Raleigh and Hampton Roads business communities herald future Interstate as vital economic linkage
Business leaders applaud bipartisan support from N.C. and Va. U.S. Senate delegations for S. 1348
RALEIGH, NC, AND HAMPTON ROADS, Va.—The regional business community applauds the bipartisan, two-state – and
now bicameral – Congressional support for the ROAD Act, a Senate bill that would authorize the designation of a Future
Interstate corridor between Hampton Roads, Va., and Raleigh, NC, via northeastern North Carolina.
S. 1348 was introduced today by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina and enjoys bipartisan cosponsorship from
Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine from Virginia. The bill is the Senate
complement to H.R. 2211, introduced by Congressman G.K. Butterfield with more than a dozen bipartisan cosponsors.
“There is growing momentum within southeastern Virginia to gain a future Interstate designation for the highway corridor
from Hampton Roads to Raleigh via Elizabeth City, NC,” said Bryan K. Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads
Chamber of Commerce. “In the fall of 2014, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, the Hampton
Roads Chamber of Commerce, and the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable all endorsed the future Interstate initiative.”
“A future Interstate designation between Hampton Roads and Raleigh will link these key metropolitan job centers in the
southern mid-Atlantic, provide an economic lifeline for northeastern North Carolina and afford several counties their first
direct access to the Interstate system,” stated Joe Milazzo II, PE, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance
business leadership group in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area.
The bill would authorize the designation of US 64 and US 17 in eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia as a
Future Interstate corridor, connecting the vibrant Hampton Roads and Research Triangle regions together.
“The ROAD Act will prove essential in enhancing interstate commerce between North Carolina and Virginia, and
promoting economic growth for local communities along the Raleigh-Norfolk corridor,” noted Senator Tillis.
“I am proud to join Senator Kaine and our colleagues from North Carolina in introducing this bipartisan bill,” said Senator
Warner. “Designating this corridor as part of the interstate system will help facilitate commerce, boost tourism and
improve the quality of life in and around Norfolk and the entire Tidewater region.”
“The Regional Transportation Alliance applauds Senators Tillis and Burr from North Carolina and Senators Warner and
Kaine from Virginia for their bipartisan support of the I-44 Future Interstate authorization bill,” said Sam Nichols with First
Citizens Bank, RTA Freeways and Streets chair.
A recent meeting in Northeastern North Carolina coordinated by the N.C. East Alliance highlighted the growing interest in
what has become known as the “Future Interstate 44 initiative,” with more than 40 expressions of support to date from
business, community and government entities in North Carolina and Virginia. Both NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata and VDOT
Secretary Aubrey Layne have expressed support for the initiative.
“By providing both Raleigh and Hampton Roads with their second primary Interstate route, the ROAD Act serves as a
natural extension of NC Gov. Pat McCrory’s 2013 announcement of federal approval of a Future Interstate designation for
the western portion of the corridor between Rocky Mount and Raleigh,” said Milazzo.
About the Regional Transportation Alliance
The Regional Transportation Alliance serves as the recognized regional business voice for transportation initiatives and
policy for North Carolina’s Research Triangle region, representing 23 member chambers of commerce and more than 100
leading businesses. For more information, visit letsgetmoving.org and follow @RTATriangle on Twitter. RTA is a regional
program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
About the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is the Region’s premier business organization; helping our members succeed,
driving regional economic growth and enhancing the quality of life of our community’s residents. The Chamber is a
vigorous advocate for the economic success of its member businesses, which employ nearly 250,000 men and women in
southeastern Virginia. Visit HamptonRoadsChamber.com. Like us on Facebook at Chamber757 and follow us on Twitter