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State wants your opinion

Concord officials say a $9 million overpass or “flyover ramp” could help relieve gridlock at Interstate 85 exit 49 — the gateway to Concord Mills — and possibly move toward transforming the speedway area into a Disney World-like destination.
Would the overpass be a good use of the state’s transportation funds? Would its impact be statewide, regional or strictly local?
Questions like that will come up as the N.C. Department of Transportation implements its new strategic mobility formula. The General Assembly approved the new plan last year after many complained that earlier funding formulas led to the construction of new highways in remote areas — often down east ­— while roads in more populous areas choked with congestion.
Fully implemented by mid-2015, the formula will divide projects into three categories: statewide, regional and division level.
Statewide: Some 40 percent of available revenue, or $6 billion over 10 years, will go to projects of statewide significance. Data on such things as traffic volume and crashes will help determine which projects are funded.
Regional: 30 percent of revenue, or $4.5 billion over 10 years, will be spent by region, with the 14 divisions pairing up as seven regions. NCDOT will choose projects based on data and rankings by area planning organizations and DOT divisions.
Division level: Another 30 percent, to be shared equally over all 14 divisions, will go to projects that address local safety, congestion and connectivity concerns.
The formula will affect spending on projects for all modes of transportation. DOT will hold open houses in each of its 14 divisions to meet with local residents and get their take on transportation priorities.
Rowan is in Division 9, which also includes Davidson, Davie, Forsyth and Stokes counties. The division’s open house will be held 4-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Division 9 Office, 375 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem. (Send written comments to dkhampton@ncdot.gov, or mail to STI, 375 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.)
Cabarrus is in Division 10, which also includes Mecklenburg, Union, Stanly and Anson counties. The division’s open house will be held 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Metrolina Regional Transportation Management Center, 2327 Tipton Drive, Charlotte. (Written comments may be sent to tboland@ncdot.gov or mailed to STI, NCDOT Division 10, 716 W. Main St., Albemarle, NC 28001.)
This is a chance to learn more and have a say in a critical area. All comments must be received by Feb. 12.

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