SMITHFIELD – Beginning next week, travelers on U.S. 70 east of Smithfield will encounter changes that improve the safety and flow of traffic.
The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to open on Monday, Nov. 6, a new interchange and overpass where U.S. 70 and U.S. 70 Business once intersected. With its construction, traffic on the two-lane road will cross over the main highway, allowing motorists to enter or exit U.S. 70 via new ramps.
Once the new interchange is open, contract crews will close the median crossover at nearby Firetower Road. Eliminating the crossover will require motorists on Firetower Road to turn right onto the highway, or to use the new interchange to go in the other direction toward Smithfield.
More improvements are coming over the next month along the same two-mile stretch of U.S. 70. Crews with Flatiron Constructors Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., are also building an interchange with an overpass and ramps at the highway’s intersection with Davis Mill Road/Stevens Chapel Road.
After the Davis Mill/Stevens Chapel interchange opens the middle of this month, NCDOT will close two crossover medians between the two new interchanges: One location is at Pine Street, and the other is the Peedin Road/Creeches Mill Road intersection at U.S. 70. Closing the crossover medians will improve safety by reducing the risk of collisions.
This section of U.S. 70 has an average of more than 29,000 vehicles a day – a figure expected to reach 45,000 vehicles by 2035. Motorists on the side streets now have to stop and wait for traffic to clear. The $16.7 million project began in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed by February 2018.