Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2009

Poll: Nearly 3 of 4 Mecklenburg County Residents want 485 completed

An Elon University poll of 422 Mecklenburg County adults on various Charlotte area issues show that close to 75% of Mecklenburg residents prefer the completion of Interstate 485 as the region's top transportation priority. 21% of those surveyed preferred the upgrading of Independence Blvd. 73% of respondents said the I-485 loop should be finished first.

The survey was taken between September 16-20; and the margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.

On another hot Charlotte issue - the expansion of rail transit, 44.8% prefer the building of a commuter rail line paralleling Interstate 77 to Lake Norman first. The light-rail (Lynx) expansion to the northeast and UNC-Charlotte was the top rail priority of 36.5% of those polled.

For more details on the poll: See the Elon University press release or the Charlotte Observer write up.

SC Town wants Action on Carolina Bays Northern Extension

"On Monday, the Community Coalition of Little River organized a forum with local politicians to discuss the need to extend the Carolina Bays Parkway north to the state line. The highway currently ends at Route 9, and the fork in the road leads a lot of traffic through the Little River community.Little River residents like Delburt Wise say traffic in the downtown area can be unbearable at times because of the large number of people who get diverted there from Highway 31....Mike Barbee with the South Carolina Department of Transportation says the department has already conducted a feasibility study in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to determine how the extended highway would impact the environment and the people living in the community. Barbee says the long term goal would be to connect Highway 31 with the new Interstate 74, which is already partially funded by the NCDOT.However without any money available to fund the project now, the highway cou…

SCDOT holds Carolina Bays Parkway Public Hearing

On the heels of the opening of the Robert Edge Parkway (North Myrtle Beach Connector), SCDOT and Horry County are just getting started on another major road project, the southern extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway from SC 544 to SC 707.

At a public hearing at Socastee High School on September 8th, Horry County residents were able to see details of the new highway first hand.

Some of the features of the new highway include, an improved interchange with SC 544, a terminus interchange at SC 707, improvements to SC 707 from the Parkway to US 17, and a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway.

Construction should begin in the fall of 2010 and it should take three years to complete.

Story Links:
DOT shows S.C. 31 plans in Myrtle Beach area ---The Myrtle Beach Sun News

Byrd: “Corridor H is my transportation crusade.”

From his hospital bed, West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd continues to secure transportation funding for various West Virginia highway projects. The latest includes another $4.5 million for Corridor H - which will most likely go towards construction of the Bismark to Davis section.

Byrd continues to push for the completion of the controversial Corridor H - even going at odds with the Obama Administration who cut off Corridor H funding in his proposed budget. Byrd in announcing the additional $4.5 million stated that “Corridor H is my transportation crusade.”

In addition to the $4.5 million for Corridor H, Byrd was able to secure:

$2 million for the Coalfields Expressway -- This funding would be used for work associated with the Allen Creek to Slab Fork area. To date, Byrd has secured $149.35 million for this project.$2 million for the King Coal Highway -- Funding will be used for construction of an interchange to WV 460 in Mercer County. Byrd has previously secured $124.65 million …

Westward Ho! Corridor H crosses the Potomac

This past Thursday in Moorefield, WV another chapter of the Corridor H saga was completed when a ribbon cutting ceremony announced the completion of the South Branch of the Potomac bridge. And at the same time, break ground on the final paving contract that will extend the highway from US 220 in Moorefield to Patterson Creek Road. Once the paving is complete, sometime in the fall of 2010, Corridor H will be open another 11 miles.

While I was away...

While I was out of town most of the first part of September, a handful of things happened in the never ending Interstate 485 vs. Independence Blvd. funding debate.

First, MUMPO decided that Independence Blvd. has top priority over completing the I-485 Loop. Governor Perdue told the Charlotte Observer in a phone interview that she doesn't understand why they won't build I-485: “When I was campaigning, all I heard was ‘485, 485, 485.' I never heard ‘Independence Boulevard,'” said the governor.

Later in a visit to the Metro Charlotte area, Perdue said that, "...[she was] still really working aggressively trying to figure out a way that we can have 485."

Governor Perdue could you please let Lee Meyers at MUPMO know that you are doing such.

I'm pretty sure that the first thing Pat McCrory would say about this drama, "Told ya so."

Latest Greensboro Loop Visit

I spent a week on vacation in Kentucky (will provide details in a later post). On my way last Saturday (9/12), I decided to check whether NCDOT had followed up on its pledge in its 8/20 news release to complete the I-40 move related re-signing in 'about 3 weeks'. Well, they're close, but no cigar as of yet. The first change noticed is that they finally filled out the first signs for the Loop heading west on I-85South/I-40 West:
They've added the predicted I-73 shields below what was a blank under 'To North.' Why that had to wait until now, when I-73 was signed on the Loop a few months back, only NCDOT knows. This is the farthest reference to I-73 being about 12 miles from the route itself.
The signage at the split, from looking into the distance, the last old I-85 Business exit numbers have been removed for the next exit on I-40. Notice the promised painted shields on the highway denoting which lanes are I-85's and which are I-40's have yet to make an app…

Pocket Map Drag Race 2.0!

