Awarded a new $236.5 million contract to continue expanding Interstate 95 in eastern North Carolina, part of the state’s first highway repair in 60 years, the project will expand and develop a nine-mile section of the highway, which first opened in 1959, According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The expansion runs four to eight lanes from North of Exit 71 in Harnett County to the I-40 junction in Benson, and along with the expansion, the joint venture between Flatiron and Fred Smith will also do the following, according to NCDOT: Replace two bridges with mono bridges The structure to improve water flow down the highway in a section that was flooded and closed due to recent hurricanes. Reorganized Service Routes: Retain the NC 50 Bridge at Exit 79 and build roundabouts at the interior and exterior ramps to improve safety and traffic flow. NCDOT says the new bridge will not have interstate access and is designed to ease congestion in downtown Benson. Work is scheduled to begin after August 30. The contractor has a deadline of summer 2026. The expansion and upgrade between Exits 55 and 71 is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024. The project is similar to the expansion, bridge replacement and other upgrades already underway on 15 miles of I-95 in Cumberland County, scheduled for completion in 2024. This work, estimated at $404 million, began in 2019, NCDOT says more than 56,000 vehicles ply the highway each day.