RALEIGH – The
N.C. Department of Transportation today released the initial data for nearly 1,300 highway projects based on
criteria contained in the new Strategic Mobility Formula. These projects are already
in the department’s database and were either scheduled to begin construction
after July 1, 2015 or not scheduled at all. The data does not include newly
submitted highway projects or multi-modal projects, which will be analyzed in
the coming months. Providing this initial data is the first step in the process
to fully implement the new formula established in June 2013 by the Strategic
Transportation Investments Law.
“While the data is just an initial snapshot of how the
Strategic Mobility Formula would benefit our state, the process is achieving
our primary goals of reducing travel time, minimizing congestion, increasing
safety, growing jobs, and enhancing multi-modal connections and freight
movement,” Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. “More importantly, it’s
clear that no matter how we prioritize our investments, we don’t have enough funding
available to meet our state’s growing transportation demands.”
The new formula allows North Carolina to maximize its
existing transportation revenues. It is data-driven to increase transparency and
minimize subjectivity in the project selection process. Local priorities will
be well represented, as 60 percent of the available funding is directed to
projects at the regional
and division levels. The remaining 40
percent goes to projects addressing statewide needs.
The initial data released today does not determine
whether a project will ultimately be programmed or funded. Making it available
allows NCDOT to receive feedback from planning organizations across the state
and shows continued transparency in the process to implement the new law.
In addition to the initial data provided today, the department
will release in May, at the earliest, the data for about 500 new highway
projects submitted by the March 3 deadline by transportation planning
organizations and NCDOT Divisions. During that same timeframe, NCDOT will also
evaluate the non-highway projects, which are analyzed separately but will be
considered along with highway projects for funding.
NCDOT will then receive local input to rank the regional
and division level projects during a 90-day period. Once all final project
scores and rankings are established, the department will program the projects
in order of importance and other required project considerations such as the
completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending caps, and
federal and state funding restrictions.
NCDOT will use the final project rankings generated by
the new formula to create the next State Transportation Improvement Program,
which is set to be adopted by June 2015.
More information on the Strategic Transportation
Investments law and how the new formula works is available online at www.ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments.