WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award a $147 million grant for key infrastructure projects across Eastern North Carolina’s highway corridors. The grant, which will be the largest infrastructure project in the state, will help widen up to 25 miles of road along I-95 and upgrade the remaining sections of U.S. 70 to interstate grade, allowing the freeway to become I-42.
“I am pleased that North Carolina will receive the resources we need to continue updating our crucial highway corridors,” said Senator Burr. “These projects will modernize our roads and decrease congestion in areas that have become overburdened by traffic and delays. They will also improve our emergency preparedness in the event of a natural disaster and will establish reliable access to four vital military bases. In the process, this work and development will help boost economic growth in local communities. I am proud of Senator Tillis’ work and the strong, bipartisan support North Carolina’s delegation has shown on this important issue.”
“Today’s decision by the Department of Transportation to provide resources to widen I-95 and allow U.S. 70 to become I-42 is great news that will produce long-lasting benefits in Eastern North Carolina,” said Senator Tillis. “These improvements will result in reduced traffic congestion, improved access to military bases, and increased investments in our state’s economy. I want to thank Secretary Chao for this grant to make these important infrastructure improvements and Senator Burr for his partnership advocating for these projects.”
- The grant is part of Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) funding and will be distributed to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
- In 2015, the Senate passed H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which included provisions introduced by Senators Burr and Tillis to designate portions of U.S. 70 as a high priority corridor and future interstate. The INFRA grant will help connect U.S. 70 from I-40 to the Port in Morehead City. The project will improve access along I-95 and U.S. 70 for four military bases: Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Camp Lejeune Marine Base, and Cherry Point Marine Air Station.
- In addition to expanding highway access, the project will provide 300 miles of broadband backbone to connect Eastern North Carolina to telecomm access.