Today, Pat McCrory attended the NC Trucker's Association Management Conference in Charlotte to discuss his plan and vision for creating long-term infrastructure and transportation plan to support North Carolina's future economic growth. He also criticized elected leaders who diverted money from the Transportation Trust Fund and called for more accountability in how state transportation dollars are spent.
"I believe our elected leaders must also become a better steward of the Highway Trust Fund," said Pat McCrory. "Short-term minded leaders repeatedly raided the fund as a way to balance the budget and pay for short-term priorities with no way to replenish the fund. This would end under a McCrory administration."
In 2008 the 15,182 trucking companies in North Carolina provided 211,847 jobs. These trucking companies are mostly small businesses, but together they transported 91.4% of manufactured tonnage in North Carolina in 2009 making them a huge driver of the state's economy. But the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce recently ranked the state's transportation infrastructure the 7th worst in the nation, and nearly 30% of North Carolina bridges are deficient.
"Industries like trucking rely on a state's transportation infrastructure," explained Pat McCrory. "We used to be known as the good-roads state, but mismanagement during the good times means we will pay for it during the bad times through higher budget deficits and taxes."
As mayor of Charlotte, Pat McCrory helped create a 25-year transportation plan that is now in its 14th year of implementation. When elected, Pat McCrory will bring private sector and government leaders together to create a detailed 25-year transportation and infrastructure plan to send a clear signal to the business community of the state's future investment in roads, railroads, bridges, ports, airports and other infrastructure.
"We must allocate money based on project worthiness, not politics," said Pat McCrory. "By creating a similar 25-year transportation plan, we can put politics aside and focus on maintaining existing infrastructure and prioritizing new projects based on worthiness."
Pat McCrory's plan to fix North Carolina's economy calls for a review and reform of the transportation funding formula. McCrory believes criteria for new projects should weigh each project's potential for congestion relief, safety improvements, environmental impact and economic development opportunities.
"Investing in infrastructure is key if we are going to grow this economy, enable commerce and make sure industries like trucking remain strong," said Pat McCrory. "In Charlotte, I brought leaders from all sectors together to create a responsible plan that's working. We need new leadership and vision in the Governor's Office to do the same for North Carolina."