Image of NC Interstate 74 shield (from Shields Up!) Segment 18

Portion of 2017-18 NCDOT State Transporation Map showing I-74 Segment 18

Where: US 74/76 from US 76 Exit west of Whiteville to Near NC 211 Exit East of Whiteville

Length: Approx. 23 Miles

Needed: Upgrade to Interstate Standards

When: After 2027

Current Highway Signed as: US 74 shield image from wikimedia Image of Future I-74 corridor sign, courtesy of Adam Prince

Segment Information

I-74 is to use the existing 9-mile US 74/76 Whiteville Bypass freeway and an upgraded continuation for 14 more miles further east along the current US 74/76 expressway to near the current exit with NC 211. The US 74/76 Bypass freeway around Whiteville has a 70 MPH speed limit but would need to be upgraded to Interstate Standards to be signed as I-74 (a couple signs indicate it is a Future I-74 Corridor).

Another Piece-Meal Upgrade?

West of Whiteville, a similar piecemeal approach is being taken to upgrade US 74/76 to freeway standards as with Segment 17 to the east. Already a new interchange was constructed for NC 211 in 2010 (see photo below).1 When I-74 mile markers were put up along US 74/76 in 2012, continuing on to Delco, (mile 270), 12 miles to the east, the NC 211 exit was given the number 258. The 2018-2027 STIP has three projects listed as intersection to interchange upgrades east of the Whiteville Bypass. Project R-5749 will upgrade SR 1001, Hallsboro Road starting in March 2018 at a cost of $6.3 million, this will push the Whiteville Bypass 3 miles further east. Project R-5820 will upgrade SR 1735, Chauncey Town Road for $7.5 million in 2025, which is combined with Project R-5819 that will replace the intersection with SR 1740, (Old Lake Road) with a bridge, both in 2023 for $4.5 million.2  When plans were released for the Hallsboro Rd contract in January 2018, they indicated the exit number for the interchange would be 248:3

Image of NCDOT sign plan for Hallsboro Rd exit off of US 74/76 (Future 1-74) in Columbus County

All these projects will extend the Whiteville Bypass freeway another ten miles to the completed NC 211 exit and would make the entire US 74/76 section a freeway to the site NCDOT proposes the I-74 freeway that will turn south toward South Carolina (see I-74 Segment 19).

image of NC 211 exit sign with I-74 mileage on US 74/76, photo by Chris Curley

Photo of NC 211 exit, east of US 74/76 Whiteville Bypass, with I-74 exit number, courtesy of Chris Curley

Here's a list of preliminary FY 2018-2027 STIP projects along I-74's official route along US 74/76 to NC 211,4 only the last two made it into the official STIP released in August 2017:

Route From / Cross Street: To / Cross Street: Project:
US 74 , US 76 US 74 Business east of Whiteville West of SR 1735 (Chauncey Town Road) Upgrade Roadway to interstate Standards
US 74 , US 76 West of SR 1735 (Chauncey Town Road) East of SR 1740 (Old Lake Road) Upgrade Roadway to interstate Standards
US 74 , US 76 East of SR 1740 (Old Lake Road) West of NC 211 Upgrade Roadway to interstate Standards
US 74 , US 76 SR 1735 (Chauncey Town Road)
Upgrade At-grade Intersection to Interchange
US 74 , US 76 SR 1740 (Old Lake Road)
Upgrade At-grade Intersection to Grade Separation

"Drive" this Segment Using Google Street View

US 74/US 76 East from just after The Start of the Whiteville Bypass (November 2016)
US 74/US 76 West from just Prior to The NC 211 Exit (November 2016)