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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #2941
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
However I hardly can believe that there are really large congestion problems on the US 31, aren't they thinking of making it an Interstate Highway? Maybe extending it into Michigan to Benton Harbor off the top of my head.
U.S. 31 already is up to interstate highway standards from U.S. 20 south of South Bend to I-94, where it becomes I-196.

U.S. 31 does have congestion issues in Carmel and Westfield (because of the high population growth and development in the area) and Kokomo (because of all the stoplights).

Only the portions of U.S. 31 where it passes through populated areas in Indiana will be up to interstate highway standards. The improvements will mean that there will be no stoplights on U.S. 31 from I-465 to all the way to Indiana-Michigan state line.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #2942
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Quote:
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However I hardly can believe that there are really large congestion problems on the US 31, aren't they thinking of making it an Interstate Highway? Maybe extending it into Michigan to Benton Harbor off the top of my head.
There has been some chatter about it being added to the I-system, but nothing official that I have heard of. It won't even be all freeway for at least 10-15 years and likely much longer.

The problem with the cross-country non-interstate four lane highways in Indiana (ie, US 31, US 30, US 41/IN 63, US 24, etc), is that for so long, Indiana has so been completely STARVED of funding for road upgrades that that they are basically a minimal four lanes with all of the intersections intact. For example, US 30 is STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP the whole way between Chicagoland (I-65 or IN 49) and Fort Wayne with signalized intersections every 10 km or so on average, even though it carries fairly heavy big-rig truck traffic - and it has only a couple of interchanges (one is a cloverleaf at US 31).

In pretty much any other state, US 30 and 31 (and possibly US 41/IN 63) would have been built to full interstate standards, if not being signed as full interstates, 30-40 years ago.

This is likely better for the Non-Interstate thread.

Mike
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #2943
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There has been some chatter about it being added to the I-system, but nothing official that I have heard of. It won't even be all freeway for at least 10-15 years and likely longer.

The problem with the cross-country non-interstate four lane highways in Indiana (ie, US 31, US 30, US 41/IN 63, US 24, etc), is that for so long, Indiana has so been completely STARVED of funding for road upgrades that that they are basically a minimal four lanes with all of the intersections intact. For example, US 30 is STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP the whole way between Chicagoland and Fort Wayne with signalized intersections every 10 km or so on average, even though it carries fairly heavy big-rig truck traffic - and it has only a couple of interchanges (one is a cloverleaf at US 31).

In pretty much any other state, US 30 and 31 (and possibly US 41/IN 63) would have been built to full interstate standards, if not being signed as full interstates, 30-40 years ago.

This is likely better for the Non-Interstate thread.

Mike

Those routes you listed are all four lane divided highways with interchanges at major crossings. There was a proposal to convert all of U.S. 31 from Indianapolis to Grand Rapids to a freeway and call it I-67 back in the 1960s but the feds axed it which is also why U.S. 30 and U.S. 24 aren't up to interstate highway standards. Plus, Indiana only has 6 million people and having 3 new interstates would give the state a disproportionate amount of interstates.

With Major Moves, U.S. 24 from Lafayette to east of Fort Wayne will be a four lane divided highway with a few interchanges, U.S. 31 will be a freeway in populated areas in Indiana, and nearly 70 miles of the 140 mile Interstate 69 extension from Indianapolis to Evansville will be built.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #2944
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err US 31 does get to Benton Harbour - as a freeway from South Bend too. There's the short (2 miles?) gap between the end of that (one for the unfinished highways thread), and I-196 that needs plugging. I believe the corridor has been proposed as I-67 (another well placed gap in the numbers), and will go from Indianapolis to somewhere in MI, perhaps replace I-196 and go up the US131 freeway north of Grand Rapids?
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Old September 19th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #2945
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Illusions and Lies

