The Alexander County Commission Chairman, Ryan Mayberry, received word this month from Raleigh about the continuing delay of repairs on the Liledoun Road culvert, which washed out due to torrential rains in June 2019.
N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette wrote the following letter to Chairman Mayberry, received on July 15, 2020, which county leaders shared with The Times:
Dear Chairman Mayberry:
As you referenced in your recent letter, there have been several factors that have impacted the Department’s ability to make repairs to the Liledoun Road damage that was caused by the June 2019 flooding. The increased frequency of impactful storms across the State along with other funding challenges had put the Department in jeopardy of going below our mandatory cash floor balance for some time.
As such, the Department had implemented many cost reduction measures to assist with balancing our financial circumstances. In addition, the Department had to pause on many important repairs like Liledoun Road. Even with the funding challenges, the Department was able to contract with an engineering firm to provide the necessary design plans needed for the Liledoun Road repairs.
This design work is ongoing and currently scheduled to be completed by mid-summer. The Department had hoped to begin repairs once the design work was complete; however, our current financial situation has also put those plans on hold. The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on our State and this Department.
As you noted, the Department has previously announced that we expect a significant shortfall of funding due to the impact on revenues. The Department anticipates a $300 million shortfall this fiscal year and potentially a $500 million shortfall next year. Our current position below the cash floor prevents us from entering into any new contracts for repair work necessary for Liledoun Road.
The Department is committed to making the repairs as soon as our financial situation will allow.
Safety and mobility are paramount to our mission to provide transportation infrastructure to the citizens of North Carolina.
J. Eric Boyette
See related article: County leaders issue statement on Liledoun Road washout