ON THE STREET – NEWS FROM THE SIC (5/19/17)

Bill Gilmore, PE (HDR/ICA) / May 19, 2017

The following items may be of interest to our readers. NCSITE takes no official position on these articles or items; however, you are encouraged to read and stay abreast of what is taking place in our profession and discuss with your colleagues.

Nationwide Actions to Support Funding for Transportation

Several national reports are out that confirm actions taken by the States to support increased infrastructure spending, particularly for transportation.  North Carolina undertook a strong position on this subject last year and enacted significant new funding. Recently, Our sister state (South Carolina) increased gas tax for the first time in many years adding significantly to their transportation funding pool.  For initiatives elsewhere click on the following hyperlink.

The President’s Latest Plan for Infrastructure Spending

Transportation Governance and Finance

Since 2011, the legislative and political environment for transportation governance and finance has evolved nationally and in the states. New Federal laws have been enacted, and many states have made changes to how their transportation systems are managed and paid for. The following report provides topics of recent interest in the states, including DOTs’ relationships with other state entities and the authorization of local transportation revenues in state law.

North Carolina Bills Targeted at Transportation

As our legislature moves forward in this long-session, a number of bills have made crossover, meaning they have a chance of revision and passage. The following may be some of the more important ones that affect our industry. Some of the information below has editorial comments.

S257 This is the State budget with provisions for all Departments.  Starting on page 307 there are a number of requirements and measures for Ports, Aviation and Highways. Focusing on highways, provisions include measures to expedite right-of-way acquisition, outsourcing of bridge work, increase accountability and production shifted to divisions for project delivery and increasing reporting on performance.

H92 Establishes a Blue Ribbon Committee to study all funding options available, including debt instruments, revenue changes, local government participation, and tolling, to increase funding for Transportation.

S170/H266 For public transportation projects of regional nature, sets the maximum contribution of 10% for regional funding  for projects spanning two or more counties and more than one municipality.

H81 Adjusts STI Formula for Regional and Division Needed Projects

H219 Establishes a State megaproject fund targeted for cross-divisional projects where funding limits per division hinder timing and implementation of much needed large scale projects such as I-95.

H220 Expands Infrastructure Bank purposes

H266 Termination of Tolling for I-77 HOT Lanes

H468 Authorizes DOT to enter into agreements with local government to expedite preliminary engineering beyond the strict requirements of STI. Initial funding by local governments could be reimbursed once the project meets DOT funding criteria ratings.

S351  Crediting the highway fund for leases and rentals

S512 Restricts Contractors from utilizing former state employees within a one-year waiting period after terminating employment

H583  Leverages appropriations for Capital & Infrastructure Fund for repairs and renovations.

S533 Transfers the DEQ Division of Mitigation Services to the NCDOT and requires DOA to inventory existing credits and develop a process to dispose of unneeded credits.

North Carolina Session Law 2017-10 Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-17 North Carolina Legislation Session Law

The following document is the latest on regulatory reform. You will need to browse this law for details relative to Transportation.