Interstate 587 North Carolina

Interstate 587 North Carolina
History
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 587 will overlay the freeway along U.S. 264 east from the split with U.S. 64 (Future I-87) at Zebulon to Greenville. The rural freeway joins Raleigh with Wilson, where U.S. 264 overlaps with Interstate 795 southeast between I-95 and its continuation south to Goldsboro.

With upgrades to Interstate standards completed east from Wilson, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conditionally approved the establishment of Interstate 587 between I-95/795-U.S. 264 in Wilson County and U.S. 264/NC 11 at Greenville in Pitt County at the Spring 2021 Meeting. The action covers approximately 37.07 miles along U.S. 264.

The Quad-East plan called for connecting four of the largest metropolitan areas in North Carolina east of Interstate 95, including Greenville, Wilson, Goldsboro and Kinston. Envisioned as an interstate quality loop, I-795 constitutes the Wilson to Golsboro leg and I-587 along U.S. 264 represents the northern section.

Future I-42 along U.S. 70 represents the Goldsboro to Kinston segment to the south. Also part of Future I-42, construction from 2018 to March 1, 2021 extended C.F. Harvey Parkway (NC 148) east 5.8 miles from NC 58 to NC 11.

Work on the Southwest Bypass for NC 11 in Pitt County started in August 2016. The 12.6 mile long freeway south from I-587/U.S. 264 to Ayden was completed on November 21, 2019. With five interchanges and 22 bridges, the Southwest Bypass opened seven months ahead of the scheduled completion.7 NC 11 between the two freeways will need future upgrades to Interstate standards to complete the loop.6

History

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) applied for Interstate status along U.S. 264 to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (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 added the city of Greenville to the Interstate system, which supporters hope will further spur economic development in eastern North Carolina. Previous efforts from NCDOT in 2016 added Future I-42 and Future I-87 to this region of the state.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 were 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

A $22.5 million project underway from May 2020 to March 2021 upgraded U.S. 264 to Interstate standards between the Wilson County line and the exchange with NC 11 (Southwest Bypass) / Stantonsburg Road (SR 1467) at Greenville. Resurfacing over 18 miles of roadway across Greene and Pitt Counties, work expanded shoulders and added guardrails.8

Route Information

  • East End – Greenville, NC

  • West End – Zebulon, NC

  • Mileage – 56

  • Cities – Zebulon, Wilson, Greenville

  • JunctionsI-87 I-95 I-795

Source: AASHTO application for the establishment of I-587 as a Future Route approved on November 14, 2016.

Future I-587 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Location Vehicles per day
Zebulon 38,000
Wilson 35,500
Farmville 20,000
Greenville 27,000
Eastern North Carolina - 1975 Map

Initial construction for the U.S. 264 freeway east from U.S. 64 at Zebulon appeared on the 1975-76 North Carolina Official Highway Map

Eastern North Carolina - 1985 Map

Work to build the U.S. 264 freeway east from Wilson to Greenville underway – 1985 North Carolina Official Highway Map

East End US 264 – Greenville, North Carolina

US 264 East at NC 11

Future I-587/US 264 east at NC 11 - Greenville

U.S. 264 approaches a cloverleaf interchange (Exit 73B) with Southwest Bypass (NC 11) around Greenville. I-587 will end here while U.S. 264 arcs northeast around Greenville to U.S. 13 near House. 07/28/13

Future I-587/US 264 east at NC 11 - Greenville

Opened in November 2019, Exit 73A departs U.S. 264 east for NC 11 south to Ayden and Kinston. 07/28/13

Future I-587/US 264 east at NC 11 - Greenville

U.S. 264 loops onto the Pitt County bypass as the freeway mainline transitions into Stantonsburg Road east to East Carolina University. Stantonsburg Road is not the old alignment of U.S. 264, as the US highway previously overlapped with U.S. 13 along Dickinson Avenue to the south. 07/28/13

West End US 64 Future I-87 – Zebulon, North Carolina

US 64 US 264 East at Future I-587

US 64/264 east at Future I-587 - Zebulon, NC

U.S. 264/Future I-587 separates from U.S. 64/Future I-87 east at a trumpet interchange (Exit 436) on the north side of Zebulon. 12/15/16

US 64/264 east split - Zebulon, NC

U.S. 264 branches southeast from U.S. 64 ahead of NC 97 (E Gannon Avenue) and the town of Middlesex. U.S. 64 continues northeast to Spring Hope, Nashville and Rocky Mount. 05/31/21

Sources

  1. Greenville would benefit from U.S. 264 interstate designation.Public Radio East, September 19, 2016.
  2. AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways – SCOH Meeting. AASHTO 2016 Annual Meeting – Boston, MA, November 13, 2016. brochure, Pages 47 & 48.
  3. “Transportation Association Recommends Approval of Future Interstate Designation for U.S. 264 to Greenville.” North Carolina Office of the Governor, press release. November 15, 2016.
  4. “Governor McCrory Announces Designation for U.S. 264 to Greenville.” North Carolina Office of the Governor, press release. November 21, 2016.
  5. Re: Interstate 587 (NC)” online posting by LM117, AARoads Forum, November 15, 2016.
  6. “How Quad-East could connect four of eastern Carolina’s metro areas.” WNCT (Kinston, NC), August 9, 2016.
  7. “Southwest Bypass Opens to Traffic Ahead of Schedule.” North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), press release. November 21, 2019.
  8. “Paving project on U.S. Hwy. 264 in Greene, Pitt counties ends ahead of schedule.” WNCT TV-9 (Greenville, NC), March 17, 2021.

Page updated August 10, 2021.