CLAYTON — The effort to widen N.C. 42 East from two lanes to four has been on pause due to cold weather and wet ground conditions, but it won’t be long before construction resumes.
In a week or two, weather permitting, work crews will be back on the job.
The Fred Smith Company temporarily suspended grading work on the road in January. The project is intended to widen a highly traveled portion of N.C. 42 from U.S. 70 Business to just east of Glen Laurel Road. The project is still scheduled to be completed by its original completition date of October 1.
According to a press release from the N.C. Department of Transportation, once work resumes, crews will finish grading and begin paving the the new lanes from the Clayton Fire Department Station Number 2 toward the intersection with Glen Laurel Road and then begin placing asphalt on the new section of roadway.
Traffic was shifted in November into a two-lane, two-way pattern on the new lanes of N.C. 42 between Old N.C. 42 and the Clayton Fire Department Station Number 2. The shift will be in place until this summer.
While grading and paving work has stopped, crews will continue to install two large concrete cross line drainage pipes under the existing lanes of N.C. 42. Similar pipes were installed under the new lanes before traffic was shifted onto them.
NCDOT awarded a $5.9 million contract in April to Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh for the widening of N.C. 42 from two to four lanes divided by a raised median. According to the NC DOT, all planting and reforestation will be complete by no later than March 28, 2014.
The project also includes plans to install signalized breaks in the median that will allow motorists to make left turns at U.S. 70 Business, Caterpillar Industrial Plant Drive and Glen Laurel Road. Also, a signalized cross-over will be installed at the truck entrance for Caterpillar and at the fire station for emergency vehicles. A non-signalized extra wide turnaround will be installed on N.C. 42 just past Old N.C. 42 to allow tractor-trailer traffic traveling east to turn and travel west.
According to the NC DOT, in 2008, the Average Daily Traffic count on N.C. 42 was 20,000 on the two-lane road. It is estimated that the current ADT is between 21,000 and 22,000. Due to the large amount of traffic on this route, widening N.C. 42 was ranked as a high-priority project for this region.
Traffic will be maintained on N.C. 42 during construction with occasional lane closures during non-peak hours. There may be some night work. Drivers can expect to experience traffic shifts as crews work at the railroad crossing near U.S. 70 Business.