RALEIGH - At their meeting this month in Raleigh, the N.C. Board of Transportation was presented with an updated list of new and rescheduled projects for their review. These changes, called amendments, were made possible thanks to Governor Pat McCrory's recently signed 2015 budget and will be voted on for approval in January as part of the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) -the N.C. Department of Transportation's 10-year construction plan.
The state budget included additional funding for transportation through the elimination of the transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund and through other fee and rate changes resulting in an additional $1.6 billion over the next 10 years for transportation construction.
For NCDOT's Division One, which includes Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties, several new projects will be added, and multiple other projects will be moved up in schedule upon approval in January. These include nine new and accelerated highway projects; 16 new and accelerated aviation projects such as land purchases, runway and taxiway construction; and two ferry projects including a new River-Class ferry, as well as a new tug.
"The reforms I signed into law will get these roads built sooner," Governor McCrory said. "The primary purpose of the reforms was to ensure transportation funds were being spent on transportation projects and not diverted to other state programs."
In addition to the recently announced acceleration of construction for the Mid-Currituck Bridge
over the Currituck Sound from Fiscal Year 2019 to FY 2017, the following are a sample of projects that will be added or moved up in Division One pending approval in January:
- Widen U.S. 158 in Dare County from U.S. 64 and N.C. 12, north to the Wright Memorial Bridge. Right of way scheduled for FY 25 with construction unfunded. This project will be subject to reprioritization in the next STIP; however, the funding allows for the planning process to begin;
- Improve the intersection of N.C. 12 and U.S. 158 in Dare County. Right of way scheduled for FY 24 with construction unfunded. This project will be subject to reprioritization in the next STIP; however, the funding allows for the planning process to begin;
- Modernize U.S. 258 in Northampton County from the Halifax County Line to the Rich Square Town Limits. Construction scheduled for FY 20; and
- Widen and resurface New Hope Road in Perquimans County from Union Hall Road to Woodland Church Road. Construction moved up from FY 19 to FY 18.
"I want to thank Governor McCrory, Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson, Representative Bob Steinburg and Senator Bill Cook for recognizing the importance of advancing these projects and bringing needed transportation improvements to northeastern North Carolina," said Board of Transportation Member Malcolm Fearing. "These projects will not only bring jobs to our community, they will also improve the quality of life for those who call this region home."
The department followed the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law to identify new projects (either segments or entire projects) at the statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were identified from those previously scored based on the same weights and criteria (data) used to develop the 2016-2025 STIP.
In addition to the above-mentioned projects, several bridge projects have also been added or moved up in schedule thanks to additional funding for bridge projects.