Columbus County getting new US 74 interchange

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BOARDMAN, NC (WWAY) — Another interchange and bridge will be constructed on U.S 74 in Columbus County.

BMCO Construction Inc. of Lumberton will construct the improvements where Old Boardman Road/Macedonia Church Road intersect U.S. 74. Drivers from either side currently must stop and look for a safe opening before pulling out onto the four-lane highway.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation has a long-term plan to convert the highway through southeastern North Carolina into Interstate 74, replacing traditional intersections with overpasses and ramps that allow drivers to more safely and easily exit and enter the highway.

The department awarded the $16.2 million contract this month. Work is expected to begin in June, and the contractor will have until the fall of 2024 to complete the project.

The overpass and ramps will be built on the east side of the current junction, which will remain open during construction. When the interchange is completed, the route will be realigned to the new on/off ramps, which will have roundabouts.

“That’s going to be a lot safer and even faster for people suing 74 to get to 95 west of Whiteville,” said Andrew Barksdale, spokesperson for NCDOT. “They won’t have to worry about traffic suddenly pulling out onto the highway because they’ll be able to safely merge onto a ramp, using a ramp and have a merge lane so it’ll be a much smoother operation.”

Roundabouts improve traffic flow and safety than traditional intersection, as this NCDOT webpage shows.

This 2018 public meeting map shows the design of the interchange and other improvements.