Skip to main content

New section of Interstate 485 MAY open this week

The northwest quadrant of Interstate 485 has had a laundry list of issues. Concrete and asphalt problems, sign problems, and other delays has caused portions of the highways to fall 18 months behind schedule. Well, if all goes well this week (And with I-485's history, it won't.), an additional 2.3 miles of Interstate 485 will open to traffic. See today's Charlotte Observer for more.

The new opening will be from Interstate 85 in western Mecklenburg County northwards to NC 27 (Mount Holly Road). There is also an exit with Moores Chapel Road in between. This is the first of three segments of Interstate 485 to open between now and the first half of 2007. Early in 2007, the highway is to open a few miles further north from NC 27 to Brookshire Blvd. (NC 16). Then later in 2007, the Northwest corner will be complete as I-485 will be extended further to Interstate 77 and NC 115 near Huntersville.

It is believed that this part of I-485 will ease traffic on NC 16 and NC 27 from points in Gaston and Lincoln Counties. Also, leaders expect this to open Northwest Mecklenburg County to development. But quite possibly the greatest benefit of the Northwest corner of I-485 is how the road will cut the corner for traffic heading from I-77 South to I-85 South to Gastonia, South Carolina, or Atlanta. And from I-85 North to I-77 North to Statesville, Virginia and further north.

See:
2.3 miles of I-485 to open in November
Sign error may delay I-485's opening in Charlotte

Commentary:

The next three pieces of I-485 to open will be a great help to local and interstate traffic around Charlotte. Cutting the corner on the I-77S/I-85S and I-85N/I-77N connection will be a huge time and mileage save, and will cut a decent amount of traffic on 77 and 85 as a result. I wouldn't be surprised if 485 will cut 10-15 minutes from the curren I-77 to I-85 connection.

As for the opening, I wouldn't be surprised if the road doesn't open this week. Already 18 months behind, something else probably will go wrong. In 2004, the southwest corner of I-485 opening was delayed numerous times.

Comments

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…