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Federal infrastructure funding to be used to reconstruct 28 bridges in WNC

RALEIGH – North Carolina will see six major transportation improvements, thanks to new federal spending from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that 166 projects will receive funds nationwide this year under the $2.2 billion Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, grants.

“We are very appreciative of our federal partners for helping advance transportation in North Carolina,” said J. Eric Boyette, the state’s transportation secretary. “These RAISE grants will greatly benefit our economy, strengthen supply chains, and make travel safer and easier, whether you’re driving, bicycling, walking or riding the train.”

North Carolina’s nearly $60 million share of the RAISE grants will pay to:

  • reconstruct 28 bridges in western North Carolina. The $10.7 million in RAISE funds will help fix low-water bridges in six counties so they can better function during flood events and other bad weather emergencies. 
  • transform a busy corridor from Rutherfordton to Spindale into a Complete Street. RAISE funds totaling over $20 million will pay for road improvements and bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements in Rutherford County.
  • fund the planning of mobility hubs in seven communities along the S-Line, a rail corridor between Raleigh and Petersburg, Va. The $3.4 million in RAISE funds will increase access to transportation options, rail and transit services. It will also better connect urban and rural communities, improve freight services, and reduce travel time on rail between Raleigh and Washington D.C.
  • build a new intermodal facility at the Wilmington port. More than $18 million is going to construct a facility that will enable the loading and discharging of supply containers on and off trains at the port.
  • engineer and design a 3.6-mile multi-use path and add other sidewalks and paths in the Elizabeth City area. The law will provide $2 million in funds for this project.
  • construct a 1.2-mile extension to the Long Branch Trail in Winston-Salem. The extension aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes in an underserved community. The law provides $6 million for this project.

NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division supported the S-Line communities on their application and did the same for Rutherfordton and Spindale. The division offers similar technical expertise to small towns, counties and other communities around the state. Spindale’s Town Manager G. Scott Webber was excited to hear about the grant for his community in Rutherford County.

“This is unbelievable news!” Webber said. “This will truly transform the landscape in our communities. The fact that this project received funding on the first submittal is testimony not only to the strength of the project but to the strength of the team that assembled to complete the application.”

The RAISE program was the first discretionary grant program for which applications were accepted under last year’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Thursday‘s announcement was one of the first opportunities that President Joe Biden had to demonstrate plans for distributing the money.

For more information about Thursday’s announcement, visit USDOT’s website. Communities and others interested in applying for federal transportation grants are welcome to contact staff in NCDOT for assistance.

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