Washington Bypass Update

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

It's been over 2 years in the making, the Washington Bypass.

The purpose of the Bypass is simple, to give drivers a faster and safer way to get through Beaufort County and there's good news when it comes to construction.

Department of Transportation officials say the bypass should be opened to the public by the spring of 2010. The actual projected completion date is November of 2010, so things are running ahead of schedule.

The bridge is innovative because it's being built very Eco friendly. There's no work bridge for crews, they put the pilings in by using heavy machinery from the top and then work from there.

When the bridge is completed it will be one of the longest in the state at 3 miles. It's also one of the most expensive with a price tag of 192 million dollars.

D.O.T. Engineers credit great weather and a hardworking crew of about 150 people contracted through Flatiron and United Contractors to getting things built so quickly. This project makes up an even greater picture. There are currently 15 to 20 miles of Highway 17 that are still 2 lane roads and engineers say the overall goal is make Highway 17 four lanes from South Carolina to Virginia.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by c on Sep 18, 2009 at 02:43 PM
    WHAT A WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't even maintain the roads we have now. There are many streets with pot holes and ride roughly!! Maybe the state will start buying us tires and shocks too!!
  • by Carrie Location: Chocowinity on Aug 28, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    I feel like Washington does need more business sadly there isn't a good resturant in town, the best being Franks, and there are no good shops either. Yankee money or not the town needs help! Perhaps the highway will give the area more commerical business and help the economy in the area!
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Aug 28, 2009 at 09:37 AM
    I understand all the new Italian resturants in Washington and Chocowinity are owned by famillies from New York & Philly PA. I do like Frank's Pizza. To be honest I never had Blackbeards. I did not even know they made pizza,but I did try a Calzone from the new Italian resturant in town on Main St it was very good. Mara Bellas Antipasta Salad is good to. I would like to see a good German resturant come to town. I could go for a good Sauerbraten dinner. Bypass or not Washington and the local towns are growing. I have only been here for 5 years now I can see the change. At this point I think it is a good change.
  • by Scott Location: Washington on Aug 28, 2009 at 09:24 AM
    I'm a downtown business owner in Washington. It's funny to me those of you that think we get a bunch of "Yankee" money. My business is supported by locals as well as people from Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, Wilson and all other areas in between. I definitely don't count on "yankee" money to keep my business going and don't see where the bypass will affect my business much.
  • by john Location: washington on Aug 28, 2009 at 08:19 AM
    Drew, you are wrong, it will benifit everyone. Anon and Positive B are exactly right. The transplanted yankees will continue to spend their money at the down town resturants.Good food,good servace resturants will always do well,look at Down on Main. Now whoever is looking for a good pizza needs to go to Blackbeards Slices and Ice's in Bath.
  • by Brian Location: bath on Aug 28, 2009 at 08:08 AM
    In reference to JB, just because you do not visually see people work along the road in plain sight, does not mean they are not working. Sometimes as it has been stated, they are a bit ahead of schedule, which means coordination of the next process must take place with proper approval from inspectors. I myself am grateful for the progress, might be 20 years behind.....but finally eastern Beaufort county can progress forward into a brighter future with this project.
  • by Positive B Location: Choco on Aug 28, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    As someone who travels quite a bit, I think the bypass could help the local economy. Many people avoid 17 altogether because of the corridor around Washington. This step closer to having it four-laned between Williamston and Washington might bring more traffic close to Washington. And as long as there are kids in cars, people will stop.
  • by JB Location: Washington on Aug 28, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    If the contractors had more than 5 people working at a time, it could be done much faster. I have seen them working since it started. I commute down Hwy 17 everyday and I can say the work has really been dragged out. I have seen weeks go by and no work done. Where are the work crews? Don't they work 40 hours a week? They must be working somewhere else. Get it done already. Hwy 17 is in such bad shape. They need to fix the existing road while we wait for the 4 lane to be completed. The grass was finally mowed down 17 past Chocowinity. It was 5 feet high in some places. FLATIRON, quit dragging the construction out and get it done already. Quit making excuses.
  • by DAVID on Aug 28, 2009 at 06:07 AM
    Good, I'll be glad when it's finished so 17 won't be so darned busy. Get tired of waiting for all those people driving on vacation while I am trying to run errands.
  • by Anon on Aug 28, 2009 at 05:56 AM
    This bypass is going to do nothing but alleviate the congestion on existing US17, such as all the logging trucks and the like. Eventually there will be a spurt of residential development in the coming years, which will only help the local businesses/economy. Take a look at recent highway developments near Raleigh - such as the newly opened section of I540 and the Knightdale bypass. You cannot deny there has been growth and development in those areas!
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