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Triad Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction


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I have been looking at google maps recently and I have to say that the average joe might look at the Triad area and assume it is THE metro of the state. The number of limited access highways that criss cross the region is uncommon for a metro of its size. Greensboro has more impressive interchanges than Charlotte does. Although I do not like most of if any interchanges NCDOT builds but it seems the Boro made out pretty good. The I-73/40 interchange might be the most massive in the state. Although the 485/77 interchange in south Charlotte is the class act of the state. Now the 840/40 interchange east of G-boro looks to be one of the most poorly planned waste of space, time and money I have ever seen. That interchange is bigger than some cities buisness districts. Not only that but there had to be a better way to merge these to interstates using just a 2-level sprawling mess of a design. Once again given a clean slate NCDOT managed to totally screw up a major interchange. I think I will create a thread in the NC forum and give grades to all of the interchanges that I have been studying.

In defense of the I-85/I-40/I-840(future) interchange east of Greensboro, by spreading out the interchange, NCDOT reduced the length and height of the bridge structures. When an interchange has long and high bridge structures.....you're looking at extremely high construction costs. The cost of the right of way for the sprawled out interchange is way less than the costs associated with four and five level interchanges. Also, because of how the traffic is distributed, the interchange layout provides adequate laneage for the primary movements: I-85 to and from Charlotte, I-40 to and from Greensboro, and I-40/I-85 towards Raleigh-Durham. Also, the long radii of the curves in the interchange for the primary movements allows for traffic to maintain high speeds through the interchange. Also, due to the laneage, the layout allows the required distances for lane drops. The interchange like it or not is extremely functional and will be able to handle the traffic for some time to come.

The current I-77/I-485 interchange in south Charlotte is currently in a class by itself. However, once the proposed I-85/I-485 interchange in NE Charlotte is constructed, NC will have it's first true four-level interchange. See the link below

(http://www.ncdot.gov/_templates/download/external.html?pdf=http%3A//www.ncdot.gov/projects/CharlotteOuterLoop/download/I-485_i85interchange_map.pdf)

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Here are some photos from Main St bridge over Business I-40 today and a video of the project.  https://www.business40nc.com/resources/Pages/videos.aspx this will be nice when it is done.    

Drone video of the I-785/I-840 interchange at Highway 29 in North Greensboro.

https://www.greensboro.com/news/local_news/new-section-of-the-greensboro-urban-loop-opens-it-s/article_1f826ef5-412a-5500-8eac-52385606637c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campa

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does anyone know why they have closed off the center lane on I-85 between Grandover and the loop? They have painted a yellow line over the white dotted lines. Is it suppose to be an HOV lane or something?

I noticed that too this morning when I was going to class. It would be very neat if it were an HOV lane, but is traffic that heavy to support one? I don't really drive on that stretch of I-85 that often. :dontknow:

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I noticed that too this morning when I was going to class. It would be very neat if it were an HOV lane, but is traffic that heavy to support one? I don't really drive on that stretch of I-85 that often. :dontknow:

That sure is strange that they are doing that...but why should I be surprised...DOT is alway doing weird things around Greensboro LOL. I think they are smoking some strange stuff. They still have not put the city limit sign back up northbound I-85 near Groomtown Rd

Edited by cityboi
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That sure is strange that they are doing that...but why should I be surprised...DOT is alway doing weird things around Greensboro LOL. I think they are smoking some strange stuff. They still have not put the city limit sign back up northbound I-85 near Groomtown Rd

Oh yeah, you can say that one again. They haven't even put the city limits sign back up on Bryan Boulevard yet :unsure: . I wish I were in charge of DOT in the Greensboro area. I'd fix the Urban Loop confusion and every other thing they've managed to screw up. :lol:

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I don't know what's going on with 85, although if it's only the center lane that's blocked off, I doubt it would be a high occupancy lane. They're usually the outer lanes, not the inner lanes. In other news, I just saw this over at NCDOT's website:

"NCDOT also awarded a state-funded $8.8 million contract to Vecellio & Grogan Inc. of Beckley, WVa. to build a one-mile extension of the Bridford Parkway (State Road 4126) in Greensboro from West Wendover Avenue (S.R. 1541) at Hornaday Road to Burnt Poplar Road (S.R. 1607) at Swing Road. The project includes a bridge over I-40 just east of exit 213. It will provide drivers with a shortcut between West Wendover Avenue and Guilford College Road, which will have an intersection with the new roadway, and is expected to alleviate congestion in the area.

Construction is scheduled to begin as early as Sept. 28, and be finished by June 15, 2012."

