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Regional Boards => Southeast => Topic started by: roadman65 on October 13, 2011, 07:28:45 PM

Title: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: roadman65 on October 13, 2011, 07:28:45 PM
I noticed that there are only two sections of I-95 that allow the 70 mph interstate maximum on that particular interstate in North Carolina.

1) The Fayetteville Bypass.
2) From Kenly to the VA Border.

Now I am aware that the first section of I-95 to be opened in the Tar Heel State was from Fayetteville to Kenly, hence the many interchanges that are all close together.  Now that is understandable for that stretch, but from the SC Line to Fayetteville the interchanges are spaced a great distance apart.  This section should be able to handle a full 70 mph, with maybe the Lumberton area that might need the lower 65.  Otherwise, it is a pretty straight run.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: InfamousMFD478 on February 16, 2021, 07:02:09 AM
You forgot about a third section of I-95 that is signed at 70 mph, and that is south of the interchange at I-74/US 74 outside of Lumberton.

The reason that I understand why most of the interstate in NC is posted at 65, is for that same reason between Fayetteville-Kenly, and the other reasons between Fayetteville-Lumberton, the structures are too aged, I know last time I was through there, in 2019, NCDOT was widening the interstate, and reinstalling new bridges, and exit ramps...
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on February 16, 2021, 08:31:25 AM
A lot of I-95’s 65 mph zones could be changing over in the next decade. Over 50 miles of widening from 4 to 8 lanes is either under construction or will be later this year, and expand the segments between I-74 and the southern end of the Fayetteville Bypass, and from the northern end of the Fayetteville Bypass to I-40.

More information regarding widening projects: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=26766.0

All of these segments are currently posted at 65 mph, though widening plans show a design speed of 75 mph, which indicates those will likely all go up to 70 mph once widening is complete. This is what happened to I-85 north of Concord when those segments were 8-laned in the past decade as well. That would create a continuous 70 mph limit for 81 miles between the South Carolina state line and I-40, leaving only 26 miles of 65 mph remaining between I-40 and Kenly.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on February 16, 2021, 11:59:08 AM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: GreenLanternCorps on February 16, 2021, 01:14:43 PM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.

Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: jeffandnicole on February 16, 2021, 01:41:40 PM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.


Nah, I wouldn't say so.  Many of those areas are quite rural in nature.  The excuses are just that - excuses.  About 3 dozen other states have 70 mph zones in very similar circumstances that NC declares they can only be 65 mph.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 16, 2021, 03:21:11 PM
The northern part of I-85 to the VA border is now 70mph. They rebuilt the entire highway and increased the limit afterwards.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: architect77 on February 17, 2021, 01:23:04 PM
There are fatalities every week on I-95 through NC. It is an old highway built in the 1960's and many aspects don't meet today's safety standards.

For those of you who don't live in NC, I-95 mostly serves people from other states from The Northeast to Florida. NCDOT has tried to spend gas tax revenue on interstates that North Carolineans actually use on a regular basis like I-85, I-40 etc.

That is why I-95 remains un-improved, however I-85 is nearly complete with 6-8 lanes from border to border. I-40 is newer and doesn't need a major overhaul.

Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on February 17, 2021, 07:41:01 PM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: architect77 on March 04, 2021, 05:07:53 AM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on March 04, 2021, 07:45:53 AM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
How about I-40 from I-95 all the way to Wilmington?
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on March 04, 2021, 09:42:19 AM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
How about I-40 from I-95 all the way to Wilmington?
That segment of I-40 only has around 20,000-30,000 AADT, there’s no need for any more than 4 lanes.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: D-Dey65 on March 04, 2021, 01:10:04 PM
I really haven't gone 65 mph anywhere I can think of in North Carolina. I usually do the standard 70 mph and more like most people. In fact a couple of times I went up to 100 mph just to see if the cars I had were capable of doing speeds like that. The most urban segments of I-95 that I can see are Lumberton, Dunn, and the Smithfield-Selma area. In places like Fayetteville, Wilson, and Rocky Mount, there shouldn't be that much of an excuse to keep it down to 65.

Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on March 04, 2021, 02:22:16 PM
In places like Fayetteville, Wilson, and Rocky Mount, there shouldn't be that much of an excuse to keep it down to 65.
All of those segments are posted at 70 mph.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on March 04, 2021, 08:13:19 PM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
How about I-40 from I-95 all the way to Wilmington?
That segment of I-40 only has around 20,000-30,000 AADT, there’s no need for any more than 4 lanes.
How about beach traffic? On July 1st (or 2nd) 2017, I went there and LOS was like C or D.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: 1 on March 04, 2021, 09:16:05 PM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
How about I-40 from I-95 all the way to Wilmington?
That segment of I-40 only has around 20,000-30,000 AADT, there’s no need for any more than 4 lanes.
How about beach traffic? On July 1st (or 2nd) 2017, I went there and LOS was like C or D.

