Skip to main content

Hey look it's I-795, and I-74/US 74, and Future I-73/74!

Bob Malme, Dave Filpus and I took a roadtrip checking out the most recent news in Eastern and Central NC Interstates today. In other words, we went to see if I-795 was signed, the recently opened I-74 in Maxton, and some of the construction of the Ellerbe Bypass.

Route: I-540, US 64, NC 39, US 264, I-795, US 117, US 13, I-95, NC 711, I-74/US 74, US 74, US 1, US 220, NC 211, NC 705, NC 24/27, US 15/501, US 1, I-440.

So is I-795 signed?

Well yes, it is. The signs were put up on Wednesday, November 28th. Interestingly, all the US 117 sign have been removed from the 795 freeway. At some interchanges, there are still US 117 shields. Obviously the overheads aren't updated to reflect the change. There is one hiccup. Where I-795 splits from US 264 to head south to Goldsboro, it is not marked at all. So if you stay East on US 264 expecting to be on I-795, you'll be like "Hey, where did 795 go?" I am sure this will be fixed once the guides and overheads are updated.

There are also END signs like below at both termini. We didn't notice any 'BEGIN' signs.


Also, Alternate banners are still up on US 117. However in some cases, the Alternate banners were never added so it won't be that big of a change on what is now once again US 117. The only question, where will 117 end now. Most likely US 301.

NC 711 ends at I-95 while multiplexed with NC 72 for about a quarter of a mile. Also, NC 711 is signed North/South when it clearly goes East/West. Makes no sense.

So it was off to the new six mile section of I-74 from Maxton to NC 710. And well...It's I-74 and US 74. We've seen Future I-74 and US 74 shielded at the same time...but never Interstate 74 and US 74 shields until now.





Right now, the new six miles of I-74/US 74 is posted at 55 mile an hour. It is primarily open for 'Local Traffic Only' at this point. We'll see what happens come vacation season though. 74 is a key route from Charlotte to the beaches.

Here's a look at the unopened I-74/US 74 East past the NC 710 interchange.



Exits are based on I-74 mileage and the milemarkers have I-74 shields only. Interesting if you are headed eastbound at the end of the former Maxton Bypass. You are forced back on the old two lane US 74. If you want to continue on the six miles of freeway to NC 710. You basically need to take a U-Turn at the end of the on-ramp to get back on the highway.

Speaking of that interchange. You got to love signs like these:

Surprisingly, Interstate 74 shields, milemarkers, and exit numbers continue beyond the newly opened highway to the end of the Laurinburg Bypass. We didn't think that the new signs would have been posted already. Signing plans call for the not quite to exact Interstate standards freeway to be signed as an Interstate. And obviously, they've already been done. I-74 shields are through out the Laurinburg/Maxton bypass and also on surface streets at the interchanges. Most of the exit gore signs read with I-74 exit numbers, as do most of the guides. A few guides need I-74 exit tabs and that's it.

And there is even an 'END' I-74 shield at the eastern end of the freeway.

And I-74 shields have been added onto overheads and guide signs at the beginning of the freeway as well.

From there, it was on to check out some construction progress on the I-73/74/US 220 Ellerbe Bypass. A couple of surprises are found here.

First, it appears that NC 73 will not be routed on the new freeway. It is most likely going to continue on what is now US 220 (which will become either US 220 Alternate or Business or both). And here's proof of why.

First, the exit numbers are based on US 220 mileage. However, there are a few clues. First, the guide sign only reads NC 73 (without any East/West). Second around the interchange there are new NC 73 shields located west of the interchange, meaning NC 73 would not go on the freeway.

Finally, shown below, there is not an NC 73 West shield on the guide signs used for shields on the new highway. This shot was taken from a distance at max zoom so it is a little bit sketchy.

There isn't an NC 73 shield on this guide. But also take note that it reads 'FUTURE' I-73 and 'FUTURE' I-74. This is interesting as most thought the highway would be INTERSTATE 73/74 at this point. The reason is that the freeway to the north that the new highway will connect to is already signed as INTERSTATE 73 INTERSTATE 74. So we'll see what happens.

As a whole, a worthwhile field research trip with a few surprises. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Ellerbe bypass opens if the currently signed I-74/74 to the North changes to Future. Or if Future 73/74 changes. Also, what exactly happens to NC 73. IS my guess that it won't go on the new freeway right? We shall see, the freeway is supposed to open next Spring.

If you made it this far, take some time and read Bob Malme's I-73/74 pages. It gives an accurate and in depth look at the progress of both Interstates in North Carolina.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I gotta hand it to NC, they're the last place that actually is still building new highways to keep up with development, unlike other places where suburbs keep going, and 2 lane roads are overcloged and widening is impossible
Steve said…
What a horrible clusterfuck... US 74/I-74, NC 73/I-73, bypasses that don't connect to each other... can't the government just let FHWA do its job anymore?
cranberries said…
There is a statement that needs a little clarification (below), you can do that, however, if you take the exit before it which is the 'A' and not the 'B' it will lead up to the Business 74 as well. But you can drive straight across and be on the On Ramp for the other 6 miles.

(You basically need to take a U-Turn at the end of the on-ramp to get back on the highway.)
cranberries said…
On another note:
NC wants to route I-74 off US74 through an expensive-to-build-on marshland to Myrtle Beach. Environmentally it will be years to get it passed.
It really should be routed to Wilmington which is better for the state. Wilmington is adding more cargo ports and will need better routes to Charlotte.

Looking at the area, I-73 will already serve Myrtle Beach. This is useless duplication at a horrible expense. But then does anyone at the DOT or politics know what they are doing?

(SC refuses to continue I-20 from Florence to Wilmington due to reducing/losing their beach revenue to NC). So again why should be build an interstate to their beach and not ours?

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…

2018 Mojave Road Trip Part 2; The deadly desert highway (California State Route 127 and Nevada State Route 373)

After leaving Barstow via Old Highway 58 my next destination was in Death Valley.  To access Death Valley from rural San Bernardino County required a trek on north on Interstate 15 to California State Route 127 which becomes Nevada State Route 373 at the state line.


Along I-15 I encountered the road sign oddity that is Zzyzx Road about eight miles south of Baker.   Zzyzx Road is a four mile road that used to go to the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa.   The spa was founded in the 1940s and the owner made up the name "Zzyzx" to claim it was the last word in the English Language.  The spa has been shut down since the 1970s and is now part of a Desert Studies Center for California State University.






The southern terminus of CA 127 in Baker is located at I-15 exit 246.  CA 127 is a 91 mile north/south highway which runs to the Nevada State Line in Inyo County.  CA 127 is called Death Valley Road from I-15 northward.  South of CA 127 the road continues as Kelbaker Road which c…