Interstate 87 in North Carolina


Get started Raleigh
End Chesapeake
Length 179 mi
Length 288 km
3 → Raleigh Loop

4 New Hope Road

6 Hodge Road

7 → Raleigh Outer Loop

9 Smithfield Road

11 Wendell Falls Parkway

13 Wendell Boulevard/Knightdale Boulevard

14 Rolesville Road

Lizard Lick


→ Greenville



Spring Hope



→ Richmond / Savannah

Winstead Avenue

Rocky Mount (US 64 Bus.)

Rocky Mount (US 301 Byp.)

Peachtree Street (NC-43)

Rocky Mount (US 301 Bus.)

Rocky Mount (NC-97)

Raleigh Boulevard

Kingsboro Road

McNair Road

Tarboro (NC-111)


Princeville (NC-33)

Shiloh Farm Road



Bethel (NC-11)


Robersonville Products Road


Williamston (NC-125)


→ Nags Head

Elizabeth City (South)

Elizabeth City (west)

Elizabeth City (north)

According to bestitude, Interstate 87 or I -87 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The route connects Raleigh to the Virginia border north of Elizabeth City. The route has a planned length of 288 kilometers.

Travel directions

Interstate 87 begins at Interstate 440 on the east side of Raleigh and runs 2×3 lanes east through Raleigh’s eastern suburbs. After a few miles, Interstate 540 joins Raleigh’s outer ring. I-87 has 2×3 lanes until it connects at Wendell, then the highway has 2×2 lanes and heads east to Zebulon, where US 264 branches off. Then I-87 heads northeast through less populated forest. The highway runs around Nashville, followed by a cloverleaf cloverleaf with Interstate 95 at Rocky Mount.

From Rocky Mount, the freeway continues east through the broad coastal plain past Tarboro to Williamston. This is where the freeway ends. Planned I-87 then follows US 17 northeast, past Elizabeth City, where there is a short freeway bypass, and on to the Virginia state border. 25 miles north in Virginia is the Hampton Roads conurbation.


Road number history

There has long been a desire to connect the conurbations of Raleigh and Hampton Roads by Interstate Highway. Several numbers have been considered. It was long considered an east-west route, so even numbers such as I-44, I-50 and I-56 were considered. Later it was considered a north-south route, so with an odd number. These odd numbers have all been assigned in the eastern United States, so it was decided to use an existing number. Initially, North Carolina – with Virginia’s permission – wanted to use the number I-89. However, on May 24, 2016, the AASHTO assigned the number I-87, which North Carolina agreed to. I-87 was always the route from New York Cityto the Canadian border towards Montréal, and ran exclusively in upstate New York. Due to the distance between the two routes, there will be no confusion. The choice of a north-south route suggests a potentially longer route, perhaps from Norfolk to Wilmington, Delaware, via the US 13 corridor.

The section between Raleigh and Rocky Mount had been numbered as Interstate 495 as of 2013. This became part of I-87. When Future I-87 was assigned in 2016, 173 kilometers of the planned 288 kilometers in North Carolina had already been run as a freeway. The rest was mainly a 2×2 divided highway with predominantly at-grade intersections.

In September 2017, the North Carolina Department of Transportation began numbering I-87 between Raleigh and I-95 at Rocky Mount. The numbering of I-87 east of I-95 depends on the upgrade to Interstate Highway design requirements.

New exit numbering on I-87 was introduced in May 2019. The exits 419 to 430 were given the numbers 3 to 14.

Construction history

Raleigh – Rocky Mount

Most of the highway between Raleigh and Rocky Mount was built in the 1970s, between Knightsville and Nashville. The Nashville bypass and connection to I-95 at Rocky Mount were completed in the 1980s. Finally, the westernmost section between I-440 and Knightsville was constructed directly with 2×3 lanes. This 18 km long section opened to traffic in July 2005. The highway was then signposted as US 64.

On February 20, 2013, the North Carolina Department of Transportation applied for I-495 status to the AASHTO for US 64 between I-440 in Raleigh and I-95 in Rocky Mount. On December 12, 2013, the westernmost section in Raleigh between I-40 and I-540 was added to the Interstate Highway network. The rest between I-540 and I-95 is the Future I-495. In April 2014, “Future I-495” signs were installed.

Rocky Mount – Williamston

In 1984, the Rocky Mount freeway bypass opened to traffic. The highway was built further east in the 1990s, past Tarboro and up to Williamston. The section between Rocky Mount and Tarboro opened in the mid 1990s. In 1997, a 30-mile stretch of freeway opened from Tarboro to Williamston.

Elizabeth City

In late 2002, the 16-mile Elizabeth City bypass opened as a freeway. Through traffic no longer had to pass through this town, moreover, the freeway is shorter than the original route.

Traffic intensities

85,000 vehicles drive daily on the outskirts of Raleigh, dropping to 70,000 vehicles east of I-540 at Knightdale and 57,000 vehicles at the junction with I-587 at Zebulon. After that, usually 25,000 vehicles drive up to Rocky Mount.

William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge

William B. UmsteadMemorial Bridge
Spans Croatian Sound
Lanes 1×2
Total length 4,348 meters
Main span 39.6 meters
Bridge deck height ? meter
Opening 1955
Traffic intensity 2,100 mvt/day
Location Map

According to biotionary, the William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge, also known as the Manns Harbor Bridge is a bridge in the United States, located in the state of North Carolina. The bridge spans the Croatan Sound at Manteo and is 4.3 kilometers long.


The William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge is a 4,348-meter standard girder bridge spanning the Croatan Sound. Manns Harbor is to the west, Manteo to the east. The bridge is still of secondary importance, because a little further south the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge handles through traffic. The William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge is toll-free. US 64 runs across the bridge in North Carolina.


The bridge was opened to traffic in 1955 and was instrumental in opening up Manteo on Roanoke Island. The bridge was renovated in 1966. In 2002, the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge opened further south, handling through traffic over the US 64 Bypass Route. US 64 itself still crosses the William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge.

The bridge is named after William B. Umstead (1895-1954) a United States Senator and Governor of North Carolina.

Traffic intensities

2,100 vehicles still cross the bridge every day, mostly local traffic.

William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge