Gov. Pat McCrory wants voters to decide this fall on plans to borrow a combined $3 billion to fund highway projects and fix up state facilities.
Before going on the ballot, the measures would need to pass the General Assembly. McCrory highlighted the proposal Friday afternoon with a formal announcement in Winston-Salem.
These projects are on the governor’s list for the greater Charlotte area. The projects listed here total $383.7 million, not including the statewide projects.
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▪ $20.1 million – Construct a new interchange at Interstate 485 and Weddington Road. Currently, Weddington Road crosses over above the interstate.
▪ $60 million – Replace the Burson Building at UNC Charlotte, which houses the school’s science programs. Spokeswoman Buffie Stephens said it has been renovated multiple times but is now outdated and inadequate.
▪ $7 million – Upfit the State Historic Site at Reed Gold Mine. The specific projects weren’t clear, but Reed Gold Mine needs updates to its visitors center and exhibits, improvements to its parking lots and other restoration, said N.C. Historic Sites Director Keith Hardison.
▪ $92 million – Construct 6.7 miles of a new Shelby Bypass on U.S. 74.
▪ $1 million – Improvements at Crowders Mountain State Park.
▪ $168.5 million – Complete the reconstruction of the interchange at Interstate 77 and Interstate 40 in Statesville.
▪ $3.1 million – Upfit facilities at Lake Norman State Park.
▪ $15 million – Update the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer.
▪ $200 million – N.C. Community College System projects.
▪ $18 million – N.C. National Guard regional armories projects.
▪ $15 million – Administrative Office of the Courts projects.
New medical examiner offices
Gov. Pat McCrory’s bond proposal includes $38 million for three new medical examiner offices to be built in Forsyth, Pitt and Buncombe counties.
North Carolina has one of the most poorly funded medical examiner systems in the nation. A 2007 national survey found the average state medical examiner agency spends $1.76 per capita; North Carolina spends about 93 cents per capita.
The system operates with mostly volunteer medical examiners who often don’t perform even basic functions such as visiting death scenes. A bill in the General Assembly would transform that into a staff of trained, full-time death investigators.
Mecklenburg County Republican Sen. Jeff Tarte, who sponsored that bill, says he would like to phase out the state’s roughly 350 part-time medical examiners over a five-year period. They would be replaced by 40 to 60 professional death investigators.
The proposed changes from Tarte and McCrory follow an Observer investigation, which found that medical examiners often skip fundamental investigative steps, casting doubt on the accuracy of thousands of their rulings.