FAYETTEVILLE – A 2.7-mile segment of the Fayetteville Outer Loop is expected to open Wednesday afternoon nearly three months ahead of schedule.
Barnhill Contracting Co. of Rocky Mount plans to remove the barriers, uncover the recently installed overhead signs and open the new interchange at Raeford Road, west of the Veterans Affairs hospital, sometime Wednesday after lunch. Drivers then will be able to hop onto Interstate 295 and travel to the Cliffdale Road interchange, which opened in November, and northward to I-95.
“This vital urban loop continues to improve regional mobility and reduce traffic congestion in town,” said Grady Hunt, the area’s representative on the N.C. Board of Transportation. “With this new segment, people living in Hoke County and western Cumberland County will be able to get to Fort Bragg more quickly.”
With the new segment, a little more than half (22 miles) of the eventual 39-mile outer loop
has been built. The first segment opened in 2003.
The cost to finalize the design, buy the right of way and construct this segment will total about $108 million, after the N.C. Department of Transportation awarded the design-build contract in 2016.
The contract includes completing several bridges that remain under construction immediately south of Raeford Road. That portion of I-295 will open after the NCDOT completes the segment extending south of Raeford Road to Camden Road, which will have an interchange. The NCDOT currently is scheduled to award a construction contract for that segment in August 2022.
The signs for the new Raeford Road segment, as well the segment that opened last fall
, say “Interstate 295.” The Federal Highway Administration has allowed NCDOT to designate the entire Outer Loop as I-295. The department eventually will replace the older “N.C. 295” signs with ones baring the interstate shield.