PRINCETON – This week, NC Department of Transportation began making much-needed improvements along a stretch of US Highway 70 in Princeton. Recently, the Town of Princeton requested the NCDOT close four median openings in and around their town limits on Highway 70 that have been the location of dozens of wrecks in recent years, including at six fatalities since 2018.
Instead of closing the four median crossovers, the NCDOT will convert them into directional crossovers, sometimes called “leftovers”. NCDOT Public Relations Officer Andrew Barksdale said, “With this design, the main traffic on US 70 will still be able to turn left into the side road. But, from the side road, you will have to turn right. This design greatly reduces serious crashes, because you will no longer have cars on the side road trying to go left onto a very busy US 70.”
The NCDOT contracted the work, estimated at $300,000, to convert all four medians into directional crossovers. The work started this week on the median opening on Dr. Donnie H. Jones Boulevard at the Deacon Jones Clearance Center.
Afterwards, the contractor will move east converting three more median openings where there are no traffic lights. The final median opening to be converted is Highway 70 and Libby Smith Road in the edge of Wayne County.
One median crossover along Highway 70 will remain unchanged.
It could be the spring before all four crossovers are converted and the project completed.
While the contractor is working, one lane in each direction of US Highway 70 will be closed. It will take about two weeks to complete the work on each crossover, weather permitting.