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4/24/2015: This Week at NCDOT - April 24, 2015

This Week at NCDOT - April 24, 2015

Posted 4/24/2015 1:23:53 PM

RALEIGH — The following are highlights from the past week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, NCDOT Now, which can be viewed by clicking here. Piedmont Improvement Program Inspection The Piedmont Improvement Program is enhancing the safety and efficiency of train travel across our state. Earlier this week, representatives from communities between Raleigh and Charlotte got a first-hand look at the improvements currently underway that will help freight and passenger rail service. From their seats in Amtrak’s American View theater inspection car, passengers riding on North Carolina’s Amtrak Piedmont train got a front-seat view of the improvements, including new bridges that will separate tracks from vehicle traffic, parallel or second track, and new passing sidings, which allow freight and passenger trains to pass each other so they can keep on schedule. Projects are scheduled to be complete by 2017. East End Connector Groundbreaking Earlier this week, NCDOT joined the City of Durham and Durham County for an event to officially kick off construction of the East End Connector, a project more than 50 years in the making While traffic in Durham is expected to continue increasing rapidly, there is currently no direct connection between the two major east-west highways in the region. The East End Connector will provide a link between the Durham Freeway and I-85, and will improve traffic flow between other major routes including I-40, the Triangle Expressway and U.S. 1. The highway is expected to be open in 2019. Watch for Me NC Partner Communities This week, NCDOT announced new partner communities for the Watch For Me NC Campaign, which increases awareness of pedestrian and cycling safety in communities around the state. Asheville, Charlotte, Corolla, Davidson, Granville County, Jacksonville, Marion, Murphy and Surf City will join nine communities and four universities already promoting cycling and walking safety awareness. These communities will receive printed materials and media advertisements to help improve public awareness. Partner communities will also participate in specialized police officer enforcement training. For more information on the Watch for me NC campaign, visit watchformenc.org. Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition Winners Regional Model Bridge Building Competition winners from middle and high schools around the state competed for the chance to be named statewide champion earlier this month, all while learning about the science of bridge building. Franklin Academy High School of Wake Forest won first place in the high school category, while Polk County Middle School of Mill Springs took home first place in the middle school category. The purpose of the model bridge building competition is to create a greater awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education and its relationship to careers in transportation. For more information on NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. ***NCDOT***
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4/22/2015: Groundbreaking for East End Connector Project

Groundbreaking for East End Connector Project

Posted 4/22/2015 11:16:34 AM

Raleigh –The weather was perfect for Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the East End Connector project in Durham. Officials from the N.C. Department of Transportation, the City of Durham and Durham County were on hand for the long awaited event. Among the speakers were NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, and Michael Page, the chairman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners. Bell said the project was important to Durham because it provides “improved access” and “opens up more economic developments.” “We have expected, hoped for, planned for, counted on, been disappointed about and recounted a lot on this project for decades. This project is relatively short in length, but is the kind of project Governor McCrory has been talking about – building connections,” Tennyson said. "The East End Connector represents a very valuable connection, urban to rural, people to businesses, people to recreation opportunity, people to medical care and this connection is an example of that.” First introduced back in 1959, the $142 million, 3.9-mile project will provide a direct freeway connection designed to interstate standards between the Durham Freeway and north of the U.S. 70/N.C. 98 intersection.  It will also upgrade U.S. 70 to a freeway between Pleasant Drive and N.C. 98.  The Connector will also provide a freeway link between I-85 and I-40, the Triangle Expressway and U.S. 1 in southern Wake County. The East End Connector is expected to promote economic development in areas along the I-85 corridor toward Virginia by improving access for people and goods between Durham and counties north of the city to major employment and retail centers, including Research Triangle Park, Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Wake County. Another benefit will be alleviating congestion on the Durham Freeway through downtown Durham. It will also help divert traffic off local roads such as U.S. 15/501, which is often used as a connection between I-85 and I-40, as well as Roxboro, Mangum, Gregson and Duke streets. The Connector is expected to be open in 2019. ***NCDOT***
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U-0071
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4/17/2015: Governor McCrory Unveils Historic Connect NC Bond Proposals

