Fayetteville - Governor Pat McCrory and N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson joined federal, state and local officials Thursday to celebrate the opening of the next phase of the Fayetteville Outer Loop (I-295), which completes a direct interstate connection between I-95 and Fort Bragg and connects Ramsey Street to Bragg Boulevard.
"This stretch of I-295 plays a critical role not only in regional mobility, economic development and freight movement, but also in strengthening the military connections that are needed to support deployment and national security efforts," Governor McCrory said. "The Fayetteville Outer Loop, and in particular this section, will offer unprecedented connectivity and opportunity for eastern North Carolina."
Two additional sections of the Fayetteville Outer Loop are currently under construction- the stretch from Bragg Boulevard to the All American Freeway scheduled to be complete by the end of the year, and the section from All American Freeway to Cliffdale Road set to open in October 2018.
Planning for the Fayetteville Outer Loop began in the late 1980s, and the first phase of the project from I-95 to Ramsey Street opened in 2005.
"Tremendous teamwork has gone into making this $146 million portion of I-295 a reality, including strong partnerships with federal lawmakers, local officials and Fort Bragg," Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. "We all recognize the need to continue investing in infrastructure that strengthens our ability to seamlessly move people and freight. This is one of the many sections of the Fayetteville Outer Loop we are completing to meet growing transportation, military and logistics demands."
The state transportation department recently awarded an $85.2 million design-build contract to continue the loop from south of Cliffdale Road to south of U.S. 401. Design-build allows all aspects of a project from design through construction to be completed under a single contract. Construction on this section is expected to begin as early as July 2017, with completion scheduled for May 2021.
The remainder of the 39-mile loop is funded through the state's new transportation funding formula, which Governor McCrory championed to take the politics out of transportation planning. Under the new formula, more than $400 million is being invested to complete the whole loop by 2025. Additional money for highway construction in last year's budget allowed construction of the southernmost section from Camden Road to I-95 to be accelerated from 2021 to 2020.
More information regarding I-295 can be found here.