I-73 Roadtrip (Oh-WVa-Va-NC-SC)

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Sandor G

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 12:31:46 PM10/12/02
to
I missed the I-74/US 74 debate, while I was scouting out the route of it's
better known brother.
This trip was supposed to be alot longer, but car trouble shortened this
trip in half (more about this at the end).

Route taken:
Various Delaware Co (Ohio) roads south to US 36 to I-71 S (through Columbus)
to I-270 E to US 23 S to US 52 E, across the Ohio River to I-64 W to US 52 S
to US 19 N to US 460 W to US 52 S to I-77 N to US 460 E to I-81 N to I-581 S
to US 220 S to NC 68 S to I-40 E to US 220 S to US 1 S to SC 9 E to SC 38 S
to US 501 S to US 701 S to US 17 S to I-526 around Charleston to US 17 S to
I-95
(at this point I turned around and started nursing my car back to Ohio :-(
I-95 N to I-26 W to I-77 N to I-70 W to Oh 256 W to US 40 W to
Reynoldsburg-New Albany Rd N to Oh 16 W to Morrison Rd N to Oh 317 N to US
62 W to Steygler Rd N to McCutcheon Rd W to Stelzer Rd N to Sunbury Rd N to
Big Walnut Rd W to Old 3C Rd N to Oh 61 N to Kilbourne Rd W to Clark Rd N
home.

*I-73 commentary
For the Ohio section, I'll be referring to the map links at the bottom of
http://www.roadfan.com/i73ohioa.html.

For the rest of I-73 (and I-74 for those who need reminding), I'll be
referring to http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/corr05.html

Ohio--
I was always more familiar with the proposals for I-73 north of Columbus.
As far as I was concerned, US 23, south of Columbus was good enough and ODOT
could work with it. From my own observations bypasses would have to be
built around: I-270 to South Bloomfield, Circleville (sort of), and
Waverly-Piketon (Portsmouth has long been designated to have a by-pass).
In reference to Circleville, a new interchange with US 22/Oh 56 would have
to be built (cloverleaf ramps signed for 15 MPH!) and decisions about access
to the retail and industrial sites south of Circleville (4 intersections
with traffic lights here).
Chillicothe is the only city I've encountered in Ohio that has it's business
route (for US 23) mentioned on BGS. In all other cases I've encountered the
business routes are either signed locally or even not at all.
To David Norris and Sherman: I found the last remnant of I-73/74 in Ohio.
There is a small green sign along US 52 EB just before the interchange with
Oh 140 referring to the Great Lakes-Atlantic Corridor. Get a picture of it
before Ohio decides to do away with this sign as well!
Vern Riffe is to Portsmouth what Robert Byrd is to West Virginia.
Is Branch Rickey (famous baseball GM for St. Louis and Brooklyn) from
Portsmouth?

West Virginia--
US 52 is a tough drive from I-64 to Bluefield!
Whether it be 4 lanes with access or interstate style, there is enough truck
traffic to warrant upgrading US 52 (and that's with coal trains passing by
every other minute by US 52 as well).
What's with the secret (almost completed) bypass of Crum? From the amount
of usage I saw, one would think WVaDOT forgot to abandoned it.
US 119/US 52 near Williamson does cross between Kentucky and West Virginia
several times and has SGS mentioning which state and county one is in at
each border crossing.
My new favorite business - Bill's Videos and Taxidermy
Was Kimball one of the towns hard hit from the spring floods of this year?
I've never seen a whole street of abandoned buildings.
The only construction I saw, in reference to I-73/74 in West Virginia was
east of Bluefield at the intersection of US 52 & 460.

Virginia--
According to Andy's research, I-73 is, essentially, to follow US 460 to
outside Blacksburg and then along the "Smart Road" to I-81. If that is the
case, then what is with the US 460 freeway bypass of Christiansburg? Why
not drop the I-73 designation on that instead and leave the "Smart Rd" for
whatever Virginia Tech has planned for it.
Speaking of US 460 and the "Smart Road," looking at a local map of the
junction between the two US 460s (by-pass and business) and the "Smart
Road," I've never seen such a complicated exit configuration. I could
scribble a bunch of lines and have them make more sense than that
interchange.
On the flip side, I recommend the Ramada Inn on Business US 460, south of
Blacksburg, just because you get a great(!) view of the construction on the
"Smart Road" and said interchange from that site (though the 5 ft. tall
shower head clearance sucks).
Has Virginia thought about adding more I-581 signs along US 220 to the
southside of Roanoke? I-581 ends in downtown Roanoke, but the highway is
freeway grade for another 4 miles.
I sort of understand why a new alignment for I-73/US 220 would have to be
built between Roanoke and Martinsville, but that drive wasn't as hard as I
envisioned it to be. I'd hope the Rocky Mount and Martinsville by-passes be
included.

North Carolina--
Only saw one sign referencing I-73 north of I-40 (near Mayoden-Madison)
along US 220.
Getting I-73 built in northern Guilford Co. (from near the Airport to north
of Summerfield) is going to be a major challenge. Two lane highways, plenty
of houses. I can just see the NIMBY factor coming into play (if it hasn't
already).
What's the difference between the sections of US 220 with the Future I-73
(and I-74) shields and the one section "officially" signed and marked on
everyone's maps? I saw no traffic lights, intersections, or anything else
that would automatically disqualify it. You (NCDoT) already glossed one
section as I-73, make it official all the way north to I-40!
Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a I-73/NC 73
multiplex to confuse the populace as well.

South Carolina--
Saw at least one BGS along US 1, SC 9, SC 38, and US 501 mentioning they
will be used as the I-73 corridor.
Where is I-73 "supposed to go" from Conway? Along SC 22 (north of Myrtle
Beach), US 501 (to Myrtle Beach) or US 701 (to Georgetown). Going from
Andy's research, I followed US 701, but I saw no references to I-73 along
this route. Did South Carolina change it's mind recently, or did I mis read
Andy's work?
I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?) south
to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be done
with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).

Other South Carolina comments--
Nice to see sporadic exit numbering along I-526. Come on SCDoT, unless
you're going to build some more (and even then, where are you going to go,
into the ocean?) number the exits.
Another complaint I have about South Carolina, add shoulders to the sides of
your highways! If every other state in the union can do this, you can to.

Other observations along the trip back--
For those who keep track of interstate cloverleafs, I-26/I-95 & I-77/I-40
converge as such.
Control cities for I-77 SB between I-20 & I-26 (around Columbia) are
Charleston & Spartanburg
Encountered a traffic jam along I-77 NB between I-485 and I-277 in Charlotte
during the lunch hour. Maybe Charlotte should look at Atlanta and not make
the same mistakes they did. I-485 is not going help alleviate traffic along
I-77. I-77 needs be widened (sooner or later).
Why is West Virginia building a bypass to the south of Parkersburg, while
Ohio built a bypass to the north of Parkersburg?

BTW, my car decided, while I was south of Charleston South Carolina, to cut
the engine out intermediately. Thus my original plans to go through "Dixie"
were cut out, and my nerves got pretty fraid as I nursed my car back up
north (my apologize if I held you up along I-95, I-26 or I-77).

Comments, questions, replies?

--
Sandor G
Graduate - Ohio State, March 02
www.roadfan.com

Sherman Cahal

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Oct 12, 2002, 1:23:23 PM10/12/02
to
> Ohio--
> I was always more familiar with the proposals for I-73 north of Columbus.
> As far as I was concerned, US 23, south of Columbus was good enough and
ODOT
> could work with it. From my own observations bypasses would have to be
> built around: I-270 to South Bloomfield, Circleville (sort of), and
> Waverly-Piketon (Portsmouth has long been designated to have a by-pass).

They have narrowed down the routes from what I heard to 3 alignments.

> In reference to Circleville, a new interchange with US 22/Oh 56 would have
> to be built (cloverleaf ramps signed for 15 MPH!) and decisions about
access
> to the retail and industrial sites south of Circleville (4 intersections
> with traffic lights here).

Traffic is pretty bad there. New service roads should be constructed
parallel of the roadway and new mainline road should be constructed in the
middle.

> Chillicothe is the only city I've encountered in Ohio that has it's
business
> route (for US 23) mentioned on BGS. In all other cases I've encountered
the
> business routes are either signed locally or even not at all.

There is a business route in Portsmouth but it's not on a BGS.

> To David Norris and Sherman: I found the last remnant of I-73/74 in Ohio.
> There is a small green sign along US 52 EB just before the interchange
with
> Oh 140 referring to the Great Lakes-Atlantic Corridor. Get a picture of
it
> before Ohio decides to do away with this sign as well!

