North Carolina State Government - Cabinet Departments (2019)

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Mission Statement: Connecting people, products, and places safely and efficiently with customer focus, accountability and environmental sensitivity to enhance the economy and vitality of North Carolina.

James H. Trogdon
Year Established: 1979
Phone Number: (919) 715-7000
Current Website:
Not Available
Number of Employees: 14,000 Number of Facilities: HQ + Many Others

1 South Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

The Department of Transportation Includes:
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is responsible for building, repairing, and operating highways, bridges, and other modes of transportation, including ferries. Divisions include:
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - provides motor vehicle services, promotes highway safety, and furnishes timely and accurate information by providing excellent customer service, enforcing motor vehicle laws, and maintaining the integrity of official DMV records.
Division of Highways - is responsible for building and maintaining the second largest state maintained highway system in the nation, incorporating over 78,615 miles (126,519 km) of highways, and 18,540 bridges collectively spanning 376.98 miles (606.69 km).
Division of Aviation - mission is to promote the economic well being of North Carolina through air transportation system development and improved aviation safety and education.
Division of Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation - is a comprehensive operation, touching all aspects of bicycling and walking; whether designing facilities, creating safety programs, mapping cross-state bicycle routes, training teachers, sponsoring workshops and conferences, fostering multi-modal planning, or integrating bicycling and walking into the ongoing activities of the Department of Transportation. Created in 1974 as a result of North Carolina bicycle program legislation and expanded to encompass pedestrian activities in 1992 as a result of federal legislation, the DBPT is the oldest comprehensive state program of its kind in the United States.
Ferry Division - is responsible for providing safe, cost-effective, and dependable service for the traveling public. The Ferry Division operates eight routes connecting mainland North Carolina with various outer banks and islands along the coast of North Carolina.
Public Transportation Division - helps North Carolina public transit systems move people. They don't operate buses, trains or vans directly – that's the responsibility of local transit systems – they help them operate safer and more effectively.
Rail Division - is responsible for operating six Amtrak trains within North Carolina and works with the North Carolina Railroad Company, a state owned railroad that carries both freight and passenger rail service. The route is 317 miles (510 km) long and runs from Charlotte to the state ports at Morehead City. The route passes through the cities of Charlotte, Salisbury, Lexington, Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, Raleigh, Goldsboro, and Morehead City. The North Carolina Railroad trackage is currently leased to Norfolk Southern Railway. A small portion between Raleigh and Cary is co-operated with Norfolk Southern by CSX Transportation. The state operates no freight trains and all freight is handled by either CSX or Norfolk Southern. The state, however, does own the rolling stock used on the Piedmont under the reporting mark RNCX.

Department of Transportation Boards:

- NC Board of Transportation
- NC Turnpike Authority Board
- NC Ports Authority Board
- NC Global Transpark Board

NC Statute Authority for the Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is authorized by General Statute 143B, Article 8, Paragraph 143B-345:

"There is hereby created and established a department to be known as the Department of Transportation with the organization, powers, and duties defined in Article 1 of Chapter 143B, except as modified in this Article."

Click Here to view the entire Statute, which describes in greater detail all of the functions of the Department of Transportation.

History of the Department of Transportation:
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) was formed in 1915 as the State Highway Commission. In 1941, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was formed under the NCDOT by an Act of the General Assembly. The Executive Organization Act of 1971 combined the State Highway Commission and the DMV to form the Department of Transportation and Highway Safety. In 1979, Highway Safety was dropped when the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
The Department of Transportation and Highway Safety was created by the Executive Organization Act of 1971. The Department of Highways, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the State Highway Commission were consolidated into the new department and the newly designated Board of Transportation. In 1977, the term "Highway Safety" was dropped with the creation of a new Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

The department is headed by an executive secretary appointed by the governor. Legislation passed in 1973 designates the secretary as an ex officio member of the Board of Transportation which he chairs. In 1977 the old Board of Transportation was revamped and the Secondary Roads Council abolished by forming one central body—the new Board of Transportation—to oversee transportation development and problems in
North Carolina.

The important point of the original reorganization act was the grouping of all transportation responsibilities, aviation and mass transit as well as highways, into one department under a single administrative control. With this new phase of reorganization, the end will further be achieved.

The department staff attempt to efficiently manage the programs, subprograms, and allied boards and commissions so that all are working toward the common goal of providing optimum facilities and services to meet the present and future transportation and highway safety needs of the people of North Carolina. Initial efforts have been directed toward creating a program orientation rather than a project or task approach to meeting departmental goals.

Past Secretaries of the Deparment of Transportation



James H. Trogdon

2017 to Present

Nick Tennyson


Anthony J. Tata
Brig. Gen. US Army, Retired

2013 - 2015





Eugene Augustine Conti, Jr.

2009 -

Walter Lyndo Tippett

2001 - 2009

David T. McCoy

1999 - 2001

E. Norris Tolson

1998 - 1999

Garland Garrett

1995 - 1998

R. Samuel Hunt, III

1993 - 1995

Thomas J. Harrelson

1989 - 1993

James E. Harrington

1985 - 1989

William R. Roberson, Jr.

1981 - 1985

Thomas W. Bradshaw, Jr.

1977 - 1981

G. Perry Green, Sr.

1976 - 1977

Jacob F. Alexander, Jr.

1975 - 1976

Troy A. Doby

1974 - 1975

Bruce A. Lentz

1973 - 1974

Fred M. Mills, Jr.

1971 - 1973

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