The Piedmont Triad Regional Transportation Summit was held on September 7th, 2011 at Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, NC. The Summit brought together local and state elected officials, transportation officials and business leaders to discuss the future of the sustainability, economic development and transportation network in the Triad! The Summit was presented by PART in collaboration with NC Center for Global Logistics, Piedmont Triad Partnership, and the three chambers of Commerce in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point. The Summit was sponsored by HDR and BB&T.
The morning got off to a great start when the attendees were welcomed by Darrell Frye, PART Board Chairman and Randolph County Commissioner, who set the stage for the event by explaining the need to work together as a region to accomplish great things. Next up were Ralph Womble and Mike Fox, NCDOT representatives who gave updates on the current projects in the region. Transportation greatly affects the economic vitality of North Carolina and Keith Crisco, NC Secretary of Commerce explained it very well during his speech where he addressed the relationship of how important transportation infrastructure is to the whole region.
The Piedmont Triad Sustainable Communities Project has begun the 3-year project timeline and Shelley Potichia, Director at the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities with US Department of Housing and Urban Development, was able to give an update on the importance of being involved with that project. She explained that future funding from HUD would rely on communities who aligned themselves with the project.
The Summit Keynote Speaker was Governor Beverly Perdue who gave some great news about the Loop projects in Forsyth and Guilford Counties. Governor Perdue announced that the Eastern leg of Northern Beltway in Winston-Salem will begin in 2014. It’s the first time a schedule has been announced for construction to begin on that leg of the project, designed to run from U.S. 158 and connect to Business 40 in western Kernersville. Perdue also has proposed speeding up construction of urban loop projects in Greensboro beginning in 2017 instead of 2019. "Investing in our state's infrastructure is about jobs," Perdue said. "Not only will it create jobs, but it also will build an efficient transportation network that will attract new businesses and bring more jobs to our state in the future."
A Panel Discussion followed the Keynote Speaker with a discussion about The Practical Challenges of Moving Goods around North Carolina. The Panel was moderated by Lew Ebert, President and CEO of the NC Chamber and panelist included Jerry Cook, Senior VP of Government and Trade at HanesBrands, Jeff Holcombe, CP of Customer Operations at Ralph Lauren Corporation, and Karl Robinson, President at R&R Trucking Inc.
D.J. Gribbin, Managing Director at Macquarie Capital Inc., gave a presentation about Alternate Financing Options and public/private partnerships. Following D.J. Gribbin was Pat McCrory, former Charlotte Mayor who gave a presentation titled “Mayberry & Metropolis” which focused on the process for a vision-based Future in transportation.