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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the Kinston Bypass project and why is it needed?

    ​The purpose of the Kinston Bypass project is to improve regional mobility and connectivity in the growing area along U.S. 70 between La Grange (Lenoir County) and Dover (Jones County). The project will be a freeway (future Interstate 42) with four lanes, a divided median and interchanges with bridges, ramps and loops. The highway will be approximately 21 miles long with a posted speed limit of 70 mph.​

  • How is the Kinston Bypass project funded?

    ​The Kinston Bypass project is included in N.C. Department of Transportation’s current Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP. The project has been funded with state funds since it was included in the N.C. Highway Trust Fund Act (1989). State funds were identified for this project, as they are NCDOT’s largest funding source (approximately 75 percent of total funding).

    The project is listed in NCDOT’s 2024-2033​​ State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as Project Number R-2553. The project is divided into five sections (A-E) which are funded as shown in the table in Projects Highlights​.

    This project will be reprioritized for funding in the next State Transportation Improvement Program​. A schedule for right of way, utilities and/or construction has not been finalized at this time. However, preliminary engineering activities (design, planning, environmental studies) needed for project development are underway.​​

  • Who are the primary agencies involved in the project and what are their roles?

    ​The Kinston Bypass project is following the highest-level environmental review process defined by the National Environmental Impact Statement (NEPA)​ regulations. This process includes extensive involvement by both the public and various resources agencies that have responsibilities to provide data and information related to environmental resources and impacts. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the lead federal agency with responsibility to ensure the NEPA process is thorough and complete. The NEPA process also addresses other environmental laws including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The key resource agencies comprise a group called the Merger Team and includes NCDOT and the following agencies:

    • ​U.S. Army Corps of Engineer
    • ​N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources and Division of Coastal Management
    • U.S. Coast Guard
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fishery Services
    • National Marine Fisheries Service
    • N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
    • N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
    • Eastern Carolina Rural Planning Organization
    • Down East Rural Planning Organization

    The Merger Team provides a forum to discuss and reach consensus on major project milestones through a shared decision-making process. To date, the Merger Team has reached concurrence on the project purpose and need, detailed study alternatives, and the preferred alternative. ​

  • How were alternatives developed and evaluated?

    ​NCDOT began with the evaluation of 300 best-fit segments that were used to identify 95 preliminary alternatives, which were ultimately narrowed to 12 alternatives that met the project’s purpose and need. These 12 alternatives, which included Alternative 1SB (Shallow Bypass), were presented to the public in 2019 at the corridor public hearing and documented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and associated technical studies​. Information for the 12 alternatives included interchange locations, potential service road locations, potential bridge locations, as well as GIS-calculated potential impacts to natural, cultural, community, and socio-economic resources for 1,000-foot corridors. 

  • How was the preferred alternative selected?

    ​In February 2020, after considering all potential natural, cultural, community, and socio-economic impacts and public input from the 2019 corridor public hearing, USACE and NCDOT selected Alternative 1SB as the preferred alternative​. It had the most public support, shortest project length, least amount of projected wetland impacts and highest projected net economic benefit, while also preserving the rural character of southern Lenoir County. Although NCDOT has chosen a preferred alternative, it is currently evaluating three design options for upgrading one of the intersections along this route – at Wyse Fork/Caswell Station roads in Jones County.

  • What has the NCDOT been working on since the preferred alternative was selected?

    ​The preferred alternative (1SB) has undergone extensive evaluation since its selection. The corridor has been fully delineated for wetlands and surveyed for threatened and endangered species, which will be summarized in the Natural Resources Technical Report. The corridor was fully surveyed for archaeological resources, which will be presented in the Archaeological Survey Report. Outreach efforts have been made to businesses and vulnerable (Title VI, Environmental Justice) communities through group and individual meetings, which will be summarized in the Public Involvement Plan, updated in the Community Impact Assessment, and updated in the Economic Impact Assessment.

