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Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction


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It was an end of term proposal by Mike Easley with the idea of pumping up Wilmington.  However, SC smartly gave it zero chance of happening.   Frankly they can symbolicly extend I-20 to Wilmington by routing it along 95 (which goes roughly E-W through here) and  then taking the US74 route all the way into town or beyond.   I do think it is smart to do because it is a far more sound connection (zooming out to big picture), than all of the silly convoluted ways of trying to get I74 to include Wilmington.   Having a dedicated interstate 20 between Marion, SC, and Whiteville, NC, is part of what is constantly wrong with Tidewater freeways, they are often redundant for long distance travelers but don't serve much along the way.  

 

Regardless, there is no question that the US-74 corridor ought to be improved, primarily east of Charlotte.  But it is a reasonably low priority given the lack of current population centers along the way, and the fact that Wilmington is not as critical of a destination for Charlotteans as it may seem with the accessibility of Charleston-area beaches and ports.

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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

The darkness on highways/interchanges around Uptown is a bigger pet peeve for me vs. buildings lining the highway. 

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

Posted Images

Incremental improvements like the Monroe Bypass are absolutely needed, though.   It isn't as though we can ignore what has been the fastest growing county in the state for a while now.  I abhor sprawl, but Monroe is a satellite city to Charlotte, and we can't strange Charlotte by making it so difficult to travel east, as it is now.

 

Perhaps once it is in place, there would be more economic growth in Rockingham and others that would make it more likely for people to travel there, but I agree for now it is pretty much a once every year or two trip for me, purely to go to Wilmington.

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Incremental improvements like the Monroe Bypass are absolutely needed, though.   It isn't as though we can ignore what has been the fastest growing county in the state for a while now.  I abhor sprawl, but Monroe is a satellite city to Charlotte, and we can't strange Charlotte by making it so difficult to travel east, as it is now.

 

Perhaps once it is in place, there would be more economic growth in Rockingham and others that would make it more likely for people to travel there, but I agree for now it is pretty much a once every year or two trip for me, purely to go to Wilmington.

I drove to Wilmington the other weekend for a concert, and have NO issue with the drive once I'm past Monroe, but oh man is that a big sticking point.

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Incremental improvements like the Monroe Bypass are absolutely needed, though.   It isn't as though we can ignore what has been the fastest growing county in the state for a while now.  I abhor sprawl, but Monroe is a satellite city to Charlotte, and we can't strange Charlotte by making it so difficult to travel east, as it is now.

 

I wouldn't have fought the bypass if it had been planned with a conscious effort to preserve the environment. Down East, along portions of #64, they elevated the freeway in spots in order to allow the wildlife to pass under it.  This bypass turned into a personal money-maker with no effort made to protect some of the really gorgeous scenery along the way. Those creeks you pass over (on #218) are so beautiful. The pastureland is such a relief, as opposed to the depressing stretches around Monroe, and the family farms that would soon be disrupted didn't merit destruction. There was a way to plan this bypass with some consideration made for the environment. 

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Actually, I am referring to I-20 in NC. The current part of US-74/76 in North Carolina will become part of I-20 sometime in the future, heading towards Wilmington from the SC boarder. Here's a map:

 

http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/preconstruct/tpb/SHC/PDF/SHC_Vision_Plan_Division3.pdf

Thanks for the info. I like the idea of NC gaining another interstate.

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I drove to Wilmington the other weekend for a concert, and have NO issue with the drive once I'm past Monroe, but oh man is that a big sticking point.

Monroe is the bottleneck. I have tried multiple routes and all seem faster than going through Monroe/Indian Trail on 74 even if they are out of the way.

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So is the garden parkway officially dead now? And is it a good thing for Charlotte/Mecklenburg that it's dead?

I never really got the point from a transportation stand point of the garden parkway unless it was for economic growth in Gaston County (and they say our little streetcar is to expensive to be used as an economic catalyst).

Wouldn't the garden parkway be redundant to 85/485? I bet the garden parkway would siphoned some tax payers from Mecklenburg to hop the border to Gaston. I think a garden parkway would be smarter if it followes NC 16 then veered off west to Denver, Lincolnton and NC 321 for connections to Hickory, Lenoir, and Boone.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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So is the garden parkway officially dead now? And is it a good thing for Charlotte/Mecklenburg that it's dead?

I never really got the point from a transportation stand point of the garden parkway unless it was for economic growth in Gaston County (and they say our little streetcar is to expensive to be used as an economic catalyst).

