The East End Connector was first proposed in 1959 as part of the city of Durham’s thoroughfare plan. The freeway was funded by a bond referendum in 1962, with the first section completed in 1970. Additional exits were added in the 1990s. NCDOT studied the connector again in the late 1990s, but construction was still unfunded in project lists issued in 2003 and 2005. It eventually was incorporated in the 2009-15 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).2 A ground breaking ceremony for the project took place in April 2015.3
Right of way acquisition for the East End Connector commenced in April 2012. Construction on the $142 million project was pushed back from April 2014 to a starting date in February 2015. Work was originally anticipated to run through May 2020, then November 2020.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will submit Interstate 885 to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at a future meeting. 2014 sign schematics by NCDOT previously showed the route acknowledged for the East End Connector.4