DOT: Repairs after Thursday's flooding could cost NC millions

Posted November 13, 2020 11:31 a.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2020 6:12 p.m. EST

— While there was not flooding on Interstate 95 in Johnston County, the North Carolina Department of Transportation believes water from underneath the roadbed pushed it up, causing the pavement to buckle. A northbound lane between Exits 102 and 105, near Micro, was expected to remain closed through the weekend.

“It is highly likely all this rain has caused this problem," said DOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale.

DOT crews were drilling into the road surface Friday to see how deep the damage is.

"It got up to a foot-high bump in the pavement, and now it is 2 or 3 inches high, but it is not fixed yet,” Barksdale said.

Traffic was detoured overnight from mile marker 97 to 107 in an area that sees up to 60,000 vehicles per day. It started moving again just before noon, but only in one of two northbound lanes.

Marianne Woodring was among those who had to take the long way around. She said her trip to Smithfield was like a "traffic jam."

Jim Beaty said that kind of suffering is to be expected. "It's part of living in rural areas where rivers and creeks are, I guess.”

The interstate also saw flooding in Wilson County both Wednesday and Thursday nights that caused closures.

Barksdale said the DOT, which has seen revenue from gas taxes take a dip as people travel less during the pandemic, will treat the repair as an emergency.

“We have built up our reserves to handle this. We had to delay new projects so that we can handle emergencies," he said.

"This storm is going to probably cost millions of dollars to fix all the infrastructure around our state."

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