Regional Business Community Applauds Bipartisan, Two-state Support for Future Interstate Corridor

Regional Business Community Applauds Bipartisan, Two-state Support for Future Interstate Corridor
H.R. 2211the ROAD Actwould authorize future Interstate designation for Raleigh-Hampton Roads highway
RALEIGH, NC, AND HAMPTON ROADS, Va.—The regional business community applauds the bipartisan, two-state Congressional support for H.R. 2211, a bill that would authorize the designation of a Future Interstate corridor between Hampton Roads, Va., and Raleigh, NC, via northeastern North Carolina.
 
“A future Interstate designation between Hampton Roads and Raleigh will link these key metropolitan job centers, 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.
 
The bill was introduced by North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield and enjoys more than a dozen bipartisan original cosponsors from the two states.
 
“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.”
 
“The Regional Transportation Alliance applauds Congressman Butterfield and congressional leaders in Virginia and North Carolina for bipartisan support of the I-44 Future Interstate authorization bill,” said Sam Nichols with First Citizens Bank, Freeways and Streets chair for the RTA business leadership group in the Research Triangle region.
 
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 better connect eastern North Carolina to our state’s Capitol and to one of the country’s premier ports in Hampton Roads, Virginia," noted NC Congressman G.K. Butterfield, lead sponsor of H.R. 2211.
 
"An Interstate designation between Raleigh and Hampton Roads lays the groundwork for significant economic growth for the region, including the Port of Virginia," said Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes, an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2211."As this process moves forward, I look forward to continuing the strong partnership and cooperation between our two states."
 
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, H.R. 2211 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 @Chamber757.
 
Selected references for this release:
List of I-44 supporters: www.letsgetmoving.org/i44support
RTA blog entry on I-44: http://www.letsgetmoving.org/blogAu14-04 “A bipartisan gift to our prosperity”
 
 
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