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Old December 8th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #7641
ChrisZwolle
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Does anyone know why Interstate 185 in South Carolina was constructed? It doesn't appear to be serving a whole lot and not being a useful bypass of I-85 as well. Besides that, how can this be an Interstate Highway, it's a toll road, opened in 2001. I thought only pre-1956 toll roads could get Interstate status. The route would've made more sense if it was mirrored north of I-85.

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Old December 9th, 2011, 01:22 AM   #7642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
Surprised Houston isn't the control city when it is for US59 North from Laredo.
Texas doesn't do control cities that way. Victoria's a fairly large regional hub - metro area over 100,000 - so it makes sense under their policy for it to be listed. Houston is also around 215 miles from Corpus Christi, and that is a bit far for a control city (Dallas and Houston are listed on I-45 because there are no mid-sized cities in between).

Also, Sinton is where one would turn off to go to Port Aransas, and Victoria to go to Matagorda Bay, which are both sizable tourist destinations.

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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Does anyone know why Interstate 185 in South Carolina was constructed? It doesn't appear to be serving a whole lot and not being a useful bypass of I-85 as well. Besides that, how can this be an Interstate Highway, it's a toll road, opened in 2001. I thought only pre-1956 toll roads could get Interstate status. The route would've made more sense if it was mirrored north of I-85.
I-85 roughly parallels the fall line in South Carolina, where the coastal plains transition into the Appalachian Piedmont. So, for starters, it would be much cheaper to build a bypass through the flatter land. It also offers a useful bypass for those coming from the central and coastal parts of the state heading toward Clemson, where there is a large university.

Furthermore, the rules against toll Interstates have slackened considerably, particularly in the last 20 years. Now, toll routes can have the Interstate designation, but generally must conduct their own maintenance, with little federal support.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #7643
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Another interesting feature, Interstate 4 in Tampa.

It features a wide median, wider than a regular space reservation for expansion. Were there once plans for some sort of local-express setup or reversible lanes? There's enough space for another 8 lanes. It appears that this space has been created rather recently, in the mid-2000's. Maybe a rail project in the median?

This is current I-4:


This is previous I-4 (before I-275 was routed there)
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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #7644
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Another interesting feature, Interstate 4 in Tampa.

It features a wide median, wider than a regular space reservation for expansion. Were there once plans for some sort of local-express setup or reversible lanes? There's enough space for another 8 lanes. It appears that this space has been created rather recently, in the mid-2000's. Maybe a rail project in the median?

This is current I-4:


This is previous I-4 (before I-275 was routed there)
Chris, I can tell you a lot about Interstate 4 as well as Interstate 275 in the Tampa area.

On the top image of Interstate 4, this was taken after the major reconstruction project from just east of Interstate 275 to 50th Street (US 41) was completed in December 2007. As you can see, Interstate 4 underwent a complete transformation from the original 4 lanes (along with a short 6 lane segment from Interstate 275 to 21st/22nd Street (FL 585)) to 8 lanes.

The large median in Interstate 4 was supposed to be reserved for the high speed rail project which was supposed to link Tampa with Orlando and Miami, the Tampa to Orlando link utilizing the center of Interstate 4. We received federal money to build this high speed rail link; unfortunately, our Florida Governor, Rick Scott, rejected the federal funds for high speed rail in the state of Florida. This has caused quite a major uproar here in Florida as construction of the high speed rail would have brought at least 25,000 jobs, but I will not get into more detail here so that I do not go off topic.

However, the large median in Interstate 4 is being used for another project located east of the 21st/22nd Street exit, and that is the connector highway from Interstate 4 to the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (FL Toll 618). Slated for completion in Summer of 2013, the Interstate 4 to Crosstown connector will make it a lot easier for trucks to access the Port of Tampa without having to drive onto narrow 21st/22nd Streets, not to mention that this area is part of the Ybor City Historic District.

