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Should NC build I-30

Should NC build I-30  

123 members have voted

  1. 1. Should NC build I-30

    • No
      31
    • Yes
      60
    • Build a train line instead.
      32


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Seems there is a proposal in the works to build part of I-30 in North Carolina that would connect Asheville <-> Charlotte <-> Wilmington. I would say it is about time that something is built in the state that doesn't go through Raleigh but I would rather see the funding going towards a train line instead of building another interstate.

What do you think.

More info here.

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Seems there is a proposal in the works to build part of I-30 in North Carolina that would connect Asheville <-> Charlotte <-> Wilmington.    I would say it is about time that something is built in the state that doesn't go through Raleigh but I would rather see the funding going towards a train line instead of building another interstate. 

What do you think.

More info here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought the state was already doing this with the upgrading of Hwy 74 into an interstate.

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Do we need I-30 through North Carolina? Maybe, but before North Carolina spends so much as one penny on I-30 through the state, it needs to commit to full buildout of the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor as well as the extensions to Asheville and Wilmington. Spending billions upon billions of dollars on interstates year after year while spending chump change ($25 million?) on rail improvements is, to put it mildly, absurd.

Are we to assume that this interstate would follow US-74 all the way through the state? Part of 74 is already multiplexed with an interstate (from Clyde/Waynesville to Columbus) and another chunk of it is either already interstate-quality or slated for upgrade in the near future (Columbus-Charlotte). East of Charlotte, hmm. That's been slated for upgrade since the dawn of time, I think.

West of Clyde, some of 74 is already a freeway (sub-interstate but upgradeable) but a large chunk of it is not, and the terrain is very rough. Building an interstate through there would be expensive and ecologically damaging.

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Does Interstate 30 already exist between Interstates 20 in Texas and 40 in Arkansas?

I think another east/west interstate from Chattanooga to the Carolina coast would be a great idea. I think it is possible to build some interstate-grade highway from Andrews over to Hendersonville, but that is just an idea.

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I think it is possible to build some interstate-grade highway from Andrews over to Hendersonville, but that is just an idea.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A politician looking coldly at a map and penciling in a line might think that's a great idea. Is it technically possible? Perhaps, but no guarantees. That's very rough territory. What is guaranteed is that it would be an ecological disaster. And unless you want to spend billions of dollars on lots of tunnels, viaducts, and retaining walls (think toll road) it would be a very poor highway to boot.

Build it on the US-64 alignment, and you end up mowing over the historic downtowns of Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers, and Brevard; build it on a new alignment, presuming you can even find one, and you end up piercing straight through the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, tearing countless acres of pristine woodlands and displacing innumerable rivers, trails, and recreation areas. The mere thought of it makes me cringe.

The economic benefit that I-30 would bring to these areas would be little more than a few McDonalds, Exxons, and Holiday Inn Expresses at each exit, and that would be more than offset by just the loss of tourism due to the destruction of prime mountainous territory.

Even so, if this were the 1960s, the higher-ups might have entertained the notion; but in these days of Environmental Impact Studies there's not a chance in hell.

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Yet another unecessary highway project. There already is a highway that goes from Asheville to Wilmington, I-40.

Rather than a highway on new location, the DOT ought to 1) implement rail projects as discussed above, and 2) spend just a little cash on maintaining the thousands of miles of extant highway, much of which is in real bad shape (see I-85 just south of the VA border for example).

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No... bad idea.

I would say it is about time that something is built in the state that doesn't go through Raleigh

Come again? Raleigh has one interstate, I-40 (don't tell me I-440 and 540 count either)

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No... bad idea.

Come again?  Raleigh has one interstate, I-40 (don't tell me I-440 and 540 count either)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well I-95 & I-85 goes that way, as does all NC funded passenger train traffic.

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Would you consider Interstate 26 in Madison County an ecological disaster?

US 64 does have some improvements coming up. First, it is the four lane bypass southward around town. Then, you have the stretch from 280 to Hendersonville widened to four lanes.

I will not say whether another east/west interstate is necessary in western North Carolina. I will say US 64 is in dire need of some basic improvements between Rosman and Franklin.

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Well, I-85 happens to go through Charlotte, too. All NC-funded passenger trains go through Charlotte, as well. I'm getting sick of this "blame all our problems on Raleigh" attitude that many folks in other parts of the state have taken on lately. Maybe if people in Charlotte took ownership of some of their own problems, then things could get solved more easily? I don't think this is news to you, but Raleigh actually has WORSE traffic problems than Charlotte, and the DOT is just as insensitive to local issues here as it is down there.

Sheesh!

You make a very good point. I stand corrected.

