I-95 reopens sooner than expected as storm flooding recedes

By on September 24, 2018

Floodwater swamped parts of the highway. (N.C. DOT)

Blocked for more than a week by floodwater from Hurricane Florence, Interstate 95 through North Carolina has reopened to traffic, Governor Roy Cooper announced Sunday night.

The highway was expected to be closed for up to another week. But the water receded faster than was forecast, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation was able to finish inspections and repairs over the weekend.

“I-95 is a major artery for North Carolina and the entire East Coast that’s essential for commerce,” Cooper said. “Our state DOT crews and engineers have worked around the clock to get this critical interstate open ahead of schedule and reduce traffic in areas still needed for critical life-saving missions.”

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Engineers began inspecting the road as soon as the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence started to recede. They identified an area that needed to be repaired and a contractor was immediately sent to the site. Portions of I-95 had been closed since Sept. 15.

“I want to thank our construction partners, the State Highway Patrol, the Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau and local officials,” said NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon. “They were integral to us successfully managing traffic during the closure and quickly reopening the highway.”

Cooper cautioned that travel remains treacherous in portions of southeastern North Carolina.

“Hundreds of roads across our state remain closed, and flooded and damaged roads remain a danger in many areas. Never drive on flooded roads or around road closure barricades,” Gov. Cooper warned. “The barricades are there for a reason. The roads may be unsafe, underwater or in some areas missing.”

As of 6:30 p.m. Sunday, 455 road closures remained statewide. For the latest information on road conditions, visit DriveNC.gov or dial 511.

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