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

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine was referenced in California's Gold Episode #608 during which Huell Howser examined numerous points claimed to be the Center of California.  During Episode #608 Huell Howser interviews Caltrans employee Bob Thompson who emphasizes there wa

The Smithtown Bull in Smithtown, New York

  Before I moved to Upstate New York as a young man, I grew up in the Long Island town of Smithtown during the 1980s and 1990s. The recognizable symbol of Smithtown is a bronze statue of a bull named Whisper, located at the junction of NY Route 25 and NY Route 25A near the bridge over the Nissequogue River. Why a bull, you may ask. The bull is a symbol of a legend related to the town's founding in 1665 by Richard "Bull" Smythe, with a modernized name of Richard Smith. It also so happens that there is a story behind the legend, one that involves ancient land right transfers and some modern day roads as well. So the story goes that Smythe made an agreement with a local Indian tribe where Smythe could keep whatever land he circled around in a day's time riding atop his trusty bull. Choosing the longest day of the year for his ride, he set out with his bull Whisper and went about riding around the borders of the Town of Smithtown. As legend has it, Smythe t

Erie Canal: Little Falls and Moss Island

  Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer. Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. A