RALEIGH - After more than a decade of planning and construction work, the N.C. Department of Transportation has completed comprehensive improvements to the U.S. 70 Corridor between Salisbury and Statesville. The upgrades will enhance safety and make it easier for motorists in a growing area to more efficiently get where they need to go.
"We're proud to complete this important project," said NCDOT Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey. "With traffic levels now increasing to about 33,500 vehicles per day, we needed to widen the highway to better meet the needs of today's drivers."
The $147.3 million project widened 19.7 miles of U.S. 70 from Shiloh Church Road in Statesville to U.S. 601 (Jake Alexander Boulevard) in Salisbury from a two-lane road to a four-lane expressway with a median.
"Safety is the department's top priority," said NCDOT Division 12 Engineer Mike Holder. "Widening this heavily traveled roadway will help prevent crashes and protect motorists."
Planning work for the project started in the late 1990s, and construction began in June 2000 on the section of U.S. 70 between Barkley Road and Shiloh Road in Statesville. After starting work on the portion of U.S. 70 between U.S. 601 and Kepley Road in Salisbury in March 2004, crews then began improving four additional sections of the highway, with the last section between Bear Poplar Road and the Iredell County line reaching completion last month.
The newly upgraded corridor serves as a multi-lane connector between I-77 and I-85. It will help accomplish Gov. Bev Perdue's goals of providing better access to education and strengthening the state's transportation network, which will help bring new businesses and new jobs to North Carolina.