Current RTA focus
- We are seeking final Congressional approval and signing by the President for federal transportation legislation that will authorize a future Interstate designation for the entire US 64/17 corridor from Raleigh to Hampton Roads via Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The corridor will be called I-44, I-50, or another suitable two digit Interstate designation.
- With the I-495 connector designation approved for the portion of the Raleigh-Hampton Roads corridor west of I-95, we are seeking to complete the improvements needed to upgrade the “Future I-495” section to full Interstate status between I-540 at Knightdale and I-95 at Rocky Mount. The portion from I-440 to I-540 is already designated as “Interstate 495.”
The I-44/I-495 initiative has already achieved significant success: North Carolina Governor McCrory announced in December 2013 at the annual meeting of the Regional Transportation Alliance business leadership group that the portion of US 64 between I-440 at Raleigh and I-95 at Rocky Mount had received an Interstate / future Interstate 495 designation, creating Raleigh’s first direct free-flow Interstate highway corridor to the northern and mid-Atlantic states and jumpstarting progress for the full corridor.
In 2015 both houses of Congress passed federal transportation legislation authorizing a future Interstate designation for the full corridor between Raleigh and southeastern Virginia.
Successes of RTA and partners
- The entire North Carolina delegation offered their support for the bill to designate the entire corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as a future interstate.
- RTA successfully seeks I-495 Interstate designation along US 64 east freeway between Raleigh and Rocky Mount (media)
- I-495 designation announced at RTA 2013 State of Mobility event by Governor McCrory and NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata (media 1, 2)
- I-495 designation added to Google maps east of Raleigh
- First “Interstate 495” signs posted along corridor between I-440 at Raleigh and I-540 at Knightdale in April 2014, with more to be installed beginning in June 2014
- Initial “Future I-495” signs were posted throughout the corridor between I-540 at Knightdale and I-95 at Rocky Mount in April 2014
- Legislation that would codify future Interstate from Raleigh to Hampton Roads introduced in US House in 2015 (H.R. 2211), with bipartisan support and the entire NC delegation as co-sponsors as well as several members of the VA delegation
- Legislation that would codify future Interstate from Raleigh to Hampton Roads introduced in US Senate in 2015 (S 1348) by Senator Tillis with Senator Burr co-sponsoring, along with both US Senators from Virginia
- Federal transportation reauthorization legislation passes US Senate and US House in 2015 that includes the future Interstate language
- NCDOT support for future Interstate from Raleigh to Hampton Roads (overview document, letter of support from NCDOT Secretary)
- NCDOT launches feasibility studies of upgrade to full Interstate standards for entire corridor in North Carolina
- Growing support for Interstate corridor from more than 40 partner entities and organizations in North Carolina and Virginia (media)
“Ease and simplicity of access is extremely important to our region’s success and a future Interstate designation will help attract visitors from the population centers to the northeast.”
– Dennis Edwards, president and CEO, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau
“Transportation is one of the major factors that site selectors evaluate when making decisions on the location of new businesses, including Interstate access. Proactive efforts to enhance our transportation network, including new and future Interstate corridors, will pay off both in the short-term and in the future.”
-Adrienne Cole, executive director, Wake County Economic Development
“This could be our most significant effort. Eliminating the Hampton Roads cul-de-sac is a long term game changer for our region. I am very supportive.”
– Alan Witt, CEO, PBMares, LLP; Hampton Roads Business Roundtable executive committee member
“The economic impact of this initiative will be of tremendous benefit to Hampton Roads. I am strongly in favor.”
– Bob Aston, Chairman and CEO of Townebank; Hampton Roads Business Roundtable executive committee member