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Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Archive
  • 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
Kinston Bypass Logo

NOTE: Based on the results of NCDOT’s funding formula, this project was not funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan, and studies have concluded for the time being. If the project is funded at a later date, updates will be posted to this page.

Project Overview and Purpose

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 Kinston Bypass project, which would improve regional mobility, connectivity and capacity for U.S. 70 in the project area, is a proposed 12-mile, four-lane, median-divided freeway with full control of access. Full control of access means the proposed roadway would not include any driveway connections, Access to the proposed roadway would only be allowed at interchanges.

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.

The Kinston Bypass Project is also included in the City of Kinston’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

News & Updates

Project Unfunded

The Kinston Bypass project was not funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan, and studies have concluded for the time being. If the project is funded at a later date, updates will be posted to this page.

Northern Bypass Alternatives Eliminated; New Southern Alternative Being Studied

In consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local officials and other state and federal agencies, the N.C. Department of Transportation eliminated several northern bypass alternatives from further consideration. The decision is a 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.

The existing southern bypass alternatives remain under consideration, as does the widening of existing U.S. 70.

NCDOT also added 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 Shallow Southern Bypass corridor begins just east of 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.

Click here to see a map of the new alternative and the project corridors.

Study Process

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).

To fulfill the SEPA and NEPA requirements, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must 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.

Project Highlights

  • 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.
  • 1990s: 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 fourth round of public meetings in August 2014:

The following information was presented at the third round of public meetings (formally referred to as workshops) in May 2012:

The following information was presented at the second round of public meetings in September 2012:

The following information was presented at the first round of public meetings in February 2010:

Contact Information

Project Hotline/Línea Gratutita del Proyecto: 1-800-233-6315

Robert Deaton, AICP
NCDOT Project Manager

Send a message
(919) 707-6017
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Chris Werner, PE, URS Corporation
NCDOT consultant

Send a message
(919) 461-1470
1600 Perimeter Park Dr.
Ste. 400
Morrisville, NC 27560

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.