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Residents from Wilson and surrounding counties are invited to express their opinions about which regional and local transportation projects should be top priorities in the State Transportation Improvement Program — a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects and schedules them for construction.
The N.C. Department of Transportation combines data and local input to determine which projects will get built, using a formula established in the Strategic Transportation Investments law to focus funding on projects that will reduce congestion, improve safety and promote economic growth.
During a public comment period that runs from June 4 through July 9, the NCDOT will collect feedback from citizens who express their views at public meetings, online, by phone or in writing.
The transportation priority public input meeting for NCDOT Division 4, which includes Wilson, Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash and Wayne counties, is planned from 5-7 p.m. June 12 at the Division 4 office at 509 Ward Blvd. in Wilson.
Citizens are invited to stop in and provide input on how the division plans to rank its project priorities. Officials note that these meetings are not for maintenance projects, such as patching potholes, resurfacing roads or improving ditches.
The NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for anyone with disabilities who wants to participate in the public meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Lauren Putnam at 919-707-6072 or firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible, so that these arrangements can be made.
In addition to public meetings for each district, the DOT is offering other options for citizens to provide input starting Monday, June 4, through the STI website (ncdot.gov/sti). Citizens can send messages to their local division planning engineers or complete a short, interactive survey to identify priority projects.
The online survey features an interactive state map with the proposed projects up for funding. Citizens can review project information and provide feedback on which projects they think are important.
The STI website provides the phone numbers and postal addresses of local division planning engineers, for citizens who want to comment on transportation projects by telephone or mail.
After the comment period ends on July 9, the NCDOT will combine the data scores and local input to produce the total project scores. A draft list of the top-scoring Regional Impact projects is scheduled for release in August. A similar process for local input will take place in the fall for local Division Needs projects.
Once all project scores are finalized, the top-scoring projects will be scheduled for construction based on available funding. Other factors may determine whether a project ultimately moves to construction, including the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending limits prescribed by law, and other federal and state funding restrictions.
This information will be used to create the next STIP for the years 2020-29. The NCDOT will release a draft STIP for public comment in January. The final 2020-29 STIP is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2019.