RUTHERFORDTON – A transformative project that will improve travel and industry in Rutherford County officially started today.
Crews from Wright Brothers Construction, a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation, are building a new five-mile highway from Roper Loop Road near R-S Central High School to Charlotte Road.
Town, county and regional planning authorities have desired a new roadway for decades to reduce congestion, improve safety and reduce travel time for drivers using the U.S. 221 corridor near Rutherfordton. This project is one segment of a long-range goal to connect Intestate 40 to U.S. 74 with a multi-lane highway.
“This has been a long time coming,” Division 13 Construction Engineer Nathan Moneyham said. “This is the type of project that can improve a town and county for decades to come through infrastructure that will serve the current residents as well as future industry.”
The new four-lane highway includes interchanges at U.S. 64 and U.S. 74B (Charlotte Road) plus a bridge on Green Street over the bypass. The northbound and southbound lanes will be separated by a wide grass median and meet all current Federal Highway Administration safety standards.
NCDOT officials awarded the $109.2 million contract to Wright Brothers, of Charleston, Tenn., in late December.
Rutherford County residents will start seeing crews begin the construction by clearing, grubbing and grading the footprint of the project. Later this summer, other construction teams will begin building large interchange structures at U.S. 64 and U.S. 74A. Travel impacts will be minimal during 2022.
“Residents and visitors, business owners and consumers will all benefit from time savings, safety improvements and new connectivity,” Moneyham said. “We are delighted to be delivering a project that so many people have been wanting for so long.”