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US 64 widening project fails to make statewide funding plan

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.

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).

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