Interstate 42 is
a 137 mile planned interstate route from I-40 south of Raleigh to
Morehead City mostly along existing US 70. AASHTO gave approval to the
number in May 2016, though originally NCDOT asked that the route be
designated I-36, after the corridor was granted interstate status under
the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Highway Act.
Here's the corridor map as submitted in its AASHTO application:1
This page will
summarize the progress in building and signing the route from west to
east. The first segment to receive I-42 signage will be the Goldsboro
Bypass. I've broken the route into 8 segments with a description of the
progress of constructing I-42 in each:
US 70 Clayton
Interstate Standard Freeway Length:
[Except for I-42 Signage]
This segment could be signed as I-42 today. NCDOT perhaps is waiting,
however to sign it once projects east to I-95 in Smithfield are completed.
Photos from this segment are in the Photos section below.
US 70 from End of
Clayton Bypass to Beginning of US 70 Goldsboro Bypass (includes Bypass
US 70 in Smithfield)
Road Type: 4-lane
Divided Roadway with some Freeway Sections Length:
Upgrade to Interstate Status
There are two funded projects and one feasibility study underway to
upgrade this section of US 70:
Upgrade to Interstate Standards from US 70 Business to Neuse River
Bridge (W-5600) was to start in January 2020 but as of July 2019 has been
pushed back to March 2020.
Here's a map of the project area:2
Upgrade to Interstate Standards in Princeton Area (R-5829AB) from US
70A to Goldsboro Bypass Design Build Projects. Project A to start in 2025,
Project B in 2028.
Here's a map of the project area:3
A Feasibility Study (FS-1604A) was published in August 2018 for
determining how to upgrade the remaining section between the Neuse River
Bridge and Smithfield. It split the segment into 4 sections and compared
the cost of simply upgrading shoulders to a complete upgrade to interstate
standards of the existing route. The upgrade option was the preferred
alternative, though they suggested maybe simply upgrading shoulders could
get the route signed as I-42 for Sections 1 and 2, that is from the end of
the Clayton Bypass to Creech's Mill Road in Smithfield (includes I-95
interchange) . Here's a Link
to the Report. Construction Date TBD. Here's a map of the study
There are also several upcoming pavement upgrade projects for US 70 in
Johnston County which may be part of I-42, depending on what final
alignment is chosen.
US 70 Goldsboro
Interstate Standard Freeway Length: 21.7 Miles
[Except for I-42 Signage, expected later in 2019(?)]
The Super 70 Commission Director reported in his January/February 2019
message that the FHWA has approved signing the US 70 Goldsboro Bypass as
I-42.5 It is unknown when NCDOT will sign it. There are no
projects listed at either the state or division level related to I-42.
There is some conjecture that NCDOT will apply to AASHTO at their Fall
2019 meeting to decommission Bypass US 70 on the Goldsboro Bypass and ask
that it be replaced by I-42. This would reduce the amount of sign changes
that would be needed.
Existing US 70
Freeway in LaGrange and new Kinston Bypass from LaGrange to Dover
Upgrade to Interstate Freeway (part to be built on new location)
Length: 21-25 Miles
Construction to Start in 2020 (US 70 Freeway) and 2025 (Bypass)
NCDOT is still studying the alternatives for the Kinston Bypass that
will run from the end of the US 70 freeway near LaGrange to Dover. Here is
a map of the possible alternatives:6
A project that will resurface and upgrade 3.1 miles of the existing US
70 freeway to Interstate Standards from the Bear Creek Bridge at the end
of the Goldsboro Bypass to Willie Measley Road east of LaGrange (Project
I-6034) was to be let in September 2019, but in July 2019 that was pushed
back to March 2020.
US 70 Freeway
from Dover to New Bern
Freeway Length: 26.1 Miles
Upgrade to Interstate Status (Underway), to be Completed in Fall 2019
NCDOT awarded a contract in the Spring of 2019 to repave and widen US 70
to interstate standards along the existing freeway between Dover and the
Neuse River Bridge in New Bern. Work is to be completed in the fall of
Here's a map of the project location:7
As of July 7, 2019 the project is 41.9% complete with an official
completion date of February 13, 2020.8 Signing of the section
will not occur until the Kinston Bypass and related construction are
See the progress
in shoulder widening as of May 2019 along US 70 west of New Bern using Google Maps Street View.
US 70 Neuse
River Bridge to Havelock Bypass
4-lane Divided Roadway Length: 13.7 Miles
Upgrade/New Construction to Interstate Freeway
A 2-Part Project: First is from Neuse River Bridge to Thurman Road,
(U-5713/R-5777AB, 5.1 Miles). Start of Construction-2021 (Design/Build
Project to be awarded in Fall 2019. Part of contract to create interchange
at Thurman Road under construction and another interchange with Glen
Map of Project Corridor:9
Second is Thurman Road to Havelock Bypass (R-5777C, 8.6 Miles)
including construction of service roads. Start of Construction-2021
There is also a project under way to create the Slocum Gate Interchange
at Cherry Point MCAS - Completion March 2020
US 70 Havelock
Unbuilt Freeway Length: 10.1 Miles
Construction to Start in August 2019. Project to be completed in Spring
NCDOT Project Map:10
On August 1, 2019, NCDOT awarded the $167.2 million contract to build
the Bypass to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. of Wilmington, NC. The
contractor can start work in late August.11
US 70 from end
of Havelock Bypass to Morehead City
Mostly 4-lane divided Length: Approx. 11
Upgrade to Interstate Freeway
One project, rebuilding the Newport River Bridge from a 2-lane to 4-lane
structure is to start in 2022. Map showing location:12
Remaining projects between the Havelock Bypass and the bridge are not
funded. Some doubt I-42 will make it to the bridge due to the difficulty
in constructing an interstate through an urban area.
(Taken of Future
I-42 signs in March 2017)
Begin I-42 sign
at the start of the East US 70 Clayton Bypass.
The End Future
I-42 sign is after the (Entering) Wake County sign at the western end of
the US 70 Clayton Bypass.
Will this cause
any confusion? The first exit on Future I-42/US 70 East is for NC 42 in
contribute photos? Feel free to email me at rmalme7374 at gmail.com.
Exit sign plans
for Havelock Bypass (unknown why numbers nearly duplicate existing
numbers near New Bern):13
Here's an I-42 Shirt advertised on the Internet (no endorsement):
8. NCDOT. 2019. Construction Progress Report, Contract No. C 204139, TIP
No. I-6002. Information as of July 16. Downloaded from:
https://apps.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/progloc/ProgLocSearch.aspx, August 2.
11. NCDOT. 2019. Havelock Bypass Project Awarded to North Carolina
Contractor. Press Release. August 2. Downloaded from:
13. Plans from: Signing Plan, Craven and Carteret Counties, Location: US
70 Havelock Bypass from South of Carteret/Craven County Line to South of
SR 1176 (Carolina Pines Blvd.), NCDOT TIP R-1015, November 20, 2018.
July 10, 2019
August 2, 2019
(c) Robert H.