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

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…