WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate last night voted on the final version of the five-year highway bill, H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which authorizes federal surface transportation programs through fiscal year (FY) 2020. In a vote of 83-16, the bill now heads to the President’s desk and will be signed into law.
Included in the final legislation are provisions previously introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) that amend the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 and designate the following North Carolina highways as high priority corridors and future interstates:
- Raleigh-Norfolk Corridor from Raleigh, North Carolina, through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to Norfolk, Virginia.
- U.S. Route 70 from its intersection with Interstate Route 40 in Garner to the Port at Morehead City, and U.S. Route 117/Interstate Route 795 from U.S. Route 70 in Goldsboro to Interstate Route 40 west of Faison.
The designation of the highways would 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 will become part of the Interstate system once they are fully built and upgraded to interstate standards.
“I am pleased that we were able to come together and pass a bipartisan long-term highway bill that will help ensure that the Raleigh-Norfolk and US-70 corridors soon become part of the Interstate system,” said Sen. Tillis. “The inclusion of the provisions improving North Carolina’s infrastructure is a direct result of our state’s Congressional delegation working together as a bipartisan team. The end result will be tremendous benefits for the people of North Carolina, including enhanced local economic development, reduced traffic congestion, and improved access to our military bases.”
“This five year deal will ensure that North Carolina’s critical highway corridors will see needed infrastructure updates,” said Sen. Burr. “I’m thankful for Sen. Tillis’ work on this bill and I’m encouraged that the Senate and House produced bipartisan legislation that will solve many of the United States’ transportation issues, as well as contributing economic benefits to the state. I look forward to the President signing this into law.”