Skip to main content

I-485 Hot Potato - Who wants it?


It's our favorite subject at the blog (ok so it's mine - Bob takes care of the I-73 debacle in Greensboro) - but it's another round of the Interstate 485 hot potato game!

This time folks at the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) have basically told Governor Bev Perdue that they don't care about her campaign promise to complete the Interstate 485 loop, the plan to widen and upgrade Independence Blvd. will move forward.

This happened when again the NCDOT said that if the Independence project goes first, I-485 will be delayed.

MUMPO members would have none of that.

"I don't know why we should bite on this false choice,” said Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess. “We need to finish Independence as we've been planning for 30 years."

Burgess compared the pressure from Raleigh is similar to "...asking a parent to choose their favorite child."

Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson would have none of it either, "
This is not an option really, just kind of a way to confuse the issue and cover up for the governor's promises that are being broken.”

With what appears to be deaf ears in Raleigh from the governor on the issue, and with no response from Raleigh from the governor's office from letters that MUMPO chairman Lee Myers on offering suggestions to build both I-485 and widen Independence by 2013, MUMPO appears to be standing firm on their priorities list. The list has the widening of Independence Blvd. as their top transportation priority in the region.

MUMPO will formally announce their decision in October.

Story Links:
Mayor: Governor should apologize for broken promises ---WCNC-TV w/video
I-485 completion would put Independence project on hold ---News 14 Carolina w/video

Commentary:

There really isn't much more to say, but the silence from Governor Perdue's office is deafening. All we are hearing from the NCDOT is the same story. If you decide to improve Independence, 485 will have to wait until at least 2015.

Is it me or is the NCDOT doing the dirty work for Aunt Bev?

Perdue, who made the promise during her successful 2008 run for Governor, has been silent throughout this issue the past few months. She made the promise in Charlotte while running against Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. And surprisingly - to some but not myself - it certainly appears that either folks in Raleigh are ignorant to the issue, aren't willing to work through a solution to get both projects completed, or just really don't care.

Considering the Tar Heel state's history of West vs. East in politics - and the ongoing Charlotte vs. Raleigh squabbles, I have a feeling that the latter of the three is the most accurate.

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…