I encourage people discussing the NAFTA superhighway a rail way issue, to please dig deeper. The Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement put into play by Bush in 2005 leads us down a narrow path that we can never turn around once we head down it. The first red flags are that the SPP was never voted on by congress or the parliament. Yes this might help will congested roads, but you have to look at the bigger picture. One once built they will effectively be able to now by-pass our union ran dock yards and ship FDP into Mexico via Mexican ports. The drivers will not be American they will be Mexican, they customs they go through will be Mexican smartpods built by our tax dollars here in the states. The drivers will fall under NAFTA regulated driving standards and not U.S. Dept of Road Safety laws. They highways will be tolled out and privatized to foreign and domestic investors and the current one in Texas is leased our for the next 50 years the the Spanish firm Cintra/Zachary. They land layout will be seized through eminent domain, these are cattle ranchers,farmers and everyday people. This will hurt small communities that depends on truck drivers to come through their small towns and create growth. The Mexican truck drivers will have a Citra Pass or EZ pass which is a RFID based ID that will allow for quick passages through customs, this will lead to increased money laundering, smuggling drugs and people. European Union was introduced as a steal trade ideology by think tank groups, later to develop into expansion of trade to merging communities and laws into a group and now a Euro currency and a EU Law. The NAU is not a conspiracy as many would have you believe it is very real, and backed by both parties McCain and Obama. You say not so, The Council on Foreign Relations has laid out plans and research papers to help drive global think tanks to slowly give up our sovereignty in the name of greater good, I can provide pdf. files of speeches if asked. You ask how does Obama apply to this, when asked at a speech in Nebraska he acted like he was oblivious to the NAFTA superhighway and the NAU, Fact: Michelle Obama is a active member of the CFR, Obama himself has spoken their on several occasions. McCain received illegal contributions from the Rothschilds during his campaign running, Rothschild whom are a foreign interest and a branch of many organizations hold investments in the NAFTA superhighway, i.e. JP Morgan, which has been in bed with the org for centuries. I could go on more about this aspect and provide proof, but I want to stick to this topic and not get side tracked. Kansas 3 Millions tax dollar for a smartport for Mexican custom officials, Laredo, TX drug gangs fighting for territory because this city is the bloodline for major trafficking, Laredo is one of the first major cities with the roads being built as we speak. Once this is done we will have our land seized, taxed on our roads, and lose our jobs. This is all in the name of security and prosperity giving you false illusion of democracy. Their is no difference in Republican or Democrat. Please write me back let me know what you think [email protected] also sign my petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/sto...ain-for-profit
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:34 AM   #2946
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That's fast

The concrete looks really rough. I'm not sure why that's the case with most American concrete. We just can't seem to make it smooth like Germany can we?..
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #2947
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Quote:
We just can't seem to make it smooth like Germany can we?..
There is no point.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #2948
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The concrete looks really rough. I'm not sure why that's the case with most American concrete. We just can't seem to make it smooth like Germany can we?..
It won't collapse and kill ppl like the last bridge did, and that's good enough for me.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #2949
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This is Tom958, posting from my laptop. Not that anyone is terribly interested in why I haven't been posting, but I'm on the road again. It'll take four more posts to finish what I have in mind for "I-85 and Friends," then there will be another post about NC 49 and US 64 from Charlotte to Chapel Hill. But wait-- there's more.

Two days ago I drove from Durham, NC to Warner Robins, GA, along the most direct route: US 1, I-20 (looping through downtown Columbia, SC via SC 277, I-126 and I-26), GA 80, 16, 22 and 49, I-75, and US 129/GA 247. It'll take forever to post my photos once I get back to the ATL, but in the meantime you may be interested in the I-20-520 interchange outside Augusta, which I took some photos of.

I hope to be back again soon.

Last edited by Tom985; September 19th, 2008 at 07:10 AM. Reason: oops
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #2950
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There is no point.
Well it's aesthetic. That's the point. American highways in general are nowhere near aesthetic. Our country is all about function over quality, which is kind of disappointing because other countries can have both function AND quality. I hope this changes.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #2951
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I hope this changes.
Get ready to pay $ 5 - 6 per gallon then... I doubt if many Americans like that idea.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #2952
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No they won't They should visit the Europe more often. My American friends were shocked when they heared we pay about $8.50 a gallon in NL
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Old September 19th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #2953
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I'm pretty sure groves are cut into concrete to channel water. Concrete is also laid down with joints, thus the harsher look. Asphalt, on the other hand, is porous and usually laid on top, and is flexible enough to be laid down continuously, making for a smoother looking road.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #2954
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Quote:
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I'm pretty sure groves are cut into concrete to channel water. Concrete is also laid down with joints, thus the harsher look. Asphalt, on the other hand, is porous and usually laid on top, and is flexible enough to be laid down continuously, making for a smoother looking road.
The grooves are also to reduce hydro(aqua)planing during wet weather. I don't mind them being there one bit.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #2955
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Get ready to pay $ 5 - 6 per gallon then... I doubt if many Americans like that idea.
Americans are so spoiled it's embarassing...I'm an American btw...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gladisimo View Post
I'm pretty sure groves are cut into concrete to channel water. Concrete is also laid down with joints, thus the harsher look. Asphalt, on the other hand, is porous and usually laid on top, and is flexible enough to be laid down continuously, making for a smoother looking road.
No i'm not talking about the grooves. I'm sure Germany has grooves in their concrete too, but American concrete is uneven as a whole.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:32 AM   #2956
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lol
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:49 AM   #2957
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I-85 and friends,
Lawrenceville GA to Cary NC

Part 2, southern SC


Orphaned SC sign at the last interchange in GA. This sign was placed in the early '80's when SC 11 was opened. Since then, virtually all other SC interstate signage has been renovated or replaced-- including three more signs between here and the state line-- but this one was forgotten. Note the button copy and the centered exit tab.

=========================================================

Entering SC, crossing Lake Hartwell on the Ernest Vandiver Bridge. The bridge was built by SC, but was named after a governor of Georgia who hailed from nearby Lavonia. Note the lack of shoulders, backward-facing pedestrian rails (?) and thrie-beam supplemental guardrail. The original bridge guardrail is of the same concrete post-and-lintel type you'll see on most of the bridges over the freeway.

=========================================================

Actually, most of the original interstate bridges in SC have had shoulders added; these are dated 2002 IIRC. This is definitely a first-generation interstate. The median is narrow (36 feet is my guess), and I think the grades are steeper-- my cruise control had a harder time keeping to the set speed.


Also, note the W-beam guardrails. In 1965 or so, there was a revolution in guardrail practice in the US. Post spacing was halved from ten feet (3m) to five, blocking was added between the posts and the rail, and a buried end or Texas twist was introduced for the end facing traffic (or, occasionally on ends facing away from traffic.). This happened to be the time at which my roadgeekiness first awakened-- I was seven years old. On one of my family's many trips to Virginia, I started noticing the differences in practice between the various states. Among the things I noticed was that SC used wooden posts for its guardrails while Georgia used steel. But now virtually all the guardrail posts in SC are steel, which means that the old wooden ones were removed and replaced at some point.
==========================================================



Ever wonder why I-85 in northern Georgia is where it is? As I wrote in one of my I-85/GA 316 posts, the split between I-85 and GA 316 actually has 316 continuing straight and I-85 peeling off to the left as though the 316 route to or toward Athens was favored at the time (1959). One could've made a strong case for routing I-85 through or at least nearer to Athens, especially
considering the decades of carnage that plagued the routes between Atlanta and Athens (in addition to normal traffic, hordes of Georgia Bulldog football fans converge on Athens on game days.) The situation between Atlanta and Athens was worsened by Georgia's unwillingness to commit to a single primary route between the two cities, dividing its efforts between US 29 and US 78. As it happened, the two routes were finished almost simultaneously in the late '90's, but neither is even close to being a full freeway-- US 78 in southern Gwinnett is a cruel joke, and the last time I took the new-terrain GA 316 to Athens, there were 15 traffic lights-- there are surely more now.

OTOH, a case could've been made for routing I-85 along US 23 and US 123 through Gainesville, Toccoa and Clemson. In fact, somewhere in my life's travels I saw a USCGS map of metro Atlanta dated 1962 that showed the proposed I-85 running where I-985 is now, and what is now I-985 was completed as GA 365 only a couple of years after I-85, and to full Interstate standards as though it had already been designed as an Interstate. Besides that, there's an elderly freeway segment of US 123 between Clemson and Greenville that may have been intended as a possible segment of I-85, though heavy game-day traffic surely made the segment viable on its own.

A knowledgable Georgia journalist wrote a column asserting that I-85 was routed as it is at the behest of good ol' Governor Vandiver, who owned land near Lavonia. I have my doubts about that, though. To me it looks as though the route of I-85 in SC was chosen very early on, and it points straight at Lavonia.

Whether or not politics influenced the route, once a decision was made it was acted on with great speed. Most interstates were built in segments over a number of years, but the last stretch of I-85 in northern Georgia was built all at once, opening in 1965 or so. In fairness, that's surely partly because there's no coherent "old road" to divert traffic to.

IMO, it would've been best to run I-85 more along the 316 corridor to Winder, then jog northeastward to the current alignment northwest of Jefferson, which would've made it attractive to build a 20 mile (30 km) freeway spur to Athens and still provided a decent connection to Gainesville via US 129.

Have a look-- http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...1,1.131592&z=9 -- and see what you think.
==========================================================

Typical condition of this section. There are egg cutters here and
throughout the Carolinas-- Georgia is behind on this, FWIW. the red
building in the background is a fireworks store with a big sign
that says NO SMOKING. No shit.

==========================================================

Same compostion, different color palette. Here the existing pavement is being overlaid, and the median is being regraded to match the new pavement elevation. The overcrossing bridge is typical for SC-- actually, the guardrail design you see here was used well into the '70's, as I found out on my more recent trip along I-20 in central SC. This particular bridge has the same thrie-beam supplemental guardrail as the Ernest Vandiver Bridge does, though most similar bridges don't. I have no idea how it is decided which bridges should and shouldn't get this treatment.

==========================================================

Median regrading at a bifurcation. The mismatch is severe enough to
require the use of temporary jersey barriers during construction.

Compared to newer interstates, bifurcations are narrower-- rarely with trees-- but more frequent and more likely to be bridged.

==========================================================

Four-loop interchange at US 76, http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...17681&t=k&z=15. I-85 is 2x3 from here to north of Spartanburg. The third lanes begin /end on the left, not at a handy right-side ramp.

==========================================================

Typical condition a bit further north. The difference in color isn't age or an optical illusion-- the northbound roadway is asphalt, but the southbound is concrete, including the shoulders. Speaking of shoulders, the left shoulders on this stretch are usually narrow, but they vary a lot due to numerous minor bifurcations. If fact, you can see the left shoulder getting wider in this photo.

==========================================================

One of my favorites: bridge over a bifurcation, showing the narrow shoulder widths. As with most bridges in SC, there's a sign giving the overhead clearance even if it's obviously far in excess of any standard. On this one, though, the clearance is listed as 15'-10" (4.8m). "WTF?" I thought. "That bridge looks a lot higher than that, and the other roadway is a lot closer to the bridge." So after I crossed under the bridge I glanced over at the sign over the other roadway, which said "Clearance 19'-9"! The fricking idiots swapped the signs.

==========================================================

Awesome old bridge guardrail design. You can also clearly see the overhead clearance sign. 17'-0" is desirable, 14'-6" is the minimum. There are quite a few bridges that are less than 14'-6" on I-85 in SC.

==========================================================

Replacement bridge at SC 81, a main route into Anderson. Where additional capacity is needed on the lesser road, SC replaces the bridge rather than widening it. This one has a higher parapet that's less harrowing for pedestrians than many other designs.

==========================================================

OK, that's all for now...

Last edited by Tom 958; September 21st, 2008 at 08:16 AM. Reason: redo
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Old September 21st, 2008, 04:10 PM   #2958
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I-264 in Louisville, KY


I-485 in Charlotte, NC


I-77/I-485 interchange in Charlotte, NC
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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:23 PM   #2959
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ChrisZwolle, you just saved me some effort. I have two photos of I-485, but these are a lot better.

This one is southbound at the I-85 west interchange, http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...35362&t=k&z=14 . The left shoulders are concrete and are surely intended as future traffic lanes. This 2x3- future 2x4 configuration changes at I-77 to 2x2- future 2x4-- the same (or so it appears to me) overall cross section but with less of it paved initially. This is the oldest part of I-485. Then at NC 24/27, it goes to 2x3 with the same median, which would make it adequate for a future 2x5.


Finally, check out the current northwestern terminus: http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...02199&t=k&z=18 . Two lanes northbound, five lanes southbound!

Last edited by Tom 958; September 21st, 2008 at 05:36 PM. Reason: added some stuff
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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:27 PM   #2960
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Well, Charlotte seems to be a booming town, though the I-485 isn't too busy yet at most parts. It isn't even completed yet (section missing in the NE quadrant).

Charlotte is the largest city on the east coast between Philadelphia and Jacksonville, FL. I Don't think many people know that. Cities like Washington and Baltimore are probably more well-known.
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