Crediting budget reforms made by the recent session of the General Assembly, Gov. Pat McCrory announced on Thursday the acceleration of four major transportation projects, including the final leg of the eastern section of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway, the Asheville Connector, The I-485 and Weddington Road interchange, and the Mid-Currituck bridge.

McCrory noted that budgeting changes will allow the projects to be completed earlier. Lawmakers voted to discontinue a transfer of $216 million annually from the Highway Fund to the General Fund to pay for the State Highway Patrol. Now, that will come from general tax revenues instead of revenues that go to the Highway Fund.

They also increased a number of fees, including driver’s license, registration, and title fees. The budget also set in place a mechanism for automatically adjusting many fees for inflation beginning in 2020.

“The reforms I signed into law will get these roads built sooner,” McCrory said in a statement. “The primary purpose of the reforms was to ensure transportation funds were being spent on transportation projects and not diverted to other state programs.”

Barry Smith (@Barry_Smith) is an associate editor of Carolina Journal.