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Clayton Bypass nearing completion

Posted May 29, 2008

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— The state Department of Transportation gave a tour Thursday of the new U.S. Highway 70 Bypass project around Clayton.

The four-lane, 10.7 mile stretch of highway from the Wake-Johnston county line to near Smithfield is scheduled to open June 9 – more than a year ahead of schedule. DOT officials said the project was originally to be completed by June 2009.

“The contractor played a big role in that. They were very aggressive in pursuing the construction schedule,” said Wendi Johnson, DOT division construction engineer.

Johnson said dry weather and the DOT’s project team also kept work moving.

The bypass has 22 bridges, four interchanges, 11 DOT cameras and four message signs with estimated drive times.

“We have the devices in a couple of locations, but this will be the first deployment of travel times,” DOT engineer Sherry Yow said. The DOT hopes to use the travel time devices across the state.

The project, budgeted at $123 million, will cost more than $126 million. Johnson said a lot of the overruns are due to fuel escalation changes.

The bypass project has focused on protecting wildlife and the environment. A wired fence currently runs the length of the project and helps to funnel deer and other animals under the bypass. Water quality sensors are also setup in area waterways to ensure they aren’t damaged and animals aren’t threatened.

The bypass is Johnston County’s largest road project since Interstate 40 was built.

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.

When completed the speed limit will be 70 mph and will help save about 15 minutes of drive time, DOT officials said.

DOT officials said additional congestion may occur during the morning rush hour where the bypass merges with I-40.

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  • Frank Downtown Jun 5, 2008

    They need to have a 40 bypass around Durham and Raleigh and then merge back into 40 east of Raleigh.

  • webhype May 30, 2008

    poor design as they closed New Bethel Church road to build this bypass and spent money to expand that road's overpass over I40. Now that road leads to nowhere and they eliminated 1 of the two roads that crossed I40 between exit 306 and 312.

  • Greyhound_Girl May 30, 2008

    "DOT officials said additional congestion may occur during the morning rush hour where the bypass merges with I-40."

    Ya think!! Considering it's already congested between the 42 and Jones Sausage Road. I'll reserve my judgment until I see the results, but my feeling is that I-40 W is going to be a "nightmare" for those East of 42.

  • Mr. Iowa May 29, 2008

    Just think if they had started work on the next 540 section last year during the drought they'd have almost the entire thing completed today!

  • FloydTurbo May 29, 2008

    The NCDOT hasn't screwed this one up .... YET!

    Lets wait and see what "oops" they built into this project.

  • CestLaVie May 29, 2008

    This is great news. I knew they were running ahead of schedule, but this is wonderful.

    I DO NOT go to the beach, but use US 70 to commute to Raleigh to work every day from Selma, ambergail1!!!!!

    In fact, once the 64 Bypass was completed, I started using it to go home at night & using back country roads, so as to avoid the traffic jams & slow traffic through Clayton EVERY evening, not just on Fridays. Any commute days before long holidays were also a pain in the neck.

  • hi_i_am_wade May 29, 2008

    "The new road is for people going to the beach." -- ambergail1

    Funny, when another road was built for the same purpose and to help a military town, it was considered unnecessary. But when it happens to Raleigh, it is required. US-117, er I-795, was very much needed. And don't moan about the US-64 expansion going to the Outer Banks. Just because you won't use it doesn't mean it isn't required.

  • dsms6556us May 29, 2008

    I live in Clayton and travel to Research Triangle park 4 days week thank goodness the bypass is almost complete. : ) I will definetly give it a try when its complete.

  • living the dream May 29, 2008

    I wonder if the diverted traffic will affect the business folks in Clayton? I think the by-pass is going to cause traffic issues on 40. Vehicles will be funneling into 40 at a faster rate now. The clayton stop lights stage the traffic flow onto 40. Guess time will tell.
    I do think DOT has done a good job of trying to stay ahead of traffic issues and growth. How may cities in this country have an inner and outer beltline? Not very many. ( I realize 540 isn't complete yet)

  • Howie275 May 29, 2008

    "In the mornings, once they hit I-40 West toward Raleigh, they will be drifting for miles"

    I agree, This end of 40 is going to be worse then the RTP end of 40 before long.

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