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North Carolina DOT Awards Final Segment of Fayetteville Outer Loop Project, Construction is Set to Begin this Month

by: Jessica Hoover
After a three-year delay, construction for the final segment of the long-awaited Fayetteville Outer Loop will begin this month following the recent awarding of the $151.8-million contract. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) awarded the contract to Branch Civil Inc. of Roanoke, Virginia.

The five-mile segment will be constructed in Cumberland County between Camden Road near Hope Mills and Raeford Road (U.S. 401) in west Fayetteville, North Carolina. Work for the project will include the construction of four lanes with a grassy median; interchanges with bridges and on- and off-ramps; an exit at Camden Road; and another exit at Strickland Bridge Road.

“This is almost entirely a new location, so the good news is that we don’t have to maintain traffic,” said Andrew Barksdale, a Spokesman for NCDOT. “Basically all of this five-mile stretch is new roadway, so we’ll be able to do some really good work that’s efficient and fast and safe because we don’t have to maintain traffic at the same time.”

For three years, the awarding of the final segment and subsequent development of the project had been delayed due to prior funding issues and settlements associated with the Map Act court ruling. After the Supreme Court ruled the Map Act unconstitutional, it required NCDOT to pay more for the land acquisition and caused many of the department’s projects to be delayed. The delay to the final segment was furthered by infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Florence along with the lack of gas tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although NCDOT has had to overcome some delays, the contract is now awarded and the construction of the final segment of the Fayetteville Outer Loop is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2026. When the project is complete, drivers on I-295 will be able to continue south of Raeford Road, where they must now exit.

Fayetteville Outer Loop to Connect Routes and Reduce Traffic
After the completion of the final segment, the entire 39-mile outer loop project will be finished, connecting I-95 in northern Cumberland County and I-95 in Robeson County just below the Cumberland County line. The Fayetteville Outer Loop is estimated to cost a total of $1 billion, and it will deliver unprecedented interstate connectivity for the region.
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The completed project will support the military by providing direct connections from Fort Bragg to I-95, along with promoting continued economic growth and reducing traffic volume on portions of the local street network.

“The whole point of this project was to improve regional mobility, to improve economic development,” Barksdale said. “Interstates are the lifeline for economic development. It’s going to be opening up new areas for development land … and will allow more residential and commercial growth development. Traveling on an interstate that is controlled access with a divided median is statistically safer than surface streets that have traffic lights or side streets. So it’s improving highway safety, mobility, and traffic flow in this area.”

Work Continues on Camden Road to I-95 Segment
Another segment of the Fayetteville Outer Loop is currently under construction from Camden Road to I-95 near the Robeson-Cumberland county line. The contract was awarded to the Wilmington-based team of Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., Branch Civil Inc., and STV Engineers Inc., and construction began in the spring of 2019.

Work on this segment includes the construction of interchanges at Black Ridge Road and at Parkton Road and the widening of I-95 from four lanes to eight lanes between mile markers 37 and 40. This phase is scheduled for completion in December 2024.

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