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

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car