Interstate 95 in North Carolina

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Interstate 95

Blue Star Memorial Highway
I-95 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length181.36 mi[1] (291.87 km)
Existed1958[2]–present
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-95 at the South Carolina state line
Major intersections
North end I-95 at the Virginia state line
Location
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesRobeson, Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Wilson, Nash, Halifax, Northampton
Highway system
NC 94 NC 96

Interstate 95 (I-95) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs along the East Coast of the United States from Miami, Florida, to the Canadian border in Houlton, Maine. In the state of North Carolina, the route runs for 181.36 miles (291.87 km) from the South Carolina border near Rowland to the Virginia border near Pleasant Hill. The highway serves the cities of Lumberton, Fayetteville, Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Roanoke Rapids. The route goes through a mostly rural area of the state, avoiding most of the major metro areas of North Carolina. It forms the informal border between the Piedmont and Atlantic Plain regions of the state.

Route description

A section of I-95 in the state with low overpasses, requiring detours for tall vehicles

I-95 is designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway for its entire length in North Carolina. It enters the state at the South Carolina state line, just north of the South of the Border attraction and just to the south of the town of Rowland. Traveling mostly northeasterly from the border, the freeway is joined in an overlap with US Highway 301 (US 301) at exit 10, and then I-95/US 301 intersects I-74 in Lumberton. On the north side of town, US 301 leaves at exit 22. From there, I-95 turns due northward through a rural area of the state, past the small farming community of St. Pauls. I-95 serves as the eastern bypass of Fayetteville where I-95 Business (I-95 Bus.), an older alignment, connects I-95 to downtown Fayetteville.

I-95 intersects I-40 in Benson, US 264 in Wilson, and US 64 in Rocky Mount, three of the main east–west routes in the eastern part of the state. The last city it passes is Roanoke Rapids before leaving the state near the unincorporated community of Pleasant Hill at the Virginia border. For most of the route, I-95 is paralleled closely by US 301. Besides the overlap with US 301 between exits 10 and 22, there are interchanges with US 301 at exits 1, 25, 40, 56, 90, and 107.

Services

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) operate and maintain two welcome centers and six rest areas along I-95. Welcome centers, which have a travel information facility on site, are located at milemarkers 5 (northbound) and 181 (southbound); rest areas are located at milemarkers 47 (north and southbound), 99 (north and southbound), and 142 (north and southbound). Common at all locations are public restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, picnic areas, and barbecue grills.[3]

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) operate and maintain four truck inspection/weigh stations along I-95. The Robeson County stations are located on both north- and southbound at milemarker 24, each has one fixed scale. The Halifax County stations are located on both north- and southbound at milemarker 151, each has two fixed scales.[4]

Dedicated and memorial names

I-95 in North Carolina feature numerous dedicated or memorialized bridges, interchanges, and stretches of freeway.

  • Blue Star Memorial Highway: official North Carolina honorary name of I-95 throughout the state (approved on June 13, 1980).[5][6][7]
  • Dick Fleming Freeway: official North Carolina name of I-95 from exit 95, in Smithfield, to exit 97, in Selma, in Johnston County. He is honored as being a visionary businessperson, who help spur businesses along the two exits and the establishment of Carolina Pottery Store in 1983, which later grew to become Carolina Premium Outlets (approved January 2013; dedicated March 22, 2013).[8]
  • Hector MacLean Highway: official North Carolina name of I-95 within Lumberton city limits (approved on October 3, 1997).[5]

History

I-95 entering into North Carolina from Virginia

Established in 1956, as part of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, I-95 was routed along or near existing US 301 throughout the state of North Carolina. By 1961, two stretches of the Interstate opened: from mile marker 56, in Fayetteville, to milemarker 107, near Kenly; the other a small bypass near St. Pauls. In 1964, the St. Pauls section extended further south into Lumberton; while another small stretch opened from US 158, in Roanoke Rapids, to the Virginia state line. In 1969, I-95 was extended further south from Roanoke Rapids to exit 145, in Rocky Mount (later used for North Carolina Highway 4 [NC 4]). In 1973, I-95 was completed from St. Pauls to the South Carolina state line.

