Shared by IRPO–Mountain Crews Preparing for Significant Snow

Brine spraying starting today

ASHEVILLE – N.C. Department of Transportation crews across the western mountains have been preparing for a significant winter storm while their counterparts in the High Country have already cleared snow this week. Transportation teams from Murphy to Mount Airy will all be working around the clock to keep interstates, highways and state roads as safe as possible before, during and after this early winter storm. Crews in the elevated mountains — from Madison to Wilkes counties — started clearing various amounts of snow and ice on Tuesday from a separate storm. Crews have been working around the clock to clear and treat those roads before this next major storm. They have spread more than 815 tons of salt and 575 tons of a salt and sand mixture. Maintenance teams in all western mountain counties have been preparing for winter events since October when they filled storage facilities with salt and sand, tested all equipment and inspected the routes they’ll clear this weekend. NCDOT employees are applying a salt brine solution, which will help prevent ice from bonding to roadways, on interstates and primary highways. The spraying vehicles will be traveling at speeds slower than the posted limit in order to properly apply the liquid. As with driving in any winter condition, it’s best to increase following distance behind these large vehicles. Most county maintenance teams are already on 24-hour operations and all others will join day-and-night shifts by this evening. NCDOT operators will work around the clock until all roads are clear. To help support teams in the likely direct path of the storm, NCDOT will be staging equipment and personnel at critical locations across western North Carolina — such as Saluda Grade on I-26, Old Fort Mountain on I-40 and in Surry County on I-77 — in order to keep these locations passable. The scope of this storm — in both precipitation amounts and its longevity — could extend the period of time that NCDOT operators need to clear all of the state-maintained roads impacted by the storm. Safety tips for motorists and details on how NCDOT prepares for winter storms can be found on the NCDOT websites. 

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter.


Shared by IRPO–NC Commerce’s Tier Rankings

NC Tier Designations for Isothermal RPO

McDowell County: 2 

Polk County: 2

Rutherford County: 1

Also, to round out IPDC’s 4 counties:

Cleveland: 1

Source: NC Commerce, 2018.

Adjustment factors were eliminated this year, so these tiers cannot be directly compared to previous year’s. Tier 1 is most distressed.

See press release here for more information.

Shared by IRPO–Reminder: Emissions Inspections to End in 26 N.C. Counties


Note: None of Isothermal RPO’s counties (McDowell, Polk or Rutherford) are required to do emissions inspections, as of December 1, 2018.

RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists that starting Dec. 1 emissions inspections will no longer be required in 26 additional counties.

In the fall, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a reduction in North Carolina counties required to perform yearly vehicle emissions tests. Starting Dec. 1, this will bring to 78 the total number of counties in North Carolina that will no longer require annual vehicle emissions tests. Fifty-two counties have not required vehicle emissions inspections since 2006.

The 26 additional counties that will no longer be required to conduct emissions tests include:

  • Brunswick
  • Burke
  • Caldwell
  • Carteret
  • Catawba
  • Chatham
  • Cleveland
  • Craven
  • Edgecombe
  • Granville
  • Harnett
  • Haywood
  • Henderson
  • Lenoir
  • Moore
  • Nash
  • Orange
  • Pitt
  • Robeson
  • Rutherford
  • Stanly
  • Stokes
  • Surry
  • Wayne
  • Wilkes
  • Wilson

The approval was a result of the passage of Senate Bill 131 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017) by the General Assembly during the 2017 long session. Details of the plan can be found on the NCDEQ website.

By law, a motor vehicle must pass an annual safety inspection before it can be registered in North Carolina or the registration can be renewed. All North Carolina counties will still require the safety inspection.

Also after Dec. 1, emissions inspections will still be required in 22 North Carolina counties. Those include Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Union and Wake counties.

There are three options available to customers who reside in one of the 26 counties no longer requiring emissions inspections and who have failed emissions inspections prior to Dec. 1. Those options include:

A list of counties required to perform yearly emissions inspections, as well as information on emissions and safety inspections, is available on the NCDMV website.

