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Old March 11th, 2014, 08:44 PM   #9501
ChrisZwolle
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I-805, San Diego, CA

New HOV lanes opened to traffic on Interstate 805 in San Diego last week. They run from CA-54 to CA-94 on a five mile stretch of freeway.

The new HOV lanes are the first phase to eventually construct a four lane toll express corridor in the median of I-805, much like the 91 Express Lanes in Orange County.

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Old March 13th, 2014, 12:42 AM   #9502
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The I-35/I-435 interchange in Lenexa, Kansas

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Old March 13th, 2014, 01:00 AM   #9503
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The new I-5 bridge in Portland was cancelled.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:29 AM   #9504
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The new I-5 bridge in Portland was cancelled.
Interesting project in my area. It would have replaced two 3-lane bridges (one northbound, one southbound) connecting Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington over the Columbia River. One bridge is almost 100 years old, built in 1917, and the other is a twin built in 1958, so also very old. There are lots of reasons for replacement: narrow lanes, no shoulders, seismic concerns, lift sections which stop traffic several times a day to let boats pass, and very poor ped/bike facilities. Also ramps just north and south of the bridges dump heavy traffic onto the bridges, causing frequent backups even at off-peak times.

The plan was for 2 5-lane bridges, generous ped/bike facilities, and extending Portland's light rail system into Vancouver. Project cost was $3.5 billion, with roughly 1/3 by the Federal government, 1/3 by the two states, and 1/3 from tolls (around $6 peak-hour tolls each way, meaning regular commuters would pay over $2000 a year for a drive that's currently free). The bridge itself was actually less than $1 billion; most of the costs were for freeway improvements north and south of the bridge and light rail.

The project fell apart when the Washington State legislature failed to approve its share of funds, due to strong local opposition to light rail and tolling. I think it's unusual for a project like this to fail due to lack of political support; I think it involving 2 different states, one with strong opposition, had a lot to do with it. Oregon attempted to do the project on its own (eliminating the freeway improvements on the Washington side) but that effort failed too.

There are already moves to revive the project, but this time with a bus-transit element instead of light rail, and I'd expect lacking the extensive freeway improvements. Hopefully this will allow the needed bridge replacement to happen, but keep the costs down so that toll rates would be more reasonable, and avoid the whole issue of light rail.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 05:14 AM   #9505
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I'm Portland based these days. The story of that bridge is a nice read. The current bridge is a piece of junk. You need to have driven over it to believe it. And really wondering how long that thing will still be able to function under the stress.

Don't forget to add the planning cost of the new bridge in the total cost of the bridge. (keeping in mind that nothing has yet been accomplished despite spending this money)

$170 million planning cost
As of February 2011, planning for the bridge (including responses to ongoing criticism from opponents of the project) cost $118 million, according to figures requested and reported by the Portland Mercury. That total had increased to $170 million by July 2013.

Among the private companies receiving money for CRC planning contracts were:
Portland-based architecture and engineering firm David Evans and Associates: $29,062,292
Colorado-based engineering and development firm C2HM Hill: $2,411,573
Portland-based architecture firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca: $1,084,235
Tom Markgraf and Associates, led by the former Multnomah County Commissioner candidate: $987,631
McCaig Communications, presumably representing Patricia McCaig: $130,860
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Old March 14th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #9506
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That project shows complexities of big road projects where two states are involved. Especially if there is large metro straddling the border.

Well, I guess it is inevitable downside of the federal system.

I hope they revive the scheme fairly soon. Seismic retrofitting seems to be rather urgent there.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 09:48 PM   #9507
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The bridges are rated functionally obsolete. That doesn't mean they are unsafe, but not conforming to current design standards, such as lane width, shoulders and perhaps overhead clearance. Which is not a surprise given the age of both bridges.

