Image of NC Interstate 74 shield (from Shields Up!)  Segment 17

Part of NCDOT 2023-24 State Transportation Map showing US 74 in area of I-74 Segment 17, July 2023

Where:   US 74 from NC 41 south of Lumberton, Robeson County to US 76 west of Whiteville, Columbus County

Length:   22.7 Miles

Needed:  Upgrade to Interstate Standards

Current Highway signed as:

Interstate Upgrade Work to Start: After 2033

 

Go To Segment Photos (NEW 5/2/24)

Go to Videos (NEW 5/2/24)

Segment Information

I-74 east of Lumberton is to use the existing US 74 highway southeast to the US 76 interchange east of Whiteville. Currently, US 74 from NC 41 south to  US 76  is a four-lane divided highway. A project to widen the road was completed in 1999 but did not include removing most of the existing highway intersections.1 For I-74 to be signed on this road the current highway would need to be upgraded to Interstate standards by replacing the remaining intersections with bridges and/or interchanges. In September 2019, NCDOT added such a project to its FY 2020-2029 STIP, however, the project became unfunded in the 2024-2033 STIP released in June 2023, see details below.

Segment History

NCDOT started upgrades to this segment as part of the 2005 Federal transportation legislation through which they received moneys to upgrade the intersection between NC 242 and US 74/NC 130 (shown below) to a grade-separated interchange.

Photo of US 74/NC 130 intersection with NC 242 prior to start of 
interchange construction in July 2006Looking at the intersection of US 74/NC 130 and NC 242 as it existed prior to the new interchange being constructed, in July 2006.


NCDOT first held a workshop on July 11, 2006 to provide local citizens with information about the work and a companion project to upgrade the US 74/76 intersection with NC 211 near Bolton.5 Another meeting occurred on May 27, 2008. Right of way acquisition took place during 2009 with construction, delayed since 2006, starting in July 2010.6 NCDOT, as part of its 2006 press release, said it planned to upgrade US 74 to a 'fully controlled access route' aka freeway, between these two projects. This would imply that, for this segment, the upgrading of about 7 miles of US 74 between the end of the US 74/76 Whiteville Bypass and NC 242. The cost listed for the entire project, $6.8 million, and the project length (.83 miles), however would seem to be too low to include upgrading the rest of US 74 along with building the new interchange.7 There already is an interchange built to the east as part of the previous US 74 upgrade at the intersection with NC 410/US 74 Business/East NC 130 that could potentially serve as an interchange for I-74, cutting down on the project cost.

The project was let in July 2010 and construction started on August 30, 2010. The interchange opened in September 2012, though the project was not officially completed until December 31, 2012.2 Though originally without one, in the summer of 2013 an exit number, 228, based on I-74 mileage, was added to the exit signage.3 Here's a photo of the numbered exit signage from May 2014, thanks to Chris Curley:

Photo of sign for NC 242 Exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East in
Columbus County. Photo courtesy of Chris CurleyPhoto of the then newly numbered exit sign for new interchange with NC 242, May 2014.


The Piecemeal Segment?

In December 2008 NCDOT began a project (W-4704) to replace the US 74/Old Kingsdale Road (SR 2210) intersection, about 3 miles to the east of NC 41, with an interchange. Work was completed in the summer of 2010, see photos below. While this project was officially not related to I-74, only referred to as a 'Hazard Elimination', it added and additional five miles of the limited access freeway east of NC 41 with a speed limit upgrade to 70 MPH. This was the start of a seemingly piecemeal approach strategy by NCDOT of making US 74 interstate compatible by replacing the remaining 7 intersections between NC 41 and US 76 with interchanges (or closing some of them) gradually over the years as funds become available.8 Actions by NCDOT since then have corroborated this idea. NCDOT conducted a Feasibility Study about the costs of upgrading this segment (and part of the next, from NC 41 to the Union Cross Road exit on the US 74/76 Whiteville Bypass) to interstate standards, whose recommendations were published in May 2014.9 The study recommended building a 4-lane interstate standard freeway by eliminating the 6 remaining at-grade intersections replacing them either by grade separations or interchanges. The 24-mile study zone was separated into 9 Sections, A to I, with 4 of the sections having two alternate designs. The sections, alternative descriptions and anticipated costs from the report are below:

Image of cost and alternative table from US 74  upgrade feasibility report dated May 2014, by NCDOT


The Kingsdale reference for Section A is the building of an interchange for the already grade separate road. The remaining alternatives differ as to whether a grade separation or interchange should be built. Since 2014 it appears NCDOT has narrowed the list to include interchanges for most of the sections with alternatives. A project to replace the intersection of US 74 and old US 74 (SR 1574) at the southern part of this segment was started in March 2016. When this was completed in October 2017, US 74 became a limited access highway between the Whiteville Bypass at Exit 235 and NC 242 at Exit 228 with the speed limit of 70 MPH from US 76 extended 6 more miles north from Mile 231 to just prior to the Old Boardman Road intersection (see photo below), which is depicted in the map above. In the 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) document released in August 2019 there were three projects listed related to upgrading US 74 to freeway standards listed in the above table. A project that will upgrade the intersection at Old Boardman Road to an interchange was to start in 2025, but was later moved up and was let on April 20, 2021, work began on May 25 and more than 2 1/2 years later of February 7, 2024 was over 4/5 complete at 84.7%, however all the ramps, as well as the bridge, over the future interstate were opened at the end of September (see photos below). With the interchange completed, US 74 is now a freeway throughout Columbus County.10 

