This report is from a trip from Burlington, NC back to Norfolk, VA on July 7, 2002.

NC-VA Weekend Return Trip

By coincidence, I happened to take a roundabout way back to Hampton Roads from Burlington, NC today, and was on US 29 from Reidsville, NC (coming off of NC 87) up to Amherst, VA (where I picked up US 60 for the rest of the run home) this morning. Here's my notes as they pertain to US 29:

- US 29 is down to one lane each direction on the northbound lanes along the Reidsville bypass. Not sure what the southern extent is, but the construction zone extends north to just past US 158/NC 14. Orange cones are staged further north, up to Ruffin, but no lanes are closed along this latter portion (yet?).

- The SB BGS at the exit onto what used to be NC 87 (don't remember what the street name is) has an "Exit 149" tab.

- Noticed a "Future I-785 Corridor" sign along the SB lanes near Ruffin.

- Massive construction just north of the NC/VA state line, to accommodate the future US 58 Danville bypass. NB US 29 exits onto itself, utilizing a single lane. Access to BUSINESS US 29 from NB US 29 is provided via a temporary left-turn/U-turn just east of the construction area.

- The former junction of US 29 and SR 1128 (west of VA 86) looks like it used to be an at-grade has since been converted to a pair of right-in/right-outs (one in each direction).

- Earthmoving and grading are well underway as part of the project to twin the northern portion of the Danville bypass. Only one interchange noticeable along this stretch....that being what appears to be a future trumpet (SB on-loop) as a connector to VA 360 (not to be confused with US 360).

- Took some time to backtrack through Danville, in search of VA state highway ends. There's one interesting section of highway through Danville (mostly along BUSINESS US 29) that is, in effect, a freeway (although it lacks a median barrier as well as shoulders). From south to north, the 4 interchanges involved are a partial-cloverleaf at VA 86/VA 293, a full cloverleaf at BUSINESS 29/VA 86/VA 413, a full cloverleaf at US 58/BUSINESS 29/VA 86, and a trumpet (NB off-loop) at Piedmont Drive. Further, US 58 has an interchange at Piedmont Dr.

- What looks like a new concrete arch bridge is going up across the Dan River just north of the VA 293 bridge (possibly a replacement).

- Found an END NORTH VA 86 shield, right at where BUSINESS US 29 and Piney Forest Rd merge.

- VDOT has their work cut out for them if they intend to upgrade US 29 to an Interstate-grade freeway south of Amherst, as is currently planned. A quick rundown of the shortcomings includes numerous private driveways from development near the roadway, no paved shoulders along most of the route, narrow bridges, and substandard grades and curvature. Along virtually all of the non-bypass/rural portions of the route, the original WW2-era lanes are used (with all of their substandard geometry), and simply had a twin set of lanes slapped down when 4-laning occurred. Most of the route will have to be fully reconstructed.

- Counted 7 stoplights between Danville and US 460....only 1 of these is south of VA 24...that one being at SR 703 south of Chatham.

- Advance Warning Flashers at traffic signaled intersections are common along the US 29 corridor in Virginia.

- Some of the ramps at the new US 29/US 460 cloverleaf are quite long.

- The US 29 portion of the Lynchburg Expressway has sequential exit numbers, beginning with Exit 1AB at Main St (near the James River bridge), and increasing as one heads south. Not sure if these exit numbers continue onto the US 501 portion of the freeway.

- Relating to another recent thread, trucks are limited to the right lane along US 29 through Madison Heights.

- Not related to Adam Prince's upcoming trip, but US 60 is a very scenic drive between Amherst and Buckingham Court House...scenery becomes so-so east of Buckingham CH. Only 1 stoplight along US 60 between US 29 and US 522...that being at US 15 in Sprouses Corner.

- Two of my gripes against VDOT were well-reinforced today: lack of END signage, and lack of paved shoulders along major non-Interstate routes.

- Cheapest 87-octane gas found today was $1.199 at various locations in Lynchburg.

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