ROWLAND – The Interstate 95 rest area and welcome center in Robeson County will be replaced with a modern building, thanks to a $5 million contract awarded this month by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
A contractor will demolish the welcome center, the rest area and the vending building and replace them under one roof. The new, 6,500-square-foot building will feature more energy-efficient lighting, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. The landscaping also will be refreshed.
The current rest area opened about 25 years ago, and the separate welcome center building dates to the late 1960s.
The rest area had an estimated 1.1 million visitors last year.
Construction on the new building will start soon and be completed and opened to the public by summer 2023.
The NCDOT closed the rest area/welcome exit, which is about 5 miles north of the N.C-S.C. line, earlier this year in anticipation of the reconstruction. Since then, the department has been doing parking lot repairs and other upgrades.
The next rest area on I-95 North is 43 miles away in Cumberland County, where NCDOT relocated the welcome center into smaller, temporary space until the new building is constructed in Robeson County. The N.C. Department of Commerce operates the welcome center, while the NCDOT maintains the rest areas.