RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Interstate 95 corridor has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s, but after years of floods closing the road the NCDOT is teaming up with their federal partners for a facelift.
“I-95 is a critical route not just for our state, but for the East Coast,” said NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale.
It’s one of America’s main arteries, but for the last several years I-95 has closed time and time again due to flooding.
“This part of the interstate was designed and built 60 years ago, and we need to build to the new normal,” said Barksdale.
The NCDOT had originally targeted portions of I-95 for a facelift in 2028, but a $22 million grant will allow them to expedite their plans for a 27-mile stretch between Lumberton and Hope Mills.
“We have a plan to rebuild our infrastructure by putting in taller bridges over rivers, bigger culverts, and we’re going to elevate the highway,” said Barksdale. “We’re going to actually bring in more dirt and raise up the grade of the interstate in these low lying areas. Our goal is to make it less susceptible to flooding.”
As the NCDOT works to finalize their construction plans drivers may notice some changes along the I-95 corridor.
“You’ll see mounds of dirt being pushed around or jersey walls going up for the work zones,” said Barksdale.
The half-billion-dollar project will eventually add more lanes, and widen the interstate without closing any lanes, but it doesn’t come without any headaches.
“Some of the shoulders will be narrowed, and you’ll see workers on the sides of the median,” said Barksdale. “It’s going to be a work zone for the next several years, but it is progress.”
At this time there is no definite timeline for when construction will begin.
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