• NC congressman pushes for new interstate to connect Charlotte to Wilmington

    By: John Paul


    A new interstate could someday be built in the Charlotte area.

    The concept is to take U.S. Route 74 and turn it into I-74, connecting Charlotte to Wilmington.

    Right now, the 200-mile stretch is a mix of country roads, highways and stoplights.

    "I think going from Charlotte to Wilmington would be an enormous enhancement," said U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, of North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

    Pittenger is pushing the idea of widening the lanes and raising the speeds.

    (U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger)

    "It makes a lot of sense to connect Charlotte and Wilmington with (Route) 74, and it will facilitate economic growth all along that corridor,” Pittenger said.

    The congressman recently sent a letter to the city of Monroe and asked for its support of the concept, because the interstate would go right through the city.

    "We want to support the congressman, but we also want to make sure that that support benefits the city," said Debra Duncan, the mayor pro tem of Monroe.

    The City Council isn't ready to sign on to the project until it knows how Monroe will be affected.

    Pittenger said the interstate wouldn't just affect travel, it would be key to growth.

    "Any region that you go into in the country, they have major road systems,” Pittenger said. “They are critically important for development."

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