NC program nearing goal of paving every dirt road

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is nearing its two-decade goal of paving every state-maintained dirt and gravel road.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/LqIkH8 ) the state has paved about 90 percent of its dirt roads since lawmakers and then-Gov. Jim Martin made it a priority in 1989.

The state has set aside almost $4 million this year to keep paving roads, most of which are small stubs serving only a few homes, mostly in the mountains.

The program is getting more expensive and the benefits fewer. Department of Transportation figures show the program served 18 homes for every mile of asphalt in 1997. That number has dropped to eight homes today. Meanwhile, the cost of paving has gone up from $250,000 a mile in 2007 to $350,000 a mile in 2012.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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