Butterfield Reintroduces Highway Bill for Eastern North Carolina with Support of NC Delegation Members

May 1, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) reintroduced a bipartisan bill to designate two highways as a “future interstate” that will originate in Raleigh, North Carolina, and travel through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia.  H.R. 2211, or the ROAD Act, is the second of Butterfield’s transportation improvement bills and is cosponsored by Representatives Walter Jones (NC-03), Mark Meadows (NC-11), George Holding (NC-13), David Price (NC-04), Dr. Alma Adams (NC-12), Renee Ellmers (NC-02), David Rouzer (NC-07), Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Mark Walker (NC-06), Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Scott Rigell (VA-02), Randy Forbes (VA-04), Bobby Scott (VA-03), and Robert Wittman (VA-01).

Specifically, H.R. 2211 guarantees that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards, that the route travels through eastern North Carolina, and that U.S. Highways 17 and 64 are prioritized when allocating funding for federal highways--saving taxpayers money by improving on existing infrastructure.  The entire length of the U.S. highway 64 freeway between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a future interstate (I-495) in 2013 and, according to the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), half of the entire future I-44 corridor is already built to freeway standards.

Butterfield said, “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.  This bill is a key part of my vision to significantly advance transportation in the region and will, among other things, reduce traffic congestion, improve access, and pave the way for job creation and further economic development in North Carolina and Virginia.  There is no question that this will boost the local and regional economies.  I thank my colleagues for their support.”

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $1 billion in transportation funding can support approximately 30,000 jobs which would be critical to economic development in eastern North Carolina.  Passing legislation to designate the highways as a future interstate can lead to modernization and investment in the region’s highway infrastructure.  This important bill is a key step in Butterfield’s plan to build a strong transportation network, put North Carolinians to work, and accelerate the upgrade of U.S. highways 64 and 17.

H.R. 2211 is supported by Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.  Many local governmental entities, chambers of commerce, and regional transportation associations in North Carolina and Virginia are also supportive of this designation.

“I look forward to introducing 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 development for local communities along the Raleigh-Norfolk corridor.” 

"We appreciate the continued collaboration and support of Congressman Butterfield, Senator Tillis and the NC congressional delegation to strengthen vital transportation corridors in our state," said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. "This important designation will help better connect many areas of eastern North Carolina to jobs and  other opportunities in the economic center of Hampton Roads and enhance freight movement as outlined in Governor McCrory's 25 Year Vision."

Earlier this month, Butterfield introduced H.R. 1844, the Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act, which similarly seeks to designate U.S. Highways 70 and 117 as “high priority corridors” and “future interstates.”