WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Kay Hagan introduced a bill Thursday to designate two North Carolina highways as a 'future interstate' from Raleigh to Norfolk.

The Route to Opportunity and Development Act of 2014 will enable transportation improvements to U.S. Highways 17 and 64, according to Hagan's spokespeople.

'Designating these highways as a future interstate is another step in improving North Carolina's transportation network,' said Hagan. 'By continuing to invest in our existing infrastructure, we can put more North Carolinians to work, better link our state's Capitol and the busy port of Hampton Roads to eastern North Carolina, and ensure federal highway dollars are spent wisely.'

The bill ensures that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards, travels through eastern North Carolina, and that U.S. Highways 17 and 64 are prioritized when funds are allocated for federal highways saving taxpayer dollars by improving on existing infrastructure.

According to the Regional Transportation Alliance, half of the route already meets federal freeway standards, and last year a portion of U.S. Highway 64 between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a 'future interstate.'