North Carolina DOT Awards Contract for Rockingham Bypass
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) proposes to construct a 7.2-mile bypass on new location to connect U.S. 220 north of Rockingham to U.S. 74 Bypass on the west side of the city. The route will become a portion of Future Interstate 73/74. Work on the four-lane, median-divided freeway is scheduled for substantial completion by the fall of 2023.
Existing U.S. 74 Bypass will be upgraded between the section west of Zion Church Road and the U.S. 74 Business interchange to include six 12-foot travel lanes and a 60-foot median. The new location highway section between the U.S. 74 Business interchange and U.S. 220 interchange will include four 12-foot travel lanes with a 70-foot median.
New interchanges will be constructed at existing U.S. 74/U.S. 74 Business, Cartledge Creek Road and U.S. 220 near Sandy Ridge Church Road. Grade separations — where bridges separate intersecting roads and/or railroads — will be located at Old Charlotte Highway and Harrington Road. The interchange at U.S. 220 and grade separation at Harrington Road have already been constructed.
The bypass is expected to remove interstate traffic from signalized intersections and local roads and highways that allow cross traffic in Rockingham, reducing local congestion. The project may also improve safety within the city by providing a main route for continuous through travel for passenger vehicles and trucks.
NCDOT recognized the need for improvements along the existing U.S. 220 corridor many years ago. A feasibility study evaluating four initial alternatives for this interstate connector was published in May 1996 and a preliminary public hearing was held in July 1996. Two of those options were selected considering feedback from local citizens, government groups and resource agencies, and a public hearing on the two routes was held in July 1999. The preferred route was selected in 2002. Right of way acquisition began in 2009 and is substantially complete.