That sign has been there for a good long time. I don't think it's going
anywhere.

> West Virginia--
> US 52 is a tough drive from I-64 to Bluefield!

Tough and very bumpy. The road was mainly complted north of Williamson in
the late 1970's, and north of Prichard (and some south of) in the mid
1960's.

> Whether it be 4 lanes with access or interstate style, there is enough
truck
> traffic to warrant upgrading US 52 (and that's with coal trains passing by
> every other minute by US 52 as well).

Lots of coal trucks but lots of places to pass; too bad traffic is pretty
heavy that you CAN'T pass them...

> What's with the secret (almost completed) bypass of Crum? From the amount
> of usage I saw, one would think WVaDOT forgot to abandoned it.

It's not all finished. Note that one lane is striped for each direction on
seperate roadways, except past CR 52-31, where it becomes one lane on a 2
lane roadway eastbound, and two way on a 2 lane roadway westbound; very odd
configuration and confusing. There are bridge stubs for interchanges at US
52 and WV 52-31, with the at-grades (2 of them) easily removable. The sign
at US 52 was gone (just an arrow left) back in June 2002, and probably said
"WV 52-31". Note, that this is all dependent on funding, so I don't see this
road going anywhere for another year.

> US 119/US 52 near Williamson does cross between Kentucky and West Virginia
> several times and has SGS mentioning which state and county one is in at
> each border crossing.
> My new favorite business - Bill's Videos and Taxidermy
> Was Kimball one of the towns hard hit from the spring floods of this year?

> I've never seen a whole street of abandoned buildings.]

Probably. Looks like Welch.

> The only construction I saw, in reference to I-73/74 in West Virginia was
> east of Bluefield at the intersection of US 52 & 460.

High speed trumpet interchange.


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Ernest Cline

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Oct 12, 2002, 3:22:50 PM10/12/02
to

"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
news:b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net...

> South Carolina--
> Saw at least one BGS along US 1, SC 9, SC 38, and US 501 mentioning they
> will be used as the I-73 corridor.
> Where is I-73 "supposed to go" from Conway? Along SC 22 (north of Myrtle
> Beach), US 501 (to Myrtle Beach) or US 701 (to Georgetown). Going from
> Andy's research, I followed US 701, but I saw no references to I-73 along
> this route. Did South Carolina change it's mind recently, or did I mis
read
> Andy's work?
> I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?)
south
> to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be done
> with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).

The original proposal was for I-73 to go to Charleston, but NIMBYism and
lack of projectred traffic combined to cause it to be truncated back to
Georgetown. High Priority Corridor 5 will go to Georgetown but I doubt if
I-73 will. The traffic levels just don't require an interstate ending at
Georgetown, especially given all the wetlands any coastal interstate would
have to go thru in SC. Altho not originally intended to be part of I-73, the
Conway Bypass (SC 22) will likely become part of I-73.

As for I-74, the Carolina Bays Parkway (aka SC 31) will be its route, with
perhaps an extension to SC 544 or SC 707. However, building new interstates
is not a priority for the state government right now. Education and tax cuts
are, so any funds for I-73 or I-74 will have to be almost entirely federal
for the forseeable future.

As for your suggestion of dropping I-73 on top of US 17, that just isn't
going to happen. It would cost more to upgrade US 17 to interstate standards
than to build a new road and it would create massive traffic problems. Now
if Charleston desperately needed a north-bound interstate to relieve traffic
concegstion on I-26, the logical route would probably parallel NC 41/SC 41.
However, that route would only serve Charleston, and its benefits can be
achieved more cheaply by widening I-26 and I-95. I wish I-95 had been routed
closer to the coast to begin with (along a US 52/SC 45/SC 6/SC 311/SC 27/SC
61/US 17A routing), but the powers that were decided to place it further
west than that.
--
Ernest Cline
To mail me, pretend that Karl Marx was a capitalist.


John Lansford

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 4:31:37 PM10/12/02
to
"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote:

>North Carolina--
>Only saw one sign referencing I-73 north of I-40 (near Mayoden-Madison)
>along US 220.
>Getting I-73 built in northern Guilford Co. (from near the Airport to north
>of Summerfield) is going to be a major challenge. Two lane highways, plenty
>of houses. I can just see the NIMBY factor coming into play (if it hasn't
>already).
>What's the difference between the sections of US 220 with the Future I-73
>(and I-74) shields and the one section "officially" signed and marked on
>everyone's maps? I saw no traffic lights, intersections, or anything else
>that would automatically disqualify it. You (NCDoT) already glossed one
>section as I-73, make it official all the way north to I-40!

US 220 between Asheboro and Greensboro is most definitely
sub-interstate standard. There is one interchange just north of US 64
where all the ramps enter and leave US 220 from the left, for example.
There are other substandard interchanges along this section as well,
plus the shoulders are not up to interstate standard, as are the accel
decel lane lengths. The section south of Asheboro has the proper lane
lengths and shoulder design, making the interstate designation easier.

>Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a I-73/NC 73
>multiplex to confuse the populace as well.

Yeah, whatever. I've not heard anyone in NCDOT sound concerned over
these potential situations. I guess they don't think the travelling
public is that stupid.

>I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?) south
>to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be done
>with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).

Wetlands, historic properties, loss of access to adjacent properties,
the need for interchanges at all major crossings, endangered species,
etc, etc. Other than those issues you are right; it's not a big deal.

John Lansford, PE

The unofficial I-26 Construction Webpage:
http://users.vnet.net/lansford/a10/

Sandor G

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 5:10:05 PM10/12/02
to
"Sherman Cahal" <she...@cahaltech.com> wrote in message
news:3da85...@corp.newsgroups.com...

> > Ohio--
> > I was always more familiar with the proposals for I-73 north of
Columbus.
> > As far as I was concerned, US 23, south of Columbus was good enough and
> ODOT
> > could work with it. From my own observations bypasses would have to be
> > built around: I-270 to South Bloomfield, Circleville (sort of), and
> > Waverly-Piketon (Portsmouth has long been designated to have a by-pass).
>
> They have narrowed down the routes from what I heard to 3 alignments.
>
> > In reference to Circleville, a new interchange with US 22/Oh 56 would
have
> > to be built (cloverleaf ramps signed for 15 MPH!) and decisions about
> access
> > to the retail and industrial sites south of Circleville (4 intersections
> > with traffic lights here).
>
> Traffic is pretty bad there. New service roads should be constructed
> parallel of the roadway and new mainline road should be constructed in the
> middle.
>
> > Chillicothe is the only city I've encountered in Ohio that has it's
> business
> > route (for US 23) mentioned on BGS. In all other cases I've encountered
> the
> > business routes are either signed locally or even not at all.
>
> There is a business route in Portsmouth but it's not on a BGS.

I saw that (I think for US 23). It's similiar in style to this one for US
30 http://www.roadfan.com/lhb30buc.jpg

> > To David Norris and Sherman: I found the last remnant of I-73/74 in
Ohio.
> > There is a small green sign along US 52 EB just before the interchange
> with
> > Oh 140 referring to the Great Lakes-Atlantic Corridor. Get a picture of
> it
> > before Ohio decides to do away with this sign as well!
>
> That sign has been there for a good long time. I don't think it's going
> anywhere.

I'd figure someone not in favor of I-73, within ODOT, would catch wind of
this sign and have it erradicated.
Plus the fact that I probally won't be down in that area anytime in the near
future.

> > West Virginia--
> > US 52 is a tough drive from I-64 to Bluefield!
>
> Tough and very bumpy. The road was mainly complted north of Williamson in
> the late 1970's, and north of Prichard (and some south of) in the mid
> 1960's.

What do you mean by completed? It didn't exist beforehand, or it wasn't
paved before then?

> > Whether it be 4 lanes with access or interstate style, there is enough
> truck
> > traffic to warrant upgrading US 52 (and that's with coal trains passing
by
> > every other minute by US 52 as well).
>
> Lots of coal trucks but lots of places to pass; too bad traffic is pretty
> heavy that you CAN'T pass them...

So I experienced

> > What's with the secret (almost completed) bypass of Crum? From the
amount
> > of usage I saw, one would think WVaDOT forgot to abandoned it.
>
> It's not all finished. Note that one lane is striped for each direction on
> seperate roadways, except past CR 52-31, where it becomes one lane on a 2
> lane roadway eastbound, and two way on a 2 lane roadway westbound; very
odd
> configuration and confusing. There are bridge stubs for interchanges at US
> 52 and WV 52-31, with the at-grades (2 of them) easily removable. The sign
> at US 52 was gone (just an arrow left) back in June 2002, and probably
said
> "WV 52-31". Note, that this is all dependent on funding, so I don't see
this
> road going anywhere for another year.

