I-95 Is Aging, Not Always Gracefully

Posted December 21, 2006

More than 1.6 million North Carolinians are expected to drive more than 50 miles from home this holiday season—a record high. Many of them could easily be among the 80,000 cars that drive Interstate 95 in North Carolina every day.

Those drivers are sharing a highway that was built more than 50 years ago. Many people say I-95 needs to grow with the traffic.

Crews started carving the path for I-95 in North Carolina in the late '50s. It stretches 181 miles in the state and has 50 percent more accidents than other interstate roads in the state, according to state statistics.

Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker says he saw it from the start.

“I can remember when the road was built. I remember riding my bicycle out there to see them building it,” Parker says.

What he saw is in many instances what is still here. Other states have upgraded their sections of I-95, but the highway through the Tar Heel state hasn't had an overhaul since the Eisenhower administration.

“It needs to be maintained. It needs to be widened. It needs to be upgraded, and our leaders in Raleigh, for whatever reason, have abandoned it,” the mayor says.

Harvey Brown is a driver who uses the highway.

“I-95 can always use some help. Being a North Carolinian, I got to say that. We always could use the help,” Brown says.

Help is a big-ticket item, however.

The state Department of Transportation’s chief financial officer says it would take 75 years and $4 billion to add one lane in each direction from the South Carolina line to Virginia.

State engineers say turning 95 into a toll road could pay for an upgrade.

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  • rtdenny Dec 22, 2006

    SPEAKING OF I-95 here.....I agree with Laura Elizabeth27616 because you said it would take in 75 years. I DON'T believe that therefore, it should take 2 or 3 years to RE-pave. TAKE THAT 75 years. THAT CRAZY!!!!! it will destroy all whole roads of I-95 HWY. THAT make me laugh!!! I look at I-95 HWY had TOO MANY potholes on it. I think it should re-pave very soon. LOOK AT US, We are taxpayers for use all of that roads because make easier for travels. I think it should be 6 lanes or 8 lanes and need widening and need improvement also.

  • momotwins Dec 21, 2006

    DOT says it would take 75 years? What is the world is he talking about? How long did it take to lay what is there. Obviously not 75 years. Crazy politicians, like to sit in there offices and crunch hypothetical numbers and waste our time and money. Bah humbug Mr. DOT

  • melainefinefield Dec 21, 2006

    I think that it is absolutely unexectable that we pay as much as we do in taxes and nothing is paid for. Where does the money go? I pay more in state than federal taxes and yet, I see nothing for it. Roads are bad, children are forced to attend year around schools, and yet I am still broke and see no return. What are our politicians doing? They live in mansions and we struggle.

  • FlSunshine Dec 21, 2006

    I am a NC born and bred who has lived her adult life in Florida. This has necessitated lots of driving up and down I-95. Where is the world did they come up with this 75 years and 4 Billion dollars to widen it?? They have been widening I-95 in Florida and Georgia, making it 6 lanes and it is not taking 75 years. As to the 4 billion....that sounds like a politician or bureaucrat who is a toll road proponent.