TROY — Those taking trips to the state capital, Fort Bragg or points east through Montgomery County now have a more convenient new route as the N.C. 24/27 Bypass through Troy opens to the public.
The new highway, which the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation plans to have available for the first time on Wednesday, Aug. 7, is four lanes wide and just under seven miles long.
While much of the highway will be open, temporary lane closures for further work will take place as the contractor, J.T. Russell and Sons Inc., completes the final stages. The local company, based out of Albemarle, was awarded the $45 million project in a competitive DOT bidding process in 2014.
“This was a big project that will significantly improve how people move through Montgomery County,” said Brandon Jones, NCDOT’s Division 8 engineer. “The bypass will remove the heavy truck traffic out of downtown Troy and make Main Street safer and less congested.”
Currently, traffic passing through Montgomery County on N.C. 24/27 must pass through a two-lane road that travels directly through Troy, a town with a population of around 3,300. Those passing through had to reduce their speed dramatically while driving the small town’s main street. The new bypass has a speed limit of 55 mph, allowing for an expediting of vehicles through the county.
Other elements of the bypass include a divided median, an interchange at Troy Candor Road and four traffic signals. Safety, moving traffic volume through the area efficiently, and directing heavy truck traffic away from downtown Troy were key goals of the project.
According to a DOT press release, “The department used an innovative design known as a reduced conflict intersection to improve safety and move people on the bypass more quickly. The design redirects drivers from the side roads with traffic signals into going right onto the bypass. If they want to cross it, or travel in the other direction, they would use a dedicated lane to make a safe U-turn a short distance from the traffic signal.”
Until mid-September, while the bypass is being connected to the old route, DOT will close the existing highway and direct all traffic onto the new bypass.
J.T Russell and Sons, in business since 1939, started doing projects for NCDOT in 1988, when they were the prime contractor on the Bethany Church Road Project in Stanly County. They now have four asphalt plants, which are located in New London, Charlotte, Conover and Lexington.