North Carolina road plan slowed

| 4/23/2003

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley’s plan to spend $700 million in bond money on highway improvements might have to clear a roadblock, according to local media.

The governor’s proposal was taken up recently by the House Transportation Committee. Several members discussed changes that would shift as much as $100 million toward paving rural dirt roads, Raleigh’s WRAL television reported.

The state has paved about 10,000 miles of dirt roads in the past 13 years, but 6,000 miles of roads remain.

Easley wants to borrow money to repair or improve existing roads. Voters approved borrowing the money in 1996 to speed up construction of urban loops or widen two-lane highways.

The committee adjourned without voting on any of the proposed changes, The News & Observer reported. Lawmakers are scheduled to continue their debate this week.