The North Carolina Department of Transportation is constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Airline Drive and Terminal Drive at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) to permit two-way traffic both ways between Williams Road and Airport Road.
On Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, NCDOT will close Airline Drive to facilitate the actual traffic circle construction. NCDOT told EWN that Airline Drive will be closed until March 1, 2021. Terminal Drive will also have a new traffic pattern. Traffic to the passenger terminal will now flow through a new slipway from the parking lot entry ramp.
Airline Drive will be closed, prohibiting all through traffic between Airline Drive and Williams Road in either direction until March 1, 2021. All rental car returns MUST enter Airline Drive from Williams Road and proceed to the new Rental Return Lot. All airport deliveries must enter from Williams Road.
The overall project will convert U.S. 70 to a controlled-access expressway through the James City area, removing a bottleneck that has resulted in traffic congestion and accidents.
U.S. 70 will eventually be an interstate highway, which will be called Interstate 42.
Planning and development are underway to improve traffic on a 5.1-mile stretch of U.S. 70 from east of Thurman Road to the Neuse River Bridge in James City.
Work would eliminate the existing signalized intersections on U.S. 70 at Williams Road, Airport Road, Grantham Road, Taberna Way and Thurman Road in James City by taking U.S. 70 over these side roads and providing access via ramps.
This is a design-build project, which means the contractor is teamed up with a design firm to assist in the design of the project. This method allows innovation and a reduced schedule since the designer and contractor are working hand-in-hand, and while construction is under way on some sections of the highway, design work is continuing for other sections.
The project is among several to improve the U.S. 70 Corridor – one of the primary east-west corridors across eastern North Carolina.
U.S. 70 provides an important connection between the port at Morehead City, military bases in Havelock and Goldsboro, and the Global TransPark in Kinston. NCDOT has identified the corridor as one of three in which improvements would assist economic development in the primarily rural areas of eastern North Carolina.
In addition, the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act designated U.S. 70 from I-40 in Garner to the port at Morehead City as a high-priority corridor and future interstate (later signed as Interstate 42).
The interstate designation will benefit military interconnectivity, aid in economic development, create jobs, and stimulate growth in travel and tourism.
Construction begins in early 2021 and is scheduled to end in late 2023.