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And it does really REALLY suck that they didn't use the wards for this. (But I repeat myself: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/Uptown-South-t43045.html)

What would referencing the wards add? I don't think visitors really care about them. Chicago has wards, I've been there plenty of times and I've never seen a ward mentioned once!

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Some new pics were posted of the I-77 toll project. Also, a newsletter update was posted. Pics: https://www.i77express.com/gallery/i-77-express-construction-works-april-2019/ Newsletter: htt

Assortment of recent I-77 traffic/construction photos via NCDOT 

I meant to mention this the other day last week sometime the new on ramp flyover from 277 to 77 south opened. 

Posted Images

What would referencing the wards add?

1. It helps preserve the heritage of uptown (and Charlotte). Visitors don't have to care about them. It's just labels. It could be A,B,C,D. Or red,green,blue,yellow. Or NE, NW, SE, SW. Or whatever. But the labels already exist for the wards, so they could have (should have) used them.

2. It's more logical than taking a perfectly good grid and cutting it diagonally through the blocks that comprise the grid.

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1. It helps preserve the heritage of uptown (and Charlotte). Visitors don't have to care about them. It's just labels. It could be A,B,C,D. Or red,green,blue,yellow. Or NE, NW, SE, SW. Or whatever. But the labels already exist for the wards, so they could have (should have) used them.

2. It's more logical than taking a perfectly good grid and cutting it diagonally through the blocks that comprise the grid.

Oh I agree with preserving the heritage. I couldn't imagine what would happen if in Brooklyn they started using east, west, south, etc. in place of Bedford Stuy, Coney Island, Homecrest, etc.

I just didn't think it would mean much to visitors.

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Ironically, since Uptown's grid lies on the diagonal, First Ward is more of a true "east," Second Ward "south", etc. than what's labelled as such on the wayfinding signs. And since addresses are measured off of Trade and Tryon, you'd think using Wards would have helped folks find a place by re-emphasizing Charlotte's "main-and-main."

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It's about damn time they figured this 485 problem out. It appears to be a good agreement between the public and private entities involved. For those of us in NE Charlotte/Cabarrus areas, this is a long time coming. I just hope they build it wide enough and learn from the mistakes of the SE section of 485. I pity those of you stuck in that parking lot every day.

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^ But it's not an agreement yet. The project still has to be bid out, which means that some contractors out there still have to figure out how/if they'll front the money. I can only guess that they (NCDOT) have some good precedents in other states. If not, I certainly hope they asked around to see if any contractor would even bother bidding on this.

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^ But it's not an agreement yet. The project still has to be bid out, which means that some contractors out there still have to figure out how/if they'll front the money. I can only guess that they (NCDOT) have some good precedents in other states. If not, I certainly hope they asked around to see if any contractor would even bother bidding on this.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I would think they already have some verbal agreements. They'd look pretty foolish if they went thru all of this and then nobody bites.

It makes sense, the contractors want the business and keep their people working, but coming up with that kind of money, I would think they would turn to some kind of private financing.

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This is just like Garvee bonds, where the state floats bonds now against the future appropriation to get the present value. The bet is the current costs of the project plus borrowing costs are less than the future appropriation (or it might be the same, but the state would rather reap the economic benefits of the project earlier).

Also, in typical design-build projects, contractors profit from doing design and build tasks in parallel (or better coordinated), allowing them to do the project over a shorter period and for lower cost than what the NCDOT originally budgeted for.

So the 185million the state has budgeted from 2015-2020 acts as an annuity with a low risk of default (NCDOT's risk of not paying that appropriated budget amount). In a design-build-finance, the way I understand it, the contractor gets a financial services company to convert that annuity to the present value with whatever interest suits them based on the risk (again, the risk that NCDOT won't pay).

Just doing a simplified present value calculation, at 4% discount/interest, and 7.5 years away, with a future value of 185m (again, a real calculation would look at the payments from 2015-2020 and whatever discount/interest the financier would set), the present value is $138m. If that is around the true present value, then a contractor would be bidding on the fact that they can build the project now, with current labor, current materials cost, and savings from the typical design-build efficiencies for less than that with the rest being profit.

My guess is that it is viable and happens elsewhere in the country. I'd say that may especially be profitable for contractors now, as they have equipment sitting idle, and workers sitting idle.

My favorite part of this plan is that it doesn't rob us of the Loop Funds that are already budgeted for this region, in exchange for spending general funds.

This system is too complex to do often, but for projects with a high value to the community seem worthwhile for this. Also, it should be rare because once you've locked into that budget timeframe, NCDOT cannot change it.

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This is just like Garvee bonds, where the state floats bonds now against the future appropriation to get the present value. The bet is the current costs of the project plus borrowing costs are less than the future appropriation (or it might be the same, but the state would rather reap the economic benefits of the project earlier).

Also, in typical design-build projects, contractors profit from doing design and build tasks in parallel (or better coordinated), allowing them to do the project over a shorter period and for lower cost than what the NCDOT originally budgeted for.

So the 185million the state has budgeted from 2015-2020 acts as an annuity with a low risk of default (NCDOT's risk of not paying that appropriated budget amount). In a design-build-finance, the way I understand it, the contractor gets a financial services company to convert that annuity to the present value with whatever interest suits them based on the risk (again, the risk that NCDOT won't pay).

Just doing a simplified present value calculation, at 4% discount/interest, and 7.5 years away, with a future value of 185m (again, a real calculation would look at the payments from 2015-2020 and whatever discount/interest the financier would set), the present value is $138m. If that is around the true present value, then a contractor would be bidding on the fact that they can build the project now, with current labor, current materials cost, and savings from the typical design-build efficiencies for less than that with the rest being profit.

