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Road Signs Delay Opening of Smithfield-Selma Bypass

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SMITHFIELD — It's been slow going for a lot of Fourth of July travelers through theSmithfield-Selma area. The traffic lights along Highway 70 near I-95 areoften a holiday bottleneck. Unfortunately, a traffic solution won't beready until the next travel holiday.

One of the busiest roads that leads from point "A" to point "beach" isHighway 70. On a holiday weekend like the Fourth, traffic multipliesthrough the Smithfield-Selma area. It's not even time for the heavystuff, and traffic near the intersection of Highway 70 and I-95 is alreadycongested.

Many motorists would like to avoid the traffic lights and just keep ongoing. Actually, there is a plan to keep things going -- theSmithfield-Selma bypass. The 3.8 mile stretch of road features severalbridges over congested areas, and no stops. It appears ready for traffic.But, for the busy Independence Day holiday, drivers will still have todepend on the old Highway 70.

Traveler Mike Bartlett says the road should have been open months ago. Hewonders why it's not open now.

The department of transportation says there's a reason why the road won'tmake it for the holiday. Signs. The signs are sitting next to the roadand haven't been installed yet. The state says it'll take five more weeksto get the signs up and get the road open. Back on old 70, Fourth of Julytravelers wish the work was complete.

Audrey Lamm says the bypass would've been nice for her trip to the beachthis weekend. Then she and her husband could just zoom on through withoutstopping.

By the middle of August, beach travelers and everyone else will be ableto use the new bypass. The Department of Transportation says constructionis right on schedule. The total cost of the bypass is $12 million.