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Strategic Transportation Investments (STI/SPOT)

STIThe Strategic Transportation Investments (STI), also known as SPOT, is how North Carolina prioritizes and funds transportation projects, for all modes, to ensure they provide the maximum benefit for our state. With this formula, NCDOT is able to use existing revenues more efficiently to improve transportation infrastructure as well as create jobs and help to boost the economy. The formula went into effect on July 15, 2015. The seventh round of prioritization, known as SPOT 7.0, began in the fall of 2022.

The formula was developed because the state gas tax, highway use tax, and DMV fees can no longer provide enough funding to build all of the transportation improvements needed to attract new industries, reduce congestion, and connect citizens to new opportunities in North Carolina.

This formula is data-driven and requires local input from both NCDOT Division 2 as well as DERPO. All transportation projects are broken down into three categories: Statewide, Regional, and Division Projects.

  • Statewide Projects receive 40% of the available revenue over 10 years.  The project selection process is 100% data-driven or based on facts such as benefit/cost, congestion, economic competitiveness, and safety. DERPO and NCDOT Division 2 do not have any say in the rankings of Statewide projects.
  • Regional Projects receive 30% of the available revenue based on the regional population.  DERPO projects at the regional level compete with projects in NCDOT Divisions 2 and 3. The process is 70% data-driven, with DERPO and NCDOT Division 2 rankings making up the remaining 30%.
  • Division Projects receive 30% of the available revenue, which is shared equally between the 14 NCDOT divisions.  The selection process is 50% data-driven, with DERPO and NCDOT Division 2 rankings accounting for the other 50%.

More information regarding STI/Prioritization can be found here.

SPOT 7.0

SPOT 7.0 began in the fall of 2022 and we are currently in the submittal window for new projects. Two projects submitted for SPOT 6.0 were selected to be carryover projects for SPOT 7.0: an upgrade of NC 24 to a superstreet and the intersection of NC 24 and NC 58 to an interchange in Cedar Point, and a bundle of intersection improvements along Bridges St. in Morehead City. At the end of October 2023, DERPO submitted over 60 new transportation projects to be scored by NCDOT. We will next approve a local input points methodology, expected at the March TCC/TAC meetings. We will receive these scores around the end of May 2024. Check back here for more updates.

SPOT 6.0

SPOT 6.0 was canceled in the fall of 2021 due to a lack of funding for new projects. There was currently gap of approximately $3bn to construct all projects listed on the prior State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). This gap was formerly around $8bn but beginning in FY 2023, additional revenues were set aside from the state sales tax for transportation needs.  The 2024-33 STIP was created by using the existing STIP, with some projects formerly funded for construction being reprioritized in SPOT 7.0. Additionally, DERPO and other planning organizations had the opportunity to swap projects on a $ for $ basis in accordance with local transportation priorities, but ultimately chose not to. The 2024-2033 STIP was adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2023.



Becca Eversole
Director, Down East Rural Planning Organization

(252) 638-3185 ext. 3031 (office)
(252) 229-4332 (cell)

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