North Carolina House panel paves way for road funds

| Thursday, April 24, 2003

A North Carolina House panel unanimously approved a bill April 23 that would allow the state to borrow $700 million in bond money on highway improvements, according to local media.

Under the proposal, backed by Gov. Mike Easley and the state Transportation Department, the state would use $630 million to repair or improve existing roads, The News & Observer reported. Pubic transit systems would get $70 million.

Voters approved borrowing the money in 1996 to speed up construction of urban loops or widen two-lane highways, but the bonds were never sold.

HB48 moved easily through the House Transportation Committee after several lawmakers who had pushed for more money to pave dirt roads dropped their request.

The bill now goes before the House Appropriations Committee.

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