Monday - June 26, 2017
New Roadway Section Opens In Triad
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Friday, 09 June 2017 15:59

GREENSBORO -- In front of a crowd of community supporters, business leaders and state and local elected officials, Governor Roy Cooper touted a new 9.4-mile section of Interstate 73 as one of the most important transportation projects of the last two decades in the Triad. “Interstate connections bring mobility, economic development, job creation and improved quality of life,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We are already seeing how this new highway is contributing to economic growth here in the Triad region, with more than $235 million in investment planned along the corridor.”
Governor Cooper, Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon and Board of Transportation Chair Michael Fox celebrated the project during a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, June 9.
The new section of interstate runs from the Joseph M. Bryan Boulevard/Airport Parkway interchange in Greensboro, crosses over N.C. 68 and ends south of U.S. 220 near the Haw River. The project’s contract cost $176.5 million, and included construction of a taxiway bridge at PTI Airport that is expected to spur development by providing runway access to more than 800 acres.
“A lot of collaboration went into seeing this project to completion. It has long been Rockingham County’s number one priority, as well as a top priority for Guilford County,” Secretary Trogdon said. “It would not have been possible without a collective effort.”
The roadway was completed two years earlier than originally scheduled by combining two sections of the project into a single design-build contract. In addition to the accelerating the project’s timeline, the design-build method lessens environmental impacts and saves taxpayer money by avoiding cost inflation.
“This new route cuts commutes in half and increases safety for drivers,” said Board of Transportation Chair Michael Fox. “It provides a new route without intersections and red lights, and reducing those potential collision points saves lives.”
“We see I-73 as a major shot in the arm to our economic development efforts,” said Jan Critz, president of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism. “During the initial construction phase alone, this project created about 200 jobs in Rockingham County, and it provides better access to the nearly 3,500 jobs found at nearby businesses such as Honda Jet and Timco.” 
“It’s a crucial link to hundreds of acres owned by the Authority, and enables outstanding flexibility with respect to the size and shapes of sites that we have to offer to prospective companies,” said PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker. “I believe that history will reflect upon the completion of this connection as a critical milestone in the life of this airport, and the growing role of this region and the State of North Carolina in the aerospace industry.”
I-73 is eventually slated to run from South Carolina to Michigan, tying North Carolina into a national effort to improve north-south travel for much of the country.                                                                                                                                                                                          “An impressive road network like this one gives visitors, whether Furniture Market attendees or tourists, better access to High Point and Greensboro,” said High Point Economic Development Corporation President Loren Hill. “The Town of Oak Ridge is excited about this project, which will reduce bottlenecking on N.C. 68 through our town,” added Oak Ridge Town Manager Bruce Oakley All lanes of the new section are expected to open to traffic in July. The 6-mile section of I-73 connecting U.S. 220 and N.C. 68 opened to traffic on May 19.

 
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