by Sam Hieb
Running under the radar scope —with everything else going on and all— is President Trump’s “Emergency & National Security Projects” list, which includes—among many, many other projects nationwide—repairs to I-95 in North Carolina and the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will transport natural gas from West Virginia to NC:
The $1.5 billion I-95 project, which involves critical repairs to the “busiest interstate in the nation,” would result in 5,400 direct jobs, according to the report. The $4.5 billion to $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline natural gas project would involve 10,000 “direct job years.”
“Absolutely it’s good news,” said Gregory Cummings, director of the Robeson County Industrial Economic Development Commission.
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger is all in as well, who said he “plans to actively support these projects in conversations with the White House and legislative efforts with the Appropriations Committee” as well as “repealing unnecessary regulations that have made projects like these harder to complete.”
Personally speaking I avoid I-95 at all costs, but a detour on the way to the coast found me barreling down the highway for about an hour of white-knuckle driving. So yes, something needs to be done—The Robesonian reports that the proposal to put toll booths on I-95 as a means for funding an earlier repair put the brakes on that idea. Yet I am still skeptical, and our new president’s grand plans do nothing to make me less skeptical.