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Thread: Interstate through greenswamp

  1. #1
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    There are plans to build an interstate right through the middle of the Green Swamp.

    http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld....583.htm

    INTERSTATE 74

    N.C. plan may give only spur to S.C.

    I-74

    By Brock Vergakis

    The Sun News

    FAST FACT

    One of the two interstates planned to come to Myrtle Beach could terminate elsewhere, creating the possibility that the Grand Strand would be linked to it only by an interstate spur.

    N.C. Gov. Mike Easley's plan is for Interstate 74 to come into South Carolina in the Little River area by connecting with a proposed extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway.

    The S.C. and N.C. departments of transportation came to an agreement in February that South Carolina would extend the Carolina Bays Parkway so it could connect with I-74 in exchange for North Carolina agreeing to build a 3.7-mile section of road that would extend Interstate 73 into South Carolina.

    I-73 eventually will lead to the Grand Strand by connecting it with S.C. 22.

    Either interstate would be the Grand Strand's first and provide a more direct route to the coast for millions of vacationers from North Carolina, Virginia and the Midwest that feed into the state's $15 billion-a-year tourism industry.

    But the agreement between the Carolinas stipulates only that the Carolina Bays Parkway connect with I-74 or a spur of I-74.

    The language in the agreement is the first indication that I-74's route may change again for the first time in two years.

    Easley unveiled his proposed route for I-74 in 2003 as part of a series of large-scale transportation improvements in southeastern N.C. that includes a new toll bridge over the Cape Fear River to the state port, routing I-74 through Brunswick County, N.C., toward South Carolina and extending Interstate 20 from Florence to Wilmington, N.C.

    But South Carolina has shown no interest in extending I-20, which North Carolina wants because it would provide a direct route from Atlanta to the state port in Wilmington and help in hurricane evacuations for the state's largest coastal metropolitan area.

    The route I-20 is designed to follow after intersecting with I-74 in Columbus County, N.C., also would make most of the current U.S. 74 an interstate between Charlotte, N.C., and Wilmington.

    Now, trucks shipping goods from Charlotte can get to Charleston's port more quickly than Wilmington's.

    If I-74 were to terminate somewhere other than Myrtle Beach, one possibility would be to end in Wilmington or at the future Interstate 140 bypass in Brunswick County, with U.S. 17 becoming an I-74 spur that connects with the Carolina Bays Parkway.

    U.S. 17 already is planned to be upgraded to interstate standards from Shallotte, N.C., south as part of current I-74 plans.

    In 2000, the N.C. DOT studied the possibility of upgrading 40 miles of U.S. 74 between Whiteville, N.C., and Wilmington to Interstate standards after concerns arose that bringing I-74 through swampland in Columbus and Brunswick counties could cause too much harm to the environment.

    The current proposed route for I-74 has the interstate cutting through the Green Swamp along N.C. 211 in Brunswick County, which is home to several rare plants and animals.

    The Nature Conservancy, which owns most of the Green Swamp, opposes that route.

    All construction is subject to funding.

    The stretch of U.S. 74 east of Whiteville that now is proposed to be part of I-20 is scheduled to be upgraded to interstate standards after 2010 but has no funding, nor does upgrading N.C. 211 to interstate standards for I-74.

    U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, who represents southeastern N.C., recently announced Congressional funding to build interchanges where I-74 and N.C. 211 will meet in Columbus County.

    Dean Mitchell, McIntyre's chief of staff, said he is unaware of any plans to have I-74 follow any other route than what the governor has proposed.

    If I-74 were to terminate somewhere other than the Grand Strand, it wouldn't be the first time a proposed interstate route to the Grand Strand was changed.

    In 1991, I-73 was designated by Congress to end in Charleston.

    By 1998 the interstate was scheduled to end in Georgetown.

    Maps released by the S.C. DOT this year show I-73 terminating between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach where S.C. 22 ends.

