Driving in Durham

On a recent drive through Durham I realized that the decades long construction is now finished, or nearly finished. As you merge from 15-501 (two roads that run concurrent through Chapel Hill and Durham in such a manner that they are really one road) onto I-85, the highway is now 10 lanes across with brick walls along the sides to keep the road sounds on the road.

When I arrived in Durham for college over 20 years ago this merge was a dangerous spot where you had a short space to get into only 2 lanes of interstate traffic coming from Greensboro. There were also two lanes going in the other direction. If a truck was on the road as you tried to merge, you had to hange on, because there was just no place to go. There is plenty of room now.

Things are also very different when traveling in the other direction, heading south on I-85 and needing to exit on 15-501 to head to Duke or Chapel Hill. This exit had always been on the left. Getting into a left hand exit lane (the fast lane) had always been a harrowing experience when their were only 2 lanes in your direction. Not only are there more lanes, but the exit is on the right. There was a certain charm about a left hand exit. It kind of went with a road called 15-501.

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