In just over a year, North America has seen a dozen serious accidents involving trains that derailed while carrying flammable crude oil. One of those accidents, in Lynchburg, caused a massive fire and oil spill. In most cases, fire departments didn’t know what they were dealing with, since railroads have kept that information secret, but the federal government is now requiring them to inform states when trains of 35 cars or more, carrying oil from North Dakota or Montana, are coming through.
Interstate 73 was first proposed in 1979 by two businessmen from Bluefield, West Virginia looking to expand an existing highway used to transport coal to the Ohio River – and after decades, the project appears to be moving forward.
The route is now slated to run through six states, from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – winding into Virginia through Bluefield, passing through Roanoke and down to Martinsville.
Today (Wednesday) Vice President Joe Biden is speaking in Norfolk, Virginia to highlight federal transportation spending.
This year congressional gridlock brought the federal highway trust fund to the brink of running out of cash before lawmakers were able to cobble together a short term patch to keep it funded. That’s why the administration is fanning out across the U-S touting federal investments.