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Princeton mayor looks forward to Highway 70 expansion

Posted May 9, 2012
Updated May 10, 2012

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— As the state Department of Transportation hits the gas on plans to turn U.S. Highway 70 into a freeway between Raleigh and Beaufort, towns along the way are bracing for an economic boost from the extra traffic.

Princeton Mayor Don Rains said he thinks the U.S. 70 corridor will make his town an "oasis in eastern Johnston County."

The corridor requires the DOT to build new bypasses around Kinston, Havelock, Beaufort and Goldsboro. In June 2008, the state opened the Clayton Bypass and, last December, it opened the first phase of the Goldsboro Bypass.

The Goldsboro Bypass is expected to be completed in 2015, at which point, Rains said, Princeton will be the last stop for beach-bound drivers along Highway 70 until Kinston.

"We hope it will be an opportunity for restaurants, industrial growth and other commercial centers," Rains said. 

Rains says Princeton has already heard from some fast food restaurants and a truck stop, and he hopes the area will grow into an industrial or commercial park.

Although DOT officials said it could be years before the Highway 70 corridor is completed, Rains says Princeton will be ready.

U.S. 70 Corridor Princeton mayor says town can be Johnston County 'oasis'

"The attributes that we have, the infrastructure that we have in place, we have everything available for it to happen now," Rains said. 

State officials say the widening will also help improve freight transportation from the North Carolina State port in Morehead City. 

26 Comments

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  • protestthis May 10, 2012

    yep.. just because they actually do something about roads outside of Wake county it figures that someone wines about it.. Guess what.. the state does not revolve around you. Ral is NOT The center of the universe. Get over it.

  • MyOwnTwoCents May 10, 2012

    I have a house in Morehead/Atlantic Beach area and the only traffic I hit is the traffic where 40 and 70 meet, otherwise it is not bad of a trip even during the big holiday weekends.

  • mmckay3 May 10, 2012

    To CONSERVATIVEVOTER: I live in Morehead City at the end of what you call the road to nowhere and absolutely love it. Please feel free to stay where you are and enjoy the city traffic. We have enough tourists here in the summer anyway.

  • frosty May 10, 2012

    It has been too long. And I bet they still will not get rid of ALL the stop lights on US 70. They knew the road badly needed upgrading back during the Hunt administration. Hopefully they can keep development off the new road. The last time they bypassed these towns they just moved out to the bypasses and added stoplights.

  • nclifeisgood May 10, 2012

    rrains1-- I see that. I guess there are advantages & disadvantages. Hopefully the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. I can learn to deal with traffic.

  • rrains1 May 10, 2012

    nclifeisgood-I see your point about exit roads becoming more congested, but I'll tell you a quick story: Several years ago before the bypass opened, a gas station on Hwy 70 in Clayton caught fire on a spring Friday afternoon. Every fire dept. in Johnston County was there trying to head off an explosion. The beach traffic on 70 was rerouted on every side street in Clayton to get around the fire! With the new bypass, Clayton has retained it's character as a small town without hurting economic growth and causing further traffic nightmares. Believe me, I know: I live 1 block off what is now Business 70!

  • Rig May 10, 2012

    If more folks would use common courtesy and MOVE THE HECK OUT OF THE LEFT LANE EXCEPT WHEN PASSING, this project wouldn't even be necessary. We travel this route at least 10-12 times a year and it amazes me how clueless people will just sit and ride in the left lane, or worse yet- ride in my blind spot, just behind the left rear of my car. Use common sense and common courtesy people- it's not that hard, there's plenty of room on Hwy 70 for everyone (with the exception of before and after major holidays- sometimes....) :)

  • ConservativeVoter May 10, 2012

    North Carolina amazes me.

    The state has money for four lane roads to nowhere down east with very little traffic.

    Yet the state doesn't have money to build needed roads in the triangle because of heavy traffic so the state builds toll roads in the triangle.

    Something is wrong with highway funding in North Carolina.

  • Tizu May 10, 2012

    They've already started on several areas near Goldsboro in the Rosewood / NC 581 area where the Walmart is. You can see the stakes they've put in as markers and how the road is going to be routed. Most of the land is farm land and not affecting many homes at all from what I've seen.

    I live in Princeton and welcome new restaurants and businesses. it will really help the town prosper. They've been advertising a small commercial park off the existing 70 for a while where Princeton Pediatrics is. That area is about to be completely full with other businesses - Awesome!

  • DawgDue May 10, 2012

    As long as the make exits for BBQ, then I'm fine with it. AB Expressway!

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