More Interstate Highways?

The Colony of Carolina divided into North Carolina and South Carolina in 1710. Even before that, the character of the two regions was becoming distinct. For example, North Carolina had its own Legislature, even though the Governor of Carolina lived in Charleston . South Carolina practically single-handedly started the Civil War; North Carolina was reluctant to join it at first. And so on.

So, the display of cooperation yesterday at a meeting of highway officials of the two States was remarkable in that, in a sense, it tended to reunite the two States and pretty much ignore the border. It comes on the heels of Governor Easley's call last week for more interstate highways in our area that sail back and forth across the state line almost as though it didn't exist. The ball is rolling. However, its path, unfortunately, is not greased with money. Creation of Interstates 73 and 74, another bridge over the Cape Fear River , and an extension of Interstate 20, will be enormously expensive, and the Federal government does not appear eager to jump in.

How to pay for it? The answer is obvious—tolls. Let them who use it pay for it. There is already serious movement toward making I-95 a toll road in this state. South Carolina has the same thought for the heavily traveled thoroughfare. North Carolina has a Toll Authority, but no toll roads—let the Toll Authority earn its pay, if it gets any. That same path may offer Wilmington a chance to get itself out of a traffic morass, and on the road to motorized sanity.