Governor McCrory Unveils Historic Connect NC Bond Proposals

Posted 4/17/2015 4:19:48 PM

Raleigh - Governor Pat McCrory unveiled the Connect NC bond proposals that will connect North Carolina cities and towns by building roads, upgrading technology and constructing education facilities.   Joining Governor McCrory at the Connect NC announcement were Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata and Budget Director Lee Roberts. “Today, we are enjoying and benefiting from the investments made by our parents and grandparents,” Governor McCrory said. “Now is the time for us to seize the moment and make the investments that will benefit North Carolinians for generations to come." Under legislation that was filed at the General Assembly Thursday, two bond proposals of approximately $1.5 billion each - one for roads, the other for infrastructure - would go before the voters for approval either in October or November. The proposed transportation bond would distribute funding according to NCDOT’s Strategic Mobility Formula to pay for 27 permit-ready highway projects throughout North Carolina that have completed environmental documents. In addition, the bond would fund the paving of 176 unpaved secondary roads totaling 113 miles. “Transportation is the backbone of our economy, and I thank Governor McCrory for proposing these bonds to help us invest in more projects that will better connect small towns to economic centers and support the continued prosperity of our state,” Secretary Tata said. “The new Strategic Mobility Formula is allowing us to more efficiently invest our transportation dollars, and these bonds will enable us to further extend its benefits.” Because of the state’s fiscal strength and strong balance sheet, no tax increase is needed to fund the bonds and the state’s AAA bond rating would be preserved. “Interest rates are lower than they have ever been previously," Roberts said. "Now is the time to use our balance sheet to our advantage to connect and invest in North Carolina.”
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***NCDOT***
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4/17/2015: Top Honors in NCDOT Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition Finals Announced

Top Honors in NCDOT Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition Finals Announced

Posted 4/17/2015 3:12:27 PM

Raleigh – The winners of this year’s 16th Annual NCDOT Model Bridge Building Competition have been announced.  In the high school category, top honors went to Franklin Academy High School of Wake Forest. In the middle school category, Polk County Middle School came in first.  Both schools won in their respective categories last year as well. The finals were held in the Department of Transportation auditorium in Raleigh. “Our NCDOT Model Bridge building Competition gives students an opportunity to construct and apply mathematical ideas and principles taught in their classroom,” said Gail Herring, program coordinator with NCDOT. Contestants were judged not only on the structural efficiency of their wooden model bridge, but on oral presentations, written reports and design drawings. The object of the competition was to design, construct and test the most structurally efficient model truss bridge.  It is also designed to create a greater awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) education and its relationship to careers provided by NCDOT. Final Standings are as follows: High School: First Place:      Franklin Academy High School of Wake Forest              Second Place: CamTech High School of Camden              Third Place:     North Moore High School of Robbins             Fourth Place:   Polk County High School of Columbus          Middle School: First Place:       Polk County Middle School  of Mill Springs           Second Place:  Beaufort Middle School of Beaufort            Third Place:      Westmoore Elementary School of Seagrove             Fourth Place:    Neal STEM Academy of Engineering & Design of Durham            The teams coming in first place received $500 checks for their school, second place teams will received $400, third place $300 and 4th place $200. ***NCDOT***
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4/15/2015: NCDOT Ferry Division To Hold Open Houses, Ship Tours During Passenger Ferry Visit

NCDOT Ferry Division To Hold Open Houses, Ship Tours During Passenger Ferry Visit

Posted 4/15/2015 2:33:06 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - When the Provincetown III visits the Outer Banks May 4-5, it could be a glimpse into the future of a new type of ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke. During that visit, NCDOT Ferry Division officials are offering members of the public a chance to tour the ship for themselves and provide valuable feedback as they study the idea of passenger service between the two villages. The Provincetown III is a catamaran-style passenger ferry that works in the Caribbean over the winter and between Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts in the summer. The ship will make a stop in North Carolina on its way back north as part of a state feasibility study into passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke. On May 4, the Provincetown III will run several sea trials between Hatteras and Ocracoke, then dock at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal to be available for public tours between 4 and 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the Ferry Division will hold an open house meeting at the adjacent Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum from 5-7 p.m. to allow members of the public to ask questions and make comments about potential passenger ferry service. On May 5, the ship will conduct further sea trials, then dock at Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke. Members of the public will be again be allowed to tour the ship between 4-7 p.m., while the Ferry Division conducts another open house meeting between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke School gymnasium. "This is the public's ferry system, and establishment of passenger ferry service would be a significant change to that system," said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "We hope that people will turn out to take a look at the ship and give us any feedback they have on any aspect of this idea." NCDOT has hired the consulting firm Volkert to conduct a feasibility study on passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as an alternative to the car ferries now running the route. The study is scheduled to be completed by December, 2015.(NCDOT)
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The M/V Provincetown III
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