07/09/12 — Bypass contract awarded

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Bypass contract awarded

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 9, 2012 1:46 PM

The contract for construction of the third and final section of the U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass has been awarded, clearing the way for the highway to open to traffic in late 2015.

The $62.4 million contract awarded to S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson was 7 percent below the anticipated cost of $67.4 million. Work can begin as early as July 30, with completion expected no later than Nov. 1, 2015.

Once completed, the 20-mile, $246 million bypass will begin at U.S. 70 just west of N.C. 581 and end at U.S. 70 just east of Promise Land Road in Lenoir County.

A second contract, this one for $3.2 million, for a separate U.S. 70-related project, was awarded to replace a bridge on U.S. 70 East over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks north of Princeton. The contract was awarded to Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh.

The bridge, located just east of where U.S. 70/U.S. 70 Alternate merge, was built in 1947 and has been deemed functionally obsolete. That does not mean the bridge is unsafe, but that its layout no longer meets current design standards for width, shoulders or rails, DOT officials said.

U.S. 70 East will remain open to traffic during bridge construction. However, traffic on U.S. 70 East, which is two lanes, will be shifted onto the U.S. 70 West bridge with U.S. 70 West traffic, which is also two lanes, in a two-lane, two-way pattern.

Motorists traveling on U.S. 70 East and U.S. 70 West should expect delays when approaching the bridge because of the reduction in lanes

The contract for the final leg of the bypass is for a 5.9-mile section from U.S. 70 west of Goldsboro to I-795. It will include interchanges at U.S. 70 and N.C. 581. The east end of the section will tie into the existing interchange at I-795 that was built when the first section was constructed.

That 3.9-mile section of the bypass opened to traffic in December 2011 and was designated as N.C. 44 until the entire project is completed.

It connects I-795 and Wayne Memorial Drive north of Goldsboro.

The contract just awarded by Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti was the second approved this year for the bypass.

A $104.4 million design-build contract was awarded in February to Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro for a 12.5-mile section of the bypass from east of Wayne Memorial Drive in Wayne County to U.S. 70 just east of Promise Land Road in Lenoir County.

It will include interchanges at U.S. 13, Parkstown Road and U.S. 70.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of the year or by early 2013 with completion is scheduled for no later than July 1, 2015.

Barnhill also built the first section of the bypass from just east of Wayne Memorial Drive to just west of Salem Church Road. Work began Sept. 29, 2009, on that $65.3 million section.