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    I-73/I-74 North South Corridor 5 in ISTEA


    78,000 mile Inter-Regional Highway System
    Largest Freeway System Studied in 1941
    Prior to the Interstate System Approved in 1957
     
     
    National I-73/I-74/I-75 Association
     
    I-73/I-74 in North Carolina [Gribble Nation]
     
    Why I-73/I-74 in North Carolina [Gribble Nation]
     
    Future I-73 [NCDOT]
     
    Future I-74 Brunswick and Columbus Counties Study {cancelled by NCDOT}
     
    US 70 Corridor Improvements (Future I-42) [NCDOT]
     
    Future I-87 Raleigh-Norfolk Corridor [NCDOT]
     
    Future I-87 [Regional Transportation Alliance]
     
    US 52 King Coal Highway [WVDOH]
     
    US 52 King Coal Highway [FHWA]
     
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    ISTEA High Priority 5 Corridor

     

    High Priority Interstate 73 and Interstate 74 Corridor 5

    1. I-73/74 North-South Corridor from Charleston, South Carolina, through Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Ohio, to Cincinnati, Ohio, to termini at Detroit, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The Sault Ste. Marie terminus shall be reached via a corridor connecting Adrian, Jackson, Lansing, Mount Pleasant, and Grayling, Michigan.

      1. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Corridor shall generally follow--

        1. United States Route 220 from the Virginia-North Carolina border to I-581 south of Roanoke;

        2. I-581 to I-81 in the vicinity of Roanoke;

        3. I-81 to the proposed highway to demonstrate intelligent transportation systems authorized by item 29 of the table in section 1107(b) in the vicinity of Christiansburg to United States Route 460 in the vicinity of Blacksburg; and

        4. United States Route 460 to the West Virginia State line.

      2. In the States of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, the Corridor shall generally follow--

        1. United States Route 460 from the West Virginia State line to United States Route 52 at Bluefield, West Virginia; and

        2. United States Route 52 to United States Route 23 at Portsmouth, Ohio.

      3. In the States of North Carolina and South Carolina, the Corridor shall generally follow:

        1. in the case of I-73--

          1. United States Route 220 from the Virginia State line to State Route 68 in the vicinity of Greensboro;

          2. State Route 68 to I-40;

          3. I-40 to United States Route 220 in Greensboro;

          4. United States Route 220 to United States Route 1 near Rockingham;

          5. United States Route 1 to the South Carolina State line; and

          6. South Carolina State line to the Myrtle Beach Conway region to Georgetown, South Carolina, including a connection to Andrews following the route 41 corridor and to Camden following the U.S. Route 521 corridor; and

        2. in the case of I-74--

          1. I-77 from Bluefield, West Virginia, to the junction of I-77 and the United States Route 52 connector in Surry County, North Carolina;

          2. the I-77/United States Route 52 connector to United States Route 52 south of Mount Airy, North Carolina;

          3. United States Route 52 to United States Route 311 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina;

          4. United States Route 311 to United States Route 220 in the vicinity of Randleman, North Carolina;

          5. United States Route 220 to United States Route 74 near Rockingham;

          6. United States Route 74 to United States Route 76 near Whiteville;

          7. United States Route 74/76 to the South Carolina State line in Brunswick County; and

          8. South Carolina State line to the Myrtle Beach Conway region to Georgetown, South Carolina.

    History of the I-73/I-74 Corridor 5 in North Carolina, South Carolina, And Virginia

    The Interstate Corridors for Future I-73 and I-74 were created in the 1991 ISTEA and is still listed by the FHWA in the National Highway System as the High Priority I-73/I-74 North-South Corridor 5. The I-73 corridor in ISTEA runs from South Carolina to Michigan.  NCDOT was more interested in the north-south I-73, however Senator Warner of Virginia supported an east-west route as the continuation the I-66 Trans America Corridor. VDOT did not support the I-66 designation in Virginia for the Trans America Corridor since I-66 already exist in northern Virgina. Senator Warner promoted the extension of I-74 along the Trans America Corridor to Norfolk. The political compromise was to also extend I-74 east from Cincinatti, however VDOT did not support building the I-74 Trans America Corridor either. The final political compromise was to route I-74 through North Carolina and South Carolina. The only parts of I-73 and I-74 as defined in ISTEA were actually built in North Carolina. South Carolina is still actively studying I-73 to Mrytle Beach. Virginia was studying I-73 to Roanoke, however VDOT has basically suspended further studies indefinitely because of no guarantee for federal funding, although local politicians insist the highway will be built. West Virginia plans to convert the US 52 King Coal Highway to I-73 after Virginia completes its segment.

