The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Enacted in 2013, the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law revolutionized the approach of the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to optimize funding utilization for bolstering the state’s infrastructure. This legislation not only fosters economic growth and job creation but also aims at elevating the overall quality of life for residents. Emphasizing a holistic viewpoint, STI encourages strategic deliberations at both statewide and regional levels, while flexibly accommodating local exigencies.

One of the hallmark features of STI is the establishment of the Strategic Mobility Formula, a meticulous framework that allocates resources based on empirically-driven assessments coupled with grassroots input. This formula forms the cornerstone of NCDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), delineating a comprehensive 10-year trajectory for funded transportation endeavors.

Central to this process is the NCDOT Prioritization mechanism, which governs the development of the STIP. This process ensures that the resultant plan:

  • Undergoes biennial updates, ensuring relevance and responsiveness to evolving needs.
  • Operates within fiscal constraints, aligning with available funding resources rather than solely reflecting aspirational project wish lists.
  • Adheres to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality, a critical consideration particularly in regions such as Gaston and Lincoln counties designated as nonattainment areas for ozone.
  • Secures approval from both the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the governor, signifying broad consensus and endorsement.
  • Integrates seamlessly into North Carolina’s overarching State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), a federally-mandated blueprint dictating the allocation of construction funds and project scheduling across the state.