With the exception of some sections near Fayetteville and the I-95/I-40 interchange near Benson, it is basically the same four-lane highway as when it was first built beginning in the 1950s.
The roadway does not meet the most current design standards for a freeway carrying a large percentage of truck traffic. These standards specify 12-foot lanes with 12-foot paved shoulders and greater clearance under bridges. The medians are also too narrow along I-95 through much of the state.
In the early 2000s, North Carolina began studying options for making much-needed improvements to I-95, including widening the highway. The N.C. General Assembly also studied the feasibility of introducing tolls to raise money for the improvements. NCDOT completed that study in 2003, but that idea of adding tolls to I-95 proved unpopular and was never adopted.
By 2017, the N.C. Department of Transportation estimated it would cost about $5 billion and require several years to widen and upgrade the entire 182-mile section of I-95 within the state. Since then, NCDOT has begun prioritizing sections to modernize first based on data that include traffic volumes and crash rates.
All of NCDOT’s studies and assessments for improving I-95 can be found on this website.