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Fayetteville Outer Loop

First Section Opened: 2003

Full Completion Date: Around 2025

Completed Sections:

River Road to US 401: Opened June 2003

I-95 to River Road: Opened July 2005

Murchison Road to Bragg Blvd:
Opened August 2014

US 401 to Murchison Road: Opened August 11, 2016

Bragg Blvd to All-American Freeway: Opened-Dec. 2, 2016

Click Here For Photos

Current Sections Under Construction:

All-American Freeway to Cliffdale Road, to be completed-2018

Cliffdale Road to US 401, to be completed-2021

History of the Fayetteville Outer Loop

A western bypass of Fayetteville has been in the planning stages for decades. The 36-mile Outer Loop route was planned both as a vehicle bypass of Fayetteville and as a direct interstate link to Fort Bragg for military and civilian transportation.1 The completed freeway would run from I-95 at its current intersection with US 13 to the west and south of Fayetteville reconnecting with I-95 north of St. Pauls in Robeson County. When completed the route will be designated Interstate 295.

Construction on the Loop began in 2001. Currently, in December 2016, almost 14 miles are open to traffic. The opening of the segment from US 401 to NC 211/ Murchison Road on August 16, 2016 closed what was two disconnected segments. The older eastern, and longest, segment, until recently signed as Future Interstate 295, consists of the first section of the Loop completed in June 2003, which ran three miles from US 401 (Ramsay Street) across the Cape Fear River to River Road2 and a second section, about 4 miles, connecting I-95 to River Road that was completed in July 2005. A western segment, 1 1/2 mile route designated NC 24/27  taking those routes from Bragg Blvd (where NC 24/27 intersects the Loop from the south) to Murchison Road (NC 210), opened in the summer of 2014. A 1/2 mile segment to continue the highway west to the All-American Freeway was finished on December 2, 2016. In late 2014, NCDOT replaced all the Future I-295 signage in the eastern section with NC 295 signs (see photo below) and the rest of the route when opened in 2016 was also signed as NC 295 (see below for discussion about why the state vs. Interstate designation).3

Completed, Current and Future Planned Construction Projects

Funding to build the Loop from US 401 to Bragg Blvd/All-American Freeway was approved in November 2008, however construction was split into several staggered contracts due to NCDOT budget problems. The first of these segments to be completed was from NC 210/Murchison to Bragg Blvd, originally to be finished in March 2014, but was not opened until August 2014. The next section constructed was from US 401 to NC 210 with the roadbed completed in June 2014, but the paving of this section was in a separate contract only let in March 2014. This project is not due to be finished until August 2016.2 Meanwhile, construction started in July 2011 on the next segment of the Loop, 1.2 miles from Bragg Blvd. to Yadkin Road to be completed later in 2015, this section does not have an interchange so will remain closed until the next segment to Cliffdale Road is complete. The remaining segments west and south of Yadkin Road back to I-95 near St. Pauls were originally not funded, but in December 2014 it was announced that the latest NCDOT STIP, December 2014, would fund projects to complete the entire Loop, the first of these projects will start in 2016, the last in 2021, and the whole Loop could be complete by 2025.4 In December 2015 NC Governor McCrory announced changes to the state budget that would allow more money to be dedicated to transportation projects. Under the plan, the last segments of the Outer Loop would be accelerated a year to start construction in 2020, the Loop would be completed by 2023 under the new timetable, which needs first to be approved by the NCDOT Board in January 2016.4 The latest project to start will be the segment from Cliffdale Road south to US 401 west of Fayetteville, construction started in August 2016. Each of these projects is discussed in greater detail below.

Here's the new official NCDOT schedule for the projects to complete the I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop between Fort Bragg and I-95 in Robeson County from the 2016-2025 STIP:

Segment Location Cost ($Mil) Start date  Completion date
DA East of SR 1415 (Clearwater Blvd) to West of NC 24/27 (Bragg Blvd) - COMPLETED   54.4 Oct. 2014 July 2015
CB South of SR 1400 (Cliffdale Rd) to East of SR 1415 (Clearwater Blvd) - UNDER CONSTRUCTION 125.5 Oct. 2014 Oct. 2018
CA South of US 401 to South of SR 1400 (Cliffdale Rd) - UNDER CONSTRUCTION   14.8 2016 2019
BB South of SR 1104 (Strickland Bridge Rd) to South of US 401   45.0 2018 2021
BA South of SR 1003 (Camden Rd) to South of SR 1104 (Strickland Bridge Rd)   60.9 2018 2021
AB South of SR 1118 (Parkton Rd) to South of SR 1003 (Camden Rd) 119.5 2020 2023
AA I-95 in Robeson County to South of SR 1118 (Parkton Rd) in Cumberland County  48.3 2020 2023

Total Cost for 22.5 Miles: 570.4

Here's the earlier official NCDOT schedule for the now completed section of the Fayetteville Outer Loop between Fort Bragg and I-95/US 13:5

Segment Location Length Start date  Completion date
B West of NC 24-87 (Bragg Blvd) to East of NC 210 (Murchison Rd) 1.0 Miles June 2009 March 2013
BC East of NC 210 (Murchison Rd) to 1.1 Miles East of NC 210 1.1 Miles March 2011 July 2014
BB West of NC 24-87 (Bragg Blvd) to East of NC 210 (Murchison Rd)-Paving of Sections B and BC 2.1 Miles Jan. 2013 August 2014
CA 1.1 Miles East of NC 210 to East of SR 1600 (McArthur Rd) 2.0 Miles March 2011 July 2014
CB East of SR 1600 (McArthur Rd) to West of US 401 2.1 Miles March 2011 July 2014
CC 1.1 Miles East of NC 210 to to West of US 401-Paving Sections CA and CB-UNDER CONSTRUCTION 4.1 Miles March 2014 August 2016
DA West of US 401 to East of SR 1714 (River Road) 3.3 Miles June 2000 June 2003
DB East of SR 1714 (River Rd) to US 13/I-95 4.8 Miles August 2003 July 2005

Videos traversing the opened sections of the Outer Loop

Exits 34 to 28 Southbound

Exits 28 to 34 Northbound

Photos along opened sections of the Outer Loop (2005-2016)

Photos taken in August 2016 by Rob Adams:

Image of exit sign for NC 295 on I-95 South, showing new control city of Fort Bragg. Photo by Rob AdamsExit sign on I-95 showing designation as NC 295 and new control city of Fort Bragg, now accessible by Fayetteville Outer Loop.


Image of new signs at beginning of NC 295 west along ramp from I-95 South. Photo by Rob AdamsOverhead signage along on-ramp from I-95 South showing NC 295 designation and new control city of Fort Bragg.


1 Mile Advance sign for US 401 exit, now with exit number 28 tab and All Traffic Must Exit tab removed.US 401 exit sign with new exit number tab (28) replacing former 'All Traffic Must Exit' tab.


Image of newly placed NC 295 South reassurance marker beyond US 401 exit in Spring Lake, photo by Rob AdamsNC 295 South reassurance marker. Sign plans indicated these were to be accompanied by Future I-295 signs (see sign plans below).


Image of NC 295 reassurance marker beyond McArthur Road exit on NC 295 South in Fayetteville, photo by Rob AdamsAnother reassurance marker beyond the McArthur Road exit showing noise barriers along Outer Loop corridor.


Image of 1-Mile Advance sign for NC 210/24/87 Murchison Road exit on NC 295 South in Fayetteville, photo by Rob Adams1 Mile Advance sign for Murchison Road exit on NC 295 South showing re-routing of NC 24 West/NC 87 North away from Bragg Blvd.


Image of 1-Mile Advance sign for Bragg Blvd/NC 24 East/NC 87 South exit on newly opened section of Fayetteville Outer Loop, photo by
        Rob AdamsOverhead signage at end of newly opened section showing signs for both Murchison Road and Bragg Blvd exits (the All American Fwy text should be covered over since the Loop will not extend that far until this December).


View signage for Bragg Blvd exit at current end of NC 295 South in Fayetteville, photo by Rob AdamsOverhead signage at current end of NC 295 at Bragg Blvd. Traffic uses the future C/D lanes to access Bragg Blvd.


Image of overhead signage along C/D lanes at current end of NC 295 Fayetteville Outer Loop at Bragg Blvd., photo by Rob AdamsSignage along the unfinished C/D ramp directing traffic to Bragg Blvd heading south.


