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Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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But that time has not come yet. It is all directly related to the state's political emphasis on throwing money at eastern NC towns. Bumfuque, NC, will get its urban loops and redundant freeways to nearby Boondock, NC, but in Charlotte, the Triangle, and the Triad, transportation money is a trickle compared to our needs.

I swear D, just for a second, I thought I was proofreadng one of my posts with that last paragraph. :)

I concur with all that you stated.

A2

Edited by A2

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For anyone who frequently drives to the NE, the new I-95/I-495 "mixing bowl" interchange is much better than it used to be and the new Wilson Bridge (over the Potomac) is going to make the trip through the DC area exponentially better (traffic is still horrendous though).

One headache relieved but now you have to contend with more delays starting with I-95 at US 1 in Alexandria and crossing the Potomac River, I-95 at I-295 getting into MD.

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Charlotte suffered too, and the unfunded sections of 485 were delayed, as well as many other projects.

Actually, I-485 is funded from a different source from almost all of the rural NC projects you mentioned. There's intrastate system projects and loop projects. All the loop projects, 485, 540, 840, etc, are in the same pot.

FYI the new ***DRAFT*** 2007-13 State TIP is out today.

Edited by ChiefJoJo

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That makes for interesting reading. Some curious things in there. Thinks like parking spaces for electrified trucks in Charlotte and something else called the Intelligent Transit System.

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I think the electrified trucks thing is basically at the rest stops. These are ways for trucks to hook up to an electrical source so that the trucks don't have to run over night while the truckers rest. Currently, they run their truck's engines non-stop, as they get air-conditioning, and various electronics.

I love reading the TIP, so you can pretty much consider me there for a while.

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Well, here are a few projects that I have been following:

Widening of I85 in Cabarrus to NC73 -- FY10

Expansion of I77 between I277 and I85 -- FY13

Widen Independence to Idlewilde -- FY10

Belmont Infrastructure -- FY09

Intermodal Freight Yards at Airport -- FY09

South Blvd Light Coordination/ITS -- FY08

Little Sugar Creek FY07 -- FY09

Harris Blvd/Mallard Creek Light Coordination/ITS -- In Progress

Sugar Creek Rd/I85 Intersection Improvements -- FY07

Coordinate Bus Locations with Signal Timing -- In Progress

85 between Spencer and US52 -- Still Unfunded

I'm miffed, though, that the TIP still includes that stupid, wasteful and redundant $300 million NC58 freeway between Wilson and Kinston. (Although still unfunded within the 2013 horizon year). But to me, it is a symbol of the sheer waste that NCDOT plans to throw at Eastern NC to even have it on the list.

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Well, here are a few projects that I have been following:

Widening of I85 in Cabarrus to NC73 -- FY10

Expansion of I77 between I277 and I85 -- FY13

Widen Independence to Idlewilde -- FY10

Belmont Infrastructure -- FY09

Intermodal Freight Yards at Airport -- FY09

South Blvd Light Coordination/ITS -- FY08

Little Sugar Creek FY07 -- FY09

Harris Blvd/Mallard Creek Light Coordination/ITS -- In Progress

Sugar Creek Rd/I85 Intersection Improvements -- FY07

Coordinate Bus Locations with Signal Timing -- In Progress

85 between Spencer and US52 -- Still Unfunded

I'm miffed, though, that the TIP still includes that stupid, wasteful and redundant $300 million NC58 freeway between Wilson and Kinston. (Although still unfunded within the 2013 horizon year). But to me, it is a symbol of the sheer waste that NCDOT plans to throw at Eastern NC to even have it on the list.

Freeway from Kinston to Wilson?? Why would they justify paying for something like that, even in the future? What would it bypass, Greene County isn't exactly a booming metropolitan area, lol. Plus this area is already oversaturated with freeways for a small area. In addition to the 264 bypass opening, they also just finished the 117 freeway bypass.

