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Author Topic: Complete NC 540 Project  (Read 47844 times)

Dirt Roads

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #225 on: December 02, 2022, 10:56:46 PM »

When the whole loop is completed, will the eastern end of I-540 continue to be at US 64/US 264 (Future I-87)? I still find it strange that it wasn't planned as I-640 in the first place, but let's make it the last time this is brought up.

As mentioned above me, yes. Also, back in early 2013 when NCDOT requested the I-495 designation for what is now I-87, they asked FHWA for a waiver to keep the I-540 number as is, which was granted.

I'm holding out hope that the completed loop will be renamed.

Not many people even understand the meaning behind the number designation, but an even first number would be better suited for a complete loop.

I would like to place a wager that eventually be renamed. When the bonds are paid off, why wouldn't it all become one interstate designation?

^ No, a renumber would just cause more confusion than needs to exist. The highway has existed for 30+ years as “540” and will stay that.

Keep in mind that, when complete, more than half of the Raleigh Outer Loop would still not qualify for Interstate status.  The official designation for I-540 was approved from NC-54 in Morrisville -to- US-1 in North Raleigh, so the odd first digit I-540 designation is not technically wrong (even though the section from I-40 -to- NC-54 in Morrisville was renumbered from I-540 to NC-540 after completion of the Triangle Expressway portion of NC-540).  [A factoid that probably should be included in another thread related to decommissioned Interstate routes].
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architect77

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #226 on: December 03, 2022, 11:10:33 PM »

^ No, a renumber would just cause more confusion than needs to exist. The highway has existed for 30+ years as “540” and will stay that.

I hear your decree but I hope you can't be that certain.

One morning the Beltline instantly became I-440 in the early 90s. US264/64 has been 2 interstates so far.

Capital Blvd. used to be North Blvd...Wake Forest Rd at the Beltline used to all be Old Wake Forest Rd.

Whatever rules that constrain 540 can be broken and have been in other parts of the country. NC got permission to toll I-95 a decade ago. One continuous 70 mile loop should not have multiple shields and multiple designations

The loop's main function/advantage is to be interpreted as a loop with access to all thoroughfares radiusing a city. A single designation is crucial for that interpretation to occur.

If Charlotte's outerbelt I-485 had multiple shields and names, and Atlanta's I-285 was a hodgepodge of different highways....

People would be like WTF? It would be far more confusing.

The very essence of interstate highways and their red, white, & blue shield design is to clearly & instantaneously be understood by all the nation's motorists with the assumption that they could be from out-of-state and unfamiliar with the area just as much as locals who know the area well.

We all heavily depend on those distinctive shields when traveling in other cities and states.

So with my age being almost 54 and witnessing the state's actions for a long time, I'm willing to bet that the completed loop will be renamed to one designation with one shield in the next 20-25 years. Mark my word.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2022, 11:29:57 PM by architect77 »
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LM117

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #227 on: December 04, 2022, 11:11:19 AM »

One continuous 70 mile loop should not have multiple shields and multiple designations

The loop's main function/advantage is to be interpreted as a loop with access to all thoroughfares radiusing a city. A single designation is crucial for that interpretation to occur.

If Charlotte's outerbelt I-485 had multiple shields and names, and Atlanta's I-285 was a hodgepodge of different highways....

People would be like WTF? It would be far more confusing.

This argument would be better directed at the Greensboro Urban Loop.
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sprjus4

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #228 on: December 04, 2022, 01:08:46 PM »

^ Or Winston-Salem.

At least “540” is a continuous number throughout in Raleigh’s case.
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wdcrft63

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #229 on: December 04, 2022, 06:53:14 PM »

^ Or Winston-Salem.

At least “540” is a continuous number throughout in Raleigh’s case.
Here’s the view on this from someone who lives in the Triangle (me). Triangle residents regard the whole loop as a single thing. Everyone calls all of it “540.” NCDOT also sees the whole loop as a single thing, with mileage and exit numbers running continuously all the way around.

Everyone sees that it has two parts, a free part with interstate shields and a toll part with NC highway shields. We wish all of it was free but we’re not confused about anything. It would actually be more confusing if the entire loop had interstate signage, because then drivers might not realize when they were leaving the free part and entering the toll part.

