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Author Topic: North Carolina Ride  (Read 1994 times)

Mapmikey

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North Carolina Ride
« on: February 16, 2015, 02:38:34 PM »

On Sat Feb 14 I took a 17.5 hr ride...

I took I-95 straight down to North Carolina.  For the first time in a few years I stayed with 95 through Richmond and Petersburg.  The relatively recent addition of US 460 to Wagner Rd along I-95 is still insufficiently posted, even though the BGSs down there have been replaced since this happened.  Nothing at Wagner Rd itself and only TO US 460 signs not far south from the I-85 interchange (there is also a TO VA 106 BGS).  At least the Miami and Atlanta control cities are still present at the I-85 interchange.  Also in Richmond the "K-merge" sign is back, only bigger.

I took a brief detour at NC 48 to find that the NC 186 extension is finally posted following roadwork that had the road closed entirely for a time after the extension had occurred on paper.  NC 186 does not appear to be posted in any way from I-95 at the NC 46 interchange.  NC 46 is not posted from NC 186 EB.

I verified that there is still an I-295 END shield SB on the overpass over I-95.

I followed NC 59 to US 301 to NC 71 so that I could drive NC 72 back to Lumberton.  I then looped around on I-74 east to pick up US 74 ALT.  The 74 ALT bridge over 95 was rebuilt as a 2-lane bridge but they did not tear down the 4-lane bridge over the railroad track, only closed off the former WB lanes.  I followed US 74 ALT and 74 Business through Maxton to Laurinburg.  The 4 business routes are extremely poorly posted where they meet in the center of town.  I had never driven any of the business routes here so I spent a half-hour looping around to get them all.  I followed US 74 to Wadesboro (brief detour loop to get 74 Bus east of NC 381), then NC 742 to Oakboro, NC 205 to Red Cross, NC 24-27 to Albemarle, NC 138 to Oakboro, NC 205 to Marshville.  NC 205 within the limits of Marshville (about 3/4 mile) is totally unstriped.  I'm having trouble thinking of another NC primary route that is unstriped anywhere.

I took US 74 east to Polkton, then NC 218 to Mint Hill, then NC 51 to NC 16 so I could drive the Matthews Bypass which I don't believe was there when I drove NC 51 in 1987.  NC 51 sucked...a ton of traffic.  I followed NC 16 to Wendover east to US 74 east to Monroe.  US 74 from NC 27 to Monroe is atrocious.  One set of stoplights took 5 cycles to get through.  I can only imagine what it is like during rush hour.  In Monroe I picked up NC 200 to US 601 then used NC 3 to Mooresville.  I then used NC 152 east to NC 153 to Old US 29 ALT north.  At least one street blade still had a US 29A label on it.  From China Grove I got back on I-85 and headed home.  Notably, I-85 Bus already has a BGS for NC 47!

After it got dark it got SCARY.  If you are not familiar with I-85 in Virginia, most of the stretch between US 1 South Hill and US 460 outside Petersburg is two narrow carriageways lined with tall skinny pine trees.  The wind was blowing 40-50 mph, maybe gusting a little higher.  I was being continually pelted with pine debris from above, while the whole forest floor was trying to cross the freeway.  Then the bigger stuff started showing up in the road.  A county sheriff passed me going about 80 mph and he immediately slammed on his brakes (hard enough I could hear it over the howling wind), I stomped on mine and veered as far right as I could.  A dead pine tree had fallen across the NB lanes.  The sheriff did not wreck (it had not started snowing yet) and I didn't either.  When a dead pine tree crashes to the ground it shatters so it was pretty crushable and not very thick.  I just aimed for the "crushiest" part I could see.  Shortly after (going a little slower now) there was another dead tree all the way across that I was able to get over, then there were 3 vehicles pulled off to the side because they may have hit a larger clump of trees that was leaning over into the left lane.  When I finally got to the older part of 85 where it was the Richmond-Petersburg Tpk (no trees in the middle), the temperature had dropped 15 degrees in about a half hour and it was snowing.  Extremely hard.  It was visually like a blizzard as the wind was directly into the windshield.  At least the surrounding terrain wasn't white or this might've been pretty dangerous.

I elected not to try the high-rise I-295 bridge over the James River in that kind of wind so I went back through Richmond on I-95 again.  Apparently I haven't been NB at night through there in a long time...Richmond's skyline looked really lovely at night.  A tree also blocked a couple lanes of NB 95 near Ashland but otherwise the rest of the ride was far less eventful.  I am surprised I did not end up with a flat tire.  I ran over a TON of debris over 50 miles.

Routes clinched: I-74 Fut, US 74 ALT, US 15-74-401-501 Bus (Laurinburg), US 74 Bus Hamlet, NC 3, NC 51, NC 138, NC 153, NC 186, NC 205, NC 218
I also picked up 4 segments of US 74 I was missing (now have all of it east of Kings Mtn); most of NC 200, NC 742

With this trip I surpassed 1,000,000 miles lifetime driving.  Regrettably, 38% of this is my current commute.

Mapmikey

« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 06:10:13 PM by Mapmikey »
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Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

hbelkins

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Re: North Carolina Ride
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 11:46:46 PM »

Your tales of fallen trees remind me why I absolutely hate medians that are not either grassy or composed of a jersey barrier. One additional problem with a wooded median is the fact that critters like deer can hide out in them and then dash out onto the highway.
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74/171FAN

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Re: North Carolina Ride
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 12:26:52 AM »

I saw a new BGS put to the side up near I-95 at the VA 10 interchange (probably due to VDOT's use of the old Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike building) within the last couple weeks that does not have Miami for I-95 South.  Idk if that means anything for the fate of Miami as a control city yet or not.
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Mapmikey

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Re: North Carolina Ride
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 10:30:02 AM »

I saw a new BGS put to the side up near I-95 at the VA 10 interchange (probably due to VDOT's use of the old Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike building) within the last couple weeks that does not have Miami for I-95 South.  Idk if that means anything for the fate of Miami as a control city yet or not.

AFAIK the only locations that had Miami on the BGS were I-95 south approaching I-295 north of Richmond (removed) and in the area of the I-85 interchange (at least 2 signs with it remain).

Mapmikey
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Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

1995hoo

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Re: North Carolina Ride
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 02:01:45 PM »

If memory serves, the ones approaching I-295 now list Richmond International Airport instead of Miami.
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