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.