As for the number 540, I understand the argument that the initial even number might help drivers understand the road as a loop. That may well be true but the argument has no traction in the Triangle. I predict that the number will never change due to a request from local leaders or NCDOT. It will only change if the feds demand that it change.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #230 on: December 04, 2022, 07:23:25 PM »

There are other examples of odd numbered Interstates having both ends terminate at other Interstates. I-355 in Chicagoland is one that comes to mind. I-980 in Oakland is another example. While there is no "I-640" in North Carolina (at least not yet) the I-540 route has been established for so long there would be no real benefit in renaming it to an even number, like I-640.
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bob7374

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #231 on: December 04, 2022, 11:37:43 PM »

^ Or Winston-Salem.

At least “540” is a continuous number throughout in Raleigh’s case.
Here’s the view on this from someone who lives in the Triangle (me). Triangle residents regard the whole loop as a single thing. Everyone calls all of it “540.” NCDOT also sees the whole loop as a single thing, with mileage and exit numbers running continuously all the way around.

Everyone sees that it has two parts, a free part with interstate shields and a toll part with NC highway shields. We wish all of it was free but we’re not confused about anything. It would actually be more confusing if the entire loop had interstate signage, because then drivers might not realize when they were leaving the free part and entering the toll part.

As for the number 540, I understand the argument that the initial even number might help drivers understand the road as a loop. That may well be true but the argument has no traction in the Triangle. I predict that the number will never change due to a request from local leaders or NCDOT. It will only change if the feds demand that it change.
But will drivers be confused by the upcoming plan to change the North/South section of NC 540 to West/East, so that drivers at the end of NC 885 South see this sign where they have to follow NC 540 West to access I-40 to the east of the exit?

[img]

Strider

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #232 on: December 05, 2022, 01:06:50 AM »

One continuous 70 mile loop should not have multiple shields and multiple designations

The loop's main function/advantage is to be interpreted as a loop with access to all thoroughfares radiusing a city. A single designation is crucial for that interpretation to occur.

If Charlotte's outerbelt I-485 had multiple shields and names, and Atlanta's I-285 was a hodgepodge of different highways....

People would be like WTF? It would be far more confusing.

This argument would be better directed at the Greensboro Urban Loop.


Nah. Greensboro Urban Loop is the name of the entire Loop. The southwest and southeast loop has always been planned to carry I-85 and I-73. I-40 was at one point before it gets moved back. I-840 has always been planned for the northern loop. I-785 was added later. No confusion here because there is NEVER a plan to use the entire loop as one number to begin with.
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wdcrft63

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #233 on: December 05, 2022, 07:37:30 PM »

But will drivers be confused by the upcoming plan to change the North/South section of NC 540 to West/East, so that drivers at the end of NC 885 South see this sign where they have to follow NC 540 West to access I-40 to the east of the exit?

[img]
I agree here. 540 should be north/south between I-40 and US 1 on the west side and between I-40 and I-87 on the east side. Plenty of loops have four directional segments, for example the Columbus OH loop.
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WashuOtaku

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #234 on: December 06, 2022, 09:29:41 AM »

I agree here. 540 should be north/south between I-40 and US 1 on the west side and between I-40 and I-87 on the east side. Plenty of loops have four directional segments, for example the Columbus OH loop.

I disagree, I prefer the consistency like they did with I-485 being North-South throughout, only flipping at two logical points.
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nerdom

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #235 on: December 06, 2022, 01:52:06 PM »

I agree as well. Especially since you have two completely different highway designations. E/W highways, both masquerading as bypasses to mainline 40, one as a toll. Seems pretty simplistic, even in the case of the sign posted above. I feel in the cases of loops that use all four directions (Capital Beltway) that the direction of the highway is ignored in favor of the control cities anyway.
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Evan_Th

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #236 on: December 06, 2022, 04:23:28 PM »

I used to live in this area, and I disagree.  I think the sign is confusing.  Raleigh-bound "West NC 540" at that point is heading compass northeast, and I definitely think of it as east.  Meanwhile, "East Toll NC 540" is heading compass southwest, and I think of it as south.