There was no signage on either end of it to draw attention to it.
I'd figure that WVaDoT would just put some portible Jersey Bariers to block
it off, and let it go back to nature.

> > US 119/US 52 near Williamson does cross between Kentucky and West
Virginia
> > several times and has SGS mentioning which state and county one is in at
> > each border crossing.
> > My new favorite business - Bill's Videos and Taxidermy
> > Was Kimball one of the towns hard hit from the spring floods of this
year?
> > I've never seen a whole street of abandoned buildings.]
>
> Probably. Looks like Welch.

There is a "scenic" overlook of Welch from US 52, and from what I saw Welch
looks like Columbus compared to Kimball.

> > The only construction I saw, in reference to I-73/74 in West Virginia
was
> > east of Bluefield at the intersection of US 52 & 460.
>
> High speed trumpet interchange.

I thought it might be for some sort of I-73/74 bypass of Bluefield (maybe
just wishful thinking on my part)

--
Sandor G
Graduate - Ohio State, March 02
www.roadfan.com

> -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----

Sandor G

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Oct 12, 2002, 5:20:05 PM10/12/02
to
"John Lansford" <jlns...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:ba1hquo7ea17v4eg1...@4ax.com...

> "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote:
>
> >North Carolina--
> >Only saw one sign referencing I-73 north of I-40 (near Mayoden-Madison)
> >along US 220.
> >Getting I-73 built in northern Guilford Co. (from near the Airport to
north
> >of Summerfield) is going to be a major challenge. Two lane highways,
plenty
> >of houses. I can just see the NIMBY factor coming into play (if it
hasn't
> >already).
> >What's the difference between the sections of US 220 with the Future I-73
> >(and I-74) shields and the one section "officially" signed and marked on
> >everyone's maps? I saw no traffic lights, intersections, or anything
else
> >that would automatically disqualify it. You (NCDoT) already glossed one
> >section as I-73, make it official all the way north to I-40!
>
> US 220 between Asheboro and Greensboro is most definitely
> sub-interstate standard. There is one interchange just north of US 64
> where all the ramps enter and leave US 220 from the left, for example.
> There are other substandard interchanges along this section as well,
> plus the shoulders are not up to interstate standard, as are the accel
> decel lane lengths. The section south of Asheboro has the proper lane
> lengths and shoulder design, making the interstate designation easier.

I recall seeing the one SPUI (the all left-hand exit), but I didn't notice
the shoulders or accel/decel lanes being "substandarded" (then again
compared to South Carolina, North Carolina highways looked like they're from
the 22nd century).

> >Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a I-73/NC
73
> >multiplex to confuse the populace as well.
>
> Yeah, whatever. I've not heard anyone in NCDOT sound concerned over
> these potential situations. I guess they don't think the travelling
> public is that stupid.

Time will tell I suppose.

> >I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?)
south
> >to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be done
> >with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).
>
> Wetlands, historic properties, loss of access to adjacent properties,
> the need for interchanges at all major crossings, endangered species,
> etc, etc. Other than those issues you are right; it's not a big deal.

A bridge here, loss of access there, then you're talking Interstates!

> John Lansford, PE
>
> The unofficial I-26 Construction Webpage:
> http://users.vnet.net/lansford/a10/

--

Sherman Cahal

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Oct 12, 2002, 5:29:46 PM10/12/02
to

> I saw that (I think for US 23). It's similiar in style to this one for US
> 30 http://www.roadfan.com/lhb30buc.jpg

That's it.

> > > To David Norris and Sherman: I found the last remnant of I-73/74 in
> Ohio.
> > > There is a small green sign along US 52 EB just before the interchange
> > with
> > > Oh 140 referring to the Great Lakes-Atlantic Corridor. Get a picture
of
> > it
> > > before Ohio decides to do away with this sign as well!
> >
> > That sign has been there for a good long time. I don't think it's going
> > anywhere.
>
> I'd figure someone not in favor of I-73, within ODOT, would catch wind of
> this sign and have it erradicated.
> Plus the fact that I probally won't be down in that area anytime in the
near
> future.

Noone is against I-73 in southern Ohio. About 2 years ago, they held a
meeting in anticipation that I-73 would come north, and favored it greatly.

> > > West Virginia--
> > > US 52 is a tough drive from I-64 to Bluefield!
> >
> > Tough and very bumpy. The road was mainly complted north of Williamson
in
> > the late 1970's, and north of Prichard (and some south of) in the mid
> > 1960's.
>
> What do you mean by completed? It didn't exist beforehand, or it wasn't
> paved before then?

It turned right on what is now WV 152 all the way to Huntington and crossed
on what is now WV 527 to Ohio. The route was upgraded considerably. From the
WV 152 junction to the I-64 interchange, it was upgraded from a narrow 2
lane road that was a mix of gravel, dirt, and asphalt to what it is today.

> > It's not all finished. Note that one lane is striped for each direction
on
> > seperate roadways, except past CR 52-31, where it becomes one lane on a
2
> > lane roadway eastbound, and two way on a 2 lane roadway westbound; very
> odd
> > configuration and confusing. There are bridge stubs for interchanges at
US
> > 52 and WV 52-31, with the at-grades (2 of them) easily removable. The
sign
> > at US 52 was gone (just an arrow left) back in June 2002, and probably
> said
> > "WV 52-31". Note, that this is all dependent on funding, so I don't see
> this
> > road going anywhere for another year.
>
> There was no signage on either end of it to draw attention to it.
> I'd figure that WVaDoT would just put some portible Jersey Bariers to
block
> it off, and let it go back to nature.

Well it does serve WV 52-31... I was one of about 5 cars I saw on that road
that day.

> > > US 119/US 52 near Williamson does cross between Kentucky and West
> Virginia
> > > several times and has SGS mentioning which state and county one is in
at
> > > each border crossing.
> > > My new favorite business - Bill's Videos and Taxidermy
> > > Was Kimball one of the towns hard hit from the spring floods of this
> year?
> > > I've never seen a whole street of abandoned buildings.]
> >
> > Probably. Looks like Welch.
>
> There is a "scenic" overlook of Welch from US 52, and from what I saw
Welch
> looks like Columbus compared to Kimball.
>
> > > The only construction I saw, in reference to I-73/74 in West Virginia
> was
> > > east of Bluefield at the intersection of US 52 & 460.
> >
> > High speed trumpet interchange.
>
> I thought it might be for some sort of I-73/74 bypass of Bluefield (maybe
> just wishful thinking on my part)

It will be for I-73/74 but no signs are up stating this yet.

Steve

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Oct 12, 2002, 6:25:41 PM10/12/02
to
Sandor G wrote:

> South Carolina--
> Saw at least one BGS along US 1, SC 9, SC 38, and US 501 mentioning they
> will be used as the I-73 corridor.
> Where is I-73 "supposed to go" from Conway? Along SC 22 (north of Myrtle
> Beach), US 501 (to Myrtle Beach) or US 701 (to Georgetown). Going from
> Andy's research, I followed US 701, but I saw no references to I-73 along
> this route. Did South Carolina change it's mind recently, or did I mis read
> Andy's work?

I thought it would be 22... it's still in the process of getting
extended, looked Interstate-ish from 17.

--
Steve from New Jersey
Civil Engineering (Course 1) at MIT

Ernest Cline

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Oct 12, 2002, 8:29:23 PM10/12/02
to

"Steve" <smal...@hackmit.edu> wrote in message
news:3DA8A165...@hackmit.edu...

SC 22 (the Conway Bypass) is completed. It runs from US 501 NW of Conway to
US 17 just north of Nyrtle Beach.
It may become part of I-73, but AFAIK that is not set in concrete.

SC 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) is under construction on the landward side of
the Intracoastal Waterway. It is slated to be part of I-74. It runs from SC
9 to US 501 had currently has only two other exits: One is where it crosses
SC 22 and the other is the Central Parkway Crossover which will cross over
the Intracoastal and connect to US 17 and is located roughly equidistant
between US 501 and SC 22. The Crossover has been proposed to be numbered as
I-174, but AFAIK, AASHTO has not approved this designation yet.


