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NC: More Delays this time for I-540

I apologize in advance for sounding like a broken record, but the opening of Interstate 540 from Triangle Town Center (exit 17) to the US 64/264 Knightdale Bypass has been delayed to at least the end of January.

The oft-delayed seven and a half miles of new Interstate have been under construction for at least three years. Also, costs have increased from a planned $67 million to a current amount of $73 million. Most of the delays appear to be from various environmental concerns. This past November, over nine inches of rainfall delayed the project.

The road was to originally be opened in April 2006, then Fall, then the end of 2006 and now "hopefully" the end of January 2007.

WRAL in Raleigh has the story and a great video if you want to see what the highway will look like whenever it is finally open.

Related Posts:
NC: Both I-485 and I-540 Delayed Again

Christmas Eve PA Trip

On Christmas Eve, I took a small trip through Washington and western Allegheny Counties to enjoy some freetime.

Route: PA 48, PA 51, Former PA 171, PA 201, I-70, PA 519, PA 980, US 22, PA TPK 576, US 22, PA 980, PA 50, PA 519, I-70, PA 201, Former PA 171, PA 51, PA 48.

Notes: Traffic was pretty light on I-70, Next to no traffic on PA TPK 576. PA 980 has a series of turns in the towns of Canonsburg and McDonald.

Accomplishments: PA 519, 980 and TPK 576 clinched. New Miles on PA 50.

Photos:

Just South ("East") of the US 30 (Exit 2) interchange. PA TPK 576 shields are green on white with White on Green directional banners.


The current end of PA TPK 576 east is at US 22 near Bavington. I am standing inside what one day will be the lanes that will carry PA TPK 576 over US 22.

Just a zoom image from the same spot above this time of the exit gore and the Exit 6 ramps. (I could have zoomed further here.)

A Keystone Town Marker for Hickory. It's about time I start contributing to…

Local Sign Find - 3

This old NY State Thruway sign is found in Schenectady on Nott St. approaching Erie Blvd. Along with the old trailblazer, there's a local truck sign, and an old fire call box.

Albany County Hilltowns Trip

After running some errands today, I took a brief trip through the Hilltowns to the south of Albany.

Route: NY 85, NY 443, Albany County Route 312, NY 143, NY 144, NY 396, Albany County 301, NY 443, NY 85.

Notes: I clinched NY 143 and NY 396 on this trip along with Albany County 301. I also added mileage to NY 144.

In Clarksville, near the Northern end of Albany County 301 there is a great replica of a stone arch bridge carrying CR 301 over the Onesquethaw Creek. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good spot to pull over and walk around to photograph it.

Now for some photos:

One of the many farms in southern Albany County. This one is off of Albany County 312 in Clarksville.

This sign gem is located on NY 143 at Albany County 312.

This old water pump is at the Albany 312 'Wye' at NY 143.

Old style NY 396 shield on 396 West in Selkirk. They don't make 9's or 6's like that anymore.

Albany County 301 at NY 32. Just a shot I liked.

NC: Both I-485 and I-540 openings delayed

Well can't say I was surprised here.

In Charlotte, concrete work and guardrails hold the opening of I-485 to at least mid-December, if they are lucky. (Charlotte Observer)

In Raleigh, the nine inches of rain that fell in November has pushed back I-540's opening from Triangle Town Center to the US 64/264 Knightdale Bypass to 'early next year' (Raleigh News & Obsever)

New section of Interstate 485 MAY open this week

The northwest quadrant of Interstate 485 has had a laundry list of issues. Concrete and asphalt problems, sign problems, and other delays has caused portions of the highways to fall 18 months behind schedule. Well, if all goes well this week (And with I-485's history, it won't.), an additional 2.3 miles of Interstate 485 will open to traffic. See today's Charlotte Observer for more.

The new opening will be from Interstate 85 in western Mecklenburg County northwards to NC 27 (Mount Holly Road). There is also an exit with Moores Chapel Road in between. This is the first of three segments of Interstate 485 to open between now and the first half of 2007. Early in 2007, the highway is to open a few miles further north from NC 27 to Brookshire Blvd. (NC 16). Then later in 2007, the Northwest corner will be complete as I-485 will be extended further to Interstate 77 and NC 115 near Huntersville.

It is believed that this part of I-485 will ease traffic on NC 16 and NC 27 from…

Local Sign Find - 2

This gem is found on North Church St. in Schenectady. It's a required stop and see for Capital Area Roadgeeks. As Doug Kerr, Charles Slater, Chris Jordan, and now myself have seen and taken a photo of it.

It is an old NY 5 shield. With the NY inside the shield, the small twigs kinda are in the way of the 'NY'.

South Carolina now to lead six state effort to complete Interstate 73

And that's what the "Special Announcement" was during the I-73 funding summit in Columbia this past Monday.