In Robeson County, a project to replace the intersection between US 74 and Broadridge Road and create a Directional Crossover intersection further east, where only right-turns are allowed on the intersecting roadway with left lane only lanes added 1/4 mile in each direction for U-turns, with Creek Road (C204013) was awarded in November 2017 (accelerated from 2019). Work started on November 27, 2017 and was completed in November 2019, extending the freeway south from Lumberton an additional 2 miles (see photos below).11 The press release for the project also included text that said this project was part of a continuing process to upgrade US 74 to interstate standards, confirming the piecemeal approach, the intersection with Creek Road is to be replaced by a bridge as part of the interstate upgrade project currently to start after 2029.12 Plans released when this project was advertised for bids showed the I-74 exit number would be 219 and that a 70 mph speed limit will start westbound 1 mile before the exit (see below).13 Another project, which started on April 12, 2023, will replace the intersections of US 74 with NC 72 and NC 130, currently two intersections, into a combined single exit.14 As of April 7, 2024 work was over 2/5 complete at 40.7%.15 As of late June work had started clearing the construction area, including burning piles of wood debris. Here is the sign plan for the future exit, shown to be Exit 223, and the overall sign plan for the interchange which will include new roundabouts on either side of US 74:

NCDOT sign plan image for future NC 72/NC 130 exit sign on US 74 in Robeson County, 
                                                   released in January 2023

NCDOT plan image of signage for future NC 72/NC 130 West interchange with US 74 
        (Future I-74) in Robeson County, published January 2023

It was hoped that once this project was completed, all would be left to upgrade to a freeway would be about a 2 mile stretch south of the interchange with two intersections just north of the town of Boardman (Woodrow Road and VC Britt Road, SR 2245), plus possible reconstruction of at least one of the bridges over the Lumber River and others in the same area, to make the entire highway a freeway that could be then upgraded fairly easily to Interstate Standards. However, the NC 72/130 project is not closing the intersection to the north (west) with Creek Road as part of this project, that project is now not to start until 2027,14 leaving a 4 mile section still as expressway grade with a speed limit of 60 MPH between Mile 220 and Mile 224. In the summer of 2012, NCDOT replaced the US 74 mileposts along this stretch from mile 214 (and continuing on the US-74/76 Whiteville Bypass and east of Delco, mile 271) with I-74 mile markers so as to negate any need to change exit numbers when I-74 is signed in the future.16

BUDGET PROBLEMS IN 2019 AND 2020 HALTED SOME WORK TEMPORARILY

In the fall of 2019, future funding on the conversion of US 74 to Interstate Standards from NC 41 to US 76 (Project I-6011), see below, and the NC 72/NC 150 upgrade to interchange projects were suspended, along with I-74 related projects in Columbus County, due to NCDOT budget problems brought on, according to NCDOT by the success of a lawsuit against the agency for not paying for property along future highway alignments which could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars and fixing damages from many recent hurricanes. The legislature has said it plans to work with NCDOT to fix some of the money problems but it is not known if this will restore all the funding for the currently suspended projects.17 Moneys were found to restart the engineering work for the interchange projects in 2020, despite new resource problems caused by the loss of gas tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Videos from this Segment

Travel through the construction zones for the Boardman and NC 130/72 interchanges (about 90 minutes in) on this Video by Driving Around NC, driving from Southport to Lumberton mostly on US 74/76 West, posted on March 30, 2024. (NEW)

"Drive" I-74 East from just beyond Lumberton to Whiteville, with this video from Tarheel Travels, made on June 27, 2022 (includes part of Segment 18).

Segment Photos

LATEST PHOTOS

Screen shots from Driving Around NC video taken along US 74 West through the NC 130/72 interchange construction area in late March 2024:

Screen grab image approaching current intersection with NC 130 West on US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       beyond Boardman, Driving Around NC, March 2024Approaching the NC 130 West intersection at the start of the interchange construction work zone.


Screen grab image at current intersection with NC 130 West on US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       beyond Boardman, Driving Around NC, March 2024Now at the NC 130 West intersection with the work zone marked by construction barrels.


Screen grab image approaching future off-ramp to NC 130/72 West on US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       beyond Boardman, Driving Around NC, March 2024Approaching the future NC 130/72 West interchange off-ramp prior to the NC 72 intersection.


Screen grab image approaching bridge under construction as part of the NC 130/72 West interchange
       project on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, Driving Around NC, March 2024Approaching the future bridge to carry traffic to NC 130 West from US 74 (Future I-74) West.


Screen grab image of closure view of future NC 130 West bridge over US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       in Robeson County, Driving Around NC, March 2024A closure view of the NC 130 West bridge with center support and bridge abutments being constructed.


Screen grab image approaching closed intersection with NC 72 West on US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       in Robeson County, Driving Around NC, March 2024Now at the NC 72 West intersection which is currently closed off in both directions. There still was a Junction NC 72 trailblazer before the bridge.