Shared by IRPO–NCDOT Announces New Awards for Multimodal Transportation Projects

Awards highlight the role of multimodal investments in creating vibrant, healthy, connected communities

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to honor North Carolina towns, cities and counties that have completed multimodal transportation projects that spurred economic development, created jobs, improved public health and enhanced communities.

Starting today, the department is seeking entries for the first annual NCDOT Mobi Awards (“Mobility”). The Mobi Awards will showcase the important role that investments in aviation, bike and pedestrian facilities, ferries, public transportation, roadways and rail play in creating healthy, vibrant communities and sparking economic development.

“The goal of the NCDOT Mobi Awards is to raise the profile of multimodal projects and the transformational impact they can have on communities,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Julie White. “These awards will honor the vision and hard work that has gone into developing local projects that have changed the landscape of communities for the better by tapping into multimodal transportation investments.”

Entries should describe a transportation project that was completed within the last five years. Projects must combine two or more of the following modes of transportation: transit, bicycle/pedestrian, rail, aviation, ferry or roadway.

A panel of judges from across the state will select winners. Selections will be based on a project’s success at leveraging private investment, spurring economic development, creating jobs, improving health and benefiting the community.

Top multimodal projects will be awarded in five categories: Urban, Suburban, Rural, Tourism, and Innovation.

Those interested in nominating a project can visit the website to learn more and access the application. Nominations can be made by any North Carolina town, city, county, metropolitan planning organization (MPO) or rural planning organization (RPO), public transportation system or authority, airports authority, or council of government. Submissions are being accepted starting today and end Jan. 22, 2019.

Plans are to announce first place winners in each of the five categories during a luncheon on April 3, 2019. The luncheon will be hosted by the NCDOT and co-hosted by its partners Women Transportation Seminars, the N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education, and NC Go!




Shared by IRPO–Applications Open for NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Helmets awarded to children in need

RALEIGH – To reduce bicycle injuries and deaths, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Division is issuing a call for applicants for its annual Bicycle Helmet Initiative.

The NCDOT uses funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plate to pay for bike helmets that are distributed at bicycle safety events for underprivileged children.

Helmets save lives. While less than half of all children typically wear one while biking, helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by nearly 90 percent.

As part of the initiative, NCDOT distributes helmets to government and non-government agencies conducting bike safety events. Examples of partners include police and fire departments, parks and recreation departments, health departments, community centers, churches and non-governmental organizations.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2018. Applicants have the option of requesting 25, 50, 75 or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive them by April 30, 2019. Applicants are encouraged to partner with groups in the community to extend the outreach of bicycle safety awareness.

Residents dedicated to bicycle safety in North Carolina have supported this initiative since it was started in 2007. Since then, thousands of bicycle helmets have been distributed to children.

For more information and to download the application, visit the NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative webpage.



Shared by IRPO–Comments Sought on 80-year-old Bridge

Proposal to replace Bridge on N.C. 9

MILLS RIVER – Plans are coming together to replace an 80-year-old bridge on N.C. 9 over the Green River in Polk County.

The N.C. Department of Transportation invites the public to a Nov. 27 meeting regarding the proposal to replace the bridge. The meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. at Coopers Gap Baptist Church, 730 Cooper Gap Road, in Mill Spring.

The project will widen travel lanes to 12 feet with eight-foot shoulders on both sides of N.C. 9. Traffic will utilize the existing bridge while the new bridge is being built, so no detour is needed.

Although the existing concrete bridge remains safe, it has poor components and is deteriorating. With its narrow lanes, the bridge also no longer meets the demands of traffic. N.C. 9, just north of the bridge, averaged of 3,400 vehicles per day in 2017.

NCDOT officials invite the public to the meeting to review and comment on the proposed replacement. Maps and other information can be found on the NCDOT public meetings website. Comments may be submitted at the meeting, or over the phone, via mail or email until Dec. 11.

For more information, contact Structures Unit Program Manager David Stutts at 919-707-6442 or or David Stutts, 1581 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Tony Gallagher via email at or by phone at 919-707-6069 as early as possible, so that arrangements can be made.

Persons who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.