I read somewhere that state officials were going to come up with a new formula on how they distribute money between urban and rural areas. Any word if that was actually true and if it was passed?

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That would be the key for Charlotte. The rural eastern divisions are flush with money, so they invent these psychotic projects, like a second (repeat, second) freeway between two small towns, which shaves only about ten minutes off the existing freeway connection.

That is because the formula taps the revenues earned in this city to subsidize the rural areas. The formula OVER-subsidizes that region. Crazy urban loop projects and redundant connector freeways are invented for those areas to spend the money that you and I pay at the pump. Meanwhile Charlotteans sit in traffic because the projects on roads way over capacity already. But improvements and added roadway capacity in this rapidly growing city keep getting delayed due to lack of funds.

Think about how 485 is still a decade away from completion, despite being the first planned urban loop. Think about how Independence is still multiple decades away from the funds to become an expressway (not even a freeway) to 485. 77 in South Charlotte is so expensive it won't even be touched for expansion until close to 2030.

I'm in my 20s, and I hope to be retired by the time these basic projects are built. Most of us, however, probably already believe those projects are needed already. And that is before we add the equivalent population of Pittsburgh to the metro.

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There is a new study out that says the Charlotte region will become extremely congested with traffic in the next 25 years due to increases in population growth. This report was written in part by David Hartgen who is against spending money on alternative means of transit so the reccomendations on how to solve this problem are to build more roads. All of us here know better but never the less it is an issue worth discussing.

Ok, who is this guy and when is he going to realize that he's not living on his native planet ASPHALT!? I hope he's not an official, otherwise, Charlotte'll turn into Birmingham. Nearly no funding for mass transit. Alabama costitution doesn't allow it here, and we see what kinda problems it's caused. How can anyone think that roads are THE solution?

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Freeway from Kinston to Wilson?? Why would they justify paying for something like that, even in the future? What would it bypass, Greene County isn't exactly a booming metropolitan area, lol. Plus this area is already oversaturated with freeways for a small area. In addition to the 264 bypass opening, they also just finished the 117 freeway bypass.

I read somewhere that state officials were going to come up with a new formula on how they distribute money between urban and rural areas. Any word if that was actually true and if it was passed?

What they are trying to do is have a viable link from the state port at Morehead City to to the interior of the state. As it stands now hwy 70 is not a full limited access to the port. I find it odd that it took this long to try and link a deep water port to the industry in the state. that is one of the main reasons why both Wilmington and Morehead City have lagged behind most other major east coast ports. I don't have a problem trying to improve the connectivity of our ports. Think about it...Morehead City has a natural channel depth of roughly 49 feet. To me it is a shame.

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Just to let everyone know, the new TIP has a public comment link so if there is something that you do not like or you just want to vent to NCDOT, you can do so.

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I'm not so sure they do much with those public comments.

I don't want to veer too far off subject, but I think the explanation on upgrading NC 58 to a freeway is probably the correct explanation. But it is still not satisfactory to me. 117 is/will be a freeway, and US 70 also will be a freeway. I forgot that they are not already.

There is a $130million dollar project to upgrade 70 to a freeway around Kinston (R-2553). Then there is a $250m project to connect Kinston Bypass to Goldsboro Bypass as a freeway (R-2554). So we are spending $380m to upgrade that stretch of 70 so that the 117 and 70 route will be a freeway route between Wilson and Kinston. It is 45 miles long. So then, to shave 10 miles off the route, they are adding an additional freeway, NC58 to be more direct between Wilson and Kinson at $300m (R-3102). I'm not begrudging them A freeway between two towns, on its way to the deep port, or on its way to the empty airport. I'm begrudging them TWO freeways roughly the same length, spending $300m and all sorts of environmental havock. Meanwhile, $300 million dollars would buys significant roadway improvements in Charlotte, which I think would have a much larger economic response.

