Special to Iredell Free News
People will have a chance to provide input on what transportation projects they would like to see included in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 10-Year Transportation Plan for 2023-2032.
With a goal of increasing safety, reducing congestion and promoting economic growth, NCDOT uses data and local input to determine which projects get funded in the 10-year plan based on a specific formula created by the Strategic Transportation Investments law. It allows NCDOT to use its funding more efficiently to enhance North Carolina’s infrastructure, while supporting economic growth, job creation and a higher quality of life.
A statewide 30-day public comment period to submit project ideas will be held from January 27 through February 28. During this 30-day period, the public can send project suggestions in a short, interactive survey found on the 2023-2032 STIP web page.
During the 30-day period there will be open housesheld at all the NCDOT highway division offices. People can visit an open house and provide input or speak to NCDOT staff about potential projects in a particular highway division.
Residents who can’t attend the open house can still be part of the process by contacting staff in their highway division office during the 30-day comment period. For contact information, please visit the NCDOT’s website at: https://apps.ncdot.gov/dot/directory/authenticated/ToC.aspx.
Projects can be as large-scale as an interstate improvement or as small as a new turn lane or intersection improvement. Projects can be for any mode of transportation, including Highway, Aviation, Bicycle & Pedestrian, Ferry, Public Transportation and Rail.
Please note that the comment period is not for maintenance-related projects such as patching potholes, resurfacing or ditches. NCDOT uses a different method to prioritize maintenance projects.
NCDOT highway division staff will also collect input from local transportation planning organizations and from its own staff as it puts together its list of potential projects. Project scores and a draft statewide mobility project list are expected to be released by March 2021. There will be another public comment period regarding regional impact projects in Spring 2021, with the same process taking place for division-level projects in Fall 2021.
The 2023-2032 draft STIP will be released in February 2022, with approval by the Board of Transportation in the summer. Projects scheduled in the first six years are considered committed, while projects in the final four years of the draft 10-year plan will be re-evaluated again as part of the next STIP development process. More information on the STIP development process can be found on the NCDOT STIP website.