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Residents Eagerly Await Fayetteville's Outer Loop Project

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FAYETTEVILLE — Raleigh'sOuter Loopis slowly making its way around the city. A similar project to unclog traffic is also taking shape in Fayetteville.

Ask anyone who drives through Fayetteville, and they will say the same thing. A new Outer Loop will make more room.

"All the major roads travel right through Fayetteville, and we hope to give the public an access to bypass going around Fayetteville without having to go through Fayetteville," says Ronald Gentry, assistant resident engineer.

Construction of the first phase is well underway. Starting at Interstate 95 at Highway 13, the loop will stretch five miles and come out in north Fayetteville at Highway 401. The first phase of the project costs about $90 million and should be completed by 2005.

Environmental studies are still being conducted on the second phase of the loop which would reconnect at I-95 near the Robeson County line. Construction for that section is at least four years away.

People who live in north Fayetteville are excited. Retired truck driver Wayne Sorensen, who lives off Highway 401, says the new route to I-95 will save him a ton of time.

"It's 45 minutes versus 10 minutes," he says.

Department of Transportationofficials say the bridge being built across the Cape Fear River is also a reason why the Outer Loop is so needed. There is currently no way for north Fayetteville residents to get across the river without going out of their way.

Currently, most of the work is taking place at night.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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