Skip to main content

New I-73/74 Visitor Center Rest Areas Open*

*(At least the Northbound one)

From Sunday's (1/17/10) Asheboro Courier Tribune-
"After years of planning and a little over one year of construction, the Piedmont Visitor Centers on the Randolph/Montgomery County line are open for business — at least to northbound travelers.

Those headed south may have to wait about one more week.

DOT officials project that half a million travelers will stop at the two Visitors Centers each year.

On Friday [1/15], facilities on the northbound side of U.S. 220 Bypass began welcoming visitors. The doors were opened at roughly 3:30 p.m. after some last-minute work to remove traffic barrels and check on guard rails.

Jeff Loflin, DOT regional engineer, said final work on signage is stalling the opening of the facility on U.S. 220 Bypass South. He expects those concerns to be cleared up quickly.


Visitor Centers in the center of the state are a unique phenomenon for North Carolina. North Carolina has nine state-operated welcome centers operated by a division of the state Department of Commerce.

The centers on U.S. 220 Bypass were built by the state’s Department of Transportation but will be operated in a joint public/private partnership by Asheboro-based Safe-T- Works. Owner Kim Price negotiated a three-year contract with the state to run the facilities.

The state is providing the facilities and paying for utilities (apart from telephone and Internet service). Price’s job will be to maintain the facilities, both inside and out, and to cater to the traveling public."

Click the title which has the URL for the entire article.

Comment: Some locals are angry that NCDOT plans to shut down the existing rest area in Seagrove due to these new ones being open. NCDOT has agreed to leave the old one open at least through the spring.

I'll probably wait until decent weather (so probably not this weekend) to visit the centers (and to make sure the southbound one, which is up on a hill, is open).
I'll post photos to the blog.

Here's a photo approaching the northbound Visitor's Center from a couple months ago:

Meanwhile, those interested in seeing a few photos can see thumbnails (of photos you can buy here:
http://www.instantimagegallery.com/iig/a/372/160589;jsessionid=3C2E32F1089D69851C58044AC0285436?state:cat/Catalog=BrO0ABXcgAAAAAgEAByRCb3JkZXIAEG9yaWdpbmFsQ2xpZW50SWRzcgARamF2YS5sYW5nLkludGVnZXIS4qCk94GHOAIAAUkABXZhbHVleHIAEGphdmEubGFuZy5OdW1iZXKGrJUdC5TgiwIAAHhwAAABdHcMAAAJY2F0YWxvZ0lkc3EAfgAAAAABbA%3D%3D ).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…