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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #3721
ChrisZwolle
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Federal stimulus money not enough to fund I-15 work

The massive federal stimulus bill that was introduced in the U.S. House on Thursday isn't going to be enough to pay for Interstate 15 expansion through Utah County.
Based on formulas used to dole out road money, Utah is likely to get around $200 million.

"Because it's such a smaller amount than we had hoped for, it becomes much more difficult to put it on one thing," said Nile Easton, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.


The I-15 project between American Fork and Spanish Fork weighs in at more than $2.5 billion and was slated to be started this year. It's the No. 1 priority project for the state, but the collapsing economy forced UDOT to freeze all projects not under contract and wait for the Legislature to assess the financial situation.

"It's going to be an interesting two or three months," Easton said of finding out what the actual federal stimulus will be as well as what state lawmakers will do.

State lawmakers aren't counting on anything from the federal government and will budget accordingly.

"We don't spend money we don't have," said Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo.

They also don't know what kind of restrictions are going to come with stimulus money. Can they use it to bond? What types of roads can it be used on?

"It would be wonderful to get it with no strings. But that's wishful thinking," Lockhart said.

Easton said that while the amount may be less than desired, the formula -- based on miles of road and the number of vehicles traveling -- has worked in the past.

"You've got to have some kind of way to do it fairly, and that one is proven," he said.
Mumbles something about a gas tax increase...
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #3722
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Originally Posted by Puget Sound Business Journal
Gregoire unveils $1.2B stimulus package

Gov. Chris Gregoire released a $1.2 billion state stimulus package Thursday that includes a list of infrastructure projects, an increase in unemployment benefits and a tax cut for employers.

The package includes $817 million in infrastructure projects, with about $427 million in construction projects — a subset of the overall state construction budget that Gregoire proposed in December — and $390 million in roads construction.

The single biggest project on the list, getting more than a third of the total infrastructure dollars, is the $277 million improvement of the Interstate 405/State Route 520 interchange in Bellevue. The project would speed up traffic, lower congestion and reduce collisions by using ramps at different elevations to separate traffic going to SR 520 from drivers going to I-405.

Other roads projects include $15 million for the North Spokane corridor and $98 million in pavement preservation and replacement projects around the state.
Chris Gregoire is a woman by the way
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #3723
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
An expressway from Watertown to Plattsburgh (New York state)? Would that be necessary? It's a sparsely populated area north of the Adirondacks...

Traffic volumes are only 5,000 between towns and 10,000 in towns. That doesn't really requires an expressway...
It's not needed. Ontario has Highway 401 and Quebec has Autoroute 20.

An American highway on the other side of the river would be needlessly redundant.
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But what is Strumatic, we have to define what Strumatic is, a word that refers to the experience of driving/travelling on a superior motorway called Struma motorway or to the ultimative psychedelic road experience only possible on brand new roads and most effective when there´s snow outside so that the shiny crashbarriers shine even more and reflect the snow and the asphalt looks even better. I must think of it´s best definition first. -Radi Click
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:17 PM   #3724
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Originally Posted by Texarkana Gazette
State officials want stimulus funds to aid Interstate 49 construction

Transportation officials in Arkansas and Louisiana are requesting stimulus funds to accelerate construction of Interstate 49.

President-elect Barack Obama has suggested pouring $700 billion into infrastructure across the country, and the two states say their highway should get its share.

“We don’t have funding set aside,” said Randy Ort, public affairs officer for the Arkansas Highways and Transportation Department. “Federal funds are such that you use them or you lose them. You can’t just put money in a coffee can on a shelf.”
Currently, US 71 is covering the I-49 routing from Shreveport to Kansas City. Especially in Missouri, the road is mostly a 4-lane highway with parts constructed to freeway standards. In Arkansas, the I-540 runs from Fort Smith to near the MO border. A state route has been constructed from Texarkana to near the LA border. A north-south Interstate would make sense, given the fact the nearest N-S Interstates are I-35 200 miles to the west, and I-55 250 miles to the east.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #3725
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Originally Posted by KJHR
The next phase of the I-44 expansion kicks off Friday

On Friday, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will break ground on the next phase of the I-44 expansion project. This will kick-off construction between the area of Riverside Drive and Yale Avenue.


But before crews can actually start widening the lanes on the highway, ODOT will need to put in an underground drainage system and frontage road.

Construction on the new drainage system is expected to start as early as Monday, weather permitting.

The drainage system will be a mile and a quarter long running from around Peoria to Riverside.

All year long ODOT crews have been preparing to start work on this next phase of I-44 widening. They've been tearing down businesses all along the highway.

Crews will use about six million pounds of steel while working on the drainage system and 3,400 truck loads of concrete.

