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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Diamond Road

Posted February 20, 2007

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. They are also a traveler's best friend. I've been on the road a lot lately and have seen and felt the best and the worst of North Carolina highways and interstates.

The new expanded US 1-64 project in Cary is highway heaven. It is clearly the smoothest ride I have ever experienced. You may have heard WRAL Trafficologist Mark Roberts explain why. Diamond tipped saw blades were used to remove bumps in the road. The result is an incredibly comfortable surface which means lower noise, better tire traction and lower skid and hydroplaning potential.

Perhaps the only downside is speed. Drivers tend to hit the the gas a little too hard on the silky surface. Compare the diamond ground surface in Cary to the jarring ride north of Henderson on I-85 or I-95 in Johnston County or I-40 West between Winston-Salem and Hickory. Eventually money will have to be found to repave those bumpy interstate stretches. Too many people are having to pay for too many front end alignments. I hope state transportation officials figure out a way to work more diamonds into the road.
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  • spottswood Feb 21, 2007

    ys build some more so the contractors aND INSPECTORS CAN CALUDE AND COST TAXPAYERS ANOTHER BILLION OR SO IN REDO AND REPaves

  • davidpmcknight Feb 21, 2007

    I am concerned as to whether our Triangle-area Interstate connectors, spurs and loops are up to standards as specified in the relevant federal and state regulations governing the construction and maintenance of the U.S. Interstate Highway System. Here are two specific areas of concern:

    1. Physical surfaces. Are these roadways "gritty" enough in their physical composition to permit adequate braking, turning and slowing-down maneuvers of vehicles traveling in each lane of traffic?

    2. "Banking." For those Interstate-connected roadways constructed with a significant degree of "banking" or curvature, are the degrees of curvature for each segment of Interstate connector in the Triangle area within the limits permitting safe traveling at Interstate-level vehicular speeds?

    Our area congressman should confer with N.C. Transportation Department officials to determine whether all connectors marked as I-40 should be classified as Interstates or parkways (with reduced speeds).

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