Residents encouraged to provide input for proposed Kinston bypass

Residents encouraged to provide input for proposed Kinston bypass

A map of the study area for the bypass project.

Lenoir County residents will soon have a chance to provide input on the upcoming Hwy 70 bypass project. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hold three open-house meetings and one public hearing to allow those who live and work in Lenoir County to learn more about the project.

NCDOT Division 2 Engineer Preston Hunter said the DOT decided to hold meetings on three different days because of the scope of the project, which will span almost the entire width of Lenoir County.

“We wanted to make sure everybody had the chance to get out and look at the different maps,” he said. “We knew it would be difficult, if we held just one meeting, for everybody to get to it that might want to attend."

The feedback from the community will be vital to the process of choosing the preferred alternative, Hunter said. Local residents can provide insight into things the DOT might have missed, such as graveyards or other sensitive locations, as well as giving the DOT information about how potential routes will affect day-to-day activities. 

Lenoir County Board of Commissioners Chair Linda Rouse Sutton said it is important for citizens to be informed about the different alternatives under consideration. 

“A lot of people thought it has already been decided, but it has not,” she said. “They will have maps there, and it’s a good time to go and ask questions that might be on your mind and see how it might affect you and your community.”

Lenoir County Transportation Committee Chairman John Marshall said he hopes there will be a good turnout for these meetings, because sometimes that is not the case.

“It behooves everybody who is affected by this project to go and learn about it first hand. This is the part of the process where the DOT will be listening to the community,” Marshall said.

The first open house will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, 510 Queen St., Kinston. Hunter said the DOT will not be able to display all the maps at this meeting due to space constraints, but they will be available to view digitally. 

The second and third open houses will be held at the Lenoir Community College Student Center, 231 Hwy 58 S., Kinston. The second will be Monday from 2-7 p.m., while the third open house will be Tuesday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. and from 3-6:30 p.m. 

The formal presentation will take place at 7 p.m. DOT representatives will be present at each meeting to answer questions and receive feedback. 

For more information on the bypass project, you can visit the project website here.

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