GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The push to get US 264 between Zebulon and Greenville designated as an Interstate isn’t over yet.
That’s according to Greenville mayor Allen Thomas, who said Friday that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation hasn’t denied the application to make that stretch of highway Future I-587. In fact, he said a report that was feedback from a side-technical advisory committee has no decision authority. It’s only there to simply advise on one technical aspect. Ultimately, the decision will be made with all aspects taken into account.
So for now, the process continues.
Local and state leaders have pushed for interstate status for the highway, saying it would help attract more businesses to eastern North Carolina.
“And it can be measured, literally, it’s monumental. It can be measured in billions of dollars. We’re going to be comparable to other communities in recruiting business here,” Greenville mayor Allen Thomas told WNCT’s Ken Watling in September when it was announced the state would seek Interstate approval.
It’s important to note, Thomas added, that parallel paths are being pursued to get that interstate designation; administrative and via Congress.
Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Walter Jones (R-NC), introduced the Eastern North Carolina Gateway Act of 2016 back in September. The bill would designate portions of US Highway 264 as an interstate highway and by creating north-south interstate access for a new Eastern North Carolina Gateway Corridor generally along US Highway 13 and NC Highway 11.