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Interstate 95 south - Virginia line to Wilson


Interstate 95, after 178 miles through Virginia, crosses the state line into Northampton County, North Carolina, with a welcome sign at right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


North Carolina's southbound welcome center is here. A companion northbound Virginia welcome center is just behind. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Welcome center parking is alongside the southbound lanes. The next southbound rest area is in Nash County, about 39 miles away at mile marker 142. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


All of I-95 in North Carolina is a Blue Star Memorial Highway, one of many in the U.S. honoring military veterans. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The state's first exit, 180, intersecting North Carolina Highway 48 and serving nearby Gaston, is less than a mile to the south. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


As welcome center traffic rejoins the highway, a sign informs drivers they are entering the Northeastern North Carolina Economic Development Region. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 180 lies just ahead. With its north end nearby at U.S. Route 301, NC 48 crosses the Roanoke River near the Roanoke Rapids Lake a few miles to the south, and eventually reconnects with I-95 in Nash County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 180 is a tree-lined interchange typical of North Carolina freeways. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A set of large painted arrows points the way for incoming traffic to merge onto the highway. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


There was a sign just past exit 180 at the time of these photos acknowledging the 2022 North Carolina women's lacrosse championship team. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount and Wilson are 9, 44 and 64 miles from this sign. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


In between exits, the trees surrounding the freeway clear out somewhat. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 176, one mile ahead, intersects North Carolina Highway 46 and serves Gaston and Garysburg. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 176 is just ahead. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 173, two miles from this sign, is an interchange with U.S. Route 158, the main thoroughfare between Roanoke Rapids and Weldon. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 proceeds to cross the historic Roanoke River. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 has now entered Halifax County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 173, known for its plethora of traveler services in the vein of Breezewood, Pennsylvania, is imminent. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The highway crosses over Becker Drive and a railroad track prior to the exit. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The exit 173 gore, at right. This is the only considerably-developed area on I-95 in North Carolina prior to entering Johnston County, 65 miles to the south. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The southbound onramp from US 158 then enters at right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The Interstate's surroundings, including the median, then suddenly become heavily-forested. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Rocky Mount, Wilson and Fayetteville are officially 39, 59 and 126 miles from here. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Accessible ahead from exit 171 is the state's Historic Halifax site, as well as vineyards. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 171 intersects North Carolina Highway 125, and is Roanoke Rapids' other exit. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The sign for exit 171 is located at the namesake mile marker. At left is the Carolina Crossroads entertainment complex, anchored by the Weldon Mills Theatre. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


While exit 171 is more rural in nature than exit 173, recent development in Roanoke Rapids-Weldon has shifted there. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


There is I-95 reassurance afterward. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 168, North Carolina Highway 903 toward county seat Halifax, is two miles from the green sign at right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


There is another, unspecified historic site off the exit. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 168 is ahead, flanked by a pair of travel plazas. NC 903 traverses 200 miles through eastern North Carolina between Sampson and Warren counties, via Greenville, and continues into Virginia from its north end. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Construction was ongoing along several sections of I-95 in North Carolina in 2023, and these orange signs at exit 168 warned of an impending work and variable speed zone. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Following the exit, I-95 enters the Tar-Pamlico River Basin. Its two component rivers ultimately lead into the Pamlico Sound some miles across from Route 12's Cedar Island-Ocracoke ferry. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 is now in its longest gap between exits in North Carolina - approximately eight miles. Here, it passes state mile marker 167. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Rocky Mount, Wilson and Fayetteville are now 34, 54 and 121 miles ahead. Meanwhile, Aurelian Springs Road (SR 1600) crosses over the Interstate. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The highway passes mile marker 166 along a row of pine trees on its right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Eventually, exit 160, which intersects North Carolina Highway 561, is billed as being two miles away. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 160 westbound leads to Louisburg in Franklin County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 160 sits just ahead. NC 561 links Louisburg with Ahoskie in Hertford County, 100 miles eastward. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The exit 160 gore sign up close. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A set of arrows marks the entry of the onramp from NC 561 to southbound I-95. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Another I-95 reassurance shield follows. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Just further south, a variable message sign sits behind the Hardee Road (SR 1211) overpass. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The Interstate's two carriageways then split apart to make way for a row of pine trees. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 154, North Carolina Highway 481 leading toward Enfield, is in one mile. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 154 bears off just ahead. NC 481 is a straightforward 21-mile highway running east-west along southern Halifax County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The southbound offramp to NC 481 is partially concrete-surfaced. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Rocky Mount, Wilson and Fayetteville are now 20, 40 and 107 miles away. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Amid trees, I-95 crosses the Rocky Swamp. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A weight station for large trucks is one mile away. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The weigh station entrance is at right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


At mile marker 151, I-95 prepares to cross Fishing Creek, the longest tributary of the Tar River. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The Fishing Creek bridge marks the Interstate's entry into Nash County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 150, serving North Carolina Highway 33 and the town of Whitakers, is a mile ahead. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A more stylized Nash County welcome sign comes before the exit. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The land surrounding exit 150 is much more open. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A close-up of exit 150, including a recently-replaced NC 33 overpass. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The reassurance marker following the exit is missing its I-95 shield. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The highway next crosses the Beaverdam Swamp Creek. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 145 - indirectly intersecting North Carolina highways 4 and 48, and leading to US 301, Gold Rock and Rocky Mount - is two miles from this sign. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The city of Rocky Mount is served by the next three exits. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


