WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced The Road to Opportunity and Development (ROAD) Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, designating the Raleigh-Norfolk Corridor as a future part of the interstate system, while creating opportunities for increased commerce and investment in infrastructure and jobs.
Tillis’ Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The ROAD Act of 2015 would designate the following as a high priority corridor:
- U.S. Route 64 from its intersection in Raleigh, North Carolina, through Rocky Mount, Williamston and Elizabeth City, to U.S. Route 17 at its intersection in Norfolk, Virginia
The designation of these two highways as high priority corridors ensures the two portions of the roads will become part of the Interstate system once they’re fully built and upgraded to interstate standards. Such designation would easing traffic congestion among Norfolk, Raleigh and the North Carolina coast.
“I am pleased to introduce yet another bipartisan bill that focuses on improving our state’s infrastructure, reducing traffic congestion, and supporting the creation of good-paying North Carolina jobs,” said Senator Tillis. “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.”
“The ROAD Act will open up new opportunities in North Carolina,” said Senator Burr. “Legislation like this is vital to our state's infrastructure, benefiting all of those who use our roads and highways and encourages economic expansion by connecting some of the east coast’s largest ports to North Carolina’s cities and towns. I’m excited to see the possibilities the ROAD Act will open for all North Carolinians.”
“This bill is a bipartisan step toward integrating the Hampton Roads region of Virginia with North Carolina’s Research Triangle,” said Senator Kaine. “Hampton Roads has so much to offer, including a skilled maritime workforce, top-tier academic institutions, a robust tourism sector, and one of the East Coast’s leading deepwater ports. The benefits of interstate highway service to Raleigh will benefit people and businesses in both states and strengthen regional commerce throughout the mid-Atlantic.”
“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 ROAD Act is the second piece of legislation Sen. Tillis and Rep. Butterfield have introduced to improve North Carolina’s infrastructure, after introducing the Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act of 2015 two weeks ago. Both bills will help to 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.