John Lansford

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 9:34:12 PM10/12/02
to
"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote:

>>"John Lansford" <jlns...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message

>> US 220 between Asheboro and Greensboro is most definitely


>> sub-interstate standard. There is one interchange just north of US 64
>> where all the ramps enter and leave US 220 from the left, for example.
>> There are other substandard interchanges along this section as well,
>> plus the shoulders are not up to interstate standard, as are the accel
>> decel lane lengths. The section south of Asheboro has the proper lane
>> lengths and shoulder design, making the interstate designation easier.
>
>I recall seeing the one SPUI (the all left-hand exit), but I didn't notice
>the shoulders or accel/decel lanes being "substandarded" (then again
>compared to South Carolina, North Carolina highways looked like they're from
>the 22nd century).

It's not a SPUI. It simply has two bridges over US 220 and an
embankment between them where all the ramps converge. I don't know for
the life of me why it was designed like this, but FHWA has told us
I-73 won't be designated for this section until it's gone.

Sonic

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 11:16:43 PM10/12/02
to
"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message news:<b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net>...
> I missed the I-74/US 74 debate, while I was scouting out the route of it's
> better known brother.

They both are pretty equal..and as you move further south 74 is better
known than 73.

> This trip was supposed to be alot longer, but car trouble shortened this
> trip in half (more about this at the end).

what was the rest of the route to be.

<snip>

> Virginia--

<<snip>

> I sort of understand why a new alignment for I-73/US 220 would have to be
> built between Roanoke and Martinsville, but that drive wasn't as hard as I
> envisioned it to be.

No, it is a very nice drive. However, it would be highly difficult to
upgrade US 220. There would be a lot of curves needed to be removed
(220 was twinned by just adding aa new two lanes, very common for
Virginia and it makes it fun to drive some of the old alignments)

I'd hope the Rocky Mount and Martinsville by-passes be
> included.

they'd need a massive upgrade most of those bypasses were buil in the
60s.

>
> North Carolina--
> Only saw one sign referencing I-73 north of I-40 (near Mayoden-Madison)
> along US 220.
> Getting I-73 built in northern Guilford Co. (from near the Airport to north
> of Summerfield) is going to be a major challenge. Two lane highways, plenty
> of houses. I can just see the NIMBY factor coming into play (if it hasn't
> already).

Well most of I-73 in the Triad would be on new highways and not on an
upgrade.

> What's the difference between the sections of US 220 with the Future I-73
> (and I-74) shields and the one section "officially" signed and marked on
> everyone's maps? I saw no traffic lights, intersections, or anything else
> that would automatically disqualify it. You (NCDoT) already glossed one
> section as I-73, make it official all the way north to I-40!

Well, the state is only signing those stretches that meet the
standards..and Asheboro is clearly below standard.

> Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a I-73/NC 73
> multiplex to confuse the populace as well.
>
> South Carolina--
> Saw at least one BGS along US 1, SC 9, SC 38, and US 501 mentioning they
> will be used as the I-73 corridor.
> Where is I-73 "supposed to go" from Conway? Along SC 22 (north of Myrtle
> Beach), US 501 (to Myrtle Beach) or US 701 (to Georgetown). Going from
> Andy's research, I followed US 701, but I saw no references to I-73 along
> this route. Did South Carolina change it's mind recently, or did I mis read
> Andy's work?

Basically when the corridor hits SC 22 it is possible for the
designation to change. You should have read
http://www.gribblenation.com/conway_bypass/ also before ya left. The
state is formally pushing for I-73 to follow SC 22.

> I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?) south
> to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be done
> with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).

It's not as easy as you think, Sandor. US 17 does run through a
national forest for one.

>
> Other South Carolina comments--
> Nice to see sporadic exit numbering along I-526. Come on SCDoT, unless
> you're going to build some more (and even then, where are you going to go,
> into the ocean?) number the exits.
> Another complaint I have about South Carolina, add shoulders to the sides of
> your highways! If every other state in the union can do this, you can to.
>

You haven't driven much in the South have you?

> Other observations along the trip back--
> For those who keep track of interstate cloverleafs, I-26/I-95 & I-77/I-40
> converge as such.
> Control cities for I-77 SB between I-20 & I-26 (around Columbia) are
> Charleston & Spartanburg
> Encountered a traffic jam along I-77 NB between I-485 and I-277 in Charlotte
> during the lunch hour. Maybe Charlotte should look at Atlanta and not make
> the same mistakes they did. I-485 is not going help alleviate traffic along
> I-77. I-77 needs be widened (sooner or later).

I'm sure you did notice the widening from four to eight lanes taking
place from I-85 up to Harris Blvd. (Exit 13 to 18) which is 100 days
ahead of schedule.

Sonic

unread,
Oct 12, 2002, 11:21:28 PM10/12/02
to
John Lansford <jlns...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message news:<ba1hquo7ea17v4eg1...@4ax.com>...

> "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote:
>
> >Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a I-73/NC 73
> >multiplex to confuse the populace as well.
>
> Yeah, whatever. I've not heard anyone in NCDOT sound concerned over
> these potential situations. I guess they don't think the travelling
> public is that stupid.

Actually, yes we are that stupid, John. I have an employee that
refers to I-85 in Gaston County as I-85 East. "It runs east, dang gum
it."

Sandor G

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 11:12:20 AM10/13/02
to
"Sonic" <apri...@carolina.rr.com> wrote in message
news:81086de.02101...@posting.google.com...

> "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
news:<b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net>...
> > I missed the I-74/US 74 debate, while I was scouting out the route of
it's
> > better known brother.
>
> They both are pretty equal..and as you move further south 74 is better
> known than 73.
>
> > This trip was supposed to be alot longer, but car trouble shortened this
> > trip in half (more about this at the end).
>
> what was the rest of the route to be.

Once upon a time I had hope to drive south to Key West, and more-or-less
along both shores of Florida, do Selma to Montgomery Ala, and mop up some
more Blues Music sites in Mississippi & Memphis.
Instead I did an I-77 tour. :-)

> <snip>
>
> > Virginia--
>
> <<snip>
>
> > I sort of understand why a new alignment for I-73/US 220 would have to
be
> > built between Roanoke and Martinsville, but that drive wasn't as hard as
I
> > envisioned it to be.
>
> No, it is a very nice drive. However, it would be highly difficult to
> upgrade US 220. There would be a lot of curves needed to be removed
> (220 was twinned by just adding aa new two lanes, very common for
> Virginia and it makes it fun to drive some of the old alignments)

Which section is the old alignment for US 220 between Roanoke and
Martinsville, NB or SB?

> I'd hope the Rocky Mount and Martinsville by-passes be
> > included.
>
> they'd need a massive upgrade most of those bypasses were buil in the
> 60s.
>
> >
> > North Carolina--
> > Only saw one sign referencing I-73 north of I-40 (near Mayoden-Madison)
> > along US 220.
> > Getting I-73 built in northern Guilford Co. (from near the Airport to
north
> > of Summerfield) is going to be a major challenge. Two lane highways,
plenty
> > of houses. I can just see the NIMBY factor coming into play (if it
hasn't
> > already).
>
> Well most of I-73 in the Triad would be on new highways and not on an
> upgrade.

I still envision problems, especially for that small section just beyond the
Airport (for lack of better landmarks to use)

> > What's the difference between the sections of US 220 with the Future
I-73
> > (and I-74) shields and the one section "officially" signed and marked on
> > everyone's maps? I saw no traffic lights, intersections, or anything
else
> > that would automatically disqualify it. You (NCDoT) already glossed one
> > section as I-73, make it official all the way north to I-40!
>
> Well, the state is only signing those stretches that meet the
> standards..and Asheboro is clearly below standard.

As John has explained to me (guess I've witnessed too many northern
exceptions grandfathered in to understand everyone's problems down south).

> > Not only would NC have the I-74/US 74 mess, one would also have a
I-73/NC 73
> > multiplex to confuse the populace as well.
> >
> > South Carolina--
> > Saw at least one BGS along US 1, SC 9, SC 38, and US 501 mentioning they
> > will be used as the I-73 corridor.
> > Where is I-73 "supposed to go" from Conway? Along SC 22 (north of
Myrtle
> > Beach), US 501 (to Myrtle Beach) or US 701 (to Georgetown). Going from
> > Andy's research, I followed US 701, but I saw no references to I-73
along
> > this route. Did South Carolina change it's mind recently, or did I mis
read
> > Andy's work?
>
> Basically when the corridor hits SC 22 it is possible for the
> designation to change. You should have read
> http://www.gribblenation.com/conway_bypass/ also before ya left. The
> state is formally pushing for I-73 to follow SC 22.

