Prioritization – 6.0

What is Strategic Prioritization

The N.C. Department of Transportation uses a transparent, systematic and data-driven process for prioritizing major transportation in North Carolina and making investment decisions. Projects are evaluated based on their merit through an analysis of the existing and future conditions, the benefits the project is expected to provide, the project’s multi-modal characteristics and how the project fits in with local priorities.

Each of NCDOT’s six modes of transportation (highway, ferry, rail, public transportation, bicycle & pedestrian and aviation) uses a data-drive approach for ranking projects. The outcome of the strategic prioritization process serves as input to the Draft State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which identifies projects that will be funded during a 10-year period.

Prioritization 6.0

The SPOT 6 (or P6) development process began in 2019 and guides the development of the 2023-2032 STIP. The schedule is subject to change and current as of June 2020 as the entire schedule has been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jacksonville Urban Area MPO is permitted to submit as many as 15 new projects per mode of transportation, which include projects that “Carryover” from the prior STIP as well as “New” projects. Projects that fall within the “Committed” window will not be re-prioritized.

  1. A call for projects was announced for all modes of transportation in October 2019.
  2. A public hearing and consideration of the draft project list occurred in February 2020.
  3. The final list of projects were consideration and approved by the TAC Board in March 2020.
  4. The MPO submits the projects to SPOT by July 31, 2020.
  5. NCDOT scores the projects with an anticipated release in October 2021.
  6. MPO publishes and adopts local input methodology (March 2021).
  7. MPO assigns local input points for Regional Impact (August 2021) and Division Needs (December 2021).
  8. NCDOT releases Draft 2023-2032 STIP in May 2022.


Projects receive a percentage of available revenue in the following three categories: Statewide Mobility (40%), Regional Impact (30%), and Division Needs (30%). The Statewide Mobility projects are 100% data driven and selected based on quantitative scores. Regional Impact projects focus on improving connectivity within regions (7). Selection is based on 70% data and 30% local input. Division Needs projects focus on addressing local needs, and selection is based on 50% data and 50% local input. The Jacksonville Urban Area MPO along with NCDOT Divisions 3 will assign local input points to the Regional Impact and Division Needs tier projects based on approved methodology. Projects with the highest scores will have a greater chance of being programmed into the STIP/MTIP.

The State Transportation Improvement (STI) law includes a component known as cascading, where projects not funded in the STatewide Mobility category are eligible for funding in the Regional Impact category. Similarly, projects not funded in the Regional Impact category are eligible for the Division Needs funds. Projects that cascade down are then subject to the scoring criteria and local input for the respective funding category.