    The GeoEnvironmental Report and Traffic Noise Report have also been updated. A preliminary roadway design has been refined to utilize about a third of the 1,000-foot-wide corridor. The preliminary roadway designs utilized the information in the technical reports to minimize impacts to natural, cultural, community, and socio-economic resources. Examples of minimization efforts include interchange design modifications and shifting service roads closer to U.S. 70. This information will be formally presented to the public in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and at the Design Public Hearing in 2023. These minimization efforts will also be presented to and agreed upon by the Merger Team. 

  • How has NCDOT considered cultural resources associated with the Kinston Bypass?

    ​NCDOT is following federal guidelines that require agencies to consider their effects on historic properties. The entire corridor was surveyed for architectural and archaeological resources. This process included intensive research via literature reviews, input from local sources, site visits and archaeological surveys. The archaeological surveys included ground-penetrating radar of key areas identified by the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office (NCHPO) and the N.C. Office of State Archaeology (NCOSA). The survey findings were summarized in a 2021 archaeological survey report that was reviewed by the NCOSA and the NCHPO. 

    This map shows the historic architectural resources that are listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and are found within the preferred alternative study corridor.  

    Subsequently, the USACE and NCDOT discussed adverse effects to architectural and archaeological resources with the NCHPO and NCOSA based on the preliminary, proposed roadway designs. Adverse effects were identified for an archaeological site (unmapped, not on the Wyse Fork Battlefield); the Wyse Fork Battlefield; and the Cobb-King Humphrey House. Subsequently, on June 15, 2022, the USACE invited national, state, and local historical agencies and organizations and key property owners to participate in a meeting with consulting parties pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to look at ways to minimize the project’s adverse effects on historic resources. ​

  • What is NCDOT doing to minimize adverse effects to the Wyse Fork Battlefield and other historic resources?

    In 2017, the Wyse Fork Battlefield was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), which established the battlefield boundaries following National Park Service guidance. In 2022, the bypass project was determined to have an adverse effect to the battlefield. Specific adverse effects identified include the proposed new eastside connector interchange and ramps between existing U.S. 70 and the new bypass; a proposed interchange and ramps at Caswell Station and Wyse Fork roads in Jones County; and proposed service roads. NCDOT is currently evaluating three design options​ for how to improve the current junction between U.S. 70 and Wyse Fork/Caswell Station roads; the design alternatives vary in impacts to the battlefield. ​ 

    In 2017, the Cobb-King Humphrey House property was determined eligible for listing on the NRHP. In 2022, the bypass project was determined to have an adverse effect to the property. Specific effects include a narrow strip of land in front of the house and change in access. The Cobb-King Humphrey house and outbuildings will not be directly impacted by the project and will remain in their original locations. 

    In 1998, the Henry Loftin Herring Farm was determined eligible for listing on the NRHP. In 2022, the bypass project was determined to have no adverse effects on the farm, even though the property is being impacted. Specific impacts are from the new west side connector interchange between existing U.S. 70 and the new bypass. These impacts were evaluated for minimization and mitigation solutions. 

    In 1990, Kelly’s Millpond was determined eligible for the NRHP. In 2022, the bypass project was determined to have no adverse effects on the Kelly’s Millpond site as the bypass project will not be impacting it. In 1998, the Dr. James Parrot House was determined eligible for listing on the NRHP. In 2022, the bypass project was determined to have no adverse effects on the Dr. James Parrot House as the bypass project will not be impacting it. 

    As required by the National Historic Preservation Act, USACE is working closely with NCDOT and NCHPO, as well as using the findings of the archaeological surveys and input from Section 106 consulting parties, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the adverse effect to various historic resources. These efforts will be documented in the appropriate Section 106 document which will be appended to the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

  • What are the project’s next steps?
    • Final Environmental Impact Statement (2024)
    • Open House & Public Comment (2024)
    • Design Public Hearing (2024)
    • Record of Decision (2024)​
  • How can I learn more about the project and provide input?

    ​The project website provides information including maps, schedule updates, estimated costs, and associated studies. The project website will be updated as more information becomes available. You can provide comments, request to be added to the project mailing list, or request to be notified of upcoming public involvement opportunities by calling the toll-free project hotline at call (800) 233-6315 (bilingual option available) or using the Contact​ form. 

5/17/2023 9:47 AM