    The route I-74 is taking also has undergone changes.

    Before Easley introduced his plan in 2003, the road was planned to come into Brunswick County, N.C., closer to the S.C. line by following roughly along N.C. 904.

    The current route has it coming in more north toward Shallotte, providing greater access to Brunswick County's beaches.

    Although the agreement between the Carolinas allows for some flexibility as to where I-74 will terminate, N.C. officials say they still are focusing on the current route.

    "The only route I'm aware of is the one Gov. Easley proposed in May of 2003," said Alan Pope, N.C. DOT division engineer in the Wilmington office. "At this point I'm not aware of any of that conversation."

  2. #2
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Pave the Planet, 2005 Edition. Building interstates provides a windfall profit to lots of landowners and those that profit should pay an assessment on roads the same way people pay for sewer lines that pass by their property. Then let's see how anxious politicians are to bring roads to their voters. Or, more importantly in this situation, to their contributors.

    At least in cities, neighboring landowners did have to pay for road improvements (and some maintenance too, I think) a century ago. But the roadhog lobby took care of that and roads have been a growth industry ever since.

    A lot of the demand for road improvements would disappear if capital gains taxes were increased for real estate. Once people are forced to stop viewing land as a speculative investment and to see it instead as a place for living, production, recreation, preservation or whatever, prices will stabilize and the rate of wasteful development will drop.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Hey Ozzy, etc.

    I don't wish to comment more until I have additional details, but my early inquiries into this situation are unfortunately extremely grim. Very grim. It appears the sitting governor (Mike Easley) is actively pushing the Green Swamp corridor.

    This is potentially very bad news. Very bad news indeed. I'll be travelling in North Carolina in a week or so, and will try to find out more.

    How does this all affect the proposed landfill? The proposed corridor does not interfere with the landfill; indeed, it gives the landfill a good off ramp.

    This is bad. Very bad.
    Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
    Co-editor

  4. #4
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    Well I have been following the proposed route of future I-74 for over a year, and this is the first I heard that they plan use HWY 211. I have looked for a map that would show the route but I could never find one. I think Easley proposed this route in 2003. I don't know if they are trying to keep it quite or if I have just missed it. I get an email everytime the green swamp is mentioned in a news report, so I don't think it just slipped by.
    For the ones here that don't know Hwy 211 is probably the most famous road in the CP world. The part that will be made into the interstate is the part with most of the cp's.

    As far as the Landfill goes, I would think this would be a good thing for them. They will have a faster and better road to import trash from other states.

    I really don't think this segment of I-74 is even needed. They want to conect Wilmington with I-20 and Myrtle Beach. Hyw 74 is now a 4 lane hwy now. It's almost up to interstate standards now from Wilmington to past Whiteville. I think the most direct and fastest route would be to follow Hwy 74 to I-95 then I- 95 to Florence SC where I-20 now ends. Then take Hwy 17 from Wilmington to Myrtle Beach. Hwy 17 is now four lanes all the way. It would take very little more to improve it to interstate standards.



    The problem is that NC and SC have been trying to reach an agreement to bring I-74 to Myrtle Beach and NC wants I-20 to go to Wilmington. SC wants 74 to connect to a newly built road that's called Carolina Bays Parkway. I think they are trying to build as much as they can in undeveloped areas.

    I'm going to send an email to one of my contacts there and she if she knows anything about it.

    I'll look into starting a petition.

  5. #5
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, one more bad effect this will have. It will cause the housing and development boom there even bigger.

  6. #6
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    i strongly suggest we get ahold of the enviormenal assessment conclusions for this project. If it can help us, it will add wiight to any legal arguments. If it has conclusions that say it wont due mutch damage, there is the possibility that they undertook a incomplete survey with the intent of finding evidence to sent the prokect foreward with pressure from the govener. that would mean they wernt really doing their jobs, and it could ba base for a lawsuit if it must come to that
    that makes no logic

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