Signs were erected this past Tuesday to warn motorists on U.S. 117 South of construction projects that will soon be underway.
Road closures, lane reductions and detours loom during the construction of interchanges on U.S. 117 South at O'Berry Road, Dudley, and Country Club Road, just north of Mount Olive.
Both interchanges are being built to enhance safety and in preparation for U.S. 117 eventually being designated as an Interstate in this area, DOT 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.
It is not the only roadwork that motorists may run into -- several paving projects in other areas of the county will be ongoing as well.
Work will start on the O'Berry Road interchange first followed by the Country Club Road project around the first of the year, said Eva Hornak with S.T. Wooten.
The interchanges are scheduled for completion by October 2019, with additional work, including vegetation and reforestation, possibly continuing through March 2020.
S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson has been awarded the $20.6 million N.C. Department of Transportation contract for the interchange project.
Wooten also has been awarded a $4 million contract for milling, widening and resurfacing work on several other county roads.
Some utility work has started along Country Club Road, and loads of rock and dirt have been unloaded at O'Berry Road.
O'Berry Road will travel over U.S. 117, and U.S. 117 will pass over Country Club Road.
Detours will eventually be necessary with this project.
O'Berry Road will be completely closed at U.S. 117, with a signed detour. Construction there is limited to 12 months.
U.S. 117 at Country Club Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
The ramps will be constructed first. Traffic will be diverted and eventually detoured on to ramps as U.S. 117 is closed bridge construction.
Construction on this section of the project is limited to 18 months.
In the other projects, improvements will be made to 2.7 miles of N.C. 55 between U.S. 117 Alternate and Thunder Swamp Road at Mount Olive, as well as 2.8 miles of U.S. 13/
U.S. 117 Alternate between Genoa Road and South George Street.
Work will also take place on 2.2 miles of U.S. 13 between the William Street bridge and the U.S. 117 Alternate loop exit ramps for U.S. 70.
Resurfacing is also planned for 18.4 miles over 27 sections of secondary roads across the county.
The work is expected to be complete by Oct. 31.