At a news conference in Raleigh, Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, joined other lawmakers, and overviewed their proposal being said in response to Gov. Pat McCrory’s push to issue bonds in excess of $2 billion to pay for a wide range of projects. The project is to replace the center turn lane on U.S. 158 in Dare County with a raised median. These plans could potentially be moved ahead under a comprehensive transportation funding plan that is included in the Senate’s version of a new state budget.
“We share the goal of finding ways to shrink the gap between our critical transportation needs and our limited funding,” said Rabon. “But skipping hundreds of needed projects in favor of old politically connected plums is a step in the wrong direction. The best way to achieve our goal is not by stepping backward, but by going forward — and building on the transparent, data-driven process we already have in place.”
This project would enlarge U.S. 158 to six lanes and feature a 23-foot- wide raised median and sidewalks from the Wright Memorial Bridge to the U.S. 64/N.C. 12 intersection in Nags Head. The N.C. Department of Transportation had been evaluating the addition of lanes to Croatan Highway from Putter Lane in Kitty Hawk to Whalebone Junction in Nags Head in the future, and also building an interchange to replace the intersection of U.S. 158 and N.C. 12 in Kitty Hawk. The NCDOT verified that the expansion proposal, and a separate proposal to replace the U.S. 158/N.C. 12 intersection at a cost of $24 million, are not in their plans for the next decade, known as the Strategic Transportation Improvement Plan.