State Sen. William M. “Bill” Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin) announced this week that the first meeting of the Senate’s Joint Committee on Interstate 73 will be held at New College Institute in Martinsville on Nov. 10.
Created by Senate Resolution 32 sponsored by Stanley during this year’s General Assembly session, the panel is charged with formulating a plan to build I-73 through south-central Virginia within 10 years.
To facilitate interstate coordination and cooperation in developing the corridor and advancing its construction, the National Interstate 73/74/75 Committee will conduct its annual meeting at the New College Institute immediately following the meeting of the Senate I-73 Joint Committee meeting.
The National Interstate 73 / 74 / 75 Committee includes delegations from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan, all of which would be affected by the development and completion of I-73.
SR 32, which was unanimously approved by the Senate, created a two-year bi-partisan joint committee of the Senate Local Government and Transportation committees.
The joint committee is charged with developing comprehensive plans to facilitate the design, land acquisition, and construction phases of Interstate 73 from the North Carolina state line south of Martinsville to Roanoke.
“The formation of the joint committee is a critical first step toward constructing I-73 in Virginia, and is essential to revitalizing our region’s economy,” Stanley said. “Building this interstate will inject our area with thousands of jobs during the construction phase, and will result in the creation of thousands more well-paying commercial, manufacturing, and service industry jobs once construction is completed.”
Stanley said construction of I-73 will help Southside overcome the economic setbacks encountered in the 1990s and will ensure the region’s economic future for generations to come.
“The creation of the Virginia I-73 Senate subcommittee is just one of many pieces of my regional economic legislative initiatives, which are focused on workforce and economic development, education, and providing opportunities to our part of the commonwealth,” he said.
“I am also excited that our area will soon be a vital economic link in a corridor that will start in Myrtle Beach and the nearby deep-water port of Charleston, and stretch all the way to Michigan at the Canadian border.”
Stanley said the upcoming meetings in Martinsville are the culmination of ongoing efforts between his office and North Carolina and South Carolina officials.
“One of the goals of the Senate Joint Committee on I-73 is to create partnerships with North Carolina and South Carolina to collaborate on lobbying, marketing, and funding efforts on the state and federal levels,” he said.
Stanley represents the 20th District, which includes Henry and Patrick counties, the cities of Galax and Martinsville, and portions of Carroll, Franklin, Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties, and the city of Danville.