After a project is funded, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch, known as PDEA, evaluates proposed projects according to established engineering practices and guidelines set forth by federal and state laws and regulations.
The process includes specialized environmental studies and coordination with environmental regulatory agencies to ensure NCDOT gives appropriate consideration to the people and environmental resources in the area of proposed projects.
Specialists in such fields as noise and air quality, archaeology, architectural history, biology, land-use planning and sociology provide evaluations regarding the impacts of proposed road projects.
The process also involves design and traffic engineering studies, which provide an analysis of highway alternatives to safely, efficiently and economically meet future travel demands.
Public input is an important part of the process. NCDOT informs the public about proposed projects and asks for its input through mailings, news releases and meetings among other methods. NCDOT then evaluates and addresses comments from the public and its partner agencies to determine where and how proposed road projects should be built.