|RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today released the state’s draft 2018-2027 transportation plan, known as the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The plan is the department’s funding and construction schedule for transportation projects over the next 10 years.
“This is the second 10-year plan developed under the Strategic Transportation Investments law passed in 2013,” Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Holder said. “The law implemented a new process for prioritizing projects based on both data-driven criteria and local input to ensure we are making the best possible use of our resources, and this plan demonstrates that the process is continuing to help meet our most important transportation needs.”
The document lists more than 1,400 projects across all transportation modes and in every county throughout the state. The plan includes 61 safety projects and 376 interstate maintenance and bridge projects that are prioritized based on data from technical experts. A breakdown of the projects in the draft plan, as well as changes from the previous STIP, are available at NCDOT.gov/STI.
Projects in the draft plan were selected using the Strategic Mobility Formula established by the Strategic Transportation Investments law. Under this law, projects are evaluated and scored based on a combination of data, local input and other factors such as federal and state funding restrictions, corridor spending caps and the completion of environmental studies and engineering plans.
The Strategic Mobility Formula funds projects in three categories: statewide mobility, regional impact and division needs. Statewide project scores are based entirely on data-driven criteria. Regional project scores are based on 70 percent data and 30 percent local input. Division project scores are based on 50 percent data and 50 percent local input.
Projects that did not score high enough to be funded at the statewide level rolled over to the regional level to be considered for funding. Projects that did not make the list for regional-level funding could still be considered at the division level. This cascading aspect of the process helps ensure that local input plays an important role in prioritizing projects for funding.
The department will hold a public comment period this spring to seek input on the draft plan. The Board of Transportation is expected to approve the final 2018-2027 STIP in June.
The department’s 10-year plan is updated every two years using this process. Projects scheduled into the first five years of the plan are considered committed and will not be reevaluated, but projects in the final five years of each 10-year plan will be prioritized again for inclusion in the next plan.