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Transportation Projects Honored in 2020 North Carolina DOT Mobi Awards

RALEIGH, NC — The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently honored communities that developed the state’s best multimodal projects, including a public transportation service in Shelby and a bridge with a multi-use path connecting Surf City to Topsail Island.

The NCDOT Mobi Awards, which started last year, honor transportation projects that improve the economy and enhance the quality of life in North Carolina communities. Projects had to combine the use of at least two transportation modes such as aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, ferry, public transportation, rail, and roadway. More than 60 projects competed in this year’s NCDOT Mobi Awards.

“Whether we’re building bike and walking paths, making it more convenient for people to use public transportation, or finding new ways to safely accommodate travelers on our highways, multimodal projects are an important piece of our transportation present and future,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Mobi Awards were presented virtually and are available on NCDOT’s YouTube Channel . Boyette, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Julie White and Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Fox presented the awards in the video.

Judges selected winners and honorable mentions from the following categories: Rural, Urban, Tourism, and Innovation. For a new category, Most Voted Project, all this year’s entries were placed online so the public could vote for a First-Place winner and an honorable mention.

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The following are this year’s winners and honorable mentions:

Rural
  • First Place Winner: Granite City Greenway (Phase 3) in Surry County. Phase 3 is a 2.2-mile connector for the Lovill and Ararat greenways in Surry County. The project provides people with non-motorized mobility opportunities and bicycle, pedestrian, and transit connectivity by access to a park-and-ride lot.
  • Honorable Mention: REACH Transit in Shelby.
  • Honorable Mention: Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector.
Urban
  • Winner: Craven Street Transportation Improvements in the Asheville area. This project connects to the larger greenway network in Asheville. It realigned the street so people could walk, bike, or run the greenway while enjoying views of the river, visiting artist studios as well as restaurants, shops, and breweries.
  • Honorable Mention: GoRaleigh Transit Service Expansion.
  • Honorable Mention: University Pointe Boulevard: The I85 South Bridge.
Tourism
  • Winner: Albert J. Ellis Redevelopment Project. Onslow County redeveloped the airport’s terminal, which has boosted tourism, allowed businesses to expand, and increased employment in the area. The airport is now a source of community pride and enhances the county’s ability to attract new visitors, businesses, and residents.
  • Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns.
  • Honorable Mention: 1st Avenue Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements.
Innovation
  • Winner: REACH Transit in Shelby. REACH Transit is a fixed route that runs in Shelby. Residents use this public transportation lifeline to get to medical facilities and pharmacies, grocery stores, and a community college. Many people were unable to access these places previously.
  • Honorable Mention: Craven Street Transportation Improvements in the Asheville area.
  • Honorable Mention: Albert J. Ellis Redevelopment Project.
Most Voted
  • Winner: Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector. The Surf City Topsail Island Bridge Connector replaced the aging, 1950s-era steel truss drawbridge that served as a critical link between Surf City and Topsail Island. The new bridge has improved traffic flow and helped the local economies by enabling people to more easily access businesses in Surf City and Topsail Island.
  • Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns.

Judges selected this year's top projects based on how well projects leveraged public and private investment, contributed to economic development, created long-term jobs, improved public health and quality of life, and made other significant contributions.

The event’s organizers were NCDOT, the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, N.C. Go!, and N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

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