NC DOT considers making I-95 a toll road

January 21, 2012 6:38:35 AM PST
There could soon be more toll roads popping up throughout North Carolina if the DOT follows through with plans to widen I-95.

The DOT said Friday it has received final federal approval for the highway widening project following an environmental assessment. The study began in 2009 and focuses on all 182 miles of the highway that run through the state.

Some of the study's suggestions include widening I-95 to six lanes, three in each direction. The highway is currently only four lanes.

The project would also widen I-95 to eight lanes, four in each direction, between the NC 20 exit in Saint Pauls and the I-40 interchange in Johnston County.

Other improvements would be made to pavement, bridges, and interchanges, as well as bringing the highway up to current safety standards.

The total price tag for the work is estimated to be $4.4 billion. Right now, the state only has enough to cover about 10 percent of the improvements. Tolls would cover the other $4 billion.

The feds have yet to approve making I-95 a toll road through North Carolina.

Proposals suggest construction begin in 2016 for part of the widening project. The remainder would not start until 2019.

Public hearings are scheduled to take place in February for the public to weigh in on the matter.

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