Traffic

Six outdated I-95 interchanges will be rebuilt; see what NCDOT has in mind

Exit 72 from Interstate 95 near Dunn is one of six that the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to rebuild in the coming years. The gray hatched lanes show the current exit and entrance ramps and service roads that will be replaced by new pavement in yellow.
Exit 72 from Interstate 95 near Dunn is one of six that the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to rebuild in the coming years. The gray hatched lanes show the current exit and entrance ramps and service roads that will be replaced by new pavement in yellow. COURTESY OF NCDOT

Six interchanges along Interstate 95 near Dunn will get makeovers in the coming years, and the N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Tuesday to show what they will look like.

The interchanges, from Exit 77 at Hodges Chapel Road south to Exit 70 at Bud Hawkins Road, date back to when the highway was built in the 1960s and are cramped and outdated. The new versions will have longer exit and entrance ramps and taller, longer overpasses big enough to cross I-95 when this stretch is widened to eight lanes starting in 2026.

The interchanges will also be reconfigured in some cases to avoid two-way traffic on portions of the ramps, which will mean modifying some of the nearby roads as well, said Steve Kendall, NCDOT’s engineer on the project.

The five new overpasses will be 16 1/2 feet over the roadway, as much as nearly 3 feet higher than the old bridges. That should be high enough to prevent trucks from hitting the bridges, as happens numerous times a year, Kendall said.

“It’s a major concern,” he said. “That’s part of this project, to get the clearance we need.”

All four lanes of I-95 will remain open during construction, as will the exit and entrance ramps, except for some temporary closures. The five overpasses, at exits 70, 71, 72, 75 and 77, will likely be closed while they are being replaced, Kendall said, though not all at once.

NCDOT will begin acquiring the right-of-way it needs for the larger interchanges next year, and construction should begin in 2019, Kendall said. The work should take 2 to 2 1/2 years to complete. The projects are expected to cost $63 million.

For more information, including diagrams of the new interchanges, go to www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/ and look for “Interchange Improvements along I-95.” The public can also see the plans and ask questions about them from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Dunn Community Center, 205 Jackson Road.

The public may submit comments about the proposals to Kendall until Nov. 27 in one of three ways: by mail to P.O. Box 1150, Fayetteville, N.C. 28302; by phone to 910-364-0603, or by email to sdkendall@ncdot.gov.

NCDOT announced in June that it would begin the long-anticipated widening of I-95 to eight lanes in two places, including between Exit 71 and I-40 in Johnston County starting in 2026.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

  Comments