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User Content => Road Trips => Topic started by: NJRoadfan on July 02, 2013, 12:27:43 AM

Title: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 02, 2013, 12:27:43 AM
It was time for my annual summer trip to NC, but instead of taking I-95 and I-85, I decided to do something a little different and took a more coastal route. I have never been across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and made an excuse to do it this time around.

Route: GSP-NJ-109-US-9-Cape May/Lewes Ferry-US-9-DE-1-DE-24-US-113-US-13-I-64-I-264-I-664-US-58-Virginia SR-671-VA-35-VA-186-NC-186-US-301-NC-46-I-95-US-64-I-440/40-US-1

This trip was split over two days, mostly because of the ferry and since I had a place to stay nearby so I could catch the first boat out in the morning.

Day 1:
-Stopped at the Brick/Wall meet for lunch. Bypassed the tour after lunch since it was already getting late.
-The widening of the GSP south of Exit 63 is mostly open. They are still working on the Bass River and Mullica River Bridges.
-Not much going on in Cape May County with the GSP signal elimination project outside of some tree clearing.

Day 2:
-Took the first ferry of the morning (6:30). It was surprisingly empty. Ride was calm for the most part.
-DE-24 isn't that bad of a shortcut between US-9 and US-113, at least on a Sunday morning
-US-113's remaining 2 lane section in MD could stand to be widened. Not so much due to traffic concerned, but safety.
-US-13 is a surprisingly decent ride in VA. I did seem to be missing all the traffic though as it looked like everyone was heading north.
-Nobody seems to maintain 55mph in the tunnels of the CBBT. You don't realize how damn long that bridge is until you actually drive it!
-US-13 in Virginia Beach was packed. I-264 and 664 were empty. I expected more traffic given how wide those roads are.
-US-58 is a decent ride out of the Hampton Roads area. I expected a lot more lights and speed traps.
-I encountered my first old fashioned Southern speed trap on SR-671 in Newsoms, VA. Limit dropped from 55 to 35 in a short distance. How do these dinky incorporated towns with 2 person police departments exist in County Strong/Dillon Rule states?
-NC-186 was a very desolate ride. I think I saw one car in the other direction until I hit Seaboard, NC.
-NC-186's extension up NC-46 has NOT been signed yet. All signing still ends at its old terminus at US-301
-I haven't been on it in a while, but US-64 got exit numbers finally and the 70mph speed limit was extended to about a mile before the I-440 interchange. There were no "Future" I-495 signs present.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: froggie on July 02, 2013, 02:55:00 AM
Quote
-US-113's remaining 2 lane section in MD could stand to be widened. Not so much due to traffic concerned, but safety.

SHA's slowly been whittling away on this.  8 years ago (when I was last stationed in Norfolk), the Snow Hill bypass was still 2 lanes, and the 4-lane ended only a mile south of Berlin vice the ~4 miles of today.  I also recall a time within the past 12 years where the section near the Delaware line was still 2 lanes.

Quote
-US-13 is a surprisingly decent ride in VA. I did seem to be missing all the traffic though as it looked like everyone was heading north.

Signal timing can be annoying, as they're almost all fully actuated and not timed or coordinated.  There's 23 signals now between the state line and the CBBT, and the ones in Onley and Exmore in particular are notorious for the next one turning red on you just after you started from a fresh green light.

Quote
-Nobody seems to maintain 55mph in the tunnels of the CBBT. You don't realize how damn long that bridge is until you actually drive it!

Yes, it can be very annoying, especially when you see folks do 65-70 along the trestles, then putz along at 35-40 within the tunnel.

Quote
-US-13 in Virginia Beach was packed. I-264 and 664 were empty. I expected more traffic given how wide those roads are.

Must've been a weekend.  264 is packed during the weekday, and can jam up downtown whenever there's a Berkley Bridge opening.

Quote
-US-58 is a decent ride out of the Hampton Roads area. I expected a lot more lights and speed traps.

Most of the US 58 speed traps are further west...Emporia and Greensville County in particular.  More signals now than there were 8-10 years ago.  Used to be, once you cleared the gas stations near the Suffolk Bypass, you were clear until Emporia.

Quote
-NC-168 was a very desolate ride. I think I saw one car in the other direction until I hit Seaboard, NC.
-NC-168's extension up NC-46 has NOT been signed yet. All signing still ends at its old terminus at US-301

NC/VA 186.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: Alps on July 02, 2013, 05:47:57 PM
Ah, I didn't catch that you were on your way down to NC. Thanks for stopping by though! I actually caught an early ferry on Memorial Day; they just waved me right on, so I guess it's really not that busy until the absolute peak hour of the peak day.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 02, 2013, 06:54:32 PM
The return ferry to NJ looked to be pretty full. I guess there aren't too many early raisers out there. The overall flow of traffic during the entire trip looked to be heading north. Good for me since hardly anyone was heading south.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 12, 2013, 01:11:20 AM
Some video of the trip down:
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2013, 01:52:54 PM
That's a pretty nice view from the Driscoll Bridge.

Never get enough of the CBBT! I love that crossing.  Highway pornography at its best.

Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: NE2 on July 15, 2013, 04:06:37 PM
When using pornography as a metaphor, always shorten it to porn.
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 15, 2013, 08:44:25 PM
The camera mounted to the windshield was a bit more shaky than I would have liked. I need to work on a better camera mount. The NC-540 video was done with someone holding the camera on a monopod in the passenger seat and came out a lot smoother. While I'm here typing, I might as well add in my return trip report.

Route: US-1,I-440,US-1,I-85,I-95,US-50,MD-3,I-97,I-695,MD-295,I-895,I-95,DE Shunpike,I-95,I-295,NJ Turnpike,GSP

-I changed the route up a bit and took US-50 and MD-3 up instead of just following I-95. Traffic was heavy on the beltway, but moving otherwise. On a Sunday morning US-50 and MD-3 were empty. I like how MD handles expressways with businesses in the median with continuous left and right turn lanes in place of shoulders.

-Why does MD-3 Business continue to exist?

-I was forced to detour onto I-695 since the I-895 "Spur" ramp was closed. Annoying but not too far out of the way.

-As usual, the patrols on I-895 were overbearing.

-When are those I-95 Express Lanes going to open north of Baltimore? Its weird that most of it has been done and ready to go for over a year only to be held up by the overpasses over I-695.

-The NJ Turnpike widening has progressed to the point that most of the overpasses are done. Just south of the Car/Truck split, they have rerouted the highway onto the outer roadways to rebuild some bridges.

-The new pull through signs at Exit 8A don't have I-95 shields, but leave space for it. Why isn't it signed?
Title: Re: NJ to NC Trip... via the scenic route
Post by: Alps on July 16, 2013, 09:49:48 PM
When using pornography as a metaphor, always shorten it to porn.
When using pornography as a metaphor, never use the word "shorten."