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"Worst" section of mountainous interstate in WNC


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Poll: "Worst" section of mountainous Interstate highway in WNC (14 member(s) have cast votes)

Select which section you consider the worst.

  1. I-40 (Pigeon River Gorge, Haywood County) (4 votes [28.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  2. I-40 (Old Fort Mountain, McDowell/Buncombe Counties) (6 votes [42.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.86%

  3. I-26 (Howard Gap/Green River Gorge, Polk/Henderson Counties) (2 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  4. I-26 (Sam's Gap, Madison County) (2 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 cowboy_wilhelm

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 11:31 PM

What do you consider the "worst" section of mountainous Interstate in Western North Carolina? (We'll leave out Asheville and consider that urban.) Whether it be condition, design, traffic, wrecks, lack of safety features, grade, curves, etc. Share your opinion!

 

#2 suburban george3

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 11:59 PM

I voted for Old Fort Mountain. The grade up or down is terrible, I have seen trucks get in all sort of predicaments and the cars just whiz around everywhere. This stretch seems to get the bulk of the traffic from the Piedmont of NC and the volume seems a bit heavier here than the other areas listed.

#3 cowboy_wilhelm

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 12:25 AM

I voted for Old Fort Mountain. The grade up or down is terrible, I have seen trucks get in all sort of predicaments and the cars just whiz around everywhere. This stretch seems to get the bulk of the traffic from the Piedmont of NC and the volume seems a bit heavier here than the other areas listed.


Actually, according to NCDOT traffic survey maps for 2005, the I-26 Howard Gap/Green River Gorge section has the most traffic (not by much though).

I-40 (Pigeon River Gorge): 22,000-23,000
I-40 (Old Fort Mountain): 30,000
I-26 (Howard Gap/Green River Gorge): 32,000
I-26 (Sam’s Gap): 7,700-8,800

Edited by cowboy_wilhelm, 16 January 2007 - 12:26 AM.


#4 orulz

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:58 AM

Pigeon River Gorge, no question. There are few severe grades, and the highway is scenic and the engineering is impressive, but:

- There is no left shoulder. Try passing a truck. Worse yet, try passing a truck in the rain, or fog, or at night. *shudder*
- Landslides and other natural disasters shut the stretch down every few years
- As soon as the weather goes south - fog, rain, or (lord forbid) snow - you can bet that there will be a tractor-trailer accident.

This is the curviest, narrowest, most dangerous rural mainline interstate that I've ever driven on, though some downtown sections in some cities can be worse. And the Gorge goes on like that for upwards of 30 miles.

#5 PlazaMidwoodGuy

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 03:35 PM

I voted for I-26 in Polk and Henderson Counties, although I actually don't think the Green River Gorge section is so bad. The awful part, to me, is from the gorge westward into the Asheville area. That whole section through Henderson County is congested, covered in potholes and littered with billboards. Ugh. I was surprised to see that I-40 is leading the pack with the negative votes. I think heading up the Blue Ridge Front from Old Fort to Ridgecrest is pretty nice. Then again, I'm so accustomed to Hwy. 421 up the mountain from Wilkesboro to Deep Gap and 321 from Lenoir to Blowing Rock that I-40 in McDowell County seems like a darned good road to me. It's all relative, I suppose.

Edited by PlazaMidwoodGuy, 16 January 2007 - 03:38 PM.


#6 Tennesseestorm

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:58 PM

I said "Sams Gap", because that was the most recent area of WNC mountainous interstate I had been on in awhile. I think it is much better now that it is complete. I remember when the TN side was completed, but the NC side was not.... I think that 2-lane was very bad. I have not been on it since it has been opened to the 4-lane, so I really have no idea. Perhaps I should not have even voted.....

:unsure:

If I remember correctly, I-40, when crossing into NC out of TN was very curvy and seemed treacherous, but its been 10 years since I have been through there.

Edited by Tennesseestorm, 17 January 2007 - 11:59 PM.


#7 flith

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 08:50 AM

What do you consider the "worst" section of mountainous Interstate in Western North Carolina? (We'll leave out Asheville and consider that urban.) Whether it be condition, design, traffic, wrecks, lack of safety features, grade, curves, etc. Share your opinion!



I don't think any of them are bad except for the people that go slow in the left lane and won't get over. I drive I-40 through the Mtns at least twice a month, and it never fails I catch up to someone going 50-55 in the left lane, and they won't get over, and on top if that they slow down in the curves :angry:. While I'm complaining why does everyone slow down for the tunnels? The speed limit there is still 55 not 45.

#8 DigitalSky

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 10:21 AM

Interstate + Rugged Terrain = Bad

#9 davidals

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:57 AM

Pigeon River Gorge, no question. There are few severe grades, and the highway is scenic and the engineering is impressive, but:

- There is no left shoulder. Try passing a truck. Worse yet, try passing a truck in the rain, or fog, or at night. *shudder*
- Landslides and other natural disasters shut the stretch down every few years
- As soon as the weather goes south - fog, rain, or (lord forbid) snow - you can bet that there will be a tractor-trailer accident.

This is the curviest, narrowest, most dangerous rural mainline interstate that I've ever driven on, though some downtown sections in some cities can be worse. And the Gorge goes on like that for upwards of 30 miles.


Total agreement - the worst in the east. Big, big slides every few years; this was NOT the place to put an interstate.

There are a few out west - I-70 down Glenwood Canyon in CO and I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge in AZ that are far worse; 70 is constructed at the bottom of a steep gorge, on 2 stacked viaducts built over the Colorado River, weaving back and forth over the river between the walls of the gorge...