Skip to main content

Goodbye Interstate 495; Hello Interstate 87

If you live in or drive in Eastern Wake County - you'll be seeing a lot more of sign combinations like this one soon.
It seems like yesterday when I blogged about new Future Interstate 495 signs that were going to be installed along US 64 along the Knightdale Bypass and along the way to Rocky Mount.  Well after just three years, Interstate 495 is officially no more.  This week NCDOT crews began to install Interstate 87 shields along the Raleigh Beltline and Knightdale Bypass from Southeast Raleigh to Rolesville Road in Wendell.  The new interstate designation follows Interstate 440 west from I-40 near Garner leaving the Beltline at the Knightdale Bypass and following US 64/264 about another 12 or so miles until the six lane portion of the Knightdale Bypass ends just beyond Business US 64.

Eventually, Interstate 87 will continue east along US 64 past Zebulon, Rocky Mount and Tarboro to Williamston where it will head north and northeast along US 17 into Virginia and Norfolk.  The new signs reflect the first official section of Interstate 87 in North Carolina - as the Knightdale Bypass meets national Interstate standards.

This introduction and installation of Interstate 87 signs onto the Knightdale Bypass will be a multi-step process.  The first step is what you see on the highway now - new Interstate 87 shields on the ground along the main highway.  Surface streets, like New Hope Road, Hodge Road, Smithfield Road and Wendell Falls Parkway, that have interchanges with the new Interstate will also see I-87 signs pop up as they approach the highway.  The last step will be updating or replacing existing overhead signs along I-40, I-440 and I-540 with the new designation.  So for a few weeks, maybe months, you'll still see some Interstate 495 shields and signs in the area.

Speaking of the overall signage plans - there will also be another major change to the signage along the Knightdale Bypass (and eventually US 64).  The exit numbers will be changed to reflect Interstate 87's mileage.  There will be new exit numbers for the interchanges at I-440, New Hope Road, Hodge Road, I-540, Smithfield Road, Wendell Falls Parkway, Wendell Blvd./Business 64 and Rolesville Road.

Interchange Old Exit # New Exit #
Interstate 440 West 419 3
New Hope Road 420 4
Hodge Road 422 6
Interstate 540 423 7
Smithfield Road 425 9
Wendell Falls Parkway 427 11
US 64 Business / Wendell Blvd. 429 13
Rolesville Road 430 14

This may be slightly confusing as it appears that the next exit east - Lizard Lick Road/Wendell - will remain with its current number, Exit 432.  Though eventually those exit numbers will also change.

A contact of mine at NCDOT passed along to me the overall signage plans for Interstate 87 along the Knightdale Bypass.  A few samples are below.

New signage for I-87 at the I-40 Beltline Merge in Southeast Raleigh.  I-87 and I-440 will both end at I-40. (NCDOT)

Proposed signage for Interstate 87 at the junction of the Knightdale Bypass and the Raleigh Beltline (I-440). You can see how the exit numbers for US 64 (Exits 419, 420 etc.) are being changed to reflect Interstate 87 (3, 4, 6, etc.) (NCDOT)

Interstate 87 signs at Hodge Road and Interstate 540.  (NCDOT)

Signs along Business 64 at the Knightdale Bypass. There will only be updates to signs for US 64/264 West to include Interstate 87 - as I-87's temporary end is at this interchange. (NCDOT)

Proposed Interstate 87 signage plans along US 64/264 West approaching Rolesville Road.  This will be where Interstate 87 will begin.  I am unsure if exits east of here will be updated or remain with US 64's mileage (430 and higher) (NCDOT)

Comments

Unknown said…
What in you opinion would I-87 in NC/VA connect to its older Northern neighbor I-87 in New York City? Does it take Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel or use I-64 to I-95 in Richmond?
Steve said…
@John

I would estimate that it would use US-13 across the CBBT (should it happen of course). They are already in the process of upgrading the Thimble Shoals Channel Tunnel to 4 lanes, and sometime within the next two decades, the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel will get upgraded as well.

Now my vision, I-87 would follow current I-464 in Chesapeake up to Norfolk, then I-264 after that into VA Beach. The problem from there is how would they handle converting that section of U.S. 13 in VA Beach leading to the CBBT into a freeway, plus the interchanges required to do so.

So that is probably why they won't bother... at least for a VERY LONG TIME.

Popular posts from this blog

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…