The National I-73/I-74/I-75 Corridor Association is a membership organization committed to enhancing the economic success and quality of life within the six-state corridor by pursuing the planning, permitting, funding, construction, and maintenance of Interstate 73, Interstate 74 and Interstate 75, highways of national and regional significance that will facilitate interstate commerce, reduce congestion and improve safety in an environmentally sound way.
President/Executive Director - Jimmy Gray
Chairman - Alan Clemmons
Vice Chair - George Lester
Mike Wooten - Secretary-Treasurer
The Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce sponsored a survey to determine the projects most needed to bring economic growth to Southern West Virginia. The survey showed that the replacement of U.S. 52, from Bluefield to Huntington was the most important.
A committee called “The Bluefield to Huntington Association” was formed with the support of The Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the committee was to inform the public of the needed replacement of U.S. 52, and gather support for the project.
Meetings, presentations, and rallies were held along the U.S. 52 corridor. They accumulated over 100,000 individual signatures and endorsements from different organizations, clubs, chambers, towns, cities, and counties.
Drive for legislative support through a Bond Issue to provide construction for a new U.S. 52.
The West Virginia Legislature passed a 510 million dollars Bond Issue in February. However, the bond was dropped by November due to high interest rates.
K.A. Ammar, Jr. was selected by the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce to lead the campaign for the improvement of U.S. 52. They held many meetings, gave many presentations and sent out over 10,000 pieces of correspondence on the project. The campaign gained speed and support from the legislature.
The Bluefield group decided to expand their efforts and drive toward and Interstate concept- the idea of I-73 had arrived. The original route was from Detroit, MI, to Ohio via Toledo and U.S. 23, and down to Portsmouth, Ohio. Then it would follow U.S. 52 through West Virginia and follow I-77 in Virginia until it hit North Carolina where it would pick back up on U.S. 52 near Winston-Salem. It would then use U.S. 220 through to Rockingham, then to South Carolina on Route 38 to Route 509 to Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
K.A. Ammar teamed up with Mayor Frank Gerlach of Portsmouth, Ohio and Ray Cadwadder of Cincinnati, Ohio, and I-74 was added to the interstate plan to serve Cincinnati to Portsmouth. They planned a joint meeting with all the states along the I-73/74, to be hosted in Bluefield, West Virginia.
The Umbrella Organizational meeting was held in Bluefield called ISTEA- I-73/74. Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia, Chairman of Sub-Committee on Surface Transportation was the featured speaker. Over 100 Dedicated business, highway, and political leaders gathered at this meeting and formed the I-73/74 Corridor Association. Nelson Walker, Executive Director of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce was selected as the Executive Director for the Association. In addition, each state formed a group and pledged operational funds, and an organizational office was established in Bluefield, WV with Beverly Wellman as coordinator.
In January, the second Road Rally was held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Organization firms up plans and addresses routing problems in Virginia and the Carolinas. More support is received by Governors and state Legislators in some states and Katherine Saxton becomes I-73/74 Coordinator. In March, seven members of the I-73/74 Association present I-73/74 to the House Committee on Transportation. Then in May, Congressman Rahall presents a Highway Bill with I-73/74 included. Later that summer there is a Third Road Rally in Toledo, OH, and by September the Senate passed the Highway Bill with I-73/74.
Association meets in Wytheville, VA and the Virginia DOT proposes a route from Bluefield to Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Martinsville. The I-73/74 Leadership suggests dual routes using I-73 and I-74 through Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In June, fifteen devoted members of the Association present the suggested dual routes of I-73 and I-74 to the Senate and House Highway and Subcommittee Chairman and Senior Minority Committee Members. At that meeting, K. A. Ammar and Nelson Walker submit a proposal to Senators containing the dual routes. In July Senator Warner submits Highway Bill to (Senate?) which illustrates the entire I-73/74 proposed corridor. House Bill passes similar to the Senate Bill in 1994. In addition, several successful Road Rallies were held, one in Bennettsville, SC and another in Bluefield, WV to celebrate the passage of the Highway Bill.
Road Rally in Martinsville, VA.
10th Road Rally held in Washington, DC.
Bill finally passes both house and joint committee and is signed by President Clinton. The Bill included money for interchanges in Bluefield and Welch, WV.
I-73/74 Corridor Association- an umbrella organization disbands and turns mission back to each State Branch Organization.
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Brad Dean decided to reform the National I-73/74 Corridor Association in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with the help of the South Carolina I-73 Association.
The proposed Board of Directors for the National I-73/74 Corridor Association met at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to vote on bylaws, officers, and decide the future of the Association. After two days of meetings, on June 1, 2007 the National I-73/74 Corridor Association was officially reformed. Representative Alan Clemmons was elected Chairman of the Board, and Brad Dean was chosen as the President/Executive Director. Also on that day, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters held a Luncheon at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. They discussed the future of Interstate 73/74 and announced the official reformation of the National I-73/74 Corridor Association.
At the Fall Road Rally in Washington, D.C., Chairman of the National I-73/74 Corridor Association Alan Clemmons announced that Interstate 75 had been adopted into the association. Clemmons said since I-75 lies within the I-73/74 corridor, and given its excitement in Michigan and Ohio, its inclusion into the I-73/74 Association is a "perfect fit" and helps reenergize allies in those states.
US Army Corps of Engineer issues permit to begin Construction of I-73
Coastal Conservation League Files Lawsuit to Stop I-73
Economist Speak out Against CCL's Lawsuit and Alternate Route