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Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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Has anyone heard any updates on any of the loose ends like 485, Yadkin Bridge, Independence or 85 in Cabarrus?

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It seems as if the 485 plan has received approval from the state AG office. Hopefully, this is the end of the 485 financing debacle. Maybe this also means that I-85 will be widened in Cabarrus County. It really needs it.

Edited by cltbwimob

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It seems as if the 485 plan has gotten approval from the state AG office. Hopefully, this is the end of the 485 financing debacle. Maybe this also means that I-85 will be widened in Cabarrus County. It really needs it.

Yep, I-85 will also be widened. It was scheduled for 2011, but with the Design, Build, Finance method, they combined the I-85 project with I-485. Both projects should start sometime this year.

Edited by nyxmike

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The Daily Beast has an interesting article on the worst commutes in America. Charlotte ranks at #35 with its worst route being Independence Blvd. Some of the ones in the top 20 or so were kind of surprising, such as I-10 and Baton Rouge at #13 (which I have driven a few times and never felt the traffic was that bad), and I-35 in Austin at #4. Edited by queensguy06

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It's funny that Bev said "no one on the campaign trail mentioned Independence, they all said 485". Oh well, at least there is some effort to improve this corridor.

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The Daily Beast has an interesting article on the worst commutes in America. Charlotte ranks at #35 with its worst route being Independence Blvd. Some of the ones in the top 20 or so were kind of surprising, such as I-10 and Baton Rouge at #13 (which I have driven a few times and never felt the traffic was that bad), and I-35 in Austin at #4.

Perhaps you haven't been on I-10 just east of downtown Baton Rouge in the last couple of years? That stretch is horrendous and is being made worse with all of the new development in the area. I can definitely see how it ranks at #13. I'm surprised that I-85 isn't on that list however...the northern section is a daily parking lot.

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It's funny that Bev said "no one on the campaign trail mentioned Independence, they all said 485". Oh well, at least there is some effort to improve this corridor.

It's sad too, given that the completed expressway sections of Independence today (2008 NCDOT counts) carry traffic comparable to the busiest sections of 485 in South Charlotte.

http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/statemapping/trafficvolumemaps/

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There are some new highway signs up on Brookshire that I noticed. The former exit sign for "Caldwell, Davidson, McDowell" is now called "Eleventh Street - subtext: Caldwell, Davidson McDowell" There are two of these I think.

Is this part of the "new" wayfinding signs program, because these are just the same old green highway signs...

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I'm going to get on my soapbox about one of my biggest pet peeves with NCDOT, which is the lighting (or lack thereof) on local state-maintained highways. Has anyone else noticed that the state FINALLY managed to get the lights working on Brookshire Freeway after years upon years of darkness, but they're now out on practically every other road? The lights along I-77 and I-85 are pretty much all out -- same for Independence Freeway. It's as if NCDOT said, "Okay Charlotte, we'll turn on the Brookshire Freeway lights for you, but we're gonna turn them off everywhere else." It's just ridiculous.

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I'm going to get on my soapbox about one of my biggest pet peeves with NCDOT, which is the lighting (or lack thereof) on local state-maintained highways. Has anyone else noticed that the state FINALLY managed to get the lights working on Brookshire Freeway after years upon years of darkness, but they're now out on practically every other road? The lights along I-77 and I-85 are pretty much all out -- same for Independence Freeway. It's as if NCDOT said, "Okay Charlotte, we'll turn on the Brookshire Freeway lights for you, but we're gonna turn them off everywhere else." It's just ridiculous.

I'm right there with you. It drives me crazy and it looks terrible. The John Belk Freeway lights don't work, not sure why they couldn't just do all the lights on 277. I thought they were replacing the lights on 77 and 85, but I suppose they "ran out of money". Another thing that bugs me is the highway signage. The 485/77 interchange near the SC line hasn't been updated in years, on 85 near Concord Mills the sign says "Rock Hill" which doesn't make much sense, and then they replace the airport sign with "Billy Graham Library". Why couldn't they just get a new sign with both the airport and the library? I really don't understand the DOT.

Edited by nyxmike

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I've been speaking with several people in NC gov't about this lately. The excuse I get is that thieves rip out copper wire quicker than NCDOT can replace it. One of the engineers told me that $60,000 worth of copper wire was stolen on the section between Brookshire and I-85 over the past year alone. While I'm sure he's speaking the truth, it still doesn't explain why every other state I visit on this entire continent don't seem to have the issues we do with roadway lighting. Are the fixtures that NC uses somehow more prone wire theft? Does no one traveling one of the busiest highways in the state bother to call the police when a truck is stopped with people ripping wire out of a light pole at 3 a.m.? Why is this only a problem for roadway light fixtures in North Carolina, but not in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, California, etc...?

