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Clayton Bypass to Open Year Early

Posted April 10, 2008

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— A new gateway to the east will soon be open in the Triangle. Department of Transportation officials say the U.S. Highway 70 Bypass project around Clayton is nearly a year ahead of schedule.

The four-lane, 11-mile stretch of highway from the Wake-Johnston county line to near Smithfield was supposed to be done in July 2009. DOT officials now say it should open this summer.

“We're anticipating it will alleviate a lot of traffic in Clayton. We have commuters heading to Raleigh, to Research Triangle,” said Berry Gray, Johnston County planning director. “Now we're anticipating that we'll see more growth spread east, more into central Johnston County.”

Towns like Smithfield expect to benefit. New construction has been underway for years in anticipation of the new highway.

“There's just a lot of people from the Triangle looking at this area, not only for commercial growth, but also office and residential,” said Downtown Smithfield Development Director Chris Johnson.

Johnson said he expects the bypass to cut out nearly a dozen stop lights and 15 minutes off the trip.

Allen Wellons is chairman of the Johnston County Economic Development Committee. He says smart growth has been the focus, making sure the county doesn't lose its identity as it expands.

“Well, I think there is always a downside to growth if you’re not prepared for it, but I think we are,” he said.

DOT officials say the drought helped push up the completion day, with plenty of dry days to work. The entire project is estimated to cost about $123 million.

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  • PCguy Apr 11, 2008

    I-40 has been a cash cow for the State Troopers where the 70 bypass is. How are they going to pay the bills now?

  • tgw Apr 11, 2008

    The I-40 not being widened is because of money isues-not poor planning. Also, the exit ramps onto US 70 ast from I-40 are only 1 lane-not 2 at the current US 70 exit. MONEY MONEY.
    We can thank our Legislature for taking money out of the DOT Trust Fund for some of this.

    Concerning the speed of the project-no rain helps alot. Not having an endangered mussell in Swift Creek would have helped even more. That mussell cost us 10 years on this project. Probably tripled the cost to the taxpayers as well. Hope the tree huggers are happy.

    Such is the state of projects in North Carolina. Between the tree huggers and the vandels on Jones St., I wonder how any road gets built. Next thing you know, the Beach at Hatteras will be closed to 4 wheel drive trucks. Oh wait, that's in court right now. HUMMMMM!!!

  • GoldsboroWolf 98 Apr 11, 2008

    Greyhound_Girl, pretty much everyone driving through Clayton now is going to I40, I don't see how there will be a huge increase in traffic. It' already bad. If you read many articles now, people are now choosing to live closer to work rather than commute anyway. I do look forward to getting to Whole Foods in less than hour from Goldsboro now!

  • foetine Apr 11, 2008

    how much faster will this get me to Wilbur's BBQ?

  • PaulRevere Apr 11, 2008

    TarHeelsDontlikeEdwards...

    You are very correct! Why didn't thy keep that additional lane coming off of the bypass on I-40 West for a mere 2 more miles?!!?!? That's just poor planning...AGAIN...by the NCDOT.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 11, 2008

    Road Dog

    I have been up in Virginia many times. Roads seem fine to me unless you go over to Norfolk. Parts of 64 and 264 over there are in tough shape. that said, it is nice to see a positive story for the DOT for once. That far ahead of schedule is to be applauded. Not likely that I will use that particular road, but for those that do, enjoy it.

  • Road Dog Apr 11, 2008

    I'll wait and se as well.Just throwing this out there. North Carolina has the largest STATE MAINTAINED road sytem in the United States.

  • Greyhound_Girl Apr 11, 2008

    I will be curious to see if 40 backs up even more with the additional traffic. I used to get on 40 at Jones Sausage Rd and it was very congested coming from 42 and 70.

    I'm not complaining...I'm taking the "wait and see" attitude, but you can bet I won't be driving it in the morning...I stay off 40, too many nuts !!

  • Road Dog Apr 11, 2008

    Beltline has done really well and went thru some good abuse from snow plows too. Suggest all the complainers take a ride on other states roads say Virginia for instance. Stop your whining! I think if the general public knew how much special interest Environmentalists cost the tax payer they would have a cow. Sometimes doubles the cost of a project not to mention the moritoriums imposed that cost valuable construction time.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Apr 11, 2008

    Clayton.... Pine Level.... never heard of'em!

    Are they in North Carolina?

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