US 64 widening project fails to make statewide funding plan

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Four-laning US 64 between Columbia and Manns Harbor and replacing the Lindsay Warren bridge over Alligator River were not among the 77 Statewide projects the North Carolina Department of Transportation approved on April 3 for funding in the 2020-29 decade.

Statewide projects in Division 1 (northeastern counties) that are now set for construction:

  1. Access management improvements to the eastern end of the Wright Memorial Bridge in Dare County

The project is US 158 (Croatan Highway) from the Eastern end of the Wright Memorial Bridge to US 64-NC 12 [at Whalebone Junction], according to Albemarle Rural Planning Organization director Angela Welsh. The primary purpose of the project is  to improve the mobility and function of the corridor and the DRAFT construction date is 2027, she explained.

  1. Freight rail infrastructure improvements over the Roanoke River in Northampton County

North Carolinians will be invited to comment about projects during the public comment period from April 30 through June 8.

NCDOT on April 3 released data scores for more than 2,100 transportation improvement projects, in the first round of an evaluation process to determine which projects will be funded and scheduled for construction over the next decade.

In Tyrrell County those projects were upgrades to NC 94 between Columbia and Fairfield and the much-discussed widening to four lanes of US 64 between Columbia and Manns Harbor. Replacement of the Lindsay Warren bridge, opened in 1962, with a four-lane high-rise structure is also part of the local project. All failed to gain the needed points to move forward as Statewide projects.

The evaluation identified 77 high-scoring Statewide Mobility projects that will be programmed for construction in the forthcoming 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). They include 48 highway projects programmed for $3 billion in funding, 11 rail projects for $270 million and 18 aviation projects for $9 million.

The Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law established a formula for ranking transportation projects in three categories. Statewide Mobility projects receive 40 percent of the state’s available project funds. The remaining 60 percent of funding is divided equally between the other two categories: Regional Impact and Division Needs (local).