NC DOT

There are mixed reviews over the North Carolina Department of Transportation's new recommendations for bicycle safety.
Daniel Oines / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is getting mixed reviews on its new recommendations for bicycle safety rules.

Cyclists’ groups support a proposal that would require cars to give them more room when passing, but they oppose another that would restrict them to one side of the lane.

Pat McCrory spoke about his 25-year plan for Transportation at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem on Wednesday.
Jeff Tiberii

Governor Pat McCrory wants the state legislature to approve more than $1 billion in bonds as part of his long-term transportation plan. Money from that bond measure would fund road, rail, port and airport projects across the state. He plans to ask the General Assembly to borrow more than one billion dollars in January, to fund parts of 21 projects.

NCDOT

A new, longer ferry route between Hatteras and Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks is now permanent. 

Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Department of Transportation made the announcement Monday. 

Tim Hass of the state Ferry Division says the original shorter route continues to be a problem.

License plates, tag.
NC DOT

A federal judge says he will not dismiss a lawsuit against the North Carolina DMV that accuses the department of discriminating against drivers with disabilities. 

The complaint was filed by the group Disability Rights North Carolina

It says DMV workers are using the state's Medical Evaluation Program to target disabled drivers for further review when they apply for licenses. 

The program allows anyone to request a medical evaluation if he or she believes a driver can not safely operate a motor vehicle. 

A map of the Strategic Transportation Investments proposed projects.
NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has ranked 3,100 proposed transportation projects. They're all vying for a chunk of the $15 billion expected to be allocated in the 2015 Transportation Improvement Program.

NCDOT's Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson said the department prioritized projects that would alleviate serious, ongoing traffic congestion. For that reason, many of the higher ranked projects are in the Triangle and Charlotte areas.

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

North Carolina's Department of Transportation is considering taxing drivers by the mile to help pay for road construction and upgrades. As cars become more efficient, the gas tax is becoming a less effective revenue source.

The department's Funding and Appropriations Strategies committee – or FAST – has been meeting with leaders and researchers across the state to hear concerns about population growth and potential solutions for insufficient infrastructure.

NC State researchers suggested a revenue model using annual odometer checks or GPS technology to tax motorists.

US 64, Wendell
NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is all hands on deck this morning.

More than four hundred trucks have been in action over the last 48 hours pre-treating and clearing roadways of snow from the mountains to the Outer Banks.

The western piedmont got about an inch of snow, and some areas of the Triangle near I-95 have seen 5 inches. Snow accumulations in Easter North Carolina could exceed six inches.

Most schools across the region are closed today.

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Increasingly congested roadways are worrying officials in Raleigh.

The City Council has submitted a "wish list" of road improvement projects to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It includes a proposal to add lanes to I-540 on the north side of the city.

The council doesn't expect the state to fund the project, so it suggested paying for the 108 million-dollar expansion by setting up tolls on the roadway.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin says she knows tolls would not be popular, but she thinks breaking up traffic jams would be.

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

Some eastbound lanes on portions of I-440 near the I-40/440 split will now be shut down at night. 

It's part of 3-year rebuild project that will replace an 11-and-a-half mile stretch of freeway in southern Wake County. Daytime lane closures won't begin until mid December.

The DOT's Cris Mulder says 100,000 vehicles use this part of the highway every day and safety is the biggest concern.

"This is 30-year old concrete and pavement," Mulder says.

Mercedes Alexander Amtrak
Leoneda Inge

The state Department of Transportation says the latest numbers show Amtrak train service between Raleigh and Charlotte is among the fastest growing corridors in the country.

The “Piedmont” and “Carolinian” trains transported about 480,000 riders in the past year.

Amtrak passengers with suitcases, pillows and smart devices started gathering their items as the attendant in the downtown Durham station made this announcement.

NCDOT

State transportation officials are working to permanently fix N.C. Highway 12 in Dare County. NCDOT officials say they are in the process of hiring a contractor to build a permanent bridge that will resist future washouts.  

Currently, a temporary metal bridge links where the roadway was destroyed by Hurricane Irene last year. 

Secretary Tony Tata said in an agency release that the project will be an important step in offering a reliable route to the Outer Banks for businesses, residents and visitors. 

The Bonner Bridge connects Bodie and Hatteras Islands on the Outer Banks
ncdot.org

A federal judge has issued a ruling partially clearing the way for a new span to replace the Bonner Bridge along the Outer Banks

Activists represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center claim building a new bridge parallel to the existing bridge that links Hatteras Island and the mainland would harm coastal wildlife habitats. They want a longer, more costly bridge further out in Pamlico Sound.

Triangle Expressway Map
ncturnpike.org

Commuters south and east of Raleigh can weigh in on the final section of highway 540. 

Ramp meter
David Levinson / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's Department of Transportation says it might put traffic signals on Interstate entrance ramps to help relieve traffic jams in the Triangle. 

