A plan to change the way North Carolina prioritizes road funding could pay dividends along one of Charlotte's busiest roads.
State legislators are expected to approve a new funding formula next week that will govern how the North Carolina Department of Transportation spends road money.
The plan calls for 40 percent of the state's road improvement budget to be spent on addressing the state's worst congestion and most heavily traveled roads.
Thirty percent would go toward addressing road needs that cross regional lines. The remaining 30 percent would be given to local areas to decide how they want to spend it.
The key for Independence Boulevard is that the new formula would allow it to be placed in the group of the state's most pressing road needs.
"We feel this plan will really help accelerate that whole project," said N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho.
Rucho says funding to widen Independence all the way to I-485 could come years ahead of the current plan.
NC Rep. Bill Brawley, who has pushed for the changes, said he expects the Legislature to approve the changes early next week.
The bill, Brawley said, could be on the governor's desk by next Wednesday. Brawley says he expects specifics of the funding formula, and how it will work, to be presented to state leaders by mid-August.