Responsibility for streets and highways inside the corporate limits of municipalities is hereby defined as follows:
(1) The State Highway System. - The State highway system inside the corporate limits of municipalities shall consist of a system of major streets and highways necessary to move volumes of traffic efficiently and effectively from points beyond the corporate limits of the municipalities through the municipalities and to major business, industrial, governmental and institutional destinations located inside the municipalities. The Department of Transportation shall be responsible for the maintenance, repair, improvement, widening, construction and reconstruction of this system. These streets and highways within corporate limits are of primary benefit to the State in developing a statewide coordinated system of primary and secondary streets and highways. Each highway division shall develop an annual work plan for maintenance and contract resurfacing, within their respective divisions, consistent with the needs, inasmuch as possible, as identified in the report developed in accordance with G.S. 136-44.3. In developing the annual work plan, the highway division shall give consideration to any special needs or information provided by the municipalities within their respective divisions. The plan shall be made available to the municipalities within the respective divisions upon request.
(2) The Municipal Street System. - In each municipality the municipal street system shall consist of those streets and highways accepted by the municipality which are not a part of the State highway system. The municipality shall be responsible for the maintenance, construction, reconstruction, and right-of-way acquisition for this system.
(3) Maintenance of State Highway System by Municipalities. - Any city or town, by written contract with the Department of Transportation, may undertake to maintain, repair, improve, construct, reconstruct or widen those streets within municipal limits which form a part of the State highway system, and may also, by written contract with the Department of Transportation, undertake to install, repair and maintain highway signs and markings, electric traffic signals and other traffic-control devices on such streets. All work to be performed by the city or town under such contract or contracts shall be in accordance with Department of Transportation standards, and the consideration to be paid by the Department of Transportation to the city or town for such work, whether in money or in services, shall be adequate to reimburse the city or town for all costs and expenses, direct or indirect, incurred by it in the performance of such work. The city or town under contract with the Department shall develop an annual work plan for maintenance of the State highway system consistent with the needs, inasmuch as possible, as identified in the report developed in accordance with G.S. 136-44.3. The annual work plan shall be submitted to the respective division engineers and shall be mutually agreeable to both parties.
(4) If the governing body of any municipality determines that it is in the best interest of its citizens to do so, it may expend its funds for the purpose of making any of the following improvements on streets that are within its corporate limits and form a part of the State highway system:
a. Construction of curbing and guttering.
b. Adding of lanes for automobile parking.
c. Constructing street drainage facilities which may by reasonable engineering estimates be attributable to that amount of surface water collected upon and flowing from municipal streets which do not form a part of the State highway system.
d. Constructing sidewalks.
e. Intersection improvements, if the governing body determines that such improvements will decrease traffic congestion, improve safety conditions, and improve air quality.
In exercising the authority granted herein, the municipality may, with the consent of the Department of Transportation, perform the work itself, or it may enter into a contract with the Department of Transportation to perform such work. Any work authorized by this subdivision shall be financed entirely by the municipality and be approved by the Department of Transportation.
The cost of any work financed by a municipality under this subdivision may be assessed against the properties abutting the street or highway upon which such work was performed in accordance with the procedures of either Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes or any charter provisions or local acts applicable to the particular municipality. (1959, c. 687, s. 1; 1969, cc. 798, 978; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1975, c. 664, s. 3; 1977, c. 464, s. 7.1; 1987, c. 747, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 690, s. 1; 1995, c. 163, s. 14; 2005-382, s. 2.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014