Statesville was not spared from proposed road project delays this past week.
Included in a long list of proposed North Carolina Department of Transportation road project delays was the planned improvements to the interchange of US-21 and US-64, or the Five Points interchange.
“The latest information I received from NCDOT is that the proposed roundabout at the five point intersection has been delayed due to the department’s lack of funding,” Statesville planning director Sherry Ashley said. “It is my understanding that the construction has been delayed five years, to 2026.”
NCDOT division project director Michael L. Poe confirmed the proposed change, stating that the project was originally intended to begin construction in 2022. With the delay, it will now likely not be completed until 2027.
The project was proposed three years ago as part of the NCDOT's 10-year transportation improvement plan.
The lack of funding at the NCDOT is reportedly being caused by a combination of a $300 million budget shortfall due to the lack of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a $742 million budget overspend during the 2019 fiscal year.
According to a news release received on Sept. 2 from the office of State Sen. Vickie Sawyer, the NCDOT was audited in early 2020 and was found to have not monitored or enforced the highway division’s compliance with the spending plan.
The oversight by NCDOT has caused five proposed road projects in Iredell County to be delayed, but the Five Points roundabout is the only affected project in Statesville.
The project will bring a roundabout to the Five Points intersection to make the traffic flow more smoothly through the unique intersection, but according to Statesville City Manager Ron Smith, the delay is not too much of a problem at this point.
“But as we continue to grow, there will be more traffic pressure put on that intersection,” he added.
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