Drivers on U.S. 64/264 in Eastern Wake County may notice some new exit numbers in the coming weeks.
If you’re used to taking Exit 429 at Knightdale Boulevard, for example, you’ll soon want to look for Exit 13. The New Hope Church Road exit will go from Exit 420 to Exit 4.
All the exits between the Beltline and Rolesville Road will be renumbered by the end of July, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. The changes are part of the transition of this stretch of highway into Interstate 87, which will eventually run from Raleigh to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, following what are now U.S. 64 to Williamston and U.S. 17 from there past Elizabeth City to Chesapeake, Va.
For now, the only part of that route that meets interstate standards is in Wake County, and I-87 signs went up there in 2017. The rest of the route, which will need upgrades such as wider lanes and shoulders, will in the meantime be known as “Future I-87.”
The new exit numbers are based on the distance from the beginning of I-87 at I-40 in Raleigh. The highway follows the Beltline for two miles, then heads northeast following U.S. 64. The current exit numbers, in the 400s, reflect the distance from where U.S. 64 enters North Carolina from Tennessee at Angelico Gap.
The old exit numbers will remain east of Rolesville Road, where I-87 officially ends for now. So while Rolesville Road will become Exit 14, the next exit at Lizzard Lick Road will remain 432.
The conversion of U.S. 64 into I-87 will take years, perhaps decades in some areas, as the NCDOT upgrades the highway as part of normal maintenance and construction work.