GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Heading to and from the coast just got easier.
A brand new bypass in Wayne County opened Friday morning.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation opened the 20-mile bypass for U.S. 70 which eliminates numerous stoplights and a confusing loop in the Goldsboro area. The new highway also makes it easier for people in Kinston, New Bern and Morehead City to get to Raleigh.
The bypass starts in western Wayne County and brings drivers near La Grange in Lenoir County.
While Gov. Pat McCrory sees this as an accomplishment during his term in office, some business owners have concerns.
Wilber Shirley, owner of Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro said, “well of course, it’s something nobody like a businessman would be jumping up and down about.”
For more than 50 years, people flocked to Wilber’s for local barbecue. Shirley told CBS North Carolina he hopes they continue to come despite the new Goldsboro Bypass.
“It’s something we can’t help, so we face the issue and whatever comes,” he added.
At the unveiling of the $232 million project, McCrory assured locals there will be benefits.
“This clear path for transportation will end up helping Wayne County and Goldsboro and other cities in the long-term,” said McCrory.
McCrory said it will take time, but he believes the bypass will help recruit new industry and people driving by.
“We’re going to get the people off the road and also come visit and spend money, so we are going to have to look at signage and advertising,” he said Friday.
Shirley told CBS North Carolina, “I hope the people that have been traveling this highway and eat with me will still come by and eat.”
U.S. 70 will eventually become an interstate called Interstate-42.