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RPO prioritizes road projects

The priority list for major highway projects in the region has changed.

The Peanut Belt RPO (Rural Planning Organization) has released its Preliminary Priority Suggestions it has under consideration to submit to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

According to Ann Whitley, Secretary/Coordinator of the Peanut Belt RPO, the organization’s Technical Coordinating Committee has prioritized a list of recommended projects. Those suggestions will be forwarded to the Peanut Belt RPO’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) for approval.

The TAC, in turn, may approve the list or make changes prior to submission to NCDOT for their 2011-2017 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

Whitley said projects suggested for the TIP are large scale in nature rather than local ones that can be handled at the DOT Division level. She added that projects included in the TIP process take a minimum of eight to 12 years before construction begins.

Additionally, Whitley said most of the projects have been in the TIP for a number of years and remain on this list as confirmation that the Peanut Belt RPO is in favor of their completion.

The following, ranked in order, are the Peanut Belt RPO’s 12 preliminary priority suggestions for the 2011-2017 TIP:

#1: Project R-2583: US 158; eight miles from the Murfreesboro Bypass to US 13 at Winton (previous ranking was #1).

#2: Project R-2582: US 158; 14.3 miles from east of Weldon to east of Jackson (previous: tied for 6th).

#3: Project R-2506: US 13; 17.2 miles from north of Windsor to NC 42 in Powellsville (previous: #3).

#4-Tie: Project R-2584: US 158; 17.4 miles from east of Jackson to the Murfreesboro Bypass (previous: tied for 6th).

#4-Tie: Project R-2581: US 158; 15 miles from east of Littleton to NC 125 in Roanoke Rapids (previous: #2).

#6: Project R-3822: New Route; NC 125 to south of US 158 in Roanoke Rapids parallel to I-95 (previous: #6).

#7: Project R-2205: US 13; 13.2 miles “Ahoskie Bypass” from NC 42 to US 158 (previous: #5).

#8: Project R-2900: NC 11; 29 miles from NC 903 in Martin County to US 13 Bypass north of Ahoskie (previous: #8).

#9-Tie: Project R-2587: US 158; 26.2 miles from I-85 in Warren County to east of Littleton (previous: tied for 7th).

#9-Tie: Project R-2507: US 13; 17.5 miles from US 158 to the Virginia state line (previous: tied for 7th).

#11: Project FS-0204F: Feasibility Study for NC 125 in Halifax County (previous: #9).

#12: New Project: New road connecting NC 903 to the entrance of Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport (previous: #10).

This list is open to public view at the Halifax County Public Library in Halifax, the Lawrence Memorial Public Library in Windsor, the Northampton County Memorial Library in Jackson and the Hertford County Public Library in Winton.