Interstate 495 was posted along the U.S. 64 freeway between I-440 in east Raleigh and I-540 near Knightdale in North Carolina. The remainder of the route east along U.S. 64/264 to Zebulon, and U.S. 64 from there to Interstate 95 outside Rocky Mount, was designated a Future Route pending upgrades to expand the inside and outside shoulders to interstate standards.
Proposed by the Regional Transportation Alliance in Raleigh first on May 12, 2005, and subsequently endorsed by several municipalities along the U.S. 64 corridor, the freeway was envisioned as a new Interstate with the intent of upgrading it to full Interstate standards by 2031. The resolutions passed by local chambers of commerce and planning organizations in favor of the upgrade in 2005, were joined by support from the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce respectively in 2006.1
The Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) continued support for upgrading U.S. 64, leading to the announcement by Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata on December 12, 2013 that designated the freeway as Interstate 495.2 Further goals by the RTA sought to extend the new Interstate designation eastward along U.S. 64 beyond Rocky Mount to Williamston and northeast along U.S. 17 to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Numbers for the corridor favored by the RTA included I-44 and I-50.1
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) ultimately selected Interstate 89 as the proposed designation for the Raleigh to Norfolk, Virginia route using the U.S. 64 and U.S. 17 corridors. The number was submitted for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Spring Meeting in 2016, which returned Interstate 87 as the approved new designation for the corridor. With this decision, Interstate 495 was retired following FHWA approval for I-87 and the installation of new signs.3