January 16, 2014

NCDOT invites public recommendations for new transportation projects

NC transportation planners are soliciting suggestions, online and at public meetings, for new transportation improvement projects across the state.

If you think North Carolina’s transportation spending priorities are all wrong, now’s your chance to set them right.

The state Department of Transportation is accepting public comment through Feb. 12 on new proposals for rail, aviation, bicycle-pedestrian, ferry, transit and highway improvement projects.

It’s part of the Strategic Mobility Formula that will be used by DOT and local officials across the state, starting this year, to decide which projects will receive state and federal transportation money. It’s supposed to be a more objective, data-driven and transparent process than in the past.

DOT planners have a big database of projects that are planned or proposed for the coming decades. They’ll be ranked in priority after they are rated for cost-effectiveness and other qualities spelled out in the 2013 law that established the new formula.

Now DOT is looking for new ideas, suggestions for additional large or small projects that might also deserve consideration. North Carolinians are invited to offer their comments online, by mail or at public meetings scheduled in each of DOT’s 14 divisions across the state.

“Somebody could say, ‘I think we need a new road between here and here,’ ” said Joey Hopkins, deputy division engineer for DOT’s Division Five, which includes Durham, Wake and five other counties. “It could be a new sidewalk to fill in a missing link, a bike lane or transit service where we don’t have a bus route yet.”

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