Skip to main content

Goodbye Interstate 495; Hello Interstate 87

If you live in or drive in Eastern Wake County - you'll be seeing a lot more of sign combinations like this one soon.
It seems like yesterday when I blogged about new Future Interstate 495 signs that were going to be installed along US 64 along the Knightdale Bypass and along the way to Rocky Mount.  Well after just three years, Interstate 495 is officially no more.  This week NCDOT crews began to install Interstate 87 shields along the Raleigh Beltline and Knightdale Bypass from Southeast Raleigh to Rolesville Road in Wendell.  The new interstate designation follows Interstate 440 west from I-40 near Garner leaving the Beltline at the Knightdale Bypass and following US 64/264 about another 12 or so miles until the six lane portion of the Knightdale Bypass ends just beyond Business US 64.

Eventually, Interstate 87 will continue east along US 64 past Zebulon, Rocky Mount and Tarboro to Williamston where it will head north and northeast along US 17 into Virginia and Norfolk.  The new signs reflect the first official section of Interstate 87 in North Carolina - as the Knightdale Bypass meets national Interstate standards.

This introduction and installation of Interstate 87 signs onto the Knightdale Bypass will be a multi-step process.  The first step is what you see on the highway now - new Interstate 87 shields on the ground along the main highway.  Surface streets, like New Hope Road, Hodge Road, Smithfield Road and Wendell Falls Parkway, that have interchanges with the new Interstate will also see I-87 signs pop up as they approach the highway.  The last step will be updating or replacing existing overhead signs along I-40, I-440 and I-540 with the new designation.  So for a few weeks, maybe months, you'll still see some Interstate 495 shields and signs in the area.

Speaking of the overall signage plans - there will also be another major change to the signage along the Knightdale Bypass (and eventually US 64).  The exit numbers will be changed to reflect Interstate 87's mileage.  There will be new exit numbers for the interchanges at I-440, New Hope Road, Hodge Road, I-540, Smithfield Road, Wendell Falls Parkway, Wendell Blvd./Business 64 and Rolesville Road.

Interchange Old Exit # New Exit #
Interstate 440 West 419 3
New Hope Road 420 4
Hodge Road 422 6
Interstate 540 423 7
Smithfield Road 425 9
Wendell Falls Parkway 427 11
US 64 Business / Wendell Blvd. 429 13
Rolesville Road 430 14

This may be slightly confusing as it appears that the next exit east - Lizard Lick Road/Wendell - will remain with its current number, Exit 432.  Though eventually those exit numbers will also change.

A contact of mine at NCDOT passed along to me the overall signage plans for Interstate 87 along the Knightdale Bypass.  A few samples are below.

New signage for I-87 at the I-40 Beltline Merge in Southeast Raleigh.  I-87 and I-440 will both end at I-40. (NCDOT)

Proposed signage for Interstate 87 at the junction of the Knightdale Bypass and the Raleigh Beltline (I-440). You can see how the exit numbers for US 64 (Exits 419, 420 etc.) are being changed to reflect Interstate 87 (3, 4, 6, etc.) (NCDOT)

Interstate 87 signs at Hodge Road and Interstate 540.  (NCDOT)

Signs along Business 64 at the Knightdale Bypass. There will only be updates to signs for US 64/264 West to include Interstate 87 - as I-87's temporary end is at this interchange. (NCDOT)

Proposed Interstate 87 signage plans along US 64/264 West approaching Rolesville Road.  This will be where Interstate 87 will begin.  I am unsure if exits east of here will be updated or remain with US 64's mileage (430 and higher) (NCDOT)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The New PA 48 - The Unbuilt Eastern Allegheny County Freeway

From the 1950's to the 1980's, there was a proposal to build a 4-lane expressway paralleling PA Route 48.  This proposed highway was officially known as the "North-South Parkway", but locally known as the "New 48".  Sadly, this route never came to be; however, it is the predecessor of another highway, The Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The "New 48" was a highly debated route that really never got beyond the planning stages.  There are very few remnants of construction left.

History:
Originally proposed in the post-war Pittsburgh, the "New 48" was a lot of talk, but it really never saw much work done.  Most of the discussion, planning, land acquisitions and right-of-way clearing occurred in the 1960s.  The "New 48" would also have gone by the term "North-South Parkway".  This was the term for the highway used in White Oak: A Master Plan done by the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Commission in 1960. (1)

The early 60s would see muc…

Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

1926-1930 Alignment 

Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

Railroad Avenue
-  Cherry Avenue
-  Broadway Street
-  Divisadero Street
-  H Street
-  Belmont Avenue
-  Golden State Avenue

1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

Sometime between 1930 to …

The William Flinn (not Flynn) Highway - Pittsburgh's Misspelled Street

For decades if you traveled along PA Route 8 in Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs, you would have noticed signs that read "William Flynn Highway" at every intersection.  Even today, many businesses and residences have their addresses listed as XXXX William Flynn Highway.  However, it's not William Flynn Highway, it is William FLINN Highway - and the gentleman who it is named for has a long and storied past in Pittsburgh's infrastructure history.

William Flinn was born in England in 1851; however later that year, his family emigrated to the United States and would settle in Pittsburgh.  A 10 year-old school drop out, Flinn grew interested in politics and would join the Allegheny County Republican Party in 1877 as a ward commissioner and a seat on the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Flinn would serve in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Senate from 1877 to 1902. (1)

Flinn along with James J. Booth would found the Booth and Flinn construction firm in …