"This is the biggest project that ODOT has ever put up for bid, so it's a very important project for us and it's important for Tulsa, because we're coming in and we're fixing a highway that really was built before the interstate system was created," said Kenna Mitchell with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

The work on the drainage system won't affect traffic on I-44, but the westbound ramp to Riverside Dr. will be closed. Also parts of Skelly Dr. will be closed between Riverside and Peoria during the construction project.
This is in Tulsa, a larger agglomeration in northeastern Oklahoma for those who have never heard of that city. This is south of downtown, running from the Arkansas River to the east, having only 4 lanes. The nearest traffic count location I could find was near 41st street and carried 88,000 vehicles a day, which is indeed quite a lot for only 4 lanes.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #3726
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A little off-topic but I found it interesting. Quite unusual spatial distribution in Sacramento. Development west of downtown reaches only as much as 8km while to the east sprawl reaches as much as 29km. And in south-west it's even more limited, seems like river is the barrier, there's not a single bridge there!
Usually US cities grow more or less symmetrically around downtown but Sacto is just the opposite!





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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #3727
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Some more cities have that too. Think about Dallas-Fort Worth for instance, largely growed to the north. Especially remarkable because those cities have few natural boundaries.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #3728
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Rectangular-shaped ringroad of Des Moines, Iowa(I-80 + I-30 + IA-65). Over 75km in length - pretty long for a metro area of 550,000.


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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #3729
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I don't think car centric suburban sprawl is going to last much longer.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #3730
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I don't think car centric suburban sprawl is going to last much longer.
Yeah, only as long as there is oil on the planet
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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #3731
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Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
A little off-topic but I found it interesting. Quite unusual spatial distribution in Sacramento. Development west of downtown reaches only as much as 8km while to the east sprawl reaches as much as 29km. And in south-west it's even more limited, seems like river is the barrier, there's not a single bridge there!
Usually US cities grow more or less symmetrically around downtown but Sacto is just the opposite!





I believe the reason why the growth is mainly north and east of Sacramento is because much of the area west and southwest is wetlands and delta.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #3732
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I don't think car centric suburban sprawl is going to last much longer.
Mwoah, think of it as electric cars and suburbanization will continue... I don't think those cities with a lot of car-centric suburbs will eventually collapse...

To be frank, I think the idea that those suburbs will collapse if oil proves too expensive is just a wet dream of a lot of urban fans and parties. I'm sure the Americans will preserve their way of life... with or without oil.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #3733
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Not collapse, but rather becoming more dense,walkable, and more interesting. Besides, with the baby boomers aging and lack of new urban freeways, I don't think American suburbia will survive as it is now.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:30 AM   #3734
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That would be a good thing. Californian model suburbs are probably better than the east coast one. If only the California model also allowed for better access for pedestrians and cyclists (avoiding long detours due to layout).
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:54 AM   #3735
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I personally like some new medium-density urban development like Atlantic Station in Atlanta (Freewayjim's video). It's aesthetic, effective and gives a city its urban feeling.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:22 AM   #3736
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They need to finish the Southern Tier Expy. I-86 in upstate New York (Lake Erie to New York City). That's a fantastic drive.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:23 AM   #3737
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Isn't it already de-facto finished? It's only called NY-17 now...
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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #3738
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I've driven this route in summer, all the way from NY Thruway to Binghamton and I must say it's far to being fully upgraded to an interstate. The pavement is quite bad (especially between Thruway and Monticello), the geometry and slope steepness is flawed in many places (although I don't know if that's a big problem in terms of Interstates), tight curves and there are even a few at-grade traffic lights intersections! Some stretches were undergoing reconstruction but it was just a few miles in total. Besides, traffic volumes are very low there, at night I was passing a car like every 10 or 20 miles

And I agree with Paddington that it's a fantastic drive, especially when driving through Catskills.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #3739
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That would be a good thing. Californian model suburbs are probably better than the east coast one. If only the California model also allowed for better access for pedestrians and cyclists (avoiding long detours due to layout).
I don't know about California suburbia. With some exceptions like Pasadena and Santa Monica, its the same shit.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #3740
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Mwoah, think of it as electric cars and suburbanization will continue... I don't think those cities with a lot of car-centric suburbs will eventually collapse...
Chris, ever heard of a housing crisis? It is going on in America too, by the way. It would be a mistake to assume that deficit of oil alone will cause suburbia to collapse. I have lived in Californian suburb for 6 years, and to me suburbia symbolises the wasteful way of life. Should you buy a 4-bedroom house if you only need 2 bedrooms? What about the cost of heating/cooling for the extra space that no one uses? Does every member of a family have to have his/her own car? Do you need a huge SUV to do everyday shopping and take children to school? That is all American suburbia - a very well known American dream that soon seem to be drained down the toilet. It just cannot last forever because it is not sustainable.

Those of you who argue that American suburbia will never collapse, should stop and look back at history. American suburbia has not existed for too long, maybe for about 50 years. From a historical perspective it is almost nothing. Great empires existed for centuries, yet they all have fallen unexpectedly fast. I don't claim that American suburbia will end up collapsing but rather slowly and gradually will cease to exist. Most of suburbia residents (upper middle class) need to get loans in order to buy a home or a car, but if no banks are willing to borrow them money, how can they afford this luxurious way of life? I think it is even more serious than the price of oil.

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I'm sure the Americans will preserve their way of life... with or without oil.
And may I ask you what gives you this assurance? As a Dutch, you have not been exposed to the suburban way of life as it exists in America. Reading about something on forums is one thing but experiencing it yourself is another.
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