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Old August 23rd, 2009, 08:52 AM   #4621
dl3000
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Ah, I see now.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 11:14 AM   #4622
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North Carolina is the fastest growing state east of the Mississippi. The state grew from 6.6 million in 1990 to 9.1 million in 2007. And even half the counties declined in population, so there's a major shift towards the urban centers of NC plus additional population growth in those urban centers.

Projects I think would be useful:
* complete I-540 around Raleigh
* complete I-840 around Greensboro
* complete I-485 around Charlotte
* turn US 1 into a freeway from Rockingham to Raleigh and Henderson
* turn US 29 into a freeway between Greensboro and Danville, VA
* turn US 74 into a freeway from Charlotte to Wilmington
* turn US 421 into a freeway from Greensboro to Fayetteville
* construct a loop around Winston-Salem
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 08:23 PM   #4623
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The Interstate beltways around Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro are already in the pipeline, but completion of I-540 has been delayed by money problems and now the NCTA is building part of it. US 29 is already a freeway between Greensboro and Danville--it was when I drove it in 1995. Most of the others are at various stages in planning.

Edit: I see US 29 does have a short length of expressway with at-grade intersections from just north of urban Greensboro to just north of NC 150, the remainder being full freeway. But this length also has interchanges at select major crossings. I believe upgrades are also being planned. I think the Danville bypass was finished after 1995. I know (having seen the construction plans when it was advertised in 2003) that the Madison Heights bypass has been finished, though there is still a missing link SE of Lynchburg and some work still to be done between Danville and Lynchburg. IMV the main obstacles on US 29 between Greensboro and DC are Charlottesville and maybe Gainesville or Warrenton.

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Old August 23rd, 2009, 10:58 PM   #4624
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1) As much as I want to agree with you I think Georgia grew more than NC from 1990 to present. I think Georgia currently has 9.6 million residents and ranks as the 9th most populous state.
2) Construction on Raleigh I-540 western leg began 2 weeks ago and will be the state's first toll road. It will not have toll booths however. Residents firmly contend that they will avoid the toll section.
3) The last remaining section of Charlotte's I-485 loop will be completed within the next 2 years. Charlotte definitely has the state's most urgent transportation needs.
4) NCDOT has completed many comprehensive studies on many of the major corridors including US1 and US64 and US70. Their solutions include conversion into superstreets, limiting access, and the addition of HOV/HOT lanes.
5) Despite having one the highest gas tax rates in America however, the state can't even find the money to improve Charlotte's I-77/I-85 interchange, nor can it come up with the $330 million to replace the I-85 Yadkin River Bridge.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #4625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
North Carolina is the fastest growing state east of the Mississippi. The state grew from 6.6 million in 1990 to 9.1 million in 2007. And even half the counties declined in population, so there's a major shift towards the urban centers of NC plus additional population growth in those urban centers.

Projects I think would be useful:
* complete I-540 around Raleigh
* complete I-840 around Greensboro
* complete I-485 around Charlotte
* turn US 1 into a freeway from Rockingham to Raleigh and Henderson
* turn US 29 into a freeway between Greensboro and Danville, VA
* turn US 74 into a freeway from Charlotte to Wilmington
* turn US 421 into a freeway from Greensboro to Fayetteville
* construct a loop around Winston-Salem
You might wanna add to that list adding lanes to I-95. Its a nice, rural route through eastern NC, but it was kinda congested. US 74/I-74 section was recently opened near Lumberton including the interchange with I-95.

I-95 in South Carolina from Florence to the NC state line, looks like the interstate time forgot.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #4626
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Dallas-Fort Worth: 1987 - 2010

A nice comparison out of my 1987 and 2010 Rand McNally atlases of the DFW Metroplex.

