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.

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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