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Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), a regional planning agency, represents 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.


Designated as the Lead Planning Agency for the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), WPCOG has the primary responsibility for preparation of the Rural Planning Work Program (PWP) and the Urban Area Planning Work Program (PWP). The MPO is also responsible for developing the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP). The COG is the primary local recipient of transportation planning funds received from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation.


Along with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation, these 28 local governments participate in a continuing transportation planning process for the Greater Hickory MPO. Locally based transportation planning gives communities the opportunity to make transportation investment decisions that enhance economic and community development goals.


The Greater Hickory MPO and the North Carolina Department of Transportation in assisting the four counties and twenty-four municipalities develop a regional transportation planning process. Planning efforts will reach out to each of the counties in order to connect the entire region in developing an multi-modal transportation system that facilitates the safe, efficient movement of people and goods. The MPO have had a unique chance to create a partnership to coordinate all phases of transportation planning for the Unifour area.


A Transportation Advisory committee (TAC) and a Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) participate in transportation planning for both the RPO and the MPO. Regular joint meetings are held with RPO and MPO representatives.



  • A Long Range Transportation: Plan A document that presents a 25-year plan for transportation improvements in the area.

  • Planning Work Program: An annual program of planning activities and program expenditures of federal planning funds.

  • Priority Needs List: A listing of local priorities for transportation improvements that are submitted to the state of North Carolina for their consideration in the development of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

  • Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP)  The local transportation improvement program that must be in agreement with the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The TIP process involves mutual adoption by the MPO and the state.

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