WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to designate two highways as a “future interstate” that will originate in Raleigh, North Carolina, and travel through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia. H.R. 4829, or the ROAD Act, is cosponsored by Representatives Walter Jones (NC-03), David Price (NC-04), Howard Coble (NC-06), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Mark Meadows (NC-11), and Renee Ellmers (NC-02), and will enable transportation improvements to U.S. Highways 17 and 64.
Specifically, H.R. 4829 guarantees that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards, travels through eastern North Carolina, and that U.S. Highways 17 and 64 are prioritized when allocating funding for federal highways–saving taxpayers money by improving on existing infrastructure. A portion of U.S. Highway 64 between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a future interstate last year and, according to the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), half of the route already meets federal freeway standards.
Butterfield said, “The ROAD Act will help connect eastern North Carolina to our state’s Capitol and to one of the country’s premier ports in Hampton Roads. Our vision to advance transportation in the region will reduce traffic congestion, improve access, and pave the way for job creation and further economic development in North Carolina and Virginia.”
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $1 billion in transportation funding can support approximately 30,000 jobs which are critical to economic development in eastern North Carolina. Passing legislation to designate the highways as a future interstate is the first step in the plan to build a strong transportation network, put North Carolinians to work, and speed the project’s completion.
H.R. 4829 is supported by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata. Many local governmental entities, chambers of commerce, and regional transportation associations are also supportive of this designation.
“I’d like to thank Congressman Butterfield for introducing the ROAD Act today, which is vitally important to economic development in the corridor between Raleigh and Norfolk, Virginia,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “Not only is this designation part of our future vision for transportation in our State, it is also key to attracting companies to North Carolina and expanding those that are already here. I, along with DOT Secretary Tony Tata and a bipartisan group of U.S. House Members, stand ready to help get this legislation passed and to the president’s desk for signature.”
The ROAD Act will be considered as part of the annual Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill, which may be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives later this month.