01/26/09 — Getting ready for Goldsboro Bypass

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Getting ready for Goldsboro Bypass

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 26, 2009 1:46 PM

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Construction crews work on grading a section of U.S. 70 Bypass near Salem Church Road on Monday.

Residents and motorists in the Salem Church Road community should get used to the sight of dump trucks and other heavy equipment.

The area is being reshaped somewhat by construction work being done on the first section of the U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass -- work that will create some major changes on Tommy's Road and U.S. 117 Business.

The 3.91-mile section of the new four-lane highway stretches from just west of Interstate 795 to just east of Wayne Memorial Drive.

The bypass, which will start at N.C. 581 northwest of Goldsboro and tie back into the existing U.S. 70 near LaGrange, is scheduled to be built in four phases. No other portions of the bypass have been funded.

The project includes a "retrofit" of the existing U.S. 70 to make safety improvements.

Interchanges will be built at Wayne Memorial Drive and at I-795 and U.S. 117, hence the work near Salem Church Road.

About 5,000 linear feet of the existing two-lane U.S. 117 Business near the new bypass will be relocated about 415 feet east of the existing roadway.

The bypass will cut Tommy's Road in half near Howell Branch.

The existing Tommy's Road at U.S. 117 Business will be relocated to serve homes on the north side of the proposed bypass.

An access road off of U.S. 117 Business to the south of U.S. 70 will be used to access the other segment of Tommy's Road.

Both of those segments of Tommy's Road will be dead-ended at cul-de-sacs. The area beyond the cul-de-sacs will become natural habitat.

The project will require 16 bridges and one culvert said Mike McKeel, Department of Transportation resident engineer in Smithfield.

The 16 bridges include two each over Interstate 795; the railroad tracks near U.S. 117; U.S. 117 Business; Howell Branch near Tommy's Road; N.C. 111; and the Stoney Creek wetlands.

Another bridge will take traffic from Wayne Memorial Drive over to U.S. 70 and three bridges with ramps/flyarounds will connect U.S. 70 at I-795.

"The project beginning and ending points allow the department to construct the interchanges on each end now, such that later when the adjoining sections are let to construction, their impact to traffic is minimized," McKeel said.

"We will construct the earth fills near Salem Church Road and have that much of the future work out of the way," he said. "Only the bridge will then need to be constructed."

The ramps, which won't be utilized until the other sections are built, will be blocked off to traffic.

People should expect to see plenty of dump truck traffic near Lane Tree Golf Course, he said. One of what will be several borrow pits for excavating earth fill material is being constructed next to the golf course.

Work started Sept. 29 on the $65.3 million project. Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro is doing the work. The completion date is November 2011.

The bypass is part of a planned four-lane divided highway from Clayton to the coast. The local overall bypass project is expected to cost about $234 million.