Nelson Walker, 76, who founded and heads the I-73/74 Corridor Association handed over the reigns of his lately inactive group over to the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. In 1991, Walker began what would evolved into the I-73/74 Corridor Association in Bluefield, West Virginia. The goal was to petition for funding to make much needed improvements along the US 52 corridor within the state. The group went to United States Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), who would start the groundwork that lead to the creation of the I-73 corridor (a six state highway running south from Michigan, through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, before ending in South Carolina.) later that same year.

Since then, North Carolina has been the only state to have parts of I-73 open and signed to traffic. South Carolina is agressively pushing to build the highway, while Virginia …

South Carolina to Hold I-73 Funding Summit

As the path of Interstate 73 through South Carolina becomes more specific, the forum for discussion has now turned to, "How are we gonna pay for the darn thing?"

With nearly $85 million in federal funding already received for the route and with the real possibility the highway will be tolled, discussing how the Interstate will be paid for may seem far fetched. But it's not. Take a look at the numbers, I-73 is expected to cost upwards of $2 billion - with a b - to complete. The $85 million isn't even 5% of what the highway will eventually cost. Even with the traditional 80 (federal)/ 20 (state) split of funding, the toll may not be enough to cover the state's share of the bill.

So this coming Monday, November 20th, the South Carolina I-73 Association and United States Senator Lindsay Graham (R-Seneca) will hold a public meeting to discuss possible funding solutions to build I-73. The meeting will be held from 10 am to 2 pm at the Columbia Metropolitan Conve…

Heavy Rains damage I-88 again

2006 has been a bad year for Interstate 88 when it comes to the weather.

In June, heavy rains forced the closure of nearly half the Interstate, and a collapsed culvert killed two truck drivers in Unadilla.

This time it was mudslides.

The heavy rain Thursday and Thursday night caused a mud and rockslide on I-88 between Interstate 81 and Port Crane near the city of Binghamton. The slide caused a multiple vehicle wreck, seriously injuring one. Another slide damaged Interstate 81 in Binghamton near the Kamikaze Curve.

Tier weathers another storm ---Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

UPDATE: The total amount of cars involved in the wreck from the mudslide was 20. The most seriously injured was an Arizona couple whose rental car was thrown into the air and landed on another vehicle. Witnesses said the slide sounded like a loud train moving through when the slide occurred.

Witness says I-88 mudslide soulded loud as a train ---Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin.

NYSDOT Commissioner: Crews did an incredible job after the flood

In a recent op/ed in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, NYSDOT Thomas J. Madison, Jr. wrote about the work that construction crews performed replacing the collapsed section of Interstate 88 in Unadilla.

He wrote that DOT crews and outside contractors worked 24/7 to repair and then open the highway. He mentioned that some of the crews went to work immediately even while their own families and property were affected by the rain and floodwaters.

He writes:

Work on I-88 and other parts of the state has been performed safely, expeditiously and expertly. In many cases, projects that would normally take a year or more to complete were finished within a few months under adverse and sometimes dangerous conditions.This commitment demonstrates why New York state's highways are among the safest and best in the United States.To read the entire opinion, please go here.

Commentary:

There's no doubt that the repairs to Interstate 88 and other highways damaged by the floods were done in a ex…

PA contractor to receive bid on WV 43 bridge job

Mosites Construction, located in Pittsburgh, appears to be the low bidder in the latest project aimed to complete West Virginia's four mile "missing link" of the Mon-Fayette Expressway. Mosites has bid $19.87 million to construct a bridge over Morgan's Run Road.

The contract should be awarded within 30 days with construction to start in the Spring of 2007. The bridge should be completed in 2009. No word on when the next bids for the highway will be let, some of which include the construction of the I-68/WV 43 interchange.

Article: Contractor picked for Mon-Fayette Expressway bridges ---AP

Commentary:

Another step towards the eventual completion of WV 43. The state still plans on a 2011 overall completion date.

See: WV awards MFE contract
WV eyes 2011 for completion of Mon-Fayette Expressway

SC: Heritage Trust Board won't fight I-73 but expects compensation

In South Carolina, concerns on Interstate 73's effects to a wildlife preserve may add some small hurdles in the proposed highways path to completion.

The issue: I-73's impact on the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve along the Horry/Marion County Line. I-73's right of way will take over 27 acres of land and nearly another six acres where the highway will cross the river.

The SC Department of Natural Resources is in support of I-73 but has withheld support of the preferred alternative because of their concerns over the Preserve. The DNR prefers a route that would have I-73 built over top of SC 9 or US 501. However, the DOT's study for I-73 shows that more wetlands and environmental areas would be impacted over the SC 9 or US 501 route. The DNR has agreed that the DOT's findings are correct.

Indications are that the DNR will sign off on the preferred alternative but expects to receive the maximum amount of compensation as possible. By compensation, that may includ…

EBay: Would you pay $2600.50 for this?

It's a beauty no doubt, a cutout Oregon Highway 58 shield complete with Button Copy or Cats-Eyes numerals. It's embossed and was on a recent auction on ebay. Ok so maybe $100 or $200 even $250. But it went for $2600.50!!!! Yes, Two thousand, six hundred dollars and fifty cents! You can re-read that now...............

