Interstate 795 (North Carolina)
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||25.41 mi (40.89 km)|
|Existed:||2007 – present|
|South end:||US 70 in Goldsboro|
|North end:||I‑95 / US 264 near Wilson|
Interstate 795 (I-795) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway spur in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It runs 24 miles (39 km), connecting the city of Goldsboro to Interstate 95 just south of Wilson, paralleling the northern portion of U.S. Route 117. The road runs a short 5 mile concurrency with US 264 in the last section of the route. It serves as a primary freeway spur for the city of Goldsboro to the Interstate Highway system, as well part of a major cargo route for the cities of Down East North Carolina, which was a part of the impetus for its designation in 2007.
Interstate 795 began in 2007 as a renumbering of the US 117 freeway. Since oversized trucks couldn't use US 117 the state decided to get the road approved for Interstate designation. On September 28, 2007 AASHTO decided to approve the I-795 designation. The state quickly began to renumber mile posts, update signs and move US 117 back to its original designation. In 2008 major flaws in the surface of the highway began to develop. The thin road surface had begun to deteriorate mainly because of heavy truck use. The pavement was found to have flaws along the entire route and the FHWA decided that the highway should be resurfaced adding an extra 2.5 to 3 inches to the surface. The project of resurfacing the road was completed in 2010 and was later awarded the Sheldon G. Hayes Award for the best highway construction project and the smoothest road of 2011.
Interstate 795 begins at an interchange with US 70 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. From there the highway begins to head north through the northern parts of Goldsboro. The road passes Lane Tree Golf Course before having an interchange with U.S. 70 Bypass. After the U.. 70 Bypass interchange Interstate 795 begins to pass through the northern neighborhoods of Goldsboro before entering the eastern North Carolina countryside. Just after leaving Goldsboro the highway bypasses the small town of Pikeville. The highway runs along the western edge of the town. Interstate 795 has an interchange with Pikeville-Princeton Road before leaving the Pikeville area. As the highway begins to get closer to Wilson it bears to the west once again to bypass Fremont, another small town north of Goldsboro. Interstate 795 has an interchange with NC 222 The road continues to head north paralleling US 117 as it leaves the town.
As the Interstate continues through the rural area between Wilson and Goldsboro it has an interchange with County Road 1643 (Alton Road) near mile marker 13. The highway continues north for about eight more miles before having another interchange with US 301. Shortly after the US 301 interchange I-795 and US 264 merge onto one highway heading west. The four lane highway runs along the southern parts of Wilson which is very rural. The joint highway has an interchange with Downing Street (exit 42) west of the Downing Village neighborhood. As it continues west it crosses over Mill branch before having an interchange with NC 42 (exit 40) south of the Planters Trail neighborhood in the very rural south west area of Wilson. The road turns to the northwest to meet I-95 just a mile to the west. Interstate 795 ends at Interstate 95 at a four leaf clover interchange.
Beginnings as US 117 freeway
I-795 began as a new freeway alignment for US 117 completed in 2006, splitting from the old Goldsboro bypass (which still carries US 13) and paralleling the old two-lane US 117 roadway to the US 264 bypass south of Wilson. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved an extension of US 117, overlapping US 264 to I-95, at their October 11, 2002, meeting. However, the 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) specifies that trucks over 48 feet (15 m) in length, including the industry-standard 53-foot (16 m) trailers, can only use Interstates and other routes approved by the state, which included US 70 but not US 117.
Push for Interstate designation
Rather than go through the time-consuming process to add the route to the STAA system, the state decided to get it approved as an Interstate. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) informed the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) that it would not approve the addition until a construction contract to correct a "high accident wet weather location" on the US 264 portion was underway. Immediately after the response from the FHWA, NCDOT added the project (W-5007) to the state Transportation Improvement Plan, but AASHTO denied the I-795 numbering at their May 4, 2007, meeting, citing concerns about the south end not being at another Interstate and the lack of FHWA approval. However, AASHTO decided at their September 28 meeting to give conditional approval, pending FHWA concurrence. The North Carolina Highway Patrol, which had begun ticketing overlength truckers on US 117 in mid-2007, stopped enforcing the ban on October 3, due to the AASHTO decision. The first I-795 signs were posted on November 28, 2007, replacing US 117 signs along the whole route. Most, but not all signage at the interchange on-ramps was updated at the same time. Other changes, including shifting US 117 back to the old route and changing exit numbers and mileposts, were to be completed by early 2008, but complications with the road surface and approval of moving US 117 delayed those plans to December 2009.