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Just to let everyone know, the new TIP has a public comment link so if there is something that you do not like or you just want to vent to NCDOT, you can do so.

It's already posted above.

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What they are trying to do is have a viable link from the state port at Morehead City to to the interior of the state. As it stands now hwy 70 is not a full limited access to the port. I find it odd that it took this long to try and link a deep water port to the industry in the state. that is one of the main reasons why both Wilmington and Morehead City have lagged behind most other major east coast ports. I don't have a problem trying to improve the connectivity of our ports. Think about it...Morehead City has a natural channel depth of roughly 49 feet. To me it is a shame.

Morehead City reminds me a great deal of Georgetown, SC in terms of it's port facilities. It's mostly limited to fishermen and recreational boaters. If they build a major port facility there, I wonder what it would do to the historic nature of the place? Most of the state's manufacturing is located in the mid to western 1/2 of the state and I think that a great deal of it will continue to go into SC mainly because it is closer.

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I'm not so sure they do much with those public comments.

I don't want to veer too far off subject, but I think the explanation on upgrading NC 58 to a freeway is probably the correct explanation. But it is still not satisfactory to me. 117 is/will be a freeway, and US 70 also will be a freeway. I forgot that they are not already.

There is a $130million dollar project to upgrade 70 to a freeway around Kinston (R-2553). Then there is a $250m project to connect Kinston Bypass to Goldsboro Bypass as a freeway (R-2554). So we are spending $380m to upgrade that stretch of 70 so that the 117 and 70 route will be a freeway route between Wilson and Kinston. It is 45 miles long. So then, to shave 10 miles off the route, they are adding an additional freeway, NC58 to be more direct between Wilson and Kinson at $300m (R-3102). I'm not begrudging them A freeway between two towns, on its way to the deep port, or on its way to the empty airport. I'm begrudging them TWO freeways roughly the same length, spending $300m and all sorts of environmental havock. Meanwhile, $300 million dollars would buys significant roadway improvements in Charlotte, which I think would have a much larger economic response.

I know the state's intention is good one, to help the economy of eastern NC but common sense should kick in. They can't just stick something there and expect high paying jobs to come there. Just look at the so called Industrial Park near Kinston. They throw all these incentives and create a nice airport and road links, but it still doesn't create many jobs and at the expense of the metropolitan areas that are actually bringing money into the state. Like metro suggested, why would they use it if it was built. You have Charleston's port and Norfolk/Hampton Roads port.

I've also heard that they proposed a US 70 bypass for Clayton. I'm no transportation engineer or anything, but the traffic on that road shouldn't be as bad now, since many people along US 70 can now, take the 117 ("The freeway to Nowhere" as my mom calls it, lol) bypass to US 264 to 64 to Raleigh/Durham, without hitting a single stoplight and avoiding US 70 through Smithfield and Clayton. That money could spent on projects like ummm... lets see actually finishing 485 before the next century. :rolleyes:

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Morehead City reminds me a great deal of Georgetown, SC in terms of it's port facilities. It's mostly limited to fishermen and recreational boaters. If they build a major port facility there, I wonder what it would do to the historic nature of the place? Most of the state's manufacturing is located in the mid to western 1/2 of the state and I think that a great deal of it will continue to go into SC mainly because it is closer.

That is one of the reasons better links are needed. Had the infrastructure been there in the first place then we would not hve this conversation. Both ports have increased productions since upgrades and improvements have been made. To say oh well we can always rely on SC aor VA ports is not a good stratagy when selling a place for industrial location. Wilimington has only had an interstate link for what 20 years or so. Morehead City already has a good foothold as a bulk tonnage port on the east coast. The main goal is to get container traffic in anticipation port congestion in the future. Like it or not for a heavily industrialized state like NC the need for its ports to handle its on imports and exports is crucial to staying competitive. I am not advocating that all of these freeways be built but at some time cetain issues have to be addressed.