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Should I-30 be there or not? I think whats more important is improving the US 74 corridor from H'ville to Wilmington. What i do not know is the inter-regional traffic counts from Chattanooga to H'ville utilizing existening highways that would make another east-west limited access road feasible. As far as between H'ville and Wilmington goes, heres what i think:

This would look hillarious in Rockingham. At one point, you will have a 3 interstate multiplex of I-30/73/74 along the Rockingham-Hamlet bypass! At least past NC 38, I-73 is slated to go south to SC.

Four laning US 74 between Maxton and Chadbourn by also providing a new interchange in a new location for I-95 since I-74 will be running along US 74.

Bypass Shelby, Monroe and the string of towns east of Monroe to Rockingham. I do know the talks of bypassing Monroe is going to start soon, not sure when. Someone could tell me when thats happening?

I-30 number designation makes perfect sense: its in between I-40 and I-20. At least nobody is pulling a Bud Shuster on I-99 in PA!

I-30 would run into trouble in Charlotte so what do you do? Run it along I-485? Charlotte would be very pissed about it running along the southern half of the beltway (the shortest limited access hwy distance) since thats the most congested part of I-485 around Pineville and Matthews. If SC does not want I-20 going east of Florence into NC (since Mike Easley wants it), what do you think they[sCDOT/state of SC] will feel about I-30 briefly cutting through SC just so it can bypass Charlotte?

It all boils down to this: If the politicians want I-30 and NCDOT believes theres a need for it, the enviromentalists and NIMBY's who dont want I-30 will be facing a tough fight killing the I-30 plan and will likely lose. In most states, the NIMBYism and enviromentalists are often successful in killing highway plans since the late 70s however in NC, the roads keep on building without it being stopped since im not aware of any transportation plans being killed. We'll just have to wait and see what happens if I-30 comes into fruition or not.

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Whoa, hold on guys! Before we start thinking about building another interstate accross our state, let's get some of our other road projects out of the way. Have we all forgotten about I-74, I-73, I-295, I-485, I-274 and other road projects? Let's get this stuff out of the way before we go ruining forests and spending money on useless stuff. :)

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this is the weirdest thing... just last week i was looking at maps of the wilmington area, as i was on vacation there.... and it was thinking about how both i40 and i20, two cross-continental interstate numbers end in the same place. As i was reading through plans for us74, i was noticing that there are upgrade plans roughly in charlotte's lattitude all the way into missippi and tennessee. I actually was thinking about writing something on the boards about coordinating all those upgrades and calling it i30 and putting it through charlotte. deja vu experience.

Anyway, if this proposal gets off the ground, it doesn't mean anything but coordination, money, and a sign on the map. us74 is an existing road, that is already planned for widening almost its entire way from Chattanooga to wilmington. By coordinating those projects into a single corridor allows the engineering to be coordinated to an interstate standard rather than just a us highway freeway.

For Charlotte, it means a few very positive things:

- An interstate route could connect Charlotte to Wilmington, with an interstate number with national significance (5's and 0's are continental numbers), rather than something like 174 or something.

- The Garden parkway and the Monroe Bypass are already being planned, so i30 could either use those routes and the southern part of 485 OR it could follow independence.

Again, this is basically an umbrella to coordinate all these already planned projects under, and gives the completed roads a name brand label.

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- The Garden parkway and the Monroe Bypass are already being planned, so i30 could either use those routes and the southern part of 485  .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was thinking the exact same thing!

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Seems to me the towns of Wilmington, Myrtle Beach are dying not growing. Everyone I know says they hate Myrtle because of the traffic and people. Also, Wilmington isn't exactly "booming." I'd vote for rail to these places. If people really are "dying" to experience Myrtle Beach or Wilmington let them drive on 74 or 601. Those of us who don't go to these places know the better spots, such as Pawley's Island, Charleston, Outer Banks.

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Seems to me the towns of Wilmington, Myrtle Beach are dying not growing.  Everyone I know says they hate Myrtle because of the traffic and people.  Also, Wilmington isn't exactly "booming."  I'd vote for rail to these places.  If people really are "dying" to experience Myrtle Beach or Wilmington let them drive on 74 or 601.  Those of us who don't go to these places know the better spots, such as Pawley's Island, Charleston, Outer Banks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

that sounds like a yogi berra quote "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded".

Both Wilmington and Myrtle Beach and all the beaches are growing rapidly. A major factor in quite a bit of demographic and economic changes in the US is the empty-nesting and retirement of the baby boomers. The beaches are already a major part of the investments in that vein. Also, the import business has grown dramatically over the last decade, so the port of wilmington is doing quite well.

