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MODEL SUPPORT LETTER – ROUTE 401 PROJECT
MODEL SUPPORT LETTER – ROUTE 401 PROJECT

Please place on YOUR LETTERHEAD AND SIGN – WE NEED TWO ORIGINAL COPIES


August XX, 2009

Secretary Ray LaHood
U. S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:
 
We are writing in support of the application of Franklin County, North Carolina for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for surface transportation improvements to U.S. Route 401 in Franklin County as part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic recovery (TIGER) program. Franklin County and its partners will use the funds to expand the current two-lane road into a modern, four-lane multi-modal, multi-purpose transportation corridor that will improve the quality of life and economic condition of the residents of Franklin County and of the entire north central region of North Carolina. Without this expansion, the residents of this region will continue the economic decline that has seen it identified as one the most economically and socially disadvantaged regions of North Carolina.

Currently this growing region northeast of Raleigh is served by an aging two-lane road that is dangerous and being used far beyond its design capacity. In this 11.3-mile section there have been 372 traffic crashes in the last five years -- and eight people have been killed. The overall crash rate is 1.3 times the statewide average for roads of this type -- and the fatality rate is about double that of similar two-lane U.S. highways in North Carolina.

The project starts at State Route 96 in northern Wake County and extending 11.2 miles north to Route 1700 (Fox Park Road) in Louisburg, the county seat of Franklin County. The road will not have restricted access, and will allow economic and demographic growth along the corridor. The project will follow preliminary designs of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Those designs include complete environmental and preliminary design and financing components, and are ready to go immediately to final engineering and design and subsequent construction. The project is designed to be completed by September 2012.

Completion of this project will solve a critical need for an expanded transportation corridor that will support on-going economic development and land use planning efforts, and will be a key factor in reduction of traffic congestion with its accompanying negative air quality impact on this already non-attainment community. In addition, the project will provide improvements that will reduce a dangerously high collision and crash condition.

The project meets the stated priorities for the ARRA TIGER program including long-range employment goals (the Triangle North Franklin project adjacent to U.S. 401 in Franklin County is designed for an additional 3,000 jobs, and the Triangle North Warren project, which is near U.S. 401 in Warren County planned for another 2,100 jobs). This highway improvement project is the result of an innovative partnership of public and private interests that have banded together to bring this project to reality. Indeed, all of us in the Kerr-Tar Region of North Carolina and all of eastern and central North Carolina will benefit from this project.

In addition to these points, it is critical that we call your attention to the following:


Select the points you believe are most important and insert here!



We are proud to consider ourselves partners in the U.S. 401 expansion project and urge your support for funding to make the proposal a reality.

Sincerely yours,


Name of organization and name and title of sender



CC: Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy

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