Public may attend any of three open houses
Goldsboro – The N.C. Department of Transportation is in the early stages of developing a plan to improve almost 25 miles of the U.S. 117 corridor, primarily through Wayne County, and it will host a series of workshops through early December to provide more information.
The department’s long-range goal is to extend Interstate 795, which now runs between Wilson and Goldsboro, from Goldsboro southward to Interstate 40 near Mount Olive and the Sampson-Duplin county line. The proposed project may include a combination of upgrading the existing U.S. 117 corridor and building the highway on a new location to minimize impacting homes and businesses.
In 2015, NCDOT completed a feasibility study that evaluated freeway upgrades for I-795/U.S. 117 from I-40 to Goldsboro. Several comprehensive transportation plans support the need to improve this corridor. They include plans for Wayne County, Duplin County and Mount Olive. The Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization supports the project, too.
The public may attend the following drop-in style meetings, which are from 4 to 7 p.m., to look at large, aerial maps locating community and environmental features, talk to NCDOT representatives and provide the department with feedback. The information will be the same at these three meetings:
- Thursday, Nov. 29: Faison Recreation and Wellness Center gymnasium, 184 Park Circle in Faison
- Monday, Dec. 3: Goldsboro Event Center Ballroom, 1501 S. Slocumb St. in Goldsboro
- Tuesday, Dec. 4, Steele Memorial Library, 119 W. Main St. in Mount Olive
The department recently has mailed thousands of fliers about the upcoming meetings to affected property owners and created this web page, which will be updated as engineers continue to fine-tune the plan with the public’s input. The department will accept comments through Dec. 18.
Future steps include completing an environmental-impact document and drafting preliminary design maps by the spring of 2022, when more public meetings will be held.
About seven miles of the proposed route – roughly between Country Club Road and Genoa Road in Wayne County – are currently funded in the department’s State Transportation Improvement Program, with construction on that section scheduled to begin in 2027.
The route to be improved includes where NCDOT already is upgrading U.S. 117 with new bridges and ramps to replace at-grade intersections at O’Berry Road and Country Club Road, south of Goldsboro.