Skip to main content

North Carolina to petition AASHTO for Interstate 295 designation (again...for like the third or fourth time)

The semi-annual American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) meeting is being held next week in Atlanta.  And with this meeting is another round of state petitions for highway designation changes, additions, and deletions.  Requests from North Carolina are typically on the agenda for every meeting.

This year is no different - as North Carolina is petitioning for the designation of Interstate 295 and Future Interstate 295 for the Fayetteville Outer Loop.  You may be wondering - wasn't this done before - maybe a few times before.  Hell, I've lost count.

So what is going on here - and if Interstate 295 was approved over a decade ago why did they take the I-295 signs down in the first place?
Taken in 2007, could I-295 shields be returning to the Fayetteville Outer Loop?

Well - it's complicated.  The first numbering request for the Fayetteville Outer Loop was made in 2003, and the highway was asked to be signed as Interstate 195.  It was rejected - as AASHTO said hey you are going to built this as a full loop one day why don't you try something like 295.  So two years later, when the highway was extended east to connect with Interstate 95 (Exit 58), NCDOT went back to AASHTO and said hey let's try this again as Interstate 295.  AASHTO approved and pretty much that was that.  Signs went up like the one above, and hey, NC had another Interstate.

By 2016, the Outer Loop was now known as NC Highway 295

Well, around 2014 is when all this confusion kicked in.  As NCDOT began to extend the Outer Loop westwards towards the All-American Freeway.  Signage plans revealed that the highway would be signed as NC 295 and not as Interstate 295.  An oversight maybe, after all it seemed like no one ever could agree on what number it should be.  But when NC replaced the Interstate 295 shields on signs along Interstate 95 around the same time - it was generally considered that because of various parts of the highway that did or may not meet full Interstate standards caused the Interstate status to go away. Two examples were the lack of shoulders on the bridge crossing the Cape Fear River and the lack of a direct freeway to freeway connection from I-95 North to I-295.

The left hand turn from Interstate 95 North onto I-295 is a possible reason why I-295 lost its shield. (Google Maps)
So let's fast forward to the present, and North Carolina's current application for Interstate and Future Interstate 295.  First, the Interstate 295 request is for the segment of highway that is currently open from Interstate 95 to the All-American Freeway.  The state argues in its petition that "[t]his section of roadway meets interstate standards and is currently open to traffic."  Further, they note that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had approved designation of this route as Future I-295 in November 2003. 
(Source: AASHTO)
The request for the Future I-295 designation is from US 401 (Raeford Road) south to Interstate 95 near St. Pauls.  I guess those are the next sections to open and won't be connected to the north end of the highway so they are going with Future.

So then why did they take the Interstate 295 signs down in the first place?  It the thought was because the highway didn't meet Interstate standards was correct, then why would have the FHWA approved the highway in 2003?  They must have agreed it was up to standard, right?

And could AASHTO reject the designation? Sure, they could, but they are not the ones to judge if the highway meets standard.  They are really in place more for an approval of a route designation.  And besides, they are too worried about the proper spacing format in an application.

(Source: AASHTO)
The Special Committee on US Route Numbering meets in Atlanta next week.  We should get an answer on Interstate 295's third at bat sometime in October.

Further Reading:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden California State Route 710 and the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway

Infamous and the subject of much controversy the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway has long existed as a contentious topic regarding the completion of Interstate 710 and California State Route 710.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway effectively has been legislatively blocked the action only came after decades of controversy.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway is fairly well known what many don't know is that a small segment was actually constructed south Interstate 210 and the Foothill Freeway.  This disconnected segment of the Long Beach Freeway exists as the unsigned and largely hidden California State Route 710.  On June 29, 2022 the California Transportation Commission relinquished California State Route 710 to the city of Pasadena.  The blog cover above depicts a southward view on the completed Pasadena stub segment of the Long Beach Freeway which ends at California Boulevard.   Part 1; the history of the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freewa

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Paper Highways: Proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada

During February 1956 the State of Nevada in concurrence with the States of California and Arizona submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials to establish US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas.  The proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have originated from mainline US Route 66 in Kingman Arizona and followed a multiplex of US Routes 93-466 to Las Vegas, Nevada.  From Las Vegas, Nevada the proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have multiplexed US Routes 91-466 back to mainline US Route 66 in Barstow, California.  The request to establish US Route 66 Alternate was denied during June 1956 due to it being completely multiplexed with other US Routes.  This blog will examine the timeline of the US Route 66 Alternate proposal to Las Vegas, Nevada. The history of the proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada On February 15, 1956, the Nevada State Highway Engineer in a letter to the American Association of State Highways Officials (AASHO) advising that six c