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DOT challenged by aging infrastructure

READ MORE: DOT challenged by aging infrastructure
WILMINGTON -- Our roads and bridges are the part of our infrastructure that keeps us moving. But will the infrastructure we have now keep us moving into the year 2020? Last year's Minneapolis bridge collapse was a sobering reminder that bridges break down. They get old and wear out. That's true here too. Department of Transportation Bridge Engineer Amanda Glynn said, "Most bridges have a 50-100 year life span and a lot of the bridges built in the '50s and '60s are reaching that lifespan." Wilmington's Third Street Bridge has become the poster child for our crumbling infrastructure. Engineers tell us the bridge is still safe but in urgent need of attention. Under that bridge you can find crumbling pieces of concrete with bits of rebar still in them. The concrete is falling away from the rusting steel reinforced rods in the center part of the bridge -- the oldest part. The state DOT says 55 of the 233 bridges in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties are structurally deficient. That's nearly one quarter of the bridges in the three county area, but the money is only there to replace eight of them right now. So you patch them up. "It's something we have to do: preventative maintenance and just take care of what we have until it can be replaced," Glynn said. "We just can't meet our current needs with our current revenue." The money simply is not there to take care of all of our road and bridge needs. DOT Division Engineer Allen Pope said, "The long range transportation plan is basically established with current revenue streams, that over this 25-30 year plan we're going to be about $65 billion short -- billion with a B -- to meeting our needs." That said, there are several projects on the books locally that have already been funded. Most notably the Wilmington bypass, I-140. The next leg will run from 421 to 74/76, it's slated for completion in 2016. Another project in the works will change the busy intersection at College and Oleander. "This project will actually take all left turn movements away from that intersection. You'll only be able to make right turns and go straight through," Pope said. How will they do that? By creating a two way interchange type loop adjacent to the intersection near McRae Park. That's how you'll be able to go left. A widening of Kerr Avenue between the MLK Parkway and Randall is slated for 2011. And if the money ever becomes available a Hampstead bypass and Military Cutoff extension may become reality -- but not by 2020. "Growth is already here and you have to identify it as a need to get funding for it," Pope said. In other words, we may never get ahead of the curve. Highway 17 also presents a formidable challenge in Brunswick and Pender Counties. How daunting is the lack of funding? Very. A statewide committee will be holding a two day meeting here later this month trying to find new sources of money for our roads and bridges.

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wasted money

Until the so called politicians stop taking money out of the highway trust fund and using it for their little pet projects then we will continue to fall further behind in road and bridge maintenance. When you have contractors who do jobs and they are running behind on the project then hit them where it hurts in the wallet. But you to many people who buy favors with the politicians so it is same ole same ole. Also is you listen to good ole Bev that she will fix DOT then you got another thing coming. All she will do is use it as a place to reward her cronies who do not the first thing about DOT. When you can get politics out of the agency then and only then you might be able to get somethig done.

D.O.T. statistics...

Did all of you hear that the NCDOT laid off 175 workers last month? Yes they did...they finally discovered a shovel that could stand up by itself. What's yellow, has 4 doors and sleeps six? A D.O.T. truck....... Need more be said?

Money

Roads ect. are to be kept up by the money that is collected on gas tax, and the road tax we pay everytime we have to get new or renew our tags for our vechicles, trailers ect. And as we see, there is an increase in the population here and in the surrounding areas. So the real question is, where is all the money at that the city, county, and state has collected? And why isn't that money being used to fix these problems. Their answer to this problem will be, " we are going to have to raise your taxes to fix the bridges and finish the roads." Then they will smile and ask for your vote next election.....

I think the headlines meant

I think the headlines meant to say "Infra-Rupture"

WERE ARE THE TAX DOLLARS

WERE ARE THE TAX DOLLARS GOING

Where does the money go?

About 60% goes to education. Another 25% goes to Health and Human Services. That leaves 15% of our annual state budget for all other things - DOT, law enforcement and prisons, state parks, debt servicing, employee salaries....everything. It's an outrage. Education is important, but we have reached the point where we obsess over education at the expense of everything else....and if anything, we're moving backward! Thirty years ago we managed to fund education AND the state infrastructure....and oddly enough, SAT scores were substantially higher (nationally). Now we spend sixty-cents of every dollar on education, start them into school at age four, and wind up with college graduates who don't know what a high school graduate knew thirty years ago. Take a closer look at our state's education budget, and you'll see some of the bottonless holes into which we pour money. Many have nothing to do with fostering education across all students, but are focused on pet niche projects of the liberal left. Don't even get me started on the money wasted by Heath and Human Services.... So the bottom line is this - if you and your spouse are crossing the Third Street Bridge when it finally collapsed, as you're free-falling through the air, take heart in the knowledge that your tax dollars weren't "wasted" on replacing that bridge, they funded bi-lingual education for the children of illegal immigrants in rural counties. Muy bueno, no?

Money goes where?

There has never been an true and accurate accounting of where our tax dollars go, either on the local, state or federal level. Anyone can draw up a silly pie chart providing percentages here and there, smile a toothy grin and say, "Hey yall! This is wheah yo money's agoin'". They have so much tax money flowing in DAILY, they can't account for it all. Have you ever seen an honest middle class or poor person at the helm of any government position??? Of course not and you never will, the good ol' boys won't let them play in ther circle. Income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, disposal taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, cigarette taxes, white goods taxes, property taxes, estate taxes, liquor taxes, capital gains taxes, animal taxes, road taxes and the freekin' LOTTERY that's supposed to fund education (that 60% mentioned above). With all these taxes, the average JOE (excluding the average hispanic, of course) is lucky to be able to use 35% of his gross income at best. First time you hear of a tax shortfall, it's, "We'll cut school programs!", "We'll cut programs for the elderly!", We'll cut retirement and pension benefits!". Now, it's, "We don't have enough tax money, so if the bridge collapses while you're on it...too bad." One of these days, the people are going to get mad enough to stand up and put a halt to this crap and start voting in responsible leaders in government that will have real ETHICS (not Hollywood ethics) and stop the stuffing of their pockets!!! Is there an ETHICS tax yet???

Roads & Bridges

Roads are the most basic public service provided by a government. Without roads and bridges everything, and I mean everything, comes to a halt. In the past there was enough tax revenue to "waste" or overspend on all types of "feel good" yet unnecessary public and private services. Even in education, the strategy is "throw more money at the problem." Now with more and more such spending, and a larger population, we do not have the ready money for our roads and bridges. First things first. Tax money is not a bottomless pit.

Lack of funding

Is this lack of funds coming from the same DOT that wasted $124 million on late contracts, and the same DOT who said no one would lose their job over that lost money? I think it may be...

DOT

Remember Bev Purdue said she was going to fix the dot. Cast your vote for NC Gov. wisely

Purdue and the Democratic Governors

The Democrats have been running Raleigh. What do Democrats do? They tax and tax and spend and spend. They take your hard earned money in the form of taxes, and they spend it anyway they want. Some politicians and their associates become rich on your tax money. What do the voters do? Send more Democrats to Raleigh. North Carolina voters should think hard about the next "party" they send to Raleigh.