02/11/04 — Paving contract for U.S. 117

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Paving contract for U.S. 117

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on February 11, 2004 2:03 PM

The N.C. Board of Transportation has awarded a $12.6 million contract to complete the vast majority of the new U.S. 117.

The state board voted last week to give the contract to the S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson for a 17-mile section of the new highway.

Work will begin next month and is scheduled to be complete in June 2006.

The contractor will be building and paving the four-lane divided highway from U.S. 70 in Goldsboro to just south of U.S. 301 in Wilson. The company will also be installing pavement markings, guardrails and signs along the stretch of the new road.

Basically, Wooten will be finishing the entire highway except for where it will connect to the existing U.S. 117 in Goldsboro and to U.S. 264 in Wilson, said Wendi Johnson, the division construction engineer. Those two end sections are already under contract, she added.

The project is now on schedule, Ms. Johnson said in a telephone interview this morning.

"Our intent is for you to be able to get on it in Goldsboro in June 2006 and come all the way to Wilson," she said.

"This is an important project for eastern North Carolina," said Thomas A. Betts Jr. of Rocky Mount, who represents Wayne County on the Board of Transportation. "U.S. 117 is a crucial artery connecting U.S. 70 and U.S. 264, and these improvements will greatly improve mobility and convenience for citizens in our area."

The entire new section of U.S. 117 will be 21 miles long and is now estimated to cost nearly $165 million. The first construction contracts were given in 1998, and the state had already spent $103 million on the project before last week's awarding of the paving contract.