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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:36 PM   #5221
J N Winkler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
OMG now you made my morning not so pleasant...
You are headed for a lot of trouble in life if the fact that someone disagrees with you, and is able to cite concrete reasons for so disagreeing, is enough to ruin your day.

In regards to "big interchanges being bad for the environment," the Big I and its predecessor are and were in the middle of a dense urban area--in fact habitat was severed and fragmented long before the original Big I opened in 1965. Aside from the occasional songbird in a backyard tree and the odd coyote going through trash barrels in downtown Albuquerque, there is no wildlife left whose habitat had to be considered when designing and building the Big I. The environmental impacts therefore relate largely to noise and pollution. Rebuilding the original Big I in place might have kept noise levels (which are relatively easy to mitigate) down compared to the current design, but this would have been done at an enormous cost in pollution.

I fully support measures to maintain habitat connectivity across roads in rural areas, such as wildlife bridges and creeps, but none of those remedies would have been useful in central Albuquerque.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:52 PM   #5222
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That 'new' interchange in the downtown Albuquerque, NM area (I-25/40) is actually a rebuild/re-engineering of a previous worn out and obsolete direct free-flowing interchange that was built back in the 1960s. The old one had ramps with left diverges and merges, slow speed limits and poor sight lines.

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 12:25 AM   #5223
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Buffalo, NY.RT 5, this section is know as the skyway, is going vertical and the 190 is horizontal.


photo from google
Damn, I just posted this pic in the Non-Interstates thread.

Technically though, the Skyway belongs there because it isn't an Interstate.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:48 AM   #5224
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I would actually prefer them to paint the interchanges gray so it doesn't give the concrete a dirty look. But the interchanges are just too big. There has to be another way to contain traffic.

And I'm not even going to start on the public transportation argument. I've gone through a total of 20 pages on two different threads for the same debate.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 05:13 PM   #5225
J N Winkler
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Can you be more specific: why are they too big? How big should an interchange be? Given the totality of what is known about the Big I (location in an urban area within the footprint of an existing interchange built 35 years previously), how would you justify spending more money to build a smaller interchange with more or less equivalent traffic-handling capability?
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 05:19 PM   #5226
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Radii, ramp length and the number of lanes all have their influence on capacity and traffic safety. Smaller radii means lower capacity and less-than-optimal sight lines, which makes an interchange prone to more traffic accidents, resulting in more delays, etc. Look at many older interchanges in the northeast for example. Just to put you in the right direction; check out the I-95 / Henry Hudson Parkway or the I-87 / I-95 interchanges in New York City for instance.

Of course, within urban areas, there is a limited amount of space, especially if the cost of acquiring a right-of-way is very high, substandard interchanges are found. However, if there is enough space within the existing right-of-way, I don't see why you should make a substandard interchange just for the reason that "interchanges should be smaller".
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:37 PM   #5227
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Is it feasible to build Underground Interchanges all over USA? Same Size but with some ramps underground, something like the Stack in Madrid (A1 - M40). Would that be an option for you guys??
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:25 PM   #5228
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Quote:
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Is it feasible to build Underground Interchanges all over USA? Same Size but with some ramps underground, something like the Stack in Madrid (A1 - M40). Would that be an option for you guys??
Yes, if expensive. You also run into flooding and ice concerns.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:03 PM   #5229
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We have also done air-rights developments (Boston Extension of Massachusetts Turnpike, some lengths of I-66 within the Capital Beltway, I-95 in Manhattan), several of the major system interchanges on I-105 in Los Angeles have direct connectors in tunnel, and several urban freeways in the US have deck lids (I-10/Hance Park in Phoenix, I-35 in Duluth, I-95 in downtown Philadelphia, etc.). But all of those features impose additional construction cost and some of them can reduce the economic scope for further widening. In the case of the Big I in Albuquerque, there was no demand from the public for any of them.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:36 PM   #5230
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I don't think big interchanges are necessarily unattractive. Actually to me they look quite graceful with sweeping flyovers towering high over the main lines. How many other countries besides China of course have 5-6 level stack interchanges? Kind of a cool feature of the American urban landscape to have such massive structures even if as people who appreciate cities we are supposed to dislike them for being antithesis to a human scale.

And burying them would be costly for minimal gain. There are some funky sunken interchanges, in Houston Beltway 8 and the Westpark Tollway is a pretty bizarre intersection, actually that entire road(Westpark Tollway) is unusual with an uneven number of entrances at roads and how its in and outbound lanes start/terminate at different spots on the intown end.

Last edited by zaphod; February 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:26 AM   #5231
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There's a certain aesthetic to newer interchanges like the Big I.






all photos kim ashley.com
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Old February 8th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #5232
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I-45 / US 59 interchange in Houston, Texas. A lot of overpasses and fly-overs!

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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:21 PM   #5233
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That's a whole lot of overpasses
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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #5234
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How fast are the car running? Is that a fake?
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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #5235
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It's sped up of course
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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #5236
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If I see it correctly, the video runs from northeast to southwest.

Many of these overpasses are due to the depressed freeway in the grid system of downtown Houston.
[IMG]http://i50.************/a0dveq.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 9th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #5237
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That looks weird for some reason
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Old February 9th, 2010, 04:26 AM   #5238
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Quote:
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That looks weird for some reason
Its Texan , everything has to be big and overdone in that state
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Old February 9th, 2010, 05:17 AM   #5239
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As Texas standards go, this is a rather small interchange.

What I find "weird" about it, is there appears to be a major off-ramp on the right of the pic that seemingly leads directly into a bunch of empty lots. That is indeed weird, unless it was planned to be something else at one time.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #5240
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It's also a left-exit interchange.
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