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Perdue promises 2009 work on final outer belt segment

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Mecklenburg County is expected to get less than 5 percent from the first round of stimulus funding for roads. Now Gov. Bev Perdue is responding to criticism over how the money is allocated with a promise to begin work on the final segment I-485 in 2009. Construction isn't even scheduled to begin on the last stretch of I-485 until 2015. But Governor Bev Perdue says she thinks it will happen much sooner. "We have a plan that I can tell you I believe will work or I wouldn't have said it. Separate from this round of federal money and that we will come in that will start 485 sometime during this calendar year. And it's my goal to complete 485 three years after that," says Perdue. The Governor was vague about where she plans to come up with the $210 million to complete the project. Perdue and Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti say they may use future rounds of stimulus money to help pay for connecting the loop. But the Charlotte region is only expected to receive $35 million at the most in the next distribution. Conti says the remaining amount could be paid for with bonds and borrowing from other projects.