Skip to main content

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 signals and poles in - a process that could take two weeks. (dramatic pause) If, all goes well.

So on Wednesday, Skanska publically apologize for the delays. (Just this one, not the prior 19 months.) And said they were trying to get everything done by the Monday after Thanksgiving.

But on Thursday, Lee Corso came back to Charlotte (No, he wasn't interviewing for the UNC-Charlotte football job...although 49er football will begin before I-485 is completed - that's another post.) and again said, "Not so fast, my friend."

It seems that while digging a hole for the traffic light poles, a contractor punched a hole in a 16" water main. Yes, while digging a hole for the traffic light poles, a contractor punched a hole in a 16" water main. (repeated for emphasis) Fortunately, the repairs were made...and the water main break may only add another day to the delays...but after nearly 20 months...who's counting.

Stories:
WCNC-TV - I-485 Stretch won't open by Thanksgiving
WCNC-TV - I-485 contractor appologizes for delay
WCNC-TV - Water main break could further delay 485

Commentary:
I think the story speaks for itself.

Comments

David said…
I wonder how many in NCDOT will be eager to see this contractor chosen for future projects??

Interesting about the NC-24 extension. After all these years, the 24/27 combination across half of southern NC was useful. Now if they'd just replace the eastern half of NC-73 with a relocated NC-27 and let 24 carry the current 24/27, they'd get even more use out of the combination... and end the NC-73/I-73 intersection nonsense.

Of course, that'll happen just as soon as US 72 is extended eastward from Chattanooga replacing US 74. Never.

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…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

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…