Ok, I own a few signs, and sign collecting is a part of this hobby. But I've yet to pay over $65 for one, and even then I had buyer's remorse. But $2600.50! Heck, I'm saving to buy new living room furniture next year, and this sign alone is greater than I am planning on spending. Maybe putting a sign or two on ebay will help pay for it.

Yeah for some you could say it's an investment, but who is gonna pretty much pay even more than $2600.50 for it when the poor guy passes away or decides to sell.

That's just a little too much for me.

What do you think? Would you pay that much for a sign? And what do you think the fair market value is for t…

Local Sign Find - 1

Found this gem at lunch today off of Saratoga 52.

Families of drivers lost in I-88 collapse file suit

The family of one of the drivers killed when a section of I-88 collapsed during the late June floods has filed a wrongful death suit against the state. The family of David Swingle has recently filed a suit for wrongful death and survival damages against the state with the New York State of Claims.

The family of Patrick O'Connell of Lisbon, ME, the other driver to perish in the collapse, also intend to pursue a similar suit.

For more: New York Newsday

Around the neighborhood Volume 1

I try to talke a walk a few times the week around the neighborhood. Sometimes, I'm pretty good other times I'm plain slack. But here's some photos from a recent walk around the block last Thursday.
Looking down Winthrop Ave.

More experimentation this time with leaves.

Just down a block and aways at Melrose and Homestead. Took two shots to time it right.

I always walk at least one block of US 20. Western Ave. @ Manning Blvd.

Last shot of the walk...along Manning Blvd.

The Mohawk Trail and other parts of Western Mass.

On Tuesday the 10th, I headed out along the Mohawk trail. For the first time in a long time, I headed east via NY 2. Two reasons, I hadn't done that in a month of Sundays and also because of the views at Petersburgh Pass on Mount Raimer. They surely didn't disappoint.

That's looking towards Massachusetts which the NY/MA state line is just around that corner. At the summit of the pass, there is a large parking area for access to the Tactonic State Park Trail. An elderly couple mentioned to me that there used to be a hotel and nightclub at the summit at one time also. Below, looking into New York towards Petersburgh.

For some reason, I like to use vertical shots with a curving road that have a mountain backdrop. A personal preference nothing more. Your thoughts?

Now in Mass on Highway 2. I headed through the towns of Willamstown, home of Willams College, and North Adams. From North Adams the Mohawk Trail really begins and just east of town the famous hairpin turn sit…

Southern Vermont and New Hampshire Trip

Sunday, I headed out towards and through Southern Vermont and New Hampshire. I really had no set plan but to get at least as far east as Strafford County. Which I did. It was one of those trips where you don't rush to see everything or as much as you can, you enjoy what you actually do see. Most of my trips, I try to take that approach. The main route through Southern Vermont is Highway 9, and there were plenty of good photo spots along the way.
There were plenty of other photographers out, and one thing came to mind, a tripod. I spoke briefly with a couple that was taking photos, and the man said he always has it with him because it's a lot steadier than handheld. So when I got home Sunday night, the first thing I did was put my tripod in the back of the SUV.

There are a few old alignments of Vermont 9 and this one near Wilmington ran against Harriman Reservoir.
One thing about uploading photos to this blog is that when you click on the photo to go to the larger image. I…

Trip to Vroman's Nose and Gilboa, NY

This past Saturday (10/6), I started my vacation by going hiking at Vroman's Nose in Middleburgh, NY and also exploring some backroads I haven't been down.

I started the trip on I-90 to I-88 and got off at the NY 30A interchange (exit 23) . I backtracked up NY 7 a little bit and headed south on NY 30 to take some shots of I-88 from the NY 30 overpass. (I commented on this view in one of my first entries). The views didn't disappoint this nearly perfect autumn day!


I took a few photos along NY 30 and the Schoharie Covered Bridge. There was a History Fair at the old fort, and the ticket gate was at the end of the bridge. I would have loved to stopped but I really wanted to hike the nose. Speaking of the nose, here it is...

Vroman's Nose is just outside of Middleburgh and less than a mile south of the NY 30/145 crossroads. The nose was formed by the Wisconsin Glaciers over 25,000 years ago. Signs along NY 30 easily point you down a side road to the trail access. Al…

Deerfield, MA Trip & Review

Last weekend, my parents were in town so on Saturday we went into Western Mass. Mom loves candles and the first stop I planned was the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in South Deerfield. We spent about an hour and a half there. The place is enourmous. Thre's a Christmas World or at least four different styles of Christmas World, a large toy store for kids, a general store, a cafe and coffee shop, and of course a bunch of candles.

Guys, if you live in New England or traveling through on vacation and want to take your girlfriend or wife or parents on a nice day trip. This is actually a great destination. It's right off of I-91 at Exit 24. Head North on US 5 for about a mile and it is on your left. Mom very much enjoyed it.

Next, we headed to Deerfield to find a place for lunch. Little did we know that Historic Deerfield is a New England version of Williamsburg with a lot of small town charm. Deerfield is a traditional New England town it's the home of the prestigeous…