I should of <shrug>.
Actually this brings another point I forgot to ask in my original post.
What happened to all the I-73/74 pictures on the web? I did look at
GribbleNation collection and Stefora's, but there isn't as much out there
now as there was, say, a year ago.

> > I don't understand what everyone's problem was with routing I-73 (74?)
south
> > to Charleston was. Drop it on US 17, build some access roads and be
done
> > with it (until you get close to I-526 & Charleston).
>
> It's not as easy as you think, Sandor. US 17 does run through a
> national forest for one.

So does I-93 :-)

> >
> > Other South Carolina comments--
> > Nice to see sporadic exit numbering along I-526. Come on SCDoT, unless
> > you're going to build some more (and even then, where are you going to
go,
> > into the ocean?) number the exits.
> > Another complaint I have about South Carolina, add shoulders to the
sides of
> > your highways! If every other state in the union can do this, you can
to.
> >
>
> You haven't driven much in the South have you?

Nope (up till 5 years ago, I had only been south of I-70 3 times)

> > Other observations along the trip back--
> > For those who keep track of interstate cloverleafs, I-26/I-95 &
I-77/I-40
> > converge as such.
> > Control cities for I-77 SB between I-20 & I-26 (around Columbia) are
> > Charleston & Spartanburg
> > Encountered a traffic jam along I-77 NB between I-485 and I-277 in
Charlotte
> > during the lunch hour. Maybe Charlotte should look at Atlanta and not
make
> > the same mistakes they did. I-485 is not going help alleviate traffic
along
> > I-77. I-77 needs be widened (sooner or later).
>
> I'm sure you did notice the widening from four to eight lanes taking
> place from I-85 up to Harris Blvd. (Exit 13 to 18) which is 100 days
> ahead of schedule.

I noticed the construction (I had skipped I-77 between exits 16 & 18)
I'll be curious to see how things shake out in Charlotte after I-485 is
completed.

Joshua E. Rodd

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 6:02:05 PM10/13/02
to
Sandor G wrote:
> My new favorite business - Bill's Videos and Taxidermy

I recall seeing a video-rental and taxidermist place (run out of what
looked like a small industrial building) on Pa. Rt. 66 somewhere between
Shippensville and Kane. I'm a bit puzzled as to the synergy here.

--
Joshua E. Rodd <jos...@rodd.us>

Adam Prince

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 6:56:00 PM10/13/02
to

"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
news:r3gq9.1159$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net...

> "Sonic" <apri...@carolina.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:81086de.02101...@posting.google.com...
> > "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
> news:<b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net>...
> > > I missed the I-74/US 74 debate, while I was scouting out the > > No,

it is a very nice drive. However, it would be highly difficult to
> > upgrade US 220. There would be a lot of curves needed to be removed
> > (220 was twinned by just adding aa new two lanes, very common for
> > Virginia and it makes it fun to drive some of the old alignments)
>
> Which section is the old alignment for US 220 between Roanoke and
> Martinsville, NB or SB?
>

It varies...goes back and forth...but you can easily tell by one direction
mof a straight grade and the other going up and down with some great chutes

> > I'd hope the Rocky Mount and Martinsville by-passes be
> > > included.

<snip<

> > Basically when the corridor hits SC 22 it is possible for the
> > designation to change. You should have read
> > http://www.gribblenation.com/conway_bypass/ also before ya left. The
> > state is formally pushing for I-73 to follow SC 22.
>
> I should of <shrug>.
> Actually this brings another point I forgot to ask in my original post.
> What happened to all the I-73/74 pictures on the web? I did look at
> GribbleNation collection and Stefora's, but there isn't as much out there
> now as there was, say, a year ago.

There never has been a high amount of 73./74 NC photos out there. Unless
there may have been an odd one or two on the AARoads Gallery. Plus, Bob
Malme's site has some additional photos of his own.

<snip>

> > I'm sure you did notice the widening from four to eight lanes taking
> > place from I-85 up to Harris Blvd. (Exit 13 to 18) which is 100 days
> > ahead of schedule.
>
> I noticed the construction (I had skipped I-77 between exits 16 & 18)
> I'll be curious to see how things shake out in Charlotte after I-485 is
> completed.

How did you skip 77 from Sunset to Harris Blvd?

Sherman Cahal

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 7:51:06 PM10/13/02
to
> > I should of <shrug>.
> > Actually this brings another point I forgot to ask in my original post.
> > What happened to all the I-73/74 pictures on the web? I did look at
> > GribbleNation collection and Stefora's, but there isn't as much out
there
> > now as there was, say, a year ago.
>
> There never has been a high amount of 73./74 NC photos out there. Unless
> there may have been an odd one or two on the AARoads Gallery. Plus, Bob
> Malme's site has some additional photos of his own.

I have quite a few from West Virginia and I have the storage space now to
put them all on... only if my server would come back alive... it's been down
for 3 days straight.

Sandor G

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 8:11:49 PM10/13/02
to
"Adam Prince" <apri...@HISPAMMERScarolina.rr.com> wrote in message
news:4Smq9.16737$VQ.6...@twister.southeast.rr.com...

>
> "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
> news:r3gq9.1159$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net...
> > "Sonic" <apri...@carolina.rr.com> wrote in message
> > news:81086de.02101...@posting.google.com...
> > > "Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote in message
> > news:<b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net>...
> > > > I missed the I-74/US 74 debate, while I was scouting out the > > No,
> it is a very nice drive. However, it would be highly difficult to
> > > upgrade US 220. There would be a lot of curves needed to be removed
> > > (220 was twinned by just adding aa new two lanes, very common for
> > > Virginia and it makes it fun to drive some of the old alignments)
> >
> > Which section is the old alignment for US 220 between Roanoke and
> > Martinsville, NB or SB?
> >
>
> It varies...goes back and forth...but you can easily tell by one direction
> mof a straight grade and the other going up and down with some great
chutes

If that be the case then SB looked to have more bounce and curve to it
(though I didn't travel NB, so it would be hard for me to argue that)

> > > I'd hope the Rocky Mount and Martinsville by-passes be
> > > > included.
>
> <snip<
>
> > > Basically when the corridor hits SC 22 it is possible for the
> > > designation to change. You should have read
> > > http://www.gribblenation.com/conway_bypass/ also before ya left. The
> > > state is formally pushing for I-73 to follow SC 22.
> >
> > I should of <shrug>.
> > Actually this brings another point I forgot to ask in my original post.
> > What happened to all the I-73/74 pictures on the web? I did look at
> > GribbleNation collection and Stefora's, but there isn't as much out
there
> > now as there was, say, a year ago.
>
> There never has been a high amount of 73./74 NC photos out there. Unless
> there may have been an odd one or two on the AARoads Gallery. Plus, Bob
> Malme's site has some additional photos of his own.

I saw Bob's introduction to MTR, but didn't think about his site when I did
my planning for this trip.
I'll add to my (nonexistant at this time) list.

> <snip>
>
> > > I'm sure you did notice the widening from four to eight lanes taking
> > > place from I-85 up to Harris Blvd. (Exit 13 to 18) which is 100 days
> > > ahead of schedule.
> >
> > I noticed the construction (I had skipped I-77 between exits 16 & 18)
> > I'll be curious to see how things shake out in Charlotte after I-485 is
> > completed.
>
> How did you skip 77 from Sunset to Harris Blvd?

Got off I-77 (at exit 16), turn right and followed US 21 up to Harris.

Sandor G

unread,
Oct 13, 2002, 8:22:17 PM10/13/02
to
"Sherman Cahal" <she...@cahaltech.com> wrote in message
news:3daa0...@corp.newsgroups.com...

> > > I should of <shrug>.
> > > Actually this brings another point I forgot to ask in my original
post.
> > > What happened to all the I-73/74 pictures on the web? I did look at
> > > GribbleNation collection and Stefora's, but there isn't as much out
> there
> > > now as there was, say, a year ago.
> >
> > There never has been a high amount of 73./74 NC photos out there.
Unless
> > there may have been an odd one or two on the AARoads Gallery. Plus, Bob
> > Malme's site has some additional photos of his own.
>
> I have quite a few from West Virginia and I have the storage space now to
> put them all on... only if my server would come back alive... it's been
down
> for 3 days straight.

