US 70 Poised to Play Key Role in NC Economy

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US 70 is positioned to be a major economic driver for eastern NC over the coming years, according to a recent report. Cambridge Systematics, Inc. and Sanford Holshouser Economic Development teamed together to comprise an analysis of the economic impacts and opportunities arising from the improvements of the US 70 corridor

Eastern NC – June 24, 2014– US 70 is positioned to be a major economic driver for eastern NC over the coming years, according to a recent report. Cambridge Systematics, Inc. and Sanford Holshouser Economic Development teamed together to comprise an analysis of the economic impacts and opportunities arising from the improvements of the US 70 corridor – resulting in the creation of Super70 – a freeway linking the Port of Morehead City, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, NC Global TransPark, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the Triangle .

As the major connector between I-95 and I-40, the U.S. 70 corridor is a key asset for eastern NC and is a preferred route for those traveling east/west, linking major Piedmont cities of Winston-Salem and Greensboro to areas such as Raleigh, Goldsboro, New Bern and Beaufort.

The report specified that “improvements along U.S. 70 could lead to time savings of more than an hour between key economic development assets along the corridor”. The undeniable tie of U.S. 70 to the supply chain of various industries was the strength behind this research.

“A fully controlled access highway would give rise to significant travel efficiencies for existing business and residents.  These include $56 million in business cost savings, $1.2 billion in GRP and over $900 million in additional personal income between 2014 and 2040,” the report states [for what area?].

With four of the top 25 highest visited attractions in the state, three military bases in close proximity, new company recruitment activities, 7 colleges located in the counties along the corridor, and competitive positioning based on connectivity to other interstates, U.S. 70 has an immense impact on the economic value of Eastern North Carolina.

“In total, upgrading the entire U.S. 70 corridor could give rise to an additional 1,150 to 1,900 jobs per year for communities that rely on the corridor and an additional 600 jobs annually for the rest of North Carolina” according to Cambridge and Sanford Holshouser.

“So many consultants and companies today specify they are seeing sites with unimpeded access, meaning no ‘at-grade’ intersections or railroad crossings,” stated John D. Chaffee, CEO of the NCEast Alliance.  “US 70 is a major state transportation artery connecting the Port of Morehead City to inland defense, logistics, and manufacturing centers and it needs to be upgraded to freeway status to have the fullest, positive economic impact possible on our State,” Chaffee continued.

With logistics being the second most costly factor in a company’s total operating expenses, the U.S. 70 corridor, with its newly proposed bypasses, expansions and improvements, will provide safer, more efficient travel for economic centers and key industries connecting the Triad, the Triangle, and Eastern NC cities.

For a look at the full study, visit our website at /alliance/literature-library/.

The NCEast Alliance is a regional economic development corporation serving more than 1 million residents within several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast. The Alliance provides community capacity building and assists companies with site location and expansion assistance.  For more information on the NCEast Alliance, visit us at www.nceast.org or call 1-800-474-8499.