Screen grab image approaching end of NC 130/72 West work zone on US 74 (Future I-74) West 
       in Robeson County, Driving Around NC, March 2024Approaching the end of the interchange work zone on US 74  West.


Screen grab image approaching Creek Road intersection with Detour To NC 72 West trailblazer on US 74 
       (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, Driving Around NC, March 2024There is a Detour To NC 72 trailblazer a mile down the road at the Creek Road intersection.


EARLIER PHOTOS

Photos taken by David Gallo on US 74 East at the NC 130/72 interchange construction area in January 2024:

Image of NC 130/NC 72 construction from US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, by David Gallo, 
       January 2024Heading west on US 74 towards current NC 72 West intersection showing progress in landscaping along the right lane for future bridge abutment.


Image of NC 130/NC 72 construction from US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, by David Gallo, 
       January 2024Closer look on US 74 West prior to current NC 72 West intersection showing landscaping progress.


Image of NC 130/NC 72 construction from US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, by David Gallo, 
       January 2024Now looking behind the right hand landscaping towards what is being done along NC 72.


Image of construction at current NC 72 West intersection from US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, by David Gallo, 
       January 2024The West NC 72 trailblazer along US 74 West with grass growing behind and construction equipment in the distance.


Image of NC 72 intersection construction from US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, by David Gallo, 
       January 2024A look at the barriers along the median. Traffic is only allowed to turn left from US 74 East at the 72 West intersection.


Photos taken by David Gallo on US 74 East at the NC 130/72 interchange construction area in October 2023:

Image approaching now reopened NC 72 intersection on US 74 East near Boardman in interchange 
       construction area, by David Gallo, October 2023Approaching now reopened West NC 72 intersection in interchange work zone.


Image showing median construction and soil placement along NC 72 West from US 74 East near Boardman in interchange 
       construction area, by David Gallo, October 2023Median grading and other activities near the reopened NC 72 intersection.


Image of construction activity after the NC 72 intersection on US 74 East near Boardman in interchange 
       construction area, by David Gallo, October 2023Clearing work being done at site of future NC 130/73 interchange.


Image of construction near NC 72 intersection on US 74 West near Boardman from eastbound lanes 
       in interchange construction area, by David Gallo, October 2023A closer look at the grading and dirt piles along US 74 West near the NC 72 intersection, and the completed paving of the lanes in the area.


Image of West NC 72 trailblazer near intersection on US 74 West near Boardman as seen from
       eastbound lanes in interchange construction area, by David Gallo, October 2023The West NC 72 trailblazer on US 74 West just beyond newly repaved lanes.


Photos taken by David Gallo on US 74 East at the NC 130/72 interchange construction area in September 2023:

Image of signs warning of approaching left lane closure approaching the NC 72 intersection on 
         US 74 West in interchange project work zone, David Gallo, September 2023Signs warning of upcoming left lane closure approaching current site of NC 72 West intersection, closed now to eastbound traffic.


Image of construction barrels marking beginning of left lane closure approaching the NC 72 intersection on 
         US 74 West in interchange project work zone, David Gallo, September 2023Construction barrels marking beginning of left lane closure approaching the NC 72 West intersection.


Image of VMS warning of left lane closure at the closed NC 72 intersection on 
         US 74 West in interchange project work zone, David Gallo, September 2023Arrow marks beginning of closed left lane at former turn lane for NC 72 West.


Image of grading along closed left lane after the formerly open NC 72 intersection on 
         US 74 West in interchange project work zone, David Gallo, September 2023The start of grading along the median besides the closed left lane after the NC 72 West intersection, with paving taking place along US 74 West.


Image of paving along closed left lane closure approaching the NC 72 intersection on 
         US 74 West in interchange project work zone, David Gallo, September 2023A closer look at the clearing and grading of the median along the closed left lane of US 74 West approaching NC 130.


Photos taken by David Gallo on US 74 West between Boardman and the NC 130/72 interchange construction area in September 2023:

Image approaching lane closure ahead of opened Boardman exit on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Signs still warn of lane closures entering the Boardman exit construction zone.


Image approaching newly opened ramp for Boardman exit on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Approaching Boardman exit construction area with left lane closed and new exit sign seen in the distance.


Image approaching ramp sign for newly opened Boardman exit on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023A closer look at the new Boardman exit sign, Exit 225, for Boardman.


Image approaching newly opened ramp for Boardman exit and new gore sign on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Close view of Boardman exit gore sign and ramp to Old Boardman Road.


Image of new reduced speed limit sign at Boardman exit on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Signage up at the new exit indicating reduced 60 MPH speed due to the upcoming end of the freeway (though the current speed limit is 55 MPH).


Image of completed bridge for Boardman exit on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Approaching the Old Boardman Road bridge with contractors performing final median work.


Image of newly placed West US 74/NC 130 reassurance markers after Boardman exit approaching the
        Lumber River bridges, David Gallo, September 2023Pair of new reassurance markers after the Boardman exit approaching the Lumber River bridges and the start of the next construction area for the NC 130/72 interchange.


Image approaching NC 130 West interchange on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Now in Robeson County and approaching the NC 130 West intersection and more left lane closures.


Image of left lane closure at NC 130 West intersection in future interchange work zone on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Construction barrels block the left lane at the NC 130 West intersection.


