Skip to main content

I-73/I-74 in NC: The Year in Review, Part 1

It's been about a year since my last post and moving up to MA. Thought I'd reintroduce myself by posting on familiar topics from NC and then perhaps some new posts about recent road trips in the Boston area.

When I left NC in Nov. 2010, NCDOT was about to open the next segment of I-74/US 311 freeway near High Point. Adam provided a good summary of the road after it opened on November 2010. It hadn't changed much in my trip on the road in October. The last year has seen NCDOT contractors quietly continue progress on two I-73 and I-74 related projects in Randolph County. First is the extension of I-74 to US 220 (I-73) near Randleman. The second is the reconstruction of US 220 through the Asheboro area so it can be signed officially as I-73/74. Both these projects are to be completed in the fall of 2012, perhaps allowing I-73 and I-74 to be signed between Randleman and Asheboro.

Two more contracts are to be let this upcoming year for projects at either end of the current corridor. In February, the first segment of the US 220-NC 68 Connector project is going out to bid. This part (part C) will involve widening the current US 220 from the future Connector route at the Haw River north to NC 68 into an interstate highway. As part of the project, but unrelated to I-73, US 220 south toward Greensboro will be made into a 4-lane Expressway. The I-73 work will involve preliminary engineering at either end of the construction area to reroute US 220 onto ramps over the future Connector at the Haw River and to re-do the current intersection with NC 68 at the north end so that US 220 (future I-73) traffic is the through route. Currently if one wants to stay on US 220 South they must make a left turn off the 4-lane roadway which becomes NC 68. There will be no interchange built for NC 68 at this time, traffic entering from NC 68 will be controlled through a traffic light. Interchanges for US 158 and NC 65 will be built as well as part of the future US 220 interchange with I-73, as indicated above. There currently is a US 158 interchange, but it will have to be mostly rebuilt. Here's a photo of what the current US 220 roadway looked like in 2008 near NC 65:
According to the project signage plans, the exit signs will not receive exit numbers until the rest of the connector is built and I-73 is officially extended north. The US 158 control cities will be Stokesdale and Reidsville. NC 65 will not have any cities listed on its exit sign, while the US 220 South exit sign will indicate Greensboro. This will be a right lane exit with US 220 south taking a ramp over the future I-73 roadbed while northbound US 220 will merge on the right to meet the I-73 highway heading north. The work on this section is to be completed by 2016 when work is to commence on parts A and B of the contract to build the Connector to NC 68. When that is complete, or concurrently, a connector route between NC 68 and Bryan Blvd will be built to finish the connection to the Greensboro Urban Loop, currently Future I-73/I-840.

The other contract also involves US 220. In this case the building of the US 220 Rockingham Bypass. Like the contract above, this project is split into 3 parts, the first, to upgrade US 220 from about five miles south of the current end of the I-73/74 US 220 freeway to where the Bypass will be built is currently planned to be let in November 2012. Plans have not been posted, but I believe at least one interchange is to be built between US 220 Business and the future bypass. Work is to start in early 2013 and should be complete by 2015.

The last new contract, to be let in early 2013, will upgrade the signing along the existing I-73/74 freeway north of Ellerbe to what is now Exit 51, the current end of Interstate 73. The only signage that truly substandard and needs to be replaced is on the old section of US 220 freeway south of Exit 39. The rest will be updated with new exit numbers to match I-73 mileage. The numbers need to be changed to match the I-73 milepost numbers that will be on the new signs in the Asheboro section when that project is completed. Where there are exit numbers, they will have to go up by 17 to account for the planned I-73 start at the SC border south of Hamlet. What is now Exit 51 will become Exit 68. For a complete list of new exit numbers in the Asheboro segment now under construction go to my I-73 Segment 8 page.