On the bottom image of Interstate 4, this was taken when construction was underway to transform Interstate 4 from its original 4 lanes built in the early 1960's to the 8 lanes we have today. Back when Interstate 4 was originally built, the highway was supposed to terminate in St. Petersburg (which used the newly built original Howard Frankland Bridge) I believe somewhere in South Pasadena before the bridge to St. Pete Beach. A few years later, the Florida DOT decided to extend Interstate 75 south through the Tampa/St. Petersburg area to Miami, following the Florida west coast and turning east on Alligator Alley in Naples. Interstate 4 was truncated to where it now ends at today's Interstate 275 in downtown Tampa (Exit 45B).

Interstate 4 features a wide median from just east of its western terminus all the way to Poinciana Drive right on the Polk-Osceola county line outside of Kissimmee. You can also see another view of how wide the Interstate 4 median is at the US 27 exit (Exit 55) just outside Orlando. Exactly how the wide median is going to be used is unknown now that the proposed high speed rail is not being built.
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Last edited by Interstate275Fla; December 10th, 2011 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Forgot location of Poinciana Drive on Interstate 4
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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #7645
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Thanks You can see the connector corridor parallel to 31st Street on Google Earth imagery.

You know, it always surprised me that no north-south freeway was built in western Pinellas County, though US 19 is partially freeway-like. It's a giant urban area which has to rely on urban arterials.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #7646
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The new Crosstown I-40 in Oklahoma City is almost completed. It will open before Christmas as a temporary six-lane setup while the other direction is being completed. The final situation will feature 10 lanes.



sign error: I-44 should be I-40.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #7647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Thanks You can see the connector corridor parallel to 31st Street on Google Earth imagery.

You know, it always surprised me that no north-south freeway was built in western Pinellas County, though US 19 is partially freeway-like. It's a giant urban area which has to rely on urban arterials.
Thats why it can take 30 mins to drive 10 miles/16km sometimes. I hate it because there are some traffic lights which are 5 minutes long. On another note I could probably post US19 updates since I use that road everyday.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #7648
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Mongolian Strip
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Old December 11th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #7649
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Thats why it can take 30 mins to drive 10 miles/16km sometimes. I hate it because there are some traffic lights which are 5 minutes long. On another note I could probably post US19 updates since I use that road everyday.
There was a toll highway proposed in the early 1970's - the Pinellas Expressway - that would have followed basically the route of what is today's Pinellas Trail. Unfortunately, strong opposition put the road on the shelf.

The only reminder of what was going to be the Pinellas Expressway is the 31 St S exit (Exit 20) from Interstate 275, which has an exit to a toll road look but in reality it isn't.

And speaking of the conversion of US 19 to a limited access highway from 49 St N in Pinellas Park to FL 580 in Clearwater, I see the potential of a possible Interstate 875 which would connect the US 19 limited access segment, then become an east-west highway using a converted Gandy Blvd. and Gandy Bridge over into Tampa, finally connecting into the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (FL Toll 618). As for the tolled section, I understand that federal guidelines do not allow for Interstate numbers to be assigned to toll roads unless grandfathered as is the case of both the Sunshine Skyway (Interstate 275) and Alligator Alley (Interstate 75).

Presently a section of US 19 is being converted into a limited access highway from north of Whitney Road to FL 60 in order to make a continuous traffic signal free US 19 from 49 St N to FL 580. From what I understand work is progressing at a slow pace due to major water main relocation work as there are major water mains that serve St. Petersburg and the surrounding communities that depend on St. Petersburg for water service.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 04:31 AM   #7650
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There was a toll highway proposed in the early 1970's - the Pinellas Expressway - that would have followed basically the route of what is today's Pinellas Trail. Unfortunately, strong opposition put the road on the shelf.

The only reminder of what was going to be the Pinellas Expressway is the 31 St S exit (Exit 20) from Interstate 275, which has an exit to a toll road look but in reality it isn't.