Image of left lane paving after NC 130 West intersection in future interchange work zone on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Left lane paving has begun after the NC 130 West intersection.


Image approaching NC 72 West intersection on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Dirt piles seen along roadway at the NC 72 West intersection and mile marker 223, the number for the future exit.


Image approaching NC 72 West intersection in future interchange work zone on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Construction taking place at the NC 72 West intersection.


Image approaching NC 130 West interchange on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023More paving in the left lane after the NC 72 West intersection.


Image approaching NC 130 West interchange on US 74 (Future I-74) West, 
       David Gallo, September 2023Both grading in the media and paving activities after the NC 72 West intersection towards the end of the construction zone.


Photos taken by David Gallo on US 74 East between the NC 130/72 interchange construction site and Boardman in July 2023:

Image of Smoke Warning sign on US 74 East lanes prior to NC 130 intersection in new interchange work zone, David Gallo, 
        July 2023Sign on US 74 East warning of potential smoke from tree debris being burned at site of future NC 130/72 interchange ahead.


Image of land clearing along US 74 East lanes prior to NC 130 intersection for new interchange work, David Gallo, 
        July 2023East US 74 East reassurance marker by land cleared for future NC 130/72 interchange.


Image of variable message sign along US 74 East lanes after to NC 130 intersection for closed road, David Gallo, 
        July 2023A portable messages sign along US 74 East after the NC 130 intersection warns drivers of the closure of Macedonia Church Road.


Image of US 74/NC 130 East lanes prior to new Boardman interchange, by David Gallo, 
        July 2023Approaching the future Boardman interchange.


Image of US 74/NC 130 East lanes after new Boardman interchange, by David Gallo, 
        July 2023The interstate standard roadway heading east after the open Boardman interchange and heading towards the still under construction bridge.


Photos taken by Adam Prince at the NC 130/72 interchange construction site on July 26, 2023:

Image of signage on US 74 East approaching the Creek Road intersection just prior to the NC 
        72/NC 130 interchange construction zone, Adam Prince, July 2023Approaching Creek Road on US 74 East, this intersection is just prior, you can see the first work zone sign in the distance, to the NC 72/NC 130 interchange construction zone and its removal is not part of the project.


Image of West NC 72 signage on US 74 East in the NC 72/NC 130 interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023Approaching the NC 72 West intersection on US 74 East, construction activity causing dust clouds in the distance.


Image on US 74 East at West NC 72 intersection of the NC 72/NC 130 interchange under construction, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023A closer look along US 74 East at the NC 72 intersection of the dust clouds created as part of the interchange project.


Image of construction activity along US 74 East in the NC 72/NC 130 interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023Closer view of construction activity after the NC 72 West intersection.


Image approaching the NC 130 intersection on US 74 East in the NC 72/NC 130 interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023Little construction seen approaching the NC 130 intersection with US 74 East.


Photos taken by Adam Prince at the Boardman interchange construction site on July 26, 2023:

Image of approaching open ramp in the Old Boardman Road interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023Approaching the opened ramp to Old Boardman Road on US 74/NC 130 East.


Image of open off-ramp in the Old Boardman Road interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023A closer look at the opened ramp to Old Boardman Road.


Image of open ramp in the Old Boardman Road interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023A new merging traffic sign approaching the opened on-ramp from Old Boardman Road on US 74/NC 130 East.


Image of temporary Old Boardman Road detour sign no longer needed in interchange construction zone, 
        Adam Prince, July 2023Detour sign for Old Boardman Road no longer needed with exit ramps now open on US 74/NC 130 East approaching the temporary u-turn lane.


Photos taken by David Gallo at the NC 130/72 and Boardman interchange projects in June 2023:

Image of brush being cleared and burned in area surrounding future interchange with US 74 
       (Future I-74) and NC 72/130, by David Gallo, June 2023Brush being cleared and burned in the area of the future interchange with NC 72/130 along US 74 East.


Image of NC 72 trailblazer approaching current intersection on US 74 
       (Future I-74) West, by David Gallo, June 2023Approaching the current intersection with NC 72 on US 74 West.


Image of brush being cleared and burned in area surrounding future interchange with US 74 
       (Future I-74) and NC 72/130, by David Gallo, June 2023Looking across at the extent of brush needed to be cleared for the future interchange.


Image of finished US 74 (Future I-74) West roadway heading under Old Boardman Road bridge, by 
        David Gallo, June 2023View of the completed roadway along US 74 (Future I-74) West  heading under new bridge at Old Boardman Road.



Google Maps Street View images of the Boardman interchange project area from April and May 2023:

Image of approaching completed exit ramp to Old Boardman Road on US 74/NC 130 East, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Approaching completed exit ramp to Old Boardman Road on US 74 / NC 130 East.


Image of entering exit ramp to Old Boardman Road from US 74/NC 130 East, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Driving onto new exit ramp to Old Boardman Road.


Image of driving completed exit ramp to Old Boardman Road on US 74/NC 130 East, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Approaching the half open roundabout at end of  the future Boardman exit ramp (I'm assuming the Stop signs are only temporary.


