The planned Mid-Currituck Bridge is on the list. (NCDOT)
Transportation officials have approved a comprehensive list of proposed construction for the next 10 years that for the first time is based on a ranking projects according to their impact on a statewide, regional and local level.
The 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program includes nearly 1,100 projects that highway officials expect to support the creation of nearly 300,000 jobs in the state.
Headline projects on the Outer Banks in the STIP include the replacement for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet and a toll bridge between Corolla and mainland Currituck County, both of which have been delayed for decades.
Improvements to N.C. 12 between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe are mentioned in the plan as a second phase of the Bonner Bridge replacement, but the specifics were not included.
The STIP has just over $434 million budgeted for construction of the new Bonner Bridge, which is scheduled to start next year.
But that timetable is contingent on when, or if, a settlement of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups against the state is completed.
Also funded in the STIP is $1.49 million to replace the Snow Goose Canal bridge in Southern Shores next year, a $13.3 million major improvement for Colington Road starting in 2018, and $12 million for construction of a new ferry for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route in 2019.
More projects in Dare County include upgrades to a section of Bob Perry Road in Kitty Hawk and replacement of a West Kitty Hawk Road bridge in 2021 and 2022, and a new N.C. 12 bridge over a canal in Hatteras village in 2023.
Besides the Mid-Currituck Bridge, which has $475 million budgeted and a construction start of 2019, widening of South Mills Road between Moyock and South Mills beginning in 2021 is the only other road project funded for Currituck County.
The South Mills Road project mentions a proposed N.C. 168 bypass west of Moyock, which has been in the minds of local and state officials since the 1970s but has never moved beyond appearing on long-term planning maps in Currituck County.
$21.5 million is designated in 2025 for purchase and clearing of land to expand the runway protection area around the Currituck Regional Airport.
The plan is the first developed using the Strategic Mobility Formula, a method for distributing funding for and prioritizing transportation projects. It was created two years ago by the General Assembly.
“This new data-driven formula takes the politics out of transportation and allows us to invest in more projects that will increase safety, reduce congestion and enhance economic competitiveness.” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Tony Tata.
“These projects align with Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for Transportation by connecting small towns and big cities, products to markets and people to jobs, healthcare, education and recreation.”
The Strategic Mobility Formula directs 60 percent of available funding to improvements on the regional and local levels to ensure NCDOT is meeting the varied needs of communities throughout North Carolina.
The remaining 40 percent goes to projects of statewide significance.
While projects on the statewide level are determined based only on data, local input is considered in determining projects at both the regional and division levels to ensure that local transportation priorities are addressed.
Planning organizations across the state submitted projects to NCDOT for evaluation at the local, regional and statewide levels.
The projects were scored by a data-driven process that weighed factors such as safety, congestion and economic competitiveness.
Those at the statewide level that did not score high enough to be funded also had the opportunity to compete on the regional and division levels.
NCDOT updates the state transportation plan every two years, while the STI law also mandates ongoing evaluation and improvement to ensure the process continues to be responsive to the state’s diverse needs.
While the STI law allows NCDOT to make more efficient use of its existing revenue, only 1 in 5 (18 percent) of the 3,100 projects submitted for prioritization in 2014 can be funded over the next 10 years with current revenue resources, according to a NCDOT news release.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s “25-Year Vision” for transportation recognizes the need to pursue alternative funding solutions, such as public-private partnerships and bond strategies that will allow the state to take advantage of current low interest rates.
McCrory has proposed two bonds of approximately $1.4 billion — one each for roads and public infrastructure.
The North Carolina General Assembly has also proposed legislation to help address the department’s need for additional revenue
Author:Kathleen Argiroff Phone: 252-202-8147 Dated: June 5th 2015 Views: 517 About Kathleen: Kathleen relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and three children in 1989 ...
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