Skip to main content

Thanksgiving Leftovers-I-74/US 311 Construction Photos

As promised, I'm posting some of the photos I have taken along the I-74/US 311 freeway now being constructed from Business 85 (US 29/70) to US 220 (Future I-73). The project is actually building two separate freeways. The first covers completing the High Point East Belt Freeway from Business 85 to just beyond I-85 and the other is the US 311 Bypass Freeway which runs from I-85 to US 220 and which is also broken into 2 parts. The second and final part of the Bypass was only recently started as a design/build project. The projected completion dates for the projects seen in the photos below is Spring 2011 while Fall 2012 is the completion date for the part just recently awarded for construction.

The photos and commentary will cover the I-74 construction zone going west to east.

1. Business 85
The completed second section of the High Point East Belt actually runs beyond Business 85 to Baker Road so the interchange with the future I-74 freeway is largely complete. The above photo was taken at the future off-ramp from I-74 west in September 2007, and the scene looked similar last month.

2. Baker Road
Nothing is going on here at the moment, and I couldn't find a reasonable place to take a photo. Looking west one sees the completed freeway running to Business 85. On the other side is graded roadbed heading east. Presumably a bridge will be built here. They are probably waiting to start until other bridges (discussed below) are complete and a reasonable detour route can be put together.

3. Jackson Lake Road Bridge
This bridge was completed and opened on Friday, November 21. The view is looking south where Jackson Lake Road eventually intersects NC 610. The roadbed heading back west toward Baker Road is only partially complete:
4. Kersey Valley Road Bridge
This bridge was finished in October. The construction of this bridge was complicated in that it continues a curve in the roadway:
Though there's been more excavation here, but still much more is needed:
The view to the east shows more excavation and the start of work at cutting off the road crossing the freeway roadbed in the distance. Beyond the hill is the interchange with Interstate 85:
5. The I-85/I-74 Interchange
The I-74/US 311 freeway will go under the existing I-85 roadway. In order to excavate under the existing I-85 roadbed they first had to build the future C/D ramps for the I-74/US 311 and NC 62 exit ramps to be used by I-85 traffic. This was completed in November. The photos below are of the new traffic pattern:

The above photo was taken on November 23, compare the progress to the one below taken on Halloween:
Hard to tell but there appears to be some excavation progress for the I-74 roadbed being excavated through the I-85 roadway. There is also signs of progress on the bridge in the foreground which will be part of the I-74 interchange ramp system. You can also see that as part of building the C/D lanes they've paved the exit ramps to I-85 South as well. The NC 62 exit going south on I-85 will be reached via the C/D ramps:
The exit will be renumbered 113A with B and C for the I-74 East and West ramps, respectively. Here's a view of the eastern end of the bridge over the C/D ramps being used for I-85 North:
And here's what it looks like traveling on the temporary I-85 northbound lanes under the ramp bridge being constructed:
6. View of Roadbed from Checker Road
Checker Road is the first left on NC 62 headed east after I-85. The route has been cutoff and there is nothing in NCDOT documentation listing a temporary detour. A bridge piling can be seen at the end of the road that was built early on during construction:
The only change in the past year is the buildup of material on the opposite side of the I-74 roadbed, is this going to be part of the I-74 interchange, or a connection to the road on the other side?
Looking from a more western vantage point you can also see the have paved the ramp from I-85 north to the future I-74 freeway:
7. NC 62 Bridge
The next bridge needed to be constructed will carry NC 62 over the new freeway. Here's how it appeared on Halloween:
The current roadway will be rerouted, the question is will traffic have to be detoured at any time or will they work around the highway while completing the bridge. The support structures and beams are in place. Across NC 62 from the bridge looking east the contractor had started paving the roadbed in November:
The pavement goes as far as the next bridge being built, that for Tuttle Road which is around the corner, but of which I have no photos at the moment.

8. Poole Road Bridge
The future freeway roadbed runs from Tuttle Road further southeast to a couple miles past Cedar Square Road. Construction in this area includes building a new bridge to reconnect Poole Road over the future freeway. Here's a look at what's been constructed as of November:
Excavation had been completed but workers were only starting to pile drive piers for the bridge. Taking Poole Road back toward Cedar Square is on a new roadway built to the westbound side of the future freeway roadbed:
The view is looking westbound, Poole Road on the right. The freeway roadbed is pretty complete in this area.

9. Cedar Square Road Interchange
There has not been much progress building what will be the temporary end of the freeway at Cedar Square Road. The area has been cleared but only the beginnings of what will be a highway interchange are visible. Cedar Square Road runs from left to right in front of the truck and trees:
As noted before the roadbed runs about 2 miles further south to just before Spencer Road. The new design-build contract is to pick up the work from there and build the road to US 220. There was, however, no construction progress seen in this area including where the new freeway is to cross the existing US 311 roadway. I expect this is because most of the design work is still going on and will continue during the winter with progress seen in at least clearing the future roadbed by spring. I will continue to chronicle progress on this freeway in further posts.

For some more photos of the construction in the areas listed above go to my I-74 Segment 6 or Segment 7 web pages. Lastly, I would like to thank Bill Travers for updating me on construction progress on I-74 (and US 311) and helping me find the best places to take photos.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I'm not sure what type of curing is being used, but it is the quality and beauty of mechanical grooving. Hats off to the Engineers.

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