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More NC Highway Oddities on the way - Hello NC 36 and a Split NC 42

North Carolina is building a lot of new Interstates - personally, there are too many to keep track of - so we have Bob for that.  But as a result of new highways and new highway numbers, there's going to be conflict.

And that's the case with NC 42 and the soon-to-be-signed Interstate 42 in Johnston County.

Concerned about driver confusion and safety and first responder response, NCDOT has proposed that a small segment of NC 42 in Johnston County be redesignated as NC 36.  The new NC 36 designation would follow the existing NC 42 from NC 50 in Cleveland to the current US 70 Business east of Clayton.

When the US 70 corridor from Clayton east to Morehead City was approved as an Interstate nearly a decade ago, North Carolina requested Interstate 36 for the corridor.  Part of the reason was that the I-36 designation would not conflict with any existing state highways.  Unfortunately, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) disagreed.  They recommended Interstate 42 - as the newly designated corridor would run north of Interstate 40.  NCDOT accepted the ruling, and as a result, the conflict of two routes that would intersect each other and I-40 within miles of each other.

NC 36 will be routed through Clayton bridging the two NC 42's.

The plan to renumber NC 42 through Clayton should resolve that.  However, I believe the NC 36 change should continue eastwards to Wilson.  The reason is that NC 42 and Interstate 42 will intersect Interstate 95 about 19 miles from each other.  That's close enough, in my opinion, to continue with driver confusion for long-distance travelers along I-95.  I left a comment with NCDOT with my suggestion.  Will they listen to me? Stay tuned.

More Changes:

In addition to renumbering NC 42 through Clayton, NCDOT has proposed eliminating US 70 Business through Clayton and replacing it (or re-replacing it) with vanilla US 70 - or what used to be signed through the area until the Clayton Bypass opened 15 years ago.

The signage for Exit 306 will need to change.  Business US 70 East - will now be simply US 70 East.

This change will now eliminate the bried US 70/Interstate 40 multiplex between exits 306 and 309.  Exit 309 - the Clayton Bypass - will now be only Interstate 42.

NCDOT estimates that the changes will be signed in about a year.

The Local 4042 Nominclature:

Exit 312 - known locally as '4042' - will now be for NC 36.

For nearly 40 years, Exit 312 on Interstate 40 was known as '4042' by local residents.  As Johnston County grew, the 4042 interchange area added new restaurants, hotels, services, and of course traffic.  The interchange has been redesigned a few times. A current construction project is giving the interchange a total makeover - it will now become a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) and a new interchange for nearby Cleveland Road is being built to take some of the pressure off the area.

The interchange was so well known that a local community news and information website was named after it - 4042.com.  In 2015, 4042.com became JohnstonCounty.today.

It will be interesting with Exit 309 being the new 40/42 interchange - what locals may now call Exit 312 - '4036' does work.

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