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Interstate 795 extension (NC)

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LM117:
I thought now would be as good a time as any to start a thread covering the extension of I-795 from US-70 in Goldsboro to I-40 west of Faison in Sampson County along the US-117 corridor.

Utility relocation work should be starting anytime now on US-117 south of Goldsboro at the intersections of Oberry Road in Dudley and Country Club Road just north of Mount Olive in preparation for converting those intersections into interchanges beginning next year. The US-117/Oberry Road intersection has the only traffic light between the Mar-Mac area south of Goldsboro and I-40. Once it becomes an interchange, there will be no stoplights on US-117 between Mar-Mac and I-40.

The most recent feasibility study for upgrading US-117 was released July 2015. There were 4 alternatives for the section of US-117 between Mar-Mac and Ash Street. Alternative 4A was requested and favored by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. This alternative would have I-795 leave US-117 about 3 miles south of the US-13/US-117 junction and run on a new alignment east of US-117 heading north with interchanges at Genoa Road and NC-581/Arrington Bridge Road, at which point it would cross US-117 and run west of it on new alignment to connect with the existing I-795 by upgrading the NC-581/Ash Street intersection to an interchange.

I-795 would then use an upgraded US-117 from the new alignment split from just south of US-13 to I-40, with I-795 and US-117 being concurrent until the future US-117/West Trade Road interchange in Calypso, where US-117 leaves I-795. The US-117 Connector designation would be decommissioned between US-117/West Trade Road in Calypso and I-40. It would be signed solely as I-795 except for a brief concurrency of I-795/NC-403 between I-40 and the new NC-403 interchange. The interchanges for the section from Mar-Mac to I-40 would be at:

Oberry Road in Dudley

Country Club Road just north of Mount Olive

Existing NC-55 interchange in Mount Olive (existing bridges would need replacing since they lack shoulders)

Old Smith Chapel Road just south of Mount Olive (an extension would be built to connect Old Smith Chapel Road to Lees Country Club Road in order to build the interchange)

US-117/West Trade Road in Calypso

NC-50 near Faison

NC-403 near I-40 (road would be realigned with upgrade of I-40 interchange)

I-40 (upgrade existing Exit 355)

(65 pages, 7.70MB)
https://connect.ncdot.gov/projects/planning/FeasibilityStudiesDocuments/Feasibility-Study_1304A_Report_2015.pdf

Alternative 4A was recommended in the study.


--- Quote ---More detailed design analysis is needed during future studies to identify an optimal interchange at I-40 and US 117 (Alternative 1) that addresses Sampson County concerns for avoiding disruption to the 355 Prospect development. A southern interchange with I-40 (Alternative 1A)
is not recommended based on Duplin County and Eastern Carolina RPO concerns about impacts
to agri-businesses and farming communities.

Wayne County officials recommend considering Alternatives 1, 4, and 4A. NCDOT Division 4
staff prefers Alternatives 4A, 4, and 1 in order of priority. Between NC 581 (Ash Street) and
NC 581 (Arrington Bridge Road), important local issues for these alternatives include:
accommodating access to downtown Goldsboro and major hospital, correctional center,
and agricultural facilities.
locating the alignment and service roads to maintain property access.
avoiding or minimizing impacts to FEMA buyout properties and Old Waynesborough
Park (near Elm Street).
--- End quote ---

Alternative 4A is the way to go, IMO.

LM117:
I meant to update this thread earlier today, but the recent announcement of a massive new CSX intermodal terminal hub to be built in Rocky Mount may (hopefully) speed up the extension of I-795 in the future (beyond the currently scheduled interchange projects next year). I-95/I-795/I-40 combined form a direct route to the Port of Wilmington from Rocky Mount and vice-versa.

While the goal of the new terminal is to reduce truck traffic on highways, trucks will still need access to and from the terminal. There's a section of railroad between Wallace and Wilmington that's currently out of service, so there is no current rail access to Wilmington by rail from Rocky Mount, making truck travel the only option between those two cities and I-795 would be used as a shortcut, which could make upgrading US-117 a higher priority in eastern NC.

https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/projects-and-partnerships/ccx-intermodal-terminal/

orulz:
As a fan of both highways and railroads, I hope the CSX plan in Rocky Mount accellerates both the I-795 extension as well as the CSX line restoration between Wallace and Castle Hayne. The highway project has been extensively discussed here. The rail project is on NCDOT's radar too, because it is on the agenda of some NCGA members for port / freight / economic develo pment purposes. Let us also not forget that this rail segment is critically important to the restoration of passenger rail between Raleigh and Wilmington.

LGL33L

LM117:

--- Quote from: orulz on July 21, 2016, 08:21:39 AM ---As a fan of both highways and railroads, I hope the CSX plan in Rocky Mount accellerates both the I-795 extension as well as the CSX line restoration between Wallace and Castle Hayne. The highway project has been extensively discussed here. The rail project is on NCDOT's radar too, because it is on the agenda of some NCGA members for port / freight / economic develo pment purposes. Let us also not forget that this rail segment is critically important to the restoration of passenger rail between Raleigh and Wilmington.

LGL33L

--- End quote ---

Agreed. I'm not sure why (or when) the railroad from Wallace to Castle Hayne was put out of commission. That will definitely need to be restored. As far as I-795 goes, if anything gets speeded up, it will probably be simpler upgrades for the time being, such as shoulder widening on US-117 between the existing at-grade intersections from just south of US-13 to just before I-40, since that existing interchange will need to be reconstructed to meet interstate standards. The two US-117 interchange projects beginning next year at the Oberry Road and Country Club Road intersections may involve shoulder widening in the vicinity of those interchanges. NCDOT recently, out of the blue, let a contract to widen the shoulders on parts of US-70 between La Grange and Kinston, so it's possible we could see the same thing happen for US-117.

The biggest, and probably last, project of the I-795 extension is the new terrain routing from US-117 just south of US-13 to the current end at NC-581/Ash Street. An alternative hasn't been officially chosen yet, but NCDOT is leaning towards Alternative 4A in the feasibility study I posted above. There's just no way to upgrade existing US-117 between Mar-Mac and Ash Street. The terrain isn't suitable, especially near the Neuse River, and there are a lot of businesses, including the Wayne County Fairgrounds, and a cemetery (Wayne Memorial Park) right off of US-117 just north of the proposed I-795/US-117 split. One of the new terrain alternatives will have to be chosen. I can't see Alternative 2 getting much support and whoever came up with Alternative 3 was smoking crack. Most of Alternative 4 was fine, but the linkup to existing I-795 needed tweaked. Alternative 4A looks to be the best one.

The Ghostbuster:
When might the Interstate 795 extension be constructed?

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