N.C. 42 East is the site of heavy construction for a widening project, water tower, and soon the construction of the Front Street extension.
CLAYTON -- Construction projects centered along N.C. 42 East are set to extend well into next year as crews continue with a widening project and the construction of a new road connecting east and north Clayton.
The $5.9 million project to widen N.C. 42 East from U.S. 70 to Glen Laurel Road is 15 percent complete according to Jennifer Garifo, a spokesperson with the N.C. Department of Transportation. The project should be finished by October, 2013, with landscaping and replanting finished by March, 2014.
“We are still on schedule, actually a little bit ahead of schedule,” Garifo said.
The relocation of water and sewer mains has already been completed, and the contractor is currently working to clear out land for the new lanes and grading it to be level with the existing road. Crews are also busy installing storm drainage and piping.
As of now, folks shouldn’t expect any shifts in traffic patterns or any delays.
“Once the new lanes are paved, then there will probably be some traffic shifts that will happen at that point, but at this point there’s not really anything,” Garifo said.
Front Street progress
The construction of a new road connecting East Front Street to Old N.C. 42 might not start until March, although the town had hoped to start sooner and accept bids for the project in August.
Town Manager Steve Biggs said the delay was caused by various reviews of funding at the federal level. The town received $1.6 million in federal funding to complete the new road which will serve as the main access point for the new East Village development of apartments and single-family homes.
Biggs said the road design is 90 percent complete and the town will be ready to ask for bids around November 1.
The road features a 10-foot pedestrian and bicycle lane, as well as a roundabout at the future entrance to East Village. East Front Street currently ends at Mill Street by the post office. That stretch of roadway will also be rebuilt as a wider, two-lane road.
The only impact of the project on N.C. 42 will be to allow for a longer turning lane to get onto Front Street, and the construction of the two projects will have to overlap briefly.
“The process is going to be a challenge,” Biggs said.
Still further construction along N.C. 42 involves a new water tower being built behind Fire Station No. 2.
The base of the tower is largely finished, and Biggs said the construction crew is getting ready to craft the frame to pour the concrete for the bowl that will hold 1 million gallons of water.
Local industries like Caterpillar, Grifols and Novo Nordisk need the extra water should there be a fire in the industrial area, and residential growth is still continuing along 42 East.
The idea is to have a day’s worth of water in storage in case an unexpected need arises.
The base of the water tower is a single column with room inside that the town will consider using either as extra storage or as a rock climbing gym for parks and recreation.
The water tower should be mostly finished by October, 2013.