I went to wilmington for the first time a few weeks ago, and i'll say that that place is anything BUT dead or dying.

anyway, the road capacity is definitely needed to get to the coast, but a train would be good, too.

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What I meant was the only people that go are those who havent been. Southern Wilmington is a lot nicer than anywhere around Myrtle. Myrtle is way overcrowded with tourists, has too many small roads, their beaches are way overrated, and the mall there is turing into hangout for thugs and hoods. Sorry about Wilmington comments, most of my fuss is about Myrtle. Wilmington southern near the aquarium and Kure Beach is atually quite nice.

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I voted for the interstate.

Whoever designed the original Shelby bypass should be shoot on that very street. I just don't understand how our state leaders could've be so short-sighted when they allowed all those stip malls, stop lights and a walmart to pop up along it. I hate Shelby and their stupid local politicans.

Same thing for Monroe...

It's wishful thinking to have a train run between Asheville and Wilmington, but I do not see it as practical. Basically there are enough populated areas along this corridor like there is along I-85 to make it work. Does anyone actually think families from Asheville and Charlotte are going to take the train to Wilmington (and the beach communities) for their SUMMER vacations? Probably not enough to justify a rail line at least.

I hate Shelby!

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It's wishful thinking to have a train run between Asheville and Wilmington, but I do not see it as practical.  Basically there are enough populated areas along this corridor like there is along I-85 to make it work.  Does anyone actually think families from Asheville and Charlotte are going to take the train to Wilmington (and the beach communities) for their SUMMER vacations?  Probably not enough to justify a rail line at least.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think we're talking about building an Asheville-Charlotte-Wilmington rail line. Or at least I wasn't; I was talking about spending the money on a rail line that people WILL ride: the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor through Charlotte, High Point, Greensboro, Durham, Cary, and Raleigh, then up to Richmond and DC.

I feel that these sorts of projects should be prioritized over above many existing interstate projects (parts of I-540 not already under construction, for example) let alone every other half-baked interstate project that comes bouncing along. This country's dependance on automobiles is absurd, and every billion dollars spent on marginally useful freeway projects while rail is dismissed outright as "old fashioned" and "wishful thinking" is, in my opinion, a billion dollars flushed down the toilet.

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i am SO with you on the SEHSR, orulz. Theoretically, it is already under construction, though, as NC is doing what it can now to engineer its right of way to support the speeds. there have been quite a few times where i would gladly paid for a train to atlanta, greenville, DC, richmond and raleigh, if the HSR was already up and running.

That said, i definitely don't think that an i30 naming for the us74 upgrades would jeopardize the HSR momentum. It would be more in the 2015/2025 timeframe anyway, which would be long after SEHSR should be online.

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Whoever designed the original Shelby bypass should be shoot on that very street. I just don't understand how our state leaders could've be so short-sighted when they allowed all those stip malls, stop lights and a walmart to pop up along it. I hate Shelby and their stupid local politicans.

The state has zero jurisdiction over land use around roadways, other than access to a person's property MUST be granted. The issue at a state level is being looked at in terms of indirect and cumulative impacts to highway construction--ie, the state knows that development will likely occur near new highways, and now it is being looked at for planning purposes. But... where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, land use is a local issue, and local communities need to do a better job of controlling growth--but usually they don't. {being rant}New roads over time usually do nothing more than line developers pockets and create more traffic.{end rant}

Interms of I-30, US 74 is already a strategic corridor... see the map: NC SHC map

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The local politicians in the area remark that it is the NCDOT who rarely listens to the local governments and are responsible for much of the mess we see in the area. At least one of them ran on the platform that the NCDOT should be broken up as it is much too large and ineffective of meeting the needs of the citizens of NC. I expect that we will see more of this in the future.

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I have to wonder whether there would be a net improvement by localizing all functions of the DOT. It's hard enough to coordinate highway projects across state lines; it becomes orders of magnitude more difficult when coordination across each regional DOT must be obtained as well.

One of the possible outcomes of breaking up NCDOT would be the undoing of the 1920s legislation that handed over control of all county roads to the state. I'd never really looked into the subject before, but I'd sort of assumed that idea of county-maintained roads was dead throughout the country, but to my surprise in a recent trip to Arkansas, they most certainly do still exist elsewhere.

But when it comes to highways (NC, US, interstate) I'm not sure whether highway planning and funding could ever work efficiently with finer-grained administration. Maintaining full DOTs for each region of the state would stand to increase the amount of bureaucracy and just make coordination a tangled mess. Each region already has its own MPO and each MPO maintains their own list of requested transportation improvements. Perhaps the MPOs could be made more responsive to the local governments (city councils, county commissioners, etc) but beyond that, who knows.

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