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Old July 13th, 2013, 06:51 PM   #1
Jim856796
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Hard Shoulders on Controlled-Access Highways

A Hard Shoulder in a road is a road in a reserved area by the verge of a road or controlled-access highway, which is usually kept clear of motor vehicle traffic. Some countries' controlled-access highways, like the United States and their Interstate Highway System, do have hard shoulders, while other countries' controlled-access highways have no hard shoulders at all, or the hard shoulders would be really, really narrow.

More info on hard shoulders on roads: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoulder_(road)
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Old July 13th, 2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
A Hard Shoulder in a road is a road in a reserved area by the verge of a road or controlled-access highway, which is usually kept clear of motor vehicle traffic. Some countries' controlled-access highways, like the United States and their Interstate Highway System, do have hard shoulders, while other countries' controlled-access highways have no hard shoulders at all, or the hard shoulders would be really, really narrow.

More info on hard shoulders on roads: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoulder_(road)
In some coutries also called emergency lane. In slovakia we call it odstavny pruh what literally means lane to stop. Everything goes like it is written in wikipedia. Is on every motorway and expressway except tunnels and one section of D1 motorway between bratislava and trnava
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Old September 14th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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So is there a reason how some controlled-access highways have hard shoulders while others do not?
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Old September 15th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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It is mostly the cost reason. On highways with less traffic it is often ommited to reduce construction cost.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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It's pretty uncommon to systematically exclude them from motorways though.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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A controlled-access highway without Hard shoulders isnt a truly "controlled-access highway".
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Old September 15th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #7
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A controlled-access highway without Hard shoulders isnt a truly "controlled-access highway".
If access is controlled, then it is.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 11:31 AM   #8
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It's pretty uncommon to systematically exclude them from motorways though.
It is rather due to cheap expanding in case of unexpected increase of traffic volume. It is much easier to expand motorway for one more lane at the expense of hard shoulder than build a brand new lane what obviously require complete rebuild of all over/underpasses.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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That depends on how smart road planners were when the road was constructed. Many Dutch motorways built in the 1970s had space for an additional lane without requiring any overpass or bridge to be replaced.

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A50 viaduct Kanaalweg-2 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old September 17th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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Vluchtstrook = flee lane
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Old September 17th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #11
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There's an interesting situation with croatian A8 and A9 motorways. Firstly (during the late '90s) that motorways were planned as 2+2 grade-separated expressways, without hard shoulders. Only one carriageway was built in the first phase, with reservation for the second one when traffic volume increases. In 2010, the decision was made to build the second carriageway on both roads, but this time with a hard shoulder, making them motorways. But, since it was firstly planned not to have hard shoulders, there was no space under overpasses to build a hard shoulder (which is 2,5 m wide), and viaducts also don't have it. So, today the situation is like this. Also, viaducts Limska draga and Mirna bridge (which weren't doubled in the last phase of construction) don't have it, and is not sure if the new ones will be built with a hard shoulder. Probably Limska draga will have it, while Mirna bridge won't.

There's some strange case in Croatia where motorway bridges don't have a hard shoulder, while viaducts have it, in both cases that roads were planned as full-profile motorways from the beginning.
Krka bridge on A1
Maslenica bridge on A1
Dobra bridge on A1

Of course, there are some exceptions
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puležan View Post
There's an interesting situation with croatian A8 and A9 motorways. Firstly (during the late '90s) that motorways were planned as 2+2 grade-separated expressways, without hard shoulders. Only one carriageway was built in the first phase, with reservation for the second one when traffic volume increases. In 2010, the decision was made to build the second carriageway on both roads, but this time with a hard shoulder, making them motorways. But, since it was firstly planned not to have hard shoulders, there was no space under overpasses to build a hard shoulder (which is 2,5 m wide), and viaducts also don't have it. So, today the situation is like this. Also, viaducts Limska draga and Mirna bridge (which weren't doubled in the last phase of construction) don't have it, and is not sure if the new ones will be built with a hard shoulder. Probably Limska draga will have it, while Mirna bridge won't.

There's some strange case in Croatia where motorway bridges don't have a hard shoulder, while viaducts have it, in both cases that roads were planned as full-profile motorways from the beginning.
Krka bridge on A1
Maslenica bridge on A1
Dobra bridge on A1

Of course, there are some exceptions
I have experienced that in Macedonia where they have even special traffic sign for that. Unfortunately, I am not able to find it either in my photo collection or on internet.

But I like this solution much more than Slovak one. Due to suburbanization and rapid increase of daily commuting, D1 motorway had required enlargement. What do you think they have done? If you think about abolishment of the hard shoulder and replacing it by regular lane, you are right.

Since it is officially a temporary solution and the motorway is officially under construction, the road marking is applied in orange colour, what is perfectly legible especially in worse weather conditions (night, precipitation etc.)

Lets see it - http://goo.gl/maps/E3Ffk (if you look closer, you can slightly see the former alignment with hard shoulder removed by black colour) Yes - it is the most important motorway in Slovakia - D1 between 14,00 - 50 km. The speed limit is also decreased to 110 in time 5.00 - 19.00 o'clock what is, according my experiences, uncommon solution at motorways too.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:57 PM   #13
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Another example of space for an additional lane at this bridge of A2 in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. There is space for 2x3 express lanes without needing to widen the right-of-way, or reconstruct the motorway at a high cost.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 12:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puležan View Post
There's an interesting situation with croatian A8 and A9 motorways. Firstly (during the late '90s) that motorways were planned as 2+2 grade-separated expressways, without hard shoulders. Only one carriageway was built in the first phase, with reservation for the second one when traffic volume increases. In 2010, the decision was made to build the second carriageway on both roads, but this time with a hard shoulder, making them motorways. But, since it was firstly planned not to have hard shoulders, there was no space under overpasses to build a hard shoulder (which is 2,5 m wide), and viaducts also don't have it. So, today the situation is like this. Also, viaducts Limska draga and Mirna bridge (which weren't doubled in the last phase of construction) don't have it, and is not sure if the new ones will be built with a hard shoulder. Probably Limska draga will have it, while Mirna bridge won't.

There's some strange case in Croatia where motorway bridges don't have a hard shoulder, while viaducts have it, in both cases that roads were planned as full-profile motorways from the beginning.
Krka bridge on A1
Maslenica bridge on A1
Dobra bridge on A1

Of course, there are some exceptions
One has to wonder how much more an overpass and similar structures would cost if they were built with expansion in mind. Not to mention how much less it would cost compared to widening later. Seems rather shortsighted. The example from NL then seems like good planning.
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