RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Transportation has opened to traffic the first section of the future U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass in Wayne County. The 3.9-mile, four-lane divided highway is designated as N.C. 44 and connects I-795 and Wayne Memorial Drive north of Goldsboro.
A $65.5 million contract was awarded to Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro in September 2008 for this project, which also includes interchanges at I-795, U.S. 117 and Wayne Memorial Drive.
This is the first of three sections of the U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass to be constructed; however, it is designated as N.C. 44 because it does not yet connect to U.S. 70. Once complete, the 20-mile bypass will begin at U.S. 70 just west of N.C. 581 in Wayne County and end at U.S. 70 just east of Promise Land Road in Lenoir County. Areas marked as N.C. 44 will then be resigned. The estimated cost for the entire project is $246 million.
The contract for this project was funded through the use of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles, commonly referred to as GARVEE bonds. The bonds allow the acceleration of federal funding to help finance projects sooner and avoid cost increases due to construction inflation.
The section from west of N.C. 581 to I-795 is currently scheduled to be awarded in June 2012, with construction beginning later that summer. The section from Wayne Memorial Drive to Promise Land Road is currently scheduled to be awarded as a design-build contract in January 2012, with construction beginning at the end of 2012 or early 2013.
For more information about funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.
Editor's Note: Photos of N.C. 44 can be found on NCDOT's Flickr gallery here.