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US 17 Windsor Bypass opens

WINDSOR – State and local officials gathered here Monday morning to commemorate the opening of the new US 17 bypass.

The 9.2-mile, four-lane highway reroutes traffic from US 13/17 south of Windsor to the five-lane section of US 17 a few miles south of Midway.

As of 10 a.m. Monday morning, the bypass officially opened to through traffic; it is nearly completed except for two lanes at the Hardentown end that is expected to take another 30 days to finish.

During the grand opening ceremony, Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey, long-time bypass supporter, made remarks along with Chairman of the Bertie County Commissioners Norman Cherry and North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett.

&uot;We estimate this will eventually bring about 9200 jobs to northeastern North Carolina; it has brought over 50 already,&uot; Spivey noted.

Cherry commented, &uot;This creates an opening for infrastructure and business, with the opening of Innsbrook and this bypass, Bertie County will be on the map.&uot;

Tippet remarked, &uot;The opening of the Windsor bypass is a significant step in our efforts to widen the US 17 corridor to four lanes… it plays an integral role in North Carolina’s mobility and economic development.&uot;

The project’s cost totaled $63.8 million and took three years to complete.

Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro was solely responsible for the design and the building of the bypass, a first in the history of the state.

For a seven-mile stretch of highway that is designated controlled access freeway, the posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour.

It is zoned 45 or 55 miles per hour for the remaining 2.2 miles paralleling the existing US 13/17.