I was wondering what happened to all your I-73/74 photos

Bruce Harper

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 12:32:33 PM10/15/02
to
In article <b9Yp9.1096$j83.1...@cletus.bright.net>,
"Sandor G" <bt...@bright.net> wrote:

> Virginia--
> According to Andy's research, I-73 is, essentially, to follow US 460 to
> outside Blacksburg and then along the "Smart Road" to I-81. If that is the
> case, then what is with the US 460 freeway bypass of Christiansburg? Why
> not drop the I-73 designation on that instead and leave the "Smart Rd" for
> whatever Virginia Tech has planned for it.

Well, first you have to understand that there is a heavy dose of politics
in all this. I-73 was supposed to be multiplexed on I-77 in Virginia,
just to fill in the gap between West Virginia and North Carolina. But
some politicos in Roanoke wanted another interstate highway and
saw "free" money from the feds with I-73. The route (much to the
chagrin of North Carolina) was heavily bent east from Bluefield to
reach Roanoke and fulfill the dream of having a modern highway
to Greensboro. There were lots of vague mentions of "the
U.S. 460 corridor" between West Virginia and I-81 at Christiansburg,
since the main focus of the proponents was a new highway south
of Roanoke. There are still those who believe that a new highway
will be built there, but the realists know that it probably won't happen
in their lifetime. In fact, Sunday's Roanoke Times has an editorial
suggesting that an improved highway sooner would be better than
a 65-mph interstate "later" (see
http://www.roanoke.com/roatimes/news/story138013.html).
Most people agree that U.S. 220 needs to be improved in some fashion,
but there is a wide range of opinion on the "how."

The need for an improved highway between Blacksburg/Virginia Tech
and I-81 has been in existance since the '70s. VDOT finally started
the planning process in the mid '80s and selected the "connect the
bypasses" option (route 3-A) as the cheapest solution (rejecting some
form of direct connection to I-81 as too expensive). The politicos got
in this game and proposed a research highway as "A Good Thing" ( Martha
Stewart). The Smart Road ended up on one of the rejected routes; as
part of the propoganda to get the road built, proponents offered up
"it will eventually be needed as another connection to I-81 when
the new road is over capacity" (they didn't have an answer as to why
not build 3-A to have a greater capacity). Tagging the Smart Road as
a route for the future I-73 was just an extra little piece of "why this
road is so important." Unless $100 bills just start falling from heaven
in the New River and Roanoke Valleys, it is highly unlikely that I-73
will ever exist in Virginia any time in the future.

> Speaking of US 460 and the "Smart Road," looking at a local map of the
> junction between the two US 460s (by-pass and business) and the "Smart
> Road," I've never seen such a complicated exit configuration. I could
> scribble a bunch of lines and have them make more sense than that
> interchange.

All part of the "we need this road to solve highway capacity problems in
the future." If the Smart Road were built as a research facility only
with no promise or pretense of ever becoming a through road, the
Blacksburg interchange could have been much simpler. Things are better
now since the sign crews are just about done, but when the new road and
ramps opened, people ended up going where they didn't want to go because
they got confused with all the unmarked (or poorly marked) ramps. On
the other hand, there would still be a profusion of ramps to make this a
decent "full service" interchange that allows drivers to easily get from
pretty much any road to any other road out there (i.e., from any
direction on U.S. 460 Business to any direction on U.S. 460 Bypass
and vice versa).

> On the flip side, I recommend the Ramada Inn on Business US 460, south of
> Blacksburg, just because you get a great(!) view of the construction on the
> "Smart Road" and said interchange from that site (though the 5 ft. tall
> shower head clearance sucks).

That place (which once was a Holiday Inn) is one of the great business
mysteries in Blacksburg. Other than home Virginia Tech football games,
VT and Radford graduation, and student move-in, the place is pretty much
deserted, leaving us locals to wonder how the place stays in business.

I'm hurt that you didn't call while you were here :-( I hope you at
least waved in my direction, either towards downtown or to the
west just after you crossed under Prices Fork Road on U.S. 460.

Bruce in Blackburg

--
Bruce Harper
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Virginia
bharper at vt.edu

Scott M. Kozel

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 6:06:43 PM10/15/02
to
Bruce Harper <vtwe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> I-73 was supposed to be multiplexed on I-77 in Virginia,
> just to fill in the gap between West Virginia and North Carolina.

I've disagreed with you on that statement before, and asked you for a
citation. The first time that I-73 showed up in the VDOT Six-Year
program was in 1995, and it was on a routing through the Roanoke area.

> The need for an improved highway between Blacksburg/Virginia Tech
> and I-81 has been in existance since the '70s. VDOT finally started
> the planning process in the mid '80s and selected the "connect the
> bypasses" option (route 3-A) as the cheapest solution (rejecting some
> form of direct connection to I-81 as too expensive). The politicos got

> in this game and proposed a research highway as "A Good Thing" (`artha


> Stewart). The Smart Road ended up on one of the rejected routes;

Not so. The Smart Road was conceived in 1985 as the 5.7-mile-long
Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector from US-460 to I-81, something that
officials of both cities lobbied for, as a more direct connection
between the two cities. Given the circuitous routing of US-460 and I-81
to connect those two cities, the Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector would have
value separate from that of 3-A.

--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com

Sandor G

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 8:36:07 PM10/15/02
to
"Bruce Harper" <vtwe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:vtwebman-856D55...@solaris.cc.vt.edu...

Damn, and everyone blames Ohio for the "downfall" of I-73/74. Virginia
doesn't want to post I-74 shields along I-77, doesn't want to do the same
for I-73 from Blacksburg to I-81 to I-581.
Anyway to get the original act of Congress that made I-73/74 "law." revoked
(like prohibition, but without the constitutional acts)?

Either they have alot of turnover (no money = no jobs), or they get alot of
straglers inbetween points A & B (I noticed more than a handful of cars in
the lot that night)

> I'm hurt that you didn't call while you were here :-( I hope you at
> least waved in my direction, either towards downtown or to the
> west just after you crossed under Prices Fork Road on U.S. 460.

You don't post your phone number on MTR so I couldn't call. :-)
However, I might have passed you while traveling about Blackburg looking for
a hotel.

> Bruce in Blackburg
>
> --
> Bruce Harper
> Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Virginia
> bharper at vt.edu

--

Bruce Harper

unread,
Oct 16, 2002, 12:24:04 PM10/16/02
to
In article <3DAC9174...@attbi.com>,

"Scott M. Kozel" <koz...@attbi.com> wrote:

> Bruce Harper <vtwe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I-73 was supposed to be multiplexed on I-77 in Virginia,
> > just to fill in the gap between West Virginia and North Carolina.
>
> I've disagreed with you on that statement before, and asked you for a
> citation. The first time that I-73 showed up in the VDOT Six-Year
> program was in 1995, and it was on a routing through the Roanoke area.
>

> Not so. The Smart Road was conceived in 1985 as the 5.7-mile-long
> Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector from US-460 to I-81, something that
> officials of both cities lobbied for, as a more direct connection
> between the two cities. Given the circuitous routing of US-460 and I-81
> to connect those two cities, the Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector would have
> value separate from that of 3-A.

Now I'll have to put in some microfilm time over at the library. Had I
been thinking at the time, I would have held on to some of the stuff
handed out at the VDOT information session on U.S. 460 improvements.
There were something like 15-17 potential routes/plans presented, from
"do nothing" to "upgrade the existing road" to various routes from both
north and south of Blacksburg to various locations on I-81, plus several
variations on new parallel roadways. The Smart Road is on Route 12,
I believe. The road that is open today is Route 3A, a compromise on
location and cost. Most folks in Blacksburg wanted a more direct route,
either up the Ellett Valley to or near the Ironto exit or somewhere along
the route of the Smart Road. The folks in Christiansburg saw a loss of
business if traffic were able to bypass it. VDOT saw high costs in the
direct routes. The end result was the "connect the bypasses" and link
to a new I-81 exit. The Roanoke Times has the info; I'll just have to
track it down.

Bruce in Blacksburg

Bruce Harper

unread,
Oct 18, 2002, 12:44:13 PM10/18/02
to
In article <3DAC9174...@attbi.com>,
"Scott M. Kozel" <koz...@attbi.com> wrote:

> Bruce Harper <vtwe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I-73 was supposed to be multiplexed on I-77 in Virginia,
> > just to fill in the gap between West Virginia and North Carolina.
>
> I've disagreed with you on that statement before, and asked you for a
> citation. The first time that I-73 showed up in the VDOT Six-Year
> program was in 1995, and it was on a routing through the Roanoke area.

