GREENVILLE – A new Pitt County freeway that opened to traffic seven months ahead of schedule will relieve congestion and improve safety for travelers in the Greenville area.
The Southwest Bypass opened before 1 p.m. Thursday after a ribbon cutting event hosted by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The bypass will do more than make travel easier and safer in Greenville, said Ronnie Keeter, NCDOT’s eastern chief deputy engineer.
“The Southwest Bypass will help boost economic development in and around Greenville,” Keeter said. “Transportation is about much more than building roads. It’s about connecting people to places, and the Southwest Bypass will create better connections in the region.”
The Southwest Bypass is a four lane, 12.6-mile freeway that begins about 2 miles south of Ayden on N.C. 11, wraps around the west side of Ayden and Winterville and ends at the U.S. 264 Bypass west of Greenville. It includes five interchanges and 22 bridges. The speed limit on the road is 70 mph.
Construction on the Southwest Bypass began in late August 2016. The completion date was scheduled for June of 2020, but NCDOT and the contractor were able to complete it more than seven months in advance.