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I-73/74 Welcome Centers in Randolph County, NC Nixed

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Adam Prince

May 4, 2007, 9:51:39 PM5/4/07
"It's enough to say, 'Hi,' when folks enter. At the borders it's fine, but
we must draw the line. Must we welcome them to the state's center?" --NC
Senator David Weinstein, D-Robeson
A bill that passed the NC Senate Appropriations Committee would kill the
plans to convert a pair of Randolph County Rest Areas into an I-73/74
Welcome Center. The reason, Randolph County is in the center of the state.

Originally planned to be a traditional highway rest area, the Randolph
County were upgraded to Welcome Centers at the request of local officials.
NCDOT was going to use $1 million in federal money to build the Welcome
Centers. It would also cost the state $180,000 annually to operate.

The bill orders the DOT and the Department of Commerce to consult and gain
the legislatures approval for any future Welcome Centers.


Bob Malme

May 6, 2007, 5:39:36 PM5/6/07
NCDOT has an unfunded project to build a rest area in Rockingham County
where I-73 would cross the Virginia border and had also planned a rest
area north of the SC border along US 1 when that was the route of I-73.
(I assume they'll move that one to the proposed new path along the NC 38
corridor). They have a proposed Rest Area on I-74 just east of I-95 near
Lumberton. A Welcome Center would probably make more sense in these
places than in the middle of the state.


May 6, 2007, 6:56:51 PM5/6/07
> Story:

I think it's a good idea, myself. It wouldn't have to be called a
"Welcome Center", but could be made into a tourism information center.
How much more expensive could a tourism information center be? It
can't be all that much more than just a rest area. The only difference
would be adding on a wing to the restroom building, and hiring a
couple of elderly retirees (or heck, get volunteers) to sit behind the
counter and stock brochures.

Adam Prince

May 6, 2007, 11:41:04 PM5/6/07

"!" <> wrote in message

Great point. I do wonder if this gets stopped, what will become of the
$1,000,000 in federal funds for the Welcome Center..or if it was for the
Rest Area as a whole.

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