Image of future ramp to US 74/NC 130 East in Boardman, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Traffic barrels blocking access to the nearly completed Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 / NC 130 East. Notice no reference to the latter route on at the signed and open eastbound on-ramp.


Image of future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74/NC 130, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023A closer look at the nearly completed Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 / NC 130 East.


Image of future on-ramp to US 74/NC 130 East in Boardman, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Driving down the completed Old Boardman Road ramp to US 74 / NC 130 East behind a contractor vehicle.


Image of nearly completed bridge over US 74/NC 130 East in Boardman, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Looking back along US 74 / NC 130 East towards the nearly completed Old Boardman Road bridge.


Image of nearly completed exit ramp from US 74/NC 130 West in Boardman prior to Old Boardman Road bridge, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023The nearly completed Boardman exit ramp on US 74 / NC 130 West. Assuming this will open after the on-ramp is completed.


Image of median related work on US 74/NC 130 in Boardman near Old Boardmand Road bridge, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Grading work still continuing in median just west of the future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 / NC 130 East. Oncoming traffic in the right lane is accessing the Old Boardman Road intersection.


Image of Old Boardman Road intersection with US 74/NC 130 West to be replaced by an on-ramp
        currently under construction, Google Maps Street View image, April 2023The existing Old Boardman Road intersection with US 74 / NC 130 now surrounded by dirt piles related to constructing the future on-ramp.


Image of future on-ramp to US 74/NC 130 West from Old Boardman Road under construction, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Grading has started on the future Old Boardman Road on-ramp to US 74 / NC 130 West in front of the gas station.


Image of future on-ramp from Old Boardman Road merging with US 74/NC 130 West, Google Maps 
        Street View image, April 2023Completed part of future Boardman exit on-ramp merging with US 74 / NC 130 West.


Meanwhile, no sign of construction in Robeson County at the future interchange with NC 130 West/NC 72:

Image of future interchange site at the current intersection of US 74 East and NC 130 East in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, April 2023No sign of construction yet approaching the NC 130 West intersection on US 74 East.


Image of future interchange site at the current intersection of US 74 West and NC 130 West in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, April 2023Same story viewing the NC 130 West intersection in the other direction.


Image of future interchange site at the current intersection of US 74 East and NC 72 in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, April 2023Nor any sign of construction yet approaching the NC 72 intersection on US 74 West.


Earlier Photos

Photos heading east from the NC 41 interchange from April 2022:

Image of 2 miles advance sign for NC 41 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, 
        Google Maps Street View April 2022An unusual 2 Miles advance sign for a non-interstate exit on US 74 West approaching Lumberton.


Image of ramp sign for NC 41 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, 
        Google Maps Street View April 2022The NC 41 exit sign approaching the start of I-74 West in Lumberton. Note the start of the interstate standard shoulder.


Image of gore sign for NC 41 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, 
        Google Maps Street View April 2022The NC 41 gore sign on US 74 West.


Image of I-74 and US 74 trailblazers approaching the eastbound ramp on NC 41 North, 
        Google Maps Street View April 2022Though I-74 officially ends at NC 41, there's still a East I-74 trailblazer matching one for I-74/ US 74 West heading north. The End I-74 sign that was previously up at the end of the on-ramp is missing from the images from April 2022.


Photos from south of NC 41, taken also in April 2022:

Image of interstate standard shoulders around the Kingsdale Road bridge over US 74 
      (Future I-74) in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022Heading under the Kingsdale Road bridge, notice the interstate standard shoulders on both sides.


Photos of the completed Broadridge Road interchange from April 2022:

Image of ground mounted 1 mile advance sign for Broadridge Road exit on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022A 1 Mile advance sign for the Broadridge Road exit.

Image of ground mounted ramp sign for Broadridge Road exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022The Broadridge Road exit sign on US 74 East.

Image of Broadridge Road exit gore sign on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022The gore sign for the Broadridge Road exit on US 74 West.

Image of East US 74 trailblazer on Broadridge Road in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022An East US 74 trailblazer approaching the on-ramp on Broadridge Road.

Image of US 74 trailblazers approaching westbound on-ramp on Broadridge Road in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022Trailblazers approaching the  US 74 westbound ramps to and from Broadridge Road.

Image of interstate standard US 74 (Future I-74) lanes from Broadridge Road bridge in Robeson
        County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022View from the Broadridge Road bridge shows the interstate standard highway between the exit ramps.

Photos from south of Broadridge Road, April 2022:

Image of I-74 mileage mile marker on US 74 East (Future I-74) in Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022The I-74 mileage Mile 220
    marker along US 74 East.View of I-74 mileage Mile 220 marker on US 74 south of Broadridge Road and the return of narrow shoulders.

Image of Reduced Speed advisory sign marking end fo US 74 (Future I-74) Freeway in
        Robeson County, Google Maps Street View, April 2022Reduced Speed Limit 60 Ahead advisory signs mark the end of the US 74 freeway near Mile 221 on US 74 East.

Image of US 74 East approaching Creek Road intersection in Orrum, Google Maps Street View, May 2022Approaching the intersection with Creek Road on US 74 East. Originally this was to be closed as part of the construction of the NC 72/NC 130 interchange project (see map below), however this work was not included when the plans were released in January 2023.


