The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has awarded construction company Balfour Beatty a $203m design-build contract.

The contract is to enhance traffic along the 8.2km stretch of US 70 in James City, Craven County.

US 70 is a main east-west corridor in Eastern North Carolina. According to NCDOT data, the highway links the port at Morehead City with military bases in Havelock and Goldsboro and the Global TransPark in Kinston.

Under the contract, Balfour Beatty will rehabilitate the section of US 70 to interstate standards.

The project intends to make local community services more accessible and raise the area’s economic development standard.

Balfour Beatty US civil construction operations vice-president and southeast region manager Mark Johnnie said: “Our southeast region team’s design-build expertise and unique ability to self-perform both the structures and roadway scope make this US 70 improvement project a strategic fit.

“We’re honoured to once again serve as NCDOT’s construction partner as we begin work to deliver another successful project for this client.”

The design and right-of-way acquisition, which is planned to commence later this year, will be followed by the commencement of construction in early 2021.

The project is projected to be completed by 2023.

Balfour Beatty provides general contracting, at-risk construction management and design-build services for US public and private sector clients.