Skip to main content

Is Virginia considering to extend I-785 further North?

Though it's not even a signed route, Interstate 785 may be extended further north within Virginia.  The 'Future' Interstate, which is to run from I-85 east of Greensboro, NC then follow US 29 to Danville, Virginia, was first came into existence in 1997 when AASHTO approved the designation.  In 1998, Congress passed a bill authorizing the designation.  Later that same year, a "public announcement" was held trumpeting the new Interstate.

Fast forward another 13 years to the present, and the Virginia State Assemblyman, Daniel W. Marshall, III (R), proposed a resolution (HB 2481) to extend Interstate 785 northwards along US 29 to Altavista.

The summary of the bill is as follows:

Designating a portion of U.S. Route 29 as Interstate 785.  Designates U.S. Route 29 from the Virginia-North Carolina line to north of the Town of Altavista as Interstate 785. The bill provides that such designation shall not take effect until the Virginia Department of Transportation consults with the Federal Highway Administration to identify any steps that need to be taken along the designated route to meet federal interstate standards, and VDOT shall report to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability the steps that need to be taken for such designation by December 1, 2011.

 The bill is currently in the Virgina House Transportation Sub-committee.

For Interstate 785 to even exist to Altavista, the non-access controlled segments of US 29 between the Danville and Chatham bypasses, the Chatham and Gretna bypasses, and the Gretna and Hurt/Altavista bypasses would have to be upgraded.  That is about 22 miles of roadway.

In addition, upgrades to the Chatham (1965), Gretna (1975), and Hurt/Altavsta (1974) would be necessary.  These would be just the key points the FHWA would suggest to VDOT for any Interstate designation to take place.  

Furthermore, Altavista doesn't seem to make sense as the northern terminus for the Interstate.  Lynchburg, a much larger city, is located approximately 18 miles further north on US 29.  Virginia has plans to build the South Lynchburg Bypass from where US 29 (Madison Heights Bypass) meets US 460 southeast of Lynchburg to near where current US 29 meets VA 24 today.  The City of Lynchburg is currently not served by an Interstate; and if Interstates mean "economic development" then the route should ultimately reach Lynchburg.   Which, personally, I believe is the ultimate goal for I-785. 

Interstate 785 shield courtesy Shields Up! 

Comments

Coredesat said…
You're right, Altavista is a rather bizarre choice for the northern terminus of the route. The route should probably terminate at the northern end of the Amherst-Madison Heights-Lynchburg bypass, although parts of that route are certainly not up to interstate standards. The Lynchburg Expressway most definitely isn't.
Anonymous said…
i still think that the whole US 29 corridor should get a new number or an extension of an existing number. I think 73 should be extended up from greensboro to Atleast 64 if not 66 along US 29. this would open up a new route through virginia. Or even more crazy have it follow US 15 all the way to Harrisburg, PA!!!
Anonymous said…
Back in the 90s, VDOT did a study on the US 29 corridor that recommended making the whole section between the NC state line and the north end of Amherst County (roughly around where VA 151 branches off) a freeway, with the remaining stretches north of there improved as some type of arterial/parkway. As I recall, that plan called for completion of the South Lynchburg bypass (using either the east or west alignment option), upgrades to Chatham, Gretna, Altavista, and Amherst's bypasses, freeway upgrades of the existing 29 alignment between Chatham and Gretna and between Gretna and Altavista, and new alignment between Blairs and Chatham and between Altavista and Yellow Branch. But that was back in the 90s, when VDOT was flush with money (or at least thought it was flush). Nowadays, I doubt any of this would actually happen. If we're lucky and the planets align just right, they might build the South Lynchburg Bypass, but the rest is probably wishful thinking. Anything further north than Amherst is pretty much out of the question (Charlottesville would never go for it).

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 was unknown (at least to…

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …