RALEIGH, N.C. (WSPA) – A stretch of U.S. 74 to U.S. 221 was named in honor of the former Lt. Governor Walter H. Dalton on Monday.
Dalton served as North Carolina’s lieutenant governor from 2009-2013, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation.
“Walter, we thank you for your service to our community, our county and our state,” Rutherford County Commission chairman Bryan King said during his remarks. “You have spent countless hours on behalf of the citizens of Rutherford County. We thank you.”
“This is my name on this sign,” Dalton said, “but there are hundreds, thousands of names that belong there.”
Dalton was born in Rutherford County in 1949 where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to NCDOT. His juris doctorate is from UNC School of Law and was a U.S. District Court clerk before entering private practice.
According to the NCDOT, Dalton has been a major proponent and advocate of expanding U.S. 221 to four lanes — first from the South Carolina line to U.S. 74 and the new bypass in development now. He played an instrumental role in switching the name of the U.S. 74-A corridor from a number and a letter to College Avenue in order to increase awareness of Isothermal Community College and the growth along this corridor. Dalton is also involved in helping U.S. 74 become an interstate route.
The NCDOT Board of Transportation approved a resolution dedicating the highway in honor of Dalton in March. The process for dedicating the highway included resolutions of support from the town of Rutherfordton, the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners, a character certification and three letters of recommendation, according to NCDOT.
Dalton’s family helped to unveil replica signs printed by NCDOT. Dalton concluded the celebration with a few words.
“When I campaigned, I used to say everybody in my district wants the same thing whether they’re republicans or democrats,” Dalton said. “I hope that this is some affirmation for the people I thanked earlier, that we did some things to help some people.”