Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Different Mecklenburg Saga, Part 2: Greensboro to almost Salisbury

Resuming with I-85 on the Greensboro Urban Loop. This is the beltway that eventually will go all the way around Greensboro, carrying I-85 on the southeast quadrant, I-73 on the southwest, and I-840 on the northern quadrants. The southeast quadrant was the first to open, in 2004. The last time I was in Greensboro before this trip, it was under construction. The southwest quadrant opened in 2008 and initially carried both I-40 and I-73. Motorist confusion resulted in I-40 being restored to its original route through the city and US 421 going onto the Urban Loop in its place. Because of the continual updating of routes on the loop, there is lots of greenout on signage. The first exit on the loop is for Youngs Mill Road.

Although this section of I-85 is less than 10 years old, it already has been patched in places.

These were a common sight on I-85 from here to Charlotte.

The first evidence of changing routings is ahead. US 421 used to cross in both directions here.

I assume this used to say US 421 North.

US 421 has a wrong-way concurrency with I-85; however the concurrency becomes correct when I-73 takes over.

When Elm Street meets Eugene Street, they become Elm-Eugene Street. I'm totally serious.

I-85 and US 421 meet I-73 and US 220 here. I-73 South may have been added to the overhead on the right here since I took this picture.

I believe the blank shield under the To West was for I-40 before the southwest quadrant opened. It's too far west for I-840 and too far north for I-74.

This signage made the previously mentioned I-40 shield obsolete.

I-85 prepares to leave the Urban Loop.

I-85 and I-85 Business have an unsigned concurrency between the two segments of the business route.

Not terrible.

I-85 is briefly united with US 29 & 70, which leave for the business route into High Point.

Approaching I-74, US 311, and NC 62. Both NC 62 and US 311 go to Virginia on opposite sides of Danville.

Pit stop on NC 62.

I-74 near here was recently opened.

Back on I-85.

NC 109 is notable for having the last known cutout shield in North Carolina, which lasted until at least 2000. It's long gone now.

US 64's current and former alignments have their own exits.

NC 8? You guessed it, goes to Virginia. It is, by far, the most notable of the single-digit NC routes, which are mostly minor.

We encounter construction for the first time, although it continued most of the way to Charlotte.

The other end of I-85 Business. Future I-285 will end near here as well.

Construction time again.

US 29 & 70 apparently leave here.

Traffic. Everything counts in large amounts.

I-85 and US 52 reassurance shields.

Spencer and East Spencer are separate places, but the way this overhead is worded makes it look like it's for something called Spencer E. Spencer.

Hopefully part 3 will take me less than two weeks to get to, but you'll finally see us reach Charlotte.

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