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A revised draft of the state’s next long-range transportation improvements plan is now available for public review.

The State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, is the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s guide that shows how and when transportation projects are expected to be funded over the next 10 years.

There are several projects in Halifax and Northampton counties which are included in the plan which range from highway and rail to airport improvements. 

The department said projects scheduled in the first five years are generally considered to be scheduled for delivery, while those on the latter half of the schedule are subject to be re-evaluated when the next STIP is developed.

NCDOT released an initial draft of the STIP document in late May but has updated the plan to reflect the latest state revenue forecast, since a provision in the state budget adopted in July dedicates a portion of the state’s sales tax revenue to fund transportation projects. 

The STIP is typically updated every two years, however, the draft plan was developed under unique circumstances.

Material and labor cost escalations led local, regional and state transportation planning partners to recommend and the board of transportation to concur with foregoing the usual process for prioritizing projects. 

Instead, they decided the new STIP should be built mostly from projects in the current 2020-29 STIP to the extent that funding allows, while giving planning organizations the opportunity to propose project swaps that meet the needs of their communities.

The draft plan still adheres to the Strategic Transportation Investments law since the projects are derived from the 2020-29 STIP, which was developed using the required data-driven process and input from local officials and the public.

There will be opportunities for the public to comment on the draft in person and online this fall. NCDOT plans to use public input and planning organization requests to produce a revised draft of the STIP and anticipates state transportation officials will adopt the 2024-33 STIP in spring 2023.

More information on the STIP process can be found on the NCDOT STIP webpage

Local projects

Included in the full draft plan are several projects for Halifax and Northampton counties.

In the aviation category there are plans to construct a taxi lane and prepare for additional T-hangars at the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport. That project is slated for 2024 and the estimated cost is $744,000.

Also slated for the airport is a taxi lane and apron which is projected for 2026 at an estimated cost of $715,000.

In the bike and pedestrian category there are plans in 2025 for construction of sidewalks on both sides of Marshall Street to Park Avenue at an estimated cost of $200,000.

For Interstate 95 the following projects are included:

Pavement rehabilitation at Highway 481 from mile marker 154 to 167. No projected start date or estimated cost is included.

Highway 561 at mile marker 160 to 167. No construction timeline or estimated cost is included

In the rail crossing category the following projects are included:

The Carolinian corridor in Enfield. No timeline or cost estimate is given. The same applies to the Carolinian corridor in South Weldon.

The CSX A-Line has been approved for preliminary engineering only. That project includes construction of a new main track between milepost 80.7 and milepost 82.4 including rehabilitation of the Roanoke River bridge. It also includes reconstructing the main track between milepost 82.4 and milepost 84.7 and creating a second main.

Projects in progress include creating CSX congestion mitigation crossovers in Halifax, Wake, Nash and Edgecombe counties.

Currently under construction are long life pavement markings in Halifax and Johnston counties 

In Northampton County right of way acquisition is in progress for Highway 48 in Gaston for upgrade and widening to the Virginia line

Highways 46 and 158 from Roanoke Rapids to Mount Carmel Church Road east of Jackson. The project scope includes widening to multi-lanes with the bypass of Jackson. No funding estimates or construction timelines are included.