1. DFW in 1987.
Dallas has only a few suburbs, and the area between Dallas and Fort Worth is still half empty. The Dallas North Tollway (DNT) only reaches I-635 and the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) hasn't been constructed yet. Carrollton was a far unsignificant suburb at that time. I-20 ran further north, via what is now I-635/US 80. Loop 12 wasn't a freeway yet. SH 121 ended near Euless and SH 114 ended just north of Irving, which was a smaller city back then.
image hosted on flickr


2. DFW in 2010.
The DFW area has exploded and doesn't even fit on two pages anymore, as opposed to 1/3rd of a page 23 years earlier. New mega suburbs like Plano, Frisco and McKinney have developed. The area between Dallas and Fort Worth has been fully urbanized, as has the area around the DFW International Airport. Relatively few has changed around Fort Worth, roadwise.
image hosted on flickr
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Old August 26th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #4627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Projects I think would be useful:

* turn US 1 into a freeway from Rockingham to Raleigh and Henderson
I doubt it. The route looks good on a map, but when I drove on it last year from Apex to Camden SC, it was very lightly traveled.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #4628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Dallas-Fort Worth: 1987 - 2010

A nice comparison out of my 1987 and 2010 Rand McNally atlases of the DFW Metroplex.

1. DFW in 1987.
Dallas has only a few suburbs, and the area between Dallas and Fort Worth is still half empty. The Dallas North Tollway (DNT) only reaches I-635 and the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) hasn't been constructed yet. Carrollton was a far unsignificant suburb at that time. I-20 ran further north, via what is now I-635/US 80. Loop 12 wasn't a freeway yet. SH 121 ended near Euless and SH 114 ended just north of Irving, which was a smaller city back then.
image hosted on flickr


2. DFW in 2010.
The DFW area has exploded and doesn't even fit on two pages anymore, as opposed to 1/3rd of a page 23 years earlier. New mega suburbs like Plano, Frisco and McKinney have developed. The area between Dallas and Fort Worth has been fully urbanized, as has the area around the DFW International Airport. Relatively few has changed around Fort Worth, roadwise.
image hosted on flickr
The difference in the two maps is astounding. At 21 years of age, I drove to California and remember heading west and upon a glance northward seeing the Dallas skyline for the first time. It seemed huge even back then...
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Old August 27th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #4629
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Here is "10 Questions" with North Carolina's new head of the DOT. Some of it is interesting, especially regarding the cost of highway signage for private businesses...

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5769655/
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Old August 27th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #4630
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Here is "10 Questions" with North Carolina's new head of the DOT. Some of it is interesting, especially regarding the cost of highway signage for private businesses...

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5769655/
How were the I-40, I-540 and I-785 projects "botched"?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #4631
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I-40: they are talking about the failed concrete overlay on the stretch between Durham and Raleigh which had to be fixed at many millions of dollars in added cost.

I-785: Pavement was too thin and made with too little binder, and broke up under heavier-than-anticipated traffic. The freeway was originally designed and constructed as US 117 (IIRC) and was upgraded to Interstate long after it was possible to change the pavement design.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #4632
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Perhaps a bit late, but still interesting to report, on july 9th, the first new span of the I-10 Twin Bridges between New Orleans and Slidell opened. It will replace the destroyed and then repaired bridge which was considered too low to handle storm surges. The new bridge will be much higher above the water (30 feet) with a top of 80 feet near Slidell to allow ships to pass. The other span will open in 2011. When completed, the capacity will be increased from 4 to 6 lanes.

You can see it U/C here:


location:
[img]http://i31.************/jimbm8.png[/img]
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Old August 29th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #4633
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God I never understood US roads system and stuff. I don't find US highways interesting comparing to european roads
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Old August 29th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #4634
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I think US Highways, Interstate Highways and State Routes are far more interesting than the European roads. There are way more numbering oddities, more interesting road number shields and general oddities than in Europe. The vast size and diverse landscapes also allows for interesting stuff.

