Sign for future U.S. 70 interstate unveiled in Goldsboro

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – This morning, Governor McCrory, along with Representative GK Butterfield and other transportation leaders attended a sign reveal ceremony for a proposed interstate.

The project has been in the works for years, and in June, another portion will be finished.

This is all a part of a huge plan to use Highway 70 as a connector between Raleigh and Morehead City.

WNCT’s Zora Stephenson worked on how this project could affect you.

A lot of changes need to be made in certain areas before Highway 70 can be a designated interstate.

This includes Goldsboro, Kinston, New Bern, and Havelock.

While a number of elected officials are excited about the plan, some businesses have a different opinion.

“This has been our bread and butter for 40-or-50 years. We count on the tourists stopping in here and eating on the way to the beach,” said Joseph Hargitt of King’s Restaurant.

King has been a Kinston staple since the 1940s. The business attracts a number of customers because of its location.

“In the summertime about half our business is from out of town,” said Hargitt.

For years, elected officials have worked to transform U.S. 70 to make it an interstate, leaving a number of business owners along the corridor upset.

“We were one of the probably 10th largest employers in Lenoir County and I imagine we won’t be after that,” noted Hargitt.

The new interstate will give drivers an opportunity to get to the beach without any stop lights or driveways. It will also increase the speed limit.

“It’s about connecting cities and towns, ports and economic centers,” added Governor McCrory.

The state’s goal is now one step closer to being a reality. At a ceremony on Wednesday morning, a future interstate sign was revealed symbolizing the highway’s progress.

In June, Goldsboro’s 12-mile bypass will open, giving drivers an opportunity to travel through parts of Wayne County without any stop lights.

Elected officials say the new option is vital to the state’s development.

“Connectivity will mean future jobs and future economic development,” said McCrory.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield said, “It’s going to be a job creator and it’s going to transform the south eastern corridor of North Carolina into an even better place.”

Goldsboro is just one of many areas needing upgrades in order for U.S. 70 to meet interstate standards, however, not everyone is on board.

“We’ve been forgotten before in eastern North Carolina we’ve survived, we’ll figure out a way to do it again.”

There is no time table for when the project will be completed. Construction in the Kinston area is years away.

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Parts of U.S. 70 are one step closer to getting interstate designation.

Wednesday morning, Governor Pat McCrory and other transportation leaders were in Goldsboro to see a new sign revealed.

In the end, officials want U.S. 70 to start in Raleigh ending in Morehead City with limited lights and higher speed limits.

That project is being done in increments. The next phase is set to be completed as soon as June.

Governor McCrory, Congressman GK Butterfield, and other transportation officials addressed a crowd to explain the importance of a project of its size. They said being able to travel through eastern NC is vital to improving the area’s economy.

9 On Your Side also asked the governor about House Bill 2, the new law bringing national attention to the state. He said the people of North Carolina want to talk about more important things like education and transportation.

After a number of questions about the controversial law, he walked away without answering any transportation questions.

There will be more on his visit at 5 and 6.

 

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