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Showing posts from 2008

Do we have another Interstate Sound Wall issue in North Carolina?

You all may remember the uproar over the lack of sound/noise barriers along parts of the recently opened Greensboro Urban Loop. Now with the opening of more miles to the Interstate 485 Charlotte Loop, it appears that concern over sound barriers (or the lack there of) is showing its ugly head again.

This past week, I've received some e-mails asking me if I knew if NCDOT was going to install soundwalls or why they did not. It appears that the complaints are coming from where I-485 runs near Mount Holly-Huntersville Road.

I've contacted NCDOT, and hope to have an answer.

I've Seen Fire and I've seen Rain!

Here you see my krautmobile(AKA My Work Van) doing a rather poor imitation of a submarine. Up in my part of the world we got sort of an ice storm last night. Actually it was mostly rain with some ice-as it stayed above freezing most of the night.

Thinking we'd get ice, I decided to take my car home rather than the krautmobile(Yes, I know it has Dodge badges all over it, but it's really a Mercedes van), since the 88-88 is a better vehicle in wintry weather, despite it's lack of ABS, traction control and all that. I figured, even if I did get stuck; better it should be my car and not the work van. Yeah, right. What you're looking at is the view from the rear door of our warehouse. There's a ground drain to the left of the rear bumper, obviously nonfunctional. And for all intents and purposes, so was the van for the majority of the day. After the water receded, it was driveable; though the rear of the cargo compartment got quite wet.

Things were pretty much a mess: the …

Thanksgiving Leftovers-I-74/US 311 Construction Photos

As promised, I'm posting some of the photos I have taken along the I-74/US 311 freeway now being constructed from Business 85 (US 29/70) to US 220 (Future I-73). The project is actually building two separate freeways. The first covers completing the High Point East Belt Freeway from Business 85 to just beyond I-85 and the other is the US 311 Bypass Freeway which runs from I-85 to US 220 and which is also broken into 2 parts. The second and final part of the Bypass was only recently started as a design/build project. The projected completion dates for the projects seen in the photos below is Spring 2011 while Fall 2012 is the completion date for the part just recently awarded for construction.

The photos and commentary will cover the I-74 construction zone going west to east.

1. Business 85
The completed second section of the High Point East Belt actually runs beyond Business 85 to Baker Road so the interchange with the future I-74 freeway is largely complete. The above photo was tak…

A Pre-Thanksgiving Sign-Seeing Road Trip

I hear there have been some complaints about the lack of sign photos here lately. I took a trip to the Greensboro and High Point areas today (11/23) to help remedy the situation. The goals of the trip were to a) see what progress NCDOT has been making in restoring I-40 to its original alignment, b) check out the new interchange that opened this weekend for the PTI Airport from Bryan Blvd. (Future I-73) and the resulting signage, and c) confirm an e-mail sent to me that NCDOT had resumed its sign installation along the original US 311 freeway, putting up new exit signs with I-74 mileposts.

First, the I-40 situation. There was a NCDOT announcement last week they were closing lanes at the once and future I-40/85 split east of Greensboro for sign installation. I can confirm the signs were changed but they were simple shield and control city switches on the existing signs, not new ones. As shown here:
You can see High Point has replaced Winston-Salem for I-85 South. Here's a photo of the…

Another NC Roadtrip - The Foothills

Last weekend, I was back in Gaston County visiting friends and on Saturday did a photo trip into the NC Foothills.

The entire flickr set (67 photos) is here.

Route: Local roads in Gaston and Lincoln Counties to NC 27, NC 27, NC 150, US 74, US 74 Business, US 74A, NC 9, Mill Creek Road, US 70, Old NC 10 into Marion, US 70, NC 126, NC 181, NC 18, NC 27 local roads to Mt. Holly, NC.

The first stop was the old Marisopa Road bridge just across the Gaston/Lincoln county line. I would love to have taken more photos here, but the last shower of about a day and a half worth of rain came through the area. I did get the shot below though.

Along, NC 27 in Lincoln County is the tiny community of Iron Station. They have a parade in Iron Station once a year, when the line painting crew goes through town. In Iron Station, the former elementary school still stands but now abandoned.



US 74 Business runs through three Rutherford County towns, Forest City, Spindale, and Rutherfordton. I stopped in Forest…

New Soap Opera: As Interstate 485 gets delayed

Just when you thought the reasons (read: excuses) for the now over 18 months of delays in the completion of 5.5 miles of Interstate 485 comes two new details that couldn't come from a Hollywood Soap Opera.

Let's start with a story that broke this past Tuesday - A lack of traffic signals will keep I-485 closed prior to Thanksgiving. (Now you see why they said December 31st just a month ago.) yes, missing traffic signals at the W.T. Harris Blvd. (which we recently learned is now NC 24) Interchange will keep the road closed before Thanksgiving. (Those that will be stuck on I-77 in Huntersville on the day before Thanksgiving salute you.)

So how is this possible? NCDOT doesn't even know. They only applied for the permits last week, and Charlotte's DOT can't move that fast. So Skanska, the beleaguered contractor, offered to put up temporary poles and traffic signals. NCDOT summoned Lee Corso and said, "Not, so fast my friend." They want the permanent si…