Skip to main content

NCDOT Releases Construction Project Rankings

From an WRAL.com story tonight: http://www.wral.com/traffic/story/7087906/

NCDOT, ahead of its public meetings on Monday, has released its rankings of state highway projects, both statewide, and by division, for two different categories: highway and non-highway and for highways using three different components: Safety, Mobility, and (Infrastructure) Health, and three tiers: Statewide, Regional, and Subregional. These in turn are broken down into many 'sub-modes' such as pavement rehabilitation, highway construction, etc. At this time all projects are listed even if they are not ultimately going to be paid for by the state and included in the state TIP. The document is available in the link above, and here:
http://www.ncdot.org/performance/reform/documents/

The new rankings are part of a process to remove politics from determining what highway projects are chosen. The highest ranked project according to Mobility is the paving of Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti's driveway (just kidding). Actually, the highest ranked mobility project regionally is: the widening of NC 54 in Durham from I-40 to NC 55. While Statewide its widening I-85 in Davidson County. For Safety the top ranked score Regionally is the upgrading of NC 65 from Germantown to the Virginia state line in Stokes County. Statewide the top safety project is upgrading NC 107 in Jackson County. For Infrastructure Health regionally its replacing a bridge, but not the bridge you're probably thinking of. This is the US 17 Business bridge over the Perquimans River in Perquimans County. Statewide its the widening and modernizing of NC 11 in Duplin and Lenoir County.

Breaking it down by Division, particularly Division 5 which includes Wake and Durham Counties the top regional project is, as stated before, the widening of NC 54. The repaving of I-440 also gets top ranking in the pavement subcategory. The top state highway project is the widening of US 1/64 from 6 to 8 lanes from I-40 to Lake Wheeler Road (while removing the existing concrete layer, apparently another pavement problem has cropped up?). The 'high priority' East End Connector project in Durham is not even listed, yet alone ranked. This may mean it has just been pushed back to after FY 2012 (July 2011) when this system (only listing projects that can be completed within 5 years or by 2016) is supposed to start.

Since the document is long (452 pages) I, for now, concentrated on I-73/74 projects. At the division level most are ranked high, not a similar case for all projects though at the state level. The upgrading of US 74 east of NC 41 to west of Whiteville is given a ranking of 8 in Division 6, however it's No. 200 statewide. In Division 7 and 8 the upgrading of I-73 and I-73/74 to interstate standards is ranked 3rd under infrastructure health in the modernization sub-mode. The Number 1 statewide mobility highway project in Division 7 is to reconstruct the I-74/US 311 interchange with NC 68 in High Point. Number 2 is to build the connector for I-73 between NC 68 and Bryan Blvd. by the airport interchange (3rd statewide). Number 7 is the connector between I-73 and the W-S Beltway (I-74). In Division 8 the number 2 Infrastructure project in the Highway Misc. category is to upgrade signage along I-73 from Ellerbe to Asheboro to interstate standards (this is ranked 3rd at the state level). Upgrading US 220 through Asheboro, scheduled to start this year is ranked number 2 in statewide modernization projects for Division 8, but 218th statewide. Number 3 is the long put-off shoulder widening project from Steeds to Emery. Upgrading US 52 north of Winston-Salem to Interstate standards is ranked No. 2 for Modernization in Division 9. The upgrading of US 74 between Laurinburg and Rockingham is only ranked 139th statewide. The US 74 Rockingham Bypass is 128th.

Comment: Since the document is long, and ranks many projects using different guidelines, then breaking them down into categories, then subcategories, etc., though probably necessary to determine a project rank, it is going to make it more difficult for the general public to understand what a ranking means. Feel free to browse the document on your own and see how your favorite project is ranked and whether you think its number is accurate.

Comments

John said…
The ranking system is very complicated, so much so that even the people I work with don't understand how certain projects were ranked where they were on the list. Is that deliberate so they can "hide" the political influence, or is it necessary? Again, not even my coworkers know; the specific criteria that create the rankings have not been released even to our office.
Fantastic post, project ranking is very important for contractors and your post is very beneficial for readers.

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville.

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What was unknown (at least to…

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …