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Author Topic: NC: The proposed I-685  (Read 10216 times)

tolbs17

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2021, 11:07:24 PM »

If I-685 were extended to I-40, I could see truck traffic using it to bypass the parking lot Triangle, especially those that want to avoid paying tolls on NC-540 to bypass Raleigh. It would also come in handy as an additional high-speed hurricane evacuation route.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why NC wants I-685 to end at I-95 and not I-40. If Toyota is in the picture, you'd think they would want a more direct shot to the Port of Wilmington. Sure, you could hop up I-95 to Benson and then come back down I-40, but that adds mileage compared to I-685 cutting across to I-40.

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?
Yes but I-74 is not complete and if it was taken to I-40, it would create an additional bypass for Greensboro residents. As well as the ones that live in Mount Airy and beyond I-74 like in Wytheville.
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fillup420

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #51 on: December 31, 2021, 01:39:40 PM »

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?

Not really, I-74 has an awkward route from High Point, going due south to US 74, then east to wherever the hell its supposed to end. For an effective wide Triangle bypass, it would've made sense to send I-74 down US 421 SE of Greensboro, to at least I-95 in Dunn, then maybe a small bit of new route or follow NC 55 to connect with I-40 near Newton Grove.

Thats what I wouldve done at least.
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Thing 342

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2021, 06:28:56 PM »

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?

Not really, I-74 has an awkward route from High Point, going due south to US 74, then east to wherever the hell its supposed to end. For an effective wide Triangle bypass, it would've made sense to send I-74 down US 421 SE of Greensboro, to at least I-95 in Dunn, then maybe a small bit of new route or follow NC 55 to connect with I-40 near Newton Grove.

Thats what I wouldve done at least.
The current route from Greensboro to the Port of Wilmington via I-40 is 212 miles.
A hypothetical I-685 routing following US-421 from Greensboro to I-40 in roughly the Benson area is 203 miles.
A routing using I-74 and US-74 is 216 miles.

I-685 would save 13 miles over I-74 in this case. If both routes are 70mph freeways this difference seems negligible. For traffic coming from Winston-Salem and northwest I-74 has the advantage of avoiding Greensboro as well.
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Strider

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2021, 06:38:20 PM »

If I-685 were extended to I-40, I could see truck traffic using it to bypass the parking lot Triangle, especially those that want to avoid paying tolls on NC-540 to bypass Raleigh. It would also come in handy as an additional high-speed hurricane evacuation route.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why NC wants I-685 to end at I-95 and not I-40. If Toyota is in the picture, you'd think they would want a more direct shot to the Port of Wilmington. Sure, you could hop up I-95 to Benson and then come back down I-40, but that adds mileage compared to I-685 cutting across to I-40.

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?

No. I-74 is proposed to go to Myrtle Beach (or Wilmington) It has always been proposed to follow I-73 south from Randleman to Rockingham.

I-685 was a part of the corridor that has been proposed to run from Greensboro to Fayetteville (YES, I said Fayetteville because it was supposed to end at the proposed Fayetteville Outer Loop (I-295). I still have no idea why it is being changed to Dunn or why it did not go down to Fayetteville.

If they really want I-685 to run from Greensboro to Dunn, it should just extend it to I-40 near Newton Grove (assuming the dotted line is a straight shot from I-95 to I-40).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2021, 06:45:15 PM by Strider »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2021, 08:56:05 PM »

With all the construction delays North Carolina is having with their existing and future Interstates, I think we may have to wait a very long time for this segment of US 421 to be converted into Interstate 685. I speculate it might not happen until the 2030s or the 2040s at the earliest.
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Strider

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #55 on: December 31, 2021, 09:51:32 PM »

With all the construction delays North Carolina is having with their existing and future Interstates, I think we may have to wait a very long time for this segment of US 421 to be converted into Interstate 685. I speculate it might not happen until the 2030s or the 2040s at the earliest.

Personally, I'd rather for my state to finish current construction that has been delayed too many times. i.e. I-26 Connector, etc. instead of trying to add new or future construction unless the demand is too great. If I am the governor, I'd fire whoever made these decisions that caused all the construction delay mess.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2022, 10:18:15 AM »

If I-685 were extended to I-40, I could see truck traffic using it to bypass the parking lot Triangle, especially those that want to avoid paying tolls on NC-540 to bypass Raleigh. It would also come in handy as an additional high-speed hurricane evacuation route.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why NC wants I-685 to end at I-95 and not I-40. If Toyota is in the picture, you'd think they would want a more direct shot to the Port of Wilmington. Sure, you could hop up I-95 to Benson and then come back down I-40, but that adds mileage compared to I-685 cutting across to I-40.

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?

And further, the 421 Corridor from Greensboro to 95 has been on North Carolina's wish list for Interstate extensions since the 1960s.  A lot of North Carolina Interstate authorizations/requests/whathaveyou are very similar to various proposals they requested over 50 years ago.

The whole US-421/I-685 situation has me curious about how I-74 got routed to Wilmington via Rockingham.  Historically, folks from the Great Lakes used I-77//US-52//US-64//US-220 to get to Myrtle Beach, and US-74 from that corridor was a much easier route to Wilmington than the hodge-podge trying to access US-117 or US-421 from Raleigh.  But after completion of I-40, none of those routes makes any sense.  But the US-421 corridor does make a great bypass around the Triangle for folks originating west/north of the Upper Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem).  That certainly would make a better route for I-74, even if it ends at I-95 near Dunn.
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CanesFan27

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2022, 01:13:57 PM »

If I-685 were extended to I-40, I could see truck traffic using it to bypass the parking lot Triangle, especially those that want to avoid paying tolls on NC-540 to bypass Raleigh. It would also come in handy as an additional high-speed hurricane evacuation route.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why NC wants I-685 to end at I-95 and not I-40. If Toyota is in the picture, you'd think they would want a more direct shot to the Port of Wilmington. Sure, you could hop up I-95 to Benson and then come back down I-40, but that adds mileage compared to I-685 cutting across to I-40.

Isn't this movement already being addressed by I-74?

And further, the 421 Corridor from Greensboro to 95 has been on North Carolina's wish list for Interstate extensions since the 1960s.  A lot of North Carolina Interstate authorizations/requests/whathaveyou are very similar to various proposals they requested over 50 years ago.

The whole US-421/I-685 situation has me curious about how I-74 got routed to Wilmington via Rockingham.  Historically, folks from the Great Lakes used I-77//US-52//US-64//US-220 to get to Myrtle Beach, and US-74 from that corridor was a much easier route to Wilmington than the hodge-podge trying to access US-117 or US-421 from Raleigh.  But after completion of I-40, none of those routes makes any sense.  But the US-421 corridor does make a great bypass around the Triangle for folks originating west/north of the Upper Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem).  That certainly would make a better route for I-74, even if it ends at I-95 near Dunn.

I think you just gave me my next topic to research.  How the 73 and 74 corridors came to be.  74 is kinda bits and pieces of various requests.  Thanks!  I was trying to think of some NC stories I haven't touched yet
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PColumbus73

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2022, 07:36:24 PM »

True, but it puts a label on the freeway and denotes its a full freeway roadway.

The current roadway between Greensboro and Fayetteville (US-421 and NC-87) is definitely not close to being a full freeway. Having that I-685 designation combined with physical upgrades will show what it is.

Let me preface this by saying, making this interstate corridor a priority is dumb. This is not what the state should be focusing on from a transportation perspective.

That said, while Sanford to Fayetteville (on NC 87) or Dunn (on US 421) would need complete reconstruction and probably some significant bypasses/new routes, Greensboro to Sanford is *very* close to a full freeway. There's a ~7 mile stretch between Old Liberty Rd (exit 183) and NC 62 (exit 190) with 4 at grade intersections. Could be fixed with a single interchange and perhaps two grade separations. This is comparable to what NCDOT did on US 70/I-42 in Pine Level. Basically, the sort of thing NCDOT whacks out in their sleep.

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Now, I do not like driving this stretch of 421 in the rain. The pavement doesn't drain well, maybe it isn't crowned properly, I'm not sure - but it feels dangerous. Too many spots where you feel close to hydroplaning. I feel like this condition would not be acceptable on an interstate, so I wouldn't mind them taking the opportunity to deal with it. Shoulders are not interstate standard, though, so that would take some money and work to fix as well.


I've traveled the US 421 / NC 87 route since the 90s, for as long as I can remember there has never been that much traffic between Greensboro and Sanford, I've always thought that US 421 is the longest and most boringest road I've ever traveled on. I honestly don't think it needs to be an interstate, I think it serves the Fayetteville - Greensboro route just fine as it is.

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WashuOtaku

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2022, 09:46:26 AM »

I've traveled the US 421 / NC 87 route since the 90s, for as long as I can remember there has never been that much traffic between Greensboro and Sanford, I've always thought that US 421 is the longest and most boringest road I've ever traveled on. I honestly don't think it needs to be an interstate, I think it serves the Fayetteville - Greensboro route just fine as it is.

If NCDOT does construct a new freeway between Sanford and Dunn, it would create a more direct route from Greensboro to Fayetteville and the Wilmington port. A preferable alternative to reach I-95 as oppose to driving through Raleigh. It would get busy.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2022, 11:31:35 AM »

crossposted to the North Carolina thread and the I-685 North Carolina thread:

Side note: What is the deal with those NC Core signs? Whenever I drove past them over Thanksgiving, I feel like I spend more time than I should have trying to understand what it meant. I understand the purpose of those signs are more advertising than informational, which I don't like a-la those blue signs in New York.

It's actually "NC Carolina Core", and it is the new commercial development zone entity in Central Carolina between I-77 and I-95 that is routed along I-40 from Statesville to Greensboro, over the southwest part of the Greensboro Urban Loop (I-73 and a tad of new I-85) and US-421 (future I-685).  This connects Winston-Salem to the new Greensboro megasites by bypassing Greensboro proper, which has some huge political undertones that haven't made the press yet.  I haven't seen any of these signs yet, but it wouldn't surprise me that they are cluttered with info.
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LM117

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2022, 12:03:27 PM »

I've traveled the US 421 / NC 87 route since the 90s, for as long as I can remember there has never been that much traffic between Greensboro and Sanford, I've always thought that US 421 is the longest and most boringest road I've ever traveled on. I honestly don't think it needs to be an interstate, I think it serves the Fayetteville - Greensboro route just fine as it is.

Not fine enough for Toyota, apparently.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2022, 01:43:30 PM »

Out of the three Interstate 685's (AL, SC, NC) suggested and proposed, I don't think any of them will come into fruition anytime soon.
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architect77

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2022, 05:51:58 PM »

Just remember that the mission for almost 75 years has been to bring a modern, 4 lane, divided highway to within 10 miles of 96% of the state's population.

That's a tall order for one of the most dispersed populations 2nd only to Pennsylvania in population that's still considered in a rural area not part of a metropolitan area.

That's why there are so many "near interstate standards" highways criss-crossing virtually every county.

I also don't understand this is being a huge priority except for the Toyota battery plant.

I have a friend in LA who has listened to me talk about NC for 25 years, and he hasn't yet ever visited. I think about what he would think riding along with me home as I come from Atlanta via NC49/US64 between Charlotte and Raleigh because it's not indicative of a state with almost 11,000,000 people.

The good thing is having alternatives to I-85/I-40 that traverse the state East to West because I-85 is just too crowded and it's arching shape adds miles and time that I'd rather avoid.
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architect77

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2022, 05:59:47 PM »

With all the construction delays North Carolina is having with their existing and future Interstates, I think we may have to wait a very long time for this segment of US 421 to be converted into Interstate 685. I speculate it might not happen until the 2030s or the 2040s at the earliest.

Personally, I'd rather for my state to finish current construction that has been delayed too many times. i.e. I-26 Connector, etc. instead of trying to add new or future construction unless the demand is too great. If I am the governor, I'd fire whoever made these decisions that caused all the construction delay mess.

The problem is NC's gas tax which isn't rising. Gas in SC and GA cost more today, and they aren't prolific road builders like NC is.
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sturmde

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2022, 06:04:36 PM »

Out of the three Interstate 685's (AL, SC, NC) suggested and proposed, I don't think any of them will come into fruition anytime soon.

Well, Alabama's I-685 is already done.  It's the secret designation for what is still signed I-85 from the I-65/Day St interchange at I-685's western end to I-685's eastern end where I-85 will head south on current AL SR 108 looping around the south side of Montgomery.
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South Carolina's 685?  Is that a proposal for BUS 85 in Spartanburg once it's rebuilt to standards?
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froggie

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2022, 06:29:24 PM »

South Carolina's 685?  Is that a proposal for BUS 85 in Spartanburg once it's rebuilt to standards?

It was a proposal by local leaders down there that got shot down by the state 20 years ago.  There are no active and official proposals for I-685 in South Carolina from what I've been able to find.  Perhaps The Ghostbuster could share his source.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2022, 10:17:30 PM »

South Carolina's 685?  Is that a proposal for BUS 85 in Spartanburg once it's rebuilt to standards?

It was a proposal by local leaders down there that got shot down by the state 20 years ago.  There are no active and official proposals for I-685 in South Carolina from what I've been able to find.  Perhaps The Ghostbuster could share his source.

If anything, Bus I-85 in Sparty should be down-graded in a few places and turn it into the arterial surface corridor it functionally is.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2022, 10:25:53 PM »

Yes, I was referring to the failed 2000 proposal to renumber Business 85 in Spartanburg to Interstate 685. I stand by my statement though. The only way Interstate 685 will come into fruition in Alabama is when/if the AL 108 (future Interstate 85) Montgomery Bypass is completed. There likely won't be any 685s in South Carolina either. As for the proposed Interstate 685 in North Carolina, even if the US 421 corridor is upgraded into a freeway between Interstate 85 and Interstate 40, I think making it Interstate 685 is overkill. Then again, this is North Carolina, so I could be wrong.
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LM117

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2022, 07:19:21 AM »

As for the proposed Interstate 685 in North Carolina, even if the US 421 corridor is upgraded into a freeway between Interstate 85 and Interstate 40, I think making it Interstate 685 is overkill. Then again, this is North Carolina, so I could be wrong.

