Town of Fletcher, North Carolina

How Transportation Projects (NCDOT) are Funded

North Carolina Dept of Transportation Construction Projects

and how they are prioritized in Henderson County.

(Updated: Nov 16, 2019)

(Note: this abbreviated summarization was prepared by Fletcher Councilman Bob Davy to help explain how road projects get worked specifically in Henderson County.)

 

All of Henderson County is categorized as part of the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (FBRMPO). (The FBRMPO includes the Cities of Asheville and Hendersonville; the Towns of Biltmore Forest, Black Mountain, Canton, Clyde, Flat Rock, Fletcher, Laurel Park, Maggie Valley, Mars Hill, Mills River, Montreat, Waynesville, Weaverville, and Woodfin; and the urbanized areas of Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties.)

Note: virtually all of Transylvania County, large parts of Haywood and Madison Counties and some parts of Buncombe County are categorized as part of the Land of Sky Rural Planning Organization (LOSRPO). Since none of Henderson County is considered as a rural part of the LOSRPO, that organization which has many similarities and some differences with the FBRMPO will not be discussed any further in this document).

The state places all potential transportation projects into one of the following three categories:

 – Statewide Mobility Needs

 — Projects in this category receive 40% of the total state funds available for transportation construction.

— Selection to this category is based 100% on needs as identified by data analysis of projects across the state.

— These projects are prioritized by NCDOT prior to Local Input Rankings.

— Statewide Mobility projects compete across the State (i.e., projects in Henderson County compete with projects in Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, etc.)

– Regional Impact Needs (There are 7 regions made up of 2 adjoining divisions within the state. We are in region G which is comprised of Divisions 13 and 14.)

 — Projects in this category receive 30% of the total state funds available for transportation construction.

— Selections in this category are based 70% on needs as identified by data analysis and 30 % on Local Input.

— This category can also include projects that fell in the Statewide Mobility category but were not funded at the statewide level.

— Amount of funding available to our region (Region G) is based on the percent of the state’s population residing within our region.

— Regional Impact projects compete across the Region.

– Divisional Needs [There are 14 divisions within the state and 2 within our Region (G). Henderson County is part of Division 14 and Buncombe County is part of Division 13.]

— Projects in this category receive 30% of the total state funds available for transportation construction.

— Selections in this category are based 50% on needs as identified by data analysis and 50 % on Local Input.

— This category can also include projects that fell in the Statewide Mobility and Regional Impact categories but were not funded at the statewide level.

— Funding available within this category is based on an equal share for each of the state’s 14 divisions.

— Division Needs projects compete within NCDOT Divisions.

Steps to get specific transportation concerns or recommended road projects submitted to the NC Department of Transportation for potential resolution:

 – Any Henderson County individual or government official can submit their concern/recommendation to the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/bc-tac

– The Henderson County TAC members build a list of local potential projects that are important to the residents of Henderson County.

– The HCTAC provides an abbreviated list of seven of the most important potential projects to the French Broad River Metropolitan Project Organization (FBRMPO) for further analysis and prioritization.

– The HCTAC prioritizes projects that have been identified in plans – especially the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, as well as local plans. (We do amend plans on occasion, but the list the TAC picked most projects from are projects identified in the MPO’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan.)

– The FBRMPO (which covers Madison, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania and Haywood Counties) then compiles a regional prioritized list of the top 25 projects in each category [highway projects, aviation projects, transit projects and bike/pedestrian projects) that will be forwarded to NCDOT. (Based on the population within the MPO Planning area, these 25 projects are made up of 13 from Buncombe County, 7 from Henderson County, 4 from Haywood County, and 1 from Madison County.] NCDOT Division offices also submit projects to NCDOT.

-The FBRMPO will then consider which projects will receive local input points (NCDOT Divisions also assign local input points in the region.) Local Input Points play a major role in determining what projects are funded at the Regional Impact and Division Needs tiers.

– NCDOT calculates scores for each project based on quantitative data criteria developed by a statewide group of MPOs, RPOs, and NCDOT Division Engineers. Part of the score is determined by the initial planning-level cross-section submitted for the road in order to evaluate project costs and projected benefits. These cross-sections are submitted by MPOs, RPOs, or NCDOT Divisions and are considered conceptual (i.e., are still subject to change due to environmental review, more detailed design, and public involvement.)

-NCDOT then adds up local input points and quantitative scores for each project in the Regional Impact and Division Needs tiers and programs the highest scoring projects.

– Coming out of this step in the process, Statewide Mobility Projects as well as Regional Impact or Divisional Needs Projects that are funded will receive their own NCDOT Project ID Numbers that will be used in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

** Note: Once the NCDOT has assigned a NCDOT Project ID Number to a project and entered it into the STIP, anyone can go to: https://connect.ncdot.gov/projects/planning/Pages/State-Transportation-Improvement-Program.aspx to get more details about any specific project.  Simply enter the DOT Project Identification Number into the “Search” field at that web site.

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