McCrory pushes transportation, infrastructure bond in Fayetteville

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
McCrory talks infrastructure improvements
Gov. Pat McCrory was at Fayetteville State University Tuesday trying to gain support for a nearly $3 billion transportation and infrastructure bond.

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Gov. Pat McCrory is drumming up support for a $2.85 billion transportation and infrastructure bond that's facing opposition from legislators critical of the price tag.

The projects include everything from renovating buildings on college campuses to highway projects.

McCrory, alongside his transportation and budget directors, spoke to a crowd at Fayetteville State University Tuesday. The campus stands to benefit from the proposed bond, dubbed Connect NC. It would among other things, address dilapidated buildings on several UNC-system campuses.

"We have a choice," said McCrory. "We can either prepare for growth or we can anticipate growth."

The proposed bond would fund nearly 70 projects statewide -- from highway and port improvements to upgrades in state parks. Click here to see a complete list and details.

In the Sandhills, FSU's Lyons Science Building and UNC-Pembroke's West Hall would be renovated. The All-American Freeway, a connector between Fayetteville and Fort Bragg, would be also receive funding for widening. That project didn't make the cut for the state's 10-year transportation priority budget, while the Interstate 295 completion featured on the list would move up by several years under Connect NC.

McCrory highlighted the importance of infrastructure around Fort Bragg as critical to national defense, while area leaders talked about a guaranteed economic boost.

"Our residents are looking at over 15,000 jobs," said Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson.

McCrory's team emphasized the state's rapid growth as a reason to place the bond on the next ballot, a first in 15 years. Without a tax increase, and in the face of low interest and construction rates, they stressed now is the time to move.

"In the case time literally is money, and when rates start to rise, it will cost taxpayers more money to pay for their investments that we need to make," said state budget director Lee Roberts.

McCrory encouraged the crowd, largely comprised of area government representatives and law enforcement, to reach out to legislators who tell him they're not hearing from people in support of the bond.

"If it doesn't become a bond these projects will not be built for over a decade," McCrory said. "That's just no 'ifs,' 'ands,' or 'buts.' We just delay what we know needs to be done."

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