Raleigh - Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the Federal Highway Administration has issued its approval for a new bypass on the southwest side of Havelock and U.S. 70. The Record of Decision is the last environmental hurdle for the project. The N.C. Department of Transportation can now award a contract for design and construction.
"This decision is welcome and wonderful news for the residents and visitors of eastern North Carolina," Governor Pat McCrory said. "The Havelock Bypass will significantly improve traffic and freight movement along the U.S. 70 Corridor -a major connection from the Morehead City Port to Raleigh."
The document identifies the Havelock Bypass as the recommended design option for construction. The highway will run from north of the Havelock city limit and extend south to approximately 10 miles north of the Craven-Carteret county line.
This design alternative was presented at an open house held by transportation officials at the Havelock Tourist Center in August 2015. Two months later, the Federal Highway Administration approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
"Connectivity is vital to this region's future," said Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. "The faster we can move people and freight from commercial and industrial centers such as the Global TransPark in Kinston to sea ports and airports, the better we will meet the needs of eastern North Carolina's growing population."
The route selected for the Havelock Bypass minimizes impacts on the Croatan National Forest and the City of Havelock, safeguarding both the human and natural environment while improving operations on the U.S. 70 corridor and facilitating greater connectivity in eastern North Carolina.
The 10.3-mile U.S. 70 Havelock Bypass will be a four-lane divided freeway with a 46-foot median and design speeds of 70 mph. Construction on the $221 million bypass is slated to begin in winter 2017 and end in 2021.
This federal approval brings the state one step closer to fulfilling Governor McCrory's 25-year Vision for Transportation by improving the state's infrastructure to better connect people to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation.