After NCDOT advertised the I-4400 project in March 2002 as a design-build project, a lawsuit was filed against both NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. In 2003, a court determined that NCDOT should conduct a broader analysis of the cumulative environmental impacts and logical termini (project limits) of the overall expansion of the I-26 corridor. The project was subsequently placed on hold due to financial constraints.
Project Moves Forward
Because of the growing needs for improvements to the I-26 corridor, NCDOT reinitiated the project in 2013 and included it in State Transportation Improvement Program, NCDOT's 10-year transportation plan that identifies the construction funding for and scheduling of transportation projects.
To comply with the court’s 2003 order, NCDOT combined the analysis of I-4400 with the analysis of I-4700 into one comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.
Aug. 12, 2016: Draft Environmental Impact Statement Approved
On Aug. 12, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration approved the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which includes information about the direct and indirect effects the proposed project could have on the human and natural environments. NCDOT included this data in the Draft Environment Impact Statement and public feedback to identify the best lane-design alternative for the proposed improvements.