RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear from North Carolinians about top-priority transportation projects they think should be submitted to compete with other transportation improvements across the state for funding in the next the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The STIP is NCDOT’s 10-year transportation plan, and it is updated every two years. The N.C. Board of Transportation approved the current STIP, for year 2016 to 2025, in June.
The Strategic Transportation Investments law established the Strategic Mobility Formula, which uses a data-driven approach to funding transportation improvements on the statewide, regional and local (division) levels. This allows NCDOT to meet the state’s top priorities while still addressing individualized local transportation needs.
In the coming weeks, each of the 14 NCDOT transportation divisions will submit its transportation priorities for funding, and is asking area residents for their input on those projects. Residents also can submit proposals for projects, which can be as large-scale as an interstate improvement or as small as a new turn lane or intersection improvement. Proposals can be for any mode of transportation, including public transit, bicycle/pedestrian, ferry, aviation and rail.
Maintenance projects such as patching potholes and resurfacing, however, undergo a separate priority ranking process. They are not a subject of these meetings.
“We encourage area residents to let us know what they think of the projects we are considering for submittal,” said Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn. “While input from the public is important and taken into consideration throughout the nearly two years it takes to update the STIP, now — at the beginning of that process — is when they can have the most impact on determining which projects may receive funding in the future.”
How to provide input
During a 30-day public comment period from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, each transportation division will host an open house to meet with local residents and obtain feedback regarding transportation priorities.
Division 11, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties, hosted an open house on Thursday at the Division 11 office, 801 Statesville Road in North Wilkesboro.
In addition, written comments can be submitted via email to NCDOT Division 11 Senior Planning Engineer Dean Ledbetter at [email protected] or by phone at 336-667-9111. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Local planning organizations across the state also submit a list of projects to be scored. For information about the projects your Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) or Rural Planning Organization (RPO) plans to submit, contact them directly.
More information about STI, the STIP, and the public meetings can be found at NCDOT.gov.
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Jamille Robbins at [email protected] or call 919-707-6085 as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.