The I-85 Corridor Improvement Project is the state’s number one mobility project. It will bring comprehensive upgrades to the highway, bridge and rail infrastructure located along a vital stretch of I-85 in Davidson and Rowan counties. The $201.5 million project plays a critical role in not only addressing current transportation needs, but also in meeting the travel demands of the future.
These improvements to I-85 will bolster regional, statewide and interstate commerce and economic development, as well as allow for more efficient evacuation during natural disasters or matters of national security.
NCDOT is building the project in two separate phases as detailed below. Construction began in October 2010. Final completion is set for May 2013.
Phase One: I-2304 AC
Phase one of this two-phase project includes:
- Replacing the bridge that carries I-85 over the Yadkin River;
- Replacing the parallel bridges that cross over the North Carolina Railroad tracks located north of the river;
- Replacing the parallel bridges over the Duke Power Industrial Rail Spur located south of river;
- Replacing the bridge that carries U.S. 29/70 North over the river;
- Rehabilitating the historic Wil-Cox Bridge;
- Reconstructing the interchange of I-85 at N.C. 150;
- Removing the interchange of I-85 at Clark Road;
- Widening 3.3 miles of I-85 from four lanes to eight lanes from just north of Long Ferry Road (Exit 81) to just north of the N.C. 150 interchange; and
- Building noise walls.
NCDOT awarded a $136 million contract for phase one to Flatiron Constructors Inc. and the Lane Construction Co. - A Joint Venture in April 2010. Construction started Sept. 30, 2010, with final completion scheduled by April 2013. Construction is currently under way. For more details on the progress made, visit www.i-85yadkinriver.com or follow the project on Twitter via
Some of the distinctive techniques contractor Flatiron-Lane will use include:
- Building the U.S. 29/70 Northbound bridge using top-down construction. By using each completed section of the bridge as the work platform for the next section, it eliminates the need for a temporary work bridge and reduces the impact to the environment;
- A concerted effort to minimize disruption to I-85 traffic, which enhances safety when hauling materials and equipment to the construction sites; and
- Constructing a single temporary work bridge instead of two separate temporary work bridges when replacing the I-85 bridge over the Yadkin River. Doing so is more environmentally friendly and accelerates the work schedule.
Phase Two: I-2304 AD
Phase two of the project includes:
- Widening 3.8 miles of I-85 from four lanes to eight lanes from just north of the N.C. 150 interchange to just north of I-85 Business; and
- Reconstructing the interchange of I-85 at Belmont Road.
NCDOT awarded a $65.5 million contract for phase two to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc./Austin Bridge and Road LP, A Joint Venture in January 2011. Construction started in May 2011, with final completion scheduled by May 2013. For detailed information on the project’s progress, visit www.i-85yadkinriver.com or follow the project on Twitter via
The funding for this project came from the N.C. Mobility Fund. Gov. Bev Perdue signed it into law in June 2010 as part of the state’s budget. It will generate $173 million from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2014 for transportation projects that meet statewide or regional needs. The funding comes from unused gap funds and reductions in the amount of money transferred from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund. Phase two of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project is the first project to receive support from this new revenue source.
Interesting facts about the project include:
- Twenty-four hour wrecker service is available throughout the work zone to enable vehicles that break down in a travel lane or are involved in accidents to be quickly removed from the roadway. This not only improves safety, but it also reduces traffic congestion triggered by the incidents.
- The contractor has set up wireless remote cameras along the project area to monitor in real time how traffic is flowing. NCDOT has access to the images and uses them to help with incident response. For example, if NCDOT sees an accident occur, it can instantly dispatch an Incident Management Assistance Patrol to the scene to help control traffic, and post messages to electronic message boards to warn drivers about travel delays ahead and detour routes.
- To reduce the amount of construction-related traffic on I-85, the contractor plans to build ramps from the Clark Road and Belmont Road bridges onto the I-85 median. Trucks will use these ramps to transport materials. This innovative idea will eliminate about 13,000 truckloads from the interstate.
- The contractor included in the contract selfimposed fines ranging from $1,000 – $2,000 per day for missing major project milestones.
- NCDOT required a one-year guarantee on the work done for this project. The contractor added four years to that guarantee, agreeing to stand by its work for five years.
- NCDOT required bidders on the project to complete the project by October 2013. The contractor will complete the project five months earlier than expected.
This is a rendering of how the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project will improve a 7.1-mile stretch of I-85 from north of Long Ferry Road (Exit 81) in Rowan County to U.S. 29-52-70/I-85 Business (Exit 87) in Davidson County.
NCDOT Division 9 Engineer
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: (336) 703-6500
- Address: 375 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston Salem, NC 27127
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.