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Cornelius News

NCDOT cuts will detour Cornelius road improvements

May 26. By Dave Vieser. Rain and NCDOT cutbacks are playing havoc with Cornelius traffic. The NCDOT was unable to mount the traffic signals at Catawba and Jetton on wooden poles this week, meaning motorists will have to bear with additional delays for about another week.

Meanwhile, wIth their revenue stream slashed by the low volume of traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCDOT says it may have to furlough almost all of its employees.

The department has lost over $300 million in fees since the start of the pandemic in March.

What impact this may have on any number of projects in Cornelius remains to be seen, but it won’t be good, said Commissioner Mike Miltich.

Commissioner Miltich

“This is really serious,” Miltich said, who heard the news at Wednesday’s Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, (CRPTO) meeting. “Any project that does not have a contract stops right now.”

He said there were some 250 projects statewide that could be impacted. “When they announced the bad news at Wednesdays meeting, there was dead silence.”

The NCDOT is hoping that additional reductions in expenditures, and revenue replacement from the federal government may help stabilize their shaky financial situation.

Delays impact town budget

Road projects that were recently slipped due to funding shortfalls will likely be postponed well beyond their current projected date.

While this saves the town significant outlays, “it sets our transportation goals well back on the calendar,” said Cornelius Commissioner Jim Duke.


“Just how long those delays will be is anyone’s guess and the impact upon economic development is just as fuzzy,” Duke said.

Furloughs began with the NCDOT’s executive leadership on May 16, and will be followed by the next level of management on May 26.

Should they be needed, the remainder of the DOT workforce would begin furloughs on a rotating basis towards the end of the month.