The first section of the future U.S. 70 bypass in the Wayne County city of Goldsboro is now open to traffic.
The four-lane divided highway is 3.9 miles long and connects I-795 and Wayne Memorial Drive north of Goldsboro. It will be called N.C. 44.
The project is part of a $65.5 million contract awarded to Barnhill Contracting of Tarboro in September 2008. The project also includes interchanges at I-795, U.S. 117 and Wayne Memorial Drive.
The estimated cost for the entire bypass project is $246 million. The 20-mile bypass will begin at U.S. 70 just west of N.C. 581 in Wayne County and end at U.S. 70 just east of Promise Land Road in Lenoir County.
The next phases are expected to be awarded in 2012.
According to the NC DOT, "the contract for this project was funded through the use of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles, commonly referred to as GARVEE bonds. The bonds allow the acceleration of federal funding to help finance projects sooner and avoid cost increases due to construction inflation."