Skip to main content

I-74/US 74 Freeway Now Open Eastbound from Maxton to Lumberton

Since Duke wasn't playing today and I figured all the Raleigh people may want to stay and watch the NC State-ECU game, I decided to take a tour to see the progress of the I-74 freeway in Robeson County. Since there had been no publication about an opening date I assumed the best I would find was a change in exit numbers based on an e-mail I sent to the project's engineer earlier this year in which he acknowledged the numbers were wrong. I thus was surprised when I got to (still) Exit 320 on I-74/US 74 and noticed traffic no longer had to get off the highway to proceed on the interstate eastbound. When I got to Exit still numbered 226 I had another surprise....
The road was open beyond the exit. Thus curious, I decided to proceed on. The next exit as listed in the plans should be Dew Road, Pembroke. It was, but notice the exit number...


It is now 203, 27 miles less than it should be and equal to the number for the milepost I sent to the NCDOT earlier in the year when I noticed the exit numbers were too large. The remaining exits match my mileposts (as posted in my I-74 Exit List) almost exactly:
Exit Plan Mile # Malme Mile # Actual Exit #
Dew Rd, Pembroke 230 203 203
Back Swamp Rd 234 207 207
I-95/US 301 235A/B 208A/B 209A/B
Alternate US 74 237 210 210
I assume as part of completing the project the rest of the exits starting in Laurinburg will be changed as well, I will post what those numbers should be on my exit list. I am assuming that NCDOT will not force the traveling public to use two sets of exit numbers on one continuous freeway.

Continuing on, here are some other photos of some of the signs along the eastbound route:

The speed limit is 70 mph, though they have not adjusted up the speed around the Exit (for now) 320 interchange which is still 55.
Here's the next exit eastbound Back Swamp Road, there's no obvious reason for an interchange here, development will occur, I guess, eventually.
Here's the first sign for the upcoming I-95/US 301 interchange, the only ground mounted sign.
The remainder are overhead assemblies, with separate ramps for north and southbound. The freeway becomes 3 lanes in each direction at that point.

Here's the overheads at Exit 209B. Coming back around I took the ramp that leads to C/D ramps paralleling I-95.

All is ready except opening the ramp and removing the cover on the I-74/US 74 West sign. The east signs on the C/D ramps were uncovered, but the interchange was not open and all I-74 signs on I-95 going south were covered as well.

Here's the last exit currently with a number, US 74 Alternate, there is one more exit, NC 41, but the signs haven't been updated there yet. They still have to do work to complete this final 2 mile section to bring it up to interstate standards, update the signs and close the former left turn ramps. The traffic on US 74 west still uses the old route alignment. The still need to fully grade between the old and new highways before this section can be open. The section west of I-95 was being worked on and appeared almost ready to open.

After turning around and using the existing US 74, I accessed the Dew Road interchange by taking Chicken Road off of US 74 to confirm all the westbound ramps were still not open to the east of NC 710. The eastbound signs were up, as expected, the one control city listed was Wilmington. The western ramps were closed and all the signs for the westbound roadway were up, but covered.

I believe construction could be totally finished in the next few weeks. I'll wait until an official announcement to make another tour, other interested parties are invited.

Comments

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob Malme said…
NCDOT will open the rest of the freeway (at least west of I-95) after a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday Sept. 26 at 10AM.
Bob Malme said…
The road is now open in both directions according to this NCDOT press release:
https://apps.dot.state.nc.us/pio/releases/details.aspx?r=1869s

Hopefully more photos of the route will be up soon.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  This year and in early 2016 I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from those time periods and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.


This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were large…

Caliente-Bodfish Road/Kern County Road 483

Back in 2016 I took Caliente-Bodfish Road south towards California State Route 58 while leaving the Sierra Nevada Range after looking for the town site of Old Kernville.






Caliente-Bodfish Road is also known as Kern County Road 483 which I believe is an internal designation for mountainous roadways within the Sierra Nevada Range.  Caliente-Bodfish Road begins at Kern Canyon Road (Old California State Route 178) at the southern extent of Bodfish and climbs over the southern most extent of the Sierra Nevada Range approximately 35 miles to Bena Road near Caliente.  Caliente-Bodfish Road is a full two-lane road despite traversing some narrow terrain in the Sierras.  The high point on Caliente-Bodfish Road appeared to be near 4,000 feet above sea-level and I would estimate that there grades as high as 10% in places.

South of Bodfish Caliente-Bodfish Road ascends quickly above the community on a series of switchbacks.  There is no official overlook but there is a hell of a view of Bodfish an…