Fayetteville highway loop will help improve Bragg security
Posted August 1
Fayetteville, N.C. — As work progresses on the loop highway around Fayetteville, Fort Bragg officials eagerly await the day the highway will allow them to shut down Bragg Boulevard on post.
Construction crews are now working on a section of what will eventually be Interstate 295 between Bragg Boulevard and Murchison Road. The $64 million project includes a roughly 2-mile stretch of I-295 as well as feeder lanes that will connect the two state highways.
Plans call for widening Murchison Road across Fort Bragg to Spring Lake over the next two years.
"Once we get done with Murchison Road, we'll be able to close that part of Bragg Boulevard that runs between Spring Lake and ... the outer loop, and then Fort Bragg can close Bragg Boulevard and take possession of it," said Tracey Pittman, a division engineer for the state Department of Transportation.
While I-295 will give Fort Bragg easier access to Interstate 95, Fort Bragg officials also view it as a way to upgrade security by limiting civilian traffic across the post.
"You actually eliminate a lot of traffic that does not normally enter the installation. They will just be rerouted," said Sey Nam, a civil engineer for Fort Bragg. "It's going to provide better force protection (and) posture for the installation."
Pittman said the section of I-295 between Ramsey Street and All-American Freeway – it technically cannot be called I-295 at that point because only the east end connects to a U.S. highway – is expected to open in August 2016.
Other sections of the 34-mile loop highway are still under construction or in the planning phases. Pittman said she couldn't estimate when the whole project, which likely will cost more than $600 million to build, based on current estimates, would be complete.