MOUNT OLIVE -- Northbound traffic is down to one lane on U.S. 117 South at its intersection with Country Club Road and is expected to be down to one southbound lane later this week depending on the weather.

A barricade has been placed to close off the outside northbound lane and the same will be done for the outside southbound lane.

Detours and delays can be expected in the coming months as crews from S.T. Wooten Construction Co. build an interchange to take U.S. 117 over Country Club Road.

"What they are doing is widening the outside lanes," said Eva Hornak with S.T. Wooten Construction Co. "The northbound lane is shut down now, and they are planing to narrow the southbound lane this week, weather permitting."

The weather has been a challenge, but the project is still on schedule, she said.

"What they are doing, they have to build up those outside ramps," she said. "What eventually is going to happen is they are going to shift the traffic there. They are going to be putting barrier walls, that Jersey barrier, to help block off the traffic.

"It should take about four months to build the outside ramps depending on weather."

Once the ramps are completed and traffic detoured, that section of U.S. 117 at Country Club Road will be closed so that the overhead bridges can be constructed.

Meanwhile, work has been underway since August on a new interchange at U.S. 117 and O'Berry Road, Dudley.

O'Berry Road was closed in October and could remain closed for up to a year as work crews continue construction of an overpass to take the road over U.S. 117 South.

Both interchanges are scheduled for completion by October 2019, with additional work including vegetation and reforestation possibly continuing through March 2020.

The two projects will cost an estimated $20.6 million.

The interchanges are being built to enhance safety and in preparation for U.S. 117 eventually being designated as an Interstate in this area, state Department of Transportation officials said.

Both intersections already carry an average of 15,000 vehicles per day, and that number is expected to increase to more than 27,000 per day by 2037, according to DOT data.

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