Skip to main content

The I-485 Blame Game

Yes, it's again time for the Interstate 485 blame game. And a recent article in the Charlotte Observer brings a whole litany of complaints, finger pointing, and disappointed drivers. So lets just list all of the complaints.

First, the section of I-485 from NC 16 to I-77 and NC 115 could end up opening two years behind its Spring 2007 original planned opening date.

So what went wrong? We've covered a few of them here at the blog.

The contractor Virginia Beach based Skanska lists their beefs:

First, when they were to begin surveying in December 2003. Not all of the land for the project had been owned by the State. The state counters with it is sometime common to have a few parcels of land not owned by the State at the start of construction. However, NCDOT does concede that the 14 parcels of land that in December 2003 were not purchased were a bit excessive.

Skanska claims that the lack of a completed right-of-way process forced them to access construction sites with more difficulty.

Other complaints from Skanska include the 62 extra days it took to move a major gas line along with five other utility relocation delays.

And finally the contractor contends that they did not receive plans to provide access to a Target and car dealership until the last minute and that the plans they received were hand drawn.

Skanska claims that the state has caused the project to be 311 days behind schedule, and has requested slightly over $8.5 million in additional compensation. The state, however, view the causes for the delays otherwise.

NCDOT feels that the contractor could have easily worked on other sections of the nearly six mile project while waiting for the utilities to be moved. They also do not believe that the company has not accurately computed their losses.

In addition, NCDOT points to a January 22nd letter that required Skanska to rebuild the asphalt base on the I-485/I-77 interchange ramps because it was too thin.

But the state does admit causing 138 days in delays.

Now onto the final segment of the loop. (I-77 to I-85 near Concord/University)

It still appears that the highway will not see any construction until 2015. It appears that a preliminary opening date is 2018. (Ten years from now). Considering the various funding, procedural, and construction delays, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that it'll be 2021 before I-485 is officially done.

Now there is one ray of hope for completing I-485. Barry moose, who is the NCDOT engineer that oversees the Charlotte area, says that if the state can find the extra money to build the highway, construction could begin in 2011.

However, he didn't guarantee that if that would happen there would be no procedural or construction delays with it either.

Story: Charlotte Observer

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…