With one declaration from Congress, North Carolina’s roads and businesses are about to drastically change. This declaration just made the stretch of US 70 from Raleigh to Morehead City a “High Priority Corridor”. This means that Congress wants to make travel between these locations as quick and easy as possible. This means the almost two-hour trip may be a lot quicker in a short time. Traveling from the capital, the coast, and military bases will be more convenient and a lot faster. Some business owners are excited that their roadside businesses may have the opportunity to see an influx of travelers. Other businesses are less optimistic about the changes and are already bitter about how the state is handling the changes.
The status of High Priority Corridor means construction should begin as soon as possible. Groundbreaking begins in James City, near New Bern, between the Trent River and the Neuse River. Construction plans dictate that they will complete primary construction during the night. This will keep roads open during the day and on weekends during the peak season. This should help current trips to the beach and keep business working all summer long. The plan will expand the current US 70 to include wider roads with more on and off ramps. This means faster speed limits and an easier time traveling through the towns. State officials claim they notified the business owners along the route and don’t expect too much change in their business.
High Priority Corridor means Change is Coming
One business owner who runs an antique shop along the route is not happy about the High Priority Corridor announcement. The extra on and off ramps and expanded road need to go somewhere. That somewhere appears to be right through the parking lot of their business. They chose this location more than 30 years ago for its easy access to the road. However, drivers passing the store at 55 mph can more easily see the store than if they’re going 70 mph. Additionally, one ramp will cut right across their parking lot. The owner claims that the state is not paying them nearly enough to seize the land for their road development. If it’s such a High Priority Corridor, then the state should allocate more money to the business they are affecting.
Other business owners see this a High Priority Corridor as a more positive thing. The expanded road means more travelers, which in turn could mean more business. There is so little known at this point about how this will affect the landscape that there appear to be two categories of thought. Is the glass half full or half empty? Whatever the opinion, the fact is that things are going to change drastically in the area. The Port of Wilmington is the main port in North Carolina, right there in Morehead City. With the expanded roads, North Carolina could see an influx of shipping and trucking through their state. Historically, more trucking means more business. With supply bottlenecks and transportation delays, Congress and the state hope that this could speed things along for more than just North Carolina, but the country as well.