Three Construction Projects Slowing Traffic On I-95
Posted August 1, 2001 4:04 a.m. EDT
JOHNSTON COUNTY — Have you traveled Interstate 95 lately? Cones and barrels, lane closures and traffic tie-ups -- they seem to be everywhere. Lane closures, slow traffic, and almost impossible merging are commonplace, even on a Wednesday.
"Well, sometimes it's 30-40 minutes before I can get off of one exit off of this exit in Benson, and I only have three exits to come down. Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes just to get here," said driver Alveeta Lee.
The pain, felt by so many drivers, is caused by three major road projects stretching from Benson to Wilson. In Benson, it is a complete overhaul of the Highway 50/I-95 interchange. A new bridge, new ramps, and resurfacing are all going in. The lane closures are sometimes northbound, sometimes southbound, and they can stretch for miles. The project will be finished in early to mid-October.
"It's a lot of construction. Guys are not goofing off or anything, they're all working, it's just taking a good while to get this done," said driver Lonnie Harris.
A few miles north, in Johnston County, a taste of New Jersey slows you down: the big concrete barriers you have probably seen are called New Jersey barriers. They improve safety, but for the next month-and-a-half, they will not improve traffic flow.
Finally, just outside Wilson on I-95, periodic lane closures are in store for the next year-and-a-half as pavement is replaced.
So why now? The DOT says some of these areas haven't had repairs since 1959. The road is falling apart in some places, and engineers say they have no choice.
The big problem is most people travelling I-95 are making long trips from outside the area, and right now, it is a long trip for everyone.