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Showing posts from April, 2007

New York to replace fill at site of collapsed I-88 culvert

Yesterday, NYSDOT announced that they will begin a construction project to replace 8,500 cubic yards of polystyrene fill that was used in an emergency repair of the Interstate near Sidney. The fill was used in a project to replace a collapsed concrete culvert and 175 feet of washed out roadway that occurred last June. The collapse of the highway killed two truck drivers.

The issue this time is that the Styrofoam fill is settling and not holding up to design standards. The fill was used along the embankment and as a layer between the culvert and asphalt roadway. According to NYSDOT officials, there is no issue with the new concrete culvert, but the fill was not holding up well.

The polystyrene fill will be replaced by an "expanded shale" fill. The fill will come from a process that heats shale rock to 1000 degrees. A description by the DOT of the expanded shale is "The layers in the rock expand like popcorn and are baked by the heat, producing a material that is ligh…

MDSHA and WVDOH to hold US 220 (North-South Corridor) Meetings in May

The Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) and the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) will begin public workshops for planning upgrades to US 220 (North-South Corridor) from Corridor H to Interstate 68 near Cumberland.

The first meeting will be held from 4:30 to 7:00 pm May 7 at Moorefield (WV) High School. Other meetings will be held on May 8 in Keyser, WV and May 10 in Bel Air, MD.

Currently there are five corridors under study for the project. They range from upgrading existing US 220 to building new alignments as far west as WV 93 to Corridor H in Bismark or along the Patterson Creek Valley (which is further to the east of current US 220.

A pdf of the five corridors understudy can be found here. (MDSHA)

Design requirements for the proposed highway include a 64 mph design speed, a maximum grade of 5 to 7 percent, the highway will be an at-grade four lane divided arterial highway.

Story: Workshops will address proposed U.S. 220 upgrade ---Cumberland Times-News

Link: US 2…

Poll shows a majority of SC Residents support I-73

Recently, WPDE-TV in Myrtle Beach (ABC) and the Zogby International conducted a statewide poll on how residents view I-73.

We asked two questions. The first, whether South Carolinians feel it's important to build an interstate to Myrtle Beach. A clear majority say yes, it's important.
Statewide:
66% - important.
33% - not important
1% - unsure.

When asked whether an interstate should be built to Myrtle Beach for hurricane evacuation purposes, the number jumps. Not only that, the number who believe it's "very" important is higher in the midlands and lowcountry, than it is here on the coast.
Statewide:
82% - important
18% - not importantDisclaimer:

The article doesn't state how many residents were polled and what the margin of error is/was. The poll seems to have been done at the same time the station and Zogby ran a statewide poll for the SC Presidential primaries. In one poll, 512 South Carolina Republicans were polled with a 4.5% margin of error. No data was given…

SCDOT to present I-73 wetland replacement proposal on May 3rd

It looks like SCDOT may soon clear an environmental hurdle when they present a plan to replace 27 acres of wetlands on May 3rd. If approved, the plan will replace 27 acres of wetlands in the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve that will be impacted by construction of Interstate 73 through the area.

Approval of the wetland replacement proposal is necessary for SCDOT to get federal permits that will allow them to build the new highway. The DOT and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are working together on the plan.

Recently, the SC Legislature made two attempts to allow recent wetland gains by the state as compensation for the affected 27 acres. Both attempts failed.

The DNR has stated it would not oppose I-73 even though some environmental-oriented groups have been vocal against it.

The Southern Environmental Law Center, based in Chapel Hill, is one of the groups hoping that the routing through the preserve can still be changed. They point to federal law that prohibits building a…

Local Sign Find - 5

There's a big rebuild of the recent big rebuild of I-40 in Southern Durham County. And as a result, commuters have been urged to use alternate routes. One of the 'detours' is along NC 147, aka The Durham Freeway. Using NC 147 is all well and good for a detour or even an alternate route for INTERSTATE 40, but US 40?. Sure, if the entire states of Maryland and Virginia were under construction. (And to some...both states are). Photo credit to Craig Zeni who came across this sign on April 18th.

Looking Back: Residents recall changes to neighborhood when I-279 was constructed

A recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article takes a look back at Pittsburgh residents who were relocated when I-279 was built in the 1980s.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_502658.html

Building the East Street Valley Expressway or "Parkway North" was nearly a thirty year struggle between the Commonwealth and area residents. In 1999, James Broadbent, who acquired property for PennDot, wrote Right-of-Way Man and has numerous stories of those who were affected by the new highway. It's quite possible that those in the Trib's story dealt with Mr. Broadbent over 20 years ago.

Interstate 279 History ---Jeff Kitsko

NC 16 in Northeast Gaston County to be detoured through May 30th

Beginning Monday, NC 16 South in Lucia will be temporarily detoured onto its original alignment for about six weeks.

The reason, NCDOT needs to close the highway in order to tie the existing highway to the new four-lane alignment being built. The new highway will extend the four lane NC 16 to NC 73 in Eastern Lincoln County. Plans are to make NC 16 a four lane highway from I-85 near Charlotte to I-40 near Newton-Conover.

The detour route will place NC 16 over NC 273, and then when NC 273 turns right to head towards Mt. Holly, the detour continues straight on Lucia Riverbend Highway. This section of NC 273 and Lucia Riverbend Highway was a former alignment of NC 16 before the four lane was built slightly to the north in 1990.

The detour for NC 16 South should end on May 30th. The new four lane highway should be open shortly after that.

Story: Charlotte Observer

4/9 Roadtrip: Augusta to Raleigh

Headed back to Raleigh from Augusta on Monday the 9th.