    US 52 King Coal Highway

    The King Coal Highway Authority was established by the West Virginia Legislature in March of 1999 to promote and advance the construction of a four-lane divided highway that will become the new routing for US 52 through McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wyoming and Wayne counties replacing the existing US Route 52. The Authority coordinates with counties, municipalities, state and federal agencies, public nonprofit corporations, private corporations, associations, partnerships and individuals for the purpose of planning, assisting and establishing recreational, tourism, industrial, economic and community development of the King Coal Highway for the benefit of West Virginians.

    The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) plans to build the highway from a point near Williamson – at the intersection of WV 65 and US 119 – to Interstate 77 at its US 52 interchange in the Bluefield area (see map). After evaluating six alternative routes for the highway and considering public comments from a May 1998 public information workshop, WVDOH selected a Preferred Alternative. By the year 2020, engineers estimate the new highway would cut travel time on the existing US 52 to almost in half.

    The Preferred Alternative plan also includes a 4-lane connector, nearly five miles long, to improve access into Williamson. The connector would also provide access to the Mingo County Airport. The Preferred Alternative was chosen on the basis of its ability to meet the needs of the project while minimizing impact on the natural, physical and social environments. This selected route avoids the greatest number of archaeological resources and has the least impact on businesses and residences. This Preferred Alternative, however, remains "preliminary" until the completion of the entire public involvement process.

    The King Coal Highway will be a limited controlled access four-lane divided highway between Williamson and Bluefield. It ultimately will cover approximately 90 miles of mountainous southern West Virginia, opening it up to faster, safer transportation. The route was designated as a High Priority Corridor in the National Highway System in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. The Congress designated Corridor 5 as the Future Interstate 73/Interstate 74 Corridor. However, the states of Michigan and Ohio widthdrew their support for I-73 and I-74 after preliminary feasibility studies in the 1990's showed that the cost to build them excessed their economic benefit. Ohio always had plans to upgrade US 23 in Ohio to freeway over the long term as projected traffic increases warranted the expense. The state already to constructing the new OH 825 freeway bypass of Portsmouth as the final part of Appalachian Development Highway System Corridor B. North Carolina proceeded to build sections of both I-73 and I-74. South Carolina has obtained all the necessary Federal environmental permits to complete I-73 when funding is made available. The state of Virginia has made funding of I-73 a low priority for the near future. West Virginia continues to support converting The King Coal/TOLSIA Highways to I-73 on condition that Virginia commit itself to completing I-73 through the state.

    US 52 TOLSIA Highway

    The TOLSIA Highway is the portion of U.S. 52 in southern West Virginia that runs between Kenova in Wayne County and Williamson in Mingo County. The acronym is taken from the "Tug-Ohio-Levisa-Sandy Improvement Association", a group of local business people and community leaders who successfully lobbied in the 1950s and 1960s to have a new roadway constructed along the Big Sandy River. After the new road was built, the U.S. 52 designation which previously had applied to the road connecting Huntington and Crum was moved to the new road. The old road was renumbered as U.S. 152. State and federal officials pressed ahead with plans for upgrading it from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided highway. The new, upgraded road will be built in three sections, the first from Kenova to Fort Gay, the second from Fort Gay to Crum, and the third from Crum to Kermit. Construction on the upgrade, estimated to cost more than $800 million, began in 1996 and was expected to take a decade or longer to complete.