Wouldn't the garden parkway be redundant to 85/485? I bet the garden parkway would siphoned some tax payers from Mecklenburg to hop the border to Gaston. I think a garden parkway would be smarter if it followes NC 16 then veered off west to Denver, Lincolnton and NC 321 for connections to Hickory, Lenoir, and Boone.

There is no need for the Garden Parkway. I do not think it is completely dead, but it is definitely on life support at this point. Only reason it was even going ot get built was because legislators who owned along the parkway wanted to profit from it.

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I think I read on the CBJ or Observer over the weekend that the plans for the Garden Parkway was dead... But... Could be revived in the same form minus the toll booths...

With as much as the pubs seem to hate spending on projects in our region... I was hopeful it would die. This highway makes no sense. South Charlotte/Upstate have good connections to Gastonia and 321. It's the north that needs better connections to the west...

Oh well. I Hope all the politicians, especially Charlotte region, have all the fun while they can with their majority. Never again will I cast a vote for the party currently running this state.

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The Yadkin bridge project is almost substantially complete.  I haven't been up that way, and don't nearly need to go through there much in the last number of years, but I am glad it is finally nearing completion!

 

 

In other news, WNYC has a map representation of commuting times throughout the country.   In Charlotte, it all seems reasonable except out to Waxhaw area.  It is interesting to see and browse.

 

http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#10.00/35.2136/-80.9370

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The Yadkin bridge project is almost substantially complete.  I haven't been up that way, and don't nearly need to go through there much in the last number of years, but I am glad it is finally nearing completion!

 

 

In other news, WNYC has a map representation of commuting times throughout the country.   In Charlotte, it all seems reasonable except out to Waxhaw area.  It is interesting to see and browse.

 

http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#10.00/35.2136/-80.9370

 

Currently only two lanes northbound from Spenser to Linwood and four lanes southbound from just after the Bill's Truck Stop exit all the way into Salisbury.  The four lanes southbound is quite nice!

Edited by drumsy
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The Yadkin bridge project is almost substantially complete.  I haven't been up that way, and don't nearly need to go through there much in the last number of years, but I am glad it is finally nearing completion!

 

 

In other news, WNYC has a map representation of commuting times throughout the country.   In Charlotte, it all seems reasonable except out to Waxhaw area.  It is interesting to see and browse.

 

http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#10.00/35.2136/-80.9370

 

 

It may have been the luck of the draw for me, but staying in Lincolnton, temporarily, I found the commute on 85 g-r-i-n-d-i-n-g. It took me fully 90 minutes to get from Lincolnton to Ft. Mill.

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The latest issue of Ballantyne Magazine has a page on the 485 widening.  Not sure there's anything new here, but it presents things on a level understandable by your average Ballantyne resident -- that is to say, easy-to-read.  

 

Perhaps new info:  Construction complete by Dec 2014 instead of Nov 2016.  That's now under 2 years, and sounds really aggressive to me.  But I'll be happy if they make it.

 

http://ballantynemagazine.epubxp.com/title/10887/98

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The latest issue of Ballantyne Magazine has a page on the 485 widening.  Not sure there's anything new here, but it presents things on a level understandable by your average Ballantyne resident -- that is to say, easy-to-read.  

 

Perhaps new info:  Construction complete by Dec 2014 instead of Nov 2016.  That's now under 2 years, and sounds really aggressive to me.  But I'll be happy if they make it.

 

http://ballantynemagazine.epubxp.com/title/10887/98

Ballantyne has a magazine?  Interestingly, that article was written by Nan Barouth, an ultra right-wing staple of the Charlotte Observer ed-op pages (she's penned MANY letters to the editor).  She wrote ad nauseum on how LRT would be the downfall of western civilization and carry only 7,000 people per day.  

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When does construction on the last stretch of 85 through Kannapolis and Concord begin? That will make 85 at least 6 lanes all the way from US 74 in Kings Mountain to the I-40 split in Hillsborough.

It's already began. Traffic is already driving on the new lanes. At least in Concord.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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The Yadkin bridge project is almost substantially complete.  I haven't been up that way, and don't nearly need to go through there much in the last number of years, but I am glad it is finally nearing completion!

 

 

In other news, WNYC has a map representation of commuting times throughout the country.   In Charlotte, it all seems reasonable except out to Waxhaw area.  It is interesting to see and browse.

 

http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#10.00/35.2136/-80.9370

 

 

 

LOVE the commute time map. I can stare at these types of maps for way to long. I live in Cabarrus and commute between exit 55 and exit 49 (CMills). It will be great when 85 is complete. I have a feeling when 485 opens between 85 and 77 we will be surprised at how busy it will be from the onset. 

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