About 3 years ago, I did an web page on my old site comparing PDA mapping software. Boy, have things changed in the short time since I wrote that page. The standalone PDA is pretty much extinct, as is the concept of mapping software for that particular platform(at least for now). The closest you get these days is laptop/GPS software. Delorme and Microsoft are the two players in that, and Delorme may be prettier, but Microsoft is by far the better software in accuracy and ease of use, and if the reviews are anything to go by, they actually listen to their users. Microsoft still has an option to export Streets and Trips maps to mobiles-though this may be limited to the Mobile Windows platform. I have a Windows machine, and S&T 2010 looks pretty good on the shelf, it may be worth the cash to have a look at.

There are oodles of Car GPS's, but most aren't really handy for toting around. So if you want maps that you can actually tote around in a reasonably convenient format, you&…

Exploring Northwest Michigan

I took the entire day on September 6th to explore Northwestern Michigan. It was an area I had never been before - so I spent a good 12 hours on the road with plenty of stops.

For the entire flickr set of over 250 photos...go here.

Route: M-72, US 31, M-37, US 31, M-22, M-201, M-22, M-109, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, M-109, M-22, M-115, M-42 (or what once was M-42), US 131, M-72, and then back to Torch Lake.

Old Mission Peninsula:

Michigan 37 along the Old Mission Peninsula is a must drive. Amazing country! From views of either arm of Grand Traverse Bay, rolling farmlands and vineyards, the town of Old Mission, and the Old Mission Lighthouse, this road is a must drive for anyone!

Early in the drive, there is a scenic pullout along M-37 affording amazing views of the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay and Bowers Harbor. Throw in the vibrant greens of local vineyards and you have a great setting.





All throughout Old Mission Peninsula and along M-37 are numerous produce stands. These st…

2009 Mackinac Bridge Walk

Over the Labor Day Holiday, I had the opportunity to go up to Michigan. I explored a heck of a lot of new territory for me, and I will have photos of that up on the blog later this month. But one of the real highlights of the trip was taking part of the 52nd Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day.

The entire flickr set is here. (66 photos)

Our party left got to Mackinaw City at about 7:15. There was a long back up at Exit 337 so we went down the highway one mile and got off at Ext 338. There was a parking lot right across the end of the exit ramp - and we saved plenty of time (which would really come in handy not that long after).

The walk from the parking lot to the shuttle bus was just as the sun rose...and there were some great shots of the sun rise over the harbor.



We were able to load onto to the shuttle bus to take us over to the St. Ignace side of the bridge at just before 8 am. That's when the delays started. On the southbound lanes of the bridge - two pick up trucks ei…

NCDOT sure wants to keep us busy

A few items of note over the Labor Day Weekend came about:

First, Brian LeBlanc discovered that NC 44 is going to make a comeback - albeit temporarily. The Goldsboro Bypass (which will be a new alignment of US 70 one day down the road) will be designated NC 44. NC 44 has been dead since 1994. NC 44 will be about four miles long - running from I-795 eastwards to Wayne Memorial Drive. The highway should be finished by the end of 2011.

Also, I received an e-mail today letting me know that there are now exit numbers along US 1 in Wake Forest. Some new signs were put up and so far the NC 98 Bypass and Business interchanges are numbered.

Exit 124 - NC 98 bypass
Exit 125 - NC 98 business

I may be able to get a shot of these new signs Friday Evening as I have plans that night in Wake Forest.

H.T. Jay Novello

Before the Dirt Flies on the Triangle Expressway

A recent news report indicated that there has been a delay in starting construction of the Triangle Expressway, the future toll portion of the 540 loop around Raleigh and connector between I-40 in Research Triangle park and 540. They blamed it on some permitting issues (maybe there now too close to NCDOT and inheriting their working traits). This gave me some time to take some 'before' photos at least along the corridor of the future Triangle Parkway that will run between I-40 and what is now the Davis Drive exit on NC 540. Starting at the northern end, or beginning:
This is current NC 147 South before it takes the curve to end at Alexander Drive. The Parkway will go straight and the connection to Alexander will be eliminated. If you see the gravel on the left, this was the only sign of construction I saw along the corridor. The following photos show the ending of NC 147 at Alexander that will be removed:
The stoplight at Alexander with signage common in Research Triangle Park. …