    History of I-73 in Michigan and Ohio

    Michigan's Department of Transportation conducted preliminary studies in the 1990's, but voter opposition and the governor's office cancelled any further studies. The only serious study of I-73 in Ohio was conducted by the Ohio Turnpike Commission in the 1990's because the Congress did not authorize any consistent funding from the Federal Aid Highway Trust Fund and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) had no foreseeable funding for either project over the next 50 years. I-73 was heavily opposed in the Columbus area and I-74 was opposed in the Cincinatti area. ODOT never seriously studied I-74 specifically because traffic on the existing OH 32 Corridor D and US 52 along the Ohio River were extremely low to justify an Interstate freeway and the projected economic benefit was judged too low in southeast Ohio. Completing I-73 outside of North Carolina and linking I-74 in Ohio to I-74 in North Carolina are in a status of "indefinite hold" until federal funding is guaranteed, leaving the segments of I-74 in Ohio and I-74 in North Carolina unlinked duplicate route numbers. Given the fact that I-74 will never be a single route, AASHTO should redesignate the part of I-74 in North Carolina to I-46 from I-77 to I-95.

     

    Corridor B, Corridor D, King Coal Highway

     

    The Future I-63 Concept

    The new I-63 proposal is a northern extension of I-26 from South Carolina following US 23 Corridor B through Virginia and Kentucky, then US 52 into Ohio and OH 73 to Hillsboro, Wilmington and the Dayton/Springfield Ohio area. I-63 would connect to I-75 near south of Lima. The Future I-63 could continue along US 30 to Ft Wayne and South Bend Indiana, then generally follow US 131 to Grand Rapids Michigan. It could continue further north using US 131 to potentially terminate at I-75 in north Michigan. The direct linkage to I-26 in South Carolina would create a trade corridor for Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan linking the deep port in Charleston South Carolina to the existing manufacturing in Ohio and Michigan, with additional opportunities for manufacturing and distribution centers in eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.

     

    Kentucky

     

    I-63 Corridor B

    I-63 first follows US 23 Corridor B in the Appalachian Development Highway System Corridor B north from the existing I-26/I-81 interchange between Kingsport and Johnson City Tennessee into Kentucky, linking Huntington West Virginia, Portsmouth Ohio.

    I-50

    The I-50 Trans America Highway start from the US 460 Corridor Q then general follows the old I-66 corridor through the state to Missouri. The remaining section of the original "I-66" in the east may form an I-150 spur to I-52 in West Virginia.

    I-54

    I-54 is the conversion of the Bert Combs Mountain Parkway and the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkways to Lexington.

    I-565

    The Natcher Parkway has been assigned I-565 by AAHSTO.

    I-69, I-169, I-369

    The remaining part of the Pennyrille Parkway to Hopkinsville was assigned I-169 by the AASHTO. The Audubon Parkway will be converted to I-369 under the proposal for a "I-69 Spur".

     

    West Viginia

     

    I-52/US 52 King Coal Highway

    I-52 could be the freeway upgrade of the planned US 52 King Coal Highway and TOLSIA Highway four-lane divided highway, the original route for "I-73" through West Virginia to Columbus Ohio that was cancelled in Ohio. The King Coal Highway Authority was established by the West Virginia Legislature in March of 1999 to promote and advance the construction of a four-lane divided highway that will become the new routing for US 52 through McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wyoming and Wayne counties replacing the existing US Route 52. The Authority coordinates with counties, municipalities, state and federal agencies, public nonprofit corporations, private corporations, associations, partnerships and individuals for the purpose of planning, assisting and establishing recreational, tourism, industrial, economic and community development of the King Coal Highway for the benefit of West Virginians.

    The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) plans to build the highway from a point near Williamson – at the intersection of WV 65 and US 119 – to Interstate 77 at its US 52 interchange in the Bluefield area (see map). After evaluating six alternative routes for the highway and considering public comments from a May 1998 public information workshop, WVDOH selected a Preferred Alternative. By the year 2020, engineers estimate the new highway would cut travel time on the existing US 52 to almost in half.

