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POSSIBLE DATA MANIPULATION INFLATES MID-CURRITUCK BRIDGE SCORE

TO:  NCDOT Strategic Transportation Investments Decision Makers

I would like to thank you and the legislature for implementing the new P3.0 data driven process for transportation funding in our great state. This new process of using data removes political influences on projects and lets them stand on their own merit.

I am a vocal critic of the Mid-Currituck Bridge project R-2576 and was very interested to see where that project landed in the P3.0 scoring process. I would finally be able to see how it truly scored against other projects vying for dwindling resources without outside interference. This project has been fraught will “honest mistakes” from Governor Perdue’s office in 2012 among other issues of political favoritism and manipulation.

I noticed immediately when checking the financials used in scoring this project for the new P3.0, found here,

https://connect.ncdot.gov/projects/planning/STIData/Highway_STI_Data.xlsm,

that the Total Cost for the project, Construction + ROW + Utilities is listed as $410,820,000, NOT The current July 2014 STIP Total Cost of $639,512,000, which is calculated in the same manner, Construction + Utilities + R.O.W. = Total Cost. See current S.T.I.P. here:

https://connect.ncdot.gov/projects/planning/Planning%20Document%20Library/LIVE_STIP.pdf .

“Other Funds” should NOT be used to lower the Construction Cost, only the Total Cost to calculate the Cost to NCDOT. So it is obvious that someone entering the data for this project, subtracted $237,516,000, the amount of “other available funding”, from the Construction Cost, and then subtracted, “Other Funds” AGAIN, from the artificially lowered project “Total Cost”, to obtain the exceptionally low “Cost to NCDOT”, which is used in calculating the Cost/Benefit Analysis for the project. These “mistakes” lower the Total Cost and the Cost to NCDOT by $237,516,000, which artificially inflates the score for the project. These “mistakes” also keep the Cost to NCDOT lower than the $200,000,000 threshold for a project before it may be subject to a “Corridor Cap”.

Unfortunately it looks like the folks that favor the bridge have tried to pull a fast one again on this polluted project. I hope you are able to get to the bottom of this after all of the hard work that everyone has done to insure that the data is correct and reliable.

I would have thought that this project, that most see as the “poster child” for the reasons for the new P3.0 is being implemented, would absolutely be true and accurate.

Respectfully,

Jennifer Symonds

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