New service road opens on East Thurman Road in James City

James City, N.C. (WITN) – After long anticipation, the new service road on East Thurman Road opened at 5 p.m. Wednesday in James City.

The new road aims to reduce traffic accidents and improve access to local businesses, but businesses are facing challenges due to the construction.

The Ace Hardware Store, like many others, is located between the old and new service roads.

“We’ve had some frustration with adjusting to the changes and the traffic flow, along with the dust and dirt. But in the long run, we know we’ll have better access to communities across the highway and down the road,” said Shawn Perkett, the store manager.

With the new service road now behind the store, they expanded their parking lot to accommodate new entrance pathways.

Terry Anderson, overseeing the store’s parking lot construction, believes the changes will be beneficial.

“The new pattern should help traffic get in and out more easily than crossing from the eastbound lanes,” Anderson shared.

Resident engineer Wendi Johnson explained that high crash rates were not the only reason for the new service road.

“This new service road is pulled out and away to make room for the new interchange at Thurman Road,” Johnson explained.

A ramp and a roundabout will also be added on Thurman Road.

The most significant change will be a bridge elevating U.S. 70, starting on Grantham Road in August.

The old service road will remain open for about two more weeks. The James City project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2026.