• 54°

Construction on interstate expansion could take three years

In three to four years, motorists could zoom down I-85 in south Rowan on an eight-lane road.

With an I-85 expansion officially placed on the state’s 10-year transportation improvement plan, Department of Transportation Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey said the project could begin at the start of fiscal year 2016 — July. Ivey said three years is the average total completion time of a project like the expansion.

Currently the state’s transportation improvement plan is in draft form. It will go through a public comment period in March and April before final approval in June 2015.

“We’ll know the timeline for sure when it’s finally approved,” Ivey said. “At that time we’ll have all the schedules worked out.”

The I-85 expansion is classified as a design-build project, which means that construction could be happening at the same time as another part of the project. He said any right of way acquisition would likely be finished in the first year of the project, with all affected property owners receiving a letter. The letter won’t be mailed until closer to the time that a land purchase would occur.

Rowan County isn’t the only one in the Piedmont involved in the expansion project. Construction is ongoing in Cabarrus County on another leg of I-85 that’s two lanes. The Cabarrus portion starts at exit 55 or North Carolina Highway 73. It ends at Lane Street or I-85’s Exit 63.

The Rowan leg of the expansion picks up at Lane Street and ends at the U.S. 29/U.S. 601 Connector. It’s currently in the planning and design phase, according to the state’s transportation improvement plan.

Ivey said the construction that’s currently ongoing in Cabarrus County wouldn’t have an affect on when the Rowan portion starts.

“While they are related, one will not influence the other in terms of construction,” he said.

Once construction work starts, he contractors would likely keep both lanes of traffic in the two-lane portion open. At night, Ivey said it’s more likely one lane of traffic could be closed.

Financially, none of the funding will come from local government entities, instead coming from GARVEE bonds. Department of Transportation Chief Financial Officer David Tyeryar said a number of projects in the state’s plan are funded through the bonds, which are are a borrowed amount of future federal revenue, Tyeryar said.

“We receive a certain allocation of federal revenue each year and can bond up to a certain percentage,” he said. “Essentially it’s just like issuing any debt authorized by the legislature. It’s borrow money against future federal revenue streams.”

The total cost of the expansion is $140 million. The actual work on the project may only take a few years, but the transportation improvement plans shows the payback of GARVEE Bonds lasting until the 2027 fiscal year.

The state’s transportation improvement plan was unveiled last week and included a total of nearly 1,100 projects across the state and billions in spending. Rowan county has dozens of projects that are strictly within its borders, many of which are bridges.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

 

Comments

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization