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NCDOT Division 6 Sees 17 New Highway Projects

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today unveiled its draft 10-year transportation plan for 2020-2029 at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh.

The plan, called the Draft 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes 17 new highway projects in Division 6. The division covers Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties.

The department’s 10-year plan is updated every two years. Projects scheduled in the first five years are considered committed and are not re-evaluated, but projects in the final five years of each 10-year plan are reprioritized for consideration in the next plan. The Board of Transportation is expected to adopt the draft plan this summer.

The 17 new highway projects in Division 6 include:

Widen N.C. 20 between Covington Farm Road and I-95 in Robeson County; with construction to start in 2029;
Widen N.C. 55 in Harnett County between N.C. 27 in Coats and Old Stage Road, with right of way in 2028 and construction to begin after 2029;
In Fayetteville, add raised medians and other safety improvements to Robeson Street between Raeford Road and Blount Street, with construction beginning in 2029; and
Upgrade U.S. 74 to interstate standards between N.C. 41 in Robeson County and U.S. 76 in Columbus County, with construction to begin in 2029.

Two projects are being accelerated in the plan:

Widen I-95 to eight lanes between exit 22 in Robeson County and exit 40 in Cumberland County. The start of construction is being moved up by three years to 2026.
Widen the All-American Freeway in Cumberland County between Owen Drive and Santa Fe Drive. Construction has been accelerated by two years to start in 2025.

Projects with schedule adjustments include:

Widen N.C. 87 in Bladen and Columbus counties between N.C. 11 and U.S. 74/76. To assist with balancing funding, construction has been delayed by two years to 2029.

“This is great news that we’re able to accelerate by three years the widening of I-95 in Robeson County north of exit 22,” said Grady Hunt, an N.C. Board of Transportation member for Division 6. “I-95 is a vital corridor on the East Coast and heavily congested. We need this project.”

The draft STIP includes projects across all transportation modes and in all 100 counties in the state. The list includes 1,266 highway projects; 86 aviation; 235 bicycle and pedestrian; six ferry; 23 public transit; and 47 rail projects selected on statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were prioritized based on technical data as well as input from local officials and residents.

The draft plan includes about 500 changes in major highway projects from the current STIP. Half of the changes include new road projects. Also, there were about 200 projects where a schedule was changed for planning or budgeting needs, and 10 projects whose schedules were accelerated.

Another 24 projects on the current STIP didn’t score high enough this time to remain in the new draft plan. A statewide list of these major highway changes can be found on the NCDOT STIP web page.

Projects that did not score high enough in the evaluation process to be funded at the statewide level rolled over to the regional level for consideration. Projects that were not funded at the regional level could still be considered at the division level. This cascading aspect of the process helps ensure that local input plays an important role in prioritizing projects for funding. More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available on the NCDOT website.

Division 6 will host an in-house week-long public comment opportunity in February or March during normal business hours. It will be a chance for people to review maps and handouts about projects, ask questions of local staff and submit comments. There will also be an opportunity for residents to submit comments online, with those details to be announced later.

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