NC 42 expansion to bring relief to Clayton commuters
Posted January 19, 2012
Clayton, N.C. — Help is on the way for frustrated commuters in Clayton. After years of planning, N.C. Highway 42 is in line for a big widening project.
The state Department of Transportation is preparing to widen N.C. 42 from U.S. Highway 70 to just past Glen Laurel Road. The $6.9 million project will go to bid in March, and construction should begin in May.
Town Manager Steve Biggs says four lanes will help, but he wishes the project was bigger.
“We really want to see (N.C.) 42 four-laned all the way to Buffalo Road, because all the way out to Buffalo, there's a lot of traffic and a lot of development,” he said.
DOT officials say they want to widen the highway to Buffalo Road, but the money isn't there yet.
Clayton Fire Chief Lee Barbee says he hopes the widening will give his crew some relief. N.C. 42 traffic bottlenecks in front of Clayton Fire Station No. 2 at rush hour, making it difficult for his fire crew to get equipment on the road during an emergency.
“If they're already backed up and committed, you've got to give them time to give you space to get an apparatus in or out,” Barbee said.
Another big project is moving ahead in Clayton. The town is planning to extend Front Street to N.C. 42. It would give drivers another east-west route into downtown. Construction on the $1.6 million project should begin later this year.