SOUTHEAST N.C. — What would you like to see the North Carolina Department of Transportation work on next in your area? That’s the question the state agency is asking residents while preparing for the next State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for years 2023 through 2032.
“With a goal of increasing safety, reducing congestion and promoting economic growth, NCDOT uses data and local input to determine which projects get funded in the 10-year plan based on a specific formula created by the Strategic Transportation Investments law. It allows NCDOT to use its funding more efficiently to enhance North Carolina’s infrastructure while supporting economic growth, job creation and a higher quality of life,” according to an NCDOT press release.
Residents will have a 30-day public input period to submit their ideas, starting Jan. 27 and ending Feb. 28.
“During this 30-day period, the public can send project suggestions in a short, interactive survey found on the 2023-2032 STIP web page. Alternatively, people within Division 3, which covers Brunswick, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, and Sampson counties, are welcome to drop in the office of Caitlin Marks, PE, the division’s planning engineer, at 5501 Barbados Boulevard in Castle Hayne, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 4-6 to ask questions and provide feedback,” according to the release.
So what types of projects can be included in the next STIP? Well, they can range from anything as large as interstate improvements to as little as the installation of a new turn lane — but projects included are not for maintenance issues like fixing potholes.
“NCDOT Division 3 will also collect input from local transportation planning organizations and from its own staff as it puts together its list of potential projects. Project scores and a draft statewide mobility project list are expected to be released by March 2021. There will be another public comment period regarding regional impact projects in Spring 2021, with the same process taking place for division-level projects in Fall 2021, according to the release.
“The 2023-2032 draft STIP will be released in February 2022, with approval by the Board of Transportation in the summer. Projects scheduled in the first six years are considered committed, while projects in the final four years of the draft 10-year plan will be re-evaluated again as part of the next STIP development process. More information on the STIP development process can be found on the NCDOT STIP website.”