The Fayetteville Outer Loop west to the All American Freeway (SR 1007) was completed on December 2, 2016. 01/01/17
Interstate 295 is the designation for the partially completed Fayetteville Outer Loop encircling Fayetteville. The freeway improves connectivity between the US Army’s Fort Bragg and I-95, as well as providing a new commuter route between the base and city of Fayetteville.
The loop had been listed by various sources as being 27 miles long1 and 40 miles long 2. The final design takes I-295, 39 miles around the north, west and south sides of Fayetteville.7 The current route connects Interstate 95 and U.S. 13, by the town of Eastover, with the All American Freeway at Fort Bragg and U.S. 401 (Raeford Road) in west Fayetteville.
Sign changes made in 2014 redesignated the original seven mile long section joining U.S. 401 (Ramsay Street) with I-95 from Future I-295 to North Carolina Highway 295. This designation was meant to be temporary, awaiting both the completion of the loop and upgrades to bridges along the route and interchange with I-95/U.S. 13.
The latest section of the Fayetteville Outer Loop opened to traffic on August 19, 2020. The 2.7 mile segment runs south from Cliffdale Road (SR 1400) to U.S. 401 (Raeford Road). It opened three months ahead of schedule. Signage for this segment, and the previously opened section from the All American Freeway (SR 1007) to Cliffdale Road, reference the beltway as Interstate 295 instead of NC 295. This is because the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) granted permission to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to designated the entire freeway as I-295. NCDOT will eventually replace the remaining NC 295 markers.10
Construction on the remaining 17 miles of I-295 are as follows:
- Section A – I-95 to Camden Road – a $129.7 million design-build contract was awarded in December 2017. Construction began in Spring 2019 with a scheduled completion by Summer 2022.
- Section B – Camden Road (SR 1003) to U.S. 401 (Raeford Road) – a construction contract was to be awarded in August 2022.10 Funding issues associated with the Map Act court ruling pushed back the start of the work. The four year project is scheduled to be awarded in October 2022.
- Section CA – U.S. 401 (Raeford Road) to Cliffdale Road (SR 1400) – construction south from Raeford Road to Century Circle continues to Summer 2022
The Fayetteville loop was first considered in 1977. Discussion for the road continued through the Governor Jim Martin administration to 1993 and further by U.S. Rep Richard Hudson and Fayetteville Major J.L. Dawkins around the year 2000.6 An Interstate designation was eventually sought, with North Carolina officials submitting Interstate 195 to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on May 30, 2003. That choice was rejected. On May 6, 2005, North Carolina resubmitted the Fayetteville bypass to AASHTO, this time requesting the designation of Interstate 295. AASHTO approved I-295 as a future route, with signs erected along completed sections of the route soon thereafter.
The first two segments of Interstate 295 opened were the section from U.S. 401 (Ramsay Street) to River Road on June 16, 2003,2 and the section from River Road east to Interstate 95 and U.S. 13 on July 7, 2005.3 The initial segment generally served local traffic.
Construction continued along future Interstate 295 westward to the All American Freeway (SR 1007) to the August 4, 2014 opening of the 1.7 mile link between NC 24/87 and NC 210. This portion cost $6.1 million, with work commencing in March 2013.4 Completion of the freeway from the All American Freeway to U.S. 401 (Ramsay Street) was scheduled for late 2016.5 The initial stretch extended the freeway west from Murchison Road (NC 210) to Bragg Boulevard on August 11, 2016. Succeeding work on the $146 million project7 completed the link to the All American Freeway on December 2, 2016.8
The next phase of road work for Interstate 295 underway was the 6.7 mile segment (Section CB) from the All American Freeway south to Cliffdale Road (SR 1400). A $125.4-million contract was awarded for the project in August 2014,5 and scheduled for completion in October 2018.7 However a design change in this segment adding a $2 million tunnel to accommodate Fort Bragg military vehicles, pushed the scheduled completion back to Summer or Fall 2019.9 Section CB finally opened to motorists on November 26, 2019.
Subsequent construction of the Fayetteville Outer Loop included a $100.6 million design-build contract awarded in June 2016 for Section CA. The 3.1 mile long segment extends from Cliffdale Road to Century Circle, south of U.S. 401 (Raeford Road). Construction on Section CA commenced in August 2007 and 2.7 miles of the freeway were completed on August 19, 2020.10
More than $400 million was invested to complete the remainder of the loop by 2025. This included a budgetary allocation in 2015 to speed the time table for the start of work on the portion between Camden Road and Interstate 95 to the south by one year to 2020.7