ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is developing a plan to widen 18 miles of Interstate 95.
The widening project would stretch from exit 22 in Lumberton to Cumberland County and go from four lanes to eight total lanes.
The NCDOT held a meeting for public input in Monday night in Robeson County and one Tuesday night in Cumberland County.
Andrew Barksdale, a spokesperson for NCDOT, said the department is widening the areas on the main roadway that need it most.
"This is one of our oldest sections of I-95. It's very congested," Barksdale said.
At exit 22 in Lumberton, the department said there are about 63,000 drivers a day. They expect that number to jump to 95,000 by 2040.
"This is a chance for us to not only widen to eight lanes, but plan for the future as well,” he said.
From 2013 to 2018, there’s been more the 1,300 car accidents along the interstate. Ten of those were fatal and 19 involved serious injuries.
Along with making traveling easier, Barksdale said expanding both directions to four lanes will also reduce the risk of crashes.
“If you have four lanes instead of two lanes in each direction, there’s more room to maneuver.” He said.
However, some travelers like Ben Parrish thinks there’s no need for the project.
“To me it’s not bad,” Parrish said. “I drive it all the time and there’s nothing wrong with it. You have other issues on secondary roads compared to the interstate.”
Meanwhile, Debbie Cohea who was making her way from South Carolina to Maine said the roadway can be very busy at times and thinks the expansion is a good idea.
“It’s really busy in this area. We thought we left at a really mild time where we’d miss all the work traffic and stuff, but it’s busy… and trucks… oh my gosh… tons of trucks," Cohea said.
The project also includes replacing and upgrading bridges and overpasses. Officials said the project is expected to start in 2026.