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Officials Reach Agreement on Supplemental Funding for ATT Phase E Projects
In a September 14th meeting, the Durham-Orange Transportation Advisory Committee considered several options for additional funding and have opted to use ~3.5 million$ from a reserve fund which had been set aside to cover cost overruns, small and county transportation projects, and initiatives for Triangle Transit. An earlier proposal to reallocate funds that had been set aside for future sidewalks in Durham was turned down after serious concerns expressed by Durham representatives. Officials from the two counties agreed it made sense to use the reserve given that the tobacco trail’s completion has been threatened by a budget shortfall. “It’s a regional project that affects the central part of the State, and we need to move forward,” Durham City Councilman Mike Woodard said, after Mayor Bill Bell and Councilwoman Diane Catotti had also signaled support for using the money. The decision must now be approved by the Durham/Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization. Some changes to the specifications for the bridge are being considered such as allowing the contractor to have 18 rather than 9 months to assemble components for the bridge. No date has been set for start of the second bidding but if MPO approval can be settled in 30-60 days this could happen by the first of the year. It now appears construction will not start until sometime in the Spring.