Sunday, October 28, 2007

Point Lookout on Old US 70

NC 86 North, I 40 West to Old Fort
I 40 East, US 321 South to US 321 Business
US 321 North, I 40 East, NC 86 South
We took the exit for NC 801 to check out the unusual interchange design. The westbound exit/entrance is a normal diamond controlled by a stop light. The eastbound exit/entrance is a diamond controlled by teardrop roundabout. The left turn from southbound NC 801 and the entrance ramp requires that traffic go three quarters around the roundabout. The north side of the rounabout blends into the median of the bridge making the roundabout the shape of a teardrop.

The main purpose of this trip was to hike an old section of the Central Highway that is now gated off for pedestrian and bike traffic only. The old road climbs up Bernard Mountain from Old Fort to Swannoa. It has been long superceded by US 70 and later I 40. There was a scenic vista called Point Lookout overlooking the Royal Gorge. Up and back was a 3.5 mile hike (each way) with a 750 foot elevation change. We took photos. See for a complete report.

Went down US 321 to tag Lincoln county. Turned around at US 321 Business, which was briefly signed NC 155 when the US 321 freeway was built. Local pressure forced the state to resign the road to US 321 Business.
Tagged Lincoln counties in NC for a total of 896. Mileage on US 321.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Charleston SC

US 15/501 North, NC 147 East, I 40 East, I 95 South, I 26 East, Meeting Street South to Charleston SC
Meeting Street North, US 17 North, Local Roads to Pawley's Island, US 17 North, SC 544 West, SC 31 North, SC 9 South, SC 90 West, US 17 North, NC 211 South, NC 133 South, Local Roads to Oak Island
NC 133 North, NC 87 North, US 17 North, I 40 North, NC 54 West, US 15/501 North to Chapel Hill
The US 74 interchange with I 95 is half closed. The north half of the diamond is open, while the south side ramps have been removed to build the I 74/US 74 interchange.
The Cooper River Bridge (US 17) is awesome. It is a double cable stayed bridge, the first I have personally driven across.
Clinched the current version of the Carolina Bays Parkway ( Future I 73/74 ). There are no Future signs to be seen.
The transition from SC 9 South to US 17 North is a surface road connection by way of SC 90. Unlike the transition to US 17 South, which is just a freeway level merge.
The second bridge to Oak Island is under construction. There was a whole line of construction vehicles along the right of way from the NC 211 and Midway Road intersection. On Oak Island, the waterway access at the north end of Middleton is now a holding area for bridge supports. Yacht Drive is open through the construction. The north half of the block of Middleton between Oak Island Drive and Yacht Drive is completely leveled. It appears this block will be the approach to the bridge. It is not clear whether Yacht Drive will go under the bridge or if it will be cut there.
I got a clear view of an old shield gantry on the ramp taking I 40 West onto I 440 Inner Beltline. The gantry has US 70 EAST and NC 50 SOUTH. There was a time when current US 70 through Garner was signed US 70 Business. During that period, US 70 and NC 50 were routed up I 40 to I 440 to the current US 70/401/NC 50 interchange. The gantry on the ramp in question should have been US 70 West and NC 50 North. The current gantry is clearly wrong. I need to get a picture.
Tagged Berkeley and Georgetown counties in SC for a total of 895. Clinched I 26 in SC and SC 31. Mileage on US 17, SC 544, SC 9, SC 90.