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Strategic Transportation Investment Prioritization Process - 2013-14

Throughout 2013 and 2014, the Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization (TARPO), along with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), will go through a process to identify and prioritize transportation projects for inclusion in the state’s next Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). This process, known as “Prioritization 3.0” is directly tied to the new Strategic Transportation Investments law that passed the General Assembly in 2013.

This website has been established to serve as a resource and repository of information on this project prioritization and funding process within the TARPO region. As information becomes available throughout this process, it will be added to this site to make the information widely available to the public. If you have any questions about the information on this site, please contact Matt Day, TARPO Principal Planner, at or (919)558-9397.

We welcome your comments and feedback on the prioritization of transportation projects. Please feel free to attend any of our meetings, which are all open to the public, or to write/call us. We have a time for public comment at the beginning of each RTCC and RTAC meeting. You may reach TARPO staff by email at or by phone at (919) 558-9397. You may also send written correspondence to: TARPO, Attn. Matt Day, 4307 Emperor Blvd., Suite 110, Durham, NC 27703. Additionally, you can submit comments using our online comment form, found here.

For information on the previous prioritization exercise, conducted in 2011-12, please click here.

Strategic Transportation Investments Law (STI)

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 817, the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law, which represents a fundamental change in the way transportation projects are prioritized and funded in North Carolina. For more information on STI, please visit the NCDOT’s STI website, Additional information about how STI applies to RPOs such as TARPO can be found at

TARPO Project Prioritization Policy

As part of the STI prioritization process, RPOs have an opportunity to assign “local prioritization points” to projects in their regions. In 2012, the General Assembly enacted Session Law 2012-84, which requires RPOs to have a documented data-driven process for assigning these local input points. In December 2012, the TARPO Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) adopted a policy regarding the assignment of points. Because of changes made in the law as part of STI in 2013, the RTAC adopted an amended policy at its December 19, 2013 meeting. A minor clarifying amendment to the policy was adopted on August 14, 2014 prior to the final approval of local point assignments. The previous (2012) policy and the revised (2013) policy, as well as the final (2014) policy are available at the links below:

Adopted 2012 Prioritization Policy for TARPO - no longer in effect

Adopted 2013 Prioritization Policy for TARPO - adopted December 19, 2013, no longer in effect

Amended 2013-14 Prioritization Policy for TARPO - adopted August 14, 2014

Call for Projects from Local Governments & Submittal of New Projects to NCDOT for Scoring

In the summer of 2013, TARPO staff asked its member governments to work together and develop prioritized project lists for each county, including any municipalities within that county. These project lists were to include all modes of transportation (highway, transit, rail, aviation, bicycle, and pedestrian) and were required to be in ranked order, based on local priorities. The project lists submitted by each county are available at the links below (additional lists will be provided as they become available):

Chatham County Project List (click to toggle on/off)

Lee County Project List (click to toggle on/off)

Moore County Project List (click to toggle on/off)

Orange County Project List (click to toggle on/off)

Project List for TARPO Submittal to NCDOT

At its December 19, 2013 meeting, the TARPO RTAC approved the following list of new projects to submit to NCDOT, as well as the following list of projects to request be removed from consideration:

List of NEW Highway Projects to add to SPOT/STI Project List (click to toggle on/off)

List of NEW Bicycle/Pedestrian Projects to add to SPOT/STI Project List (click to toggle on/off)

List of Highway Projects to REMOVE from SPOT/STI Project List (click to toggle on/off)

For a full listing of all projects from the TARPO area that will be considered in SPOT Prioritization 3.0 (as of March 2014), including carry-over projects and projects from transit, rail and aviation agencies, please click here. Please note that some projects will have "county ranks" that are different from those shown previously - this is because some projects that were previously included in the ranked lists were found to be ineligible for STI funding, and the projects that ranked lower were moved up accordingly after these ineligible projects were removed. The "county ranks" do not represent final project rankings - they are only an input to the later RPO scoring process. This most-recent updated list also includes projects that were submitted for scoring through NCDOT divisions and neighboring MPOs/RPOs rather than through TARPO. Please note that this list may change (see section below for final list of scored projects).

TARPO Scoring of Projects for Local Point Assignment

Click on each of the sections below to learn more about the draft project list from May/June 2014, the updated draft project list from July/August 2014, and the final approved project point assignments from August 14, 2014:

Initial Draft List of Project Point Assignments, May/June 2014 (click to toggle on/off)

Updated Draft List of Project Point Assignments, July/August 2014 (click to toggle on/off)

Final Adopted List of Project Point Assignments - August 14, 2014

Click here for a PDF handout listing of the approved point assignments.

For a map containing score information for each project, please click here. By clicking on a project on the map, you can pull up additional information on the proposed project.

Click here for a table showing the final scoring results.

At the August 14, 2014 meeting of the TARPO RTAC, the draft project list shown in the section above was presented for consideration. The draft point assignments proposed by NCDOT Divisions 7 and 8, which had recently been made available, were also presented to the RTAC. Additionally, information was presented on point sharing that had been proposed by the Lumber River RPO. Based on this new information, and in accordance with the provision of the TARPO prioritization policy that allows the RTAC to override the draft point assignments when a compelling reason can be documented, the RTAC approved the following changes to the proposed TARPO point assignments:

In addition to these changes in point assignments by TARPO, the RTAC requested that Division 8 consider shifting the points it had assigned to project H090438 (NC 24-27 improvements in Carthage) in the Division Needs category to project A130467 (easement acquisition and obstruction clearing at Siler City Airport) instead, in order to better match up with the RPO's priorities. Division 8 was also requested to consider shifting the points it had assigned to project H090191 (realignment of NC 211/NC 73 intersection in West End) in the Regional Impact category to some other project on which TARPO planned to assign points, since TARPO did not plan to assign points to H090191 in the Regional Impact category. Following the meeting, Division 8 agreed to shift 100 division needs points to project A130467 (Siler City Airport) and to shift 100 regional impact points to project H090296 (NC 5 turn lane improvements).

NCDOT Development of Draft and Final Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

After all projects were scored and prioritized, NCDOT used the scores as one of the factors in developing its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the document that determines the projects that will be funded over the next 10 years. Other factors that NCDOT considers in developing the STIP include project readiness, federal funding rules, and the availability of funds allocated to certain regions and divisions. NCDOT released a Draft STIP for public comment in December 2014, which can be found below. NCDOT released the final adopted version of the STIP in June 2015, which can also be found below.

Click here for Statewide December 2014 Draft STIP

Click here for TARPO-area-only December 2014 Draft STIP

Click here for TARPO-area-only June 2015 Final STIP

NCDOT carries-out this prioritization process every two years, and we are already gearing up for another cycle of submitting and scoring projects that will take place in 2015 and 2016. More information on the 2015-16 process will be posted at this website as it becomes available.

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