Thursday, March 6, 2014
By PAUL COLLINS – Bulletin staff writer
The Virginia Senate has approved a resolution establishing a joint committee to study the construction of proposed Interstate 73 to help expedite the project.
The Senate passed unanimously by a voice vote Sen. Bill Stanley’s Resolution 32, according to a news release Tuesday from Stanley’s office and the General Assembly website.
Stanley, R-Glade Hill, said in an interview Wednesday the I-73 route has been determined and environmental studies are done, and “it’s time to act.” This study will focus on how to get the proposed road built, including procurement and logistics: possible funding, such as federal bonds and state resources; and coordinating construction with North Carolina and South Carolina, he said.
“We have not up to this point had a concerted effort to work with North Carolina and South Carolina on construction of I-73,” Stanley said.
The committee also will work to get the Commonwealth Transportation Board to place the project on the six-year road improvement plan so that it is a high priority for Virginia, Stanley said.
Stanley’s news release stated that federal legislation has designated I-73 as a “high priority corridor.”
I-73 is a federal highway, and states have to participate, financially and in coordination with the federal government, Stanley said.