News Releases

4/14/2014: Top Honors Given Out in NCDOT’s Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition

Top Honors Given Out in NCDOT’s Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition

Posted 4/14/2014 2:50:34 PM

           Middle and High School Finalists Held in Suspense as Engineer Hopefuls Compete Head-to-Head Raleigh – A Mill Springs middle school bridge design team and a Wake Forest high school team took home first place in Friday’s final round of the 15th Annual NCDOT Model Bridge Building Competition.  In addition to the gold medal bragging rights, Polk County Middle School and The Franklin Academy High School were also given a $500 award to take back to their schools. Contestants were judged on oral presentations, written reports and design drawings, as well as the structural efficiency of their wooden model bridge. “The goal of this competition,” said coordinator Gail Herring, “is to hone students’ math and science skills and hopefully encourage them to choose the transportation industry as a career.  When more teachers realize our competition fulfills the ‘STEM’ work-based learning experiences,” said Herring, “A light bulb may go off and they may start their own bridge building club in their school.” In addition to emphasizing the development of math and science skills, the competition also provides an opportunity to use problem-solving strategies and critical thinking, enhance communication skills and apply research and presentation skills. Final Standings are as follows: High School: First Place:                    The Franklin Academy High School, Wake Forest Second Place:                North Moore High School, Robbins Third Place:                   Camden County High School, Camden Fourth Place:                 Polk County High School, Columbus Most Unique Design:       Camden County High School, Camden Best Presentation:          North Moore High School, Robbins Middle School: First Place:                    Polk County Middle School, Mill Springs Second Place:                Exploris Middle School, Raleigh Third Place:                   Highfalls Elementary School, Bennett Fourth Place:                 West Craven Middle School, New Bern Most Unique Design:       Highfalls Elementary School, Bennett Best Presentation:          West Craven Middle School, New Bern All of the teams won first place in their respective regional competition in March. The competition was held at the North Carolina Department of Transportation Auditorium in Raleigh and was sponsored by the Carolinas Associated General Contractors.                                                                 
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4/11/2014: NCDOT Announces Public-Private Partnership Project to Improve I-77 Traffic Flow in Charlotte Area

NCDOT Announces Public-Private Partnership Project to Improve I-77 Traffic Flow in Charlotte Area

Posted 4/11/2014 11:30:40 AM

Raleigh – The N.C. Department of Transportation announces the apparent successful bidder for its first Public-Private-Partnership (P3) contract to improve the traffic flow along 26 miles of I-77 in the Charlotte area, one of the most congested roadways in the state.   P3 contracts are an innovative way of leveraging new funding sources to lessen the financial impact to the state and help complete projects sooner through investments by a private firm.  Following a required bidding process, and pending final review, it appears Cintra Infraestructures, S.A. will construct the I-77 project through a joint venture with F.A. Southeast, W.C. English, and the lead design firm of The Louis Berger Group.   Cintra, a world-wide leader in managed lanes projects, estimates the total project cost at $655 million. Cintra will  invest the majority of that in return for toll revenue generated from the managed lanes. NCDOT will contribute $88 million for the project, which is significantly less than the $170 million it had projected.   The agreement is expected to be signed in June, with construction beginning as early as this December. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.   “We are excited to take this significant step forward and address a critical need,” said NCDOT Chief Engineer Mike Holder. “Innovative funding solutions like this one are vital to keep up with growth and infrastructure needed to strengthen the economy despite declining transportation revenue from traditional sources.”   About Managed Lanes   Managed lanes give drivers a choice to pay a toll to avoid waiting in traffic, while helping ease congestion on the free, general-purpose lanes for other drivers.The proposed I-77 project includes converting the current High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which already exist along I-77, and adding capacity to the roadway. The existing HOV lanes and new lanes will be High-Occupancy managed lanes that allow free use for eligible carpoolers (three passengers or greater), buses, and motorcyclists, while allowing other drivers to pay a toll to use those lanes. Tolls will vary to control the number of vehicles in the High-Occupancy lanes and help ensure free-flowing traffic even during morning and evening rush hours. The price would be higher during peak periods when demand is greater, and lower during less congested periods. Drivers can still use free, general-purpose lanes to avoid paying a toll. This project will not remove or add any general-purpose lanes. A number of other states including Virginia, Florida, Texas, Colorado and California are already using managed lanes.   Project Details   The project will add capacity to I-77 between Brookshire Freeway (Exit 11) in Charlotte and N.C. 150 (Exit 36) in Iredell County. This portion of the I-77 corridor already experiences significant congestion and projections show a 2-to-3 percent increase in traffic volume is expected every year through 2030.   Improvements will also include a flyover bridge to provide the managed lanes direct access from I-77 to I-277, and the widening of southbound I-77 lanes in some areas. The added lanes will increase capacity through the corridor, improve travel time reliability, improve air quality and better manage traffic flow along I-77.   Cintra has more than four decades of experience as a private developer of transportation projects around the world. Its current projects include locations in Texas, Indiana and Illinois, as well as in Canada, Spain, The United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland and Australia.   *** NCDOT ****
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4/10/2014: Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry To Adopt Modified Spring Schedule April 15

Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry To Adopt Modified Spring Schedule April 15

Posted 4/10/2014 10:47:26 AM

(HATTERAS) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division will be switching to a modified spring schedule on its Hatteras-Ocracoke route Tuesday, April 15, adding four scheduled daily departures from both sides while adding unscheduled shuttle service to alleviate backups when they occur. Dredging operations on the original ferry route continue in Hatteras Inlet, so the ferry will still be operating on the longer "alternate" route that takes approximately 55 minutes each way. However, the added trips are expected to greatly reduce congestion as visitors return to the Outer Banks for the 2014 season. "Our harsh winter weather significantly slowed dredging operations on both the State and Federal sides of the Inlet," said Ferry Director Ed Goodwin. "But these added trips, along with shuttles to help with backups during peak periods, will help us provide a significantly higher level of service until the short route reopens and we return to our summer schedule in May." The new schedule, effective Tuesday, April 15, is as follows: Departing Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, noon, 1 p.m., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and midnight. Departing Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 p.m., 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 12:30 a.m. The new schedule can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf. The Hatteras-Ocracoke route is the busiest of the North Carolina Ferry System's seven regular routes, carrying about 750,000 passengers each year.   ###
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4/7/2014: Ed Goodwin Named NCDOT Ferry Director

Ed Goodwin Named NCDOT Ferry Director

Posted 4/7/2014 1:51:12 PM

RALEIGH - The North Carolina Department of Transportation today named Ed Goodwin to lead the North Carolina Ferry Division as its new Director. Goodwin has a long history of leadership in both civilian and military positions that will be vital as the division redoubles its efforts to develop new strategies, operate more efficiently and better serve customers. Goodwin will be based at NCDOT's State Shipyard in Manns Harbor and will begin his new role April 7. Goodwin most recently served as the Eastern Regional Director in the Office of the Governor. Previously, he served as the Chairman of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners and had a 21-year career as a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS). "The Ferry Division is fortunate to have Ed Goodwin as its new Director", said NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson "He brings the type of visionary leadership experience that will help guide the Ferry System into the future and secure its place as a safe, reliable and efficient transportation link for Eastern North Carolina and an exceptional experience for the region's visitors." Former Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas will remain with the Ferry Division as a Deputy Ferry Director based out of Morehead City, while Deputy Ferry Director Jed Dixon will remain in his role based in Manns Harbor. Both will continue to play critical leadership roles in the day-to-day operation of the Ferry System. The North Carolina Ferry System is the second-largest state-run ferry system in the United States. It serves two million passengers annually on seven regular routes and 22 ferries across Eastern North Carolina, from Southport to Knotts Island. ***NCDOT*** 
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4/3/2014: NCDOT Recognizes Best Roadside Flower Beds of 2013 at Annual Wildflower Awards

NCDOT Recognizes Best Roadside Flower Beds of 2013 at Annual Wildflower Awards

Posted 4/3/2014 1:57:18 PM

RALEIGH —The beautiful wildflower beds dotting North Carolina’s highways took center stage today at the Annual Wildflower Awards ceremony in Raleigh. The awards were given to N.C. Department of Transportation staff who cultivated the best-looking flowers of 2013, as voted on by a panel of judges. They also recognize the efforts of all NCDOT crews who help carry out the Wildflower Program and work to enhance the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state’s highways.      The awards were presented by Secretary Tony Tata, State Roadside Environmental Unit Engineer Don G. Lee and Garden Club of North Carolina Roadside Development Committee Chair Pat Cashwell at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting. The awards are sponsored by The Garden Club of North Carolina Inc.   A photo gallery of the award-winning flower beds can be found on NCDOT’s Flickr page.   The 2013 award winners are:   ·         Best Overall Division Wildflower Program: First Place – Division 7, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties; Second Place – Division 12, which includes Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties.   ·         William D. Johnson Daylily Award: First Place – Division 13 – West I-26 at Mars Hill in Madison County; Second Place – Division 4 – I-95 at N.C. Welcome Center in Northampton County.   ·         Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Eastern Region: First Place – Division 4 – U.S. 70 Bypass at Little Creek in Johnston County; Second Place – Division 1 – N.C. 11 at Pecan Grove in Hertford County.   ·         Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Central Region: First Place – Division 8 – U.S. 220 North of Candor in Montgomery County; Second Place – Division 9 – I-85 median in Davidson County.   ·          Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region: First Place – Division 14 – N.C. 107 at Cullowhee in Jackson County; Second Place – Division 13 – I-40 at Exit 66 in Buncombe County.     The NCDOT Wildflower Program began in 1985 and is coordinated by the department’s Roadside Environmental Unit, which installs and maintains 1,500 acres of wildflowers along North Carolina’s highways. The program is primarily funded through the sale of personalized license plates.    ***NCDOT***
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