The N.C. Department of Transportation is taking the next step to implement the Strategic Mobility Formula, a project prioritization process established last year by the Strategic Transportation Investments law. NCDOT today released data for 3,100 projects, based on criteria contained in the new formula.
The data includes the original list of highway projects released in March and adds:
500 new highway projects; and
1,300 multi-modal projects.
“The initial data show the formula is doing exactly what it was designed to do – allowing us to build more projects across the state, which will ultimately create more jobs in North Carolina,” NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said. “These projects will help address critical local transportation needs while better connecting small towns to key economic centers.”
Based on current funding levels, the data show work on at least 370 projects could be scheduled during the next decade. That is more than double the number of projects the department would expect to program under the old formula during the same 10-year period.
The majority of those projects would occur at the local level. The data show – pending local input – that NCDOT could schedule work on as many as 280 division and regional level projects over the next 10 years to address their greatest needs.
The data also show 91 highway and aviation projects on the statewide level could be scheduled over the next 10 years to address issues such as congestion. These projects will make it easier for people to access job centers, education centers and healthcare centers while helping businesses more efficiently transport products through bigger cities to other parts of the state.
NCDOT will also continue moving forward with an additional 108 major transition projects not subject to STI, because they were scheduled for construction before July 1, 2015.
Sixty percent of available funding is directed to projects at the regional and division levels. The remaining 40 percent goes to projects addressing statewide needs. The new formula is data-driven to increase transparency and minimize subjectivity in the project selection process.
June 2 begins a 90-day period during which NCDOT will receive public feedback on the newly released project data.
During this time, local input points will also be assigned for regional and division projects by the following groups:
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs);
Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs); and
Division engineers in each of the state’s 14 transportation divisions.
Division engineers, MPOs and RPOs have established clear methodologies for collecting public input and determining how they are going to assign local input points as required by law.
NCDOT will combine the scores calculated by MPO/RPO members and division engineers to generate the total number of local input points for regional and division level projects.
Once all final project scores and rankings are established, the department will schedule the projects with the highest overall scores. Other required project scheduling considerations such as the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending caps, and federal and state funding restrictions will affect the specific time assigned to a project.
NCDOT will use the final project rankings generated by the new formula to create the next State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The department will circulate a draft of the STIP for public comment beginning in December 2014. It will be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2015.
The process continues to highlight NCDOT’s need to find additional funding sources to meet our state’s growing transportation needs. The total estimated cost to complete all projects submitted in the database is $70 billion.
More information on the Strategic Transportation Investments law and how it works is available online at www.ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments.