UPDATE: Highway 17 Construction Area In Beaufort County Still Not Open

A 4-mile stretch of Highway 17 in Beaufort county that's been under construction more than 3 years was expected to open Friday, but drivers reported the road was not open and orange barrels and blockades were still up as of 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Construction began in February 2008 and was supposed to be completed September 1st of last year. Roberson Contracting has been fined $1,500 a day since April because of the slow going.

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The long-delayed Highway 17 expansion in southern Beaufort County is expected to open Friday.

The 4-mile long project was originally scheduled to be completed nearly a year ago, but it's missed five different projections to open since September 1st.

The four-lane project, which begins just north of Highway 102, will tie into the existing Washington bypass.

The $12.8-million cost includes some 21% in cost overruns.

The NC DOT says it's been fining the contractor $1,500 a day since April.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 14, 2011 at 06:59 AM
    The same sign had previously said new traffic pattern Friday Aug 12, so maybe that is where the idea came from that the highway was opening Friday. In any case, I'll believe it when I see it.
  • by Eugene Location: Down East on Aug 14, 2011 at 06:57 AM
    When these current projects are finished,you will have to travel of 95 to see where our 57% of road money's are being spent.We will still have all of the un-kept road side flower beds to admire. Do you folks miss Mark yet? You Will.
  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on Aug 13, 2011 at 06:53 PM
    Coming northbound on 17 from New Bern, there is a sign that says there will be a new traffic pattern on Tuesday the 16th, so maybe that's when they will remove the cones?
  • by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2011 at 06:14 PM
    I was just through that area this past wednesday and that was the first time I actually saw work being done. A guy driving the truck in the photo pulled out in the road right in front of me and sat there for 5-6 minutes just talking while traffic was backed up behind me.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2011 at 07:11 PM in reply to
      that's what Roberson's crew does best
  • by rapper on Aug 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM
    Must be one of those long term construction projects.
  • by Anonymous Location: pitt county on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM
    I do have my facts straight. I have been doing DOT work for 20 years. Contractors do not design the projects - the DOT is responsible totally for that. The overruns are due to design errors and site conditions that are different than anticipated during the design process. Obviously Brad is a lot like most of those commenting - don't have a clue!
    • reply
      by Here is your clue on Aug 13, 2011 at 01:48 PM in reply to
      If I don't have a clue, then I guess I do not know that Roberson's has declared bankruptcy because of this and several other failed projects. He should be sued for his lack of commitment. I wonder who bought the helicopter?
  • by Anonymous Location: pitt county on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:49 AM
    To brad: whether i work for Roberson's is irrelevant. the fact is the work is getting done - though longer than what anyone would like. However, no one from Roberson's or the DOT that I am aware of reported the road would be open on Friday. WITN took it upon themselves and jumped the gun.
  • by jr Location: greenville on Aug 13, 2011 at 08:39 AM
    For those who seem to think that no work has been or is being done, then obviously you are blind. the pavement markings, signs, reflectors, concrete islands, and asphalt have all been completed in the last two weeks there has been at least 20-25 people on the project for the last month. From my "reliable" sources, they are finishing the final touch ups and seeding the project - and the barrels will be coming down by mid-week. So for those who think nothing is happening - better pay attention next week.
  • by john Location: pitt county on Aug 13, 2011 at 08:31 AM
    I talked with some friends in the DOT and no one said anything about the road opening on Friday. Not sure who leaked that info. inside tip though - look for something this coming week. As for overruns on the project - those are attributed to plan errors and site conditions - not the contractor. DOT designs or approves the designs for all projects - not the contractor. get your facts straight before you show your ignorance.
    • reply
      by brad on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM in reply to john
      Okay John, you apparently work for Roberson's and have egg on your face so you are defensive. I like the way you don't let the facts sway your opinion.
  • by Carl Kolchack Location: Pitt County on Aug 13, 2011 at 04:46 AM
    I drove through there the other day, this was the first time I'd actually seen anyone there "working", and by working I mean two guys were chasing each other around a van while 10 more stood by and watched!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2011 at 08:55 AM in reply to Carl Kolchack
      That is all the work that seems to get done. It takes them a month or more to do a days work.
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