And speaking of the conversion of US 19 to a limited access highway from 49 St N in Pinellas Park to FL 580 in Clearwater, I see the potential of a possible Interstate 875 which would connect the US 19 limited access segment, then become an east-west highway using a converted Gandy Blvd. and Gandy Bridge over into Tampa, finally connecting into the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (FL Toll 618). As for the tolled section, I understand that federal guidelines do not allow for Interstate numbers to be assigned to toll roads unless grandfathered as is the case of both the Sunshine Skyway (Interstate 275) and Alligator Alley (Interstate 75).

Presently a section of US 19 is being converted into a limited access highway from north of Whitney Road to FL 60 in order to make a continuous traffic signal free US 19 from 49 St N to FL 580. From what I understand work is progressing at a slow pace due to major water main relocation work as there are major water mains that serve St. Petersburg and the surrounding communities that depend on St. Petersburg for water service.
Yeah Pinellas has many cancelled freeways and expressways, very short sighted of those residents. I've lived in north pinellas ever since the Drew St overpass was built so I've watched the progression from there, each phase completed makes life so much better. Currently the Whitney Road to FL 60 is going slow but as you said a lot of work needs to be done. Another slow going project is at Enterprise Rd and US19, they will eliminate that light, add a lane northbound and build a concrete barrier in the median. Recently they've just opened the service road by the car dealerships. When those two projects are done Pinellas will have a north/south freeway as it was planned many years ago.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #7651
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I-35 North of Austin TX

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I-35 Northbound Through South Austin by Robin Rowell, on Flickr
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Old December 12th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #7652
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I-35 North of Austin TX

I-35 Northbound Through South Austin by Robin Rowell, on Flickr
Wow, great photo.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #7653
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Austin is not the small, rather unknown state capital it once was anymore... I've read it's actually a pleasant city, not as "concrete" and humid as Houston and not as flat and boring as Dallas.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #7654
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It's also the liberal heartland of Texas (not talking about politics, although that too).
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #7655
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Wow thats a great angle of Austin.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #7656
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To return to the I-185 in Greenville, SC discussion earlier this page.

It looks like the toll road is not really a success. Only 10,000 - 15,000 vehicles use it on a daily basis and apparently the toll road operator defaulted in 2010.

http://www.southernconnector.com/Zweekly_stat.htm

It would make more sense if it catered to I-85 traffic better, especially traffic from northern Georgia towards I-385. The toll rates are also relatively high, at $ 2.50 for the 13 mile route for passenger cars.

It's very hard to accurately estimate the toll rate that generates maximum revenue. If you continue to increase tolls, revenue will actually go down because traffic goes down too.

I think I-185 could only be viable as a toll road if there was significant suburban development in that area, which there is not.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #7657
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GDOT has announced that the I-75 toll lanes in northwest Atlanta will be scrapped. No details are known, the press release was only two sentences. The toll lanes were announced with a lot of fanfare just a few months ago. The $ 1.1 billion project would have added 2 toll lanes in each direction. Other than the I-85, these were not supposed to be HOT lanes. This would have widened I-75 from 10 - 15 lanes to 14 - 19 lanes.

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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #7658
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I-15 from SoCal to NV.

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vegasroad3 by Maxi_Photo, on Flickr

Rest area.

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vegasroad2 by Maxi_Photo, on Flickr
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Old December 16th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #7659
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GDOT has announced that the I-75 toll lanes in northwest Atlanta will be scrapped. No details are known, the press release was only two sentences. The toll lanes were announced with a lot of fanfare just a few months ago. The $ 1.1 billion project would have added 2 toll lanes in each direction. Other than the I-85, these were not supposed to be HOT lanes. This would have widened I-75 from 10 - 15 lanes to 14 - 19 lanes.

No loss here, those "toll lanes" would be an enormous waste of money anyways.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 03:48 AM   #7660
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Overall Georgia is not a fan of tollroads, not surprised.
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