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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC via Richmond VA
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Ive always wondered why these two major arteries missed the capital city. Was it the geographical location or was it "not in my backyard" politics. I also wonder what type of impact it would have had on the size and development of the city. Does anyone know why these two East Coast llifelines were built decidedly around instead of through Raleigh? This area may have rivaled Charlotte or Atlanta if it weren't so far off the beaten path.
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:58 PM
rfb
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I-85 goes right by Durham, and I-40 goes by Raleigh and Durham. I'm not sure either city is really feels "bypassed". Even if all the highways went through Raleigh, I doubt it would rival Atlanta - Atlanta is on a whole different level than any the Triangle or Charlotte.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
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I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that this area has only grown so much since RTP took off. Up til then, the tobacco and textile industry ruled, and they were bigger in the triad region.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Danville, VA
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I don't think Raleigh is isolated, especially not these days. Raleigh will eventually have another interstate, I-87, connecting it to I-95 North in Rocky Mount and the Northeast, as well as the Hampton Roads metro in Virginia. Raleigh already has access to I-95 South via I-40 to Benson. It would've been out of the way if I-95 itself went through Raleigh. Raleigh will also have the added bonus of having I-42 nearby, linking it to the Crystal Coast. If anything, Raleigh is practically a hub.

Another possibility, and I hope it happens, is that NCDOT could upgrade US-1 to interstate standards between I-540 and I-85 in Henderson and designate that as a spur of I-85, such as I-685. I-87 connects east Raleigh to I-95, but does nothing for north Raleigh.

I'm surprised Raleigh hasn't been pushing for US-1 to become an interstate. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:42 PM
 
Location: The City of Medicine
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I wonder if Durham was still bigger when they thought up the original interstate system.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:09 PM
 
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The original interstate system plan had I-40 ending at I-85 Greensboro. The I-40/I-85 multiplex and extension east from there was approved in 1969, but a full freeway connection from there to Raleigh didn't even exist until the Orange County stretch of I-40 opened between I-85 and the Durham Freeway opened in 1989, y'all. For decades, the the best available routes involved either a long drive down Glenwood to the Beltline, or (starting in 1973) a drive through downtown Durham to reach the Durham Freeway from I-85 which would connect to I-40 in the RTP area. Likewise, the I-40 extension to I-95 at Benson didn't open until 1989 either.

So, YES, I would say Raleigh was definitely bypassed. Raleigh's omission from the original 1950s interstate plan cast a very long shadow. Who made the decision that "Durham and Rocky Mount are close enough," and what their motivations were, I really don't know; I'm sure there's some interesting politics there. FWIW, Raleigh surpassed Durham in population sometime between 1950 and 1960.

Last edited by orulz; 06-12-2017 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:48 AM
 
Location: The City of Medicine
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I'm surprised the stretch to Benson opened in '89. The stretch to Wilmington opened in '90.

I remember reading somewhere (Wikipedia?) that 95 in Fayetteville wasn't completed until sometime in the 1980s as well.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 147 ended at 9th Street in Durham until the early '90s. 147's Western terminus at I-85 wasn't completed until the late 1990s.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:49 AM
 
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Highways (mostly) followed the railroads, Raleigh was never a railroad hub, but Charlotte was. Also, look at US 301, I-95 parallels that (older) route.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I like I-95 right where it is.
So much transient traffic moving up and down the east coast and just passing through would not contribute to Raleigh in any way, other than congestion.

So, we were "bypassed," and fortuitously, IMO, in the long run.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:34 AM
 
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
The original interstate system plan had I-40 ending at I-85 Greensboro. The I-40/I-85 multiplex and extension east from there was approved in 1969, but a full freeway connection from there to Raleigh didn't even exist until the Orange County stretch of I-40 opened between I-85 and the Durham Freeway opened in 1989, y'all. For decades, the the best available routes involved either a long drive down Glenwood to the Beltline, or (starting in 1973) a drive through downtown Durham to reach the Durham Freeway from I-85 which would connect to I-40 in the RTP area. Likewise, the I-40 extension to I-95 at Benson didn't open until 1989 either.

So, YES, I would say Raleigh was definitely bypassed. Raleigh's omission from the original 1950s interstate plan cast a very long shadow. Who made the decision that "Durham and Rocky Mount are close enough," and what their motivations were, I really don't know; I'm sure there's some interesting politics there. FWIW, Raleigh surpassed Durham in population sometime between 1950 and 1960.
GF and I were talking about this yesterday. She asked where the foresight was when they planned that skinny corrider of 440 near Western and Hillsboro, and I told her I thought the growth had been recent. I recalled when a bunch of college friends filled in a car in 1988 to go from Boone to Hampton to see the Grateful Dead (3 nights, awesome shows!). 40 ended before Raleigh, and I remember having to go down Glenwood. If I'm not mistaken, a big Tornado had recently touched down on a K-mart on Glenwood (and turned it into a Walmart, LOL), and we had to navigate to Capitol, and then on into VA.

Flash-forward to 1995 and even then, both US1 North and South of Raleigh were mostly just one lane in each direction. I remember moving from Raleigh to Richmond and driving a 24' Ryder Truck with my pick-up on a trailer behind. In the first few miles, I was on Capitol and crossing a bridge when a fuel tanker was coming the other way. Lot of details, but I can assure you it was only two lanes and I was terrified.

Point being that Orulz is saying is right. 40's completion is really only relatively recent. (I also remember having to go into Winston Salem on 40, with "the turn", and over the years as each segment of the Winston/Greensboro bypass to the south opened....)

95 is way too far East to have come to Raleigh, and I too am glad it did not. It is close enough, and I avoid that road any time I can anyway....
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