Pitt Co. Commissioners say state is ignoring eastern NC transportation needs

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County Commissioners say eastern North Carolina isn’t getting enough funding for transportation improvements from the state legislature, and now they’re taking action.

The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday asking the General Assembly to take another look at how it funds transportation projects.

Highway 264 is just one area commissioners say needs some help. They say even just adding signs that say future interstate would do a lot for the economy.

Commissioners aren’t happy with the formula the Department of Transportation currently uses to allocate funding, factoring in things like congestion and population. They want it to change.

Commissioner Tom Coulson says more rural areas, even Pitt County, are often ignored.

“What we’re really trying to do is get collectively other counties that don’t have a lot of say… Pretty soon, if we could get everybody to join in, we’d have 75-80 counties that would be saying to the legislature, don’t forget about us too,” Coulson said.

A similar resolution has already been adopted by the Martin County Commissioners. Coulson hopes other counties in eastern and western North Carolina will follow.

Commissioner Coulson says more funding would bring more industry to the East.

“To get on 95, you’ve got to go all the way over to Wilson, either that or you have to go through back roads to get to Rocky Mount, or there are other ways you can get there but it’s not real easy. It would help eastern North Carolina, the entire eastern North Carolina, not just any individual county,” Coulson said.

Commissioner Coulson says the Connect NC bond initially looked promising for transportation in the East, but won’t actually help nearly as much as expected.

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