NCDOT prepares for future projects as infrastructure bill heads to Biden’s desk

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The U.S house passed a more than $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and now it’s headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill would help revamp broadband, utilities, and transportation across the nation. And it could affect one bridge in Eastern North Carolina.

Ayden is home to the oldest bridge in Pitt County on Highway 11 above Swift Creek since 1939.

Carlton Oakley, a member of Baptist Press, told WITN they’re surprised it’s still standing after all these years.

“It’s a short bridge so it’s not a piece of concrete you expect to bend,” Oakley said. “It’s surprising that it’s actually that old. I would imagine that the D.O.T has it high on their priority list.”

Carly Olexik, Communications Director for NCDOT, says their priority list will be based on system and inflation.

“By law, NCDOT uses a transparent and data-driven process for prioritizing transportation projects across the state,” Olexik said. “So the funds from the infrastructure bill will help offset some of the impacts that we see. The inflation that’s impacting our material, right of way, and labor cost within the industry.”

The bridge in Ayden could be just one of the projects the state spends on from the $1-trillion infrastructure bill.

Speaking at a news conference Monday morning, NCDOT secretary, Eric Boyette, said he was thrilled the bill passed.

“81,000 roadways. It’s the second-largest roadway system in the nation,” Boyette said. “We oversee more than 18,000 roadways and bridges. We also know that transportation today is much more than just roads and bridges.”

The infrastructure bill also includes utilities and broadband revamps, things that were in high demand when classes went virtual at the beginning of the pandemic.

Once President Biden signs the bill and the money is dispersed, the NCDOT will reveal which projects they’ll tackle first.

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