Local News

Meeting held in Rocky Mount on future of I-95

Posted August 17, 2010 11:10 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2010 5:31 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation is working to determine how best to renew Interstate 95. It's hosting a series of “Driving 95, What’s Your View” planning and finance study workshops across the state.

The Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount hosted one of the workshops Tuesday. People voiced their opinions and asked questions concerning road conditions, traffic patters and safety concerns along the interstate.

“We can sit in Raleigh all day long and tell you what we think needs to be done. But when you come out here, and you hear these people tell you where they see the accidents happen, where they see traffic problems, that's really the important thing to know,” said DOT project planning engineer Kristine O’Connor.

A two-year study is underway to show DOT which improvements are necessary, how much they will cost and how the state will pay for it. Turning I-95 into a toll road is just one of the options receiving a lot of attention.

“If we don't have it, then we North Carolinians are paying for the whole thing. Whereas, if we have a toll, then other people that are using it get to contribute to that as well,” resident Wyatt McGee said in support of toll roads.

The final I-95 plan won't be finished until fall 2011.  It will consider whether toll roads should be used to meet the needs of the growing number of vehicles traveling the busy interstate.

“It's running the gambit of what you would expect. People for it, people against it, it's one of the options. I want to stress that's definitely not the only thing we're considering in terms of funding improvements to I-95,” O'Connor said.

In the meantime, the following public meetings are scheduled through next week:

  • Aug. 19, Johnston County Johnston Community College, 245 College Drive, Smithfield
  • Aug. 23, Wilson County Bill Ellis Convention Center, 2904 Forest Hills Road, Wilson
  • Aug. 26, Harnett County Dunn Recreation Department-Community Center, 205 Jackson Road, Dunn
  • Aug. 31, Cumberland County Holiday Inn, 1944 Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville

If you can't make it to a meeting, you can voice your opinion by calling the Driving95 toll-free hotline at 877-I95-VIEW or by sending an e-mail to comments@driving95.com.