Although Europe also has it's charms with all the different signage systems.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #4635
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Quote:
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God I never understood US roads system and stuff. I don't find US highways interesting comparing to european roads
What is difficult to understand?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #4636
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Quite a lot. Funding distributions, the highway planning process, the role of MPOs and federal government agencies like EPA and USACE, etc. Even at the level of highway trivia, there are things like numbering patterns in various states, the distinction between primary and secondary state highway systems in some states, variations in signing practices (which in turn are related to subtleties in how the MUTCD is formulated and the presence or absence of state supplements or own-state replacements for it), etc. There are similar complexities everywhere (Spain and France come to mind), but they are only just now starting to be discovered and discussed since those countries have lagged the US in putting their road-related materials online.

Specialized discussion of US road issues hardly ever happens on SkyscraperCity--there just isn't the knowledge base for it here. The Usenet newsgroup misc.transport.road has historically had a lot of in-depth discussion (and is accessible through Google Groups), and the AARoads forum is increasingly becoming a popular place for it as well. There are country-based forums now which achieve a similarly high level of specialization for countries or regions outside the US (SABRE for the UK, SARA for France, Wegenforum.nl for the Low Countries, etc.).
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #4637
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Specialized discussion of US road issues hardly ever happens on SkyscraperCity--there just isn't the knowledge base for it here.
Yeah, we need more Americans over here

The most basic form of the American road system is not that hard to understand; Interstate Highways/US Highways -> State Routes -> County Routes (or equivalent). The numbering patterns of Interstates and US Highways are also not really hard to understand; even numbers run west-east, odd numbers run south-north. They increase from west to east for I-routes and east to west for US routes.

State Routes are more different, I usually cannot find any patterns, zoning or other system, so they tend to be randomly assigned. The numbers can be reused in every state, but there are usually no US/I/SR numbers with the same number. If there is a US 50, there isn't a SR 50 or I-50 in the same state.

Another interesting thing is that not only Interstate Highways are freeways, but US Highways and State Routes can be designed as freeways too. Some roads have a somewhat lower design standard, but can still be considered freeway (equivalents). Some freeways are even unnumbered, like the many Parkways in the greater New York area, which only have a reference number. In other states, like Georgia, US and I-routes also have a reference State Route number. In areas like Los Angeles or San Francisco, State Route freeways are just as important as Interstate Highways.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #4638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Yeah, we need more Americans over here

The most basic form of the American road system is not that hard to understand; Interstate Highways/US Highways -> State Routes -> County Routes (or equivalent). The numbering patterns of Interstates and US Highways are also not really hard to understand; even numbers run west-east, odd numbers run south-north. They increase from west to east for I-routes and east to west for US routes.

State Routes are more different, I usually cannot find any patterns, zoning or other system, so they tend to be randomly assigned. The numbers can be reused in every state, but there are usually no US/I/SR numbers with the same number. If there is a US 50, there isn't a SR 50 or I-50 in the same state.

Another interesting thing is that not only Interstate Highways are freeways, but US Highways and State Routes can be designed as freeways too. Some roads have a somewhat lower design standard, but can still be considered freeway (equivalents). Some freeways are even unnumbered, like the many Parkways in the greater New York area, which only have a reference number. In other states, like Georgia, US and I-routes also have a reference State Route number. In areas like Los Angeles or San Francisco, State Route freeways are just as important as Interstate Highways.
Great summary!
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Old August 30th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #4639
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Just to add that 3-digit Interstate numbers are derived from a 1- or 2-digit number by pre-appending a digit (ie. I-275 is related to I-75). If the first digit is odd, the highway is a spur into a city. If it is even, it is a route through or around a city. 3-digit numbers are designated in each state separately; they can be many Interstate highways with the same number in different states.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #4640
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Yes, this works for US Highways too, though 3-digit US Highways are often much more important than 3-digit Interstates, and are often hundreds of miles long too. The US 381 is nearly 1900 miles long for instance.
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