UPDATE March 9, 2010
Please see the following update provided by Ed Johnson, CAMPO, in response to No Funding for Tryon Road Bridge, which has some important information not captured in the original post. We want to make sure that you have all the facts and this is vital to making sure we have posted accurate information. Thank you Ed for making sure we have the most complete information that we can about this project.
Your very good report has one factual error. It was NCDOT’s decision not to include subregional tier projects in this first round of prioritizations, not CAMPO’s. This was purportedly due to concerns about data adequacy, but lack of time and resouces probably figured in as well.
NCDOT’s technical evaluation process used for ranking roadway projects (for mobility only) does not consider congestion levels on sub-regional tier roadways. However, safety (severe accident history) and infrastructure health (condition), the other two technical evaluation criteria, are evaluated and scored on sub-regional tier projects.
One other thing we didn’t discuss but I think is pertinent is the fact that Tryon Road serves as a parallel reliever / detour route for I-40, one of the state’s most important highways — yet this factor is not considered in NCDOT’s ranking process if the route is on the subregional tier. Two widening projects on NC 54 between Cary and Chapel Hill, which is on the regional tier, received fairly high rankings.
As to who makes the decision on funding, CAMPO has a total of about $12 million a year of federal funds that already mostly promised to other projects, that could be directed towards this project. Doing so would require a NEPA compliant environmental study. NCDOT’s annual budget is about $3.7 billion per year but about half of that goes to operations and maintenance and the rest is severely restricted in both usage and distribution by state law approved in 1989 and made even more restrictive in 2001.
Thanks again to CAMPO for keeping us accurate and to our readers, your support for the Tryon Road realignment project is greatly appreciated:
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