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Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Lenoir, Jones, and Craven
  • Type of Project: 4-Lane Divided Freeway on New Location
  • STIP Number: R-2553
  • Estimated Cost: $181,000,000
  • Property Acquisition Start: 2020
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Description

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is preparing environmental and engineering studies for the proposed Kinston Bypass Project, which is programmed in the 2012-2020 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as project number R-2553. The STIP is a preliminary list of projects that NCDOT proposes to undertake, which also includes project cost and schedule estimates.

The Kinston Bypass project is proposed as a four-lane, median divided freeway with full control of access on new location in Lenoir County and in the western portions of Craven and Jones Counties. Full control of access means the proposed roadway will not include any traffic signals or driveway connections; rather access to the proposed roadway will only be allowed at interchanges.

News and Updates

NCDOT announced a decision that will eliminate several Kinston Bypass alternatives from further consideration while adding a new corridor for detailed study. Working with the US Army Corps of Engineers as the lead federal agency, NCDOT led a Jan. 16 meeting with local officials and other state and federal agencies, in which all northern bypass alternatives were eliminated from further study. Existing southern bypass alternatives will remain under consideration, as will a widening of existing U.S. 70. The group also decided to add a short, "Shallow Southern Bypass" for study. This alternative widens U.S. 70 to the east and west sides of the city, but creates a new location highway in central Kinston. The new shallow southern bypass corridor begins just east of the C.F. Harvey Parkway and runs to the southeast across the Neuse River, crossing N.C. 11/55 near the Goodman Road intersection. The corridor then crosses U.S. 258 to the south side of Collier-Loftin Road and continues eastward to cross N.C. 58 in the vicinity of the Collier-Lofton intersection. The corridor passes south of the existing Lenoir Community College campus, then crosses property owned by the College which is slated for future campus expansion. The corridor rejoins existing U.S. 70 near its intersection with Neuse Road.

The decision to remove northern bypass alternatives is a direct result of new traffic projections that show southern bypass alternatives will draw significantly more traffic onto a bypass. Southern alternatives attract enough traffic from U.S. 70 such that traffic congestion is noticeably reduced in central Kinston - which eliminates need for widening in the foreseeable future. Northern alternatives did not compete as well, drawing so little traffic from U.S. 70 that a future widening of U.S. 70 would be needed - even after a bypass was constructed. Click here to see a map of the new alternative and the project corridors.

The Department has conducted only corridor-level analysis, and has not made any decisions on specific highway alignments within these wide corridors. Any representations of highway alignments should be considered as highly subject to change as the project team continues to study the best ways to avoid impacts to homes, businesses, and natural resources.

Once the project corridors have been sufficiently studied, NCDOT will prepare a State Draft Environmental Impact Statement (State DEIS). The State DEIS will be available for review by the public and local, state and federal agencies. NCDOT will then hold the Corridor Public Hearing, to allow the public to ask questions about the project, include a formal presentation and allow the public an opportunity to give formal statements or comments on the project. Currently, the State DEIS is scheduled to be available later this year, with the Corridor Public Hearing being held at this time.

Project Overview and Purpose

Traffic congestion, capacity deficiencies, and through-traffic delays exist along US 70 between LaGrange and Dover. Within Lenoir County and western portions of Craven and Jones Counties, access to and from US 70 and US 70 Bypass mostly consists of driveways for homes and businesses, as well as intersections controlled with stop signs and traffic signals. High traffic volumes combined with no control of access and closely-spaced intersections often result in stop and go conditions during daily rush hours.

The purpose of the project is to improve regional mobility, connectivity, and capacity for US 70 between LaGrange and Dover in a manner that meets the intent of the North Carolina Strategic Highway Corridors (SHC) Plan.

In addition to being programmed in the STIP, the Kinston Bypass Project is also included in the City of Kinston Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP Map). Additionally, US 70 from Raleigh to Morehead City, which is designated as a Strategic Highway Corridor, plays a critical role in regional and statewide mobility. As a Strategic Highway Corridor, this portion of US 70 would be classified as a freeway.

Note: While both the STIP and CTP show the Kinston Bypass project to the south of Kinston, routes to the north and south of Kinston, as well as upgrading existing US 70 and US 70 Bypass are being considered as possible options.

Study Process

The Kinston Bypass Project is a state-funded project and will be developed in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In order to fulfill the SEPA requirements, a State Environmental Impact Statement (State DEIS) will be prepared to evaluate impacts to the natural and human environments. The project will also follow the Interagency Merger Process in an effort to streamline the project development and permitting processes by providing a forum for agency representatives (known as the Merger Process Team) to discuss and reach concurrence on milestones throughout various stages of the project. The purpose of the Interagency Merger Process is to allow for a collaborative decision-making process to avoid, minimize, or mitigate for impacts to the human and natural environment while meeting the safety and mobility of the traveling public and the purpose of and need for the project.

For more information on SEPA, the Project Schedule, the Study Process and the Interagency Merger Process, please see the links below:

Project Highlights

  • April 2013 NCDOT holds a series of four small group meetings as part of the development of the Community Impact Assessment for the project.
  • May 2012 NCDOT holds the third round of public workshops to present alternatives selected for detailed study. For a summary of comments received at the workshops, please click here.
  • September 2011 NCDOT holds the second round of public workshops requesting public input on potential alternatives for the project. For a summary of comments received at the workshops, please click here.
  • February 2010 NCDOT holds the first round of Public Workshops requesting public input on needs for the project. For a summary of the comments received at the workshops, please click here.
  • May 2009 NCDOT restarts project.
  • October 2007 Kinston Bypass project is listed on the City of Kinston Comprehensive Transportation Plan (updated in 2011).
  • October 1993 Kinston Bypass project is listed on the Kinston Urban Area Thoroughfare Plan.
  • 1990’s Kinston Bypass project is started but later placed on hold due to other local and NCDOT Division 2 priorities.

Archived Project Information

The following information was presented at the third round of Public Workshops held in May 2012:

The following information was presented at the second round of Public Workshops held in September 2012:

The following information was presented at the first round of Public Workshops held in February 2010:

Contact Information

Project Hotline: 1-800-233-6315 (English & Spanish)

Chris Werner, PE, URS Corporation
NCDOT consultant

Ted Devens, PE
Project Development Engineer

  • Email: Contact Us
  • Phone: (919) 707-6018
  • Address: 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.