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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: Interstates, Freeways, and Highways

Nov 17, 2023 09:52AM ● By Donna Walker

Poll Establishes I-85 (SC) as America's 54th Most Loathed Interstate

Many highways across the U.S. contend for the unenviable title of being the most detested by their daily commuters.


Sometimes there is nothing worse than reaching the crest of a hill on a freeway, with the city's shimmering silhouette appearing in the distance, when a relentless tide of brake lights paints a different picture.


Gunther Volvo Cars Daytona Beach ran a survey of 3,000 drivers (via QuestionPro)to determine, once and for all, America’s most loathed interstates/freeways/highways. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top three positions all went to California freeways.


The results:


1. California, US-101

A Golden Gridlock… The Golden State's golden child of gridlock, US-101 takes the crown, with parts in San Francisco and LA making drivers question their life choices. Many drivers report that they think of it as a highway doing an impression of a parking lot, especially during peak hours. With major tourist hubs along the way, the traffic pace can decelerate to speeds slower than an average person's walking pace, particularly noticeable during high-density travel times.


2. California, I-5

Snail’s Stretch… Silver goes to this extensive stretch - I-5, especially through LA, could give snails a run for their money. From San Diego to Oregon, it’s the backbone of the West Coast, but sometimes feels more like a spinal tap with its endless construction zones and “rush hour” that seems to last all day. More than mere congestion, the I-5 in LA represents a unique intersection of diverse populations, relentless urbanization, and infrastructural growing pains - all on one gridlocked stretch.


3. California, I-405 (San Diego Freeway)

Latte Lockup… And rounding up the top 3 was another California gem, the I-405 (San Diego Freeway). Some say it is like Los Angeleans’ way of saying, “You thought the 101 was bad? Hold my latte.” Navigating the infamous Sepulveda Pass is akin to conquering a mountain... if that mountain was made of cars. The I-405, with its unique blend of infrastructural, environmental, and cultural factors, occupies a special spot in the hall of fame of American traffic jams, encapsulating the very essence of Los Angeles' complex relationship with the automobile. 


4. Pennsylvania, I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike)

Historic Halt… In fourth, PA throws its hat into the ring with the I-76. It's a mix of historic charm and modern-day migraines. Imagine a dance floor, but instead of people, it’s cars – shimmying, twirling, and occasionally bumping into each other. Philly and Pittsburgh drivers, especially, know the I-76 tango all too well. Adding to the complexity, the turnpike is peppered with toll plazas that, despite modern EZ-Pass systems, become chokepoints, especially during holiday exoduses. And the weather - rain, snow or shine, each brings its own set of chaos.


5. Colorado, I-70

Rocky Road… Claiming fifth, Colorado’s I-70 is not just your everyday road trip – it's an epic saga. This isn't just about the stop-and-go; it's about battling Mother Nature herself as you weave through the Rockies. With the Eisenhower Tunnel acting as the gateway to winter wonder (or blunder), travelers often find themselves playing a game of "Will it close today?" due to snowstorms. Roadway improvements and seasonal restrictions for non-equipped vehicles attempt to mitigate these issues, but they introduce their own delays, with travelers often facing mandatory detours or chain-ups during winter storms.


In 54th place overall is South Carolina's I-85. As local motorists know, I-85, particularly the stretch near Greenville, can be prone to traffic congestion, especially during rush hours.


The major interstate serves as a key transportation artery in South Carolina, facilitating local transit, interstate travel, and the movement of goods.


The substantial volume of vehicles, including daily commuters and commercial traffic, contributes to consistent congestion in the area, particularly during peak travel times. 


Incidents like accidents, construction zones, or adverse weather conditions can further intensify traffic issues, causing extended travel times for motorists.


Additionally, routine road maintenance and infrastructure improvements, necessary for safety and functionality, can result in lane closures or detours, adding to the complexity of travel on this route.


And the 83rd most loathed route in America is South Carolina's I-26. This route, especially around Charleston and Columbia, often experiences congestion, highlighting its role as a major transportation corridor in South Carolina.


The critical interstate serves as a primary route for local commuters, interstate travelers, and the movement of goods.


