Congress needs to approve highway bill before October 29 deadline

The regional Chamber of Commerce group serving counties within the NC East Alliance is spearheading a letter-writing campaign to motivate the U.S. House of Representatives to approve a new highway and transit funding bill to address critical road projects.

The Carteret County Chamber has contacted Representative Walter Jones directly. Here is the essence of the Chamber’s correspondence:

The State of North Carolina’s transportation network – highways, roads and bridges – is deteriorating, and the problem requires a long-term plan and adequate financial investment at all levels.

The worsening condition of our transportation infrastructure is a major factor in traffic accidents. It is believed that one-third of all traffic fatalities are the result of poor road conditions.

The current cycle of uncertainty resulting from short-term transportation reauthorization extensions has led seven states to announce they are delaying or canceling projects valued at $1.63 billion. In all, 19 states are expressing concerns about the feasibility of future transportation projects.

North Carolina depends on federal government funding for 59 percent of our transportation construction funding needs; continuing this current cycle of inaction will cost our state dearly in dollars and jobs at a time when we should be focused on building our economy and growing jobs.

The United States House of Representatives needs to act before the current extension for the federal highway and transit funding bill expires on October 29.

We encourage Congress to pass a long-term transportation funding solution. Critical decisions must be made without further delays or excuses. North Carolina deserves action.

An improved transportation system is vital for North Carolina’s current and future growth and prosperity, and the needs of families, employees and businesses throughout the state…as well as visitors who contribute immeasurably to our travel and tourism sector.