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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Diamond Road

Posted February 20, 2007 7:22 a.m. EST

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.