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    WRAL: Automated dirt mover aims to speed up construction along I-95 for outer loop

    October 01, 2019

    By Gilbert Baez, WRAL reporter

    Motorists traveling on Interstate 95 have undoubtedly seen the big blue contraption that towers 20 feet over the north and southbound lanes of the freeway, and is expected to make traveling around Fayetteville much easier.

    "This is a conveyor system that our contractors came up with to move dirt across I-95 to build the Fayetteville Outer Loop," said Joseph Bailey, an engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

    The belt's operation is simple.

    A dump truck moves dirt from a nearby field and dumps it into the conveyor distribution container. The belt operates 20 hours a day and moves about 3,000 cubic yards of dirt a day.

    Engineers say the metal tower saves time, money while keeping drivers and passengers safe as they travel along the interstate.

    "The total volume will be about 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt moved by the conveyor system, which is about 100,000 dump truck loads," Bailey said.

    This section of the nearly $130 million project will stretch for six miles and link I-95 to a location just south of Camden Road in Cumberland County.

    Motorists in the area will notice the giant mound of dirt on the southbound side of I-95 getting larger.

    Jay Boyd designed the conveyor system

    He said it may look slow but it's very effective.

    "It will approximately take 150,000 loads of material off the highway," Boyd said. "We're able to move it across I-95 from a pit location to the fill site," Boyd said.

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