    The Preferred Alternative plan also includes a 4-lane connector, nearly five miles long, to improve access into Williamson. The connector would also provide access to the Mingo County Airport. The Preferred Alternative was chosen on the basis of its ability to meet the needs of the project while minimizing impact on the natural, physical and social environments. This selected route avoids the greatest number of archaeological resources and has the least impact on businesses and residences. This Preferred Alternative, however, remains "preliminary" until the completion of the entire public involvement process.

    The King Coal Highway will be a four-lane divided highway with partially controlled access between Williamson and Bluefield. It ultimately will cover approximately 90 miles of mountainous southern West Virginia, opening it up to faster, safer transportation. The route was designated as a High Priority Corridor in the National Highway System in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. The corridor was actually designated as Future Interstate 73 and Interstate 74 Corridor and still is today. Since then, Michigan widthdrew its support for I-73 and Ohio widthdrew its support of both I-73 and I-74. North Carolina proceeded to build its sections of both I-73 and I-74 and South Carolina still plans to complete their part if funding exist. Virginia was supporting I-73 but its future is now a low priority, and since West Virginia based its support or I-73 on Virginia completing its section and Ohio on completing its part of I-74, the construction of I-73/I-74 using the King Coal and TOLSIA Highways is on indefinite hold.

    I-52/US 52 TOLSIA Highway

    The TOLSIA Highway is the portion of U.S. 52 in southern West Virginia that runs between Kenova in Wayne County and Williamson in Mingo County. The acronym is taken from the "Tug-Ohio-Levisa-Sandy Improvement Association", a group of local business people and community leaders who successfully lobbied in the 1950s and 1960s to have a new roadway constructed along the Big Sandy River. After the new road was built, the U.S. 52 designation which previously had applied to the road connecting Huntington and Crum was moved to the new road. The old road was renumbered as U.S. 152. State and federal officials pressed ahead with plans for upgrading it from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided highway. The new, upgraded road will be built in three sections, the first from Kenova to Fort Gay, the second from Fort Gay to Crum, and the third from Crum to Kermit. Construction on the upgrade, estimated to cost more than $800 million, began in 1996 and was expected to take a decade or longer to complete.

    I-63

    The conceptual I-63 runs along US 23 in Kentucky then US 52 into Ohio.

    I-50 Trans America Highway

    The new conceptual I-50 Trans America Highway replaces the now cancelled "I-66" Trans America Corridor. I-50 follows the US 121 Coalfields Expressway into the state and the US 52 King Coal Highway to I-77.

    I-68

    The I-68 West Extension is a real proposal of WVDOT with one route under study to New Martinsville shown. The I-68 routing along WV 2 to Parkersburg is a conceptual route not in the current WVDOT I-68 plans.

    I-79 South Extension

    A conceptual southern extension of I-79, the preferred replacement designation for "I-73" in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, first follows a freeway upgrade of US 19 Corridor G, then runs concurrent with I-77 and I-50 into Virginia. Using US 19 creates a "direct" route to Virginia. In this plan the existing I-79 west to Charleston is designated as I-179.

    I-62

    New conceptual routes for I-62 follows US 50 Corridor D and US 33 to Columbus then continues to I-80/I-90 near South Bend Indiana.

     

    Ohio

     

    I-63

    I-63 departs from Corridor B following OH 73 and US 68 to I-75. I-63 could continue to Ft Wayne and South Bend Indiana.

    I-66

    I-66 follows US 35 to Dayton and I-70 west of the city.

    I-68

    I-68 extends west from West Virginia first along US 50 then OH 32 to Cincinnati, terminating at the existing I-275 then east along the new OH 32 Eastern Corridor.

    I-62

    I-62 follows US 50 from Athens then US 33 to Columbus.

    I-76

    I-76 is extended west concurrent with I-71 then using the US 30 freeway/expressway across Ohio.

    I-72 Ports-To-Forts Corridor

    US 24 is converted to I-72. I-72 is an extension of the existing I-72 in Illinois along I-74 through the state, then along then along the Hoosier Heartland Corridor (IN 25/US 24). This forms a new I-72/I-74/I-76/I-80 corridor from I-70 to I-80 that will bypass Kansas City Missouri, St Louis Missouri, Indianapolis Indiana, and Cleveland Ohio.

     

    Michigan

     

    I-63

    I-63 generally follows US 131 freeway to Grand Rapids.

    I-67

    I-67 follows US 31 from I-80/I-90 west of South Bend (as planned by InDOT) to Benton Harbor and the existing I-196 to Grand Rapides (the same route proposed by MDOT in 1958) then follows the existing US 131 freeway north before crossing east to I-75 near Grayling. The termination at Grayling is based on the reality that MDOT has no interest to upgrade US 131 to freeway north to Petoskey unless local support appears.

     

    Virginia

     

    Redesignate I-73 to the I-79 South Extension

    If Virginia decides to extend "Future I-73" into the state, the new road could become "Future I-79" instead to retain the correct Interstate number in the national grid. The new I-79 extends south concurrent with I-77 through West Virginia, then concurrent with I-50 through Virginia, then finally south into North Carolina generally following US 220. The original I-73/I-74 plan was to convert the US 52 King Coal Highway to I-73 and I-74 concurrently.

    I-50 Trans America Highway

    The I-50 Trans America Highway enters Virginia along the US 460 Corridor Q Connector, then along the US 121 Coalfields Expressway into West Virginia. I-50 then re-enters Virginia from the US 52 King Coal Highway. I-50 then follows US 460 from I-77 throughout the entire state to Chesapeake and Norfolk Virginia, to end in Virginia Beach via I-264.

    I-87 Raleigh-Norfolk Interstate Corridor

    I-87 is the new designation for the Raliegh-Norfolk Interstate Corridor authorized by the new Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015.

     

    North Carolina

  • Convert I-26 to I-73, I-79, I-42, I-87, Convert I-74 to I-46 and I-28

     
  • High Priority Interstate 87 Corridor 13

    Raleigh-Norfolk Corridor from Raleigh, North Carolina, through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to Norfolk, Virginia.

    The US 64/US 17 Raleigh-Norfolk Corridor became a Future Interstate Corridor in the new Fixing America's Surface Transportation Reauthorization {FAST} and Reform Act of 2015. The AASHTO approved the I-87 designation for this corridor, although this duplicates the existing route number of the New York Thruway north from New York City to Albany.

    High Priority Interstate 785 Corridor 40 [created in ISTEA]

    The Greensboro Corridor from Danville, Virginia, to Greensboro, North Carolina, along United States Route 29.

    High Priority Interstate 795 Corridor 81 [created in FAST]

    United States Route 117/Interstate Route 795 from United States Route 70 in Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina, to Interstate Route 40 west of Faison, Sampson County, North Carolina.

    High Priority Interstate 42 Corridor 82 [created in FAST]

    United States Route 70 from its intersection with Interstate Route 40 in Garner, Wake County, North Carolina, to the Port at Morehead City, Carteret County, North Carolina.

    After US 70 became a Future Interstate Corridor in FAST, the AAHSTO approved the I-42 designation for the new Interstate Corridor.

    Redesignation of I-73 in ISTEA to the I-79 South Extension

    The cancellation of I-73 in Virginia is likely and I-74 in North Carolina will not connect to the existing I-74 in Ohio and I-73 is cancelled in WV, Va, and SC. However, local politician will try to keep the "I-73" concept alive. If the corridor is built, it should be re-designated as I-79 to bring it back in line with the Interstate numbering grid.

    The Re-designation of I-74 in ISTEA to I-46 and I-28

    The northern segment of I-74 in North Carolina could be changed to I-46 and US 74 the southern part of I-74 between Charlette and I-95 could be designated as I-28

     

    South Carolina

     

    Potential Redesignation of I-26 to I-63

    The existing I-26 could be converted to the Future I-63 designation to create a single Interstate corridor from South Carolina to Ohio.

    Potential Redesignation of Future I-73 to Future I-79

    The Future I-73 could be changed to the Future I-79 to meet the correct route numbering sequence in the National Interstate Numbering Grid.

    The Selected Northern Corridor in South Carolina for ISTEA Future I-73

    The Selected Southern Corridor in South Carolina for ISTEA Future I-73