Fayetteville's I-295 tops draft priority list for DOT

Posted July 29, 2010 7:30 p.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2010 9:05 p.m. EDT

— The outer loop of Interstate 295 in Fayetteville ranked high on list of 21 major road projects the North Carolina Department of Transportation is considering.

A draft of a priority list made public Thursday put the project ahead of several others, including several extensions of N.C. Highway/Interstate 540 in Wake County.

The U.S. 501 Bypass and East End Connector in Durham, which would link the N.C. Highway 147, the Durham Freeway, with U.S. Highway 70, were also on the draft list.

The prioritization schedule reflects what the DOT can accomplish with the $150 million per year it receives for loop funding.

The official release of the list is planned for next week at a state Board of Transportation meeting.

Although the list is a draft and subject to change, Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne said he was encouraged the I-295 project was high on the list.

“This positive development will help address a major transportation need for our civilian and military communities," he said in a statement. "It is another sign of Fayetteville and Cumberland County moving forward in an important infrastructure area.”

The funding formula used to prioritize the projects is based on the needs and benefits of the 25 loop projects in North Carolina that need funding.

The DOT uses crash data and traffic congestion figures to calculate the roles the project would play in improving safety and mobility. It also examines factors, such as travel-time savings, economic development and future traffic levels.

Building every loop, the DOT estimates, would cost about $8 billion.