Traffic

I-85 in Vance, Warren Counties Makes NCDOT List for Replacement of 40-Year-Old Pavement

Posted June 11, 2007 7:23 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina used to be known as the "Good Roads State," but you hit 25 miles of bad road as soon as you cross the Virginia line if you’re on Interstate 85 through Vance and Warren counties.

One drive is all it takes to see how the road has worn down.

The concrete slabs were installed in the early 1960s, and they're showing their age.

“It's pretty bad, I mean especially going to Vance-Granville Community College, Yeah, it's pretty bad out there,” said driver Ashley Boone.

It’s not uncommon to see state Department of Transportation crews patching the roadway.

“We're having a lot of trouble with the concrete just deteriorating, and very regularly we have to come out here, cut out a section and replace it with new material,” said NCDOT Engineer Clarence Thompson.

The 25 mile I-85 corridor that runs from the Vance/Granville line to the North Carolina/Virginia border has received no money for a major pavement overhaul since it was built. The DOT says the mostly rural section of highway never made it to the top of a priority list.

Help is on the way, however.

Planners just put together a $40 million spending plan. Of that, $30 million will pay for a complete pavement replacement for five miles near Henderson, and the remaining 20 miles to the border will get a new top layer that should give about 10 years of smoother sailing.

NCDOT engineers say they could start the repairs as soon as October. The work will take at least two years.