Image of overhead guide signage along Bragg Blvd in Fayetteville now with NC 295 shield, photo by Rob AdamsPreviously placed guide signage along Bragg Blvd for Loop entrance ramp, now with NC 295 shield.


Image of overhead guide signage along Bragg Blvd for Fayetteville Outer Loop, now with NC 295 shield, from Rob AdamsAnother overhead guide sign on Bragg Blvd with newly placed NC 295 shield at the ramp itself.








Photo of overhead exit sign for NC 24/NC 87 with exit number on Fayetteville Loop. Photo by Lou CorsaroPREVIOUS PHOTOS

Overhead exit signage for NC 24/87 exit at the western end of Fayetteville Loop segment with NC 295 exit number in place. Work continuing the Loop to the All-American Freeway (to open in December 2016) and beyond can be seen in the distance.


Image of numbered exit gore sign on current western end of Fayetteville Outer Loop. Photo by Lou CorsaroCloser view of Exit Gore sign with Future 295 number at off-ramp to Bragg Blvd.


Image of overhead signage at bottom of ramp to Bragg Blvd from Fayetteville Loop westOverhead signs at the bottom of the ramp leading from the current western end of the Fayetteville Loop


Image of signage approaching Fayetteville Loop on Bragg Blvd. Photo by Lou CorsaroGuide signage approaching Fayetteville Loop on Bragg Blvd heading North with missing space for future NC 295 (and eventually I-295) shield.


Image of overhead signage for NC 24/87 at Fayetteville Loop on-ramp on Bragg Blvd. Photo by Lou CorsaroOverhead signage for NC 24/87 approaching entrance to the on-ramp for Future 295 North heading south on Bragg Blvd. The blank space on the left-hand sign is for an NC 295 shield.


Overhead guide signage for NC 24/NC 87 approaching Fayetteville Loop on NC 210. Photo by Lou CorsaroOverhead signage for West NC 24 and South NC 87 approaching Fayetteville Loop interchange on NC 210 North with missing NC 295 (future I-295) shield.


Image of NC 24/87 trailblazers before Fayetteville Loop overpass on Bragg Blvd. Photo by Lou CorsaroWest NC 24 and South NC 87 trailblazers approaching Fayetteville Loop overpass on NC 210 heading north under overpass.


Image of new NC 295 reassurance marker on Fayetteville Outer Loop taken by Dan Murphy 
2/5/15 South NC 295 reassurance marker beyond I-95 exit. By late 2014 all the Future I-295 shields were taken down on the Loop and at exit ramps and replaced with NC 295 signs (2/5/15). Courtesy of Dan Murphy.


Previously Taken Photographs 2005-2010

I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop Sign Assembly-Eastern End.Original sign assembly at the then beginning of the Outer Loop at US 401, showing the future I-295 signage, none of the Future 295 shields had a directional banner. (Feb. 2005)


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop at Cape Fear River.View going eastbound just west of the US 401 interchange headed toward the bridge over the Cape Fear River. (Feb. 2005)


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, River Road exit sign.View from the Cape Fear River bridge with the first sign for the River Road exit, where the Outer Loop ended before the next section was completed in July 2008. Notice the narrowness of the right and, particularly the left shoulders, which appear to not meet Interstate standards. (Feb. 2005) The exits did not have numbers, these were installed when the next section of the Loop to Bragg Blvd. was completed.


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, River Road Shields.Then new signage at the Outer Loop interchange at River Road, the only previous marker at the ramp was a street sign listing Future 295 (July 2005).


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, I-95 interchange signage, image by Adam 
Prince.Here's signage at the end of Northbound Future I-295 at the I-95 interchange. There is a high-speed flyover to I-95 North (Photo courtesy of Adam Prince).


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, End Future 295 and Begin US 13 signs.An End 295/Begin US 13 sign at the eastern (northern) end of the Loop, beyond the I-95 interchange. (July 2005)


I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, US 401 exit signage, image by Adam Prince.Signage at the original end of the Loop going westbound (south) at US 401 (notice the 0 on the shield doesn't quite mix with the other numbers (photo courtesy of Adam Prince).


