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Highland Lake Road project not among jettisoned NCDOT projects

As people across North Carolina heed a statewide stay-home order to curb the spread of COVID-19, traffic volumes have plummeted, causing at least a $300 million budget shortfall for the N.C. Department of Transportation in the current fiscal year and an uncertain forecast for the next budget year.


Because NCDOT revenue is fully funded through the Motor Fuels Tax, Highway Use Tax and DMV fees, the significant impact has forced the department to notify local governments, stakeholders and the general public that all but about 50 major projects scheduled to start in the next 12 months are delayed.

Projects moving forward are funded by GARVEE bonds, BUILD NC bonds and federal grants. Those include the $3.4 million Highland Lake Road improvement.

“It’s my understanding that project will not be delayed,” Flat Rock Mayor Nick Weedman said Tuesday. Council member “Anne Coletta has been in contact with Brian (Burch, the NCDOT engineer) and that’s who I think told her. I think it’s fairly certain that it will happen. I know that they have to finish what they call the 95% plan by a certain date in May.” The schedule calls for the state to let a contract in July with construction to begin in October.

Projects delayed include a $14 million improvement of the I-26 Peter Guice Bridge over the Green River.

The NCDOT is in the process of developing plans for potential furloughs and a Reduction in Force (RIF). Those plans are not yet complete and no decision has been made at this time to enact them.