The N.C. Department of Transportation
wants to hear from North Carolinians regarding their transportation priorities as part of its efforts to implement the state's new Strategic Transportation Investments law. A public open house will be held today in Plymouth for projects in NCDOT's Division One, which includes Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties.Signed into law by Gov. McCrory last summer, House Bill 817 "Strategic Transportation Investments," overhauls the way North Carolina funds transportation improvements, allowing NCDOT to make more efficient use of its existing revenues to fund more investments that improve the state's transportation infrastructure, create jobs and help boost the economy.To help determine these priorities, each division is asking local residents to provide their thoughts on which transportation improvements are most important during a 30-day public comment period ending Wednesday, Feb. 12. Due to winter weather earlier this year, the public comment period for Division One has been extended to Feb. 20. Projects can be as large-scale as an interstate improvement or as small as a new turn lane or traffic signal, and can be for any mode of transportation, including public transit, bicycle/pedestrian, ferry, aviation and rail.The open house for Division One will be held today from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center, located at 207 Research Station Road in Plymouth. In addition, written comments can be submitted via email to NCDOT Division One Planning Engineer Gretchen Byrum at firstname.lastname@example.org, or regular mail to NCDOT Division One, Attention: STI, 113 Airport Drive, Suite 100, Edenton, N.C. 27932-509. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb. 20.The Strategic Transportation Investments law establishes the Strategic Mobility Formula, which uses a data-driven approach to provide more flexibility in funding transportation improvements on the statewide, regional and division level with the goal of meeting the state's top priorities while still addressing individualized local needs. More information about the Strategic Transportation Investments law and how it works, and the public meetings can be found on the NCDOT website.NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Byrum at email@example.com or (252) 482-1850 as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.