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Old September 18th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #4681
mattec
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or maybe they couldn't get the right of way for it
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Old September 19th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #4682
Tom 958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattec View Post
or maybe they couldn't get the right of way for it
Maybe. I found some links on Wikipedia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.meridianstar.com/local/local_story_297000403.html

The S-curve was touted in 1956 to be the answer for a failing downtown economy. The three-quarter mile section of Interstate 59 instead became a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, section of roadway that attached itself to the city of Laurel in a detrimental way.

“At first all we had was a plan,” said Larry L. “Butch” Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). “But local government got together with their state and federal political leaders and with state agencies to find ways to get this project on the move. This reconstruction project is actually 15 years ahead of schedule, thanks in large part to the innovative financing available to city officials.”

Brown was speaking of MDOT’s HELP Program (Highway Enhancement through Local Partnerships) to secure $32 million to advance fund the project. HELP gives local governments the ability to issue bonds for large projects such as the S-curve reconstruction. Brown said that forward thinking boosted the project to the point it is today, in the actual construction phase.


1955: Construction began on relocated United States Highway 11 through Laurel. This project included earthwork and bridge construction.

1956: The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 provided a means of funding for the planned interstate system. U.S. Highway 11 in Laurel, already under construction, was redesignated as Interstate 59.
I can't believe that a local government had to chip in on the financing of an Interstate highway project! Isn't that what Interstate Maintenance funding is for?

Most rural Interstates parallel existing routes a few miles away, passing just outside of larger towns. But if the original intent of this section was to serve as a US 11 bypass with existing (or widened) US 11 continuing in use as the area's major through route, then closely skirting the edges of the mid '50's urbanized area in order to shorten the bypass' length would make a lot of sense.

Even without the S curve, this section has a surprisingly urban feel with its narrow median and dainty scale. If I drove this section of I-59 often, I would appreciate the break from driving on liberally designed but monotonous rural Interstate.

Last edited by Tom 958; September 19th, 2009 at 09:28 PM. Reason: clumsy initial wording
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Old September 19th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #4683
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It's an interesting section of Interstate 59, I never really noticed it. Apparantly, they're straightening this one out.
[IMG]http://i33.************/2eol669.jpg[/IMG]
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Old September 20th, 2009, 03:44 AM   #4684
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Quote:
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I can't believe that a local government had to chip in on the financing of an Interstate highway project! Isn't that what Interstate Maintenance funding is for?
No. What they are doing on I-59 is a relocation, for which NH money (all Interstates are on the National Highway System and NH funding is designed to pay for capital improvements on the NHS) would typically be used. IM money is intended to pay for resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation, and reconstruction (4R) on the Interstate system, and I don't think straightening the curve qualifies as reconstruction because it involves an alignment change with new right-of-way.

BTW, IM money was originally only for 3R--the missing R being reconstruction.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #4685
Tom 958
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Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
No. What they are doing on I-59 is a relocation, for which NH money (all Interstates are on the National Highway System and NH funding is designed to pay for capital improvements on the NHS) would typically be used. IM money is intended to pay for resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation, and reconstruction (4R) on the Interstate system, and I don't think straightening the curve qualifies as reconstruction because it involves an alignment change with new right-of-way.

BTW, IM money was originally only for 3R--the missing R being reconstruction.
I'm not so sure about that. IM funding is pretty flexible, or at least it was when I was crossing swords with the FHWA ten years ago. This, for instance...


...was funded mainly through IM.

Maybe I'm wrong about IM-- if so, so be it. But still, if you look at the scale of new highway construction in Mississippi over the last ten years, it appears (at least to me) that there's no real shortage of money. Was it really necessary to build this two-headed monster as a temporary terminus for I-69?

The idea of using local funding to advance critical projects isn't a bad one-- I've advocated it myself in my own community, for this conversion of US 78 into an acceptable urban arterial, which was delayed for over a decade due to lack of a pathetically small amount of funding even as the county it's in raised and spent hundreds of millions in sales tax funds on other roads. But for an Interstate in a small town? That's just wrong.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #4686
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You're trying to bring logic to interstate construction?! Take a peak at I-180 in IL.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #4687
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I-180 does make some sense, there are no nearby bridges, and it was anticipated for a large steel plant. (which closed down the moment I-180 was constructed).

However, things have to be seen in perspective. Back in the 60's, it was feasible to construct Interstates for low traffic volumes, heck, Europe and the U.S. had many railroads in the 1800's that would now be considered unprofitable. Most of them closed even before the second world war.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #4688
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Tom 958--I have heard about IM money being used to fund rest area renovations, but not new capital construction. Are you sure the capacity-expanding portions of that project weren't paid for with NH money? From my experience (not crossing swords with FHWA, but looking at some FHWA program guidance and examining numerous highway construction plans) it seems to be quite common to build projects with NH-IM funding designations, where presumably part of the project is paid for with NH money, another part with IM money, the distinction being made on FHWA federal-aid vouchers.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 12:05 AM   #4689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
Tom 958--I have heard about IM money being used to fund rest area renovations, but not new capital construction. Are you sure the capacity-expanding portions of that project weren't paid for with NH money? From my experience (not crossing swords with FHWA, but looking at some FHWA program guidance and examining numerous highway construction plans) it seems to be quite common to build projects with NH-IM funding designations, where presumably part of the project is paid for with NH money, another part with IM money, the distinction being made on FHWA federal-aid vouchers.
A fair question, but, yes, I'm absolutely sure about it, because I questioned the funding mix in person and in writing repeatedly and in very explicit terms. I even tried to involved the GAO in the issue, though that went off the rails in a profoundly humorous way.

