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North Carolina transportation projects honored in 2020 NCDOT Mobi Awards

The North Carolina Department of Transportation honored communities that developed the state’s best multimodal projects on August 5, including a public transportation service in Shelby and a bridge with a multi-use path connecting Surf City to Topsail Island.

The NCDOT Mobi Awards, which started last year, honor transportation projects that improve the economy and enhance the quality of life in North Carolina communities. To be considered, projects had to combine the use of at least two transportation modes such as aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, ferry, public transportation, rail and roadway. More than 60 projects competed in this year’s NCDOT Mobi Awards.

“Whether we’re building bike and walking paths, making it more convenient for people to use public transportation or finding new ways to safely accommodate travelers on our highways, multimodal projects are an important piece of our transportation present and future,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “And it’s why we’re here today – to celebrate your commitment to multimodal investments and the important role they play in our way of life.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Mobi Awards were presented virtually and are available on NCDOT’s YouTube Channel. Boyette, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Julie White and Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Fox presented the awards in the video.

Judges selected winners and honorable mentions from the following categories: Rural, Urban, Tourism and Innovation. For a new category, Most Voted Project, all this year’s entries were placed online so the public could vote for a first-place winner and an honorable mention.

The 2020 NCDOT Mobi Book, which has detailed descriptions and pictures of all this year’s entries, may be found online here.

This year’s winners and honorable mentions are:

Rural

First Place: Granite City Greenway (Phase 3) in Surry County. The project was nominated by the Northwest Piedmont Rural Planning Organization. Phase 3 is a 2.2-mile connector for the Lovill and Ararat greenways in Surry County. The project provides people with non-motorized mobility opportunities and bicycle, pedestrian and transit connectivity by access to a park-and-ride lot. Watch the video on this year’s Rural category winner.

Honorable Mention: REACH Transit in Shelby. The project was nominated by the Transportation Administration of Cleveland County, Inc.

Honorable Mention: Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector. The project was nominated by the town of Surf City.

Urban

Winner: Craven Street Transportation Improvements in the Asheville area. The project was nominated by French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization. This project connects to the larger greenway network in Asheville. It realigned the street so people could walk, bike or run the greenway while enjoying views of the river, visiting artist studios as well as restaurants, shops and breweries. Watch the video on the Urban category’s winner.

Honorable Mention: GoRaleigh Transit Service Expansion. The project was nominated by the city of Raleigh/GoRaleigh Transit System.

Honorable Mention: University Pointe Boulevard: The I85 South Bridge. The project was nominated by the city of Charlotte.

Tourism

Winner: Albert J. Ellis Redevelopment Project. The project was nominated by Onslow County. Onslow County redeveloped the airport’s terminal, which has boosted tourism, allowed businesses to expand and increased employment in the area. NCDOT reports the airport is now a source of community pride and enhances the county’s ability to attract new visitors, businesses and residents. View the video on this year’s winner.

Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns. The project was nominated by the Isothermal Rural Planning Organization in Rutherford County.

Honorable Mention: 1st Avenue Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements. The project was nominated by the city of Conover.

Innovation

Winner: REACH Transit in Shelby. The project was nominated by the Transportation Administration of Cleveland County, Inc. REACH Transit is a fixed route that runs in Shelby. Residents use this public transportation lifeline to get to medical facilities and pharmacies, grocery stores and a community college. Many people were unable to access these places previously. View the video on this year’s Innovation winner.

Honorable Mention: Craven Street Transportation Improvements in the Asheville area. The project was nominated by the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Honorable Mention: Albert J. Ellis Redevelopment Project. The project was nominated by Onslow County.

Most Voted

Winner: Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector. The project was nominated by the town of Surf City. The Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector replaced the aging, 1950s era steel truss drawbridge that served as a critical link between Surf City and Topsail Island. The new bridge has improved traffic flow and helped the local economies by enabling people to more easily access businesses in Surf City and Topsail Island. View the video on the first place winner.

Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns. The project was nominated by the Isothermal Rural Planning Organization in Rutherford County.

Judges selected this year’s top projects based on how well projects leveraged public and private investment, contributed to economic development, created long-term jobs, improved public health and quality of life and made other significant contributions.

The event’s organizers were NCDOT, the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, N.C. Go! and N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

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