6.0 Transportation System Funding
It is important to recognize that the majority of the community’s transportation system has been provided through private investment. Almost all of the Town-maintained 164 mile system was built by the private sector. These roads provide a vital distribution web for motorized and non-motorized movement, essential as a supplement to the major roadway network. Thus, it is crucial that these investments are guided by policies that contribute to the community’s vision.
Transportation system funding for larger projects is prioritized through the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), under the direction and guidance of MUMPO. The LRTP looks 25 years into the future, is updated every four years and includes an estimate of probable revenues compared to a prioritized list of major transportation projects within the MUMPO jurisdiction.
Regional & Statewide Plans
All regional and statewide plans have identified an extraordinary gap between desired projects and resources to deliver them.
For example, a 2010 statewide analysis identified a list of $54 billion worth of transportation projects for the period of 2015-20 and for which $10.5 billion in resources are identified.
Major projects are funded through one of three mechanisms. The North Carolina DOT produces bi-annually a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), where funding has been identified for specific projects within a seven-year time frame. Geographic distribution of projects is tied to a funding formula known as the Equity Formula. The first five years of that document constitute a Work Program for which the DOT has a goal of delivering 95% of the projects within the described time frame.
In recognition of the gap between needs and state resources, many municipalities undertake significant transportation investment programs. The Town of Huntersville voters authorized the issuance of $8.5 million worth of transportation bonds in 2003. These funds are being used for the widening of Sam Furr Road and the extension of Verhoeff Drive into the Commerce Station development. Since January 2007, the Town has collected $20 per registered vehicle which is deposited into a Transportation Reserve Fund to be used for debt service on transportation bonds and to fund small transportation capital improvement projects.