FHWA's line was that the CD's were operational enhancements, not capacity additions, and that therefore they could be built with IM funding. Amusingly, their case was somewhat bolstered by the fact that one element of the project was a segment of CD road that was completely useless except as a construction detour-- that definitley wasn't a capacity addition! Ditto the replacement of the old two lane interchange bridges with new ones having six to eight lanes.

There area couple of aspects of the situation I'd like to point out:

One, when I started dealing with this project in 1994. ISTEA was still a new thing. More importantly, President Clinton had been in office for less than two years, and attitudes at the FHWA's relevant offices were still very much stuck in the Reagan-Bush era. A fellow activist asked the head of the relevant FHWA office at the time what he thought FHWA's role was, and he replied that it was to get "their" (the states') funding to them as expeditiously as possible. So the mere fact that a certain funding allocation was agreed to by FHWA was rather irrelevant given what the agency considered as its duty.

Over time, Clinton-era perspectives took hold, with a strong assist from Atlanta's air quality crisis. But the pace was glacial, as was the undoing after Bush 43 came into office.

Two, at the time the funds provided to Georgia under IM were excessive-- major reconstructions of the kind that's now taking place on I-75 in south Georgia were simply not needed, and there was some scope for FHWA to use its judgement in allocating those funds to appropriate uses. Some could be reallocated to other funding categories; for the others, I suspect that FHWA applied a liberal interpretation to how IM funds could be used rather than attempting to assign them correctly. But I can't prove that.

Last edited by Tom 958; September 21st, 2009 at 06:43 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:22 AM   #4690
He Named Thor
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Took this one today. It's the Leo Frigo bridge, part of I-43 just before it meets US 41.

image hosted on flickr


Being as tall as it is, you get a good view of the city, and on the other side Lake Michigan.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 12:14 AM   #4691
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Amazing landscapes along I-80 in southwestern Wyoming.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 02:10 AM   #4692
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My trip home on Sunday from Jersey City.
Christopher Columbus Ave West : Jersey City Skyway ahead : I-78


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I-78 Turnpike Approach Road
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Entering I-78
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I-78 view Jersey City : Bergen-Layette Neighborhood
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This is the second Welcome to New Jersey Sign , the first one is at the traffic light intersections after the Holland Tunnel , but this is the biggest sign.
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Crossing Route 440
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Newark Bay Bridge
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Looking North
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Looking back at the Jersey City / Manhattan Skyline
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Looking North : you can see the Pulaski Skyway , Jersey City : Hackensack Waterfront Condos
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City of Newark Skyline
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Looking North CSX Railway Bridge
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Port Newark : Cargo Storage area
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Port Newark : Carport
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New Jersey Turnpike Northbound Ramps
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Newark Airport Interchange I-78 Toll Plaza
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Incoming Plane
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US 1/9 Flyovers
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Route 21 Expressway overpass
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I-78 Express Lanes in Newark
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Crossing the Northeast Corridor
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I-78 West Express Lanes
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Crossing the Garden State Parkway
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Thats it for now,i'll post I-287 later

~Corey
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 05:05 AM   #4693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Amazing landscapes along I-80 in southwestern Wyoming.
That's near Green River, Wyoming. Notice all the trucks, and the lack of autos. That's 'cause hardly anyone lives in this area, but the truck route is a major east-west route between California and the midwest.

Ironic that the next posts are pics of the one of the most densely populated areas in the US, right after one of the least!

Coincidence probably, but a nice comparison!
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #4694
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New York Thruway East/Southbound I-287/87
Tappan Zee Bridge Eastbound


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The Fog yesterday shurroded the Rockland County side Mountains with unique look to it

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Looking South, on a clear day you can see the George Washington Bridge & upper Manhattan
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After lunch,we went back over the bridge
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Looking North at the Tarrytown Marina
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Looking North up the Hudson River
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Eastbound Span view
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Exiting at Exit 10
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On the ramp
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I hope you liked it, more will come later

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Last edited by Nexis; April 6th, 2010 at 03:43 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #4695
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Lovely weather.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #4696
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I like driving in such a weather for some reason. Nice bridge again.

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Funny left sign, like a hat. How is 'Nyack' pronounced? [nyaeck] or [niaeck / nayaeck] (if you know what I mean)?
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Old September 28th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #4697
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Oh yeah that weird sign, I have seen it before. I believe there are also some boxed exit names in that area.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #4698
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I'd pronounce that "nyack"...

(if it helps, the Spanish spelling would be "ñac")
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #4699
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Ah, I know "ñ".
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:32 PM   #4700
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Love that picture of Interstate 87.

So there's New York, Newark and Nyack....interesting how close those names could sound if spoken quickly.
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