RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Transportation is moving forward with the Kinston Bypass project in Craven, Jones and Lenoir Counties by narrowing the list of possible alternative routes.
At a Jan. 16 meeting, NCDOT and the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, along with local officials and state and federal agencies decided to eliminate all northern alternatives from further study, while adding a new southern corridor for detailed study. All other existing southern alternatives will remain under consideration, along with the option of widening existing U.S. 70.
All northern bypass alternatives are being eliminated due to new traffic projections that show minimal traffic from U.S. 70 using these routes. Thus, existing U.S. 70 would still require widening, even after a northern bypass was constructed. The southern alternatives would attract more traffic from U.S. 70, significantly reducing congestion in Kinston and eliminating the need to widen existing U.S. 70.
In addition to the remaining alternatives, a new southern corridor has been added to the list, which would widen U.S. 70 east and west of the Kinston city limits and create a new highway in central Kinston. The new route would begin just east of the C.F. Harvey Parkway and run southeast across the Neuse River, crossing N.C. 11/55 near the Goodman Road intersection. After crossing U.S. 258 to the south of Collier-Loftin Road, the bypass would then continue east to N.C. 58 in the vicinity of the Collier-Lofton intersection. The corridor would then pass south of Lenoir Community College and rejoin with existing U.S. 70 near Neuse Road.
Next Steps: The next step is to continue field work and prepare reports on each alternative, documenting more detailed benefits, impacts and engineering components. This will be followed by preparation of the Draft State Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) later this year. The SDEIS will list impacts to the human and natural environment and alternative parameters such as traffic analysis and cost. After this information is published NCDOT will conduct a public hearing to seek opinions and preferences on the various alternatives before a preferred corridor is determined.U.S. 70 from Raleigh to Morehead City is designated as a Strategic Highway Corridor (SHC) and plays a critical role in regional and statewide mobility. 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 SHC Plan.
For more information on this project, visit the project website.