BTW, I encourage all who are as irritated with this as I am, to contact Budd Berro (he runs the governor's office here in Charlotte) and tell him.

Edited by Miesian Corners

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^There has got to be a way to seal these posts up! I mean, if they are "locked up" by padlocks and/or screws - any vandal can come up with a screwdriver/bolt cutters. Seal them up so you need an arc welder to open them. There is no way you would need to do SO much maintenance on these things that breaking them open with an arc welder every 3 years is such a problem. And if a vandal brings an arc welder out there to break them open - WOW! Tell the police to wake UP.

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I've been speaking with several people in NC gov't about this lately. The excuse I get is that thieves rip out copper wire quicker than NCDOT can replace it. One of the engineers told me that $60,000 worth of copper wire was stolen on the section between Brookshire and I-85 over the past year alone. While I'm sure he's speaking the truth, it still doesn't explain why every other state I visit on this entire continent don't seem to have the issues we do with roadway lighting. Are the fixtures that NC uses somehow more prone wire theft? Does no one traveling one of the busiest highways in the state bother to call the police when a truck is stopped with people ripping wire out of a light pole at 3 a.m.? Why is this only a problem for roadway light fixtures in North Carolina, but not in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, California, etc...?

BTW, I encourage all who are as irritated with this as I am, to contact Budd Berro (he runs the governor's office here in Charlotte) and tell him.

LOL, I don't get it either. Why don't these other places (with more lighted highways than Charlotte too) have this problem? Plus, nobody sees this? I'm starting to think it's a cover up for that fact that they just don't have the money or they don't care. If the state can't afford to widen our roads or fix our outdated highway ramps (especially around downtown), the least they could do is maintain the lights and fix the signage! I'll have to send an email to that guy and vent my frustrations.

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LOL, I don't get it either. Why don't these other places (with more lighted highways than Charlotte too) have this problem? Plus, nobody sees this? I'm starting to think it's a cover up for that fact that they just don't have the money or they don't care. If the state can't afford to widen our roads or fix our outdated highway ramps (especially around downtown), the least they could do is maintain the lights and fix the signage! I'll have to send an email to that guy and vent my frustrations.

I'm sorry, this sounds like such a bull***t excuse, I can't stand it. They probably walk away and laugh their ass off every time they unload that one on somebody.

Steal it from where? Inside the pole? Wouldn't you have to cut it at the bottom and the top to get any length of wire? How are they going to do that? And they know its not live? If they try and steal the wire at night (who would do it during the day) why wouldn't it be live?

This is such a joke, these people wouldn't last 5 minutes in the private sector.

I wish someone in local media would confront them and when they give this bull***t story, have them go out there and demonstrate how it would be done.

And don't get me started on the signage on 77, I'll be here all night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by JayGee

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I would submit that Charlotte is/has more "ghetto" element than other NC cities. Particularly near the areas where the wire keeps getting stolen. Coincidence? I think not.

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Maybe more than other NC cities but not more so than LA/Chicago/Atlanta or San Juan...and yet the lights remain on there.

Something is just not making sense here...there has got to be a way that NCDOT can keep the lights on along 77 and Independence...and the John Belk Freeway which has ZERO ghetto.

Edited by uptownliving

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Not for a lot of them...NCDOT never reported the theft to the Charlotte Police which I found to be baffling.

In my opinion, then, it never happened. Unless somebody can offer a reasonable explanation why those thefts wouldn't have been reported.

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1)I think Charlotte needs to remove all of those freeway dedication names from overhead signage. It would be ok, perhaps, if those routes continued for long distances (i.e. "San Diego Freeway", but huge overheads giving I-485's each direction a different name is ridiculous.

2)The Brookshire Fwy/Brookshire Blvd. overheads are confusing to a non-resident like me.

3) While I agree 100% that Charlotte deserves more money and support from Raleigh, could someone please acknowledge that (a) I-485 already forms as much of a "loop" as Raleigh's Beltline, which is merely an old bypass attached to an interstate, (b) I-485's completed mileage exceeds that of Raleigh's I-440 and (currently completed portion of) I-540 combined, c) Raleigh doesn't have any hwy lighting, (d) Charlotte area has far greater mileage of widened hwys (I-85 for example), and (e) Charlotte will have two 4-level stack interchanges and none are even planned for "Rawleigh"?

4)Recent highway widening projects in Charlotte erected new signage not quite meeting NCDOT's typically very high standards. Here are a few examples:

2 sizes of type and non-matching border around yellow and green sections, slight camber to gantry.

camber1-1.jpg

charmistke7.jpg

distances are much smaller than they're supposed to be.

camber3-1.jpg

camber5.jpg

Awful camber in this gantry.

camber2.jpg

charmistke11-1.jpg

Edited by architect77

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