South end of Sanford bypass now completed
The south end of the Sanford Bypass officially opened Friday after nearly two years of construction.
"We are happy to make this step to finishing the entire bypass," said Lee County Assistant Resident Engineer Sarah Lentine. "We hope citizens of Sanford and others utilize the bypass that is now open. People can now go from N.C. 87 or U.S. 421 to U.S. 1, and I think it will help a lot of people get to their location faster."
The 2.3-mile section that goes between east N.C. 42 and N.C. 87 near Harvey Faulk Road is projected to see 18,000 vehicles a day. The $26.7 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project has been under way since February 2010, and completes a link between U.S. 1 and N.C. 87.
While the road will be open, the project isn't quite completed. Once warmer weather returns in the spring, more permanent thermoplastic pavement markings will be put on the highway.
Work remains under way on the final section of the bypass, a $30.2 million dollar project on the northern side of Sanford that includes five bridges as part of a link between U.S. 1 and U.S. 421. When it is completed, the bypass will provide a connector route to Fort Bragg and Greensboro and ease congestion through Sanford, especially on Horner Boulevard. It is scheduled to wrap up by October. According to Lentine, drivers can expect to see a traffic pattern change in late January as work begins on the overpass.