Open house next week at Division 14 office in Sylva
SYLVA – The public is invited to learn more about and comment on the N.C. Department of Transportation’s draft 10-year transportation plan for 2024-2033, called the State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP.
Over the next several weeks, each of the department’s 14 highway divisions will host week-long open houses during normal business hours. The sessions will serve as opportunities for people to review the funding and proposed schedules for projects in their area, ask questions of local NCDOT staff and submit comments.
The department will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to provide input. Anyone requiring special services should contact their local NCDOT division as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.
People who cannot attend the public comment sessions have the opportunity to submit comments online and participate in an online survey to indicate which projects matter most to them. The department initially unveiled its proposed funding and construction plan in May and has revised the draft document to reflect new sources of revenue.
The STIP is typically updated every two years. This draft plan, however, was developed under unique circumstances. Material and labor cost escalations led local, regional and state transportation planning partners to recommend, and the Board of Transportation to concur, with foregoing the usual process for prioritizing projects. Instead, they decided the new plan should be built from existing projects in the current (2020-29) STIP to the extent that funding allows, while giving planning organizations the opportunity to propose project swaps that meet the needs of their communities.
The draft plan still adheres to the Strategic Transportation Investments law using the required data-driven process and input from local officials and the public.
Projects scheduled in the first five years are generally considered to be committed, while those on the latter half of the schedule are subject to be re-evaluated when the next STIP is developed.
The NCDOT plans to use public input and the requests of planning organizations from around the state to produce a final draft STIP that will state transportation officials will adopt next year. More information on the STIP process can be found on the NCDOT webpage.