Photo courtesy of the Goldsboro Daily News. Reprinted with permission.
A tip of the hat goes to Dawson & Associates senior advisor and former U.S. Congressman Martin Lancaster. This month, the North Carolina Department of Transportation designated a section of Interstate 795 in eastern North Carolina as the H. Martin Lancaster Freeway to recognize his efforts to expand economic opportunity in North Carolina’s eastern region.
From 1987 to 1995, Martin represented North Carolina’s eastern counties, traditionally the state’s most rural and economically challenged area. Despite many advantages, this area suffered from a lack of Interstate highway access and Cong. Lancaster worked tireless to provide funds for an Interstate spur connecting Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to the Interstate System and to provide the economic development incentives of an Interstate highway to that region.
“Back in 1994, I earmarked funds to upgrade to interstate standards a highway that was still in the planning stages,” Martin recalls. “When the road was built to interstate standards I worked with local leaders, N. C. Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti and federal officials to get the Interstate designation. As I look back, it’s one of my proudest achievements in the Congress.”
Recently, the area’s Director of Economic Development told Martin that the county has seen a significant increase in companies looking to locate manufacturing and distribution facilities there, a clear indication of the benefits of the interstate designation.