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Major Roadwork Planned In Greenville


Greenville is one of the largest cities in Eastern North Carolina with a population of nearly 90,000 people.  Commuting in or around the area can be difficult at times.  Two major transportation projects are now underway in Pitt County that aim to alleviate congestion.  Sarah Finch has construction details on these roadworks and their potential impact on traffic patterns.

The City of Greenville is mapping a new course for motorists, breaking ground on two new roads. These transportation projects have long been planned, but now they’re funded and ready to move forward.  Last week, officials with NC DOT and Greenville’s Mayor provided updates on the Greenville Bypass and 10th Street Connector upgrades, expected to cost nearly $190 million dollars.  These projects should improve traffic flow for those traveling around and into the city. 

The Greenville Bypass has 12 miles of new road that will loop to the south and the east. Eventually it will be a four-lane divided highway with five interchanges and a 70 mile per hour speed limit. NCDOT Division 2 Engineer John Rouse says there will be no stop-lights on this freeway.

"The Greenville Southwest Bypass will start approximately 2 miles south of the town of Ayden on NC 11. You’ll veer off to the west heading north, cross into 102, you’ll cross Forlines road, US 13, and tie back into US 264, just to the west of Vidant Medical Center complex.”

Construction of this bypass was awarded to Barnhill Contracting of Tarboro. They are currently in the right-of-way acquisition phase and utility relocation is not far behind. They predict roadwork will begin in the spring of next year and be completed by July 2019.

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas expects this bypass to improve traffic flow on heavily congested Stantonsburg Road and Memorial Drive, as well as boost regional travel along the US Highway 264. 

“That will move a significant portion of our commercial traffic off our congested city streets. That bypass will create economic development and move business all along that new corridor. And it’s going to be a tremendous, tremendous boom for us.”

Credit NCDOT

While the bypass will alleviate congestion by taking motorists around the city, the 10th Street Connector project will help funnel people back to the center of Greenville. 

“The 10th street connector, it will change the dynamic in Greenville forever. When you come into the city from the hospital area, from the west, you will from now on, after 2018, take a direct 4-lane, 5-lane shot right to the university, right to the stadium.”

The project is already underway and will undergo major structural and traffic signal improvements to 1.4 miles of roadway between Memorial Drive and Evans Street. For drivers who commute this path now, this is positive news. Road work started October 5th and Mayor Thomas says it isn’t significantly affecting current traffic patterns.

"Only a portion of this is actually on an existing roadbed, on Farmville Blvd. and it crosses over on 10th. A significant portion of this is actually new roadbed. We’re working diligently between state DOT and the city to re-route the areas that we have already reinforced. It’s a short-term challenge for a long-term significant benefit.”

Contractor S.T. Wooten Corporation of Wilson began work on the Connector on October 5th and it’s scheduled to be completed by May 2019.  DOT’s Rouse says both transportation projects will be an economic engine for the area.

“The construction of this and the 10th Street Connector project, will fundamentally change the way traffic flows in and around the Greenville metro area. It’s going to be a significant improvement to traffic, which that in itself will foster much economic development.”

It’s still too early to determine the exact economic benefits the new roads would bring.  But with new pavement being laid, there would be more places for businesses to open up.  Rouse acknowledged that this costly venture was only made possible because of the support and cooperation of local officials and the state. The partnership allowed them to address all of the angles, and realize the economic impact this construction could have on the long term.   

With the addition of the Greenville Southwest Bypass and the 10th Street Connector, traffic patterns in and around the city will change forever; relieving congestion in Greenville, improving motorist safety and reducing the potential for accidents.

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