Skip to main content

Paper: Expecting I-785? It may be awhile.

In Saturday's Greensboro News Record, there was a lengthy article discussing the progress on the Future I-785 corridor. Well make that the lack of progress.

Since the corridor's designation in 1997 - the first Future I-785 Corridor sign were first posted in June 1998, there has been not much done to upgrade current US 29 in Guilford or Rockingham Counties to an Interstate quality highway. US 29/Future I-785 also cuts through the northwest corner of Caswell County.

The cost to upgrade the highway has doubled from an estimated $100 million in 1998 to $200 million today. Most of the upgrading would be on a four lane at-grade section of US 29 from southern Rockingham County to Greensboro. US 29 from Reidsville north to the to the Virginia border is currently a freeway with not as much upgrading necessary.

Currently, the state funding priorities have been towards completing the Greensboro Urban Loop (Interstate 840) and upgrading US 220 to Interstate 73. Interstate 785 may be routed on the Northeast corner of the Greensboro Loop. That section from US 29 southwards to the completed portion of the highway at US 70 is scheduled to begin land acquisition in 2009 followed by the start of construction in 2011. The estimated cost for that section of Interstate 840 is $117 million.

Story:
Road of uncertainty: The proposed I-785 corridor ---Greensboro News-Record

Commentary:
Will Interstate 785 ever exist? That's a good question. Is there a need for an interstate from Greensboro to Danville? Another good question.

Let me answer the second first. There is a need for a freeway NOT an Interstate from Greensboro to Danville. Over 1/2 of US 29 from I-40 to US 360 in Danville is a freeway. Most of it has been built over the last 30 years. Immediately north of I-40, US 29 is an urban freeway with no emergency shoulders, only a concrete barrier with no median separating opposing lanes of traffic. Very narrow and tight ramps to city streets. Also around NC A&T, spectators for sporting events park along what emergency shoulders still remain.

For years on the NC State Highway Map, the Greensboro section of US 29 had been listed as a freeway, it's not any more. Beyond the city limits as you head north towards Reidsville, a center grass median exists, but there are numerous at grade intersections, traffic lights, access roads, etc. that are part of the corridor. This is the section that will need the most upgrading.

If I-785 does come to pass, and I don't think it will be seen for another 20 years if not more, it should be routed along I-840 to eliminate the need, and the cost, to do a major upgrade of US 29 through Greensboro.

But if you aren't going to source funding for the project and there's no urgency to do so, why even try to promote it as a 'FUTURE INTERSTATE CORRIDOR' when nothing is going to be done for another 20 years from now, which is 30 years after the idea was first conceived.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kancamagus Highway (NH 112 through the White Mountains of New Hampshire)

The Kancamagus Highway is a portion of NH 112 spanning from Conway to Lincoln through the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire. Locally known as the "Kanc", the 34.5-mile drive is a recognized National Scenic Byway, offering travelers an abundance of history and spectacular beauty in addition to being considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world. The road opened up one of the last unconquered wilderness areas in New Hampshire, a region that the 1850 state Gazetteer called "unfit for human habitation." The two lane highway links the valleys of the Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Saco rivers, crossing over Kancamagus Pass at 2,855 feet in elevation, winding through some of the most difficult and gorgeous terrain in the state. A number of scenic vistas are found along the way offering remarkable views of the surrounding White Mountains, Swift River, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. You will not find services through much of the drive, until you get to

Ghost Town Tuesday; Transylvania, Louisiana

Back in 2014 I found myself returning home to Florida from Hot Springs National Park.  While passing through East Carroll Parish in Louisiana on US Route 65 I noticed an abandoned school on the side of the highway in a community called Transylvania. Supposedly Transylvania was founded in the early 19th century and was named after the University of the same name in Kentucky.  Supposedly Transylvania has about 700 residents according to the 2000 Census but you wouldn't know it from the total lack of occupied structures.  The earliest map reference I can find showing Transylvania present in East Carroll Parish is from 1878. 1878 Louisiana State Map I really can't find too much substantive information regarding the Transylvania Elementary School but the construction is likely Pre-World War II.  Supposedly the Transylvania Elementary School was abandoned in the late 20th Century and was open to vandals until the property was purchased in 2014. Article Regarding the Transy

I-93 Sign Replacement Project Update

Decided to beat the Memorial Day rush and traveled up I-93 north of Boston Wednesday afternoon to check out the progress of the two sign replacement projects. Based on webcam images, I new some signs had been replaced at the southern and northern end of the Somerville to Exit 38 segment. Turns out signage has been updated northbound for Exit 28 (MA 28/38), the first sign for Exit 31 (MA 16) (I guess taking advantage of MassDOT closing I-93 between Exits 20 and 28 for Big Dig Tunnel maintenance a couple nights a month) and for Exits 34 to 38. A photographic summary starts with the first re-signed exit: This is the second overhead assembly. The signs are mounted on the previously existing overhead supports that go back to the opening of the lower and upper deck portions of I-93 in the early 1970's. I don't know about using the left hand side simply for an auxiliary sign for the exit, but there isn't much room to place it elsewhere. The next interchange that  has had