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JunktionFET

NCDOT's single most expensive project

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Don't ask me how I stumbled across this stuff last night... I think I was looking at information on Morehead City and somehow New Bern got involved. At any rate, this project really got my attention because of its scale and design. To be totally honest, I had no idea this thing was built, so I feel really out of the loop. While other projects I'm sure have exceeded the pricetag of this puppy in total, this is apparently the most expensive single contract.

This is the US17 bypass and interchange in New Bern. It spans over 3 kilometers across the Neuse River and apparently was recognized for its thoughtful but complex design. The project was "designed and constructed to minimally impact the natural and human environment".

Here's an exerpt from Along The Road, a publication from the FHWA

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"The U.S. 17 highway bridge over the Neuse River in New Bern, N.C., was unveiled this November. The project, which cost $120 million, is the largest single contract of its type in the state DOT's history. Contractors constructed a multilane fixed-span bridge, which is more than 3048 meters long; a new tri-level interchange over an existing interchange; and eight interchange bridges up to 1067 meters long.

The new bridge has a 81-meter main channel span, one of the largest in North Carolina, as well as 65 feet of vertical navigation channel clearance."

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In this photo, downtown New Bern can be seen on the left side of the structure. The old structure can also be seen on the left

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It won honorable mention in the "2002 Excellence in Highway Design Awards" for "Category 3A: Major Highway Structures Over $10 Million".

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More on the project and its significance can be found here

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Interesting post. Thanks. It reminds me that for some reason NC does not have any really impressive suspension bridges such as the one in Charleston. I guess one could say the bridge system in the Outer Banks is impressive, but it really doesn't have the same wow factor.

I think the bridge is New Bern would be rather ugly from ground level.

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http://www.newbern-nc.org/parksandrec/Neuse&TrentRiver.html

http://www.newbern-nc.org/parksandrec/NEView.html

http://www.newbern-nc.org/parksandrec/UPPEntrance.html

Actually, the views of the Trent and Neuse rivers bridges are quite graceful from ground level. There is a park called Union Point in New Bern which allows a view of the bridges as they arc across the rivers. The bridges look graceful and architecturally appealing. I do agree that suspension bridges are more striking, and I wish NC would build one or two, but ugly these New Bern bridges aren't.

Unfortunately, these pictures I found did not focus on the bridges. They don

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It reminds me that for some reason NC does not have any really impressive suspension bridges such as the one in Charleston. I guess one could say the bridge system in the Outer Banks is impressive, but it really doesn't have the same wow factor.

There is a cable-stayed structure being planned for the Wilmington area called the Cape Fear Skyway. It will be similar is size--although likely taller @ 225' of vertical clearance--than the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa/St Pete. Cost is estimated to be around $350-400 million.

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Wow ChiefJoJo, so I guess the Cape Fear Skyway was added to the list afterall. That will be an impressive structure I'm sure, and will definitely add to Wilmington's skyline.

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From the looks of the map on the NCTA site, the proposed skyway will be on the other side (south side) of downtown. Will the old route remain open as a business route? I hope so. More connectivity to the city is a good thing.

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Will it replace the current drawbridge across the Cape Fear?

No, it will compliment the Memorial Bridge, but will provide freeway access from US 17, and US 74/76 from the planned Wilmington Bypass just to the south of the state port and tie in with the southern end of Independence Blvd, south of downtown. The project is important for to provide relief for the growing traffic on the Memorial Bridge as well as providing improved access to the port. The location of the proposed bridge to the south of the port over the Cape Fear shipping channel contributes to the large scope of the project, which would definitely be by far and away the largest and most impressive bridge in the history of NC, and among the signature structures along the entire east coast. Here is a link to the feasibility study.

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That's great and I'm glad that the state is putting a lot of work into the Wilmington area. That area is seeing a high level of growth and it is one of our major ports--in fact I believe it is the largest port city in the state. The bridge sounds impressive from both a design and function standpoint.

Will NC adopt any kind of automatic transponder toll paying device on these toll roads? Will it be EZPASS or some state sponsored system?

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Will NC adopt any kind of automatic transponder toll paying device on these toll roads? Will it be EZPASS or some state sponsored system?

It will be a number of years before we get to that point, but I imagine there would be an EZPASS-type system to limit delays.

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Let's hope so...Most tollways are needed because of all of the out of state (non taxpayer) traffic. How much inter-state, through traffic is really done in Wilmington to justify the tolls?

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I emailed the NC Turnpike Authority about EZ-Pass a while back. While i dont remember the exact details, they did say they will implement electronic toll transponders. They did not give me a clear answer if they will do EZ-Pass but if many people email the NC Turnpike Authority that EZ-Pass needs to be the states default electronic toll collection transponder, then EZ-Pass will likely spring up in the Tar Heel State.

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I agree regarding EZPASS--it is used in the neighboring states to the north and it would seem fitting that NCTA should use it as well for consistency sake.

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Changing gears for a moment--does anyone have any recent pics of New Bern? I need to plan a trip out there and check it out because I've never visited the place. I assume it is quite historic :P

I met former Gov. Martin one time in 1993 at my brother's wedding and he talked highly of New Bern and how he had plans to really spur it economically. I assume the area is growing, and improved infrastructure like this bridge is a good thing.

Another place I want to see is Morehead City--it is another major port city for NC and I've read about some cool developments happening there. They moved their historic train depot not too long ago and renovated it. There are also a lot of town beautification projects completed or underway.

I'm glad NC is putting time and money into its port cities. In the end it will benefit the entire state.

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Changing gears for a moment--does anyone have any recent pics of New Bern? I need to plan a trip out there and check it out because I've never visited the place. I assume it is quite historic :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's interesting that New Bern has a short section of street running railroad track, where even freight trains run in mixed traffic on a city street. They even have to stop for stoplights and everything. This is exremely rare these days, and I believe it's one of perhaps two such places in the state.

There's not a lot of traffic on that part of the NCRR so if you want to see it happen you'd best contact NS's ECBU, based in Raleigh, before you just sit and twiddle your thumbs waiting for a train to come by.

If you have a scanner I guess you could carry it around with you, too, or just listen for the horn from your hotel room, but at any rate some degree of planning would be necessary.

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It is about time the state pumps money in our port cities. I am tired of NC getting overlooked by international companies because of poor trnasportation and lack of growth potential at our port sites. I especially love the carolina bays skyway. This will be a signature move on the part of NCDOT. I can't wait until it moves forward.

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That highway exchange built out in the water is a real sin. It is a shame what we do to our landscape for the sake of people's personal transportation

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