Problems with road surface and their remediation
In 2008, shortly after the road received the I-795 designation, major flaws developed in the route's paving surface. Though rated for a 15-year life span, the pavement began to deteriorate after only 16 months of use. During the planning of the road, as early as 2003, some engineers had warned that the thin pavement would be inadequate for heavy truck traffic. However, most NCDOT officials deemed a thicker road surface too expensive, as it would have added approximately $2.8 million to the cost of the road. At first, replacing sections that were damaged was expected to cost $1.6 million, with estimates for resurfacing the entire road running as high as $10 million. FHWA sent an engineering team to examine the road in its entirety in the middle of 2008. They found flaws in the pavement in the entire highway, not just those already damaged between US 117 mile markers 85 and 92. They recommended the entire asphalt surface be replaced with an additional 2.5 to 3.0 inches (64 to 76 mm) added to the width, at a cost between $15 and $22 million. Meanwhile, NCDOT started repairing the damaged portion of the road surface in October 2008, a process that was completed in about a month and cost around $600,000. The new state secretary of transportation, Gene Conti, said he would make a decision, taking the FHWA report into consideration, once he took office in early 2009. He decided to abide by most recommendations of the report and announced in the summer of 2009 that a contract would be let that October with the project starting as early as November 2009. The work, to fix the right lanes first, then put a finishing layer on all lanes, was completed in November 2010. In 2012, the National Asphalt Pavement Association awarded the repaired 8-mile segment the Sheldon G. Hayes Award, recognizing it as the best highway construction project and the smoothest road of 2011.
I-795 formerly served as the temporary west end of the new Goldsboro Bypass Freeway. The 3.9-mile (6.3 km), four-lane divided highway was opened on December 16, 2011 and connects I-795 with Wayne Memorial Drive north of Goldsboro. The highway temporarily designated NC 44. On May 27, 2016, the 20-mile (32 km) bypass was completed, and NC 44 signs were removed and was re-signed as US 70 Bypass. The bypass now runs from its west end at US 70 from just west of NC 581 in Wayne County east to end at US 70 just east of Promise Land Road in Lenoir County.
In 2012 the Eastern North Carolina NPO/RPO coalition proposed a southern extension of Interstate 795 from its current terminus, south along US 117 and NC 403 to Interstate 40 near Faison. In January 2004, a feasibility studied the idea of extending the US 117 Freeway (I-795) south from its current NC 581 terminus to US 13. The Strategic Highway Plan, list the Wilson-Wilmington Corridor as Corridor 50 and indicates the need to improve US 117 south of Goldsboro to a four lane divided access freeway. A study will include US 117 from US 13 to the boundary of the Goldsboro MPO. Currently US 117 between I-40 and Goldsboro is not at freeway grade, and many at-grade crossings would have to become interchanges or be eliminated.
|Wayne||Goldsboro||25.41||40.89||—||To US 117 south (NC 581 Conn.) – Wilmington||Continuation as NC 581 Conn.|
|25||US 70 to US 13 – Smithfield, Raleigh, Kinston||Signed as exits 25A (west) and 25B (east) southbound; no exit number northbound|
US 70 Byp. (Goldsboro Bypass)
|Pikeville||20.45||32.91||18||Main Street – Pikeville|
|Fremont||16.09||25.89||14||NC 222 – Fremont, Kenly|
|Wilson||||8.77||14.11||9||Alton Road – Black Creek, Lucama|
|||5.10||8.21||5||US 301 to US 264 east – Wilson, Kenly, Smithfield|
|||4.10||6.60||4||US 264 east – Greenville||South end of US 264 overlap|
|||3.80||6.12||3||Downing Road –Wilson|
|Wilson||1.19||1.92||2||NC 42 – Wilson, Clayton|
|0.00||0.00||38||I‑95 – Benson, Rocky Mount||Signed as exits 38A (south) and 38B (north)|
|—||US 264 west – Raleigh||Continuation as US 264|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Though exits on I-795/US 264 section use US 264 mileposts, I-795 exits are listed in 2011–12 NCDOT State Transportation Map.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (March 23, 2007). Application from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the Establishment of a Route I-795 (PDF) (Report). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Google (May 14, 2014). "Interstate 795 (North Carolina)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- State Transportation Map (Map) (2013–14 ed.). Cartography by North Carolina State Tax Commission. North Carolina Department of Transportation. 2013.
- Bowlin, Paul (November 5, 2002). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). Anchorage, AK: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Whittle, Matthew (September 16, 2007). "Big trucks could be banned from new US 117 bypass". Goldsboro News-Argus. Retrieved December 17, 2011. (registration required)
- Staff (April 5, 2007). "Schedule Change Request, W-5007" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Keith, Kevin (May 5, 2007). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering" (PDF) (Report). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
- Keith, Kevin (September 29, 2007). "Report for SCOH" (PDF) (Report). Milwaukee, WI: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Whittle, Matthew (October 2, 2007). "US 117 gets OK to allow trucks". Goldsboro News-Argus. Retrieved December 17, 2011. (registration required)
- "NCDOT to Begin Installing I-795 Signs in Wayne, Wilson Counties" (Press release). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 7, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- "I-795 Repairs Could Cost $22 million". Raleigh, NC: WRAL-TV. January 8, 2009. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Staff (January 8, 2009). I-795 Post-Construction Project Review (PDF) (Report). Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Staff (October 16, 2009). "State of North Carolina Department of Transportation Invitation to Bid" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Siceloff, Bruce (March 7, 2012). "Rebuilt Interstate 795 wins awards". Raleigh, NC: The News & Observer. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- "NCDOT Opens First Section of Goldsboro Bypass to Traffic" (Press release). North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 16, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "2012 Projects" (PDF). Eastern North Carolina NPO/RPO Coalition. Eastern North Carolina NPO/RPO Coalition. October 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- State Transportation Map (Map) (2011–12 ed.). North Carolina Department of Transportation. 2011.