Traffic

Highway projects could be funded based on scores

Posted September 2, 2009
Updated September 3, 2009

— Members of the North Carolina Board of Transportation met Wednesday to hear a proposal about how to prioritize road projects in the governor's effort to remove politics from road-building.

Gov. Bev Perdue issued an executive order on her first day in office in January, giving the state transportation secretary sole authority to approve road construction projects and taking that authority from the board.

Under a proposal presented before the board Wednesday, every project would receive a score based on a defined set of criteria. That score would be made public and contracts would be awarded to projects with the highest scores. Prioritization for highway loop projects would have its own scoring system.

The board has been criticized in recent years by those some who have accused members of voting on projects that could personally benefit them. DOT officials have said that decisions had previously been made without a clear formula and that they were made in secret.

One board member called the proposed change a "good strategic approach," saying there will be "no more back-room deals" to get a project built.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • colliedave Sep 3, 2009

    Under a proposal presented before the board Wednesday, every project would receive a score based on a defined set of criteria.

    and this criteria includes? A restaurant or business owned by a key legislator?

  • cragan Sep 3, 2009

    no it just takes the opposeing team out of the game. Just one side is making choices now

  • Bendal1 Sep 3, 2009

    This is actually very similar to a system I've suggested could be used for projects to get Federal funding, too. Right now the state gets an annual allotment of Federal money for highway construction, divided into specific categories of road projects. When the money runs out for bridge replacement projects for example, no more of those projects can be let in a year. Money can't be shifted from one category to another.

    In a system like this one, the states would "rank" all projects according to specific criteria and send the list to the Fed, which would then assign funding for the list from the highest ranking project down until the annual allotment limit is reached. That way all projects would compete equally for money instead of being stuck in a category that could run out of money early, and states would have to justify each project to get funding as well.

  • SaveEnergyMan Sep 3, 2009

    Figures don't lie, but liars can figure. Since road projects involve big money you can never remove the politics from it completely. It's like asking a politician to stop breathing. They now have a "system" to back up their original decision.

  • Timtooltime Sep 2, 2009

    No mention of the Capital Blvd parking lot from Raleigh to Henderson ! Goobers !

  • joco cruiser Sep 2, 2009

    No back room deals huh? Who keeps score?

  • DrJ Sep 2, 2009

    Wouldn't it be nice if all State projects were subject to a similar priority system? Of course, there's no way Marc Basnight and Tony Rand let that happen!