A week after Matthew, Interstate 95 back open through NC

Posted October 17, 2016 2:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2016 6:21 p.m. EDT

— Interstate 95, closed by flood damage from Hurricane Matthew last week in two locations, was back open through North Carolina Monday afternoon.

Crews from the state Department of Transportation worked around the clock over the weekend to open stretches of the highway in Cumberland County,at Exit 56 (U.S. 301) near Fayetteville, and in Robeson County at Exit 13 (U.S. 74) near Lumberton, as well as damage to the I-95 bridge over railroad tracks in Lumberton and a roadway washout at mile marker 26, also in Robeson County.

The right lane is closed on I-95 South near Exit 79 (NC-50), and near Exit 25 (US-301). Traffic is using a single temporary lane built in the median near the Harnett-Johnston County line.

Across the state, hundreds of roads remain closed, blocked by high water, downed trees and debris or both.

"Some will be out a month, some roads won't be open for longer," said DOT spokesman Steve Abbott. The task will take a long time, Abbott said, because of how widespread the damage was and the limit on the number of qualified contractors to do the repairs.

"We're sending the cavalry in," Abbott said. "We've been doing that for several days."

Abbott said the federal disaster declaration means the federal government will reimburse the state for many of the repairs, but it's too soon to know what that total will be.