I-85 in Vance, Warren Counties Makes NCDOT List for Replacement of 40-Year-Old Pavement

Posted June 11, 2007

— North Carolina used to be known as the "Good Roads State," but you hit 25 miles of bad road as soon as you cross the Virginia line if you’re on Interstate 85 through Vance and Warren counties.

One drive is all it takes to see how the road has worn down.

The concrete slabs were installed in the early 1960s, and they're showing their age.

“It's pretty bad, I mean especially going to Vance-Granville Community College, Yeah, it's pretty bad out there,” said driver Ashley Boone.

It’s not uncommon to see state Department of Transportation crews patching the roadway.

“We're having a lot of trouble with the concrete just deteriorating, and very regularly we have to come out here, cut out a section and replace it with new material,” said NCDOT Engineer Clarence Thompson.

The 25 mile I-85 corridor that runs from the Vance/Granville line to the North Carolina/Virginia border has received no money for a major pavement overhaul since it was built. The DOT says the mostly rural section of highway never made it to the top of a priority list.

Help is on the way, however.

Planners just put together a $40 million spending plan. Of that, $30 million will pay for a complete pavement replacement for five miles near Henderson, and the remaining 20 miles to the border will get a new top layer that should give about 10 years of smoother sailing.

NCDOT engineers say they could start the repairs as soon as October. The work will take at least two years.


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  • tom547293 Jun 13, 2007

    That concrete was put down about 1960 anf the fact it has lasted this long is awsome. Look back at how many times the strech in Ddurham has been widened and resurfaced. The Blacktop that will be put down will need repair before the project is ever finished. In 10 years or less it will need to be replaced again! Just hope they change the Bridge height signs when they finish.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 12, 2007

    I-85 from Durham to Richmond is the road to nowhere with very little traffic. Most north south traffic goes on I-95.

    I-85 from Durham to Richmond is obviously there for political reasons. Hence the state of disrepair.

    I-85 follows forests and farmland in Virgina, and it passes through dead communities like Henderson who've lost the good paying jobs to 3rd world nations.

    Instead of flushing the money down the toilet on a road to nowhere with zero economic opportunity, spend it where it will do some good on the two lane section of I-40 between US-1 and Wade Avenue along with fixing the four lane section of I-440 between I-40 and Wade Avenue.

  • hilliards404 Jun 12, 2007


  • O-Get-A-Grip Jun 12, 2007

    I drive on that stretch of interstate daily. It is a royal mess! It is past due for replacement. It puts some serious wear on your tires, alignment andshocks/struts. You actually have to be careful how you hit the cracks whenever passing b/c if your wheels hit them square, it will jerk you into a direction you did not intend to go. Also there is a sign honoring our military as you cross into NC. What a way to honor soldiers with a beat-up highway. Don't even get me started on the bridges!

  • macx Jun 12, 2007

    The DOT has a tough job to do to balance road maintenance projects across urban, rural and Interstate highway.

    It doesn't help the funding when the General Assembly siphons off the gas tax and other highway trust fund revenue sources for the for non-road uses or the public trust when the infamous ferry pirate, Lyndo Tippett continues to head the DOT.

  • pack-man Jun 12, 2007

    it is rather embarrassing when you hit that section of highway after being in Virginia, you feel like you just crossed the border into Mexico.

  • Herbert Jun 12, 2007

    Did you miss the part where it said that this road is an interstate? It is the main highway to get from the Triangle to pretty much anywhere north. Having lived in Vance County and traveled this stretch of I-85 frequently to get to DC, it doesn't matter how many people live there, they're not the ones that will use the road the most. Long-distance travelers are the one who will. I'm so glad that they're finally doing something about it.

  • hp277 Jun 12, 2007

    This stretch of I-85 has needed repair for a long time. I am glad the DOT has found money to perform this maintenance. This is not to build a new 4-lane road where no one lives - this is to maintain an existing interstate that is in deplorable condition.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 11, 2007

    Rural under populated areas have a lower population, therefore they have less roads and less needs for roads.

    In growing urban areas, there is a much greater need for roads to transport the growing population.

    If they would spend gas tax dollars where they are collected, the amount of money would balance out the needs of the area where the money is collected.

  • Mr. Iowa Jun 11, 2007

    Guess what: the road is over 40 years old. It doesn't matter how many cars a day drive on a road, the rain, heat, and cold do as much damage to it as a road in the inner city. When the construction companies start charging 1/10 less to build roads because the county population is 1/10 of another then you'll see those $$$ even out.