State Treasurer Dale Folwell is amplifying his criticism of finances at the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

Folwell has already had harsh words for the DOT, which in 2018 began instituting large pay increases for more than 7,000 of its employees.

The raises will also mean a boost in pension payouts when those workers retire.

Folwell says that will add up to $176 million over the next 12 years, much of which will have to come from contributions put in by other state agencies and school systems.

NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott says the pay increases were justified, adding that the treasurer never shared the projected pension costs with his department.

But in a statement released to The News & Observer, Folwell said, “The NCDOT knew exactly what they were doing with taxpayer money during a time when they are broke.”

The DOT has been under fire from the treasurer's office for overspending, compounded by recent natural disasters and losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.

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