NC had trouble landing auto makers in the past. There was no way in hell they were gonna let another opportunity slip away easily. Toyota wanted immediate interstate access for their battery plant, so naturally, the state gave it to them. That's why 421's future interstate status was rushed into the infrastructure bill. Right or wrong, to not do so would've been political suicide.

This also means that, contrary to popular belief (particularly on this forum), some companies DO care about having nearby interstate access. That's why I-shields are still used as marketing tools.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 07:25:12 AM by LM117 »
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vdeane

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2022, 05:16:45 PM »

NC had trouble landing auto makers in the past. There was no way in hell they were gonna let another opportunity slip away easily. Toyota wanted immediate interstate access for their battery plant, so naturally, the state gave it to them. That's why 421's future interstate status was rushed into the infrastructure bill. Right or wrong, to not do so would've been political suicide.
Given how much NC has on their plate, I question whether Toyota will have "immediate" access to the interstate any time soon.  But I guess perception is going to take a while to catch up to the reality of modern future interstate corridors taking decades to get built if they even get constructed at all.
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wdcrft63

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #71 on: February 19, 2022, 06:27:33 PM »

NC had trouble landing auto makers in the past. There was no way in hell they were gonna let another opportunity slip away easily. Toyota wanted immediate interstate access for their battery plant, so naturally, the state gave it to them. That's why 421's future interstate status was rushed into the infrastructure bill. Right or wrong, to not do so would've been political suicide.
Given how much NC has on their plate, I question whether Toyota will have "immediate" access to the interstate any time soon.  But I guess perception is going to take a while to catch up to the reality of modern future interstate corridors taking decades to get built if they even get constructed at all.
Of course it will be a long time before I-685 is completed, given that we don't even know the route for some of it. OTOH the distance from the Toyota site to I-85 bypass south of Greensboro is only about 12 miles and US 421 is limited access, close to interstate standards, over that distance. So simply providing the plant with "immediate" internet access shouldn't be difficult. I'm sure the plant will need a dedicated exit from 421/Future 685, but I'm also sure NCDOT will provide that.
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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2022, 07:02:24 PM »

US-421 between I-85 and Siler City is mostly freeway, with a few intersections near where the megasite is located. Those would need to be closed off with possibly one or two interchanges, along with the mainline shoulders widened to 10 feet and a resurfacing overall.

The road itself is fully limited access with no private driveways.

That would likely be a first project that could lead to an I-685 designation being posted between I-85 and US-64.

I'm still 50/50 on my opinion of the route south of Sanford. I still believe it should follow NC-87 to end at I-295 in Fayetteville, providing that direct connection between Fayetteville and Greensboro, however I can also see the benefit of following US-421 all the way back to Dunn / I-95 / possibly I-40, to provide an outer bypass of Raleigh for I-40 through traffic. That would not address Fayetteville though, as traffic heading there would either get off I-685 at Sanford and continue taking arterial NC-87, or follow an indirect route dumping onto I-95 at Dunn then following the soon-to-be 8 lane interstate to Fayetteville.

Upgrading NC-87 would also provide a second interstate / freeway connection between Fayetteville and Raleigh, via US-1 at Sanford.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 07:06:22 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #73 on: February 19, 2022, 07:15:57 PM »

With all the construction delays North Carolina is having with their existing and future Interstates, I think we may have to wait a very long time for this segment of US 421 to be converted into Interstate 685. I speculate it might not happen until the 2030s or the 2040s at the earliest.

Personally, I'd rather for my state to finish current construction that has been delayed too many times. i.e. I-26 Connector, etc. instead of trying to add new or future construction unless the demand is too great. If I am the governor, I'd fire whoever made these decisions that caused all the construction delay mess.

The problem is NC's gas tax which isn't rising. Gas in SC and GA cost more today, and they aren't prolific road builders like NC is.

NC's gas tax isn't rising, but it's still higher than SC's and GA's tax. GA used to have one of the lowest gas taxes, so it had a lot of space to rise and still be below NC.
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PColumbus73

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Re: NC: The proposed I-685
« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2022, 07:53:06 PM »

If Toyota wanted direct interstate access, couldn't they locate their plant along I-73? Somewhere around Randleman looks like it would be ideal for them.

Regarding I-685 reaching Fayetteville, I don't see an easy way for I-685 to get there since Fort Bragg / Pope AAF / Simmons AAF already occupy much of the land north of Fayetteville. Maybe it could arc around to somewhere around I-295 & US 401 but then you might as well bring it out to I-95. But I don't support treating interstates as some magic jobs wand.
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