Washington’s bypass opened Tuesday in Beaufort County. The goal of the bypass is to limit traffic downtown and so far troopers say drivers seem to be taking it slow but are worried that might not last for long.
1st Sergeant Kenneth Pitts with Highway Patrol told WITN News he thinks once drivers get used to the bypass speeds will probably increase some which is why troopers will be patrolling the new stretch of roadway heavily.
According to Pitts, "It's got some hill crests and some dips in it so if you've got a traffic situation, maybe a crash or something, there's a very strong possibility you might be right on top of it before you even see it."
Another issue to worry about is narrow areas on the bridge, there's no place to pull over, WITN spotted a vehicle sitting in part of the road which is why Pitts has told his men to try and not make enforcement contact on the bridge if possible. However, that doesn't mean speed demons are off the hook; speed limits on both ends of the bypass drop from 65 to 55 miles per hour. Authorities hope this will help reduce the severity of accidents.
Highway Patrol also told us the design of the bypass allows for troopers to start experimenting with new policing methods which they say they plan to implement.