Skip to main content

I-73/I-74 Year in Review 2015

While the year was fairly quiet for both I-73 and I-74 in North Carolina, with only continued construction and no new segment openings, there were some positive signs that funding had been found to accelerate several projects over the next several years.

I-73

Work continued on the I-73 projects in the Greensboro area. The US 220 widening from the Haw River had both good news and bad news. The good news was the project surpassed the 50% completion mark during 2015, with the percentage finished reaching 56.5% at the end of the year. The bad news was that the project was supposed to be 92% complete. Therefore, NCDOT finally faced the facts of the delay in the work and pushed back the completion date from the end of 2016 to June 2017. The additional work on revamping the NC 68 interchange at the northern end of the project should be completed around the same time. Here's a couple photos from last January showing progress approaching the of the future interchange with US 158  and NC 65, courtesy of AARoads Forum member, Strider:

Work is also proceeding on building the I-73 Connector from PTI Airport to US 220 at the Haw River. That project is 45.4% complete and slightly ahead of schedule. The official completion date, however, was pushed back from April to October 2017. Work also started in September on the upgrade of the Bryan Blvd. interchange with the Greensboro Loop (I-840). That project was 22.9% complete at the end of November and should be completed by March 2017. Here's a couple photos taken by Strider this past August of the construction of I-73 along NC 68:

While here's a view of the I-73 roadbed heading east toward US 220:

Meanwhile, at the other end of I-73, work is continuing on the first segment of the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. The work to bring US 220 up to interstate standards south of Ellerbe is now 33.6% complete as of December 22. The project, however is supposed to be 47% complete, and the delay has pushed back the projected completion date to March 2018 from October 2017. There may be some good news about funding the remainder of the project. A source who visited with an NCDOT project engineer said NCDOT may fund the work next year. It is unclear whether this is due to a new budget formula that is accelerating some I-74 projects (see below) or that the project will be funded in next years Draft STIP document which will cover 2018 to 2027.

I-74

Work continued in 2015 on building the Eastern half of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway, which started in the fall of 2014. Work constructing the route from Business 40/US 421/NC 150 to US 158 was 14.5% complete as of December 22. A bad sign, however, is that this is already behind schedule, projected to be 18.6% complete and the projected completion date has already been pushed back to April 2019 from October 2018. Here's a couple photos of the construction as seen from Business 40, courtesy of J. Austin Carter:

NC Governor McCrory announced in November 2015 that the NCDOT budget formula had been changed, preventing the legislature from taking money from the transportation fund for other projects. As part of the announcement, the governor indicated money had been found to accelerate several high profile road projects, including the Winston-Salem Beltway. If approved by the NCDOT Board in January, funding would granted to the remaining segments of the Beltway, currently unfunded west of US 311 and not projected to start construction until after 2025. It is unclear at this time, however, when construction would now start on these now funded segments.

The budget changes also led the NCDOT to fund several other transportation projects in the 2016-2025 STIP, previously not projected to start until 2026 or later. Among these was the project to upgrade US 74 to interstate standards from the eastern end of the Rockingham Bypass to the currently signed section of I-74 east of the Bus. 74/Alt. 74 interchange in Robeson County (which would included the once I-74 signed Laurinburg Bypass). If approved by the Board, work would start in 2022. It is perhaps that given that the completion of this segment would mean the I-73/I-74 Bypass segment would be the missing link in a completed I-74 between Winston-Salem and Laurinburg, that NCDOT is to fund that work next year.

2016 is supposed to be another slow year with continued construction of the projects listed above, but perhaps, like this year, there will be some surprises along the way.

Comments

Bob Malme said…
Forgot to mention, to keep up with the latest I-73/I-74 news feel free to visit my website: http://www.gribblenation.net/i7374nc/index.html
Napoleon Reese said…
When are some new stuff coming soon?

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

Old US Route 40 on Donner Pass Road

While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road. Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration.  The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844.  The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived.  Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass. The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road.  The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass.  The websit

California State Route 159 (former California State Route 11 and US Route 66)

California State Route 159 was a post 1964-Renumbering State Route which was designated over former segments of California State Route 11 and US Route 66.  As originally defined California State Route 159 began at Interstate 5/US Route 99 at the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles.  California State Route 159 followed Figueroa Street, Colorado Boulevard and Linda Vista Avenue to the planned Foothill Freeway.  California State Route 159 was truncated during 1965 to existing solely on Linda Vista Avenue where it remained until being relinquished during 1989.  California State Route 159 was formally deleted from the State Highway System during 1992.   The history of California State Route 159 Prior to 1933 the Division of Highways was not actively involved in maintaining urban highways outside of occasional cooperative projects.  The responsibility for signage of US Routes in cities was thusly given to the Automobile Club of Southern California in the Southern California region.  This bei