N.C. Department of Transportation officials expect some roadways to reopen and others to close as construction continues on the future Interstate 73 project that will connect drivers from Rockingham County to Greensboro and Piedmont Triad International Airport.
“The contractor is placing final overlay of asphalt between N.C. 68 and U.S. 220,” said Bojan Cvijetic, Division Seven senior assistant resident engineer. “This section should be reopened by the end of April.”
N.C. DOT officials are building 9 miles of 4-lane roadway that begins at Joseph M. Bryan Boulevard and ends at U.S. 220 near the Haw River, just south of U.S. 158. This new roadway will cross over N.C. 68.
Cvijetic said by the end of April motorists will be able to commute on the new I-73 between N.C. 68 and U.S. 220, with access to N.C. 150 (Oak Ridge Road). I-73, which runs south to Rockingham, eventually will continue north through Rockingham County and into Virginia.
He added that the contractor is attempting to push work on N.C. 68 to help with congestion during periods of high traffic.
Cvijetic said that on April 29 contractors plan to close Bryan Boulevard, just west of Airport Boulevard, to complete that intersection with the new section of I-73.
“The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of June,” Cvijetic said. “At that time all of the I-73 corridor will be open to traffic.”
Meanwhile, the portion of U.S. 220 from the future I-73 project north to Rockingham County is expected to be completed by October.
“Traffic will soon be shifted to the outside throughout the project so that the median island work can be completed and remaining paving, markings and sign work can be completed,” said Patty Eason, Division Seven division construction engineer.
Eason said the ramp from U.S. 220 northbound to U.S. 158 opened to traffic on Tuesday as part of the interchange with I-73 that is opening at the end of the month.
The entire project has a contract cost of $177 million and was projected to be completed in July.
Contact Danielle Battaglia at (336) 373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.