Late last Friday, the NC Department of Transportation released a new report that represents a major step forward for the department — they are now using a “data-driven approach is being used to score projects across the state” as opposed to its previous scoring system relying on political favor and cronyism for transportation projects.
This scoring system and a common-sense prioritization of transportation projects is one that Civitas and others have been recommending for years.
According to the report:
each project is classified under one of the Department’s three primary goals (Safety, Mobility, Infrastructure Health) and three tiers (Statewide, Regional, and Subregional). Projects classified as Infrastructure Health were further classified by Submode (Interstate Pavement, Modernization, and Highway Miscellaneous).
If you dig deeper into the rankings and pay particular attention to the rankings under “Mobility” (page 57) a distinct conclusion can be drawn — the Charlotte area has been neglected. 8 of the top 10 highest scoring projects are in the Charlotte/I-85 corridor.
The key here will be to see if NCDOT actually sticks to this ranking system and makes decisions based on this or will we see political pressures creep back into the system. I’m guardedly optimistic that road building in the state may have finally turned a corner.