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Lake panel eyes growth figures

The Lake Norman Transportation Advisory Committee approved county-wide population and employment projections for long range planning purposes at Tuesday’s meeting in Lincolnton.
The land use team for the Metrolina Travel Demand Model has been working on the plan for two years. The planning projections will be endorsed by the Transportation Coordinating Committee and TAC. The regional land team projections from 2000 to 2030 include Cleveland County, Iredell, Lincoln and Gaston counties.
It is projected that Lincoln County’s population will jump from 96,290 people in 2000 to 139,264 people in 2030. Employment will jump from 26,286 in 2000 to 48,159 in 2030.
A highway project needs list was also approved. Some of the needs include widening and improvements on I-40, I-77 and N.C. 115.
The list was broken down by counties.
A highway funding strategy was also presented by Rebecca Yarbrough, regional initiatives program administrator for the Centralina Council of Governments. The regional long range plan team has developed the federal and state highway funding forecasts from 2011 to 2030.
“We know the growth is coming and we need the projects,” Yarbrough said. “The problem is where to get the money from.”
TAC tabled the strategy plan Tuesday, but will discuss it at their next meeting.
In other business:
· Mike Holder with the Department of Transportation said Division 12 spent some time in the mountain regions helping with the aftermath of hurricanes Ivan and Frances.
· TAC set the next meeting date for Nov. 23 by Amy Wadsworth

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