Public Meeting Monday To Discuss Impact Of Future I-42 Project

One month after WTSB News first reported on a possible eastward shift of Interstate 95 between Smithfield and Selma to accommodate a new interchange in Selma, a public meeting is being held on the project.

Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver and the Selma Town Council will hold a Public Informational Meeting on Monday, October 23rd from 6:00pm until 7:00pm at in the Selma Council Chambers in the Jernigan Building.

The upgrades are up to 2 decades away but are on the drawing board. The NC Department of Transportation wants to update US 70 from Garner to Morehead City to interstate standards within 25 years. That stretch of US 70 would be renamed Interstate 42.

As part of the I-42 project, a new cloverleaf freeway-speed interchange would be needed at the US 70 Flyover in Selma and would eliminate the existing interchange for I-95 at Exit 97 in Selma as it now exists.

To accommodate the cloverleaf and additional work for I-42, both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-95 between Smithfield and Selma would be shifted eastward several hundred feet.

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Mayor Oliver said the proposed new I-95 interchange plus any impact to the existing interchange to US 70 at  Buffalo Road are questions she would like the NC DOT to answer.

Andrew Barksdale, Public Relations Officer with the NC DOT, told WTSB News the I-95 / I-42 project is part of long range plan and construction is many years away. Barksdale said the current proposal is not funded and is only a proposal to study to examine the potential impacts.   He said this may not be the final design and additional options could be considered.

The DOT has already approved funding for unrelated improvements at I-95 and US 70 in Smithfield (Exit 95). The $15.7 million upgrade will begin in 2020.

Following the 6-7pm meeting on Monday with the NC DOT, Representative Larry Strickland will appear from 7-8pm to discuss legislation approved by the General Assembly this year plus answer questions from the audience.  Both meeting are open to the public.