FutureImage of I-587 Interstate shield, from Shields Up!In North Carolina


The 56 mile future interstate spur of I-87 will run from Zebulon east to Greenville along an upgraded US 264 freeway. Permission was granted by AASHTO in May 2021 and the FHWA in November 2021 for NCDOT to sign the route along 37 miles east of I-95 sometime in 2022.

Map of the future interstate from NCDOT's AASHTO application:

Image of I-587 corridor map submitted to AASHTO in fall of 2016

Route History

This proposal was announced by NCDOT on Sept. 7, 2016 with the agency sending applications for the proposal to be approved by AASHTO at their October 2016 meeting in Boston and to the FHWA.1 AASHTO's Committee on US Route Numbering (USRN) rejected the application on October 26, 2016, however, the Special Committee on Highways, of which the US Route Numbering committee is part, apparently overruled them and approved the designation at the Fall 2016 AASHTO Meeting in Boston on November 13, 2016.2 The FHWA then sent a letter approving the route as an addition to the interstate system on November 21, 2016.3 Officials from the Greenville area lobbied state and federal agencies for the city, the largest in NC without an interstate connection, for a spur route once the I-87 designation between Raleigh and Norfolk, VA was approved.

NCDOT Gets Permission to Sign I-587 East of I-95 (Updated 11/16/21)

The NCDOT 2020-2029 STIP released in August 2019 had 2 funded projects related to upgrading US 264 to Interstate Standards that started in 2019. Project I-6032 would widen the shoulders as part of a pavement rehabilitation contract in Greene County while Project I-6035 would do the same in Pitt County, both projects were later combined.4 Work started on September 30, 2019 and on March 17, 2021 NCDOT announced work had been completed several months early.5 Both these projects were east of Wilson County where US 264 meets I-95, and where the route is already up to Interstate standards. In May 2021 AASHTO's USRN approved the signing of I-587 from I-95 to Greenville and noted in their application approval that the FHWA had signed off as well.6 An announcement by NCDOT on when I-587 is signed was expected some time in August, but did not happen.7 In October 2021, an NCDOT official stated that despite the AASHTO announcement about the FHWA, they had not approved I-587 as of yet, but it was expected in 2022.8 A poster on the AARoads Forum indicated they had sent an email to NCDOT about I-587 signing, and got the same response, that it was expected some time in 2022. The post also said NCDOT planned to petition AASHTO at their Fall Meeting to revert US 264 back to its original alignment, now US 264 Alt., between current Exit 51 and the NC 11 Greenville Bypass.9 Finally, NCDOT posted a press release on November 16, 2021 saying the FHWA had signed off on signing I-587. The announcement reiterated that the signing will not take place until 2022, since signing plans still had to be completed, an affirmation that they are still waiting for AASHTO's decision on US 264 before finalizing plans.10 There are no other upgrade projects west of Wilson County listed in the current STIP document, so it is not known at this time when NCDOT plans to complete the rest of the route to Knightdale.

Issue with I-587's Direction

Apparently, NCDOT plans to sign I-587, despite its basic east-west direction, as a North-South route, as shown in this sign plan created for the NC 11 Southwest Bypass project:

NCDOT I-587 sign plan at NC 11 Greenville Bypass, 2019

Not only is I-587 signed North-South, North will be the direction towards Wilson and Zebulon where, when I-87 is signed, there will be signage heading east indicating a split between I-87 North and I-587 South. This would also mean that the exits should decrease headed toward Greenville. An NCDOT spokesman stated that since I-87 was a North-South route, it's spur route had to have those same directions. This is despite examples to the contrary in other states.11 However, in October 2021 an NCDOT sign engineer, Jim Dunlop, said he had seen the plans for resigning the route as I-587 and the route was signed as East-West, he also stated exits would be renumbered as part of the same contract with the NC 42 exit becoming Exit 20.12

Photos

New photos taken along the Future I-587 corridor in June 2021 by Adam Prince:

A. West of I-95-Segment not up to interstate standards

Ground mounted ramp sign for NC 58 exit on US 264 West (Future I-587 North) in Bailey, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

NC 581 exit sign in Bailey, note substandard shoulder width for an Interstate highway.

Ground mounted ramp sign for West US 264 Alternate exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Sims, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

Six miles further east is the first of two US 264 Alternate exits, also with substandard shoulders.

Ground mounted ramp sign for East US 264 Alternate exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Sims, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The US 264 Alternate East exit, the shoulders are interstate standard from here on.

Ground mounted 1 mile advance sign for I-95 exits on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 mile advance for the I-95 interchange on US 264 East.

Overhead signage at ramp for I-95 South exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The overhead signs at the ramp for I-95 South.

Overhead ramp sign for I-95 North exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

And for I-95 South, the beginning of I-795 South.

B. East of I-95-Segment up to interstate standards

Ground mounted ramp sign for NC 42 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The exit sign for NC, not Interstate, 42 along I-795 South/US 264 East.

Overhead advance signs for US 301 and I-795 South exits on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1/2 mile advance sign for I-795 South paired with the 1 Mile advance for the US 301 exit. Will the exit numbers be changed when I-587 is signed to those of I-587 or I-795?

Overhead signage at ramp for I-795 South exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The exit sign for I-795 South paired with the 1/2 Mile advance for US 301.

Overhead 1/4 mile advance signage for US 301 South exit US 264 West (Future I-587 North) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

Overhead signage approaching the US 301 South exit on US 264 West, Future I-587 North. 

Overhead signage at ramp for US 301 South exit US 264 West (Future I-587 North) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

Overhead signage at the US 301 South exit. 

1 Mile advance sign for Old Stantonsburg Road exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greene County, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 Mile advance sign for the Old Stantonsburg Road exit prior to an East US 264 reassurance marker (soon to be accompanied by an I-587 shield?).

