Raleigh - State officials want to hear from the public on what local projects should be priorities in the state's next 10-year transportation plan. Data and local input are used to determine which projects get built based on a funding formula championed by Governor Pat McCrory to reduce congestion, increase safety and promote economic growth.
The department's 14 local transportation divisions are accepting input on division-level projects, one of three categories in which projects are funded. The public comment period runs Oct. 24 until Nov. 7. Information about how to comment is available on the webpage.
Public meetings were held in June and July to gather feedback on how the divisions planned to assign local input points for projects to be funded at the division and regional levels. In August, the department released the preliminary scores for projects evaluated at the regional level. The divisions and local planning organizations will use that information along with feedback from the public to determine how to assign local input points to division-level projects.
When all project scores are finalized at the statewide, regional and division levels, the top-scoring projects will be scheduled into a draft of the 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program based on available funding and other factors. Those factors include the completion of environmental studies and engineering plans, corridor spending caps and federal and state funding restrictions.
The draft is scheduled to be released for public comment in January 2017 and adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2017.
The Strategic Transportation Investments Law, signed by Governor McCrory in 2013, established a data-driven funding formula that takes politics out of the planning process. The new formula was used for the first time to develop the 2016-2025 plan, which was approved in June 2015 and resulted in 300 more projects being funded than under the old funding formula. The transportation plan is updated every two years to ensure it accurately reflects the state's current financial situation.