Gov. Roy Cooper, Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon and Board of Transportation Chair Michael Fox recently celebrated the opening of a new 9.4-mile section of Interstate 73 near Greensboro.
Cooper said the new roadway is one of the most important transportation projects of the last 20 years in the Triad area.
“Interstate connections bring mobility, economic development, job creation and improved quality of life,” says 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.”
This section of the $176.5 million project extends 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 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,” says Trogdon. “It would not have been possible without a collective effort.”
Officials report the roadway was completed two years earlier than originally scheduled by combining two sections of the project into a single design-build contract. This method, The North Carolina DOT reports, also lessens environmental impacts and saves taxpayer money by avoiding cost inflation.
“This new route cuts commutes in half and increases safety for drivers,” says Fox. “It provides a new route without intersections and red lights, and reducing those potential collision points saves lives.”
NCDOT says 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.