Construction of U.S. 421 Bypass moving forward

Mar. 24, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Residents traveling north on U.S. 421 can expect a new traffic pattern throughout the summer to finish construction on the northern end of bypass.

N.C. Department of Transportation Assistant Resident Engineer Sarah Lentine said the detour was constructed within the past week and is expected to last until July.

"The reason we had to change the traffic in the area near Cumnock (Road) is they are taking out 40 feet of dirt," Lentine said. "Once that is taken out, construction on the bridge will take place."

After the initial few nights of the change, Lentine said the department is not expecting traffic backups in the area.

The local contractor is still anticipating the complete of the north end of the bypass by October, she said, finishing the bypass. Work on the $30 million project began in February 2011.

The Department of Transportation also began the final stage of paving on the south end of the bypass this week and will continue to lay thermoplastic marking — a raised, plastic marker that is more visible than paint — Lentine said.

The department has received one complaint concerning switching from two lanes to one while merging onto Highway 87, she said, and the department has added some additional signs to inform people about the lane change.

While there haven't been any official complaints, Lentine said, there seems to be some confusion concerning the signing on the bypass. Due to a federal regulation, the department can't call it the 421 Bypass until both sections are complete. That should be rectified once construction is done in October.