06/11/09 — Bypass moves ahead

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Bypass moves ahead

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 11, 2009 1:46 PM

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A truck travels along Tommy's Road this morning near the site where the road will be dead-ended when the new U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass cuts across it. The DOT will begin the work Monday to close that section of road.

Tommy's Road between U.S. 117 Business and Patetown Road at Howell Branch will be cut Monday and permanently closed by work on the U.S. 70 Bypass.

In addition, motorists on North Wayne Memorial Drive can expect to encounter a detour possibly as early as Monday as work begins on laying the groundwork for an interchange.

"We will start Monday morning closing it (Tommy's Road) and the early morning traffic may get through," said Benny Woodard, assistant resident engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The new highway will cross near 327 Tommy's Road, where the DOT has work trailers set up approximately seven-tenths of a mile from U.S. 117 Business.

Tommy's Road will dead-end at cul-de-sacs on either side of the new road.

In an earlier interview, DOT officials said the existing Tommy's Road at U.S. 117 Business would be relocated to serve homes on the north side of the proposed bypass. An access road off U.S. 117 Business to the south of U.S. 70 will be used to access the other segment of Tommy's Road.

Other roads in the path of the new bypass are getting bridges over them, Woodard said.

Two factors played into the decision to cut through Tommy's Road, said Wendi Johnson, Division 4 construction engineer.

The first is its close proximity to the U.S. 70 and U.S. 117 Alternate Business interchange, she said. Also, the bridge over the area of Tommy's Road would have to be so long as to be "fiscally impossible."

The new bypass will require 16 bridges including 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. A culvert also will be built.

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.

DOT officials said the first 3.91-mile leg of the bypass is about 22 percent complete and is on scheduled to open to traffic on Dec. 31, 2011.

The bypass route, scheduled to be built in four phases, starts at N.C. 581 northwest of Goldsboro and ties back into the existing U.S. 70 near LaGrange.

The section stretches from just west of Interstate 795 to just east of Wayne Memorial Drive. Work started Sept. 29 on the $65.3 million project. Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro is doing the work.

No other portions of the bypass have been funded.

The project includes a "retrofit" of the existing U.S. 70 to make safety improvements and the relocation of approximately 5,000 linear feet of the existing two-lane U.S. 117 Business. That section will be moved about 415 feet east of the existing roadway.