Section of I-95 in Johnston County will be replaced after heavy rains, NCDOT says

Local News

KNELY, N.C. (WNCN) – The last two days of rain created several problems on Interstate-95 in North Carolina including closing portions of the highway.

Problems lingered Friday on I-95 northbound in Johnston County near exit 105 (Bagley Road).

The left lane of the northbound lanes remained closed and will likely remain that way until repairs can be made next week.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the interstate near exit 105 buckled due to the rains – rising about a foot and a half.

Both northbound lanes were shut down and traffic detoured around the area while NCDOT investigated.

“It’s a problem underneath the pavement,” said NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale. “Somehow, water has gotten between the pavement and subgrade of the road.”

NCDOT took core samples which indicate this section of road will need to be torn up and replaced sometime next week.

Barksdale said that portion of I-95 has never had a problem before with flooding.

In Wilson, a stretch of I-95 was closed twice this week because of flooding.

“We’re still pinpointing why that happened,” said Barksdale. “It was a flash flood event but we’re still trying to figure out if it was a particular creek or system causing the problems.”

Barksdale said blocked drains are likely not to blame.

That portion of I-95 is in what’s described as “a bowl.”

It was built in the 1960s and is due for a major rehab in next few years.

“We pinpointed where we’ve had problems with I-95 and flooding,” said Barksdale. “When we go back to widen and modernize the interstate, we’re not just going to slap two more lanes of asphalt in each direction.”

He said the Wilson portion of I-95 never flooded during Hurricane Florence in 2018 unlike a section near Lumberton which was closed for almost a week due to floods.

Improvements which include elevating the highway and adding more underground pipes to handle more water flow are underway in Lumberton.

In Johnston County, the NCDOT doesn’t know how much repairs will cost.

Some of that cost will partly depend on how much needs to be replaced.

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