Interstate 587 will overlay the U.S. 264 freeway east from its split with U.S. 64 (Future I-87) at Zebulon, to Greenville. The rural freeway joins Raleigh with Wilson as well, and partially coincides with Interstate 795 between I-95 and its continuation south to Goldsboro.
North Carolina applied for Interstate status along U.S. 264 to AASHTO in September 2016.1 While it appeared that AASHTO would reject the proposal,2 as announced by the office of Governor Pat McCrory on November 15, 2016, the Route Numbering Committee instead approved I-587. The decision adds the city of Greenville to the Interstate system, which supporters hope will further spur economic development in eastern North Carolina. This region of the state previously gained future Interstates 42 and 87 earlier in 2016.3
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the NCDOT application for Interstate 587 by November 21, 2016.4 Approximately $100 million in improvements are needed to bring the route to Interstate standards. Upgrades include expanding shoulders from the Wilson and Greene County line east to Exit 73. The outside shoulders along this stretch are presently only four feet in width, while Interstate standards require ten foot shoulders.5 Additionally some of the overpasses spanning U.S. 264 do not meet current clearance standards.1