Detour planned for I-95; trucking loses $ in storm’s wake

Hurricane Matthew hammered the Caribbean and much of the southeastern U.S. leaving parts of one of the country’s busiest highways crippled and costing the trucking industry and its drivers a lot of money.

I-95 at mile marker 18 in North Carolina (NCDOT photo)I-95 at mile marker 18 in North Carolina (NCDOT photo)

As of this morning, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reports part of I-95 near the town of Benson has been washed out by flooding caused by the storm. NCDOT is rerouting traffic through Benson to get around the washout. The detour will take travelers from I-95 South to I-40 West to U.S. 301 to Jonesboro Road and back to I-95 South.

In order to complete the detour, NCDOT will have to shift southbound traffic onto the northbound side of I-95 around mile marker 78 with crossovers to create a two-lane, two-way highway. Once the detour is in place, repair work can begin. NCDOT says, and the repairs will take at least three weeks to complete.

The disruptions to freight flow on I-95 due to the storm and the damage it caused will cost the trucking industry millions in lost revenue and driver wages, says one analyst. It’s unlikely the industry will make up those gains as the supply chain normalizes in the coming weeks.

James Jaillet writes about Hurricane Matthew’s impact on trucking at our sister site “Commercial Carrier Journal.” See all of the details.

The toll from Hurricane Matthew in the U.S.: 36 people dead and $10 billion in property damage.