From the Hendersonville Lightning:
New highway projects are frozen, routine maintenance such as mowing, patching and ditch-clearing is delayed and NCDOT employees across the state are being sent home as the agency faces a severe cash shortage.
Brian Burch, the top DOT official for the 10-county Division 14, painted a grim picture of the agency’s financial straits and a less than sunny outlook on its chances of a quick recovery. . .
While engineering and design on new projects are frozen, projects currently under way, including the $160 million I-26 widening in Henderson County, continue.
“Projects that are in development or in right of way or expected to be let — those have all been suspended with the exception of projects that are expected to be funded through the N.C. Build bonds,” Burch said. Those include three projects in Henderson County that have drawn wide interest —the N.C. 191 widening, North Highland Lake Road widening in Flat Rock and White Street improvement and extension. But there’s a catch there, too.
“Those bonds are expected to be sold in May or in June” by the North Carolina treasurer, Burch said. “We do not know and some people do not expect that that bond sale will occur. If that bond sale does not occur, those three projects will be delayed even further.
Right of way would not start on N.C.191, right of way would not start on White Street and the expected letting of North Highland Lake Road would not occur. … Right now there’s no confidence within the (transportation) department on when that will happen or if it will happen.”
Motorists can expect potholes to be neglected and roadsides to become shaggy, too. The department is delaying work such as patching, mowing, grading unpaved roads, cleaning out ditches. . .