Innovative Thinking: Impacts of changing infrastructure – How you can be more aware & involved

MA Engineering Consultants, Inc. attends Public Meeting

Chip Hutchens, PE, from MA Engineering Consultants, Inc. discusses proposed construction plans at a public meeting

In early January 2019, nearly 1,000 people attended the NC Transportation Summit, a conference that presented both futuristic travel ideas and present-day information concerning North Carolina’s seemingly ever-changing infrastructure (an overview of the conference was produced by NCDOT Now and can be seen at https://youtu.be/GbQowD_P4Rk). The two day event was presented by NCDOT, in partnership with NC Go!, and featured sessions dealing with everything from autonomous vehicles and drones, to pods traveling through tunnels – that was the fun stuff.

On the more practical side, there was also talk on how to fund both future innovative projects, as well as our present-day travel dilemmas. We are all impacted by transportation-related issues, from gas taxes and traffic congestion, to how a new highway may impact our land values. But how might you become more aware and involved in what is going on around you?

One answer is public meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to inform the public (in North Carolina and elsewhere) of specific engineering projects and their potential impacts. Here, the public is invited to ask questions and provide comments on projects, as well as view maps and visualizations showing proposed construction in relation to existing conditions to provide clearer views into how a particular project will affect the area.

For North Carolina residents, NCDOT has an extensive list of public meetings published on their website in their “News & Events” section, including high-profile projects & studies, property owner resources, and the 2018-2027 state transportation improvement program. NC Go! is another good source of information from transportation funding, to revenue & uses and gas tax information. Whatever part of the country you may reside, it’s worth a look on the internet to see what might be available to help you gain knowledge of construction projects that could influence your decision when buying a house, a business, etc.

MA Engineering Consultants, Inc. is based in Cary, NC  with offices in Charleston, SC, Towson, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, and participates in public meetings as part of the public involvement services we offer.