- At their meeting today in Raleigh, the N.C. Board of Transportation approved new transportation projects, as well as accelerated schedules for already-planned projects, as part of the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
- the N.C. Department of Transportation's 10-year construction plan. These changes, called amendments, were made possible thanks to Governor Pat McCrory's 2015 budget.
"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."
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 have been added, and multiple other projects moved up in schedule. 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. A list of these ferry and aviation projects can be found here.
As part of this approval, the schedule for construction of the Mid-Currituck Bridge over the Currituck Sound has been accelerated from Fiscal Year 2019 to FY 17.
At their November meeting, the board approved $5.7 million for the advance purchase of property at the planned eastern end of the Mid-Currituck Bridge, located south of the northern end of N.C. 12. The purchase was finalized in late December. Purchasing the property in advance allows NCDOT to save taxpayer dollars by purchasing the land at a lower price than it potentially could have cost, had the property had been developed before construction of the bridge.
In addition to the Mid-Currituck Bridge, the following are a sample of projects added or moved up in Division One:
- 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 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.
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.