History of I-295 Route Number

NCDOT originally petitioned to have this roadway designated as I-195. The odd-number designation as an interstate spur route probably was chosen (at least as a temporary designation) because a funding source was not secured at the time to construct the entire 35-mile loop. The I-195 designation, however, was rejected by AASHTO in June 2003. Later in that year funds were secured to start planning to extend the route further south, making it a true loop back to I-95.6 NCDOT then decided the route should be called I-295 and this number subsequently appeared on several NCDOT publications.* AASHTO followed the FHWA's lead and approved the I-295 number designation at the May 6, 2005 meeting of the organization's Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering.7

Though the Interstate 295 number was now official, NCDOT first signed the road as Future I-295. This was probably due to design aspects of the highway that do not meet interstate standards (such as the narrow shoulders on the Cape Fear River bridge (noted in the photo above) and the US 13 interchange (see photo below) which does not at present allow freeway to freeway access from I-95 North. There are no projects in the latest 2016-2025 STIP to upgrade the roadway, but according to plans for the construction projects started before the spring of 2014, the entire route was to be designated I-295 when completed. However, in May 2014 NCDOT released plans for the final contract needed to complete the loop to the All-American freeway. The sign plans now has the route signed as NC 295, even where earlier plans had shown I-295 signs (see below). By the end of 2014 NCDOT had changed all Future 295 signage between I-95 and US 401 to NC 295, including on the exit sign on I-95.8 Apparently, the FHWA, either due to the design aspects, or because funding was incomplete to build the entire 34 mile loop, indicated they could not approve the interstate designation. NCDOT still plans, however, to post Future I-295 signs alongside the NC 295 signs on the Loop, indicating the NCDOT belief that the FHWA decision will change later on.9

* Though several other route numbers appear for the Loop on other documents. The official 2005 state highway map listed it as NC 13. NCDOT called the route the 'NC 24 extension' on its contract listing for the US 301 to I-95 section in previous TIP documents.

I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, NC state map image. Here's Future I-295's first appearance on a map, the 2006 North Carolina State Transportation Map, that is. In anticipation of the current 'demotion' of the route to NC 295, that designation appeared on the Loop on the 2013-2014 state map.


This photo shows that traffic coming from I-95 south must take a left turn crossing the west- (south) bound Loop. (courtesy of Adam Prince)











Details of Current Construction

Before the budget problems cropped up construction of the next section from US 401 to the Bragg Blvd. was scheduled to start in late 2008. With the passage of the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, NCDOT got $385 million for highway construction, the project was then split up into three contracts: X-0002BC, X-0002CA, and X-0002CB. Only one of which qualified as a 'shovel-ready' project and could start using the stimulus funds. Construction was started on a 1.5 mile (2.5 km) section from west of Bragg Blvd. to Murchison Road in July 2009. This section is separated from the completed section east of US 421 by 3 miles and was completed in 2013.1 This project did not include, however, final paving, structures, and signing which were let in a separate contract in October 2012. Work started in January 2013 and the segment was opened on Monday, August 4, 2016.2

The next part of the project was at the western end, 1/2 mile from Bragg Blvd. to the All-American Freeway, started in the fall of 2009. This project, like that between US 401 and NC 210, was meant only to build the highway to a graded surface. Paving of this part of the highway and the building of the remainder east from Murchison Road to connect to US 401 was put off until this project was completed in March 2014.13 The paving contract (C203361) was let on June 17, 2014, with work starting on August 25, 2014. Work was completed in December 2016.14 Work also started on a small (about 1.2 mile or 1.9 km) segment of the Loop (Contract C202829) west of the All American Freeway in November 2011. This segment will extend the Loop to just east of Yadkin Road and, was supposed to be complete by December 2015, however as of the end of 2015, it was still only 93.7% complete, since there is no interchange on the south end of this project, it will not be used until segments south are complete.15

Signage Plans

While drivers will have to wait until the road is open to use it, thanks to plans posted by NCDOT, here are some of the signs that will be posted, or were planned to be posted, along the future length of the Fayetteville Outer Loop:

Image of plan of signage at the Bragg Blvd exit on the Fayetteville Loop, from NCDOT Here is an early plan for the exit signage for the All-American Freeway. Notice the reference to I-295 and the lack of an official exit number. NCDOT has been petitioned to designate the All-American Freeway as NC 555, but this number had not been approved as of December 2014.




