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Abandoned Interstate

Not often do you get a chance to walk on an abandoned interstate.

The highway that runs through downtown, that has tiny lanes and even tinier on and off ramps, that is always backed up with traffic, is being completely rebuilt with hopes of being greatly improved. And once it got demolished, I couldn’t help but go for a walk on what used to be one crazy road.

In the center divider, years and years of debris from so many accidents were scattered all around.

I’ve driven this road so many times.  It was strange to walk where it used to be, and imagine what it will become.

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They Tore Down a School to Build an Interstate

A giant pile of rubble was a surprising sight to see one day while driving downtown. A little school was in the process of being torn down, for what I later read, was to make room for the rebuilding of an interstate and the roads surrounding it.
Business 40 interstate which runs through downtown has been a disaster since it was built in the 50s, with narrow lanes and tiny on ramps. This year it is finally getting shut down to be rebuilt into something actually functional.
This sad little school just happened to be in the way of the new interstate improvements.

These next few years will be interesting for downtown’s landscape.

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Construction Zone- Part Seven

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It’s been almost three years since I started this Construction Zone series, and by the looks of it, it is finally nearing the end!

The city is building a Diverging Diamond interchange as a part of a brand new major road that is being built.

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In order for the road to be completed, a bridge for the already existing railroad has to be built. Since this is a very busy track, the new railroad has to be completely finished before the old track gets taken down, so the rail can easily be switched over with no train delays.

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These decorative arches were installed just the other week.

(I feel like it needs a ball of Christmas lights hanging from the center or something!)

 

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We were excited to see that our favorite biking trail seems to finally be back open after nearly three long years!  The part that was once a giant muddy swamp while this bridge was being built has been repaved and cleaned up.

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The remnants of some giant tubing still remain..

I love to document the changes this city is going through. It won’t be long until this area is no longer a construction zone and nobody remembers what it used to look like!

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Bailey Power Plant

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The power plant that once supplied energy to  the tobacco factories in Winston-Salem has been sitting vacant for many years.

It sits closed off from the world, by a towering chain link fence.


(A fence I would love to sneak through, but am too scared!)

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Many companies had been contacted to restore the old building, but they all turned away, as they thought the building could not be saved, or would be too complicated of a project.

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Luckily one company finally saw the potential and has finally gotten to work, restoring and updating the former power plant.

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Bailey Power plant is one of the most unique buildings in Winston-Salem. There are big plans for it, and I can’t wait to see them unfold.

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Forgotten Corners

The city I live in is changing all the time. Construction is happening around every corner.

And I want to remember what it once was. 

At one time this area was a busy industrial part of town, with a train passing through and many busy factories.  Over time it began to crumble, until all the buildings were eventually torn down and nature took cover, covering most of the evidence that this spot was ever part of the busy downtown.



The forgotten streets that were left behind are a memory of a different era, when most of the city streets were cobblestone.



This area will soon become part of the busy city once again.. 


I just hope they keep the cobblestone!
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Construction Zone- Part Six

We returned to the construction zone, to see how everything was coming along.

Our latest suspicions were confirmed; they are building a whole new railroad bridge! It will be exciting to see how everything ends up looking with this swanky new bridge in place.


I started documenting this construction site when the city temporarily closed off our favorite biking trail in order to put a new road in, that will eventually connect with the interstate by way of a diverging diamond. I miss our biking trail so much, so I have been keeping close watch on the construction, hoping that our trail will be back open soon.
(It’s been two years now!!)

I also want to remember how things used to look. My city has changed so much in the past few years that some parts are almost unrecognizable. I want to document everything I can.
This whole area used to be covered in trees, it is so different now.


This is where the much anticipated diamond will be. 




On our visit, we spotted something strange on the tracks…

A cat!


He was so cute, but so scared of us!  I couldn’t get close to him.





In the background is the college I went to. I remember biking on this trail before I even got accepted there, and wondering what my life would be like once I started. Now, years later, I have attended, graduated and it’s a thing of the past. It all feels like a dream. It’s funny how life works.

That’s why I like to take pictures of how things once were. Because they’ll change before you know it!

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Construction Zone: Part 5

It has been a while since we visited the construction zone, and a lot has changed!

Quick recap: Our favorite biking trail has been closed for nearly two years because they are building a giant bridge above it that will eventually connect with a highway. 
It is still possible to bike along the trail, if you’re willing to go through some mud and lift your bike over the huge drainage pipes. Makes for an interesting ride!
The biggest change was on the other end of the new road. This area is quite shocking to see still, because it used to be completely wooded and level with the train tracks.

 Click here to see what it looked like before; it’s the second picture!
We assumed that they were going to tunnel under the railroad, but now it looks like they are going to build a new railroad bridge! That will be interesting to see in progress.

And here is where the big diverging diamond interchange will go. This area was once covered in trees as well. It will be quite something when it is all finished!
I wonder what those are?

There has been a lot of changes made to the city I live in over the past few years, and it’s so easy to forget what it looked like beforehand. I wanted to make a point to take pictures of areas before they change, so I can always remember the way things used to be.
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Construction Zone- Part Four

For the past year our favorite trail has been closed due to construction of a huge bridge. We have been visiting it regularly to see how it is coming along. See Parts onetwo and three here.

The bridge is nearly complete! Maybe the trail will be open soon! This time there were no cool machines to look at, and the microwave was gone.


It hadn’t rained in about a month, so all the dirt had dried up and cracked like a giant desert.




Even though the greenway is technically closed, it doesn’t stop some people from going though!

There was a tiny trail though the grass, just big enough to fit a bike through.





Since the trail doesn’t see much traffic these day, the animals have moved in!

I can’t wait for the trail to be open again.

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Construction Zone- Part Three

We went back in December to see how the construction zone was going, and the bridge had been put up!  Maybe our biking trail will reopen soon, we’re anxious to have it back!
Also, the microwave was still there!!

This is the view from above.

I was shocked when I realized how many trees had been cut down and how much this area had changed.

 In contrast, this is the same exact place two years earlier.



And this is from the other direction, before and after,


They’re putting this new road in to help with the terrible traffic that builds up every day on the interstate and to give access to the newly renovated tobacco lofts.  They are putting in a diverging diamond interchange , which was apparently one of the best innovations of 2009.. So I guess that’s exciting.

It’s sad to see this pretty wooded area be torn down, but, that’s what happens in a growing city.  I couldn’t be more glad that we decided to go exploring this day; we had no idea that two years later all that stuff would be gone. This definitely motivates me to take more random shots of the city, because you never know when it might change.

Surprisingly enough though, the little shack that we snuck into was still standing!

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Construction Zone- Part Two

About a month ago we went back to the construction zone, to see how far it had come along.

It was as far along as I expected, but it’s still neat to see the progress. It’s gonna be weird to drive over that new road and remember what it used to look like.

We saw a microwave! Do the workers use that to heat their lunches or is it for some sort of construction process that I don’t know about?

Even though there wasn’t much going on, I still love this walk because of all the power lines to take pictures of! (Hehe)