08/05/04 — Princeton sits in middle of road projects but not included in improvements

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Princeton sits in middle of road projects but not included in improvements

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on August 5, 2004 1:56 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton sits in the middle of a series of projects that will upgrade much of U.S. 70 to interstate standards from Raleigh to the coast.

But a stretch of the four-lane highway through Princeton in eastern Johnston County was not included in the projects.

Nonetheless, Mayor Don Rains had an upbeat mood after attending an eastern North Carolina transportation meeting with representatives from 40 counties.

Rains said highway officials showed the first 20-year plan for road construction in the east. In the past, he said, the plans were for only seven years. The longer plan, he said, was sensitive to the environment, economy and traffic fatalities.

Bypasses of Clayton, Goldsboro, Kinston and Havelock were planned for U.S. 70. But Rains said U.S. 70 from Wilson's Mills to the Wayne County line was not planned for improvement.

Rains said state highway officials wanted local governments to adopt a resolution of support for the 20-year plan. But the Princeton town board tabled its vote until it could see the full plan.

Rains also said I-95, a major north-south East Coast highway that runs through Johnston County, needed to be improved in North Carolina.

The mayor noted that a new interstate, I-73/74, was being built between Greensboro and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Rains told this week's monthly town board meeting that Goldsboro lawyer Charles Gaylor asked him to take an active interest in the railroad project from Raleigh to Goldsboro.

Princeton had a railroad station, but Rains said it was about three miles from town. As a child, the mayor said he rode the train to Raleigh and Washington.