But, like most road projects, the delays will get worse before the congestion gets better for anyone who travels I-95 in Cumberland County.
Construction of an 8-mile stretch of Fayetteville's Outer Loop is well under way. The road, which will connect I-95 to Ramsey Street, requires the state to build 17 new bridges. It will also mean tearing down the Old Highway 13 bridge over I-95.
Randy Wise, resident engineer for the state
Department of Transportion
project, warns that drivers who use the highway need to be prepared for delays.
Beginning April 8, overnight demolition will close the interstate and a 6-mile detour will be in place for about six weeks.Then, the DOT will widen the median for safety reasons.
During daytime hours, northbound traffic will be down to one lane. After that, it will be the same on the southbound side.
"We hope we can have most of the widening out of the way before the major travel time, Memorial Day, and try to get back to a two-lane situation and have all lanes open during the summer," Wise said.
So far, construction is on schedule. Because of lane closures, Wise said truck drivers and people who drive the interstate regularly may need to adjust their schedules.
On average, 42,000 drivers travel up and down Interstate 95 in Cumberland County every day. Trucker Bennie Davis relies on I-95 for his routes, and said for him, there is no other option.
"If it's backed up bad, I guess I'll just have to wait to get through," Davis said.
The DOT hopes to use Smart Zone Technology during the delays. The system would monitor traffic in real time and have flashing signs alerting drivers to delays.