Highway 17 Washington Bypass Opens

The long awaited Highway 17 bypass for Washington & Chocowinity opened to traffic just before 1:00 p.m.

The 6.8 mile long highway was supposed to open around 11:00 a.m. and cars lined up to be among the first to use the new highway. But some final work delayed the opening by about two hours.

The D.O.T. held a ribbon cutting for the $200-million project February 26th and said the actual opening would be delayed while final work was being finished.

The project will eliminate Highway 17 traffic going through the two towns and should eliminate traffic congestion. The project includes a three-mile long bridge, and is eight months ahead of its original completion date.

Another project, widening Highway 17 South of Chocowinity is expected to be completed later this year.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kaiser Location: Chocowinity on May 5, 2010 at 07:03 AM
    Call it what it really is "Chocobahn" a high speed access between Chocowinity and Washington with a beautifull view of the tree tops and Tar river, make my trips to Lowes a little more pleasant.
  • by another mike Location: Washington on Mar 24, 2010 at 01:48 PM
    "Posted by: Mike Location: Washington on Mar 24, 2010 at 01:29 PM I hope I get pulled over for doing 66 in a 65 zone. I'd be laughing from the time I get pulled over all the way to the DA's office to get the ticket thrown out. I cant even remember the last time I saw a cop going the speed limit." first off it does not matter what the officer or anyone else is doing, it matters what YOU are doing, thats whats wrong with most of this country they are too worried about what others are doing and not paying attention to their own situations but since you want a ticket so badly and you talk such a big game leave your vehicle make, modle and color here and your plat # and we will be sure to issue you a citation when we catch you, and the DA throws things out at OUR discretion along with his, and i would not let yours be thrown out for your "cockiness" here.
  • by Mike Location: Washington on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:29 AM
    I hope I get pulled over for doing 66 in a 65 zone. I'd be laughing from the time I get pulled over all the way to the DA's office to get the ticket thrown out. I cant even remember the last time I saw a cop going the speed limit.
  • by 2 Mike on Mar 24, 2010 at 09:11 AM
    If the speed limit is 65 and they are driving 65 they are driving the speed limit. Even though the fast lane is technically for passing, if you are trying to pass a vehicle that's traveling the posted speed limit then you must be speeding. Remember, 66 in a 65 is speeding and you can be stopped and issued a citation. It's not those driving the speed limit that's the problem. It's the people that drive faster because they are in a hurry to get somewhere. Drive the speed limit and you may live longer.
  • by The Pirate Lady Location: Grimesland on Mar 24, 2010 at 08:26 AM
    Got on the new bypass in Washington and rode to Chocowinity, and it was a beautiful ride. It was cool to see that side of the river and the wetlands that the bypass spans over. The only little annoyance is what I can only describe as "wake up" patches that are spaced along the road, similar to the strips on the side of some highways that are supposed to alert drivers that are falling asleep behind the wheel. But other than that, I really enjoyed it. Flatiron did a great job with this project. I believe it was the first time in the US that their machinery was used on a project, it's been used in other countries. Definitely noticed a drop in congestion on Hwy 17 through Chocowinity. Hopefully they will put up "Gas and Food" signs on the exit to Choco b/c it is the last stop before New Bern to fuel up or get something to eat.
  • by Mike Location: Washington on Mar 24, 2010 at 08:21 AM
    Speed doesn't kill people, idiots do. Idiots that drive 65 in a 65 zone in the fast lane. Idiots don't care if there is a stop light and an intersection or not. They will still hit you. DOT put up a light at 264 and Brick Kiln Rd and there are still as many accidents as there were before.
  • by Nancy Location: New Bern on Mar 24, 2010 at 06:10 AM
    Congratulations Flaitiron on an outstanding project! My drive from Chocowinity to Washington this morning was beautiful!!! The new bridge is such an asset to travelers. Flaitiron should be very proud!
  • by SG on Mar 24, 2010 at 04:45 AM
    I road the highway yesterday after work and it's a beautiful highway an the way it was done was amazing. I enjoyed the ride across the river as I've fished it many times and this gave me a different look; birds eye view. Beautiful. Again the only place from Choco to Cherry Run that worries me is where the south bound traffic has to cross the north bound two lanes, at the Highway patrol Station. I hope no one ever gets hurt there but there will be accidents. Just like when they put the stoplight at the intersection of 15th st extension and Whispering Pines. They didn't put a stop light there until there was two killed and a school bus full of special needs kids collided with a UPS truck that they finally took action. Even then there were so many that didn't want the stop light there and it has saved lives. Yes, speed causes accidents and I hope everyone obeys the 65 limit as practices the defensive driving skills required each and every day.
  • by EMS Location: Washington on Mar 24, 2010 at 02:30 AM
    Having been in this business for a long time, Washington EMS and Chocowinity EMS DO NOT WANT YOUR BUSINESS!! In other words, drive with a little common sense. As SUPER TROOPER stated, people with patience live longer. Speed limit is 65 MPH, so drive 65 MPH. Good job Flatiron, NCDOT. You guys/gals worked hard, and all of you should be proud. Slow down so you can go home and see your family. Life is precious, and being dead/disabled sucks. Good day to all.
  • by SUPER TROOPER on Mar 23, 2010 at 08:14 PM
    SPEEDERS KILL. PEOPLE WITH PATIENCE LIVE ALONG TIME .
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