US 70 expansion could soon be reality
Posted February 1, 2016
Wilsons Mills, N.C. — It's been years in the making, but now there is new movement in the push to speed up the trip between Raleigh and Morehead City.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is hoping to replace the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 at Wilson's Mills Road, and another at Swift Creek Road, with a freeway-style interchange. The changes are part of a plan to open traffic along the U.S. 70 corridor to freeway speeds.
In the coming months, signs designating the stretch of highway as a "future interstate corridor" will be visible.
Congress made the designation official in a bill passed in December. NCDOT engineer Robert Hanson said the state is now working to make it happen.
"We do have a lot of signals up and down the corridor and a lot of driveways that connect direct to (U.S.) 70, so we are addressing that as funding becomes available," Hanson said.
The NCDOT is also planning to build bypasses along the highway, similar to one in Goldsboro that is scheduled to be completed in June.
Then, crews will look to build bypasses around Kinston and Havelock.
Congress mentioned the state port at Morehead City as a big reason for its focus on the corridor, in effort to move freight faster. But Johnston County driver Davey Marcom said he is thinking about how the plans will change his beach trip.
"I think it will be a little quicker and, ah, put the pedal to the metal," he said.
There is a public meeting Tuesday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. at Wilson's Mills Elementary School to discuss the proposed changes to the intersections.