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Officials: Highway 70 bypass may go through historic battlefield

By Juliana Valencia
Published On: Aug 12 2013 06:25:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 12 2013 07:10:43 PM CDT
LENOIR & JONES COUNTIES -

A potential bypass route for Highway 70 would go through the historic Wyse Fork Battlefield in Lenoir and Jones Counties. Officials said the Highway 70 bypass from Raleigh to Morehead City would cut traffic times and increase the economic development of the state.

The part of the bypass that may cut through the Wyse Fork Battlefield would start in La Grange and end in Dover. Officials said they have narrowed down 360 routes to just seven going around Kinston. J. Mac Daughety, vice president of the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission, said this project is in the early stages and no final route will be chosen until 2015.

Of the seven different routes, three of the routes would go south of U.S. 70 near Kinston and through the historic Wyse Fork Battlefield, which is mostly farmland and corn fields.

But Daughety said he highly doubts that the bypass will go through the historic battleground site.

"If a route of the 70 bypass goes through Wyse Fork Battlefield, I would be stunned," said Daughety. "It is D.O.T's intention not to try to route through there."

The Battle of Wyse Fork was the second largest land battle in North Carolina. It was also the last mass capture of Union soldiers.