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Governor announces plan to speed up urban loop projects, including Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It looks like work on the Wilmington Bypass will move ahead more quickly than expected under a new plan Gov. Bev Perdue unveiled today.

Using Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle, or GARVEE bonds, the plan significantly advances the purchase of right of way or the start of construction on urban loop projects in Asheville, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. GARVEE bonds allow the NC Department of Transportation to borrow against future federal funding.

The plan would speed up the completion for the I-140/US 17 Wilmington Bypass. It will allow the section from US 421 in New Hanover County west to US 74/76 in Brunswick County to open for traffic in 2016. Under the original plan, only the grading and structure would have been done by then.

"Investing in our state’s infrastructure is about jobs," Gov. Perdue said. "Not only will it create jobs, but it also will build an efficient transportation network that will attract new businesses and bring more jobs to our state in the future."

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs, and according to the construction industry, every dollar invested in transportation generates $6 in economic impact.

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