Local News

Repaving I-795 could cost up to $22M

Posted January 8, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Possible structural deficiencies on the 18 miles of Interstate 795 could cost the state Department of Transportation anywhere from $14 million to $22 million to repair, the agency said Thursday.

A new report from the Federal Highway Administration recommends removing the existing surface layers and adding 2.5 to 3 inches of pavement on the road, which runs from Wilson to Goldsboro.

DOT Looking Into Cracked Pavement on I-795 DOT could pay millions to repave highway

Cracks surfaced along a 2.5-mile stretch of the $120 million highway within months after it opened in 2005. Despite extensive tests, neither the DOT nor the contractor could determine what was causing the crumbling.

The FHWA's report partly blames air pockets in two hot-mix asphalt layers for the problems, but it suggests overweight trucks on the road also could be to blame.

Repairs are already under way to fix large potholes and cracks. That is costing the state more than $483,000, the DOT said.

DOT chief engineer Jon Nance said the agency would likely pay a majority of the cost because the problems were not discovered until after a 12-month warranty had expired. He said the federal government and contractor, S. T. Wooten, might cover a portion of it.

"We're going to look at some of the root causes and find out what happened, when it occurred and why it occurred," Nance said. "I don't think, today, we're in a position to say what the contractor will or won't do."

The federal report notes that the pavement was designed according to DOT procedures and that it was appropriate for the assumed traffic.

"We fully performed the project, and believe any problems are not attributable, in any way, to S.T. Wooten's performance of the work," the company's Ricky Vick said.

The DOT said that a February 2008 study found that overall traffic was about half of that assumed for the design, but that truck traffic was significantly higher than what was expected and that a significant portion of those trucks were 10 percent overweight.

This is not the first time the DOT has had problems with crumbling pavement along a major roadway.

In 2007, it spent about $22 million to repave a 10.6-mile stretch of Interstate 40 in Durham after finding that expansion joints were improperly constructed when new concrete was laid on top of the old during a widening project.


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  • NCSULandscaper Jan 9, 2009

    anything thats built is only as good as its foundation. if a pavement fails, the base wasnt prepared well enough for its conditions, whether it be a design flaw or a corner cut in materials.

  • walt4ncsu Jan 9, 2009

    Is there anyone compaining that would hire a contractor to perform work on your home solely on the basis of lowest bidder?

    There's something wrong with this facet of state law. The state needs to be able to contract with individuals and firms with a proven service record. Time and time again contractors who bid low do so because they plan, from the get go, the cut corners so as to make a satisfactory profit despite their low bid. And then you're forced to pay them AGAIN to fix their shoddy work.

    It's cliche, but the old addage "You get what you pay for" sometimes really does fit in NC - contractor relationships.

  • pbjbeach Jan 9, 2009


  • murph Jan 9, 2009

    A 1 year warranty on something that should last a couple of decades or crazy. The idiot that signed that contract should be fired.

    To get it fixed you make the contractor fix it, warranty or not. If they refuse, they get no more government contracts from the state. Pretty simple...

  • pbjbeach Jan 9, 2009

    That is the way that is an was spposed to work but in reality all it takes on the part of a contractor is a phone to the inspectors supervisor an if he is trying to do his job an actually enforce the ncdot speceficiations as they ar suppose to be enforced he is removed an sent home / constructively dischargeed or in other words his work duty's are deminished an he isn't allowed to do his job period so dont blame the good inspectors that are in most part concenious an looking to do a good job for the ncdot but they arent being allowed to do so . been there done that terminated an retailation for trying to do the job

  • wp Jan 9, 2009

    They should've done it right the 1st time. With all the other roadway problems in NC, you'd think they would have learned by now.

  • pbjbeach Jan 9, 2009


    you might be right about the case in virginia but in north carolina it is because the state inspectors arent being allowed to do their jobs because of the pols protecting business instrest an refusing to allow state inspectors to perform their jobs an that being the enforcement of the state speceficiations. prior to the use of C.E.I'S in this state there existed good cn concentious state inspectors that tried to do their jobs mangment refued to allowed them to do so as that mangament has been utlizied as a tool of the pol's to protect business instrest under this current adminstration an with the rep's controling washingto d.c. and the FHWA THANK YOU

  • pbjbeach Jan 9, 2009

    SOUTHERN Fried Yankee

    I personnaly agree with your post here if you are saying that some heads need to roll within the ncdot but it need to start with exective mangament an work down annot at the bottom an work up thank you

  • Bendal1 Jan 9, 2009


    Thanks for saying what I've been saying; the pavement design was not thick enough for the traffic that began using the road once it was designated an interstate, but it wasn't intended to be an interstate at the start. That was changed nearly at the end when it was too late to make any revisions to the pavement thickness.

    And yes, there was an internal memo sent from one of the engineers saying the pavement was too thin; this happened after the interstate designation was proposed, but again, making the pavement thicker means bridges get elevated, grades get changed, and interchanges redesigned. That takes time but politicians didn't want the road delayed, so it went out 'as is'.

    But those of you who want to bash NCDOT for everything WRAL reports, you just go right ahead and do so and ignore the facts...

  • pbjbeach Jan 9, 2009

    This kind of work is what you get when there is deregulation taking place an the fact that the state has gone to a QA/QC montering program rather than actualy having a state certified inspector at these asphalt plants where these mixtures are being produced any longer as they used to have another prime example of allowing the fox to watch the hen house. also according to the state specficiations repairs to badly done work are to be done at the expense of the company that done the work to start with an the ncdot is not to be held reposnsible for a contractors bad work even if there was a state inspector on the project which doesn't happen to offten these days as that these days the state is more inclined to use a private engineering company for this typa of work speaking of which this is THE type of company where the incoming SECETARY OF TRANS COMES OUT OF. dont worry be happy the state has plenty of moneyfor it is going in the department of revenue everyday thank you