Photos from the current NC 72 and NC 130 West intersections, May 2022:

Image of West NC 72 trailblazer approaching intersection, site of future interchange, on US 
          74 East in Orrum, Google Maps Street View, May 2022West NC 72 trailblazer approaching intersection on US 74 East.


Image of West NC 130 trailblazer approaching intersection, site of future interchange, on US 
          74 East in Orrum, Google Maps Street View, May 2022NC 130 trailblazers approaching next intersection on US 74 East, both will be combined into 1 interchange. Work to start by the spring of 2023.


Image of West NC 130 trailblazer approaching intersection, site of future interchange, on US 
          74 West in Orrum, Google Maps Street View, May 2022The West NC 130 trailblazer approaching the intersection on US 74 West.


Between NC 130 West and Boardman, taken in May 2022:

Image of intersection with V.C. Britt Road prior to Lumber River bridges on US 74 East in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, May 2022The other remaining intersection in Robeson County is this one with V.C. Britt Road just prior to the Lumber River.


Image of East US 74 tralblazer to allow westbound traffic to access the intersection with V.C. Britt Road prior to Lumber River bridges on US 74 East in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, May 2022An East I-74 trailblazer westbound, this new U-turn was provided to provide traffic access to Macedonia Church Road back across the bridge in Boardman, which is not accessible in this direction due to interchange construction.


Image of first of three Lumber River bridges on US 74(Future I-74) East in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, May 2022The first of the three bridges over the Lumber River prior to entering Columbus County. Though perhaps not interstate standard, they may be able to receive a waiver to become I-74.


Image of the third of three bridges over the Lumber River on US 74 East in Robeson 
        County, Google Maps Street View, May 2022The third of the bridges over the Lumber River, with near interstate standard right shoulder.


Image of the first of three bridges over the Lumber River on US 74 (Future I-74) West in Boardman, 
        Google Maps Street View, May 2022The first of the bridges over the Lumber River headed west, with newly constructed interstate width right shoulder ending just prior.


From Boardman to US 76, images also from May 2022:

Image of 2 Speed Limit 70 signs as freeway resumes after Boardman interchange construction zone 
       on US 74 (Future I-74) East in Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022Pair of Speed Limit 70 signs mark the resumption of the US 74 freeway in Columbus County.


Image of ground mounted 3/4 mile advance sign for NC 242 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The 3/4 Mile advance sign for the NC 242 exit on US 74 East.


Image of gore sign for NC 242 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The leaning gore sign for the NC 242 exit on US 74 East.


Image of East US 74 trailblazer at ramp to Future I-74 East in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The destinations approaching the eastbound US 74 ramp on NC 242 South.


Image of West US 74 trailblazer on NC 242 North in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The destination sign for the ramp to US 74 (Future I-74) West.


Image of interstate standard US 74 (Future I-74) highway from NC 242 bridge in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The bridge view looking east along US 74 showing upgraded highway in vicinity of NC 242.


Image of Future I-74 Corridor sign on US 74 East after NC 242 exit in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The Future I-74 Corridor sign on US 74 East after the NC 242 exit.


Image of ground mounted 3/4 mile advance sign for NC 242 exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East in 
        Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022View westbound of the bridge carrying Business US 74. Completion of this bridge allowed the 70 mph speed limit to continue from US 76 to just before Boardman.


Image of ground mounted 1 mile advance sign for NC 410/Business 74/NC 130 East exit on US 74 
        (Future I-74) East in Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The 1 Mile advance sign for the NC 410/Business 74/East NC 130 exit on US 74 East.


Image of ground mounted ramp sign for NC 410/Business 74/NC 130 East exit on US 74 (Future 
        I-74) East in Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The exit sign for the NC 410/Business 74/East NC 130 exit on US 74 East.


Image of gore sign for NC 410/Business 74/NC 130 East exit on US 74 (Future 
        I-74) East in Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The gore sign for the NC 410/Business 74/East NC 130 exit, and the resumption of interstate standard shoulders.


Image of East US 74 trailblazer approaching on-ramp on NC 410 South in Columbus County, Google Maps Street View image, May 2022The East US 74 trailblazer approaching the ramp carrying NC 130 East and the beginning of Business 74.


Image of US 74 (Future I-74) East merging with US 76 East near Whiteville in Columbus County, 
        Google Maps Street View image, May 2022Approaching the merge of US 74 East with US 76 East near Whiteville.


Construction Photos

Creating the Boardman interchange,

Taken by David Gallo, December 23, 2022 on US 74 East:

Image of approaching work zone for Boardman interchange project on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022Approaching the interchange construction zone showing completion of girders for bridge across US 74.


Image of construction ongoing for Boardman interchange on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022Getting closet to the interchange, the eastbound lanes have been recently paved.


Image of open off-ramp for Boardman interchange on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022The open off-ramp to Old Boardman Road in this direction, landscape being graded by the still to open bridge.


Image of bridge construction for Boardman interchange project on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022Approaching the bridge over the US 74 lanes.


Image of approaching work zone for Boardman interchange project on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022Closeup of the construction crane used to complete work on the bridge across US 74.


Image of approaching bridge under construction in work zone for Boardman interchange project on US 74 East, by David Gallo, 
        December 2022Approaching the bridge showing most of the structure completed with deck work proceeding.


