NEW BERN – Another segment of an important corridor in eastern North Carolina will be upgraded to interstate standards, thanks to a $242 million state contract awarded last week.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will improve 6.4 miles of U.S. 70 roughly between Thurman Road and the Havelock Bypass, as this blue line on a Google map shows. This corridor east of Raleigh serves the Global TransPark in Kinston, several military installations, the Port of Morehead City, and beach communities.
The project will eliminate conventional U.S. 70 intersections, such as those with stop signs and traffic signals, with new overpasses, bridges, ramps, loops and service roads. Along this 6.4-mile route, the following intersection with U.S. 70 will be converted into interchanges, or highway exits:
The U.S. 70 corridor between Raleigh and the port has been identified by the NCDOT to become Interstate 42.
“The is a vital highway for eastern North Carolina," said Jeff Cabaniss, the Division 2 Engineer based in Kinston. “By upgrading it, we will be improving regional mobility and highway safety and providing new economic opportunities in this region of the state."
Design Build Contract
The department awarded what is referred to as design-build contract to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. of Wilmington. A design-build contract is an alternative way to deliver a project in an efficient way.
Balfour Beatty will complete the final design, assist NCDOT in acquiring the necessary right of way and construct the project.
The current timeline anticipates construction being ready to begin by early 2024, and it will take about four years to complete the improvements. This NCDOT webpage has more information about the project.
NCDOT is similarly upgrading 5.1 miles of U.S. 70 to interstate standards in the James City area directly west of this new project closer to New Bern. NCDOT also is constructing the Havelock Bypass to the east of this new segment that will become I-42 around Havelock. Balfour Beatty has been awarded all three projects.
In neighboring Lenoir and Jones counties, the NCDOT is developing future plans to upgrade 21 miles of U.S. 70 into I-42 in a project dubbed the Kinston Bypass.