According to the Bridgehunter website the bridge condition is rated fair/satisfactory. The 1958 bridge has a slightly better rating than the 1917 bridge.

http://bridgehunter.com/or/multnomah/interstate/

http://bridgehunter.com/or/multnomah/bh51746/
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Old March 15th, 2014, 12:52 AM   #9508
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Another difficulty with the project I didn't mention, which also caused much opposition, was that there are several major manufacturers located upstream which need the bridge lift to ship their very large products out to the Pacific. The new bridge would not have a lift section and while it would be higher than the old bridge when down, it would not be as high when the lift section was up. They had made agreements with the companies to pay millions of dollar in compensation for lost business, but this still would have resulted in lost jobs, and the loss of other potential future business. A higher bridge would also mean higher landing points that would cause more negative impacts on the adjacent built-up areas. There were also limits on how high the bridge could be be, so it wouldn't affect the flight path of an adjacent general aviation airport. Tunneling was considered not feasible, due to cost and the need for interchanges at each end of the crossing. It's possible a bridge without light rail could be a bit higher than one with, supposedly because motor vehicles can withstand steeper grades than light rail, but I'm not 100% sure about that.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 02:35 AM   #9509
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What about working on a tunnel now?
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Old March 15th, 2014, 07:53 AM   #9510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
What about working on a tunnel now?

A tunnel may not be the best idea for a seismic zone. Although if built properly under a river or such with proper emergency draining systems it would be considerably safer than any bridge.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 08:03 AM   #9511
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Re tunnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
What about working on a tunnel now?
I was on this bridge on Tuesday. The 3 lanes in each direction are very narrow and no shoulders. It's bad. But, the problem with a tunnel is that downtown Vancouver WA is right at the north end of the bridge with several off ramps - how do you build a tunnel under the river and have depth for ships and then immediately surface for off ramps to downtown Vancouver?

And the shipping channel has to stay along the north shore of the river because of the location of the swing span of this piece of history just downstream:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burling...oad_Bridge_9.6

Last edited by schweitzerdude; March 15th, 2014 at 08:56 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 11:44 AM   #9512
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I-70 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

The "stan span" at night:

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mrb_7802 by missriverbridge_photos, on Flickr
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Old March 15th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #9513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman Kris™ View Post
A tunnel may not be the best idea for a seismic zone. Although if built properly under a river or such with proper emergency draining systems it would be considerably safer than any bridge.
except that hazardous materials wouldn't be able to cross anymore...
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Old March 15th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #9514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
New HOV lanes opened to traffic on Interstate 805 in San Diego last week. They run from CA-54 to CA-94 on a five mile stretch of freeway.

The new HOV lanes are the first phase to eventually construct a four lane toll express corridor in the median of I-805, much like the 91 Express Lanes in Orange County.

California uses a weird mix of open access and restricted access HOV lanes. There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reasons as to which strategy is used.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #9515
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
except that hazardous materials wouldn't be able to cross anymore...
Over the tunnel ? I would suggest a bypass canal for ships to pass.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #9516
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Recent layout of upcoming I-20/59 Downtown Birmingham bridge replacement project. Work will begin in 2015 with the construction of new ramps. The bridge itself will be closed in 2016. 17th and 22nd St exit ramps will be eliminated, 18th and 23rd St entrance ramps will be eliminated as well.

http://aldotapps.dot.state.al.us/I59...011%202014.pdf
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Old March 19th, 2014, 01:32 AM   #9517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Loop 20 in Laredo, TX is now designated as future I-69. Also, a new interchange opened at McPherson Road (just east of I-35).

Is there any estimated date to finish I-69?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #9518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
California uses a weird mix of open access and restricted access HOV lanes. There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reasons as to which strategy is used.
I think where the HOV lanes are in effect at all times, they use the restricted access design; and where the HOV lanes are only in effect during peak hours, they use open lanes, since they're open to general traffic most of the time. The restricted ones are all (or mostly all) in the Los Angeles area because the traffic volumes are higher, so 24-hour HOV lanes are more justified. The restricted ones have a narrow painted median between them and the general lanes, which is a good thing because it's kind of spooky flying along at full speed next to a lane of traffic that's stopped!
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Old March 19th, 2014, 06:53 PM   #9519
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^ I don't know if that logic always holds true. The new HOV lane on the 60/215 south of Riverside is open access and appears to operate on a 24/7 basis.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 08:07 PM   #9520
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Quote:
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Is there any estimated date to finish I-69?
Interstate 69 is longest freeway in the country under construction/review right now. Doesn't seem to built at the speed of the older Interstates though so I also wonder what the completion date is.



I'm curious on the status of Interstate 22.
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