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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:33 PM   #2961
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And it has a mayor airport, of course
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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:57 PM   #2962
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
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.
Uh, Charlotte is far from the coast... I think that distinction would go to Norfolk-Virginia Beach.

But Charlotte is definitely booming. BTW, I visited two of our jobsites just south of downtown (or Uptown, as they insist on calling it), one of which was directly adjacent to a light rail station. Despite it being a weekday evening, the light rail line was packed, with numerous standing riders.

Even so, to Atlantans like me and my coworkers, Charlotte seems quite small. There's still little development outside of 485, and the first time I took NC 49 eastward out of Charlotte, I didn't hit single red light until I was several miles outside 485. It was a Sunday afternoon, but still...

One more thing, off topic: My swing down 485 was in order to meet my daughter and her boyfriend one Friday evening at the Promenade shopping center: http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...04399&t=k&z=17 . There are interior roads with parking on both sides, and a plaza/quadrangle with much grass and large, brick-paved roundabouts at the corners. Very small townish and pedestrian-friendly. There was a blues band playing in the quad, and many people chillin' out on the grass listening and hanging out. The shops around the quad are smallish except for-- Home Depot! As you can see from the satellite view, there's a corridor from the quad into the Home Depot that enables it to masquerade as the town hardware store.

I was very impressed-- AFAIK, there's nothing like it in Atlanta. And there are many other impressively laid out retail centers in NC.

Last edited by Tom 958; September 21st, 2008 at 05:58 PM. Reason: typo
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 02:35 AM   #2963
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Los Angeles Freeways and Roads

I love LA freeways and would love to see some photos! Thanks in advance!
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 06:29 PM   #2964
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Wasn't I-85 in Georgia routed to be equidistant between Gainesville and Athens?
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 11:57 PM   #2965
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Wasn't I-85 in Georgia routed to be equidistant between Gainesville and Athens?
Yes, it was. The article to which I referred ("The Road Less Traveled" by Bill Shipp-- I couldn't find it on Google) said that in order to justify the current routing, the width of the corridor addressed in the economic impact study was simply made wide enough to encompass both Athens and Gainesville.

Myself, I'm OK with the routeing from Jefferson northward-- it's direct and it brought a major highway to an area of the state that didn't have one before. But it would've been better, IMO, if I-85 would've been routed more toward Athens in order to make a short freeway connection to Athens possible. Had that been done, many crashes would have been prevented.

I guess I could research what actually happened, but you may recall this from the intro I wrote on page 36; "Also, there are quite a few items that I speculate about instead of making the effort to find out for sure. IMO, speculating is more fun." Well, this is one of 'em. Besides, I doubt if there's anyone still around who knows what really happened.

EDIT: Last week I took some pics of US 78 in southern Gwinnett County, part of one of the long-neglected Atlanta-Athens corridors. Perhaps I'll post them soon.

Last edited by Tom985; September 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 AM. Reason: addendum
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 01:23 AM   #2966
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Quote:
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I-77/I-485 interchange in Charlotte, NC
I see pretty road markings :] Nice and wide.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #2967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom985 View Post
Yes, it was. The article to which I referred ("The Road Less Traveled" by Bill Shipp-- I couldn't find it on Google) said that in order to justify the current routing, the width of the corridor addressed in the economic impact study was simply made wide enough to encompass both Athens and Gainesville.

Myself, I'm OK with the routeing from Jefferson northward-- it's direct and it brought a major highway to an area of the state that didn't have one before. But it would've been better, IMO, if I-85 would've been routed more toward Athens in order to make a short freeway connection to Athens possible. Had that been done, many crashes would have been prevented.

I guess I could research what actually happened, but you may recall this from the intro I wrote on page 36; "Also, there are quite a few items that I speculate about instead of making the effort to find out for sure. IMO, speculating is more fun." Well, this is one of 'em. Besides, I doubt if there's anyone still around who knows what really happened.

EDIT: Last week I took some pics of US 78 in southern Gwinnett County, part of one of the long-neglected Atlanta-Athens corridors. Perhaps I'll post them soon.

COuldn't GDOT just upgrade an existing connector between Athens and Atlanta or Athens and I-85 into a full limited access freeway, similar to how I-185 connects Columbus to I-85, and by extension, Atlanta?
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Old September 25th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #2968
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COuldn't GDOT just upgrade an existing connector between Athens and Atlanta or Athens and I-85 into a full limited access freeway, similar to how I-185 connects Columbus to I-85, and by extension, Atlanta?
I'm not sure I understand the question. I-185 is a new terrain highway, as are all Interstates in Georgia (and Indiana, too, right?). Neither US 29 nor US 78 were well-suited to upgrading to freeways. In fact, the relocated US 29, aka GA 316, is also new terrain. Too many little towns in the way for even a proper 2x2 highway, much less a freeway.

Had I-85 been routed differently, a freeway connector far shorter than either US 78 or US 29/GA 316 could've been built. Shorter means cheaper and cheaper often means sooner. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about. I called the connector I-785 because a 7 is really easy to draw in Paint.

