Shared by IRPO–Model Bridge Building Competition Final Results

RALEIGH – Teams from Polk and Moore counties were the statewide winners today in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s annual Model Bridge Building Competition in Raleigh. The contest is designed to give middle and high school students a hands-on opportunity to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills to a real-world scenario. Seven schools took part in the finals, after emerging victorious during regional rounds held in March.

Today’s winners were Highfalls Elementary and Polk Early College. The other notable contenders included students from NCMSEN-Pre College, Polk Middle School, West Craven Middle School, Franklin Academy, and Whiteville High School. “This is always a great day at the DOT,” said NCDOT Human Resources Operation Analyst and event organizer Sterling Johnson. “We’re so thrilled to give students this unique opportunity to display their talents.” 

In today’s finals, each team provided some background regarding their design techniques. That was followed by testing sessions in which each bridge made out of balsa wood had its maximum weight capacity assessed by suspending a bucket through the center of the structure as specific amounts of sand were consistently added to the bucket.

The competition helps create a greater awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies, particularly as they relate to the world of transportation. By honing their critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and presentation abilities, students become more informed about the complex nature of transportation design and strengthen their understanding of STEM education.

Middle and high school students who are interested in competing in next year’s competition are highly encouraged to participate. Learn more details on the competition’s NCDOT website


Shared by IRPO– Transportation Secretary Announces Commission to Create Future Transportation Investment Strategy

  RALEIGH – State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon announced that he has formed a commission to develop recommendations for modernizing North Carolina’s transportation investment strategy.

The commission will research the impact that emerging technologies, shifting behavior patterns and changing demographics will have on North Carolina ’s transportation investment system and then develop new ways to meet the need for critical resources in the future.

The N.C. Future Investment Resources for Sustainable Transportation Commission (NC F1RST Commission) consists of a diverse group of North Carolinians with expertise in the fields of finance, business, and public policy. They will work collaboratively for an estimated 18 months before making recommendations for changes to North Carolina’s current transportation investment strategy.

“The transportation industry is on the cusp of fundamental changes that will forever change our relationship to moving goods and people,” Secretary Trogdon said. “The work the NCF1RST Commission will do will be critical for the economic vitality of North Carolina.”

The commission will hold its first meeting Friday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, in Raleigh.

More information regarding the current members of the NCF1RST Commission, meeting dates and other resources can be found at


Shared by IRPO– State Giving Children in Need Record Number of Lifesaving Bike Helmets

Four organizations from our Region will receive bike helmets! They are highlighted below!

A record number of children, 3,320 total, across the state will be receiving lifesaving bicycle helmets through the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative, part of ongoing efforts to reduce bicycle injuries and deaths in North Carolina.

The NCDOT uses funds from the sale of the “Share the Road” specialty license plate to pay for bike helmets that are distributed at bicycle safety events for underprivileged children by government and non-government agencies. A record 101 organizations applied to participate in the program this year.

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

This year, along with each helmet awarded, recipients will receive a pairof front and rear bike lights to further enhance cyclist safety. Helmets will be delivered by May 1.

