This report is from Day 3 of my transfer from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Norfolk, VA, on December 2, 2001.

Roadtrip Report #3 (MS-VA) (very long)

Continuing along, after a short delay with no Internet access (Kym's Coffee in the Nantahala Gorge closed up shop for the season on the 18th)...

Day 3 (from Adairsville, GA)

General route taken: GA 140/GA 108/GA 515/GA 372/GA 306/GA 53/US 19/GA 136/GA 183/GA 52/US 76/GA 17/NC 69/US 64/NC 141/US 74/I-40/I-240/US 23/US 19/US 19E/NC 194/US 221/Blue Ridge Pkwy/NC 181/US 221/US 421/Green I-40/I-40.

- Lots of routes due to adding more counties to the collection. Also took a few more GA ends, and a few NC ends for Adam Prince.

- Very pleased with Georgia and most North Carolina state highway pavement....very smooth for the most part.

- Contrary to DeLorme, there is no US 411/GA 140 duplex. They cross at a standard 4-leg intersection, with stop control on GA 140.

- 4-way stops at GA 140/GA 108 and GA 372/GA 369.

- GA 5/GA 515/GA 108 has a stoplight. GA 5/GA 515 is mostly concrete from here south to the north end of I-575.

- Very noticeable that GA 5/GA 515 was 4-laned prior to the completion of I-575. North end of GA 372 uses the southern end of this 4-lane, with a half interchange and ghost ramps where it intersects BUS GA 5 (old GA 5). Also contrary to DeLorme, I-575 was built branching off from GA 5/GA 515 just north of the Pickens/Cherokee County line.

- Stoplights at GA 369/GA 9, GA 369/US 19, GA 369/GA 306, and US 19/GA 53.

- Interesting setup at the GA 53/GA 306 junction. It's like the edge of two circles coming near each other, with a short connector between the two.

- Cool green-colored steel truss superstructure on the GA 53 bridge over the Chestatee River/Lake Sidney Lanier, at the Forsyth/Hall County line. Took a couple pics.

- GA 400 is cosigned with US 19 in this area (Forsyth/Dawson/Lumpkin Counties). The road is a very nice 4-lane divided expressway, although I'm somewhat disappointed that GaDOT does not fully pave the right shoulder.

- Stop control on GA 136 at US 19/GA 136.

- GA 52 has climbing lanes and even bicycle lanes going up and down Oak Hill, southeast of Ellijay.

- Snapped a pic of a set of US 76/GA 2/GA 5/GA 515 reassurance shields. GA 515 uses blue for the shield color, with "APD" above the number.

- Blue Ridge bypass is 5-lane undivided, 55 MPH (vice 65 MPH for the rural portion), and has 5 stoplights (soon to be 6).

- US 76/GA 60 is signalized.

- Cool views of morning fog in the valleys and hillsides through northern Georgia.

- Blairsville bypass is 4/5-lane undivided, 45 MPH, with 3 or 4 stoplights (don't remember).

- 4-lane ends on the Blairsville bypass. Northeast of there, US 76 is basically a 3 lane section up to north of Young Harris, GA...a mix of passing lanes and center turn lane.

- From north of Young Harris over to the western GA 17 intersection, construction is progressing to 4-lane US 76.

- GA 515 turns north and follows GA 17 up to the state line...on the NC side, NC 69 shield has "Appalachian Highway" posted with it.

- Construction on BYPASS US 64 around Hayesville. Appeared to be turn lanes. Stoplight at BYPASS US 64/NC 69.

- Took video (in 3 sections) of US 74 from the end of the 4 lane near Andrews all the way up to I-40. Also took video of NB US 19/23 from I-240 to north of US 25/70, and SB US 23 from US 19W in Tennessee to US 19 near Mars Hill.

- Not sure if this has been reported before, but the 3 northern exits on the completed portion of US 23 have exit numbers...with mileage increasing from the TN/NC state line.

- Suggestion for John Lansford: as part of your I-26 project webpages, perhaps photograph and document some of the deficiencies along existing US 23, in order to show folks one good reason why I-26 is being built.

- NCDOT appears to have put some good money into US 19/US 19E through Yancey County over the years...the road is much straighter and wider than the "standard" rural NC 2-lane highway.

- Got stuck in a 35 minute traffic jam on US 19E in Burnsville, NC. A parade had let out just before I got into town.

- From Spruce Pine, US 19E/NC 194/US 221 is signed as a "Truck Detour" for NC 226. NC 194 is a questionable choice, to me....that road is extremely twisty and steep for the eastern 1-2 miles nerar US 221, and the whole section between US 19E and US 221 is very narrow.

- US 221 is closed to trucks between Linville and Blowing Rock. One look at how it hugs Grandfather Mountain (reported to be the tallest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains) shows why....there's more twists and switchbacks in that road than there are in spaghetti. TRUCK US 221 follows NC 105 north out of Linville.

- US 221/321 is 4-lane undivided from just north of their intersection in Blowing Rock, up into Boone.

- Construction ongoing in 4 locations in order to complete 4-laning of US 421 between Boone and Winston-Salem. Appears that it will be expressway west of Wilkesboro, and freeway east. The westernmost section (from just east of Boone to just east of where US 221 turns north) will be 4-lane divided on new location. The section from western Wilkes County in towards Wilkesboro is 2-lane construction parallel to existing US 421 (existing lanes will become future WB (sic NB) lanes). East of Wilkesboro to I-77 will be on new location (some north, some south of existing).

- From I-77 to US 601 appears to have opened recently....4-lane freeway with 65 MPH speed limit.

- Missed my turn and wound up taking BUSINESS I-40 through Winston-Salem. Interesting drive, but I wouldn't want to take it during rush hour.

- Construction progressing on widening I-40 between BUSINESS I-40 and US 220, including a new SPUI near MM 211. Somewhat disappointed that more has not happened in the past 2 years (since my last time through there). This same areas was under construction in November, 1999.

Today, visiting a friend in Burlington....will finish up the trip to Norfolk tomorrow.

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