I hadn't heard about this project before today. Anyone know anything else? Here's the link to the original release.

Edited by beyonce245
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Governor Purdue proposed using bonds from a special fund to help speed up loop projects in Greensboro and WInston-Salem. The plan would speed up the time table to finish the last legs of Greensboro's beltway. Construction would begin on those legs in 2017 and 2019. The entire Greensboro urban loop should be complete shortly after 2020, roughly 10 to 12 years from now.

Construction on Winston-Salem's northern beltway (I-74 bypass) would start in 2015. The previous proposal pushed construction on Winston-Salem's beltway far beyond 2020. However the southern leg of the WInston-Salem beltway is in the initial planning stages and construction on the final section won't begin until sometime after 2030.

http://www.news-reco...n_loop_projects

Edited by cityboi
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i hope the beltway in winston never gets built. adding more roads just creates more traffic, increases future liabilities in the form of maintenance burdens, and these 'ring' roads choke city-center activity. our state and municipalities are going broke.... there's a gazillion reasons why this is foolish endeavor, which is why i pretty positive it will continue to be pursued! its madness.

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Question more like a statement for you guys what are your feelings about the 840/40 interchange east of G-boro. I looked at it on google maps and not only is it huge but who builds cloverleafs on major interchanges anymore. When I say huge I mean it looks like three interchanges unraveled to serve one purpose not exctely the best design I must say. But hey I'm no expert but I hope the DOT valid explaination for doing it like that.

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^^

The interchange you're referring to would more appropriately be called the I-40/I-85 interchange since that is where those interstates now merge after I-85 was rerouted on the southern portion of the Urban Loop. Calling it a cloverleaf would be inaccurate as well - there are a couple of loops in the interchange to accommodate the lesser traveled routes (for example, it is unlikely that someone would have been traveling east on I-85 and then want to go back west on I-40 toward G-boro).

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The I-40/Hwy 52 interchange in Winston-Salem is a good definition of a cloverleaf interchange. You don't see too many of those built any more. Most interchanges built now consist of fly over ramps and stacked bridges which moves traffic better. Sometimes its a bit challenging exiting the highway on a cloverleaf when other traffic is trying to get on the highway.

Edited by cityboi
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The Bus. 40 design master plan was uveiled yesterday at BB&T Ballpark. The Creative Coalition presented plans to the public of a dynamic, green, artistic highway through downtown with the centerpiece being an iconic arched bridge South of the Financial District. Other bridges along US52 could also have smaller arches.

Other Highlights Include: green medians, sculptures, lights, murals along underpasses and improved pedestrian walkways connecting East Winston and Old Salem/Brookstown to downtown.

gallery:

http://www2.journaln...s-plan/gallery/

article:

http://www2.journaln...ls--ar-1521808/

378861820-20145716.jpg

Edited by twincity
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I noticed that DOT has painted very large I-85 shields on the lanes just before the I-85/I-73/bus 85 interchange near Grandover. Has anyone seen this elsewhere in the state?

Edited by cityboi
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  • 3 weeks later...

i738400110.jpg

The proposed I-73 connector is critical for Piedmont Triad Int'l Airport.

"Once I-73 construction wraps up at the airport, PTI plans its own big-ticket item: A $56 million bridge and taxiway over the new road to encourage industrial development on a huge site across the way."

http://www.news-record.com/content/2012/05/05/article/next_segment_of_i_73_critical_to_pti

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Crews for the N.C. Department of Transportation should complete work in May on the final 8-mile segment of what’s commonly referred to as the U.S. 311 bypass. The section in northern Randolph County will link the expressway from the Cedar Square Road interchange in Glenola to U.S. 220 north of Asheboro. The new segment of U.S. 311 will complete a four-lane roadway —  without the interruption of traffic signals — from Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem to U.S. 220 in Randolph County.

 

http://www.hpe.com/news/local/x145784612/Almost-ready-to-ride

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construction on the next leg of Greensboro's beltway (I-840) will begin this fall. The entire loop is scheduled to be complete in 8 years (2021) 4 interstates follow the loop (I-85, I-73, I-840 and I-785) I-40 was routed on the loop but was re routed back to the old route.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/blog/2013/09/ncdot-to-seek-contractors-for-136m.html

Edited by cityboi
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I hope that the NCDOT moves quicker with that GSO one than they have on the diverging diamond interchange that has been under construction for almost a year now on Union Cross Rd/I-40  at the Winston-Salem/Kernersville city limits. Progress seems extremely slow and they are nowhere near completion.

 

In the meantime, work has started on the Salem Creek Connector. Here's a visual as to what the end result will be...

Edited by zalo
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