Tropical Weather North Carolina

Vehicles are backed up along N.C. Highway 301 while attempting to navigate to Lumberton, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.

(The Center Square) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has received an extra $144 million from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), according to federal officials.

The funds were redistributed from the FHWA’s uncommitted funds from fiscal year 2020 and allocated to states for road and bridge projects.

NDCOT spokesperson Steve Abbott said the money will complete existing federal funded projects.

“We have been working on how much and to which projects and should have that by the end of this month,” Abbott said.

The FHWA allocated $4.8 billion in additional funding to states, the agency announced Aug. 28. The funds resulted from the revaluation of its fiscal spending projections for 2020.

The NCDOT receives annual federal funding apportionments based on a multiyear transportation authorization bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Abbott said.

The measure was signed into law by former President Barrack Obama in 2015 and set aside $305 billion for critical highway projects in states from 2016 through 2020.

The annual August redistribution allows states to use funds they previously could not access. States requested a total of $7.2 billion in additional funds. The NCDOT requested about $192 million.

States will have to match a percentage of the federal funds and spend the money by the end of September.

Abbott said North Carolina plans to use the funding for highway construction, transportation flexibility, local government projects and to reduce congestion and improve air quality, among other things.

State highway spending is $591 per licensed driver in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, ranking 25th when compared with other states.

According to National Highway Safety Administration data, 7.8 percent of North Carolina’s roadways are in poor condition, and 10.2 percent of bridges have structural issues.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.