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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $8.8 Million in Grants for North Carolina Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway improvements, upgrading an interstate interchange and enhancing ferry boat service and scenic byways

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $8.8 million in grants for North Carolina to fund an array of highway-related efforts including upgrading the I-40/I-77 Interchange in Iredell County.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for North Carolina residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. - more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

North Carolina received funding for the following projects:

Improving I-40/I-77 Interchange in Iredell County $3,750,000
Constructing ramp and gantry for the Cherry Branch Ferry in Craven County $1,185,000
Building a connector on the Sweetwater Road Extension $978,300
Designing and constructing next phase of the South Tar River Greenway $907,609
Installing exit-gate detection technology, revising traffic signalization and other safety measures on the Southeast Corridor in Mebane and Elon $606,240
Installing roundabout at high-traffic intersection in Matthews $526,027
Providing technical assistance and training for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms $323,155
Conducting inventory and assessment of historic structures on the Blue Ridge Parkway $240,000
Installing signs on Outer Banks National Scenic Byway $201,120
Making restorations to Bunker Hill Covered Bridge $105,737
TOTAL $8,823,188

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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