Skip to main content

NC 218 improvements financing may benefit from some quick thinking

NC 218 has become a 'Monroe Bypass' by default, and as a result the rural Union County highway is starting to show some wear in addition to safety deficiencies. So there's a plan to improve it.

Resurface 30 miles of highway, widen the roadway to 24 feet (from 20-22 feet), build turning lanes at various major intersections (US 601, NC 200 and 205.)

Cost: $15.5 million.

Not a big deal, right? Well, the Charlotte Division of NCDOT (Division 10) is about $14 million short in funds to start the project this year.

So the division's engineer, Barry Moose, came up with the suggestion that some of the funds come from a project to add additional lanes to US 601. Well this proposal didn't sit to well with Monroe City Council. In fact, they passed a resolution against the idea.

Their concern is that the wider US 601 will be needed when the real US 74 Monroe Bypass is built. (which, quite honestly, no one has a clue on when that actually will see the light of day - unfortunately.)

Now normally, this is where my commentary on the situation would begin...but we're not done. By a struck of good fortune and also good management, a Charlotte highway project is going to come close to $10 million under budget. (Cheers to Mr. Moose and Division 10. With construction costs as they are...and the state of highway financing within NC...finishing a project $10 million under budget is a great accomplishment.) The $10 million covers nearly 2/3rds of the cost for the NC 218 improvements.

Mr. Moose would get the remainder of the funds from pushing back a rural project in Anson County that has been lowered in the region's priority list.

The Charlotte Region's Planning Organization (Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) is scheduled to review Moose's suggestion later this month. This plan has the support of the Monroe City Council...as long as they still keep widening US 601 on track.

Story: Charlotte Observer

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…