By the mid 1970s, I-95 had two gaps along its route in Fayetteville and Kenly–Gold Rock. In May 1978, two I-95 Bus. loops were established, both overlapping US 301, to help connect through the gaps and make I-95 appear as one continuous route throughout the state. In November 1978, the first gap to be completed was the Kenly–Gold Rock section.[9] The final section of I-95 was completed in 1980, an easterly bypass of Fayetteville.[10][11]

Tolls

The idea of tolling I-95 started in 2001 as a way to pay for improvements along the route. In 2003, state officials sought permission from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for a plan that would cost $3 billion (equivalent to $4.6 billion in 2022[12]) and put tollbooths every 30 miles (48 km) along the entire route. However, this was quickly killed by Governor Mike Easley, who did not support tolls.[13]

In 2006, when the Virginia General Assembly passed the resolution calling for an interstate compact to build a toll highway, North Carolina was asked to join in on the compact of putting tolls along the entire length of I-95 in both states.[14] Again, this was stopped by Easley, who did not see the benefit in such a compact and reiterated his opposition of tolls along I-95.[11]

In 2010, North Carolina leaders revived talks on tolling I-95, submitting a request to the FHWA to toll the entire route. Approval would be considered after an environmental assessment and other conditions. Support has grown in a number of factors including the fact that the Interstate is mostly rural and used predominantly by out-of-state drivers.[11]

On January 20, 2012, NCDOT received final approval of the environmental assessment for improvements along I-95 in North Carolina. The following recommendations were made:

  • Widen I-95 to eight lanes (four lanes in each direction) from exit 31 to exit 81;
  • Widen the remaining sections of I-95 to six lanes (three lanes in each direction);
  • Make necessary repairs to pavement;
  • Raise and rebuild bridges;
  • Improve interchanges; and
  • Bring I-95 up to current safety standards for Interstates.

It is estimated to cost $4.4 billion (equivalent to $5.57 billion in 2022[12]) with recommendation that it should be paid through tolls. Construction would begin in two phases: phase 1 (exits 31–81) would begin in 2016 with tolls starting after completion; phase 2 would begin in 2019, which covers the remainder of the Interstate.[15][16][17] With a possible 2019 start date for the tolls, NCDOT plans to install nine overhead toll collection sensors every 20 miles (32 km) with additional toll collection sensors at exits before tolls (to reduce drivers from jumping off and on at each toll); main toll stations will charge 20 miles (32 km) each while exit tolls will charge 10 miles (16 km) each. Gaps along the route, where no toll collectors are located, will allow local traffic to utilize the Interstate toll free. Though the toll rates have not been established, a NCDOT report suggest charging $0.192 per mile ($0.119/km) for cars in the phase 1 section, with a much lower rate of $0.064 per mile ($0.040/km) on phase 2 sections; which would work out to be $19.20 from border to border (trucks with three axles or more will be charged more). Drivers that do not carry a toll transponder (i.e., NC Quick Pass) will have their license numbers recorded by cameras and will be billed by mail, at a higher toll rate.[18]

As of June 5, 2018, a share of $147 million (equivalent to $170 million in 2022[12]) in federal grant money provided by the Trump administration was being used to partially fund upgrades to I-95.

Future

Widening of I-95 in 2023

As of 2022, the entirety of I-95 is designated for widening from four lanes to either six or eight lanes and the reconfiguring of numerous interchanges. The project is being undertaken in several stages, with projects that, as of 2022, have been funded and are in various stages of completion, covering the route from milemarker 13 near Lumberton to milemarker 81 north of Fayetteville.[19]

Begun in January 2020, a project is under way to expand I-95 from four to eight lanes between exits 55 and 71, north of Fayetteville. This includes the reconstruction of several bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and interchanges both on I-95 and on crossing roads. When complete, the freeway will be a total of eight lanes through this stretch. As of 2022, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. The project is partially funded by the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA).[20]

Scheduled to begin in mid-2022 is another project to widen I-95 to eight lanes from the I-74 interchange (exit 13) to exit 22.[needs update] It is also expected to be completed in the middle of 2026.[21]