Exit signage plan for Fayetteville Outer Loop, from NCDOTHere is the first sign plan for signage at the end of the Bragg Blvd-Murchison Road segment, with then planned I-295 North sign.




Earlier Sign plan for Fayetteville Loop section at Murchison Road interchange, from NCDOTThis was the plan for signage at Murchison Road.


New signage plan for Murchison Road interchange on Fayetteville Outer Loop, from NCDOTHere is the latest signage plan for the same area with the change from I to NC 295.


Image of sign plans for future segment of Fayetteville Outer Loop, from NCDOTRecent sign plan for Bragg Blvd/All-American Freeway Exit, with Exit number, plans are to close the main entrance to Bragg Blvd by 2016, and so, West NC 24 and North NC 87 are to be rerouted along the Loop to Murchison Road/NC 210. The connection to the All-American Freeway won't open until July 2015, it will thus be covered over until then


Image of sign plan for Bragg Blvd exit on Fayetteville Loop, from NCDOTThe previous plan for signage at the Bragg Blvd interchange. Note the future planned placement of an I-295 South pull-through sign.


New signage plan for Fayetteville Outer Loop at the All-American
  Freeway, from NCDOTHere is the most recent plan for signage for the All-American Freeway with the new NC 295 designation.


Image of signage plan for I-95 Exit for 295 Fayetteville Outer Loop, from NCDOTOne of the recent sign plans shows the re-designation of the Loop from Future I-295 to NC 295, this will be the new signage on I-95.


Image of sign plan for reassurance markers along the Fayetteville Outer Loopm from NCDOTHere's the planned signage for the Loop itself, NC 295 reassurance markers paired with Future I-295 signs.


Current and Future Construction Now Funded

Until late 2011 construction on the rest of the Loop, even with a continued significant proportion ($258 million, 19% for current construction) of highway trust fund moneys available,2 was to be a decade or more away.16 However, in the fall of 2011 the NC government announced its intention of funding construction of additional priority highways, which would include I-295. In September 2012 NCDOT announced it will fund a $104.6 million extension of I-295 from the All American Freeway to Cliffdale Road. The project was put out to bid in August 2014. The segment will have two interchanges with Reilly Road near a Fort Bragg gate and at Cliffdale Road and is expected to be completed in 2018.2 Work started on this project on 10/24/14 and as of 10/30/2016 was 32.4% complete.17 Another segment, from Cliffdale Road to US 401 was started under a design-build contract awarded to Barnhill Contracting Co. in August 2016, work includes replacement of an existing bridge over Bones Creek. The work is scheduled to be completed in March 2021, as of the end of October 2016, the work is 8.4% complete.18 The remainder of the route will be built in segments from 2016 to sometime around 2023. The 2012 construction schedule can be found on this map.11 In December 2015, NC Governor McCrory announced that with his administration's efforts at changing how the state budget is apportioned, more money would be available to fund NCDOT projects. The list of highlighted projects funded included the rest of the Fayetteville Loop, as well as the Eastern portion of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. The NCDOT Board approved these funds for use in the STIP in January 2016. The newly funded segments are green in the map below. The entire Loop now is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

The proposed path and potential interchanges for the to be built sections are in the map below:5

NCDOT construction timetable for the Fayetteville Loop in Dec. 2015

The plans for the US 401 to Murchison Road section indicated the route will become full I-295 upon the project's completion and also listed exit numbers that will be placed at all interchanges from the vicinity of Bragg Blvd back to I-95. The new 2014 project plans indicate the route will be signed as NC 295 and slightly altered the exit numbers. Exit numbers as of December 2015 have appeared on the segment between Bragg Blvd. and Murchison Road. The remaining exit numbers are to be installed after the segment from US 401 to Murchison Road is opened on August 11, 2016.

The new exit number plan, including the to be constructed section to Cliffdale Road, is10: [Open as of December 2016]
Exit 34           Interstate 95

Exit 30           River Road

Exit 28           US 401

Exits 25A-B   McArthur Rd

Exit 23           NC 210 Murchison Rd

Exit 21C        NC 24 NC 27 Bragg Blvd

Exit 21A-B    All-American Freeway

Exit 18          Canopy Ln to Reilly Rd

Exit 15          Cliffdale Rd