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Windows Tint New Bern NC

Window Tinting / October 23, 2021

Eddie Fitzgerald EFitzgeraldNBSJ

Improving U.S. 70 through James City to make it less congested and safer has been talked about for years, but it is becoming more of a reality every day.

The state Department of Transportation is working to make U.S. 70 an interstate from Raleigh to the coast to better move commerce and to make traveling safer for motorists between the Morehead City port and Interstate 40 near Raleigh.

On Dec. 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which designated U.S. 70 from I-40 in Garner to the port at Morehead City as a high-priority corridor and future interstate, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation website.

It is hoped the interstate, designated I-42, will benefit military interconnectivity, aid in economic development, create jobs and stimulate growth in travel and tourism.

A 2.5-mile section of U.S. 70 in James City between Garner Road and the Neuse River Bridge is now targeted for about $66 million in improvements to turn the busy four-lane road with adjacent commercial and residential development into a limited-access freeway.

Jamille Robbins, public involvement group leader with DOT, said U.S. 70 through James City has been identified as one of three corridors that could be improved to help with economic development in rural areas of Eastern North Carolina. The 11.9-mile third and final section of the Goldsboro bypass was completed in May, and a Kinston Bypass is still in the planning process, he said.

Robbins said the proposal is to improve access to local community services and to enhance economic development in James City and Craven County by updating the road to freeway standards.

That means there will be three interchanges built to provide local access to U.S. 70 from Williams Road, Airport Road and Grantham Road and no traffic lights, he said.

DOT is still collecting community input on whether to build U.S. 70 over the three access roads or to build the access roads over U.S. 70 at the interchanges, Robbins said.

Morgan Jethro, New Bern’s city planner, said she was pleased with the proposed improvements.

“Obviously, I think it’s going to be a big improvement to keep traffic flowing and also for the safety factors, ” she said. “I think that is probably my biggest issue. With the existing roadway, there are so many points where you can have an accident.”

Jethro said she thought some of the business owners along the corridor were a little concerned that the interchanges might lower the visibility of their businesses from the highway.

“I don’t foresee that to be an issue, ” she said. “I think, actually, if they elevate it you might have more visualization coming across than if you lower it because they may have to build walls for sound or for the off ramps, and I think that would minimize the visual impact on their businesses.”

Source: www.newbernsj.com