The lights known as ramp meters allow one car at a time to enter the freeway in order to ease the merging process during rush hours.  NCDOT engineer Battle Whitley says they could help traffic in areas where it tends to slow down during the morning and evening commutes.

Car loads onto the M/V Stanford White ferry  at the Stumpy Point Ferry Terminal Thursday. DOT workers and contractors successfully tested new ramps at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, which serves as an emergency ferry route after major storms cut road acc
NC DOT

In preparation for peak hurricane season, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has tested out two new ramps along its emergency ferry route. The ramps are located at Stumpy Point, on the mainland, and Rodanthe, on the Outer Banks, a route that would allow access to Hatteras Island if Highway 12 were damaged in a storm.

“We hope not to need these ramps anytime soon,” said NC Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon in a statement. “But if we do, the new ramps will provide the public safer and more reliable access to the emergency route that serves as a lifeline to Hatteras Island after a major storm.”

Gasoline prices at the Carrboro Food Mart gas station in April 2013
Laura Candler

The state Department of Transportation's main source of revenue will drop sharply over the next decade. 

That's according to the DOT's chief financial officer, who recently told the Board of Transportation that more fuel efficient cars are cutting into state revenue from the gas tax.  That source of funding accounts for 70 percent of the department's budget.  The DOT's CFO, Mark Foster, says growth in revenue from the gas tax depends on more drivers using more gas.

A bus participating in the Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) program.
NCDOT

After a year of success in Durham County, the state's first Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) is ready to expand into Wake County. The North Carolina Department of Transportation allows transit buses to travel on the shoulders of designated stretches of roadways to bypass congested traffic, but only when speeds drop below 35 miles per hour.

License plates, tag.
NC DOT

Car, truck and motorcycle owners across the state will notice changes to how they pay vehicle property taxes and registration fees, starting this month.  State transportation officials say the two fees will now be billed and paid at the same time

Steve Abbot, who works for the North Carolina DOT, says the new system is in effect today for vehicle owners who go online.

One of NC DOT's electric vehicle charging stations.
NCDOT

The North Carolina DOT says it had to remove four electric vehicle charging stations from rest areas due to conflicting state and federal laws. 

Transportation officials collected the stations before a state law took effect in March.  The law directed the DOT to find a way to charge drivers for using the stations.  But a federal law says states can only collect money from rest areas if it comes from vending machines. 

The stations were in place for 14 months and the DOT says 146 vehicles used them during that time. 

A plane lands at Piedmont Triad International Airport.
redlegs21 via Flickr, Creative Commons

Beginning Monday, officials with the State Department of Transportation will accept bids for a highway project in Guilford County. This project is two parts road and one part bridge at and around PTI Airport. The plan is to build a bridge connecting two parcels of land, one which has hundreds of undeveloped acres, the other of which has runways. Officials believe a bridge could not only connect the two but also attract an aerospace company for expansion in the region.

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

The state Department of Transportation is continuing to seek input on the best way to pay for improvements to the I-95 corridor.  NC DOT officials released a study last week saying that among several scenarios, mitigated tolls would provide the best economic benefit. 

Out-of-state residents and businesses would pay more under a mitigated toll system.  It would raise more than five billion dollars per year through 2050 to upgrade I-95.  Improvements include road widening, re-paving and bridge replacements. 

A map of the channel depths shows how sand moved back into the original channel over the course of a month.
NCDOT / Facebook

The state DOT says Hatteras Inlet remains impassible in some areas as ferries prepare to switch to a busier summer schedule. 

A series of storms clogged the channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands this winter, forcing crews to clear a longer detour.  A dredge has been clearing the original route, but officials say a boat bottomed out during a trial run last week.

"It's hard to say what's causing the changes there," says Jed Dixon, deputy director of the NC Ferry Division.

NCDOT secretary Tony Tata
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory wants a new method of funding transportation projects in order to spur economic growth.  He says the way the state has approached transportation projects has not favored areas that need an economic boost.

"We have struggled to keep pace with the needs of our growing areas and to bring jobs to our most economic-challenges areas of this state.  So right now it's time to think differently," McCrory says.

Alligator River bridge repairs
NCDOT

The Alligator River Bridge in Tyrrell and Dare counties is once again open to traffic.  The U.S. Highway 64 swing bridge was reopened to traffic late Sunday evening after being closed for the better part of two weeks.  The Alligator River bridge is a major connection between the Outer Banks and mainland North Carolina. 

flowers,
NC DOT

When it comes to deciding on the best roadside blooms, North Carolina has a lot of options to choose from. Each year, the N.C. Department Of Transportation Wildflower Awards are given to the most eye-popping flower beds across the state and to the division with the best overall wildflower program. On Wednesday in Raleigh, Governor Pat McCrory and NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata announced the 2012 winners and recognized the contributions of two individuals – former Governor Jim Martin and former First Lady Dottie Martin – for their contribution to the Wildflower Program.

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