The substantial volume of vehicles, including daily commuters and commercial traffic, contributes to consistent congestion, especially during rush hours and peak travel times.

flydubai Orders 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Its First Widebody Airplanes

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and flydubai announced an agreement to purchase 30 787-9 Dreamliners as the airline diversifies its fleet with the introduction of widebody jets.


In a signing ceremony at the Dubai Airshow, the Dubai-based carrier said it plans to use the efficient 787 to open new routes and grow capacity on existing routes.


The 787-9 can fly 296 passengers 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles) in addition to more cargo.


Boeing South Carolina is the home of the 787 Dreamliner, where the full cycle of 787 Dreamliner production happens. Teammates fabricate, assemble and deliver the 787-8, 787-9, and 787-10 to customers all over the world. 


Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 380 new nonstop routes around the world.


Half of all 787 Dreamliner flights are operated in short- and medium-haul markets below 5,000 km (2,700 nautical miles), demonstrating its versatility and efficiency across all network segments.

Carpenters Woodworks and Restoration Expands in Charleston County

Carpenters Woodworks and Restoration, a family-owned business specializing in custom woodworking and restoration, announced an expansion of its operation in Charleston County.


The $1.54 million investment will create 20 new jobs, according to Gov. Henry McMaster.


An architectural millworks company, Carpenters Woodworks and Restoration works on remodeling projects while also designing and building custom cabinets and heirloom furniture.


The company is expanding its woodworking shop by moving to a more than 16,000-square-foot facility located at 10125 N. Highway 17 in McClellanville.


Operations will be online in January 2024. Those interested in joining Carpenters Woodworks and Restoration should email the company.

International African American Museum to Host “Creative Gathering” Exhibition, Special Holiday Celebrations

The International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston has set in place the next exhibition, along with holiday observances and events running from mid-December through Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15, 2024.


Creative Gathering: A Space for Gathering, Fellowship, and Reflection runs from Dec. 14, 2023, through Jan. 14, 2024. The exhibition, which will be curated from the permanent collection of IAAM, is a month-long showcase that invites the community to delve into a cultural and thematic exploration of the African diaspora. It includes a series of seasonal celebrations designed to reflect IAAM's commitment to fostering an understanding of African American history and its global impact.


The Creative Gathering opening kicks off with a reception Dec. 14, at IAAM, 14 Wharfside Street, in downtown Charleston.

Guests will have the opportunity to engage with artists whose works are featured in the exhibition and the museum’s broader collection. They may also partake in a self-guided tour of the entire museum from 7-9: p.m. that evening.

Guests can register for the reception and tour here.


Other special celebrations and events, all of which will be held at the museum, include:


A Kwanzaa Celebration | Storytelling

Dates: Dec. 26 – Dec. 29, 2023

Time: 1 p.m. -2 p.m.

The IAAM invites the community to daily storytelling sessions hosted by Julian Gooding.

As digital media specialist for the Charleston County Public Library System and an experienced storyteller, Gooding brings to life the connections between West African tales and the narratives of enslaved peoples in America, celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa:

* Umoja - to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

* Kujichagulia - self-determination.

* Ujima - collective work and responsibility.

* Ujamaa - cooperative economics.

* Nia – purpose.

* Kuumba – creativity.

* Imani – faith.

Registration isn't required. Program attendance is complimentary with the purchase of museum admission for the dates listed.


Onwards From Freedom’s Eve

Date: Jan. 1, 2024

Time: 3:30–5 p.m.

This event commemorates the historical significance of Freedom’s Eve and the legacy of emancipation within the Gullah Geechee and broader African American community.

Go to the IAAM website and follow @iaamuseum on social media to learn more.


IAAM KING Day of Celebration

Date: Jan. 15, 2024

Time: 12-5 p.m.

IAAM Bold, IAAM Powerful, IAAM Courageous, IAAM My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream, IAAM King

Celebrating MLK Day, this event will showcase vendors, food trucks, music, and community engagement, in celebration of the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Go to the IAAM website and follow @iaamuseum on social media to learn more.


The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, the nation, and the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora.


Across 11 galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history.

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