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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #21
ChrisZwolle
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There are three separate bridges because of the HOV-lane having it's own ramps and fly-overs. This adds significantly to the complexity of a freeway interchange. The third bridge handles HOV traffic in both directions by the way.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #22
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I don't know whether this is the right thread to pose this question but I'll ask anyway. What were the planners thinking when they designed the interchange of the Artesia, Riverside and Santa Ana freeways in Orange County? They should've had 1 continuous road going east-west with some sort of 3-level stack between it and the 5. Instead, each of the incoming carriageways splits up into 3 separate roads, all of which need their own bridges. This must've cost a fortune; far more than it needed to. So I've got to know, is there a reason it was designed this way or was it just a bridge-mad city planner going wild?
I would imagine it wasn't planned that way: If the Santa Ana was built first, then the Riverside a decade later, then the Artesia a decade after that, they would have had to fit the Artesia into the existing interchange the best they could. (I don't know that that's the case; I'm just guessing. But the Santa Ana is certainly one of the earliest Los Angeles-area freeways and I expect the other two are newer.)

A non-highway analogy: the Washington Metro system was planned all at once (forgetting about some stretches at the outer ends of the system), even if construction was spread out over years. So the transfer stations downtown are all nice and compact...logically laid out and not requiring too much walking to change trains. Because even if only the Red Line was going to pass through Gallery Place at first, they knew that there'd eventually be Green/Yellow line service as well so they built the whole station. When I started college in Washington, Gallery Place was there with its unused lower level waiting for service to start (which it did the next year). After I got to know the Washington system well, what really struck me in other cities - London, Paris, New York - was the maze of long tunnels you sometimes had to walk through to change trains....

Edit: Okay, that and what Chris said.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #23
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Nah, then we'd start arguing about where regional boundaries fall....
Especially since California falls into multiple regions..
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #24
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Especially since California falls into multiple regions..
oh please , i think it would be better if we had different region's for the US. Abit more Organized.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #25
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oh please , i think it would be better if we had different region's for the US. Abit more Organized.
Well, do we treat the Virginia suburbs of Washington as Southeast (because they're in Virginia) or Northeast (because it's suburban Washington)? Or do we avoid that problem by putting even Maryland in the South? Is Oklahoma South or Midwest? How about Kentucky? (I'm inclined not to count as Southern any state that didn't join the Confederacy). West Virginia? That's the sort of argument we'd be having.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #26
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Well, do we treat the Virginia suburbs of Washington as Southeast (because they're in Virginia) or Northeast (because it's suburban Washington)? Or do we avoid that problem by putting even Maryland in the South? Is Oklahoma South or Midwest? How about Kentucky? (I'm inclined not to count as Southern any state that didn't join the Confederacy). West Virginia? That's the sort of argument we'd be having.
The New Northeast begins at DC & heads north. Virgina would be the Southeast.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:17 AM   #27
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The list of existing tunnels that I can think of are:

1. Cal Freeway 24 near Berkeley.
2. Cal Freeway 110 near Chinatown LA
3. Cal Route 23 between Malibu and US 101.
4. Cal route 41 near Yosemite Valley
5. USA Route 101/1 just north of the Golden Gate bridge.
6. Cal Route 2/Angeles Crest highway in the mountains above LA metro.

Those are the tunnels I can think of right now(once again, off the top of my head).
US 101 has another tunnel between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, right next to the beach.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #28
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Does the AADT call for this? I assume this would mean that CA 58 over the Coast Ranges would be converted to a freeway/motorway?
I meant I-40. It'd be nice if they could convert it to freeway standard. It would be a true coast to coast freeway like other interstates
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Old April 27th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #29
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I think a seperate CA thread is a good idea, since the state is huge and has always been at the forefront of highway construction. The OP's topics are all good ones, and although I don't have time to respond this evening, they all deserve attention and discussion.

One issue is funding, and from that perspective things look bleak. However, initial potential planning is relatively inexpensive, and there is no harm to start looking at possible scenerios, which is really all this thread can do right now. Nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by pwalker; April 27th, 2010 at 04:52 AM.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 05:52 AM   #30
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I recently visited California for the first time. I was within the greater LA area for most of the trip.

The freeways are awesome, I was thoroughly impressed at the scale of the roads and interchanges.

I have put together a small collection of images that I took when I was there:

A few samples:






The rest can be found here: http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/CA/index.html
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Last edited by sonysnob; April 27th, 2010 at 05:53 AM. Reason: broken link
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Well, do we treat the Virginia suburbs of Washington as Southeast (because they're in Virginia) or Northeast (because it's suburban Washington)? Or do we avoid that problem by putting even Maryland in the South? Is Oklahoma South or Midwest? How about Kentucky? (I'm inclined not to count as Southern any state that didn't join the Confederacy). West Virginia? That's the sort of argument we'd be having.
I agree. Much better to have someone just start a thread about a specific place(like I did. :-) ). If the thread keels over and dies after a short time, so be it. Much better than arguing about whether California should be in the Northwest, Southwest, or just West, or whether Missouri should be in the Midwest or South.

But this thread isn't about that.... so back on track now...

Last edited by JeremyCastle; April 27th, 2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #32
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US 101 has another tunnel between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, right next to the beach.
That's right, Driven through it many times, of course the tunnel is only one way(heading north).

