The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is preparing environmental and engineering studies for the proposed Kinston Bypass Project, which is programmed in the Draft 2013-2023 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 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 driveway connections; rather access to the proposed roadway will only be allowed at interchanges.
NCDOT hosted a fourth round of public meetings (formerly referred to as workshops) in August 2014 to update the public on the project. The information presented at these meetings can be found below in the Archived Project Information section.
NCDOT announced a decision that eliminated 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 held a Jan. 16 meeting with local officials and other state and federal agencies, in which all northern bypass alternatives were eliminated from further study. All of the existing southern bypass alternatives remain under consideration, as does the widening of existing U.S. 70. The group also decided to add a "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 recently opened 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 near Collier-Loftin Road and continues eastward to cross N.C. 58 in the area south of Lenoir Community College and rejoins existing U.S. 70 near 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. 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 preliminary and highly subject to change as the project team continues to study the best ways to avoid impacts to homes, businesses, and natural environment as much as possible.
Once the project corridors have been sufficiently studied, NCDOT will prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which is a document that assesses both the physical and social impacts of the proposed alternatives. The DEIS will be available for review by the public and local, state and federal agencies. NCDOT will then hold a Corridor Public Hearing which will include a formal presentation consisting of an explanation of the location and design of each proposed alternative, as well as information about the state-federal relationship, the required right of way and relocation requirements, and the procedures that will be a part of the project. This will allow the public an opportunity to provide formal statements or comments on the project. Currently, the DEIS is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2015, with the Corridor Public Hearing being held following the approval of the DEIS.
Traffic congestion and delays exist along U.S. 70 between LaGrange and Dover. Within Lenoir County and western portions of Craven and Jones Counties, access to and from U.S. 70 and U.S. 70 Bypass mostly consists of driveways for homes and businesses, as well as intersections controlled with stop signs and traffic signals.
The purpose of the project is to improve regional mobility, connectivity, and capacity for U.S. 70 between LaGrange and Dover in a manner that meets the intent of the North Carolina Strategic Highway Corridors (SHC) Plan.
U.S. 70 from Raleigh to Morehead City, is designated as a Strategic Highway Corridor, which means it plays a critical role in regional and statewide mobility. As a Strategic Highway Corridor, this portion of U.S. 70 would be classified as a freeway. In addition to being programmed in the STIP, the Kinston Bypass Project is also included in the City of Kinston’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP Map).
Note:While both the STIP and CTP show the Kinston Bypass project to the south of Kinston, upgrading existing U.S. 70 and U.S. 70 Bypass is being considered as a possible option.
The Kinston Bypass Project is being developed in accordance with both the North Carolina State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In order to fulfill the SEPA and NEPA requirements, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 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 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 NEPA, the Project Schedule, the Study Process and the Interagency Merger Process, please see the links below:
- August 2014 NCDOT holds the fourth round of public meetings to present the new Shallow Southern Bypass Alternative and to receive public input on the project. For a summary of comments received at the meetings, please click here.
- January 2014 NCDOT announces a decision to remove the northern bypass alternatives from further consideration and to add a new Shallow Southern Bypass Alternative.
- 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 meetings to present alternatives selected for detailed study. For a summary of comments received at the meetings, please click here.
- September 2011 NCDOT holds the second round of public meetings requesting public input on potential alternatives for the project. For a summary of comments received at the meetings, please click here.
- February 2010 NCDOT holds the first round of public meetings requesting public input on needs for the project. For a summary of the comments received at meetings, please click here.
- May 2009 NCDOT restarts project.
- October 2007 Kinston Bypass project is listed on the City of Kinston’s 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.
The following information was presented at the fourth round of public meetings held in August 2014:
The following information was presented at the third round of public meetings (formally referred to as workshops) held in May 2012:
The following information was presented at the second round of public meetings held in September 2012:
The following information was presented at the first round of public meetings held in February 2010:
Project Hotline/Línea Gratutita del Proyecto: 1-800-233-6315
Robert Deaton, AICP
North Carolina Department of Transportation
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: (919) 707-6017
- Address: 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1548
Chris Werner, PE, URS Corporation
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.