U.S. 17 bypass off U.S. 70 will be closed for about three months while NC DOT crews complete work.
The New Bern U.S. 17 Bypass in Craven County will be closed in both directions for 90 days.
The closure near Pollocksville between U.S. 17 and U.S. 70 began on Feb. 4. Closing this section of highway will allow the N.C. Department of Transportation to make its final tie-ins for the new U.S. 17 Bypass in a safe and timely manner.
There are detour signs leading traffic around the closure. Drivers heading south will use the U.S. 17 Business interchange and exit at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Traffic will turn left at the light and continue on U.S. 17 Business South to access U.S. 17 South.
For drivers heading north, continue straight at the U.S. 17 Business and U.S. 17 Bypass intersection. Drivers will cross under the U.S 70 overpass and turn left at the light back onto U.S. 70 west.
Drivers should anticipate needing extra time to travel during the next few months.
NCDOT is advising motorists traveling on U.S. 17 in Jones County of a Road Closure/Detour beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday July 13, which is expected to last through 11 p.m. on July 15. This detour is part of the U.S. 17 Bypass project, and the impact on through traffic is expected to be high.
Motorists travelling North on U.S. 17 will be routed onto the detour in Maysville using White Oak River Road, to Pole Pocossin Road, to Lee’s Chapel Road, and back onto U.S. 17 in Pollocksville.
Motorists travelling South on U.S. 17, will be routed onto the detour at Lee’s Chapel Road in Pollocksville, to Pole Pocossin Road, to White Oak River Road, and back onto U.S. 17 in Maysville.
DOT reminds drivers to be safe, and use caution on these secondary roadways, as many motorists may not be familiar with this route, and its many contours.
Alleviating current and future congestion is one of the benefits being touted for the proposed N.C. 43 Connector that would run from U.S. 17 Business (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) to south of U.S. 70/U.S. 17 in New Bern.
The city of New Bern submitted the N.C. 43 Connector Project to NCDOT to be considered for funding. Through the Strategic Mobility Formula that prioritizes projects based on safety, congestion, benefit-cost and local priorities, it scored well enough to be funded at the division level due to strong support from the city.
The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted to endorse Alternative 2 of the planned project, which cuts through the Craeberne Forest and Arcadia Village/Trent Creek subdivisions, and asks that consideration be given for sound barriers for the affected subdivisions.
Transportation officials presented preliminary concepts on the connector project at a public meeting on May 21, at the River Bend Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.
Construction on a U.S. 70 Havelock Bypass is scheduled to begin in 2020. Google Street View image
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County transportation projects were awarded six of the seven highest scores for statewide projects as N.C. Department of Transportation updates its State Transportation Improvement Plan.
Craven County’s highest-scoring new transportation project is a railroad crossing improvement at U.S. 70, with construction penciled in to begin in 2028. It scored higher than a Havelock Bypass, construction of which is scheduled to begin in 2020.
In scoring transportation projects, 40 percent of the funding goes to statewide projects, and 30 percent each for regional and division priorities. The state’s seven highest-ranking highway projects are, in order:
Build 4th runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Mecklenburg County, $500,000 – Score: 99.64
Improve the intersection of I-485 and I-85, Mecklenburg County, $11 million – Score: 90.25
Build ramp meters at 13 intersections on I-77 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, $2.8 million – Score: 90.21
New aircraft parking and taxi lane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Mecklenburg County. Cost: $500,000 – Score: 90.05
New taxiway at Piedmont Triad International Airport, Guilford County, $500,000 – Score: 89.64
Create diverging diamond interchange at I-85 and W.T. Harris Boulevard, Mecklenburg County, $20.5 million – Score: 89.47
Build toll lanes on I-77 from Uptown Charlotte to the S.C. state line, Mecklenburg County, $551 million – Score: 89.36
The full list of projects is here, but here are projects in Craven County or that could be of interest to local motorists:
Highway-rail crossing improvement. Craven County. Construction of grade separations at U.S. 70 Eastbound (Crossing # 722 672A) and U.S. 70 Westbound (Crossing # 949 747C) and closure of existing at grade crossings near Newport. Score 77.02. Cost $14,350,000. Construction FY 2028
Improve Interchange. Craven County. Improve Glenburnie Road interchange at U.S. 70. Score 75.74. Cost $10,800,000. Construction FY 2029
Havelock Bypass. Craven County. U.S. 70 Thurman Road Havelock Bypass Upgrade Roadway to Freeway and Construct Service Roads. Upgrade Arterial to Freeway/Expressway 6.88 miles. Score 75.25. Cost $131,900,000. Construction FY 2020
U.S. 70 Expansion. Johnston and Wayne Counties. U.S. 70 West of SR 1229 (Luby Smith Road) East of SR 2314 (Pondfield Road). Improve Existing U.S. 70 to Freeway Standards from Luby Smith Road to Pondfield Road. Upgrade Arterial to Freeway/Expressway 3.44 miles. Score 77.64. Cost $ 62,000,000. Construction FY 2027
U.S. 70 Bypass. Wayne County. West Terminus, East of SR 1408, West of SR 1229 (Luby Smith Road). Improve Existing U.S. 70 to Freeway Standards from the West End of the U.S. 70 Bypass to the Wayne/Johnston County Line. Upgrade Arterial to Freeway/Expressway 3.45 miles. Score 75.24. Cost $ 62,900,000. Construction FY 2023
Not on the list are U.S. 70 projects including James City Expressway or a Kinston bypass.
Two environmental groups have agreed to drop their opposition to construction of a U.S. 70 bypass around Havelock in exchange for several steps by the N.C. Department of Transportation to protect rare longleaf pine habitat along the highway’s path, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported today.
In an agreement announced Monday and reported in the News & Observer, NCDOT will give a conservation easement to protect land it will own along the 10.3-mile bypass, as well as provide $5.3 million to the N.C. Coastal Land Trust to create a fund to protect land in and around the Croatan National Forest. NCDOT also will establish a $2 million revolving loan fund that could be used to protect property elsewhere in Carteret, Craven and Jones counties.
According to the News & Observer, NCDOT also pledges to use “sensitive construction practices” when it builds the four-lane divided highway through a section of the Croatan National Forest, south of Havelock away from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
The Havelock bypass is one of two major projects that will eventually turn U.S. 70 into a controlled-access expressway from Raleigh to Carteret County. The other project is an expressway through James City (details here).
Plans are underway for a Kinston bypass following completion of the Goldsboro bypass on U.S. 70.