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I think it is fine for them to get infrastructure. The problem is redundant infrastructure. Please tell me with a straight face that it is worth 300 million dollars to shave 10 miles off the freeway trip between Kinston and Wilson. That solves no issues except to keep the burn rate for project money in that division.

It would do vastly more for eastern NC to upgrade US74 west of Rockingham, as Charlotteans, including me, would be far more likely to go to NC beaches and ports and tourism destinations. But now, it is equidistant to SC beaches and ports, but the freeways tip the scales heavily for SC.

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Morehead city's future will always be limited as a port. No matter how may mainland improvements you construct the port will always be in the shadow of Cape Lookout, a shoal (sandbar) that extends 30+ miles into the Atlantic. This means that any ship running along the coast would need to navigate around the shoals (30 miles each way) to get to the docks in Morehead. This is not an insignificant detour (an extra 6+ hours of non-revenue producing sailing time). Land based maps generally don't depict the shoal so Morehead city appears to be more accessible to sea lanes than it actually is. Given Morehead City's really inconvenient location (compared to Norfolk and Charleston) it is unlikely to become anything more than a bulk freight terminal (unless, Charleston, Norfolk and Wilmington reach capacity)

Edited by BobbyRobert

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Virtually every port south of the mouth of the James river has shoals and sand bars. I hate this defeatist attitude when it comes to NC trying to upgrade what has been lacking for a long time. I do agree that a direct link to Charlotte would be great. The main purpose here is to make a prime spot on the east coast more attractive to shipping lines. Not saying Morehead City will rival Norfolk but the price is right and there is land for expansion.

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Didn't mean to hijack this thread with port talk. I have a fetish for it I guess. One project I am looking to keep up with is the Independence upgrade to an expressway. I get frustrated too with the NCDOT and the way it choses projects and most of all the planning of new interstates. I said before and will say it again...how do you not include a provision for I-73/74 or whatever to have to have at least a spur to Charlotte or to Wilmington. Mindblowing the route 74 takes to the SC border.

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Virtually every port south of the mouth of the James river has shoals and sand bars. I hate this defeatist attitude when it comes to NC trying to upgrade what has been lacking for a long time. I do agree that a direct link to Charlotte would be great. The main purpose here is to make a prime spot on the east coast more attractive to shipping lines. Not saying Morehead City will rival Norfolk but the price is right and there is land for expansion.

A quick check of any chart (or even google earth) reveals that this is not the case. North Carolina's ports are significantly more distant from deep water than any other on the east coast (save Baltimore and Philadelphia). Morehead City is not a pirme spot on the east coast (there is very little deepwater space available for container movements ) , throwing money at it with the hopes of making it into the next Charleston would be a waste (unless Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and Wilmington somehow reach capacity).

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If NC puts any serious money into deepwater ports, SC and VA will race us with their own improvements. Ports are *intensely* competitive and governments covet them too greatly, to let a lead evaporate without a fight.

Edited by MZT

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Didn't mean to hijack this thread with port talk. I have a fetish for it I guess. One project I am looking to keep up with is the Independence upgrade to an expressway. I get frustrated too with the NCDOT and the way it choses projects and most of all the planning of new interstates. I said before and will say it again...how do you not include a provision for I-73/74 or whatever to have to have at least a spur to Charlotte or to Wilmington. Mindblowing the route 74 takes to the SC border.

Honestly, I think the upgrades to turn 74 into a freeway from downtown to Albemaro Rd have done far more harm to the city than good. Like all freeways, it has divided the city, cut off access between neighborhoods, and has had a lot to do with the decline of East Charlotte. 25 years ago, though it was congested, there was much more of a neighborhood feel to that part of town than there is today. Now we have a faceless freeway that leads to the sprawl that was built after that project was started and a bunch of empty buildings along the route. The only thing they should have bult was the busway and instead finished 485 much sooner to give traffic a way to get to 85 and 77 without having to use Independence.

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