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I-73 Route through Greensboro now 'Official'

Based on an article published on July 4, apparently NCDOT has officially come to the decision as to where I-73 is to be routed in Greensboro. I know what you're saying, but haven't they already decided on that based on the signage put up for the Urban Loop? Yes and no. Obviously the route using the Loop was decided upon, but what had not been officially agreed to was how I-73 was to get from the Loop to the NC 68-US 220 Connector.

According to a previous story that appeared on July 1, NCDOT was still deciding between the Bryan Blvd. route and a route that would take a path from the Connector directly to the Loop. The NCDOT official quoted in that story cited only problems for this last route, environmental and higher costs, that implied the Bryan Blvd. route, that coincidentally has appeared in NCDOT publications for the past 5 years, would be chosen. Now that it is officially official, I-73 North will take an upgraded Bryan Blvd. west from the Loop to NC 68. It will then follow an upgraded NC 68 north to the vicinity of Pleasant Ridge Road where the Connector will begin and it will follow this north and east to an upgraded US 220, creating a somewhat semi-circular route.

Dates cited in the article for construction are:
2010 - For the first phase of the Connector (the upgrading of US 220 from the Connector to where NC 68 intersects US 220) which will not be built to interstate standards.
2013 -For the actual connector itself which will be built in two phases, after which the US 220 segment (above) would be modified to interstate standards.
After 2015 - Final construction needed on Bryan Blvd and NC 68 to bring them up to interstate standards.

Story: Greensboro News & Record (7/4/08)

Commentary: In the article the writer indicates that NCDOT can now replace their 'Future I-73' signs along the Urban Loop with actual interstate signage and sign other parts of the official route up to interstate standards as I-73. This is questionable, since an interstate is supposed to at least end at a National Highway System route, and I don't know if Bryan Blvd. fits that definition. However, since NCDOT has already signed I-74 on a freeway that does not touch an interstate route at all at this current time*, this could be the case here. I will update my site with the above information within the next 10 days.

*I'm referring to the freeway from Laurinburg to east of Maxton that won't connect with I-95 until later this year, this may also be the case between Winston-Salem and High Point where there is a construction project noted by NCDOT on their Travel Information page that indicates they are closing lanes on the US 311 freeway to put up new signage,
what kind they do not say, though I-74 won't connect to I-85 until 2011.

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