Wilson, N.C. — The Federal Highway Administration has designated the new U.S. Highway 117 Bypass between Wilson and Goldsboro as an interstate, allowing large tractor-trailers to use the road.
Previously, trucks with trailers longer than 48 feet were prohibited on the bypass, leaving U.S. Highway 70 as the only approved route for larger trucks in Wayne County.
State Department of Transportation officials said the bypass was built to interstate standards, which should allow larger trucks. But a federal committee initially denied an application to designate it an interstate because it connects first with U.S. Highway 264 instead of reaching Interstate 95 directly.
The state appealed the decision, and the Federal Highway Administration agreed to designate sections of the bypass and U.S. 264 that connect U.S. 70 to I-95 as I-795. Larger trucks will be allowed on the highway, officials said.