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The DOT has made a few design changes and a few firsts interchange designs in the state to the I-85 widening and I-485 North East Leg. Mallard Creek and I-485 will be diverging diamond and I-85/I-485 will be a turbine design instead of a stack like I-77 South and I-485. Mallard Creek was supposed to be a SPUI interchange. More Info

DivergingDiamond.jpg

I-485 and Mallard Creek. Popular Tent and I-85 will also use this design.

Turbine.jpg

I-85/I-485 Interchange

I'm sad now, as a road junkie, I did want them to use the original design like in the DOT visualization. I like elaborate interchanges.

I here ya but the days of multi-level stacks are numbered unless you live in Texas of course. Stack interchanges are expensive and I can understand why the design change. I dont mind the turbine though. Its a design not often used in North America. Plus I could be wrong but in terms of compactness and cost it is the most efficient for the price. Hey look at it this way a least the DOT is building interchanges that can stand the test of time. Looking at the rest of the interchanges across the state we all should be happy. No more 50s era cloverleafs and monstrous one level interchages that screams cheap and backwards. By the way is the 77/85 bob&weave still getting redesigned?

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The new design has a similar footprint as the stack design in the visualization, it's just cheaper to build b/c there's no need to have four long span bridges with massive columns. I see the new diverging diamond interchange will be the new SPUI, which was popular during the 90s for NCDOT. I-77 and I-85 really needs to be reconfigured as well as I-277 (John Belk) and I-77.

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The DOT has made a few design changes and a few firsts interchange designs in the state to the I-85 widening and I-485 North East Leg. Mallard Creek and I-485 will be diverging diamond and I-85/I-485 will be a turbine design instead of a stack like I-77 South and I-485. Mallard Creek was supposed to be a SPUI interchange. More Info

DivergingDiamond.jpg

I-485 and Mallard Creek. Popular Tent and I-85 will also use this design.

I'm sad now, as a road junkie, I did want them to use the original design like in the DOT visualization. I like elaborate interchanges.

Say goodbye to peds and cyclists ever crossing 485 at Poplar Tent Rd.

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Holy Crap what?! N.C. DOT wants toll lane on boulevard; "Moose said the state would likely build HOT lanes to help pay for construction. One possibility: Building two lanes above the current highway and the existing east-west overpass bridges."

In a country where all other major cities are finding a way to erase the mistakes of elevated highways, Charlotte is just starting to make the mistakes. I suppose this is a matter of growing pains. Older/larger cities have already spent the money to "expand", now they are able to spend money to "fix." Charlotte is just now coming into the need to expand however - it sure would be nice if Charlotte learned the lessons from other cities so we wouldn't have to "fix" later.

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Holy Crap what?! N.C. DOT wants toll lane on boulevard; "Moose said the state would likely build HOT lanes to help pay for construction. One possibility: Building two lanes above the current highway and the existing east-west overpass bridges."

In a country where all other major cities are finding a way to erase the mistakes of elevated highways, Charlotte is just starting to make the mistakes. I suppose this is a matter of growing pains. Older/larger cities have already spent the money to "expand", now they are able to spend money to "fix." Charlotte is just now coming into the need to expand however - it sure would be nice if Charlotte learned the lessons from other cities so we wouldn't have to "fix" later.

True it would probably be ugly, but extra toll lanes supended over the top of an existing freeway aren't quite the same as ripping out dozens of city blocks downtown to build the Brookshire.

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^Just to clarify, Conti was hinting at elevated on I-77 south of Uptown. The ULI idea for Independence Boulevard seems to be toll lanes built at-grade within the median and shared by bus rapid transit.

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We all know the gripes of elevated expressways, it's aesthetically unpleasant and does harm to neighborhoods. Well when I-77 was built in the 70s, there wasn't much neighborhoods south of Uptown, and the neighborhoods it destroyed was around Uptown. However, Barry Moose's vision is taken from Tampa's Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and wants to model Tampa's success. Look it up, it's pretty neat.

DOT Website

stru6.jpg

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I don't make this stuff up folks:

Transportation leaders considering adding toll road to I-77

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Transportation officials for the City of Charlotte said Monday night that toll lanes could be added to Interstate 77 from north Charlotte to Cornelius by the year 2016....

The cost is expected to be about $60 million. Officials estimate about $20 million in tolls would be generated during the first 30 years after the lanes are opened.

...

And some complain about rail transportation!

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Ok, I admit...I wasn't a math major in college, but explain to me how building a $60 million toll road that only generates $20 million in 30 years makes ANY kind of sense? It will only further frustrate drivers on 77.

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It's not entirely a toll road, it's a HOT lane. In NC, a tollway under the NC Turnpike Authority (except the possibility of I-95 being a complete tollway) must an alternative to an existing paralleling thoroughfare. So it's only a lane that being tolled, it'd generate less revenue versus an entire road being tolled.

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If it's only a single lane that's being tolled, then I guess that's better than making all of 77 a toll road. You pay to use it. I wonder how much of a difference one lane would really make though.

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^Congestion pricing makes a difference in keeping some lanes moving, even during peak travel period. The toll to drive in a HOT lane is priced to keep that lane moving, even when other free lanes are congested.

As I see it, we have two choices, keep widening like Atlanta (in recent history, since they're even now switching to toll lanes), and watch any new free lanes ultimately fill up. Or widen strategically with toll lanes, so new lanes keep moving. Of course, now that funding is tight for transportation, it's not like there's much choice left, especially if you want to widen these highways anytime in the near future.

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Ok so a few questions.

When will 485 work begin? Its almost may and almost 2 years since Perdue said it would happen and nothing is happening that I can see. correct me if Im wrong.

When will work on 85 in Cabarrus start? The backups are unreal..into and out of Charlotte in Cabarrus. How many people have died due to the traffic nightmare that is 85?

I believe mass transit is better for cities but lets face it. americans love the car so these projects need to start and finish.

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Two questions for those of you in the know. First, the construction at Mallard Creek Ch Rd and N Tryon was indeed to add a turn lane on Tryon to west bound MCCRd. The trouble is they didn't add the extra lane in the other direction. I only bring this up because the way they recalibrated the intersection makes it so you have to veer right while traveling south on Tryon just to avoid hitting the new median. The strange part about it is that the asphalt necessary for an additional turn lane (which would correct the problem) is already down but they did not repaint it to include the additional lane. Why in the world would they leave such an oversight? More importantly, is there a chance that they plan on adding that turn lane sometime in the near future? It really annoys me to no end that they just need to paint to fix the issue and improve traffic flow.

Okay, that was more of a rant than a question.

The other thing I'm puzzled about is that they are not burying the lines and putting up new traffic lights at the new entrance to the UNCC Research Institution at the JW Clay and N Tryon intersection. This is odd because they already buried the lines around the intersection and even built a new entrance for the adjacent shopping complex at the original entrance. Is this something they are leaving out because of the planned construction of the light rail there (which, in turn, would mean the project would pay to have the lines buried) or have they just not gotten around to it yet?

Edited by aussie luke

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Charlotte is officially a "walk friendly community" at the bronze level. This designation is similar to the "bike friendly community" rating that the city was awarded a few years ago. We're one of only 12 cities in the nation to get recognized. Seattle is the only 'platinum' level city. Austin, TX is the only other mid to large city to get a designation (bronze).

http://www.walkfriendly.org/news_2011-04-26.cfm

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We all know the gripes of elevated expressways, it's aesthetically unpleasant and does harm to neighborhoods. Well when I-77 was built in the 70s, there wasn't much neighborhoods south of Uptown, and the neighborhoods it destroyed was around Uptown. However, Barry Moose's vision is taken from Tampa's Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and wants to model Tampa's success. Look it up, it's pretty neat.

DOT Website

stru6.jpg

that is amazing. How would 77 be able to stay open while the construction was happening. Sounds like years of communter nightmares whileit gets built, but probably the smartest solution.

I also noticed some DOT trucks and what looked like possibly engineers at the new 485-85 turbine interchange.

Edited by Skyybutter

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There was an article on the Charlotte Observer's website discussing four diverging-diamond interchanges (DDIs) coming to the Charlotte region over the next few years, as well as others planned across the state.

Congested interchanges to get state do-overs

I guess they're better than a traditional diamond interchange, but I still prefer the single signal of a SPUI. However, the lower construction costs of DDIs beats the expensive SPUIs. For example, the article states that the Exit 28 interchange on I-77 will only take six months to retrofit because the existing overpass can accommodate the DDI design.

Still, it's nice to see improvements.

Edited by cowboy_wilhelm

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The diverging diamond has had good results in Missouri and the few other places it has been implemented. Supposedly it has improved flow by 50%. It's quite clever in how all protected left turn signals are eliminated from the intersection.

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On a sort of forum related topic . . . (begin rant).

I read this news release from NCDOT about the proposed widening of U.S. 158 between Sunbury and Morgan's Corner. "Where?" I asked myself. Well, looking at Google Maps, you can see that this is a highly populated and developed area of northeastern North Carolina.

NCDOT proposes to widen the highway from two to four lanes with a 46 foot median. Well, I figured this road must have a lot of traffic going to the Outer Banks or something. So, I checked NCDOT's traffic volume maps. This section of highway has 2009 Annual Average Daily Traffic volumes of 2,400 to 7,300 vehicles. You have got to be kidding me!

So, I kept searching and found this project (R-2579) in the draft 2012-2018 State Transportation Improvement Program.

Are you ready for it?

. . .

Are you sitting down?

. . .

Swallow your beverage.

. . .

$92,986,000

Folks, no words can begin to describe this. When the state has such limited funding and people deal with congestion daily, this project in the middle of nowhere remains scheduled. And projects just like this have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen all across the state.

I thought NCDOT was reforming?

However, this project isn't supposed to begin right-of-way acquisition until 2019. Maybe between now and then someone will realize how big of a waste this project is.

Edited by cowboy_wilhelm

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Boy, this is one for the Charlotte Observer! Crazy, but typical of some of the boondoggles out East.

Well, let's go to the western part of the state this time.

U.S. 221, South Carolina line to south of Marion. Two sections are under construction from South Carolina to north of U.S. 74 (11.1 miles of two-lanes to four-lanes divided, $56,293,246.07 in contracts). Other sections are scheduled for funding between 2016-2020, or are scheduled for reprioritization in 2012. Total cost for all sections: $540,741,000. Maximum 2009 AADT: 8,300 vehicles.

post-16014-0-63606500-1305863600_thumb.j

However, the I-26 Connector in Asheville - also in NCDOT Division 13 - receives no funding before 2020 for the 100,000 vehicles that use the Smoky Park Bridges daily.

Am I missing something?

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