Taken by Tracy Hamm in October 2022:

Image of newly paved ramp for future Boardman exit on US 74 (Future I-74) East, photo by Tracy Hamm, 
        October 2022Future off-ramp from US 74 East to Old Boardman Road now paved.


Image of partially completed bridge as part of Boardman exit construction on US 74 (Future I-74) East, photo by Tracy Hamm, 
        October 2022The girders for the bridge section over US 74 East have been placed.


Taken by David Gallo in September 2022:

Image of US 74 East approaching Boardman interchange construction zone, by David Gallo September 2022 Approaching the construction zone in September 2022 headed east.


Image of bridge construction from US 74 East approaching Boardman interchange construction zone, by David Gallo September 2022 Bridge construction continues along the westbound lanes.


Image of bridge construction from US 74 East in Boardman interchange construction zone, by David Gallo September 2022 A closer look at the future Boardman interchange bridge.


Image of bridge construction along US 74 East at future Boardman interchange site, by David Gallo September 2022 The construction along US 74/NC 130 East.


Previous photos taken in March and April 2022 by David Gallo and Tracy Hamm:

Image of approaching Boardman interchange construction area on US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David 
        Gallo, April 2022Approaching the Boardman interchange construction zone on US 74/NC 130 West in April 2022.


Image of Boardman interchange construction along US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David 
        Gallo, April 2022Construction seen on new Boardman interchange bridge along US 74 East.


Image of Boardman interchange construction on US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David 
        Gallo, April 2022A closer look at the construction equipment placing soil at site of future bridge over US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74).


Image of supports for bridge being placed for future Boardman interchange on US 74/NC 130 (Future I-74), by David 
        Gallo, April 2022Support structures being placed for future US 74 bridge along the east side of the roadway, behind port-a-potty placed in median.


Image of approaching Boardman interchange construction area on US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David 
        Gallo, April 2022Support for future bridge still stands alone in the median of US 74 / NC 130 in April 2022.


Image of completed support for future bridge over US 74 (Future I-74) West as part of Boardman
        interchange project, by David Gallo, April 2022A closer look westbound at the support for future bridge approaching the Old Boardman Road intersection.


Image approaching Old Boardman Road interchange construction site on US 74 (Future I-74) East in
        Robeson County, by David Gallo, March 2022US 74/NC 130 East traffic approaching Old Boardman Road interchange construction site in March 2022.


Image of temporary speed limit sign approaching Lumber River bridge on US 74 (Future I-74) East, 
        by David Gallo, March 2022A temporary work zone speed limit sign approaching the bridge over the Lumber River and Columbus County line.


Image of future ramp to Old Boardman Road from US 74 East, 
        by David Gallo, March 2022US 74 East traffic approaching future Boardman  interchange, sign directing traffic to Macedonia Church Road which currently intersects on the right.


Image of future Old Boardman Road exit ramp from US 74 (Future I-74) East, 
        by David Gallo, March 2022Approaching the future Boardman exit ramp.


Image of future exit ramp for future Old Boardman Road from US 74 (Future I-74) East, 
        by David Gallo, March 2022A closer view of the future ramp from US 74 (Future I-74) East.


Image of embankment being built for future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 (Future I-74), 
        by David Gallo, March 2022US 74 East traffic approaching site of future Old Boardman Road bridge.


Image of approaching embankment being built for future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 (Future I-74), 
        by David Gallo, March 2022A closer look at the embankment being built for the future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 (Future I-74).


Image of construction crane building future Old Boardman Road bridge over US 74 West (Future I-74), 
        by Tracy Hamm, March 2022US 74 West traffic approaching Old Boardman Road at site of future Old Boardman Road bridge.


Image of portable Work Zone speed limit on US 74 (Future I-74) West approaching Boardman interchange 
        construction site, by David Gallo, March 2022Portable Work Speed Limit sign on US 74 West approaching the Boardman interchange work zone.


Image of smoke rising in Boardman interchange construction zone as seen from US 74 (Future I-74) West
        , by David Gallo, March 2022Further along US 74 West approaching the work zone, smoke from fire in construction area is limiting visibility on the road.


Image of traffic approaching Boardman interchange construction site with crane for bridge construction
        in the distance, by David Gallo, March 2022Crane seen in the distance beyond the Old Boardman Road intersection.


Image of crane helping construct supports for future Boardman interchange bridge on US 74 (Future I-74) West
        , by David Gallo, March 2022Crane behind supports being constructed in US 74 median for future Boardman interchange bridge.


Image of closeup of crane helping construct supports for future Boardman interchange bridge on US 74 (Future I-74) West
        , by David Gallo, March 2022Closeup of future bridge being constructed in US 74 median.


Image from Old Boardman Road of crane helping construct supports for future Boardman interchange bridge 
        on US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David Gallo, March 2022View of crane constructing bridge supports from Old Boardman Road approaching US 74 West.


Image from Old Boardman Road of current ramp leading to intersections with US 74 (Future I-74) West, by David Gallo, March 2022Current entrance to US 74 West from Old Boardman Road.


Image from Old Boardman Road of ramp currently carrying traffice from US 74 (Future I-74) West to
        Old Boardmand Road, by David Gallo, March 2022View of current intersection ramp to Old Boardman Road from US 74 West.