NC 4 and NC 48 cross over I-95 without access a distance prior to exit 145. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Some lodging and attractions at exit 145 are advertised by a blue sign at right. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Just further along, reconstruction of the Watson Seed Farm Road (SR 1510) overpass is seen. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 145 accesses the North Carolina Wesleyan University. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 crosses Swift Creek just prior to the exit, at mile marker 145.5. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Now with Benson as its southbound control city, I-95 reaches exit 145. Despite the implications of the BGS, Gold Rock is actually an outlying section of Rocky Mount situated northwest of downtown. Interchange construction during 2022-23 added additional ramps, roundabouts and a connection to Halifax Road (SR 1544) just to the south. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A new overpass carrying the connection to NC 4/48 and Halifax Road over I-95 is faintly visible behind the old one. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Past exit 145, with Rocky Mount and Benson 12 and 66 miles away, the Interstate plunges into a barrage of pine trees. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The southbound Nash County rest area is a mile away. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 reaches and passes the rest area, after which outgoing traffic rejoins the Interstate ahead. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 141 (exit tab covered by tree limb), intersects North Carolina Highway 43, and serves Dortches, Red Oak and Rocky Mount. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


A variable message sign is located just past the advance exit sign. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Gas stations at exit 141 include 76, Circle K and Shell. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Now with the exit tab on the left, Exit 141 is up ahead. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


More trees surround the highway after exit 141 as signage at right advertises lodging at the next exit. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island - a good 140 miles away - and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore are eastbound (138B) at the next exit. Meanwhile, damage from a tornado that hit the Rocky Mount area in July 2023 is evident here more than two months after the fact. A northbound sign at this spot wasn't as lucky as the one seen here. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 138 intersects U.S. Route 64 - a freeway in this area - and serves Tarboro eastbound, as well as Nashville (North Carolina) westbound and Rocky Mount eastbound. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 138 is up ahead, posted here with an additional westbound control city of North Carolina capital Raleigh. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Both offramps of exit 138 are from a collector-distributor which begins here. Services posted along it are accessed from separate exits along US 64. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


US 64 crosses over I-95 as exit 138A nears. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


With exit 138 in the rearview, I-95 forges on toward the Wilson area. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Between exits sits yet another cluster of trees. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


As the next exit (132) nears, some more modern landscaping is seen in the median. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 132 leads to North Carolina Highway 58 via Sandy Cross Road. NCDOT appeared to have inadvertently swapped the "TO" and "NC" on the exit sign. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The exit 132 gore up close. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Incoming traffic from exit 132 now joins I-95 south. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The Interstate proceeds over Sapony Creek, which feeds into the Tar River Reservoir just to the east. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Wilson and Smithfield are a respective 17 and 38 miles from this sign. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


NC 58 crosses the Interstate between exits. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 127, intersecting North Carolina Highway 97 and leading east to the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport, is in one mile. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Beforehand, I-95 crosses the Tar River, the central feature of the Tar-Pamlico Basin. The Tar River becomes the Pamlico River, the middle of the three tidal waterways forming North Carolina's signature coastal peninsulas. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 127 is ahead to the right. NC 97 runs 64 miles east-west from the Knightdale area of Wake County, east of Raleigh, to Hobgood in Halifax County. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


After exit 127, I-95 enters the Neuse River Basin. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The highway then crosses the Toisnot Swamp. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


I-95 is now in Wilson County and two miles from exit 121, U.S. Route 264 Alternate, serving Wilson and Sims. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Bus terminals (Greyhound, Trailways) and Wilson's Amtrak train station can be reached from exit 121 eastbound. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


This food sign for exit 121 has room for nine logos, all of which are needed in this case. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The Wake County town of Zebulon, as well as the Wilson Medical Center are off exit 121. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Also accessible from the exit are Barton College and the Wilson Community College. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 121 comes just after I-95 crosses the Bloomery Swamp. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


After exit 121 comes exit 119, intersecting mainline U.S. Route 264, the northern terminus of Interstate 795, and, though not marked southbound, the current western terminus of Interstate 587. The last of these highways was designated in 2022 and is numbered for its future status as a spur of a southern iteration of Interstate 87 being constructed from Raleigh to Norfolk, Virginia. Control cities at this exit are Goldsboro (via I-795 south), Raleigh and Wilson. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


The city of Greenville - where I-587 has its eastern end - and NCAA Division I's East Carolina University are accessed from exit 119A (I-587/US 264 east). Photo taken 10-02-2023.


In the meantime, Smithfield in Johnston County and Fayetteville in Cumberland County are a respective 27 and 73 miles ahead. Photo taken 10-02-2023.


Exit 119 now approaches. Signage for I-587 does exist on northbound approach signs for this interchange. Photo taken 10-02-2023.

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