ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — Traffic may have been slowed, but NCDOT crews raced to complete emergency repairs and reopen I-95 South in Robeson County.
NCDOT closed a stretch I-95 South at Exit 10 Wednesday after crews found a so-called void underground. It’s basically a sinkhole under the pavement. The void is at the bridge over Boyce Road.
NCDOT told News13 Thursday that repairs were going quickly and the interstate reopened early Friday morning– a day earlier than it initially said.
That’s good news for drivers, who are experiencing delays and having to take a detour.
“We’ve been stuck in this about an hour,” Carl Filipowicez said. We’re not feeling too good. Right now there’s really not a way around this.”
Filipowicez was headed down to Hilton Head, S.C. from Richmond, V.A. He was on the detour along Highway 301 that southbound drivers must take. The detour started at Exit 10 and travelers could re-enter the highway at Exit 7.
NCDOT crews found the void during a routine inspection. An engineer on site said in-depth inspections are done on bridges every two years. While the exact cause is still being determined, it likely was erosion-related, an NCDOT engineer said.
Crews worked around the clock while they added steel sheeting and backfill of rock and dirt, before repaving.
“Never seen it this bad,” Heather Hardee said who’s lived along the detour route for several years. “The traffic is horrible and wrecks are constantly about to happen here.’
She’s not used to seeing this much activity in front of her home, and was happy things should be resolved soon.
“It’s absolutely worse today,” she said. “It was on through the night, so now the traffic’s gotten so bad, it’s completely stopped.”
You can monitor for updates using this website. NCDOT engineers said the bridge is in good condition and no other major issues were found in the inspection.