Route: Ga 28, I-20, US 78, GA 17, GA 77 Connector, GA 77, I-85, I-485, I-85, US 70, I-540.

Accomplishments: Added two more counties Wilkes and Elbert, GA. Reclinched I-485 and clinched GA 77 Conn. I added more mileage to US 78, GA 17 and GA 77.

Notes:

Along US 78 around the McDuffie/Wilkes County Line are signs that says D.O.T Widening Proposed Call (phone number) for information. I've never seen that done before. Is this a common practice in Georgia?

Notice that Georgia now signs bicycle routes. They are the standard bike route sign although they do include a direction banner also. I came across bike route 85 on this trip.


There is a brief detour for GA 77 just north of Elberton. It puts you on a few county roads and as a result. I found a very unique one lane concrete bridge.


It appears that there no longer are any button copy signs left on Interstate 85 in South Carolina, at least I-85 North.

I-85 between Spartanburg and th…

The Masters IS a Tradition Unlike Any Other

It takes a lot to make me speechless, but to describe what it is like to walk and witness the Final Round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course leaves me just that. I can not begin to describe what I saw and witnessed on Sunday. But it is something special, and something I won't ever forget.

High Definition Television with all its clarity and detail doesn't come near the amazement of walking this course in person. The hills, the narrow chute of trees from the 18th tee to the hillier than you imagined 18th fairway and green. The undulations of the greens, the razor thin fairways, how close the patrons sit next to the green or along the fairways. Or even how the pins are tucked into the tiniest and trickiest corner of the green.

It doesn't begin to show the awe and beauty when you come across Amen Corner for the first time. You stand there totally still for five minutes to absorb it all in. The 12th green surrounded by the flowery and colorful blossoms of Aza…

April 7 Roadtrip to Augusta, GA

Left Raleigh on Saturday Afternoon to head to Augusta, GA.

Route: I-440, I-40, I-95, Future I-295, I-95, US 78, SC 781, US 278, SC/GA 28, I-520 (GA/SC), I-20, GA 28

Accomplishments: With traveling through Barnwell County in South Carolina, I have completed the Palmetto State. Future I-295 clinched (until they extend it, whenever that will be), SC 781 clinched, I-520 in GA clinched also I-520 in SC clinched (again until they extended it, whenever that will be.) New mileage on US 78, US 278, SC/GA 28.

Notes:

There is a lot of work going on at where the US 70 Clayton Bypass meets I-40. More than I expected. The interchange will be a high speed trumpet.

Future I-295 does not have any exit numbers. And is a rather quiet freeway.




There is still a lot of work to be done at the I-95 and I-74 interchange south of Lumberton. Bridge beams are just now being set into place for the bridge that will carry the travel lanes of I-74 over I-95. They are currently only over the southbound lanes of I-9…

Wv/MD: Construction of US 220 North/South Corridor Delayed until 2010

According to the Cumberland Times-News, construction of the US 220 North/South Corridor -- a four lane highway from I-68 in Cumberland, MD to Corridor H in Moorefield, WV -- has been delayed until 2010. The original construction date was 2008.

Commentary:

Interestingly the WVDOT Website for the project has always said the earliest construction for the North/South Corridor could begin was either 2009 or 2010.

WV: Bids to extend King Coal Highway Delayed

Bids for construction for the next segment of the King Coal Highway in Bluefield have been delayed until mid-April. A few minor changes to the project has delayed opening the bids until April 17th.

The $20 million project will extended the highway from the interchange with US 52/460, completed five years ago, over US 19 to Stoney Ridge.

Meanwhile, local officials are continuing attempts to secure another $53 million in funds to extend the highway to WV 123 and near the Mercer County Airport. When that segment is constructed there will be direct highway access from I-77 to the airport.

In other news, an 11 mile stretch of the King Coal Highway in Mingo County continues to inch closer to a 2010 completion date.

For More: King Coal Progress Detoured --Bluefield Daily Telegraph

SC: I-73 wetland trade halted

Last month, SC House members blocked a measure to use recently acquired wetlands by the state's Conservation Bank as compensation for 27 acres of wetland that will be lost due to the construction of Interstate 73. The 27 acres are from where Interstate 73 is intended to cross the Little Pee Dee River Heritage Preserve.

Two measures pushed by Horry County legislators were defeated. The first, a measure that required any wetland gained by the Conservation in the next fiscal year be used to offset highway construction fell by a vote of 61-51.

Another measure, that specifically called for any acquired wetlands be used to offset the 27 acres that I-73 will impact fell 66 to 47.

The DOT intends to finalize plans for I-73 from I-95 to SC 22 this spring, but must include a compensation plan for the impacted 27 acres. Last November, the Department of Natural Resources, who oversees the Heritage Preserve, said that they would not fight the construction of I-73, but did expect full compens…

Blog and Website to check out

Some of you may be familiar with the Keystone Town Markers feature I have done that includes the photos from the late Fred Yenerall.

Well, Mr. Yenerall's family has set up a blog and a website to showcase all of his photos from the late 50s through the early 80's. There is a lot of great photos at their site from covered bridges, old bards and school houses, classic fall scenes, and many famous buildings from all over the country.

Mr. Yenerall took over 25,000 slides and the blog and website only scratches the surface. Working with his photos and viewing his other work has given me a continued motivation and inspiration to do more than just tradtional 'roadgeek' photography. Both the site and the blog are on my favorites list.

The Fred Yenerall Collection - Keystone Town Markers
The Fred Yenerall Collection
The Fred Yenerall Collection Blog