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Reason for Decommisioning US 311 Business in High Point

During the last AASHTO SCOH US Route Numbering Committee meeting in November, NCDOT had an application for decommissioning US 311 Business through High Point accepted. The application referred to the action 'being at the request of local officials.' I sent an e-mail to the contact person listed on the application about a month ago to see if I could get more details and finally got a response yesterday (12/10). According to this NCDOT staffperson, local officials requested the application to remove US 311 Business from the former US 311 route on Main Street to end confusion and reduce clutter.

The exact quote in his e-mail was "A resolution was passed March 19th 2007 from the High Point City Council requesting the deletion of US 311 Business indicating the following reasons: reduce the confusion between US 311 and Business; allow Main Street to be the primary designation along the old US 311 designation (reducing sign clutter); and providing flexibility in association with the High Point Core City Plan."

While I don't have the 'core plan', the emphasis on the use of NC 68, whose interchange with US 311 (I-74) is to be modified, to be the main entrance to High Point may be part it, the route to the city center is shorter. Notice the resolution was passed in 2007 but not forwarded to AASHTO until November of this year. This is not uncommon from looking a list that includes state routing changes approved by NCDOT discussed below. The official state route of the
Durham Freeway (NC 147), extending it from Erwin Road to I-85 was approved in 2001, 9 years after the road opened in 1992 to US 15/501 and 3 years after it made it to I-85.

I was also forwarded in the e-mail an interesting link on the NCDOT website. A page listing changes in routing to Interstates, US Routes, NC Routes, and SR Routes over the past 13 years or so (this is where I got the NC 147 info). The page is located here:
http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/preconstruct/traffic/safety/tsi/routes.html

There are many interesting things to be found on this list, The two entries for I-795, for example, reflect that the first application was rejected by AASHTO, while the second one was accepted. There are some discrepancies too. When the new US 64/264 freeway opened, the old US 64/264 became Business US 64. According to the documents submitted to AASHTO, the route goes along the old 64 route starting in Knightdale then goes onto I-440 and ends at the new US 64/264. However, the state routing documents have the business route only on the old 64 route and ending at I-440. This is what the signing unit uses to post route markers, and is one reason there are no Business 64 references on I-440. The signing unit isn't very fast either. NC 6 was officially decommissioned in 2004, yet signs with the route on I-40 existed until this year.

Feel free to look through the list. Others investigating it have found applications for routes yet to exist. Adam Prince found an application for NC 452 which would have been the designation for the Western Half of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. The NC 452 designation was approved in 1999 just before construction was to begin. Work never began due to a lawsuit and who knows when, or if, it will be built. I suspect the 452 number was a placeholder, like NC 752 was before it was re-designated I-74 when it was completed from I-77 to first US 601 then US 52. Now that the I-74 eastern section is to be built first, it's possible to perhaps sign the western-half I-274 from the start.

The NC 452 route designation was also after NCDOT's request that US 52 north of where the Beltway would have tied in to Mt. Airy be signed I-74 was rejected. The FHWA requested upgrading of US 52 first, a project that still isn't funded. Thus NC 452 signs would have appeared on completed sections of the western route. Once the entire western half was completed, and the US 52 upgrading at least funded, NCDOT would probably have then requested the I-274 designation at least to I-40. The 274 number first appeared publicly in NCDOT's Strategic Highway Corridors Triad Vision map that came out in 2004.

Commentary:
If I were NCDOT, after I-74 is at least completed to I-85 (hopefully next year), I would do to US 52 what was done along the pre-existing US 311 freeway west of High Point last year. Put up signs marking the route Future I-74/US 52 and change the exit numbers to I-74 based mileposts. Routes filling in for the missing Beltway (US 52 to/from I-40 and I-40 to/from US 311) could be signed 'To I-74' as was approved by AASHTO back in 1997. This would at least 'complete' an I-74 route from the VA border to I-85 in High Point and in a couple years to I-73 in Randleman.

Comments

Dave said…
Right under the NC 147 entry is an entry for NC 148, a new NC state highway. The document shows NC 148 to run from US 258 to NC 58 just south of the Kinston airport.
Adam said…
This is most likely the road that shows as 'limited access at-grade' at the Global Transpark. Might take a trip there in January.
Dave said…
More nuggets from the site:

The section of the former US 117 freeway south of the end of I 795 is now designated NC 581 Connector south to NC 581 and NC 581 has been rerouted from along US 13 to along the former US 117 route.

Front Street in Wilmington from US 421 to the bridge is now designated as US 421 Truck.

The connector from US 117 in Calypso to NC 403 is now US 117 Connector and continues to I 40. This may be Future I 795.

NC 143 has a business route along Main Street in Robbinsville.
Adam said…
I can confirm that US 421 Truck in Wilmington is already signed.
Anonymous said…
I would originally have suggested that the stretch of Bus 311 be renamed NC 66 through High Point but there is a proposed extension of NC 66 to the west of High Point on the HP DOT street plans. I would actually suggest that the road formally to be formally known as US 311 be renamed NC 42 from Asheboro all the way from Old US 220 along the current US 311 to the point north of High Point where BUS 311 intersects with the 311/I-74 expressway.

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