1 Mile advance sign for NC 58 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 Mile advance sign for NC 58 exit.

Ground mounted ramp sign for NC 58 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Wilson, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The NC 58 exit sign beyond the recently widened shoulders.

1 Mile advance sign for Alternate US 264 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greene County, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 Mile advance sign for next Alternate US 264 exit.

1 Mile advance sign for NC 111/222 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greene County, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 Mile advance sign for the next exit headed east, NC 111/222.

1 Mile advance sign for NC 91 exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Walstonburg, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1 Mile advance sign for the NC 91 exit in Walstonburg.

Ground mounted ramp sign for NC 121 North exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Farmville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The exit sign for NC 121 North, note the new guardrail put in after the shoulders were widened.

2 Miles advance sign for US 258 North exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Farmville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The only 2 Miles advance sign on US 264 for the US 258, in reality now US 258 North, exit. This exit sign has not been changed since US 258 South was rerouted onto US 264.

Ground mounted ramp sign for US 258 North exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Farmville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The US 258 exit sign with US 258 North and South trailblazers, to make up for not revising the exit sign.

Image of US 258 and US 264 trailblazers on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Farmville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

South US 258 and East US 264 trailblazers along widened shoulders awaiting I-587 signage in Farmville.

Image of completed shoulder work on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greene County, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The interstate standard widened shoulder along US 264 East.

Image of ground mounted ramp sign for Mozingo Road exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Pitt County, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The completed widened shoulder work continues approaching the Mozingo Road exit.

1/2 Mile advance sign for US 264 East/NC 11 Greenville Bypass exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greenville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The 1/2 Mile advance sign for the NC 11 Bypass exit, the future end of I-587.

Image of auxiliary sign for US 264 East/NC 11 Greenville Bypass exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greenville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The auxiliary sign for East Carolina University on other side of widened shoulder.

Image of overhead ramp sign for US 264 East/NC 11 Greenville Bypass exit on US 264 East (Future I-587 South) in Greenville, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

The exit sign for the NC 11 Bypass South, the second to last I-587 exit.

Two of the several Future I-587 signs put up at along US 264 at county lines:

Image of Future I-587 sign at county line on US 264 East, photo by Adam Prince, June 2021

Future I-587 sign put up on US 264 in Wilson County, from JTL

Photo courtesy of Adam Prince

Image of Begin Future I-587 sign in Greenville, courtesy of WNCT

Photo courtesy of WNCN

Check out My I-587 Preliminary Exit List  (Updated 10/12/21)

Notes

1. NC Governor's Office. 2016. "State Seeking Future Interstate Designation for U.S. 264 to Greenville." Press Release. Sept. 7, 2016. Downloaded from: http://governor.nc.gov/press-release/state-seeking-future-interstate-designation-us-264-greenville

2. NC Governor's Office. 2016. "Transportation Association Recommends Approval of Future Interstate Designation for US 264 to Greenville." Press Release, November 15. Downloaded from: https://governor.nc.gov/press-release/transportation-association-recommends-approval-future-interstate-designation-us-264, 11/15/16. i. Federal Highway Administration. 2016. Letter to Michael L. Holder, PE, NCDOT from Gregory G. Nadeau, Regional Administrator, FHWA. November 21. Downloaded from: http://butterfield.house.gov/sites/butterfield.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/2016_11_21_12_26_17.pdf, 11/22/16.

3. Federal Highway Administration. 2016. Letter to Michael L. Holder, PE, NCDOT from Gregory G. Nadeau, Regional Administrator, FHWA. November 21. Downloaded from: http://butterfield.house.gov/sites/butterfield.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/2016_11_21_12_26_17.pdf, 11/22/16.

4. NCDOT. 2019. State Transportation Improvement Program, 2020-2029, Draft. January 10. Division 2, p. 11 of 43, p. 21 of 43.

5. NCDOT. 2021. "Paving Project in Two Eastern Counties Completed Early." Press Release. March 17. Downloaded from: https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2021/2021-03-17-pitt-greene-highway-paving-complete.aspx, March 18.

6. AASHTO Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering. May 2021. 2021 Spring Meeting Report to the Council of Highways and Streets, p. 7, p. 12.  Downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/125edrwda3y1bmw/Final%20_Report_USRN%20Application%20Results%20Spring%202021.pdf?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR2rFGGv8FpX2xDmWBFOkuEdv VeDhAuQdBhh5cidRCTs4KoJ3cmb _n_XeaU, August 10, 2021.

7. JDunlop. 2021. Post #381 to AARoads Forum, Southeast Region, Future I-587 in NC thread, August 4.

8. JDunlop. 2021. Post #429 to AARoads Forum, Southeast Region, Future I-587 in NC thread, October 8. Downloaded from: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19189.msg2669469#msg2669469, October 13, 2021.

9. WashuOtaku. Post #407 to AARoads Forum, Southeast Region, Future I-587 in NC thread, August 27. Downloaded from: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19189.msg2654729#msg2654729, September 3, 2021.

10. NCDOT. 2021. "U.S. 264 in Eastern N.C. Earns Interstate Designation." Press Release. November 16. Downloaded from: https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2021/2021-11-16-i-587-designation-approved.aspx, November 16, 2021.

11. AARoads. 2021. Post #1630 in AARoads Forum, Southeast Regional, Interstate 87 (NC-VA) thread, downloaded from: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=18354.msg2574385#msg2574385, March 19, 2021.

12. JDunlop. 2021. Post #438 to AARoads Forum, Southeast Region, Future I-587 in NC thread, October 8. Downloaded from: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19189.msg2669932#msg2669932, October 13, 2021.

Site Created: March 20, 2021        Last Updated: November 16, 2021

(c) Robert H. Malme 2021