Two meetings scheduled for input on I-95 widening

By: Staff report

LUMBERTON – Public input is being sought regarding the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to widen almost 19 miles of Interstate 95 between Lumberton and Hope Mills.

The department has scheduled two public meetings in July to answer questions, accept comments and show preliminary design maps to widen I-95 between mile marker 22 in Robeson County and mile marker 40, at the U.S. 301/I-95 Business exit, in southern Cumberland County, according to an NCDOT news release. There will be no formal presentations during either meeting. People will be able to drop in any time between 4 and 7 p.m.

The July 22 meeting is to take place in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium at Robeson Community College, located at 5160 Fayetteville Road in Lumberton. The second meeting is scheduled for July 23 at Gray’s Creek Middle School, located at 5151 Celebration Drive in Hope Mills.

The interstate would be widened from four lanes to eight lanes. As part of the proposal, every bridge or overpass would be replaced to meet modern design standards. The project’s overall estimated cost is almost $450 million, with construction scheduled to start in 2026.

More information about the project is available on the NCDOT website. More information about the meetings and the preliminary maps are available at NCDOT’s Public Meetings page.

The project is designed to reduce congestion, lower the risk of crashes and enable the interstate to better handle anticipated traffic growth. At exit 22 in Lumberton, about 63,000 vehicles now pass through each day. By 2040, that figure is projected to exceed 95,000.

“This is one of the oldest parts of I-95 in our state, and we really need to modernize it and expand it,” said Grady Hunt, a Robeson County resident who represents the area on the N.C. Board of Transportation. “This is also a major route on the eastern seaboard and vital to our mission at NCDOT of moving goods and people safely and efficiently.”

People who can’t attend either meeting may submit comments or questions to either of these engineers:

— Brian Yamamoto, an NCDOT consultant, at 919-858-1865; [email protected]; or CALYX Engineers & Consultants, P.O. Box 33127, Raleigh, N.C., 27636.

— Scott Pridgen, an NCDOT Division 6 project manager, at 910-364-0603; [email protected]; or P.O. Box 1150, Fayetteville, N.C., 28302.

Comments received by the Aug. 23 deadline will be considered as the final design is developed.

The Department of Transportation will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Lauren Putnam at [email protected] or 919-707-6072 as early as possible to make arrangements.

People who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.

Staff report