PREVIOUS PHOTOS

Courtesy of timmer63 in November 2018:

Image of newly paved future exit ramp to Broadridge Road from US 74 East in Robeson County, by timmer63Newly paved future exit ramp to Broadridge Road from US 74 East.


Image of newly paved future exit ramp to Broadridge Road from US 74 East in Robeson County, by timmer63A closer view of the newly paved exit ramp to Broadridge Road.


Image of construction of new interchange for Broadridge Road on US 74 in Robeson County, by Timmer63View from US 74 East of construction zone around new interchange for Broadridge Road earlier in the month prior to paving of exit ramp.


Image of future bridge construction at site of interchange with Broadridge Road from US 74 East, by timmer63Closer look at mound being built for bridge construction alongside US 74 West for Broadridge Road interchange.


Image of future ramp to Broadridge road blocked off from US 74 traffic, by timmer63Prior to paving future ramp to Broadridge Road blocked off from US 74 traffic.


Image of construction area for future interchange with Broadridge Road on US 74 East in Robeson County, by timmer63Portable VMS tells drivers the current intersection with Broadridge Road is closed.


Image of bridge construction for future interchange with Broadridge Road on US 74 East in Robeson County, by timmer63Another view of construction progress for the new interchange from US 74 East. The center bridge support awaits the steel support structure.


Here's a map, courtesy of Nick Zachetti, showing the location of the planned US 74 upgrade projects along this segment, April 2021:

Map showing future US 74 upgrade projects between Lumberton and Whiteville. Made by Nick Zachetti

.


Funding of Interstate Upgrade Project appears in 2019, Taken Away in 2022

In January 2019, NCDOT finally posted a funded project for upgrading US 74 between NC 41 and US 76 to an interstate. The Project, I-6011, appeared in the 2020-2029 Draft STIP document among those for Division 8. In the final STIP released in September 2019, Right-of-Way purchasing along the corridor is to start in 2027 (was 2025 in the Draft), however construction, partly financed by bonds, is not planned to start until after 2029. Given that most of the intersection upgrades will have happened by then, the total cost for this project is fairly low, $64.5 million, and thus should not take a long time to complete.19 This proved to be too optimistic. In the Draft 2024-2033 STIP released in June 2022 the project was no labeled as 'Unfunded' meaning any work to upgrade this segment to interstate standards will not take place now until after 2033. A possible reason for this change, the new STIP estimates the cost of the upgrade now as $170 million or about $740,000 per mile.20

"Drive" this Segment Using Google Street View

I-74/US 74 East from NC 41: At On-Ramp from NC 41 North (June 2018)

US 74/NC 130 West at NC 242: Using On-Ramp from NC 242 North (January 2019)

US 74 West from US 76: Prior to US 76 West Off-Ramp (May 2019)

Photo of completed Old US 74 Bridge, October 23, 2017, Courtesy of Tracy Hamm:

Image of newly completed Old US 74 bridge over US 74 in Columbus County, by Tracy HammWith the completion of this bridge there is now only about a 6 mile gap remaining between the two freeway segments between Lumberton and Whiteville.

Old Kingsdale Road Bridge Construction Photos - 2009

Photo of construction progress at US 74 intersection with Old Kingsdale Road 
 in Feb. 2009Here's a photo of the construction progress at Old Kingsdale Road in February 2009 taken from US 74 East. (2/7/09)


Photo of view west from closed Kingsdale Road toward intersection with
US 74 under construction, Feb. 2009Here's the view looking west from a closed Old Kingsdale road going west toward US 74. (2/8/09)


Here's what the construction area looked like in May 2009. Photos courtesy of James Mast:

Photo of grading of future bridge carrying Old Kingsdale Rd over US
 74 in May 2009, photo courtesy of James MastLooking at the grading for the bridge along US 74 West going the opposite direction. (May 2009)


Photo of Kingsdale Rd Bridge from US 74 West in May 2009. Courtesy of 
James MastHere's the same construction seen from West US 74, the first I-74 exit sign can be seen when driving through this project (May 2009). Construction was to be complete in November 2009, but the contract was not completed until April 2010.


Photo of Old Kingsdale Rd Bridge from US 74 East in November 2009This is what the bridge, nearly completed over US 74 looked like in November 2009. There were still orange barrels, barriers and construction equipment indicating the bridge work was not completed yet. This was confirmed by the Construction Progress Report which indicated it was 84% complete at the time of this photo. (11/15/09)


Photo of nearly completed Kingsdale Rd Bridge from US 74 West, Nov. 2009The view from US 74 West shows that some more paving, at least, needs to be done on the bridge, though guardrails have been installed. (11/15/09)


Here is the path of US 74 for this segment, the circles on the map represent projects to close cross-street intersections and/or interchanges to be built:

Map of US 74 showing current intersection, by NCDOT via Nick Zachetti Map from NCDOT, courtesy of Nick Zachetti, showing completed and planned construction along US 74 between Lumberton and Whiteville. (New 12/15/22) Note at that time it was thought the Creek Road bridge would be built at the same time as the NC 72/130 interchange.


Tour I-74's future and current route along US 74 in Columbus and Robeson Counties on This Video courtesy of J. Austin Carter, from January 2013.