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I-26 Connector, North Carolina
North Carolina officials have proposed expanding I-240, which runs through downtown Asheville and connects I-26 southwest of Asheville to other highway routes northwest of the city. Local residents, however, have questioned whether the project as currently designed would damage a mature, livable neighborhood to build road space that is not actually needed.
I-285 & SR 400 Interchange Rebuilding, Atlanta, Georgia
Aging interchanges can be dangerous and updating their design can be necessary to keep drivers safe. Yet in Georgia, the need for an interchange design update has led to something far larger.
I-49 Inner City Connection, Shreveport, Louisiana
Louisiana officials are making plans to build an expensive highway that will harm a community, reminiscent of highway projects that devasted urban areas in the middle of the 20th century. The plan is to spend $547 million to $640 million building a new 3.5-mile cut-through section of Interstate 49 that will divide the northern section of Shreveport. A loop interstate already exists around Shreveport and is the “no build option”.
I-5 Rose Quarter Widening, Oregon
Portland, Oregon, has made bold moves toward becoming a good place to get around without a car. New funding will soon create new bus rapid transit routes. The city has a widely used bikeshare program. The city has plans to remove parking spaces and use the space for new bus, streetcar, and bike lanes. Portland has also set a goal of 25 percent of trips to be made by bicycle by 2030, and from 2000 to 2015 the share of people who commute by bike increased from less than 2 percent to 7 percent.
I-526 Extension, South Carolina
Charleston County in South Carolina is moving forward with an eight-mile, $725 million extension to I-526 across Johns and James Islands that would, as the Charleston Post and Courier wrote in a 2019 editorial about the project, “create negative environmental and community impacts while providing minimal traffic relief in the immediate term and little or no improvement over the long term.” The so-called Mark Clark extension, which will cost Charleston County more than it has spent on any single project in its history, would be a four-lane parkway from near Citadel Mall in West Ashley to the James Island connector at Folly Road.
I-57 Interchange, Illinois
Illinois officials have budgeted $206 million for a new interchange on I-57 that would take drivers onto a road through undeveloped farmland 44 miles south of Chicago in Will County, Illinois. The project has been deemed “The Exit to Nowhere” by the Illinois Policy Center, as the destination of the proposed interchange is an unbuilt airport which itself is an object of controversy. The project also represents a large unnecessary cost at a time when key local transportation priorities are in desperate need of funding, and will require paving over rural areas of farmland and floodplains.
I-77 Express Lanes, North Carolina
A highway project that doesn’t merit funding through North Carolina’s normal transportation prioritization process is moving forward in part because a private company is willing to contribute some money – but taxpayers are still going to have to put up hundreds of millions of dollars.
I-83 Widening, York County, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is moving forward with a plan to spend $300 million to widen I-83 in York County from four to eight lanes. But project documents fail to show how the project will solve any problems or bring clear benefits to the region.
I-94 East-West Expansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
In Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has proposed expanding a segment of I-94 that runs east-west through the city. WisDOT wants to increase the capacity of I-94, widening the road in places and adding a second deck to the highway for a narrow stretch that is bounded by three cemeteries—at a cost of $800 million over and above just repairing the existing road. Local officials have registered their opposition publicly, and have asked WisDOT to study alternatives, including those that would not expand the highway. Members of the community have advocated against the widening and in support of transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects—as well as repair of existing roads—instead. WisDOT projects that traffic will increase in the corridor, but traffic counts have been declining in recent years.
I-94 North South Expansion, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is spending $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion (in 2009 dollars) to widen the I-94 freeway from Milwaukee to near the Illinois state line from six to eight lanes. The project will involve the replacement of seven interchanges along the route, along with the total rebuilding of many stretches of highway.
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