Alternative Detour Route Under Development
Greenville - The N.C. Department of Transportation has postponed its plan to close a section of White Oak River Road in Onslow County on Feb. 15 for the building of an overpass over the proposed U.S. 17 alignment. The work is part of the $143 million project to build bypasses around Pollocksville, Belgrade and Maysville and make the roadway between the towns a four-lane divided highway.
The DOT planned to use Gibson Branch Road as a detour route across the Onslow-Jones County line during the project. However, as demonstrated during the most recent heavy rains, that route has the potential for being closed by flooding in major storms. So the department has decided to go with a safer, more reliable alternative.
Engineers are now looking at building a temporary paved two-lane road that will run parallel to the existing White Oak River Road while the new bridge is being built. Construction on the temporary road is anticipated to begin in about two months.
Construction on the multiple projects to widen U.S. 17 in Jones and Onslow County began in October 2015, with a scheduled completion date of July 1, 2020.It connects the U.S. 17 New Bern Bypass on the north end to just south of Belgrade on the south end, providing motorists with a four-lane, divided highway with speed limits as high as 65 mph. The additional lane capacity on the 16-mile long corridor will be a boom for larger commercial vehicles and a benefit for military vehicles, as well as for the general public.
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