Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Matthew

The new I-26, does anyone know it exists?

Recommended Posts

A recent traffic study shows only 8,005 cars a day use the new I-26. That's less than some streets in the city of Asheville! The old highway 23 had an average of 7,969 cars a day in July 2003. This has people asking, does anyone know it exists? Businesses near exits are closing, development proposed at exits is on hold due to lack of traffic and the expected economic impact to cities/towns along the highway hasn't happened. It has been used to help recruit new industry, by Asheville, according to the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Some are saying when it's listed on maps it will help. Overall, it's just a nice drive and safe alternative to the old 23.

Compare to existing highways: (2002 NC-DOT numbers)

I-240 @ Smoky Park Bridge: 94,000 cars a day

I-26 (south of I-40): 71,000 cars a day

I-40 (South Asheville): 45,000 cars a day

I-40 in the remote Pigeon River Gorge in Haywood County had 20,000 cars a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Actually, I didn't know that there was an I-26 before I found this thread. LOL. If only 8,005 cars per day use it, then it seems like a rather unnecessary freeway to me. The money would've been better spent putting light rail in existing urban areas than it would promoting even more sprawl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that he is refering to the new northern (or should i say western?) extention to I-26.

I-26 goes from Charleston, SC to Columbia to Spartanburg to Asheville, NC to the Tri-Cities area in Tennessee. Asheville to Tricities is the new section that Matthew is talking about.

The rest of 26 gets alot of traffic... I think it should be widened from Spartanburg to Columbia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, I guess that part isn't on my map....I need a new mapping program! LOL. Still, with so little traffic, the extension seems unnecessary to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the new section from Asheville to Johnson City, connecting I-81 to I-40. It's on Map Quest, but older printed maps and older digital mapping software do not have the new Interstate and that could be a problem. I-26 was originally planned to go from Charleston, SC., to Columbus, OH. Only the section from Charleston to Asheville was completed originally as planned. Tennessee had the idea of finishing it's proposed section of I-26 (the old I-181) and asked North Carolina about finishing the rest of I-26 in North Carolina. Now I-26 ends at I-81, where it becomes I-181 again from I-81 to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. If Kentucky and Ohio finish their sections, then the highway will be completed as it was planned, but I don't know if they are pursuing it at this time or have any long term plans to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know, typical NC-DOT. The NC-DOT does give us more money, but for a good reason. Our road surfaces don't last as long, due to weather. We also have unpaved roads. The road I live on is not paved. When I first moved here I had to take 3 gravel/dirt roads to get to my house. Now it's down to 1.5 gravel/dirt roads. :):blink: We also don't have the big Sprawl-ways to bring development out here. This part of the state needs an extra Sprawl-way or two so we can get good, stable, high-paying jobs at employers like Waffle House or Super Sprawl-Mart. :lol: We are only just now starting to get stores and chain restaurants the larger Upstate and central NC cities have enjoyed for years. If only those highways actually attracted Fortune 500 headquarters and big corporate relocation...like the state thinks they do. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The counties out here set a priority number for unpaved roads. Citizens usually tell the county how dangerous the road is to get a higher priority. The state has a set amount of money for the program every year and they pave the roads with the highest priority set by the county. So, yes the state paves them. If they are in the city limits, I think it's the city's responsibility. Most unpaved roads in the state are rural and are state responsibility. North Carolina became more aggressive in paving gravel/dirt roads back in the 90's. Good news for Henderson and Madison counities. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that a lot more cars will travel on 26 when the new connector is built from the 40/26 intercahge to just north of town. Right now no one would really know that 26 goes that way unless they read about it, or have the latest map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree ^^ I went to Asheville not long ago, and I was really confused at first as to how to not get 26. They have the signs painted on the road, and then very small metal signs... its kinda confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think most of the traffic using the highway would be local? Locals using it as an alternative to get to Asheville from Madison County for work or play? I do agree the connector will help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove the entire length of I-26 (because I'm obsessed with roads and doing that type of stuff is really cool) one day to check out 26 west of Asheville. I was surprised by how few cars there were on it. It reminded me of SC 22 (the Conway bypass) when it first opened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.