WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tillis (R-NC) introduced The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill that amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 to ensure that the US-70 Corridor in North Carolina would become part of the Interstate system once it is fully upgraded to interstate standards. Tillis’ Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act of 2015 would designate the following as high priority corridors:
- U.S. Route 117/Interstate Route 795 from U.S. Route 70 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, to Interstate Route 40 west of Faison, North Carolina.
- U.S. Route 70 from its intersection with Interstate Route 40 in Garner, North Carolina, to the Port at Morehead City, North Carolina.
If the corridors become part of the Interstate system, they would result in improved access to military bases in eastern North Carolina and the Port at Morehead City, in addition to easing traffic congestion between Raleigh and eastern North Carolina.
The legislation helps advance the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Strategic Transportation Corridors Vision, which aims to provide North Carolina with a network of high priority corridors that promote economic development and enhance interstate commerce.
“In midst of a sluggish national economy, North Carolina has been a bright spot for growth and innovation, and one of the keys to sustaining that economic success is through continued investment in transportation, infrastructure, and our military,” said Senator Tillis. “The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act is a true bipartisan effort to support North Carolina’s military installations and complement the state’s 25 year transportation improvement plan, which in turn will generate economic development, provide a boost for local communities and create good-paying jobs.”
“This legislation will make it possible to refurbish and expand the highway system in North Carolina by identifying these highways as high priority corridors,” said Senator Burr. “Improvements to this infrastructure is critically important to local communities and will make this high transit corridor safer, faster and more modern, ensuring that North Carolina’s economy continues to be one of the most vibrant in the country. I welcome this needed legislation and know that North Carolinians do as well.”
“Improving transportation in eastern North Carolina is vital to strengthening our state’s economy, improving military readiness and commerce, and reducing traffic congestion,” said Congressman Butterfield, who introduced the House companion bill. “The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act would connect cities and military bases throughout eastern North Carolina with a major port, the state capital, and the eastern seaboard. This vital legislation will benefit the entire region, and stimulate job growth throughout eastern North Carolina.”
The Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act of 2015 is supported by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata, the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission, and the Wayne County Transportation Committee.
“We appreciate the support of the NC Congressional Delegation for the Governor's 25 Year Vision, specifically this focus on the Highway 70 corridor that will strengthen military connections and enhance freight movement to and from one of our state's vital ports,” said Secretary Tony Tata.