It probably isn't the smoking gun you want, but here are the beginnings
of the documentation on the initial (vague) routing of I-73 in Virginia
on I-77 and the later specific change that was made to move the route to
the U.S. 220/I-81/U.S. 460 corridor.

Per the initial passage of ISTEA in 1991, I-73 was pretty generally
routed from Winston-Salem, NC to Portsmouth, Ohio, with the route
between those points left as an exercise for the reader. In Virginia,
the route between North Carolina and West Virginia was laid out as a
multiplex on I-77, according the the news reports (which I'm digging
for) of the time. After the politicos got involved, a very specific
routing to the east was laid out in the 1995 act that changed and
updated ISTEA.

From the National Transportation Library
(http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/istea.html)

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
Public Law 102-240

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act of 1991''.

SEC. 1105. HIGH PRIORITY CORRIDORS ON NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

(c) Identification of High Priority Corridors on National Highway
System.-The following are high priority corridors on the National
Highway System:

(5) I 73/74 North-South Corridor from Charleston, South Carolina,
through Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Ohio, to
Cincinnati, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan.

------------

From http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/title3.html#332

NHS DESIGNATION ACT OF 1995
P.L. 104-59, 109 STAT. 588

SEC. 332. HIGH PRIORITY CORRIDORS.

(a) IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH PRIORITY CORRIDORS-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 1105(c) of the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (105 Stat. 2032) is amended--

(A) <snip -- doesn't apply to discussion>

(B) by striking paragraph (5) and inserting the following:

'(5)(A) I-73/74 North-South Corridor from Charleston, South Carolina,
through Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Ohio, to
Cincinnati, Ohio, to termini at Detroit, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie,
Michigan. The Sault Ste. Marie terminus shall be reached via a corridor
connecting Adrian, Jackson, Lansing, Mount Pleasant, and Grayling,
Michigan.

'(B)(i) In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Corridor shall generally
follow--

'(I) United States Route 220 from the Virginia-North Carolina border to
I-581 south of Roanoke;

'(II) I-581 to I-81 in the vicinity of Roanoke;

'(III) I-81 to the proposed highway to demonstrate intelligent
transportation systems authorized by item 29 of the table in section
1107(b) in the vicinity of Christiansburg to United States Route 460 in
the vicinity of Blacksburg; and

'(IV) United States Route 460 to the West Virginia State line.

'(ii) In the States of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, the Corridor
shall generally follow--

'(I) United States Route 460 from the West Virginia State line to
United States Route 52 at Bluefield, West Virginia; and

'(II) United States Route 52 to United States Route 23 at Portsmouth,
Ohio.

'(iii) In the States of North Carolina and South Carolina, the Corridor
shall generally follow--

'(I) in the case of I-73--

'(aa) United States Route 220 from the Virginia State line to State
Route 68 in the vicinity of Greensboro;

'(bb) State Route 68 to I-40;

'(cc) I-40 to United States Route 220 in Greensboro;

'(dd) United States Route 220 to United States Route 1 near Rockingham;

'(ee) United States Route 1 to the South Carolina State line; and

'(ff) South Carolina State line to Charleston, South Carolina; and

'(II) in the case of I-74--

'(aa) I-77 from Bluefield, West Virginia, to the junction of I-77 and
the United States Route 52 connector in Surry County, North Carolina;

'(bb) the I-77/United States Route 52 connector to United States Route
52 south of Mount Airy, North Carolina;

'(cc) United States Route 52 to United States Route 311 in
Winston-Salem, North Carolina;

'(dd) United States Route 311 to United States Route 220 in the
vicinity of Randleman, North Carolina;

'(ee) United States Route 220 to United States Route 74 near
Rockingham;

'(ff) United States Route 74 to United States Route 76 near Whiteville;

'(gg) United States Route 74/76 to the South Carolina State line in
Brunswick County; and

'(hh) South Carolina State line to Charleston, South Carolina.';

-----------
Bruce in Blacksburg

Scott M. Kozel

unread,
Oct 19, 2002, 12:36:12 AM10/19/02
to

ISTEA of 1991 laid out the general corridor. It specified the three end
cities, and two cities in between.

What you posted is the actual ISTEA legislative act. Given that ISTEA
authorized almost 1,000 miles of new I-73 and I-74 Interstate highway
with just 21 words, I wouldn't see it as any kind of "contract" as to
the exact routing. The writers of ISTEA would have known that each
state would need to conduct detailed location studies to determine the
exact location of the new highway.

That fact that it listed Winston-Salem, North Carolina, would tend to
provide a general corridor through southwest Virginia. Given that
Winston-Salem is only 28 miles from Greensboro, I could see where it
would be easy to justify during the location studies, having I-73 pass
through Greensboro instead, which is where it is now planned to pass
through.

> From http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/title3.html#332
>
> NHS DESIGNATION ACT OF 1995
> P.L. 104-59, 109 STAT. 588
>
> SEC. 332. HIGH PRIORITY CORRIDORS.
>
> (a) IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH PRIORITY CORRIDORS-
>
> (1) IN GENERAL- Section 1105(c) of the Intermodal Surface
> Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (105 Stat. 2032) is amended--

The enactment of the 150,000-mile National Highway System was critical
legislation in and of itself, and really more than just an amendment of
ISTEA of 1991.



> '(5)(A) I-73/74 North-South Corridor from Charleston, South Carolina,
> through Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Ohio, to
> Cincinnati, Ohio, to termini at Detroit, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie,
> Michigan. The Sault Ste. Marie terminus shall be reached via a corridor
> connecting Adrian, Jackson, Lansing, Mount Pleasant, and Grayling,
> Michigan.
>
> '(B)(i) In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Corridor shall generally
> follow--
>
> '(I) United States Route 220 from the Virginia-North Carolina border to
> I-581 south of Roanoke;
>
> '(II) I-581 to I-81 in the vicinity of Roanoke;
>
> '(III) I-81 to the proposed highway to demonstrate intelligent
> transportation systems authorized by item 29 of the table in section
> 1107(b) in the vicinity of Christiansburg to United States Route 460 in
> the vicinity of Blacksburg; and
>
> '(IV) United States Route 460 to the West Virginia State line.

[big snip, thanks for the info, Bruce]

So after the actual corridor studies had been carried out by the states,
the above routings is what was enacted when the National Highway System
was established in 1995. That included I-73 from I-40 at Greensboro NC
to I-81 at Roanoke VA.

That included the curvy routing of I-73 along the southern and western
edge of West Virginia. It also included extending I-73 through central
Michigan all the way to Canada.

I maintain what I said last week, that IMO with the amount of
overlapping and duplicity in the I-73 and I-74 proposals, that it looks
to me like various state delegations were trying to make the route look
"nationally important" so as to increase the likelihood of getting the
Interstate highways that they want. I can see four interregional
sections of the complex that would seem to make sense to be Interstate
freeways (one is from I-40 at Greensboro NC to I-81 at Roanoke VA), but
IMO existing Interstate highways already serve the general national
corridors.

Scott M. Kozel

unread,
Oct 20, 2002, 3:56:18 PM10/20/02
to

I have a copy of a US-460 public hearing brochure from 1989. I also
have copies of part of the Final EIS approved in 1993, for the
Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector, which had its own EIS.

In the FEIS under Project Location, there is a map showing a Bypass
Connector (Alt. 3A), a 641 Corridor (Alt. 6), and a 603 Corridor (Alts.
7 & 10).

Those were in the 1989 US-460 brochure, as well as a West Side Corridor
(Alt. 1) to the west of Christiansburg, and a Northern Corridor (Alt. 9)
from north of Blacksburg to I-81 at Elliston.

Alt. 3A was carried forward, and was just completed as the "connect the
bypasses" project, as Bruce said.

Carried forward into the Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector study, were the
641 Corridor (Alt. 6), and the 603 Corridor (Alts. 7 & 10). The 641
Corridor (Alt. 6) is the Smart Road corridor that was selected to be
built, and it will cut 4&1/2 miles off of the modern-highway distance
between Blacksburg and Roanoke.

The 603 Corridor (Alts. 7 & 10) had the same western end as Alt. 6, and
the eastern ends were in the Elliston area at I-81. Alts. 7 & 10
approached I-81 at a more acute angle than did the selected route, and
they were at a point of diminishing return as far as shortening the
distance between Blacksburg and Roanoke, due to the acute angle. The
rejected alternates were almost twice as long and with far greater
environmental impacts, than was the selected alternate, and Alts. 7 & 10
would have shortened the distance between Blacksburg and Roanoke by only
about an additional mile.

