Congress Is Talking about US 70 As ‘Future Interstate’ Highway

The U.S. Senate voted July 30 to approve the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act” (S. 1647).

North Carolina’s U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis (both Republicans) are applauding the inclusion of US 70 in the legislation. This could pave the way for US 70 to become a future Interstate highway.

Sen. Tillis said: “I will continue to work…to ensure the US-70 and Raleigh-Norfolk corridors soon become part of the Interstate system.”

He noted that the “highway bill will produce long-lasting benefits for North Carolina, including reduced traffic congestion, improved access to military bases and increased investments in our state’s transportation and infrastructure.”

Sen. Burr said: “The DRIVE Act is not only beneficial to North Carolinians living along the corridor, but for all who will have better access to our state, whether it’s to do business or to visit our scenic treasures.”

The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives. Both Sen. Burr and Sen. Tillis said they will continue “working the bill” with North Carolina’s Congressional delegation.

Working another angle, U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, has introduced H.R. 1844, “The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act,” in recognition of the importance of providing superior transportation facilities from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to the Port of Morehead City.

Mary Carlyle Brown, who chairs the Chamber’s Public & Government Affairs Committee, said: “Transportation is the backbone of a region’s economic vitality, and without an adequate transportation system, people cannot easily reach their intended destination, goods cannot be delivered in a cost effective manner and investors may look to invest in better served areas.”

“Because the US 70 highway corridor is central to Carteret County’s transportation system, the Chamber advocates improvements to the US 70 corridor between Raleigh and Carteret County to eventually result in a limited or restricted access thoroughfare of Interstate quality that is designed to move traffic more efficiently and with greater safety.”