After traveling to Switzerland many times and also Norway, I realized how few tunnels California has which on the face of it seems a little odd, as California geography for the most part(beyond the Central Valley) is quite rugged. The possible reasons for the lack of tunnels are:

1. The road infrastructure is a bit older than Western Europe's.

2. The fact that until recently, tunnels didn't make much sense in an earthquake prone environment.

3. Less sensitivity to Environmental factors compared to the Europeans.

4. Americans just not wanting to spend money for a high quality project.

5. All of the above.


It would take a butt load of money, but I would be all for rerouting some roads and freeways into tunnels. Some roads, like the I-210(Foothill Frwy) leaving Sunland heading up over the hills traveling east, is quite the eyesore! I think in Europe, they would have rerouted the freeway either along the side of the hills or built some elaborate tunnels, whereas I think US planners just say(or did in the past), "lets just save money and go cut straight right over the hills!"

Another example is I-5 leaving Castaic Lake. The cost to tunnel 8 lanes through the side of the hills would be alot, but that grade just seems abnormally steep, it really is tough on the engine.

Last edited by JeremyCastle; April 27th, 2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #33
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Another difference is that many European mountain ranges can be crossed with a single long tunnel. For example it's possible to cross the Alps with one tunnel (Gotthard, Mont Blanc, Fréjus, San Bernardino) without gaining a lot of altitude. Most Alpine tunnels have their portals at no more than maybe 4,000 feet. Compare this to the Eisenhower tunnel, which is over 11,000 feet high. You cannot cross the Rocky Mountains, or Sierra Nevada for that matter, with one tunnel of max 10 miles.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #34
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sonysnob... that first photo of the I-105... building that light rail through the middle of it was an utter failure. Perhaps it's changed, but that line was plagued by extremely low ridership, both the ends of that line are in "nowhere" land, and instead of building the line so it stops under LAX, it "misses it" and instead one is forced to take a bus to the airport from the closest station. :/ I think the bus stops on the top of the reconstructed I-110 are/were considered a failure as well.

Anyway, not really a road thread topic(unless you talk about the I-110), but just thought I'd comment as I noticed your first photo was of the I-105.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Another difference is that many European mountain ranges can be crossed with a single long tunnel. For example it's possible to cross the Alps with one tunnel (Gotthard, Mont Blanc, Fréjus, San Bernardino) without gaining a lot of altitude. Most Alpine tunnels have their portals at no more than maybe 4,000 feet. Compare this to the Eisenhower tunnel, which is over 11,000 feet high. You cannot cross the Rocky Mountains, or Sierra Nevada for that matter, with one tunnel of max 10 miles.
I don't quite understand Chris, why couldn't portions of the I-80 or I-5 be tunneled as opposed to their European counterparts?
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #36
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The purpose of a tunnel is to avoid gaining a lot of altitude. To avoid a lot of altitude difference on I-5 or I-80, such a tunnel would need to be dozens of miles long.

Another issue is that in the Western United States the area was almost unpopulated when freeway construction began in rural areas. For example in Switzerland and Austria, the rural areas were dotted with villages. This means you cannot just build a freeway on the best alignment, but you need to add tunnels and tall viaducts.

Alpine valleys also tend to be very narrow and steep. If you want to bypass a village or town, you often need a tunnel instantly.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #37
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I meant I-40. It'd be nice if they could convert it to freeway standard. It would be a true coast to coast freeway like other interstates
Yeah, I-40. but currently the road from Barstow all the way to SLO/Santa Margarita is labeled CAL 58. It is 4 lanes most of the way from Barstow to Bakersfield(especially with the "new" bypass through Mojave). But cutting through the lovely coast range and widening so that its a freeway from the I-5 to SLO would be quite the battle.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #38
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sonysnob... I agree with you... in terms of capacity, California freeways are amazing, and they have to be, since there isn't a train/light rail network to help share the load.

It terms of looks, California freeways(and most US ones for that matter) look terrible compared to most Western European ones. Road quality is not the same either. For some reason, freeways in California are built with NOISY concrete, and when that finally cracks, they build over it with pretty smooth asphalt but which cracks and falls apart quite easily. It terms of quality and style, I would take Western European roads over anything in California, except for the capacity issue.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #39
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Actually both the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas rank among the bottom of U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of lane miles per capita. (similar to New York City) Only San Diego is performing good.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #40
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Another difference is that many European mountain ranges can be crossed with a single long tunnel. For example it's possible to cross the Alps with one tunnel (Gotthard, Mont Blanc, Fréjus, San Bernardino) without gaining a lot of altitude. Most Alpine tunnels have their portals at no more than maybe 4,000 feet. Compare this to the Eisenhower tunnel, which is over 11,000 feet high. You cannot cross the Rocky Mountains, or Sierra Nevada for that matter, with one tunnel of max 10 miles.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike had quite a few tunnels (at least four) when it was built, and those mountains aren't all that high - 3000 feet/1000 meters or so. In fact, the tunnels were probably already there - the turnpike used the right-of-way of a never-finished late-19th-century railroad.

They've actually closed a tunnel or two since then by rerouting the road.

Edit: It had seven tunnels, Wikipedia tells me. All of which were two lanes, undivided. (Note to Europeans who are going to talk about how primitive American roads are: this was opened in 1940.) Which is the reason the road was eventually rebuilt to bypass them.

Last edited by Penn's Woods; April 27th, 2010 at 05:02 PM.
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