Skip to main content

Your May I-74/US 311 Freeway Progress Report

I took a drive Sunday to see what progress had been made in the last month on the I-74/US 311 Freeway from Business 85 in High Point to US 220 near Archdale. It had been a pretty dry month, but I didn't encounter as much progress on paving as I thought there should be. There were though many signs of progress. The post proceeds West to East (or Northwest to Southeast to be more accurate) along the nearly 10 miles of future freeway...
1. High Point East Belt, Business 85 to I-85 High Point
A. Baker Road-They have almost completed removing the old road bed and cutting down to the grade of the surrounding roadway...
Here's what remains of the westbound temporary road. Looking into the roadbed...
There are some rock and soil to remove to bring it down to grade. Looking east/south from the bridge, one can see there has been more progress on grading since April...
But there still needs more work to be done looking back west/north toward the completed road and High Point...
B. Jackson Lake Road-The final layer of asphalt had been put down on the bridge and its approaches in late April:
Some progress had been made in grading and landscaping the westbound lanes to the north/west of the bridge...
The view to the south and east is mostly similar to last month's, with the exception of more landscape vegetation...
C. Kersey Valley Road-The next stop was at the bridge in the distance along Kersey Valley Road. Like with Jackson Lake, the final asphalt layer had been placed on and near the bridge...
The following is a reverse view of the last Jackson Lake photo, looking toward that road's bridge from Kersey Valley...
One gets more of a sense of a near completed freeway from this vantage point, however looking the other way shows that there's more to do:
They are working on some more environmentally friendly run-off structures, like here...
This photo is taken from Dresden Road. Note the rock runoff stream paths and the small containment pond below. An overflow pipe is included to prevent runover from the pond in the background.

D. I-85 Bridges and Ramps-A close look at the bridges and Eastbound off ramp shows orange barrels blocking the ramp. This could mean the ramps and bridges are completed and construction trucks need to exit on a new link to the road seen to the right in front of the barrels...
Through traffic was put back on the original I-85 lanes in mid-April. While there are only two of the 3 lanes available southbound all 3 are open northbound. Traveling south on I-85, the first advanced exit sign is 2 miles away from the exit and covered over...
Though not visible, from the plans the sign should read Exit 133C, B, A I-74/US 311/NC 62 High Point, Asheboro, There's another covered over sign at 1 mile, the signs where the C/D ramps begin had not been put up, but one sign assembly at the future I-74 Westbound ramp has...
Traffic needing to access NC 62 now uses the C/D ramps. But one cannot get back on I-85 for now since the end of the ramps are blocked by Jersey Barriers...
This is a better view of the Exit 113A sign than that was shown in the March posting.
Going northbound at I-85 there is an advance sign at 1 mile covered over, and a sign at the beginning of the C/D ramps They still need to be place though before the separate NC 62 exit...

2. "US 311 Bypass" I-85 to US 220 Randleman
A. Tuttle Road-Nothing new was seen at Tuttle Road, the final coat of asphalt had been placed along the bridge in early April, and the road bed was already landscaped with guard rails installed.

B. Poole Road-On the north/ westbound side of the bridge new asphalt had been placed around the completed creek bridge...
The view south/ eastbound showed more work had been completed on landscaping...
Many of the water runoff drains had been completed, here's a closeup of one from Poole Road halfway toward the Cedar Square Interchange...
C. Cedar Square Road and Interchange-Not as much had been accomplished here as hoped. Though much of the unfinished roadway does not have to be completed until the next segment to US 220 is completed in 2012-
Certainly a lot of construction vehicles available to do the work. To the center middle is the eastbound off ramp to Cedar Square Road which will also temporarily be US 311.
The grading progress under the bridge depends when each roadbed is suppose to open, to the left this year, to the right in two years...
Landscaping is complete, in fact the grass could be mowed. Here's a view of the progress on the Westbound onramp and future eastbound offramp at the intersection of Poole and Cedar Square:
The on ramp curves off to the right, a better view of it and the surrounding landscaping can be seen here...
Looks like between the ramps and the eastbound lanes will be another runoff containment area.

D. 'US 311' Interchange-Much more progress in clearing and moving of dirt can be seen this month. Here's approaching the future interchange along South US 311...
The clearing continues across the road to the south through the gap in the trees in front of the radio towers and to the southeast, I assume toward US 220. Below is a closer look at the interchange area showing the dirt that has been moved to create the future highway roadbed. There are two roads (one with the machinery on it, the other between that and the current roadway), whether this means the route will be divided at this point, or one of the beds is for a ramp is not quite clear:
E. US 220 Interchange-More progress can be seen in building the sides of the future westbound I-74 bridge. Here's what the construction area looks like approaching on 220 south...
The future I-74 East will use the first bridge support, westbound traffic heading north on 220 (I-73 North) will use the bridge in the background. Here's a closer look at that bridge:
On the left you can see the start of building the other side of the bridge, which is better seen here...
The ramp behind leads to the flyover ramp for I-74 west traffic. Here's a view of the construction area from US 220 North:
A closer look at the bridge construction seen in the distance above...
You can see to the left clearing behind the bridge which may lead all the way back to US 311. While not as much progress as I would have thought occurred (the amount of progress for April has not yet been posted by NCDOT), it still looks possible for this road to open this summer and not late in the year as NCDOT schedule currently states.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Obviously the new stretch of highway is going to be name I-74. Is any of the existing US 311 going to be renamed? Say the stretch between Bus 85 and Main St in High Point where the majority of the road is already interstate standard?

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…