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House of Representatives Candidate John Woodard Voices Opposition to Mid-Currituck Bridge Project

The Daily Advance has sided with the bridge supporters. They have outlined the various issues that are being discussed by the relevant parties. However, I must say right up front that I oppose this bridge in the strongest terms because we simply do not have the money to build this or any other non-essential public project.
Our legislature faces a $3 billion deficit when they convene next year and this project is a good example of why that situation exists. The fact is, our elected leaders have failed to implement meaningful spending reform. We continue to spend at greater rates than what the State has available from revenue sources. To fill this gap the legislature has relied on more than $1.5 billion of non-recurring federal stimulus funds and $1.3 billion in temporary tax revenues. To make matters worse, the economy is expected to remain sluggish with slowing revenue growth for fiscal year 2011 — 12. The legislature faces an additional $200 million to fund the State Health Plan and an additional $450 million above this year’s appropriations in order to keep the retired teachers and state workers fund fully funded. So where will the money come from to pay for this project?
These are but a few of the serious financial problems that face our legislature. How anyone can claim that the State has any money with which to build this project, under the circumstances, is a mystery. And the Federal Government is no better, if not worse.
The Daily Advance article states that the $800 million cost of the bridge will both relieve traffic congestion and give residents an additional way out in the event of a hurricane. The actual cost does not include road improvements for access to the bridge. But even without those costs, to suggest that tolls will help pay for the project does not include the fact that this is a seasonal only situation and that the tolls themselves will tie up traffic.
The residents of Corolla are split between those that favor the bridge and those that oppose it. Therefore forcing this bridge on the opposing residents is not justified under normal circumstances and should be opposed until State and Federal Finances are improved. Additional deficit spending at the Federal level is un warranted and the State lacks the revenue.If proponents want to bring this issue back up and debate it after the State budget is under control, then we can consider it further with the improved finances being a consideration

John Woodard
Candidate for N.C. House of Representatives

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