especially displeased that two loops, Wilmington and Fayetteville, have been added and seen construction since the Charlotte loop began in the 1990s. He was also unhappy that the Fayetteville loop did not see the amount of delays that Charlotte or other North Carolina cities received.

McCrory told the Charlotte Observer, "Fayetteville and Wilmington just happened to not be exempted which was a clear perception of politics being such an influential part of how road and transportation money is spent in North Carolina at the expense of areas that have congestion."

Note to Mayor McCrory: The Fayetteville Loop, like the Charlotte Loop, has been discussed for decades. It just didn't appear out of nowhere and gobbled up all the money.

McCrory's challenger for Charlotte Mayor, Beverly Earle, was "outraged" at the delay and called for the restructuring of NCDOT.

A few years ago, Charlotte and Mecklenburg officials were able to push forward plans to widen I-485 in Southern Mecklenburg County from post-years (which is beyond the six year funding window) to 2013. The move pushed back the start of construction of the final piece of I-485 from 2010 to 2013. Now both projects have been pushed back to begin, at the earliest, in 2015.

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