Acceleration of road projects in district announced

RALEIGH — Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) announced Friday seven key projects in Senate District 31 will be completed sooner as a result of major transportation funding reforms passed by the General Assembly in 2015.

Yadkin County residents will enjoy the widening of a portion of East Main St. in Yadkinville, according to the announcement.

According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, the accelerated projects in Forsyth County include widening U.S. 158 from Winston-Salem to Stokesdale, widening I-40 between Bermuda Run and Winston-Salem, construction of the Northern Beltway, including both the western (I-40 to US 52) and eastern (I-74/US-321 to US 52) sections, widening a portion of Harley Drive in Walkertown, as well as the construction of the new Forum Parkway Connector in Rural Hall.

“Jobs depend on our transportation infrastructure,” said Krawiec. “These projects will be an economic boon to our local communities, and will make our area more appealing to job-creating companies now and on into the future.”

These local projects are among an additional 92 highway projects that will be built and another 90 existing projects that will be sped up statewide, due to a long-term, comprehensive plan for transportation funding lawmakers passed as part of this year’s state budget.

The plan added more than $700 million in new funding for transportation needs over two years. It also ended a decades-long raid of state transportation funds for non-transportation spending and helped ensure that 99 percent of those dollars will actually be used to build and maintain safe roads and bridges.

Thanks to the reforms, North Carolina will spend an additional $4.5 billion on new construction and maintenance priorities over the next 10 years — without having to borrow money.

The complete list of accelerated schedules for transportation projects will be presented to the state Board of Transportation for review at its December meeting, with approval expected in January 2016.

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