North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure is one of our states most important assets, touching every North Carolina citizen in one way or another through its impact on safety, quality of life, economic development and daily commerce. The transportation network gets kids to school, employees to work, groceries to shelves and more. It is crucial to North Carolina’s quality of life and economic growth.
However, every day our children and grandchildren ride to school on structurally deficient roads and bridges. And the problem won’t get any better or go away as we add 3 million residents to North Carolina over the next 15 years – that is equivalent to adding the population of Mecklenburg County three times!
Crying wolf? Watch this recent 60 Minutes segment called “Falling Apart” that details neglected infrastructure across America. Our roads and bridges are crumbling, our airports are out of date and the vast majority of our seaports are in danger of becoming obsolete.
In North Carolina, 30 percent of bridges are structurally or functionally obsolete and our state ranks 37th worst in the nation for bridge safety. That is one in three bridges! NCDOT reported that it would take $5.5 billion to fix those structurally deficient bridges. North Carolina has to be the state that takes action.
While Governor McCrory and NCDOT are making strides to improve our bridges and roads, North Carolina does not have a sustainable long-term funding source. We need to ensure resources are available to meet today’s challenges and plan for the future. The NC Chamber is making this its top priority going into the 2015 Legislative Session. Working with an expanding coalition of businesses and allied organizations, we are pushing for stable and diverse transportation funding that will meet the demands of our network and ensure the safety of our roads and bridges. Join the fight – North Carolina cannot afford to wait!
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber