WJTV News Channel 12 - Group rallies support for U.S. Highway 17 improvement proposals

Group rallies support for U.S. Highway 17 improvement proposals

Posted: Updated:
NEW BERN, N.C. -

For seven years, a local group has been calling for major improvements to one of our region's busiest roads. But now it says it has data to back the need for those changes.

The Highway 17 Association completed an economic impact study this summer explaining the impact of their request to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to convert the entire 282-mile road into a four lane highway, similar to an interstate.

"If the DOT invests remaining money required to improve the corridor, it would return dramatic money to eastern North Carolina, billions of dollars in economic return, and create thousands of jobs: construction jobs in the near term and recurring jobs in the long term across all sectors of the economy," said Marc Finlayson, Highway 17 Association executive director.

The association presented data from its economic impact study to Craven County commissioners Monday morning.

Improvements to the highway could cost anywhere from half a million dollars to more than four billion dollars. The four billion dollar project is the conversion of Highway 17 into an interstate quality facility.

"That would be very, very expensive and take beyond the year 2035 to complete, but would create probably 4,000 recurring jobs in the corridor and literally multiple billions of dollars in economic growth," said Finlayson.

The group says U.S. Highway 17 is the transportation backbone of eastern North Carolina.  Some small business owners have mixed feelings about the proposals.

"I think it would be some short term loss of business, but highways are always beneficial and there are so many accidents on Highway 17, and I think I would be in favor of improving that highway," said Dennis Bridgers, pharmacist and owner of Bynum's Drug Store in New Bern.

9 On Your Side reached out to the NCDOT for comment, but the agency did not return a phone call.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Visitation, funeral Friday for Tarboro officer killed in crash

    Visitation, funeral Friday for Tarboro officer killed in crash

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:07 AM EDT2014-04-18 11:07:42 GMT
    A state Department of Transportation truck driver was charged Thursday in connection with an accident that left an off duty Tarboro police officer dead.
    A state Department of Transportation truck driver was charged Thursday in connection with an accident that left an off duty Tarboro police officer dead.
  • Old scam shows up again in Carteret County

    Old scam shows up again in Carteret County

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:42 PM EDT2014-04-18 01:42:34 GMT
    Phone ScamPhone Scam
    Carteret County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about an old scam that's showing up again. Scammers call your phone saying relatives like sons or grandsons are in jail in foreign countries like Mexico or France. They are asking for money to be wired. Deputies say they normally ask for you to use Western Union or Money Gram. Then the scammers will target you again asking for more money. The Sheriff's Office reminds people to ask for a call back number, try calling your family membe...
    Carteret County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about an old scam that's showing up again. Scammers call your phone saying relatives like sons or grandsons are in jail in foreign countries like Mexico or France. They are asking for money to be wired. Deputies say they normally ask for you to use Western Union or Money Gram. Then the scammers will target you again asking for more money. The Sheriff's Office reminds people to ask for a call back number, try calling your family membe...
  • Funeral held for fallen New Bern officer

    Funeral held for fallen New Bern officer

    Friday, April 4 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-04-04 22:45:42 GMT
    Dozens of people lined the streets of New Bern as 22-year-old Officer Alexander Thalmann's hearse passed through Friday afternoon.
    Dozens of people lined the streets of New Bern as 22-year-old Officer Alexander Thalmann's hearse passed through Friday afternoon.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.