Development follows transportation. The importance of mobility and access to our daily lives is so fundamental we can be forgiven for not thinking about it very much. We all know the frustration of sitting in traffic because of congestion. For those us who can’t drive a car, getting from point A to point B can make a huge difference in our quality of life.
North Carolina is projected to add another 2.4 million people by 2040 to the 10.5 million who already live here and most of the growth will be in our metropolitan areas, especially Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte.
Unfortunately the demand for roads, airports, transit, railroads, and bike and pedestrian facilities and the maintenance of all of these far exceeds the revenue to pay for them. Roads, streets, freeways, bridges and annual maintenance comprise about 76% of all transportation funding in North Carolina; 24% is left for all other forms of transportation.
The N.C. Department of Transportation’s transportation plan – called the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) – identifies the construction funding and schedule for projects over a 10-year period. NCDOT updates the STIP approximately every two years.
The Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law mandates ongoing evaluation and improvement to ensure the process responds to North Carolina’s diverse needs. This is accomplished by a Prioritization Workgroup consisting of NCDOT, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)/rural planning organizations (RPOs) and other transportation professionals. The data-driven process to update the STIP is called Strategic Prioritization.
The cycle to update the STIP for 2024-2033 began in fall 2019. Due to rising costs for projects funded in the currently adopted 2020-2029 STIP, little to no funding is projected to be available for new projects in the next STIP. Therefore, on Aug. 4, 2021, the Prioritization Workgroup and the N.C. Board of Transportation decided that the current prioritization cycle would be halted and the 2024-2033 STIP would be developed using existing projects from the currently adopted 2020-2029 STIP.
After coordination with partners and public input, the revised Draft STIP will be developed and released. An Open House will be held October 10 – 14 from 8AM – 5P at the NCDOT Division 5 Offices located at 2612 N. Duke Street in Durham.