As for construction projects in 2011, the Asheboro segment construction is running ahead of schedule. From NCDOT's Construction Progress Report, as of the end of November the work was about 55% complete, they had projected about 45%. It is unknown whether the completion of the work while be coordinated with the I-74/US 311 project so that both are finished about the same time so that I-74 signage can be put up along the segment in between. Most of the work south of US 64 appeared to be done when I traveled through in mid-October. As shown in the photos below:
This is the view heading south on US 220 between McDowell Rd and Exit 51. There may be more work to be done with the median.
This is a view about a mile further south getting closer to Exit 51. Turning around...
The lane was closed for some additional bridge work. NCDOT states in its TIMS traffic management system that work on this section could be completed in April of next year. Much more work though needs to be done north of US 64, though there were some signs of progress:
This is heading south on US 220 near the start of construction. Barriers have been placed down to allow for the widening of the right shoulder. Some portions have been completed with the addition of new guardrails:
Notice that posts for new signage have been put up but no new exit signs or supports for new overhead signage, as above for the NC 42 exit. The situation is the same near US 64:
At least some of the US 64 exit overhead assemblies have been taken down, but there was no sign work was going on to replace them at the time.

In Part 2 I will summarize progress on the I-74 freeway and update news about the building of the beltway around Winston-Salem.
Link

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interstate 210 and California State Route 210 on the Foothill Freeway

This past December I was passing through the Los Angeles Area on a weekend I took a detour onto Interstate 210 eastbound on the Foothill Freeway to California State Route 2.  I-210 and CA 210 on the Foothill Freeway essentially serve as the closest thing to a Los Angeles bypass that the L.A. Metro Area has.


I-210/CA 210 on the Foothill Freeway is an approximately 85.31 mile highway which begins at I-5 in the northern outskirts of Los Angeles and travels east to I-10 in Redlands of San Bernardino County.  I-210 exists as the 44.9 mile segment of the Foothill Freeway between I-5 and CA 57 whereas CA 210 makes up the remaining 40.41 miles east to I-10.  I-210 originally utilized CA 57 from Glendora south on the Orange Freeway to I-10.  CA 57 south to I-10 is still FHWA recognized as part of I-210 which likely won't change until California seeks approval to add CA 210 to the Interstate System.



Part 1; the history of I-210 and CA 210

I-210 was approved as a chargeable Interstate during …

California State Route 1; the Cabrillo Highway through Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula

This past January the winter weather was mild and conditions out in the Big Sur region were especially nice.  That being the case I decided on a weekend cruise northbound on California State Route 1 via the Cabrillo Highway from CA 46 near Harmony northward through Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula to CA 156 in Castroville.


CA 1 through the Big Sur region isn't uncharted territory for Gribblenation.  Back in 2017 when the Mud Creek Slide, Paul's Slide and the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge collapse occurred the topic of CA 1 in Big Sur was common on this blog site.  That being the case even though the topic of CA 1 through Big Sur has been covered extensively I never really examined much of the history of the highway in the Monterey Peninsula.  Aside from the fact that I wanted to feature CA 1 through the Monterey Peninusla I'm always game for a top level scenic highway.  To that end the photos that I took on this most recent trip to CA 1 far exceed what I was taking in 2017 and …

Locans, California ghost town site

This February I stopped at the site of the abandoned railroad siding known as Locans in eastern Fresno County.


Locans was a railroad sidings of the Southern Pacific Railroad spur line known as the Stockton & Tulare Railroad.  Locans was located on what is now Temperance Avenue just south of Bulter Avenue.  The Stockton & Tulare Railroad was completed in 1887 but it doesn't appear that Locans was one of the original sidings.  Locans doesn't appear on the 1889 George F. Cram Railroad map of California but nearby Butler does.


The first reference to Locans I can find is on the 1891 Thompson Atlas of Fresno County.  A large parcel of land next to the Stockton & Tulare Railroad can be seen east of of Butler owned by F. Locan.  Locan's land holdings surround a small siding known as Minneola which was about a half mile east of where the site of Locans would eventually be plotted.


Locan's property appears again on the Stockton & Tulare Railroad between Butler an…