Durham County

Here’s why East End Avenue is closing at U.S. 70 on Tuesday

Drivers who use East End Avenue to access U.S. 70 in Durham will have to find a new way to hit the highway beginning Tuesday.

The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Thursday that the intersection there will be closed. It’s part of the East End Connector project that is entering its next phase, according to a DOT press release. It will be closed until the fall of 2019 when it will be tied into a new roundabout there.

In the meantime, traffic will be detoured onto Angier Avenue and Pleasant Drive to link East End Avenue and U.S. 70.

The DOT also will undertake repairs to nearby Rowena Avenue next spring. The road has been damaged by construction vehicles, the DOT said.

The East End Connector is a 3.9-mile interstate that will link U.S. 70 to the Durham Freeway. U.S. 70 is being upgraded to a freeway between Pleasant Drive and N.C. 98/Holloway Street. The new road is expected to help alleviate congestion on the Durham Freeway through downtown Durham, and divert traffic off local roads such as U.S. 15/501, as well as Roxboro, Mangum, Gregson and Duke Streets.

It is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and will carry the Interstate 885 route designation.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews