SEPI was recently selected to provide construction engineering and inspections as well as construction management for the Havelock Bypass in Craven County, NC.
The 10.3-mile US 70 Havelock Bypass will be a four-lane divided freeway with a 46-foot median and design speeds of 70 mph. The bypass was designed as a new location multi-lane highway facility that runs along the southwest side of Havelock and US 70. It begins on the north of the Havelock city limit and extends south approximately 10 miles to north of the Craven-Carteret County line.
The bypass originates at an interchange with existing US 70, just north of SR 1760 (Hickman Hill Loop Road) and extends to the southwest. The bypass then continues in a southwesterly direction and crosses the North Carolina Railroad and Tucker Creek. It then turns southeastward and crosses SR 1747 (Sunset Drive) and the Southwest Prong of Slocum Creek to an interchange at SR 1756 (Lake Road).
From the proposed SR 1756 (Lake Road) interchange, the Preferred Alternative continues southeastward over a grade separation at the Camp Lejeune Railroad before crossing over the East Prong of Slocum Creek. The alignment continues in a southeasterly direction to terminate at an interchange with existing US 70 southeast of SR 1824 (McCotter Boulevard).
Ultimately the bypass will be a four-lane, median-divided highway that will provide a high-speed alternative to using US 70 through Havelock, which is hampered by numerous traffic signals at intersecting side streets. The facility will help improve traffic and freight movement along the US 70 Corridor – a major connection from the Morehead City Port to Raleigh – and assist economic development in eastern North Carolina’s rural areas.
US 70 is classified as a Principal Arterial in the North Carolina Functional Classification System and is also listed in the NC US 70 Corridor Commission Projects. The entire corridor is included in the National Highway System (NHS), the North Carolina Intrastate System, and the National Military Highway System.
The chosen route location for the Havelock Bypass was selected because:
- Least cost alternative. This is primarily due to its shorter length and because it will require less relocations.
- Minimal number of relocations (18), as compared to 137 with another alternative.
- Minimizes habitat fragmentation effects. By following the power line corridor west of Havelock, it is the route most conducive to a prescribed burning plan, which provides essential habitat management, specified by the NFS, for the endangered RCW and other forest species of concern.
- Least amount of stream impacts. The chosen route is 589-LF less than the another alternative.
- Causes a “middle ground” impact to prime farmlands – the chosen route saved 41 farmland acres as compared to the potential losses of the other options.
- Causes a “middle ground” impact to riparian buffers. This corridor affected 50,583 less square feet buffers impacts the other route option.
- Best compromise between impacts to the Croatan National Forest (CNF) and the City of Havelock. Although the chosen route impacts the highest number of wetlands (140 acres, 47 individual Environmentally Sensitive Areas) and has the highest impacts to National Forest Service (NFS) lands (240 acres) the other factors previously mentioned created a higher loss and risk to the environment.