ENC roads get interstate designation

Several highways in the east have been designated as future interstates, including Highway 70.

President Obama signed two bills, authored by Congressman G.K. Butterfield.

One of the bills called the Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act, will help allocate funds to Highway 70 to better connect the state Global Transpark, the Port of Morehead City and Air Station Cherry Point.

The other bill called the Road Act, will help prioritize funds for portions of U.S. Highway 17 and 64, and guarantees that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards and that the route travels through eastern North Carolina.

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Eastern Carolina will have two major highways designated as future interstates if President Barrack Obama signs pending legislation.

Congress passed the federal highway funding bill, which designates US 17 and 64 through Williamston, Elizabeth City and Rocky Mount; and portions of US 70 and US 117 as future interstates. That would better connect Seymour Johnson, the Global TransPark, Cherry Point and the state port in Morehead City with the rest of the state.

"The selection of specific highways to be future parts of the Interstate system is important to citizens and businesses and will be a major business recruitment tool for local communities and the State of North Carolina," Governor Pat McCrory said in a news release.