Bruce Harper

unread,
Oct 21, 2002, 6:16:51 PM10/21/02
to
In article <3DB30A5E...@attbi.com>,

"Scott M. Kozel" <koz...@attbi.com> wrote:

> I have a copy of a US-460 public hearing brochure from 1989. I also
> have copies of part of the Final EIS approved in 1993, for the
> Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector, which had its own EIS.
>
> In the FEIS under Project Location, there is a map showing a Bypass
> Connector (Alt. 3A), a 641 Corridor (Alt. 6), and a 603 Corridor (Alts.
> 7 & 10).
>
> Those were in the 1989 US-460 brochure, as well as a West Side Corridor
> (Alt. 1) to the west of Christiansburg, and a Northern Corridor (Alt. 9)
> from north of Blacksburg to I-81 at Elliston.
>
> Alt. 3A was carried forward, and was just completed as the "connect the
> bypasses" project, as Bruce said.
>
> Carried forward into the Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector study, were the
> 641 Corridor (Alt. 6), and the 603 Corridor (Alts. 7 & 10). The 641
> Corridor (Alt. 6) is the Smart Road corridor that was selected to be
> built, and it will cut 4&1/2 miles off of the modern-highway distance
> between Blacksburg and Roanoke.

Thanks for these details. I'm gradually pinning down some of the dates
and this helps. Although there were calls for improvements to U.S. 460
between Blacksburg and Christiansburg as early as the mid-'70s, VDOT
didn't hire a contractor and have a corridor study done until 1988. The
brochure you have is probably the presentation of the results to get
public input. I remember going to the meeting at the Holiday Inn (now
the Ramada) where all the route possibilities were presented.

An article from the Feb. 25, 1988 edition of the _News Messenger_ says
Blacksburg and Christiansburg/Montgomery County presented plans in
the summer of 1987 -- Blacksburg wanting improvements to Va. 641 for
a more direct link to Roanoke and C'burg and the county wanting to
connect the bypasses. As it played out, Christiansburg "won" in the
end, although the fast-food strip on Roanoke Street between the
former end of the Christiansburg bypass and exit 118 of I-81 was
passed by with the new link to I-81.

While it may be slightly true, the information about the genesis of the
Smart Road really comes in the early '90s, not 1985 as the article at
http://virginiadot.org/projects/constsal-smartrdhistory.asp implies.

> The 603 Corridor (Alts. 7 & 10) had the same western end as Alt. 6, and
> the eastern ends were in the Elliston area at I-81. Alts. 7 & 10
> approached I-81 at a more acute angle than did the selected route, and
> they were at a point of diminishing return as far as shortening the
> distance between Blacksburg and Roanoke, due to the acute angle. The
> rejected alternates were almost twice as long and with far greater
> environmental impacts, than was the selected alternate, and Alts. 7 & 10
> would have shortened the distance between Blacksburg and Roanoke by only
> about an additional mile.

While a nice highway down the Ellett Valley via Ironto, with a junction
at I-81 in the vicinity of the Ironto rest area would have been nice, the
price all the way around would have been high. Construction costs, if
the project even passed an environmental review, would have been
higher than the 3A project, mainly because of the increased distance.
Another down side would be that it would have created another major
highway pretty much parallel to I-81, without offering much traffic
relief to I-81 except at certain times (VT football games, start and end
of breaks at VT).

The folks in Blacksburg would probably have been happier with
Alternative 6, a more direct link to I-81. The planned interchange if
the Smart Road is extended will be just north of the overpass
across the Norfolk Southern tracks and Va. 641.

Of course, the problems all started back in the late '50s when the
"southern route" for I-81 was chosed instead of the "northern
route." The northern route would have followed the U.S. 11
corridor from Dublin to near Fairlawn, then along the VA 114 corridor
to U.S. 460 north of Christiansburg, then (according to one article)
along VA 111 through Cambria to U.S. 11 east of Christiansburg.
One of the deciding factors was the routing of what is now I-77;
the article I found says if the new highway from the end of the
West Virginia Turnpike went through Narrows, Pearisburg, Dublin
and on to Hillsville, then the northern route would be chosen.
I'm still digging on all that.

Scott M. Kozel

unread,
Oct 21, 2002, 7:21:30 PM10/21/02
to
Bruce Harper <vtwe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Scott M. Kozel" <koz...@attbi.com> wrote:
>
> > I have a copy of a US-460 public hearing brochure from 1989. I also
> > have copies of part of the Final EIS approved in 1993, for the
> > Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector, which had its own EIS.

> Thanks for these details. I'm gradually pinning down some of the dates


> and this helps. Although there were calls for improvements to U.S. 460
> between Blacksburg and Christiansburg as early as the mid-'70s, VDOT
> didn't hire a contractor and have a corridor study done until 1988. The
> brochure you have is probably the presentation of the results to get
> public input. I remember going to the meeting at the Holiday Inn (now
> the Ramada) where all the route possibilities were presented.

The 1989 meetings were held at the National Guard Armory at
Christiansburg on 1-31-1989, and at the Blacksburg Holiday Inn on
1-30-1989. The front page of the brochure has the meeting times and
dates.



> An article from the Feb. 25, 1988 edition of the _News Messenger_ says
> Blacksburg and Christiansburg/Montgomery County presented plans in
> the summer of 1987 -- Blacksburg wanting improvements to Va. 641 for
> a more direct link to Roanoke and C'burg and the county wanting to
> connect the bypasses. As it played out, Christiansburg "won" in the
> end, although the fast-food strip on Roanoke Street between the
> former end of the Christiansburg bypass and exit 118 of I-81 was
> passed by with the new link to I-81.

The Blacksburg-Roanoke Connector FEIS was approved by FHWA on 3-26-1993,
documenting the selection of Alternate 6 (the Smart Road route) with
IVHS technology. On page IV-2, it cites a City of Roanoke resolution
that was unanimously approved in support of Alternate 6, on August 10,
1987; and the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution
in support of Alternate 6, on March 2, 1990. The Board of Visitors of
VPI&SU endorsed a "direct link" between Blacksburg and Roanoke on August
15, 1988, and requested VDOT to complete the current study to determine
the best route from the perspective of being cost effective and
environmentally suitable. The Greater Blacksburg Chamber of Commerce
passed a resolution on January 15, 1991, endorsing Alternate 6. (see
pages IV-2 and IV-3 of the FEIS).



> While it may be slightly true, the information about the genesis of the
> Smart Road really comes in the early '90s, not 1985 as the article at
> http://virginiadot.org/projects/constsal-smartrdhistory.asp implies.

That may have been the very first conceptual plan. From the documents
that I have in front of me, the Smart Road route itself goes back to at
least 1987, and preliminary design could easily have started 2 years
before that. That didn't include the IVHS component, but page I-20 of
the FEIS cites a 1990 federal act that promoted state and local
government partnering with the private sector to develop IVHS systems
(intelligent vehicle / highway systems). So 1990 may have been when the
IVHS component was first proposed. (a few years ago, I copied about 30
pages of the FEIS, enough to provide a summary).



> > The 603 Corridor (Alts. 7 & 10) had the same western end as Alt. 6, and
> > the eastern ends were in the Elliston area at I-81.

> While a nice highway down the Ellett Valley via Ironto, with a junction


> at I-81 in the vicinity of the Ironto rest area would have been nice, the
> price all the way around would have been high. Construction costs, if
> the project even passed an environmental review, would have been
> higher than the 3A project, mainly because of the increased distance.
> Another down side would be that it would have created another major
> highway pretty much parallel to I-81, without offering much traffic
> relief to I-81 except at certain times (VT football games, start and end
> of breaks at VT).

That's true, and the current plan for widening I-81 would provide 8
lanes from Christiansburg to Daleville. That is one of the "early
action" segments for the VA I-81 widening program, also.

> Of course, the problems all started back in the late '50s when the
> "southern route" for I-81 was chosed instead of the "northern
> route." The northern route would have followed the U.S. 11
> corridor from Dublin to near Fairlawn, then along the VA 114 corridor
> to U.S. 460 north of Christiansburg, then (according to one article)
> along VA 111 through Cambria to U.S. 11 east of Christiansburg.
> One of the deciding factors was the routing of what is now I-77;
> the article I found says if the new highway from the end of the
> West Virginia Turnpike went through Narrows, Pearisburg, Dublin
> and on to Hillsville, then the northern route would be chosen.
> I'm still digging on all that.

It would be great if you could find those maps and then post them on
your website. :-) I'm busy enough with this end of the state, that I'm
not able to do very much in the western part of the state.

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