Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2012

Some NC Future Interstate and US Route News

Came across some somewhat old, but new to me, NC interstate and US route signing news via the web, so I thought I'd summarize it with a blog post.
I-73/74-NCDOT has gotten approval from the FHWA to sign the section south of Emery to just beyond Ellerbe as vanilla I-73/I-74. It appears the reason why NCDOT signed the route Future I-73/I-74 when it opened in 2008 was that this section was not officially part of the interstate system. The FHWA mandated that this section could not be added until NCDOT let the contract for rehabilitating the section through Asheboro (I-4407). This contract was let in June 2010, and is due to be completed this fall. NCDOT finally got around to asking for permission to put up full interstate shields this spring and got an acceptance letter back in June (copies of this and other letters are on the NCDOT Route Changes page, Interstate section, HERE ) .

In a subsequent letter dated 7/11/12, NCDOT indicates this approval to the local FHWA office in Raleigh, th…

A new look?

Yes, we're experimenting with a new look - I like the dynamic views for the blog - and I am partial to either sidebar, classic or magazine.  Give it a try...let me know what you like and what we should add or change!

We can always go back to the old look...but it never hurts to change things up now and then

WV hopes to catch a TIGER Grant for I-73

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again - that's the motto Mercer County, WV officials and the King Coal Highway Commission as they try to secure up to $20 million in federal TIGER IV Grant money.

If received, it would be used to extend the King Coal highway 2.3 miles from US 19 to WV 23.  If they receive the $20 million grant, WV will kick in an additional $4 million.

The TIGER IV is a pool of $500 million.  Plans are to build this extension as an Interstate grade freeway with the hopes to have the highway one day signed as Interstate 73.

The deadline for final applications for TIGER IV grants is March 19th.  There is not a determined date for when they will be awarded.

Story Link:
TIGER funds Federal grant would boost King Coal ---Bluefield Daily Telegraph

NCDOT Awards Next I-73 Project

News about I-73 from today's (3/9) NCDOT press release:
https://apps.dot.state.nc.us/pio/releases/details.aspx?r=6158

NCDOT awarded a $96.2 million contract to Tetra Tech Construction Inc. of Mayfield, N.Y. to widen U.S. 220 from Horsepen Creek Road in Guilford County to the intersection of U.S. 220 and N.C. 68 in Rockingham County. The part from the Haw River northward 'will be constructed as a part of future I-73, which is scheduled for availability in April 2014.' This segment of the construction is actually the 3rd part of the contract to build the 'NC 68-US 220 Connector', the rest to be awarded in 2014. The current US 220 will be widened from 2 to 4-lanes with the path of US 220 moved at its southern end to make way for the ramps to the future connector. The current US 220 intersection with NC 68 will be changed so that traffic will not have to take a left turn off the highway to continue on US 220. Instead traffic on South 220 will stay on the mainline and…

Feds give go ahead to the Garden Parkway

I apologize that I haven't blogged about this topic in awhile.

Last week, the Federal Highway Administration awarded a favorable 'Record of Decision' to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority for the route of the proposed Garden Parkway in Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties.  The decision is a blow to citizen group's that are opposed to the route.

Opposition groups will now focus on some of the environmental and financial hurdles the route still needs to clear.

The NCTA plans to finance the project from toll revenue, bond financing, and GARVEE funds.  But another key part of financing is approval from the state legislature of $17.5 million this year and then additional $35 million per year over the next 40 years.

The total cost of the 22 mile highway is $930 million.

The state plans to build the new toll road through two design-build projects.  The first design build project will build a four lane limited access highway from I-485 near Wilson Farm Roadin Mecklenburg County…

Interstate 795 Repaving Job Wins Award

Remember about four years ago when potholes started to pop up throughout the recently opened Interstate 795?  The one that cost about $12 million to repair with thicker and better asphalt?

Well, that project recently won an award.  The National Asphalt Pavement Association awarded the 2011 Sheldon G. Hayes Award for excellence in asphalt pavement construction to contractor S.T. Wooten and NCDOT.  The signs recognizing this achievement were put up on I-795 this week. I captured the new award sign this evening with my iPhone on my way home tonight.


S.T. Wooten repaved 8 miles (miles 6 - 14) of I-795 at a cost of $5.9 million.  Barnhill Contracting Company did the other half of the repave at a cost of $6.1 million.  The new sign claims that I-795 is the "Smoothest Road in the Nation." I drive this road frequently, and I must admit, it's actually a pretty smooth drive.  So the bigger question is - how long will this project hold up? And why didn't the state use the 8&quo…

Another mini-Road Trip Report

For a class project yesterday (3/6) I had to drive to Brandeis University and interview the staff of the university archives and special collections department. They have a Joseph Heller collection that contains several drafts of Catch 22 (on display in their exhibit space) and also several of his draft scripts for McHale's Navy (not on display). But I digress, I took advantage of the trip to take a look at several new and interesting signs along the '128' corridor between Braintree and Waltham.

Traveling to the end of I-93, they have installed another overhead gantry for a huge sign, this one at the I-95 South on ramp...
The left-hand sign still awaits an additional 4th arrow when the new lane opens up, hopefully later this year. You may also have noticed the gap to the right of the 1 on the exit tab. This is like the previous signs I have posted for this exit, like the one installed near Exit 3 in the Fall of 2010:
I thought this space was so that both 'ramps' to I-…

Pair of Upstate New York Roadtrips

Last month, I traveled to Upstate New York for a curling bonspiel.  Basically, a curling bonspiel is a curling tournament.  The tournament - the Frances Dykes Memorial - was held in Utica, NY.  Our Triangle team finished 1-3, and it was a great time and great experience for me.  If you want to see some photos from the bonspiel, head here.

This trip to Utica was my first time in Upstate New York in just over five years.  In 2007, I moved back to North Carolina after two years in Albany.  So in addition to participating in my second ever bonspiel, I was also excited to visit and explore Upstate New York for the first time in a half decade.

Photos from the two small side trips are on flickr.

The first trip was a quick loop with my teammate, Chris Allen, to get him Fulton and Montgomery Counties.  The route was NY 5/8/12, I-790, I-90, NY 10, NY 29, NY 28, NY 5, NY 5/8/12.

One of the best things about taking a roadtrip in an area that you haven't really explored is that you can find a…