The next two phases of the widening project along I-95 includes sections Cumberland and Robeson counties between exit 22 and exit 40 and in Harnett and Johnston counties between exit 71 and exit 81. As of 2018, funding was expected for the Cumberland and Robeson section after 2027 and construction scheduled for the Harnett and Johnston counties section in 2026.[22]

Exit list

CountyLocationmi[23]kmExitDestinationsNotes
North CarolinaSouth Carolina line0.00–
0.06
0.00–
0.097

I-95 south – Florence
Continuation into South Carolina
1 US 301 / US 501 – Rowland, Laurinburg, DillonSigned as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) southbound; exits 1 northbound and 1A southbound are in South Carolina
Robeson2.323.732
NC 130 to NC 904 – Rowland, Fairmont
7.1611.527Raynham Road – McDonald, Raynham
10.4016.7410
US 301 south – Raynham
Southern end of US 301 overlap
Lumberton13.0120.9413 I-74 / US 74 – Whiteville, Wilmington, Laurinburg, RockinghamSigned as exits 13A (east) and 13B (west); cloverleaf interchange with collector/distributor lanes
13.6922.0314 US 74Permanently closed in 2007; replaced by exit 13
17.0327.4117 NC 72 / NC 711 – Lumberton, Pembroke, Red Springs
18.7430.1619Carthage Road
19.8531.9520
NC 211 to NC 41 – Lumberton, Red Springs, Fairmont
21.5334.6522
US 301 north – Lumberton
Northern end of US 301 overlap
25.0440.3025 US 301
St. Pauls31.3950.5231 NC 20 – St. Pauls, Raeford
33.0253.1433
US 301 to NC 71 – Parkton, St. Pauls
38 I-295Future interchange (scheduled completion 2024)[24]
Cumberland40.2464.7640

I-95 BL north to US 301 – Fayetteville, Fort Liberty
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Hope Mills41.2866.4341Hope Mills, ParktonFormer NC 59
43.8170.5144Snow Hill Road – Fayetteville Regional Airport
45.9874.0046 NC 87 – Elizabethtown, FayettevilleSigned as exits 46A (south) and 46B (north); cloverleaf interchange with collector/distributor lanes
Fayetteville48.9378.7549 NC 53 / NC 210 – Fayetteville
Vander51.5883.0152 NC 24 – Fayetteville, ClintonSigned as exits 52A (east) and 52B (west); cloverleaf interchange with C/D lanes
Eastover54.5287.7455Murphy Road
54.9888.4856

I-95 BL south to US 301 – Fayetteville, Fort Liberty
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
57.8693.1258


I-295 south / US 13 north to US 401 – Newton Grove, Fort Liberty
Southern terminus of US 13
61.1798.4461Wade–Steadman Road – WadeFormerly signed as Wade
65.22104.9665 NC 82 – Godwin, Falcon
Harnett69.52111.8870Bud Hawkins RoadFormerly signed as SR 1811
70.74113.8471Long Branch Road
Dunn72.38116.4872Pope Road
72.99117.4773 US 421 / NC 55 – Dunn, Clinton, Newton Grove
74.87120.4975Jonesboro Road
76.84123.6677Hodges Chapel Road
JohnstonBenson79.42127.8179
NC 50 / NC 242 to NC 27 – Benson, Newton Grove
80.95130.2881 I-40 – Wilmington, Raleigh, DurhamSigned southbound as exits 81A (west) and 81B (east)
Four Oaks87.50140.8287Keen Road – Four Oaks
89.70144.3690
US 301 / US 701 south / NC 96 – Newton Grove
Leads to Bentonville Civil War Battleground
Smithfield93.04149.7393Brogden Road – Smithfield
94.75152.4995
US 70 Bus. – Smithfield, Goldsboro
Selma96.81155.8097 US 70 – Selma, Pine Level, GoldsboroSouthern terminus of unsigned NC 39
98.00157.7298Pine Level–Selma Road – Selma
Micro101.28162.99101Pittman Road
102.43164.85102Main Street – Micro
Kenly104.50168.18105Bagley Road
105.88170.40106Truck Stop Road
107.12172.39107 US 301 – Kenly, WilsonLeads to Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace
Wilson116.33187.21116 NC 42 – Wilson, Clayton
Wilson119.27191.95119

