The 10.3-mile U.S. 70 Havelock Bypass will be a four-lane divided freeway with a 46-foot median and design speeds of 70 mph.
The Federal Highway Administration on Dec. 16, 2016, approved the Record of Decision for the design, clearing the way for the N.C. Department of Transportation to award a contract for the project's design and construction.
Required under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Record of Decision explains why NCDOT selected the alternative it did for the project and discusses other alternatives considered during the planning and design process.
The preferred alternative – identified as Alternative 3 – was selected because it:
- Provides the best balance of minimizing impacts to natural and human environmental resources, the Croatan National Forest and the city of Havelock
- Is the least costly alternative
- Has a small number of relocations
- Minimizes habitat fragmentation effects
- Is conducive to prescribed burning, which allows the U.S. Forest Service to manage essential habitats
- Has the least amount of stream impacts
- Has a "middle ground" impact to prime farmlands and riparian buffers, meaning it has greater impacts than Alternative 1, but less than Alternative 2. The preferred alternative balances slightly higher impacts to these resources against the greater effect to the Croatan Forest and endangered species associated with Alternative 1