The Henry County Board of Supervisors met yesterday where, just like I73, they approved a route that is different than what state officials had planned – which is fine. It’s fair to think we know our area better than someone who’s not from here. Tommy Slaughter, Reed Creek District Supervisor, made a point in his recent speech to the Oak Level Ruritan Club, that the Martinsville Southern Connecter is not I73. This is obvious to anyone following the news, but it’s still confusing to enough of the public that it has to be said. What Slaughter said after that caught my attention. He said I73 was dead. I repeat – dead. Not going to happen. Over and done with. Adios. Sayonara. That road project has consumed the news around here since the 1990’s. People have been wheeling around the notion that this interstate was the saviour of our local economy. Now, a Henry County Board of Supervisor has announced the project is dead.
According to Wikipedia, Interstate 73 (I-73) is an Interstate Highway, located within the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is part of a longer planned corridor, defined by various federal laws to run from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, but only the part south of West Virginia is under study as of 2012. The corridor passes through the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan. Ohio and Michigan do not plan to build any part of the highway, as the I-73 corridor in both of these states is already served by existing freeways or 4-lane highways that will eventually be upgraded to freeways. West Virginia is building its section, mostly along U.S. Highway 52, as a four-lane divided highway, but not meeting the Interstate Highway standards. On the other hand, North Carolina and South Carolina have built sections and Virginia plans to build its part. Thus Interstate 73 will, once scheduled projects are completed, run from South Carolina to Roanoke, Virginia, where it will end at Interstate 81. Associated with these plans are those for the extension of Interstate 74 from Cincinnati to Myrtle Beach, with several highway overlaps contemplated.
As the man once said… it’s all about the money… it’s all about the money.