A new report on North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure needs and potential benefits of transportation investments was released in May. KEEPING NORTH CAROLINA MOBILE: Progress and Challenges in Providing an Efficient, Safe and Well-Maintained Transportation System was produced by TRIP, a national transportation research group. It is available at http://www.tripnet.org/docs/NC_Progress_and_Challenges_TRIP_Report_May_2017.pdf.

Key findings from the report focus on the connection between population and economic growth and increased wear and tear on the transportation system; funding challenges; pavement conditions; congestion levels, particularly in urban areas; bridge conditions; traffic safety; and the connection between transportation and increased economic growth.

The report also highlights the economic benefits of investing in transportation improvements based on national experience. These benefits range from higher employment rates and land values to increased economic activity, construction and tax revenues.

North Carolina has a backlog of transportation and projects and maintenance needs. There is an estimated $53 billion needed for road, highway and bridge projects for the 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program. However, only $9 billion (or 17 percent) of the funding is currently available.

The benefits of increased transportation infrastructure funding are clear. Our safety and economic growth depend on increased investment.