The N.C. Department of Transportation's transportation plan – called the State Transportation Improvement Program – identifies the construction funding and scheduling for transportation projects at the state level over a 10-year period. Although federal law requires the plan to be updated every four years, the Department proactively updates it every two years to ensure it accurately reflects the state's current financial situation.

The Strategic Transportation Investments law also mandates ongoing evaluation and improvement to ensure the process continues to be responsive to North Carolina's diverse needs. This is accomplished through what is known as a "prioritization work group," which is primarily comprised of professional engineers and transportation planners.

The data-driven process to update the State Transportation Improvement Program for 2020-2029 – called strategic prioritization – began in summer 2016 when NCDOT and local planning organizations gathered public feedback on projects and later submitted projects to be evaluated – or scored – for the plan.

Latest Information

From July to September 2017, NCDOT’s 14 transportation divisions – as well as local planning organizations across North Carolina – tested and submitted projects to be evaluated

In August 2017, NCDOT divisions held public meetings to gather public feedback on projects to submit for evaluation.

Next Steps

NCDOT will review and score projects that were submitted for evaluation. By the end of March 2018, top-scoring projects at the statewide level will be scheduled based on available funding and other factors. (These factors include the completion of environmental studies and engineering plans, corridor spending caps as well as federal and state funding restrictions.)

Beginning April 2018, NCDOT divisions and local planning organizations will have the opportunity to assign "local input points" that help increase a project's score and demonstrate local priorities. This will first occur for projects at the regional level, followed by projects at the division level. Public feedback is a key component of the assignment of local input points.

Similar to the statewide level, top-scoring projects at the regional and division levels will be scheduled based on available funding and other factors. This information will then be used to create the next STIP for the years 2020-2029.

NCDOT expects to release a draft of the STIP for public comment in January 2019. The final STIP is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation by July 2019.

Development Timeline

Milestone Dates*
Public comment period July 31-Aug. 31, 2017
Projects submitted for evaluation July 5-Sept. 29, 2017
Draft statewide-level project list released End of March 2018
Public comment period April 30-June 1, 2018
Draft regional-level project list released End of August 2018
Public comment period Sept. 17-Oct. 19, 2018
Draft 2020-2029 Statewide
Transportation Improvement
Program released
January 2019
Draft STIP public comment period Spring 2019
2020-2029 STIP approved June-July 2019

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change