Skip to main content

Trying to figure out what happened to Greensboro's Murrow Blvd. freeway plans

Sometimes you never know when and how you will discover a new piece of road history.  Yesterday, our family went to the Greensboro (NC) Children's Museum and on the way there and back I noticed what appeared to be a stub end to a divided highway.  I wasn't aware of this prior so of course I did some quick research.

Murrow Boulevard is a divided highway that runs along along the east side of Greensboro's Downtown Core and turns northeast to split into two one way streets - Fisher and Smith.  Murrow, Fisher, Smith, along with Edgeworth and Spring Streets form a downtown loop similar to the one in Durham.  But there appears to have been more planned for Murrow Blvd and the area south of Downtown Greensboro.

The end of Murrow Blvd. in Greensboro suggests that there was more planned for the highway.

Murrow Blvd. - which is named after Edward R. Murrow - has an awkward end where it meets Gate City Boulevard (formerly NC 6 and Lee St.).  Just after the Gorrell Street overpass (seen above), the divided highway jogs to the right - the median widens - and Murrow ends at a traffic light.  If you are wanting to go North on Murrow Blvd. from Gate City, you will notice that the one lane road immediately becomes three lanes and there is a stub end showing that the road was supposed to continue south of Gate City.

In fact, if you look at aerial photographs of Greensboro - as early as 1968 - you'll see what appears to be two items, grading for an overpass over then Lee St. and what looks like a ramp what is now Martin Luther King Blvd. to Gate City.  A 3D Google Earth Image is available here. The plan was to build a freeway from this point and connect to the Coliseum Area. Basically this highway would run south and parallel to what is Gate City Blvd.  A general plan of the highway is shown below.

Basic Murrow Blvd. Expressway Plan (otherstream.com)
The plan pretty much fizzled and it appears that concerns about dividing the city into two sections (poorer areas to the south / more affluent to the north) was the driving force behind the plans falling through.  That's all that is pretty much known (at least on the internet) about the Murrow Blvd. Extension.  If you have any additional information, drop me a line or leave a comment.

Sources:
"In Which I Nag About Greensboro History" ---Otherstream.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh