Transportation agenda fares well for contractors in NC General Assembly

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In a  legislative year where funding resources were extremely scarce and subject to  heavy competition and political posturing prior to the November elections, the Carolinas AGC had a very successful year in support of its transportation agenda,  including: The  cap on the gas tax that was finally enacted was limited to a reduction of one  cent per gallon and with duration of one year. Proposals had been suggested for  up to five cents per gallon reduction on a permanent basis. This reduction will  have a minimal impact on the NC Department of Transportation’s program  delivery.

  • Legislation  was enacted at CAGC’s request that provides that submittals made by teams  proposing on NCDOT Design/Build projects are exempted from the public records  act until after the award decision is made by NCDOT.
  • The  project prioritization process developed by NCDOT, with industry support, was  codified in the General Statues. This action should minimize the role that  politics can play in determining what projects are included in their program.  This also will allow a more transparent process for the legislature and the  public to review how projects are included in the program. The legislation  should result in a more stable and dependable letting process over several  years, improve the project delivery rate and hopefully instill confidence in  the NCDOT program when future funding decisions are being made by the General  Assembly.
  • The  requirements for a project to be eligible for inclusion in and funding from the  Mobility Fund was spelled out and codified in the statues. This should also  help the transparency of NCDOT processes.
  • Legislation  was enacted granting authority for the Secretary of Transportation to award  projects. This had been a policy but is now in the statues. This streamlines  the timeframe between bid openings and advising the successful bidder they are  awarded the project.
  • An  ethics policy was enacted that will cover the NC Board of Transportation and  will require full disclosure of any potential conflicts of interests. In  addition, both the Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations that have  input into the NCDOT Transportation Improvement Process TIP process are now  subject to the State Ethics Act.
  • Legislative  authority was granted for NCDOT to continue to pursue the I-77 HOT lane project  north of Charlotte with a public/private partnership concept.
  • NCDOT’s  goal for outsourcing of preliminary engineering work was increased from 50% to  60%.
  • Proposed  legislation was defeated which would have restricted/and or prevented NCDOT  from continuing to study and evaluate the potential tolling of I-95 throughout  North Carolina in order to expand, rehabilitate and increase the safety on the  facility throughout North Carolina.  Read More.

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