Monday, May 20, 2024

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Long-awaited NC 119 bypass to open Friday at noon


North Carolina’s Transportation Department sometimes gets a bad rap for the seemingly languorous pace of its road projects. But the NCDOT’s reputation could get a boost in the Mebane area thanks to the progress that the agency has made on two closely-watched ventures.

According to Wright Archer, the NCDOT’s division engineer for the region which includes Alamance County, there is good news to report on both the NC 119 bypass and the ongoing widening of Mebane Oaks Road.

Archer told The Alamance News that the latest development is particularly promising in the case of the bypass – a project that has been on the community’s wish list since time immemorial.

“It’s gonna open this Friday at noon,” the division engineer announced in an interview Wednesday.

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In a separate interview that same day, Mebane’s mayor Ed Hooks expressed his enthusiasm for the long-awaited opening.

“It’s been a difficult project, but we’re excited about what this can mean for Mebane,” he told The Alamance News. “We believe it will have a major impact on lessening traffic on downtown streets as more and more people begin using the bypass.”

Meanwhile, Archer acknowledged that it will be a while longer before the NCDOT can declare “mission accomplished” with its work along Mebane Oaks Road. He nevertheless assured the newspaper that this project is, likewise, proceeding along smoothly.

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Stretches of the NC 119 bypass that have been off-limits to motorists for more than a year will be opened Friday – from near I-85/40 (above and immediately below, which has been open for some time) all the way to near the Mill Creek subdivision north of Mebane, including over the bridge over US 70 (bottom photo).

“For that Mebane Oakes project, we are on schedule,” he said. ‘The anticipated completion date is early 2024. But we’re widening the existing bridge, and we have installed the new girders – the steel beams. So, we’re probably going to switch the traffic over to the new section by the end of the summer.”

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