Sign NC 540 as north-south from I-40 or NC 54 down to its current end at Bypass NC 55; then sign it east-west till I-40/I-42 if not all the way to US 64/I-87.
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wdcrft63

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #237 on: December 06, 2022, 05:16:59 PM »

I agree here. 540 should be north/south between I-40 and US 1 on the west side and between I-40 and I-87 on the east side. Plenty of loops have four directional segments, for example the Columbus OH loop.

I disagree, I prefer the consistency like they did with I-485 being North-South throughout, only flipping at two logical points.
Well, there’s at least one confusing point on I-485. When you arrive at I-485 on I-85 southbound, the proper way to use the loop is to take I-485 NORTH. The signage tends to encourage drivers to take the long way around on I-485 South or stay on I-85 South and contribute to the traffic in town.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #238 on: December 06, 2022, 08:48:08 PM »

I agree here. 540 should be north/south between I-40 and US 1 on the west side and between I-40 and I-87 on the east side. Plenty of loops have four directional segments, for example the Columbus OH loop.

I disagree, I prefer the consistency like they did with I-485 being North-South throughout, only flipping at two logical points.

Well, there’s at least one confusing point on I-485. When you arrive at I-485 on I-85 southbound, the proper way to use the loop is to take I-485 NORTH. The signage tends to encourage drivers to take the long way around on I-485 South or stay on I-85 South and contribute to the traffic in town.

Agreed.  The two logical points (I-77) are not logical for I-85 travellers.  Fortunately, I-85 is sufficiently far enough away from Uptown Charlotte that the only reason to ever take I-485 around the Northern half of the loop is when I-85 is shut down.  Always wondered why NCDOT wanted an X85 instead of X77.
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architect77

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #239 on: December 07, 2022, 11:00:21 PM »

I agree here. 540 should be north/south between I-40 and US 1 on the west side and between I-40 and I-87 on the east side. Plenty of loops have four directional segments, for example the Columbus OH loop.

I disagree, I prefer the consistency like they did with I-485 being North-South throughout, only flipping at two logical points.

Well, there’s at least one confusing point on I-485. When you arrive at I-485 on I-85 southbound, the proper way to use the loop is to take I-485 NORTH. The signage tends to encourage drivers to take the long way around on I-485 South or stay on I-85 South and contribute to the traffic in town.

Agreed.  The two logical points (I-77) are not logical for I-85 travellers.  Fortunately, I-85 is sufficiently far enough away from Uptown Charlotte that the only reason to ever take I-485 around the Northern half of the loop is when I-85 is shut down.  Always wondered why NCDOT wanted an X85 instead of X77.

That's interesting. The NCDOT division for Charlotte is in Albemarle and I-77 is probably the most important to the area.

I-85 is the Southeast's leading industrial and population spine though, and definitely is the main corridor to the state with its 220+ miles along the urban crescent of central NC.

I-85's Northern section is for the local growth and use. I-85 never needed a bypass per se as it's always had many lanes through Charlotte.
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architect77

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #240 on: December 07, 2022, 11:12:33 PM »

^ Or Winston-Salem.

At least “540” is a continuous number throughout in Raleigh’s case.
Here’s the view on this from someone who lives in the Triangle (me). Triangle residents regard the whole loop as a single thing. Everyone calls all of it “540.” NCDOT also sees the whole loop as a single thing, with mileage and exit numbers running continuously all the way around.

Everyone sees that it has two parts, a free part with interstate shields and a toll part with NC highway shields. We wish all of it was free but we’re not confused about anything. It would actually be more confusing if the entire loop had interstate signage, because then drivers might not realize when they were leaving the free part and entering the toll part.

As for the number 540, I understand the argument that the initial even number might help drivers understand the road as a loop. That may well be true but the argument has no traction in the Triangle. I predict that the number will never change due to a request from local leaders or NCDOT. It will only change if the feds demand that it change.

The big yellow TOLL indication is understood when it's an upcoming restriction.

The bonds will be paid off in a 25 years or so. Then the entire loop will be named with one designation.

540 is used by people unfamiliar with the area also, hence "INTERstate" rather than INTRASTATE or 'Local County Route 540" (Does Charlotte still have that county route 4?- one of the only few ever used in the state).