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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #2969
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Quote:
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COuldn't GDOT just upgrade an existing connector between Athens and Atlanta or Athens and I-85 into a full limited access freeway, similar to how I-185 connects Columbus to I-85, and by extension, Atlanta?
GA 316 does what you're describing, and unfortunately if it doesn't get converted into a toll road(the only way there'll be financing to turn it into truly limited access with no traffic lights), then it's gonna remain a 65 mph 4 lane rural(btu becoming much more suburban, hell look at Gwinnett and west Barrow County) divided highway with traffic lights from Athens to Lawrenceville.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #2970
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And 316 wasn't finished until 1998. Time is important, especially when we're talking decades.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 07:01 AM   #2971
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1996, actually. GDOT HAD to get 316 finished in time for the Olympics. I can remember being on that road in 1997(and Home Depot/Lowe's had just opened at Epps Bridge/316 and the Athens bypass).
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #2972
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'98? Did I say '98? I meant '96.

The Lawrenceville bypass was 1980, though. Twenty years for the first five miles, another sixteen for the rest.

I wish we could move this to the non-Interstate thread...

Last edited by Tom 958; September 25th, 2008 at 12:10 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #2973
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Dounle post-- arrgh!

I'm miffed at North Carolina. They've built some pretty impressive interchanges in the last few years, but they use boring old steel plate girders instead of sleek concrete box girders. They're not as brutally hideous as the early Texas stacks, but they could've been a lot better.

Hey, check this out: I-40 at I-540, between Raleigh and Durham, http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...18024&t=k&z=15 . They used exposed hammerheads for the western piers, but recessed ones for the east due to clearance requirements. Would it have just killed 'em to make all the piers look the same?
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #2974
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 958 View Post
Dounle post-- arrgh!

I'm miffed at North Carolina. They've built some pretty impressive interchanges in the last few years, but they use boring old steel plate girders instead of sleek concrete box girders. They're not as brutally hideous as the early Texas stacks, but they could've been a lot better.

Hey, check this out: I-40 at I-540, between Raleigh and Durham, http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...18024&t=k&z=15 . They used exposed hammerheads for the western piers, but recessed ones for the east due to clearance requirements. Would it have just killed 'em to make all the piers look the same?
Concrete looks bad after a few years too. There has to be a way to cover up the girders with something more aesthetic...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 04:22 AM   #2975
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Concrete looks bad after a few years too. There has to be a way to cover up the girders with something more aesthetic...
IMO, nothing beats the aesthetics of a trapezoidal concrete box beam (except the rounded-bottomed ones on I-280 in San Mateo County, CA-- they're almost erotic. , but it'd be overkill to do that everywhere) Actually, though this is totally the wrong place to say it, I'm very impressed with the aesthetics of many motorway bridges in Eastern Europe. The designs are often spare (contrasted with, say, the High Five in Dallas), but subtly well executed. A ratty appearance can be averted by painting, as long as repainting is done when needed, and deft use of color is a significantly useful design tool. But the prerequisite is that aesthetics be considered early in the design process. Some jurisdictions do it, others don't, some change their perspective over time, and I've never understood why.

Not that I'm dead-set against steel. Steel has the advantage of being far easier to modify or repair, and not every bridge needs to be a masterpiece. Still, as an Atlantan, I'm glad that Spaghetti Junction is as cool as it it in the same way that Australians are thankful that the authorities didn't cheap out on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:39 AM   #2976
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Well if DOT can keep it clean, then I'm all up for it. :] But most still fail at it.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 03:10 PM   #2977
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Interstate 440 in Raleigh, NC. This road seems to be relatively new, and has a large amount of lanes, 4 per direction, 5 if all the exit-only lanes are counted. Notice the queues at the exits.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:52 PM   #2978
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In October of 2007, my wife and I went on a trip to Canada. On the way, we took some photos of I-90. Actually, my wife took all the photos, and some of them are badly out of focus

Here is the link to the album in case hotlinking does not work: I-90 in Washington >>

The start of our journey


After driving on 2x1 road for about 220 km (Pullman -> Vantage), we finally jump on I-90. Pictures below are taken on I-90 between Vantage and Ellensburg.


American motorways have unpaved U-turn sections through the grass median, but they are for emergency vehicles only (mostly to catch oncoming speeders)






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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:20 PM   #2979
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Finally, we could catch a glimpse of Pacific Coastal Range snow peaks


This warning was put well in advance of the summit


The motorway up to this point was pretty dull with boring scenery, but now it gets a little bit better


Guide signs to tourist destinations have brown background and white letters (like in Germany). The numeration of I-90 starts from the west, so we are roughly 114 km from where I-90 intersects with I-5 (Seattle Zentrum).


Autumn colours go well with road pictures




We are 111 kms from Seattle


We are at the altitude of ~900 m, so the clouds are hanging pretty low


Typically, extra-urban stretches of West Coast American motorways are not lit well, but I-90 has quite a few of lighting poles.


Badly out of focus


Generally, I noticed that mountain stretches of American motorways have a greater degree of curvature than their European counterparts. However, the speed limit on I-90 depends only on weather conditions, not on geometrical properties of the motorway.


Now, it's 105 km/h


That's all for now. Later, I will post more local pictures of Whitman county in non-Interstate thread.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:20 PM   #2980
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Nice pics, Alex. Don't blame your wife in case she reads this
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