Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen, right, listens to speeches during the Chuck Allen Highway dedication ceremony Friday at the Wayne County Courthouse. 

More than 80 people packed a Wayne County courtroom Friday as a 5-mile section of the U.S. 70 Bypass was dedicated to Mayor Chuck Allen.

The section of highway between North Berkeley Boulevard and North Beston Road eventually will form a portion of Interstate 42.

At the time of the 10 a.m. ceremony, green signs marking Chuck Allen Highway had been installed on the highway.

As Allen listened, Eric Boyette, secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation, spoke of Allen's public service and tireless efforts to improve transportation in Goldsboro and Wayne County. 

"Mayor Allen has been a strong and steady advocate for his hometown here in Goldsboro," Boyette said at the dedication ceremony.

Boyette noted Allen's political career of more than 20 years in city government and his most recent achievement, receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the governor's highest civilian honor.

"To echo what Governor (Roy) Cooper said about Mayor Allen, he has made Goldsboro a better place for people to live, work, play," Boyette said. "We really like the play part."

Allen served on Goldsboro City Council beginning in 1999 and was elected mayor in 2016. He is a graduate of Goldsboro High School and North Carolina State University. He owns Allen Grading Co. and the Lantern Inn restaurant. He and his wife, Lori, have three children.

Calling it "a deserving recognition," Boyette said it was only fitting that the 5-mile section of roadway be named in Allen's honor.

"I’d like to thank you personally not only for your service to Goldsboro but to the state and the transportation network," Boyette said.

Requests for the designation came from the Goldsboro City Council and the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

Last month, Allen said he was grateful for the Board of Transportation’s gesture, and for the support he has received from the community.

Other speakers at the event included Wayne County Commissioner Wayne Aycock; Jim Trogdon, principal transportation consultant for SAS; Bobby Lewis, vice president of HNTB Corp.; Tim Little, transportation lead for Michael Baker International; and Kevin Bowen, a division engineer for DOT. The Rev. James H. Harry of St. Paul United Methodist Church gave the invocation and benediction.

After the speeches, a replica of the Chuck Allen Highway sign was unveiled.