08/11/06 — Work on U.S. 117 officially complete

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Work on U.S. 117 officially complete

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 11, 2006 1:49 PM

WILSON -- Shortly after rush-hour traffic this morning, state Department of Transportation workers removed the last orange barrels and opened the final section of the new four-lane U.S. 117 between Goldsboro and Wilson.

When the last seven-tenths of a mile of the highway opened it capped three years of construction on the $114 million project.

State and local officials were expected to be on hand for an opening ceremony this morning just south of Wilson.

Wendi Johnson, an engineer with the highway department's Division 4, said highway officials have been fielding calls for weeks about when the road would finally be open. Sections of the new four-lane in Wayne County have been open for months.

"I've gotten a lot of calls from people that live in Goldsboro and commute to Wilson or people that live in Wilson and drive to Goldsboro that have said they're excited about the highway opening up," Ms. Johnson said Thursday.,

Commuters will be able to travel 70 mph on the new highway, which was built to federal freeway standards.

The first section of the new highway that was constructed was near Pikeville. Work started in the fall of 2000.

PLT Construction of Wilson handled the final stages of construction. The new road links with U.S. 264 at Wilson. The four-lane highway now reaches south to Mount Olive, where the road again switches to two lanes. The stretch of four-lane between Goldsboro and Mount Olive was completed more than 15 years ago.