CLAYTON The N.C. Department of Transportation will repave U.S. 70 Business through Clayton next year and will change the way drivers get in and out of several side streets and businesses along the way.
NCDOT will remove old asphalt and lay down a new surface on an eight-mile stretch of U.S. 70 Business from the Wake County line to the U.S. 70 Bypass southeast of town. The pavement work is expected to begin when the weather warms in early spring and should be complete by next November.
U.S. 70 is divided by a grassy median, with breaks where drivers can turn left in and out of side streets and businesses. As part of the repaving project, NCDOT plans to close or modify more than a half dozen of those breaks in the median, to reduce the number of left turns that can gum up traffic and lead to accidents.
“The town has grown,” said NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale. “There’s a lot more traffic now than when those median breaks were built.”
Some of the breaks in the median will be replaced with what’s known as a directional crossover: Traffic on U.S. 70 Business will have turn lanes to make left turns, but drivers won’t be allowed to turn left from the side streets directly on to 70. Instead, they’ll have to make a right turn and go down to the next traffic light or crossover to make a U-turn.
In addition, a new traffic light will be installed in front of the Clayton Village Shopping Center, just east of East Main Street.
Contractors will do much of the repaving work at night, but the project will inevitably result in some lane closures during the day, Barksdale said.
The NCDOT has also begun planning to widen an eight-mile stretch of N.C. 42 from U.S. 70 Business in Clayton west to N.C. 50. Construction isn’t scheduled to begin until 2022, but DOT plans to present its preliminary plans for the project at a public meeting in the spring.