Polk approves resolutions to expand Hwy 74

Published 1:07 pm Monday, April 8, 2013


Polk, Rutherford and Cleveland Counties are asking the state to expand Hwy. 74 around Shelby and extend it to Wilmington for economic benefits to the area.

The three counties met jointly on March 21 where Polk and Rutherford Counties approved resolutions for the expansions. Cleveland County was expected to approve the resolutions later.

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The Polk County Board of Commissioners met April 1 and discussed the wanted expansions. Commissioner vice-chair Ted Owens said as some know, Hwy. 74 began in the 1970s, was graded in Columbus to Hwy. 9 then funds were withdrawn and it was not completed.

“It grew up in pines and looked like it would never be done,” Owens said.

Then the state constructed it to where it is today, but did not take it around Shelby, Owens said.

“The three counties would like to get it done for economic reasons if for no other,” Owens said.

The second resolution is asking the state to extend Hwy. 74 from Columbus to Wilmington.

“The development of a South Economic Development Corridor from I-26 to Wilmington would improve commerce between western North Carolina and the Port of Wilmington and be an important east-west corridor across the state of NC; and whereas, the proposed corridor will stimulate economic development opportunities in rural North Carolina from the mountains to the coast,” states the resolution.

The resolution also says the corridor would create jobs across North Carolina in maritime, transportation, distribution, manufacturing and agriculture by providing greater access to the Port of Wilmington, the Charlotte Metropolitan are and the Charlotte International Airport, increasing opportunities for international trade.

“The proposed Hwy. 74 Economic Development Corridor would maintain and enhance North Carolina commerce opportunities that are currently being lost to South Carolina and Georgia as a result of access to the ports and intermodal facilities,” states the resolution.