If it's LOS C or D at its absolute worst, it doesn't need to be upgraded.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on March 04, 2021, 09:23:21 PM
Just now have they focused on getting I-95 improved with the goal of 8 lanes from border to border.
I think outside of the 52 miles of upcoming widening to 8 lanes, the remaining only has a vision to be expanded to 6 lanes. IIRC the Fayetteville Bypass is the only segment that is not currently funded and anticipated to be expanded fully to 8 lanes.

And I'm going to say that NCDOT will pursue 8 lanes for all the interstates, because the unprecedented growth over the last 30 years left them scrambling and they only want to do one more rebuild per interstate and be done with it. After 8 lanes any additional ones exhibit a diminishing return as far as efficiency to 8 lanes with be as big as they're every going to be, and NC only wants to do construction one last time. The 85/40 duplex through Burlington is only like 40-60 miles and it took an entire decadeto complete.

I doubt if any of us will ever see I-95 completed through the state because with an active highway it will take forever. Now if they could build a new interstate right beside it, then it could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. But they won't purchase all that new right of way.
How about I-40 from I-95 all the way to Wilmington?
That segment of I-40 only has around 20,000-30,000 AADT, there’s no need for any more than 4 lanes.
How about beach traffic? On July 1st (or 2nd) 2017, I went there and LOS was like C or D.

If it's LOS C or D at its absolute worst, it doesn't need to be upgraded.
How about 6 lanes instead
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: froggie on March 05, 2021, 09:09:28 AM
^ Not necessary.  Although many agencies prefer LOS C, LOS D is considered an acceptable LOS by FHWA.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on March 05, 2021, 12:24:04 PM
^ Not necessary.  Although many agencies prefer LOS C, LOS D is considered an acceptable LOS by FHWA.
Why not LOS A or B?
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: 1 on March 05, 2021, 12:44:08 PM
^ Not necessary.  Although many agencies prefer LOS C, LOS D is considered an acceptable LOS by FHWA.
Why not LOS A or B?

A-C are all pretty much free flow, and D is a minor slowdown.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: froggie on March 06, 2021, 09:06:22 AM
LOS D is still generally at-speed...just with greatly reduced spacing between vehicles.  By definition, slowdowns begin approaching LOS E.

Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on October 09, 2021, 04:33:58 PM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.


Nah, I wouldn't say so.  Many of those areas are quite rural in nature.  The excuses are just that - excuses.  About 3 dozen other states have 70 mph zones in very similar circumstances that NC declares they can only be 65 mph.
Seems like I-95 north of I-40 will still remain 65 mph if it doesn't get fixed. Lumberton too I'm sure and maybe Smithfield/Selma if the relocation doesn't happen. Those 2 seem to be the most urbanized areas of what I can think of. Also, isn't I-95 north of Roanoke Rapids old and yet the speed limit is 70 mph?
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: Mapmikey on October 09, 2021, 08:13:32 PM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.


Nah, I wouldn't say so.  Many of those areas are quite rural in nature.  The excuses are just that - excuses.  About 3 dozen other states have 70 mph zones in very similar circumstances that NC declares they can only be 65 mph.
Seems like I-95 north of I-40 will still remain 65 mph if it doesn't get fixed. Lumberton too I'm sure and maybe Smithfield/Selma if the relocation doesn't happen. Those 2 seem to be the most urbanized areas of what I can think of. Also, isn't I-95 north of Roanoke Rapids old and yet the speed limit is 70 mph?

I-95 north of Roanoke Rapids was rehabbed and the speed limit went up after its completion.

I-95 through lumberton was 55 or 60 before it was rehabbed 20 years ago.

Unrehabbed portions of I-95 that were built in the 1950s-60s are what is 65 and when those segments are rehabbed there is a decent probability speed limits will rise to 70, with the exception of Lumberton which might be urban enough to leave at 65.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on October 09, 2021, 08:26:50 PM
Great that this thread was revived from 2011!!!

And the answer imo is that it's mostly in urban areas.


Nah, I wouldn't say so.  Many of those areas are quite rural in nature.  The excuses are just that - excuses.  About 3 dozen other states have 70 mph zones in very similar circumstances that NC declares they can only be 65 mph.
Seems like I-95 north of I-40 will still remain 65 mph if it doesn't get fixed. Lumberton too I'm sure and maybe Smithfield/Selma if the relocation doesn't happen. Those 2 seem to be the most urbanized areas of what I can think of. Also, isn't I-95 north of Roanoke Rapids old and yet the speed limit is 70 mph?

