Wednesday, February 16, 2011

North Carolina I-95 Toll Plan may remove some interchanges

North Carolina's plan to widen Interstate 95 to six lanes may result in closing interchanges, and of course tolls.  The toll idea isn't really new - though a recent news story on WRAL-TV in Raleigh would lead you to believe that.

But one of the newest developments to the plan is that the widening may result in the removal of some interchanges specifically those in Harnett and Johnston Counties.  According to the WRAL story, Exit 72 (Pope Road) is one of the interchanges that may be removed.

If you are familiar with Interstate 95 in North Carolina, you know that the 38 or so miles of I-95 in Harnett and Johnston Counties is home to maybe the most obsolete and crowded stretches of the Interstate.  19 exits and a rest area are along the stretch of four lane interstate.  Resulting in an average of an interchange every 1.9 miles.  Throw in low overpasses, narrow medians, bridges without shoulders, interchange ramps that double as a rural road/surface street, and you have headaches and hazards in every direction.

This stretch of Interstate 95 is also the oldest stretch of I-95 in North Carolina.  All of this section of highway opened to traffic by 1961.  The oldest stretch is in the Dunn/Benson area (miles 70-79) which opened as a US 301 bypass in the mid/late 1950s.

Widening the highway to six lanes is an obvious necessity, and the toll road idea has been kicked about for over a decade now.  The idea to eliminate some existing interchanges seems to be common sense but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that it has been publicly mentioned.  This tiny tidbit of information is a prelude to the release of an Interstate 95 Master Plan that NCDOT should release this coming November.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is no way to come up with 4.4 Billion to widen the interstate. It will be so overloaded in a few years (already over capacity) that it will physically fail. Emergency crews can't get easily to accidents.

Why wait until 2015 to start collecting tolls.

Trucks $5
Cars $3

Using the ticket method, and (TOLL EZPass like in the north) one could take tolls for passing through traffic and almost leave the local traffic without tolls.

One could travel 15 miles without a toll. That would help to not toll someone just going to work.

In Delaware, the toll is $5 just to go a few miles in their state. NY Bridges are upwards of $15.

Tolls on I-95 are far overdue. Travelers from far north going to Florida can pay for the stress they are placing on the interstate here. There are far more vehicles out of state on it than there are instate vehicles.

But, put the toll and start the work.

Most importantly:

HIRE NC RESIDENTS TO DO ALL OF THE WORK!!!


Nick in Wilmington, NC

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought that there was a highway fund that is supposed to pay for repairs... you know, the one funded by taxing us to death on fuel......let them do this one, the rest are fair game.. North Taxalina won't stop there.

fedupwithgovernment said...

Like up North, Like up North..that's part of the problem in the greatest part of this country. Everyone wants to be like they are up north. The northerners come down and want to change everything.
I have paid PLENTY of money in tolls throughout this country over the last 10 years. Almost everywhere, except north of D.C. there is an alternate route that runs parallel with the toll road. HWY 301 doesn't do it in NC.
Do they really think that people in NC need to pay more money just to get to work? I know there is a lot of out-of-state traffic that runs I95 on a daily basis, so give the NC residents a FREE ez-pass.