The following organizations are receiving helmets:
•    Albemarle Parks & Recreation
•    Alexander County Health Department
•    Allenbrook Elementary
•    Beech Mountain Police Department
•    Benson Police Department
•    Bessemer City Police Department
•    Bethel Police Department
•    Bike Durham
•    Boy Scout Pack 141
•    Boy Scout Troop 416
•    Brevard Police Department
•    Buckland Elementary 
•    Cameron Elementary
•    Carrboro, N.C.
•    Carrie on NC, Inc.
•    Carthage, N.C.
•    Chapel Hill Police Department
•    Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
•    China Grove, N.C.
•    Clay County Sheriff’s Office
•    Currituck County Sheriff’s Office
•    Dare County Department of Health and Human Services
•    Denton Parks and Recreation Board
•    Duke Healthy Lifestyles & Bull City Fit
•    Dunn Police Department
•    Durham Bicycle Cooperative
•    Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission
•    Durham Police Department
•    East Franklin Elementary
•    Forest City Police Department
•    Franklin County Cooperative Extension
•    Fuquay-Varina Police Department
•    Gaston County Parks and Recreation
•    Gastonia Parks and Recreation
•    Glendale Kenly Elementary
•    Goldsboro Parks and Recreation
•    Greater Glenwood Neighborhood Association
•    Guilford County Women, Infant and Children Program
•    Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School
•    Hendersonville Police Department
•    Intentional Love Baptist Church
•    Jackson County Department of Public Health
•    Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
•    Kill Devil Hills Police Department
•    Lansing, N.C.
•    Leland, N.C.
•    Love a Sea Turtle
•    Marbles Kids Museum
•    Marshall, N.C.
•    Mebane on the Move
•    Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation
•    Mills River Farmers Market
•    Mills River, N.C.
•    Mt. Zion Church of Deliverance
•    Murphy Police Department
•    Nashville Parks and Recreation
•    N.C. State Highway Patrol
•    Novant Health – Presbyterian Medical Center
•    Oxford, N.C.
•    Oxford Police Department
•    Partners Aligned Toward Health
•    Pedal Factory Community Bike Center
•    Pine Knoll Shores Police Department
•    Project Enlightenment Foundation
•    Randleman Police Department
•    Ray Childers Elementary
•    Rowan County Sheriff’s Department
•    Rutherfordton Fire Department and Police Department
•    Safe Communities Coalition of Pitt County
•    Safe Kids Burke County
•    Safe Kids Cabarrus
•    Safe Kids Caldwell County – County Health Department
•    Safe Kids Catawba County
•    Safe Kids Charlotte Mecklenburg
•    Safe Kids Chatham County
•    Safe Kids Cleveland County
•    Safe Kids Eastern Carolina
•    Safe Kids Northwest Piedmont
•    Safe Kids Orange County
•    Safe Kids Pitt County
•    Safe Kids Randolph County
•    Safe Kids Surry County
•    Safe Kids Union County
•    Safe Kids Western Carolina
•    Safe Kids Wilkes County
•    Salisbury Parks and Recreation
•    Sampson County Schools
•    Sanford Police Department
•    Selma Tabernacle Church of God
•    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
•    Siler City Elementary
•    Smithfield Police Department
•    Southport, N.C.
•    Spindale Fire Department
•    Surf City Police Department
•    The Happy Tooth Foundation
•    UNC Hospitals Pediatric Trauma Program
•    Vass, N.C.
•    Winston Salem Police Department Bike Patrol
•    WalkBikeNC
•    Womack Army Medical Center
Residents dedicated to bicycle safety in North Carolina have supported this initiative since it began in 2007. Since then, thousands of bicycle helmets have been distributed to children. For more information about the program, visit the NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative webpage


Shared by IRPO– NCDOT Announces 2018 Wildflower Award Winners

The Best Overall Division Wildflower Program award went to Division 13
RALEIGH – The wildflowers blooming along North Carolina’s highways are a beautiful sight for travelers; they’re also award-winning. Each year, N.C. Department of Transportation honors the state’s best-looking wildflower beds.

The Wildflower Awards were presented by N.C. Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Fox and The Garden Club of North Carolina at the monthly Transportation meeting today in Raleigh.

“For many years, the Wildflower Program has been one of the department’s most popular initiatives,” said David Harris, Roadside Environmental Engineer. “It not only makes North Carolina even more beautiful, but the flowers also help sustain the pollinator population which is essential to the success of the state’s agriculture community.”

The Wildflower Awards were given for beds that bloomed in 2018. The winners are:
Best Overall Division Wildflower Program:
•    First Place – Division 13, which includes Rutherford, McDowell, Burke, Mitchell, Yancey, Madison and Buncombe counties
•    Second Place – Division 14, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties
William D. Johnson Daylily Award:
•    First Place – Division 7 – I-40/85 at N.C. 54 in Alamance County (exit 148)
•    Second Place – Division 4 – I-795 at N.C. 222 in Wayne County (exit 14)
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Eastern Region:
•    First Place – Division 2 – U.S. 264 at Mozingo Road in Pitt County (exit 71)
•    Second Place – Division 1 – N.C. 11 at Jack Branch Road in Bertie County Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Central Region:
•    First Place – Division 9 – U.S. 52 at Perch Road in Stokes County (exit 129)
•    Second Place – Division 10 – I-85 at Beatties Ford Road in Mecklenburg County (exit 37)

Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region:
•    First Place – Division 14 – I-40 at U.S. 19/23/74 in Haywood County (exit 27)
•    Second Place – Division 13 – I-26 at mile marker 10 in Madison County
The awards sponsored by The Garden Club of North Carolina, recognize the efforts of NCDOT staff who carry out North Carolina’s wildflower program and enhance the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state’s highways. Awards are given to the best-looking flower beds in each region of the state, as well as the best overall highway division wildflower program.

In 1985, First Lady Dottie Martin, inspired by an article she had read in The Wall Street Journal about Texas’ wildflower program, approached NCDOT about initiating a similar program to beautify the highways of North Carolina. This set the stage for the establishment of the Wildflower Program which is coordinated by the NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit. Today, the program has more than 1,500 acres of flower beds across the state.
A Flickr album with photos of the winners is available here along with a video.