Of all the DOTs in the country NCDOT is one of the most proactive, rule-breaking and trendsetting, to the benefit of the state's gas-tax paying citizens.

They likely lead and insoire the FEDs regarding highway transportation, that's why I feel confident that simplification for 540 will happen, and the FEDs will taking orders, not giving them.
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WashuOtaku

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #241 on: December 08, 2022, 12:13:04 AM »

540 is used by people unfamiliar with the area also, hence "INTERstate" rather than INTRASTATE or 'Local County Route 540" (Does Charlotte still have that county route 4?- one of the only few ever used in the state).

There are no county routes nor county-owned roads in North Carolina. What you are thinking of is Charlotte Route 4, which is a city-signed partial ring road. It should also be noted the route traverses on state-owned secondary roads and not on any city-owned roads (also not the best signed route either).
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sprjus4

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #242 on: December 08, 2022, 12:16:24 AM »

^ Or Winston-Salem.

At least “540” is a continuous number throughout in Raleigh’s case.
Here’s the view on this from someone who lives in the Triangle (me). Triangle residents regard the whole loop as a single thing. Everyone calls all of it “540.” NCDOT also sees the whole loop as a single thing, with mileage and exit numbers running continuously all the way around.

Everyone sees that it has two parts, a free part with interstate shields and a toll part with NC highway shields. We wish all of it was free but we’re not confused about anything. It would actually be more confusing if the entire loop had interstate signage, because then drivers might not realize when they were leaving the free part and entering the toll part.

As for the number 540, I understand the argument that the initial even number might help drivers understand the road as a loop. That may well be true but the argument has no traction in the Triangle. I predict that the number will never change due to a request from local leaders or NCDOT. It will only change if the feds demand that it change.

The big yellow TOLL indication is understood when it's an upcoming restriction.

The bonds will be paid off in a 25 years or so. Then the entire loop will be named with one designation.

540 is used by people unfamiliar with the area also, hence "INTERstate" rather than INTRASTATE or 'Local County Route 540" (Does Charlotte still have that county route 4?- one of the only few ever used in the state).

Of all the DOTs in the country NCDOT is one of the most proactive, rule-breaking and trendsetting, to the benefit of the state's gas-tax paying citizens.

They likely lead and insoire the FEDs regarding highway transportation, that's why I feel confident that simplification for 540 will happen, and the FEDs will taking orders, not giving them.
So in 25-30 years, around 2050, after 540 has been in place for nearly 60 years, they are suddenly just going to renumber the road?
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bob7374

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #243 on: January 18, 2023, 11:24:42 PM »

NCDOT announces nightly closings of the NC 55 Bypass due to NC 540 construction:
https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2023/2023-01-18-complete-540-nc-55-temporary-closures.aspx

In another announcement regarding a road opening to Old Stage Road the text indicates the interchange of Old Stage Road with NC 540 is currently planned to open in the Spring of 2024.

maxkil123

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #244 on: January 19, 2023, 01:47:19 AM »

NCDOT announces nightly closings of the NC 55 Bypass due to NC 540 construction:
https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2023/2023-01-18-complete-540-nc-55-temporary-closures.aspx

In another announcement regarding a road opening to Old Stage Road the text indicates the interchange of Old Stage Road with NC 540 is currently planned to open in the Spring of 2024.

Thanks for the info.  Any plans to add construction updates for NC 540 to your website?
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bob7374

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Re: Complete NC 540 Project
« Reply #245 on: January 26, 2023, 12:23:27 PM »

NCDOT announces nightly closings of the NC 55 Bypass due to NC 540 construction:
https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2023/2023-01-18-complete-540-nc-55-temporary-closures.aspx

In another announcement regarding a road opening to Old Stage Road the text indicates the interchange of Old Stage Road with NC 540 is currently planned to open in the Spring of 2024.
Thanks for the info.  Any plans to add construction updates for NC 540 to your website?
I have thought about it, though it's not a future interstate, perhaps later this year. Meanwhile, there will be closures on I-40 in Garner over the next few weeks as part of the NC 540 project:
https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2023/2023-01-25-i-40-garner-closures-540-project.aspx

 


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