RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today released data scores for more than 2,100 transportation improvement projects, in the first round of an evaluation process to determine which projects will be funded and scheduled for construction over the next decade.
The evaluation identified 77 high-scoring Statewide Mobility projects (large PDF file) that will be programmed for construction in the forthcoming 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). They include 48 highway projects programmed for $3 billion in funding, 11 rail projects for $270 million and 18 aviation projects for $9 million.
The Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law established a formula for ranking transportation projects in three categories. Statewide Mobility projects receive 40 percent of the state’s available project funds. The remaining 60 percent of funding is divided equally between the other two categories: Regional Impact and Division Needs (local).
Using a data-driven process called Prioritization, NCDOT scored and ranked highway, aviation, bicycle-pedestrian, transit, rail and ferry projects in all three categories, based on approved criteria including safety, congestion and cost-benefit analysis. The final scores for Statewide projects, released today, are based on this data. Only highway, aviation and freight rail projects are eligible for funding in the Statewide category.
Releasing all project scores (very large spreadsheet) together will help NCDOT divisions and local transportation planning organizations decide later this year how to rank projects in the Regional and Division categories. Projects that did not score high enough or were not eligible to be funded in the Statewide category can be considered and potentially funded in either the Regional or the Division category. Regional and Division projects will receive final scores and will be funded based on a combination of data scores and local input.
Projects that were evaluated and scored include new projects; projects that were evaluated in previous Prioritization cycles but not funded; and projects that now are scheduled for right-of-way acquisition or construction in the last five years of the current 2018-2027 STIP. The first five years of projects in the STIP are committed for funding and not subject to being reprioritized.
North Carolinians will be invited to comment on projects and the newly released data scores – online, in writing or in person at public meetings – between April 30 and June 8.
Local planning organizations and NCDOT’s 14 division engineers will use established methodologies for collecting public comment and assigning local input points, as required by the STI law.
NCDOT will combine the local input points assigned by the planning organizations and division engineers with the data scores to generate the total score for each project. Total scores for projects in the Regional category are scheduled to be released in August 2018. A similar process will take place later in fall 2018 for Division category projects.
Once all project scores are finalized, the top-scoring projects will be programmed for construction based on available funding. Other factors may determine whether a project ultimately moves to construction, including the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending limits prescribed by law, and other federal and state funding restrictions.
This information will be used to create the next STIP for the years 2020-2029. NCDOT will release a draft STIP for public comment in January 2019. The final 2020-2029 STIP is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2019.
The STI law, enacted in 2013, established a data-driven process that allows NCDOT to invest transportation dollars more efficiently and effectively to support economic growth and job creation. Visit our web page for more information on how the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law works.