The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to spend $147 million on highway improvements throughout Eastern North Carolina.
The funding will help pay for widening up to 25 miles along Interstate 95 and elevating portions of U.S. Highway 70 to interstate grade.
Ultimately, the project seeks to turn the Highway 70 corridor between Interstate 40 and Morehead City into Interstate 42.
Highway 70 is a major connection between Raleigh, Smithfield, Goldsboro, Kinston, Havelock and the Port of Morehead City. The highway serves as a hurricane evacuation route and connects travelers to several military bases.
Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) announced the funding on Tuesday. They say widening I-95 and converting the Highway 70 corridor into I-42 will help improve emergency preparedness and boost local economies.