The I-95 stretch of Cumberland County has “at least one vehicle accident” every day.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) — Traffic congestion is becoming part of the normal daily commute on Interstate 95 as work-zone accidents increase in Cumberland and Harnett counties.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, at least one vehicle crash occurs every day along the I-95 stretch between North Carolina Highway 82 and Bud Hawkins Road.

“Before the work zone even started, before we made an expansion, we saw less,” said NCDOT’s Andrew Barksdale.

In the first six months of 2022, 41 accidents were reported on this stretch of I-95. In 2021 there were a total of 109 accidents. That’s an increase from a total of 50 in 2020.

“The problem people have is they’re speeding and they’re not paying attention,” Barksdale said. “This is really the main reason for the crashes.”

Currently, road crews are widening I-95 from four lanes to eight lanes, which could take another four years, officials said. Traffic moves fast on this stretch of I-95, despite orange barrels, construction workers, and even concrete barriers on the outside of each lane.

“There is no way to get out if the car breaks down. It’s quite dangerous,” said Douglas Eldridge.

He owns Eldridge Tree Service in Dunn.

He worries his trucks will get stuck on the freeway and the concrete barriers won’t leave him room to stop.

“Honestly, I try to avoid the interstate with my trucks when I can,” Eldridge said.

At least two accidents have shut down a portion of the freeway near Fayetteville since early August.

The speed limit is 60 miles per hour during the day for these work zones. The speed limit is reduced to 55 at night when lanes are closed for roadworks.

NCDOT told CBS 17 that it is working with the North Carolina Highway Patrol to recruit more soldiers to patrol the area. The I-95 stretch of Cumberland County has “at least one vehicle accident” every day.

Dais Johnston

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