I-95 north of Roanoke Rapids was rehabbed and the speed limit went up after its completion.
I assume you're talking about the Roanoke River bridges and the shoulder widening on the left side. So I'm guessing it's similar of what they did to I-85 north of Henderson.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: SkyPesos on October 09, 2021, 08:29:00 PM
If it's based on age, most of I-70 in MO would be signed at 60 mph if it's maintained by NCDOT then.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: wdcrft63 on October 10, 2021, 06:12:53 PM
In addition to age, one factor that might/should figure into speed limit decisions is the accident rate on a section. There are many accidents on I-95, especially between Fayetteville and Benson and in the Lumberton area.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on October 10, 2021, 09:27:45 PM
^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: cowboy_wilhelm on October 11, 2021, 08:15:06 AM
The 70 mph speed limits are so inconsistent across the state that I think it just comes down to whatever the division traffic engineers decide, or, more importantly, if someone has requested a review of the speed limit. If Joe Armchair Engineer requests a higher speed limit, it may not happen. If a grumpy legislator trying to get to Raleigh faster requests it, it's more likely to happen.

I-85 is now 70 mph from Kannapolis to Greensboro. High traffic volumes, high truck volumes, and close interchanges in some areas (Salisbury). I-485 and I-540 see (saw) daily congestion and wrecks, but both are 70 mph. US 74 was increased to 70 mph from Columbus to outside Shelby a few years ago, but US 421 from Wilkesboro to Lewisville/Winston has comparable terrain and traffic volumes, but is still 65 mph. I-26 is being rebuilt and widened, but the speed limit is remaining 60 mph west of the US 25 interchange in Fletcher, despite being pretty level terrain with spaced out interchanges. That could change later, but it could also have something to do with the traffic noise analysis for the project. Higher speeds = more noise. More noise = more noise walls. More noise walls = more money. Mo money, mo problems.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: Dirt Roads on October 11, 2021, 09:49:58 AM
Unlike other states, it seems like NCDOT waits for another improvement project to pay for signage upgrades when raising speed limits from 65 MPH to 70 MPH.  It's not like they don't ever increase speed limits on Interstates, as there are still plenty of old speed limit signs that have labels over the old 55 MPH signs (many with only a "6" pasted over the first "5").  They've also blended old sections adjacent to new sections, such as the US-70 LaGrange Bypass was upgraded to 70 MPH after the Goldsboro Bypass Bypass was completed.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: wdcrft63 on October 11, 2021, 06:18:55 PM
^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on October 11, 2021, 08:05:55 PM
^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
The lower speed limit can also cause a greater differential in traffic speeds between those following the limit and those traveling the faster, more reasonable speeds, which can increase accidents as well. Lowering that differential can be achieved by raising the speed limit, if the roadway can safely handle it.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: Mapmikey on October 11, 2021, 08:15:43 PM
^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
The lower speed limit can also cause a greater differential in traffic speeds between those following the limit and those traveling the faster, more reasonable speeds, which can increase accidents as well. Lowering that differential can be achieved by raising the speed limit, if the roadway can safely handle it.

Another factor is that the oldest parts of NC interstates have little to no accel/decel lanes and short off-ramps.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on January 05, 2022, 02:11:18 PM
Signing plans still show that I-95 will be 65 mph even when widened. Wonder why that is...

https://xfer.services.ncdot.gov/dsplan/2021%20Highway%20Letting/07-20-21/Plans%20and%20Proposals/HARNETT_JOHNSTON_47532.3.3_I-5986B,%20I-5878,%20I-5883C204543/Standard%20PDF%20Files/
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: Mapmikey on January 05, 2022, 06:48:52 PM
Signing plans still show that I-95 will be 65 mph even when widened. Wonder why that is...

https://xfer.services.ncdot.gov/dsplan/2021%20Highway%20Letting/07-20-21/Plans%20and%20Proposals/HARNETT_JOHNSTON_47532.3.3_I-5986B,%20I-5878,%20I-5883C204543/Standard%20PDF%20Files/

One potential reason would be that this would be just 10 miles so maybe they don't want to have that short of a 70 mph zone.
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: tolbs17 on January 05, 2022, 07:07:32 PM
Signing plans still show that I-95 will be 65 mph even when widened. Wonder why that is...

https://xfer.services.ncdot.gov/dsplan/2021%20Highway%20Letting/07-20-21/Plans%20and%20Proposals/HARNETT_JOHNSTON_47532.3.3_I-5986B,%20I-5878,%20I-5883C204543/Standard%20PDF%20Files/

One potential reason would be that this would be just 10 miles so maybe they don't want to have that short of a 70 mph zone.
But, the other section is being widened and it will have a 75 mph design, I just can't find the signing plans for that segment... I don't know if it will stay 65 or it will be 70 mph...
Title: Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
Post by: sprjus4 on January 05, 2022, 08:10:25 PM
It will probably be 65 mph initially, then they will go back after and increase the entire section between I-40 and I-74 (Fayetteville already at 70 mph) to 70 mph once all construction is fully complete and a traffic study is completed.

No reason it shouldn’t ultimately go to 70 mph.