Greenville - The N.C. Department of Transportation today celebrated construction of the new Greenville Southwest Bypass in Pitt County. Construction began on the 12.6-mile, four-lane freeway in September and is expected to be completed by June 2019. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson, Board of Transportation Members Ferrell Blount and Hugh Overholt, and City of Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas all participated in the event.
"The Southwest Bypass will provide a direct connection between residential areas and commerce centers in Pitt County, and complements other transportation improvements that are already underway in the area, including the 10th Street Connector," Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. "These projects help fulfill Governor Pat McCrory's 25-Year Vision for Transportation in North Carolina by better connecting people to jobs, healthcare, education and recreation."
The bypass begins approximately two miles south of Ayden on N.C. 11. It will wrap around the west side of Ayden and Winterville and end at the U.S. 264 Bypass west of Greenville.
The route will relieve congestion and improve safety in Greenville, especially on Memorial Drive (N.C. 11) and Stantonsburg Road (U.S. 264 Business). The new freeway will also boost the local economy by improving travel time along the U.S. 264/N.C. 11 corridor, and its five interchanges will also help spur commercial and residential development.
"When the Greenville Southwest Bypass and 10th Street Connector projects are both open to traffic, travel in and around the City of Greenville is going to improve dramatically," continued Tennyson. "The transportation infrastructure we're building today will provide the foundation for Greenville's continued growth."
The project is being constructed using a method called "design-build," which allows the design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time under one contract. This method reduces overall construction time, helps NCDOT avoid cost inflation, allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessens environmental impact and alleviates driving delays for motorists.
Secretary Tennyson also mentioned Governor McCrory's recent announcement that the state is seeking federal approval of a future interstate designation for U.S. 264 to Greenville, which is North Carolina's largest metropolitan area currently not served by an interstate. The state has submitted an application for the designation to the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and a decision is expected by the end of the year.
To follow the progress of construction of the new Greenville Southwest Bypass and to learn more about the project's benefits and special features, the Department of Transportation encourages people to visit the project's website by clicking on the link above.