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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #6901
DanielFigFoz
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Quote:
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That highway would almost certainly been tunneled instead of cut through that hill had that been in Europe.

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There are motorways like that in Europe too
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:35 PM   #6902
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Quote:
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There are motorways like that in Europe too
Tunnel/Cut-off approaches vary by country.

In Germany, they build most highways with cut-offs instead of tunnels. Only more recent highways have tunnels.

In Italy, tunneling has become a national fever in the late 1960s. I don't know the exact number of structures, but 5,4% of total extension of highways is underground.

France has some tunnels, but relies mostly on S-shaped mountains traverse design.

In US, geology and cheap land costs brought cut-offs as the preferred method of construction. There are not many tunnels around, not even in the Rockies. I remembered when I relocated to Laramie for a while and the only "nearby" (e.g., 300mi radius) highway tunnels would be 2 short ones in Green River, WY and the Einsenhower Tunnel on I-70 west of Denver. And that was it.

Personally, I think cut-offs make beautiful road scenery. I heard or read of a massive cut-off in I-40, the highest cut-off in all Interstate System, but I don't remember where exactly.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #6903
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Quote:
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Tunnel/Cut-off approaches vary by country.

In Germany, they build most highways with cut-offs instead of tunnels. Only more recent highways have tunnels.

In Italy, tunneling has become a national fever in the late 1960s. I don't know the exact number of structures, but 5,4% of total extension of highways is underground.

France has some tunnels, but relies mostly on S-shaped mountains traverse design.

In US, geology and cheap land costs brought cut-offs as the preferred method of construction. There are not many tunnels around, not even in the Rockies. I remembered when I relocated to Laramie for a while and the only "nearby" (e.g., 300mi radius) highway tunnels would be 2 short ones in Green River, WY and the Einsenhower Tunnel on I-70 west of Denver. And that was it.

Personally, I think cut-offs make beautiful road scenery. I heard or read of a massive cut-off in I-40, the highest cut-off in all Interstate System, but I don't remember where exactly.
Right now I believe that the deepest cut on the I-system is that one that bypassed the tunnel on the West Virginia Turnpike (I-64/77).

Mike
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Old June 1st, 2011, 07:32 PM   #6904
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i prefer tunnels personally. here in the bay area we have a few: caldecott, waldo, park presidio, and the presidio parkway under construction. coincidentally none are interstates.

caltrans recently widened a 5 mile section of interstate 80 in contra costa county, creating a continuous eastbound hov lane from the bay bridge to the carquinez bridge. here is the carquinez bridge, showing a large cut-off:

Barrie Rokeach: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/images/5-24-11_aerial.jpg
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Old June 1st, 2011, 11:57 PM   #6905
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Me sees freeway stub end as well.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 03:16 AM   #6906
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In Texas they like building shit that's really tacky and ugly.
Yet our highways are still much better looking than yours along with having much better roadway quality.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:33 AM   #6907
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Here is a good one of Houston at night. Video shows the recently expanded Katy Freeway (I-10), Beltway 8, Westpark Tollway (first all electronic tollway in the nation), and then US 59 (future Interstate 69):

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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:54 PM   #6908
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Me sees freeway stub end as well.
Checking the aerial images of that area, it looks to me to be a designed local bridge approach access, there is no logical place for a spur freeway to go in that direction.

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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #6909
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Yep, seems to be due to the bridge ramp, not some freeway stub.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:20 AM   #6910
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When it comes to highways, Texas is king.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 05:44 PM   #6911
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When it comes to highways, Texas is king.
Agreed!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:18 PM   #6912
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Are interstates toll road?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:19 PM   #6913
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Also, were interstates built entirely on govt funding or public private partnership?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:20 PM   #6914
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Are interstates toll road?
For the most part, no. Only when you get to the northeast does that happen (certain areas around Boston for example).
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:24 PM   #6915
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Also, were interstates built entirely on govt funding or public private partnership?
From what I understand, all of it was federal funding for the initial build. Some parts added much later (after the late 90's) may be PPP in certain localities.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:29 PM   #6916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tall_dreams View Post
Are interstates toll road?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tall_dreams View Post
Also, were interstates built entirely on govt funding or public private partnership?
I'm going to answer these questions together: Congress passed the legislation authorizing the Interstate system in 1956. All Interstates built since then were built by the government (funding is 90% federal, 10% state, although the actual work of building and maintaining the roads falls to the states). Some Interstates are toll roads, but this only happens where the toll road already existed (or at least was being built) in 1956 - these roads have received Interstate numbers for the sake of, how to put it, a coherent numbering system.

Even toll roads, until say the 1980s, were built by government agencies; it's just that they're funded separately from the normal budget: they'd sell bonds to finance the construction of the road (rather than have taxpayers pay for it) and then the tolls would go to pay off the bonds. Some toll roads became free once the bonds were paid off, but usually they'll remain toll roads, with the tolls going to maintenance. Franchising the construction and operation of a toll road to private companies, like you'll see in France and Italy, was unknown here until the 1980s and is still rare.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:31 PM   #6917
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For the most part, no. Only when you get to the northeast does that happen (certain areas around Boston for example).
Not just the Northeast - there are plenty of toll roads carrying Interstate designations as far west as Chicago (actually a bit farther west in Illinois), and some elsewhere (Kansas and Oklahoma, for example).
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:42 PM   #6918
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I-80 is even tolled as far west as San Francisco. However, regular toll Interstates are indeed farthest west in Kansas and Oklahoma.

I'm not really in favor of privatized toll roads. Their tolls tend to be very high (in France it's frequently over $ 0.25 per mile) and a regular tax gas is better for providing adequate funding, that is, when gas taxes are adequate.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #6919
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I-80 is even tolled as far west as San Francisco. However, regular toll Interstates are indeed farthest west in Kansas and Oklahoma.

I'm not really in favor of privatized toll roads. Their tolls tend to be very high (in France it's frequently over $ 0.25 per mile) and a regular tax gas is better for providing adequate funding, that is, when gas taxes are adequate.
Politicians are too cowardly to raise the gas tax now. What's being considered for the US is a mileage based toll. So perhaps it's a similar system to France. I think it's less effective because it provides little incentive for people to switch to more fuel efficient cars.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #6920
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Quote:
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I'm going to answer these questions together: Congress passed the legislation authorizing the Interstate system in 1956. All Interstates built since then were built by the government (funding is 90% federal, 10% state, although the actual work of building and maintaining the roads falls to the states). Some Interstates are toll roads, but this only happens where the toll road already existed (or at least was being built) in 1956 - these roads have received Interstate numbers for the sake of, how to put it, a coherent numbering system.

Even toll roads, until say the 1980s, were built by government agencies; it's just that they're funded separately from the normal budget: they'd sell bonds to finance the construction of the road (rather than have taxpayers pay for it) and then the tolls would go to pay off the bonds. Some toll roads became free once the bonds were paid off, but usually they'll remain toll roads, with the tolls going to maintenance. Franchising the construction and operation of a toll road to private companies, like you'll see in France and Italy, was unknown here until the 1980s and is still rare.
Not necessarily so - the most recent part of I-355 (Veterans Tollway, formerly the North-South Tollway) in Illinois (southwest Chicago suburbs) opened about four years ago. Financing was through toll revenue bonds.

Mike
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