US DOT Approves Future Interstate Designation of U.S. Highway 264

Nov 21, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced its final approval of the state’s application to designate U.S. Highway 264 between Zebulon and Greenville, North Carolina as Future Interstate 587.  Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Walter B. Jones (NC-03) applauded the approval of North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) application to transform the highway into an interstate.

“I am thrilled that the transformation of Highway 264 into a Future Interstate will officially become a reality,” said Rep. Butterfield.  “This approval will make the Future Interstate Greenville’s first connection to a major interstate highway.  I thank Congressman Jones for his strong support in this effort to better connect eastern North Carolina with neighboring regions along Interstate 95 and the Eastern Seaboard.”

“I introduced The Eastern North Carolina Gateway Act to underline the need for high-quality infrastructure in our region,” said Congressman Jones. “I am pleased that the NC Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration agree that Future Interstate 587 is a crucial investment in the future of the Eastern North Carolina regional economy. This milestone would not have been possible without the support of transportation advocates throughout our state, including my colleagues Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.”

This announcement follows Butterfield and Jones’ letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx calling for the FHWA to approve NCDOT’s request to designate portions of U.S. Highway 264 as a Future Interstate.

The request made by the state closely follows the Eastern North Carolina Gateway Act of 2016, which was introduced in the House of Representatives by Butterfield and Jones as H.R. 6105 and in the Senate by Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis as S. 3378.  The bill would help better connect Eastern North Carolina with Interstate 95 and the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Greenville is the 10th largest city in North Carolina, and the largest city in North Carolina without an interstate highway.  The approval of NCDOT’s application would designate the U.S. Highway 264/64 split from Zebulon to Greenville as a High Priority Corridor and Future Interstate.  Many portions of U.S. Highway 264 are already built to interstate standards.  NCDOT has committed to completing the Future Interstate within 25 years.

The full text of DOT’s letter of approval can be viewed here.