WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law two bills authored by Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) that designate several highways in eastern North Carolina as “future interstates.” The Route to Opportunity and Development (ROAD) Act (H.R. 2211) and Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act (H.R. 1844) were passed by the House of Representatives as part of a five-year surface transportation bill earlier this month by a vote of 359 – 65.
“Creating jobs and boosting the economy of eastern North Carolina has been one of my top priorities since coming to Congress,” said Butterfield. “The passage of the ROAD Act and the Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act marks the most significant step forward for transportation and infrastructure improvements in eastern North Carolina in a decade. These new laws are key elements of my vision to support the future of transportation in our region. The implementation of these laws will pave the way for job creation, further economic development, reduce traffic congestion, and improve access to eastern North Carolina and Virginia.”
The ROAD Act designates portions of U.S. Highways 17 and 64 through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina as a “future interstate.” Specifically, H.R. 2211 guarantees that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards, that the route travels through eastern North Carolina, and that U.S. Highways 17 and 64 are prioritized when allocating funding for federal highways.
The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act designates portions of U.S. Highways 70 and 117 as high priority corridors and as “future interstates” to better connect Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the North Carolina Global TransPark, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and the Port of Morehead City with the rest of North Carolina and the eastern seaboard.
“The ROAD Act and the Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act are vital to eastern North Carolina’s long-term growth and will strengthen our region’s transportation infrastructure, spur economic development, and improve travel for eastern North Carolinians,” said Butterfield. “I thank President Obama and my colleagues for passing these important laws which will benefit my constituents and the millions of individuals who travel in our state each year.”
The five-year surface transportation bill provides $305 billion in federal funding for transportation. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that an investment of just $1 billion in transportation funding could support 30,000 jobs. These important highway upgrades will increase transportation investment and stimulate job growth in eastern North Carolina.