Member Briefing: May 8, 2020

Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition — the voice of the regional business community on transportation.

Traffic is moving faster, but projects are slowing down …
A number of RTA member engineering firms – like so many other engineering consulting companies across North Carolina – received the devastating, but not unexpected, news that all project development work (e.g., highway design activities) would have to stop effective immediately for virtually every project that is not already under construction in the state, due to a severe lack of funding for NCDOT. The resulting financial squeeze impacts a host of regional priorities including the conversion of portions of both US 70 and US 1 to a freeway. Congressman Price did an excellent job highlighting the funding picture from the federal perspective as the keynote speaker of this week’s Tri-MAP forum coordinated by RTA.

… so RTA launches highway funding relief task force …
I mentioned in a recent weekly briefing that we had contemplated launching a task force on stabilizing highway funding. With daily fuel consumption down 40% just since March 1, and with NCDOT’s recent announcement that many projects would be delayed, the time was now. We held an excellent and well-attended RTA task force meeting this morning, and received a very informative presentation from NCDOT executives Bobby Lewis and Joey Hopkins. They highlighted the chronic, nearly $700m maintenance funding shortfall that NCDOT has been facing, as well as additional financial impacts due to coronavirus. The task force also briefly discussed a variety of options including an additional focus on federal funding, a temporary, capped fuel tax surcharge, etc.  I encourage all RTA members to review and share today’s NCDOT presentation with your business associates as well as elected leaders; our RTA Leadership Team will discuss this matter again later this month.

… while highlighting scalable transit solutions at the RTA breakfast
Registration is now open to RTA members at all levels for the in-person RTA Transportation Breakfast: A FAST vision for the Triangle on July 17 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. There is the real potential for capacity limitations at the event, so registration is being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-up online here to secure your seat before registration opens to non-RTA members and other partners this coming week. Also, please let me know if you would be interested in sponsoring the breakfast for $999.

Thank you for your commitment to regional business leadership through your investment in RTA.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

Gold members

Thank you to our Omnia Gold, Sustaining Gold, and Gold members

Omnia Gold