I-587 east / I-795 south / US 264 – Wilson, Greenville, Goldsboro, Raleigh
Northern terminus of I-795; western terminus of I-587; signed as exits 119A (I-587 east/I-795 south/US 264 east) and 119B (US 264 west); cloverleaf interchange with collector/distributor roadways
121.37195.33121
US 264 Alt. – Wilson, Sims
Nash126.82204.10127 NC 97 – Rocky Mount–Wilson Regional Airport
132.27212.87132
To NC 58 / Sandy Cross Road
Rocky Mount137Sunset AvenueInterchange under construction[25][26]
138.32222.60138 US 64 – Nashville, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, TarboroSigned as exits 138A (west) 138B (east); cloverleaf interchange with collector/distributor roadways; leads to NC Aquarium and Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Dortches140.69226.42141 NC 43 – Red Oak
Rocky Mount144.99233.34145
NC 4 / NC 48 to US 301 – Gold Rock, Rocky Mount
149.63240.81150 NC 33 – Whitakers
Halifax153.54247.10154 NC 481 – Enfield
160.37258.09160 NC 561 – HalifaxLeads to Medoc Mountain State Park
167.56269.66168 NC 903 – Halifax
Roanoke Rapids170.57274.51171 NC 125 – Roanoke Rapids
172.81278.11173 US 158 – Roanoke Rapids, Weldon
Northampton175.67282.71176 NC 46 – Gaston, Garysburg
179.87289.47180 NC 48 – Gaston
181.36291.87
I-95 north – Richmond
Continuation into Virginia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes

There are two auxiliary routes and one business loop in the state. I-295 connects I-95 to US 401 in Fayetteville and is planned to serve as a full bypass for I-95 in the city. I-795 connects Goldsboro to Wilson. I-95 Bus. goes through central Fayetteville.

==See also==*Cape Fear River

References

  1. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "I-95 Fact Sheet" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. June 21, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "NCDOT: North Carolina Rest Areas System". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "NCDPS - Weigh Stations". North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). Retrieved October 7, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "NCDOT: NC Blue Star Memorial Marker Locations". Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Blue Star Memorial Marker Program Directory" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff (March 22, 2013). "NCDOT Names Section of I-95 in Johnston County as Dick Fleming Freeway". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  9. ^ "Opening of I-95 Set For Monday". Spring Hope Enterprise. November 16, 1978. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "NCRoads.com: I-95". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c Siceloff, Bruce (June 13, 2010). "Talk of I-95 tolls revives". The News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved December 19, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  13. ^ "Interstate-Guide: Interstate 95". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  14. ^ "SJ 184 Interstate Route 95". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Staff (January 20, 2012). "Environmental Assessment Approved for I-95 Improvements". NCDOT. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  16. ^ The Associated Press (January 21, 2012). "NC report recommends tolls on Interstate 95". The News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  17. ^ Dorsey, Steve (January 21, 2012). "NC DOT considers making I-95 a toll road". Durham, North Carolina: WTVD-TV. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  18. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (February 12, 2012). "Plan fights evasion of I-95 toll in North Carolina". The News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  19. ^ "I-95 Corridor Improvements". ncdot.gov. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  20. ^ "I-95 Widening North of Fayetteville". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  21. ^ "I-95 Widening in Lumberton". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  22. ^ "NCDOT News Release: Fourteen New Projects for Division 6 in Updated Draft Transportation Plan" (Press release). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  23. ^ Google (February 13, 2012). "Interstate 95 in North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  24. ^ "Project Highlights". Fayetteville Outer Loop. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  25. ^ "NCDOT Awards $60.5 Million Contract for Nash County Projects". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  26. ^ "Project Highlights". Nashville-Rocky Mount Projects. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 28, 2021.

External links

Interstate 95
Previous state:
South Carolina
North Carolina Next state:
Virginia