My guess is that it is viable and happens elsewhere in the country. I'd say that may especially be profitable for contractors now, as they have equipment sitting idle, and workers sitting idle.

My favorite part of this plan is that it doesn't rob us of the Loop Funds that are already budgeted for this region, in exchange for spending general funds.

This system is too complex to do often, but for projects with a high value to the community seem worthwhile for this. Also, it should be rare because once you've locked into that budget timeframe, NCDOT cannot change it.

Its refreshing to see NCDOT use something fairly innovative to get this done. Maybe there is some hope for them!

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I love that Gene Conti outright said that the equity formula hurts cities like Charlotte, and I am very impressed with Bev Perdue for actually trying to resolve a very significant symbol of that ironic inequity, significant delays in 485. It is still hard for me to fathom though that when I first arrived in Charlotte, 1995, 485 was only 77 to 74 in the south and between 85 and Tryon.

It is hard to believe it is now only 5 miles or so from being completed. It is also incredible that the city council has done a decent job of preventing over capacity of retail from popping up all over the place. They stopped plans for massive retail growth at Albermarle interchange which would have ballooned sprawl in an area without much street capacity for commuting into the city.

As much as the value of it can be debated, we're whole hog invested in having a loop, so we might as well finish the last 5 miles, and move on to our real pressing needs like the capacity of the spoke arteries that risk choking the heart of the city.

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^A decent job? Along the newest sections of 485, there is a ton of retail already approved by Council but not yet built. And much of it was approved prior to the freeway even opening. Here are some of the best examples.

Exit-4, NC-160 (Steele Creek Rd.): Berewick Town Center (Rezoning Case 2006-078)

Exit-14, NC-27 (Mt. Holly Rd.): Rhyne Station (Rezoning Case 2005-050)

Exit-16, NC-16 (Brookshire Blvd.): Mountain Island Promenade (Rezoning 2006-060)

And there's even a brand new rezoning case filed for Exit 4, "Steele Creek Corporate Park."

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Planning/Rezoning/Rezoning+Petitions/2010+Petitions/2010-011.htm

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Well, I recall a number of cases where they significantly downsized the allowable retail space. I'm not saying they are keeping it a nature preserve, but it none of these are Pineville repeats.

As for Skanska, don't they have a way to filter out by saying it isn't a responsible bidder? The experience with the NW segment of 485 should be enought to rule them out. But I don't know how that stuff works.

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Some of you may have seen a story on WSOC tonight about "Misread Rules Costs Charlotte Millions In Road Money" where they aledge MUMPO is a bunch of bumbling idiots who missed out on nearly $18M in Federal money for local road projects.

What the amateurs at WSOC don't tell you is that it was the Feds that rescinded $8.7B in highway money for all States. This was due to inaction by the Congress....not something MUMPO did or didnt do.

So yes $18M was lost out locally...and WSOC doesnt tell you that that North Carolina lost out on $250M.

WSOC really got this story completely wrong...

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Something I hadn't read about in the news releases, but read on NCDOT's website, is that the I-85 widening into Cabarrus County will also be a design/build/finance project, accelerating it by eighteen months.

NCDOT News Release - Governor Perdue Announces Plan to Finish I-485 Years Ahead of Schedule

I meant to post about this yesterday but got sidetracked. I had no idea that they were even considering moving the I-85 widening project up, especially that much. As much as this area needs it, I'm not looking forward to the construction. It's going to be a major PITA for years once it begins. I wish they would just widen it all the way to Salisbury...but in reality I may never see that done in my lifetime... :rolleyes:

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The Cabarrus 85 widening was already going to be sped by Garvee bonds. So it appears that they want to try to shift the borrowing process to the private sector, which as I wrote above it really ultimately the same in the end in that the public is basically paying in the future and getting the road now with the expectation that interest paid is offset by the use of the road in the interim offsets and inflation savings. So if they can get the private sector to take on the financing for that future repayment, then it is easier.

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That's good news about I85. I drove over it on thursday and it was backed up for miles at 3pm and then again all this weekend that section was backed up. My job requires me to drive up to salisbury and kannapolis sometimes and this section of interstate is really becoming a pain. I agree Neo, I hate to see what happens to this section during construction.

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Now, what would be huge news is if they managed to get the Kannapolis part included. They tried to find the money when they slated 485 to nc73 for Garvee Bond acceleration to include the remaining part from NC73 to 601 in China Grove, but were unsuccessful. My guess is that they are either referring to the existing Garvee Bond process as Design-Build-Finance to gain credit for accelerating that road, even though it was already in queue, or else they are just making the minor change from the public getting the financing to the private sector, but still on the same budget as always.

I hope they take a look at design-build-finance as an option for Yadkin bridge if that doesn't get stimulus grants. It really is absurd that has been put off so long.

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The next 5-10 years will be significant for the infrastructure of the northern suburbs of Charlotte. Not only is there a viable plan for completing 485 between 77N and 85N, but there is also a plan to complete 85 from 485 to NC73 in Cabarrus County. Now, MUMPO hopes to add widening of 77 through Huntersville from 485 to NC73.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/topstories/story/1077784.html

When you combine those changes with the prioritization of the Northeast (Blue Extension) and North (Red) transit lines, that area will be getting a tremendous boost.

One note, though, is that the O says that project is 40-50m, but Mumpo lists it at 130m. I'm going to trust the planning organization over the O, but I'm unclear on how they would make such a big mistake. Maybe they were quoted ONE HUNDRED and 40-50m.

http://mumpo.org/PDFs/TIP/2011-2017/CandidateProjectList.pdf

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after the four lanes opened in the late 1980s

The O also made this erroneous statement and it's history, so yeah, I don't trust a whole lot of what they say.

I moved here in 1990, at the time time they were just grading the first section, I think it was between South Blvd. and 51, if I remember right.

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