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People will have the opportunity to provide input on what transportation projects they would like to see built in the next State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for years 2023 through 2032.

The public comment period will run from Jan. 27 through Feb. 28 when people can send their comments online via the N.C. Department of Transportation’s STIP page.

Alternatively, people within Division 6, which covers Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties, are welcome to drop into the office of Darius Sturdivant, the division planning engineer, at 558 Gillespie St. in Fayetteville, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 12-14 to ask questions and provide feedback. His number is 910-364-0600, and his email is ddsturdivant@ncdot.gov.

Projects can be as large-scale as an interstate improvement or as small as a new turn lane or intersection improvement. Projects can be for any mode of transportation, including highway, aviation, bicycle & pedestrian, ferry, public transportation and rail. The comment period is not for maintenance-related projects such as patching potholes and resurfacing. NCDOT uses a different method to prioritize maintenance projects.

The N.C. Board of Transportation adopted the current plan for 2020-2029 last September. The department is beginning planning for the next cycle, which will culminate in 2022 with the adoption of a new STIP plan covering the years 2023 through 2032.

Under the state’s Strategic Transportation Investment law adopted in 2013, the NCDOT uses a formula, local input and data such as crash rates and traffic volumes to prioritize which projects will be included in the 10-year plan. The goal of the plan is to build projects across all modes of travel that increase safety, improve mobility and quality of life and promote economic growth in the state.

More opportunities for public input will be announced as a draft of the 10-year plan for 2023-2032 is developed over the next two years.

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