NC Road Projects Delayed Due To NCDOT Budget Shortfall

CHARLOTTE, NC – Major road improvement projects in the Charlotte region delayed due to a $300 million dollar shortfall at the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

There has been a significant drop in volume on the roads. Fewer people buying new cars, getting gas and registering vehicles, which has led to the revenue decline. 

“It’s a significant drop in transport volume,” said Jonathan Studnek,  the Deputy Director with MEDIC. 

He says emergency traffic calls are 5% lower compared to this time last year. 

“I really think that speaks to the stay at home order and the fact that people really are staying off the road,” said Studnek. 

“We’ve seen substantial drops in traffic,” said Kevin Lacy, an NCDOT Traffic Engineer. 

He says there has been a more than 30% drop in highway traffic in the Charlotte region. That number is more than 50% throughout the state. 

“We have not seen this type of long term widespread reduction in travel,” said Lacy. 

NCDOT is funded through the gas tax, new car sales, and registration fees. But with fewer cars on the road, the state now faces a more than $300 million dollar budget shortfall. 

“I am certain that it affects our revenue stream tremendously,” said Lacy. 

About 15 construction projects in the Charlotte area have been delayed due to the budgetary constraints. That includes five in Mecklenburg county. 

The projects include work on.

  • I-85 at the Brookshire
  • Resurfacing and bridgework on I-277
  • Work on I-485
  • Rail work at the Charlotte Gateway Station
  • I-77 Shoulder improvements

“If they’re not driving and buying gas and they’re not buying new cars, then, of course, it’s going to have an impact on our revenue,” said Lacy.