RALEIGH - The following are highlights from the past week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, NCDOT Now, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Secretary Tata Travels to D.C. to Discuss Federal Funding Reauthorization
NCDOT and DOTs across the Nation are once again facing a major funding cliff. Secretary Tony Tata returned to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with North Carolina's representatives and urged them to take action.
The current federal transportation funding bill that has already been extended several times is once again set to expire on May 31. Federal funding accounts for about 25 percent of NCDOT's total budget, and 50 percent of our construction program and without it, we would not be able to deliver critical transportation projects across the state.
If the bill is not extended, a minimum of 531 projects and about 13,800 jobs are at stake across the state. Fifty-nine highway projects, ferry, public transportation and passenger rail services, as well as rail safety projects would also be impacted.
NCDOT Announces Sponsorship Agreement for Incident Management Assistance Patrol
NCDOT announced this week it has a new sponsorship agreement for its Incident Management Assistance Patrol program (IMAP), a service that offers free roadway assistance to motorists in need. The agreement is with State Farm and will rename the program the NCDOT State Farm Safety Patrol.
The NCDOT State Farm Safety Patrol covers fixed highway routes during peak travel hours to provide traffic control and safety at incident scenes. The program also assists motorists with towing, jump-starts, flat tire repair and more on all or portions of heavily traveled highways in Raleigh, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Charlotte and Asheville areas. In 2014, IMAP assisted more than 100,000 motorists.
Students Participate in Bike to School Day
May is National Bike Month. Students from schools across the state had the opportunity to experience riding a bike to school, while learning the rules of the road and how to bike safely.
Education about the fun and benefits of cycling starts early. We want to get our students thinking about cycling as a possible alternative to get to school, and their parents thinking about the same for work.
To learn more about national bike month, visit ncdot.gov.
NCDOT Recognized by N.C. Triangle Chapter of Women's Transportation Seminar
NCDOT received the following awards from the N.C. Triangle Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar at their Go Gala on May 14:
The Office of Education Initiatives received the 2015 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. The award is given annually to an organization that exhibits extraordinary efforts or initiatives in facilitating professional opportunities for women and minorities, and contributes significantly to the promotion of diversity, inclusion and multi-cultural awareness;
Karen Reynolds received the Circle of Excellence Award. Reynolds is a project planning engineer with NCDOT's Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch. She is one of 15 charter members of the WTS NC Triangle Chapter; and
Michael P. Reese, P.E. received the Community Activist Award. Reese works in NCDOT's Traffic Engineering branch. He received this award for his "inspiring civic engagement," including numerous charitable efforts.