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Old July 29th, 2015, 02:42 AM   #10681
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$ 10 billion (!) for an interchange replacement? My goodness they can construct 38 High Five Interchanges in Texas for that kind of money. What is wrong with the Northeast?
Texas has a large supply of illegal immigrants willing to work for low pay. Texas also has less regulation, less specialized workers, and less officials at the top skimming money from the projects. I used to live in Dallas and was amazed at the speed things were built.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 03:24 AM   #10682
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$ 10 billion (!) for an interchange replacement? My goodness they can construct 38 High Five Interchanges in Texas for that kind of money. What is wrong with the Northeast?
Overwrought bureaucracy + consultants whose reports aren't vetted + excessive construction costs (due to outdated labor practices etc) = setting fire to money and flushing it down a hole.

Trying to rein in bloated costs on inferior delivery ... think the Big Dig, Second Avenue Subway, Calatrava's stegosaurus, East Side Access*, the Gateway Tunnel, and so on ... has become a major cause among Northeastern transpo geeks.
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* Which, incidentally enough, under an RER-type system, may not have needed to be built at all.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 04:46 AM   #10683
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Malloy: Mixmaster replacement to cost $10 billion

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says replacing the stacks of highway bridges that comprise the Mixmaster interchange in Waterbury will cost $10 billion based on the latest estimate.

The State Bond Commission today approved $1 million for a design and engineering study for reconfiguring the geometry of the Route 8 and Interstate 84 interchange, notorious for its cumbersome left-lane entrance and exit ramps.

The state Department of Transportation has determined the deteriorating conditions of the highway stacks rule out its complete rehabilitation.

“The Mixmaster is going to have to be replaced,” Malloy said after chairing the bond commission meeting.
Full report: http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2015/...e017690365.txt

$ 10 billion (!) for an interchange replacement? My goodness they can construct 38 High Five Interchanges in Texas for that kind of money. What is wrong with the Northeast?
I know its a double decker , but yikes... I can understand the I-84 Hartford project being expensive , but this project should cost no more then a billion.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 04:34 AM   #10684
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$10 billion even for CT standards is insane. The entire Q bridge project in New Haven will cost a bit more than $2 billion when it's finally completed.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 03:55 PM   #10685
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$10 billion even for CT standards is insane. The entire Q bridge project in New Haven will cost a bit more than $2 billion when it's finally completed.
Well they turned that project into an Art project with the main span....they used the most expensive option...
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Old July 30th, 2015, 04:31 PM   #10686
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Extradosed bridges are not that expensive. They are a bit more expensive than your typical girder bridge, but they are cheaper than full-blown cable-stayed bridges because they need smaller towers and have smaller spans.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 11:24 PM   #10687
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I-635 progress in Dallas with upper deck complete. credit to rte66man







here is where the toll land begin to tuck under the main lanes



and the toll lanes are underneath the main lanes at this point

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Old July 31st, 2015, 11:44 AM   #10688
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Extradosed bridges are not that expensive. They are a bit more expensive than your typical girder bridge, but they are cheaper than full-blown cable-stayed bridges because they need smaller towers and have smaller spans.
They're a fad by the looks of it. I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of extradosed spans have been chosen because of aesthetic values (i.e. not our money, we don't care, plus it looks cool).

The weird thing is, while extradosed bridges might be in vogue today, I don't think they'll age well, as a group. They're not really structurally honest enough. Think about the world's classic spans -- the Pont Neuf, Forth Rail Bridge, Golden Gate -- it's always easy to see how they're being held up, no? But with these extradosed spans, they feel a bit too busy, too many things going on at once, like it's a neat trick it's keeping itself up instead of a mighty and easily interpreted feat.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 12:24 PM   #10689
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The weird thing is, while extradosed bridges might be in vogue today, I don't think they'll age well, as a group. They're not really structurally honest enough. Think about the world's classic spans -- the Pont Neuf, Forth Rail Bridge, Golden Gate -- it's always easy to see how they're being held up, no? But with these extradosed spans, they feel a bit too busy, too many things going on at once, like it's a neat trick it's keeping itself up instead of a mighty and easily interpreted feat.
Forth Rail Bridge looks way more "busy" (as you call it) than any extradosed bridge. There is real cacophony of engineering in its complicated steel frame.

I find extradosed bridges quite neat and simple. Way less "shouty" than cable-stayed or suspension bridges which are all about statement "hey, look at me".

At the same time they have some architectural and aesthetic value unlike most of simple beam structures.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 08:10 PM   #10690
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If there is one thing Texas does right its highways. Amazing
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Old July 31st, 2015, 08:44 PM   #10691
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Texas cities are growing rapidly, with some metro areas adding over 100,000 people every single year for a sustained period of time. That calls for drastic expansion projects.

DFW in particular is interesting, the volume of projects is astounding. DFW probably has more megaprojects ($ 1 billion+) than numerous states combined.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 10:14 PM   #10692
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The Greater Toronto Area has been growing at 100 000 people per year for a long time, but only trivial road projects
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Old July 31st, 2015, 10:31 PM   #10693
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At least the GTA has a proper network of large freeways, unlike Vancouver. Vancouver has the second worst TTI rating in North America.*

* North America as in: United States + Canada

The least congested major city in North America is Kansas City.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 12:12 AM   #10694
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Vancouver is something I can't understand... consistently rated as one of the most "livable" cities in the whole world. But the traffic is tremendously bad, the cost of housing is astronomically high, the salaries are low, the streets are lined with homeless people shooting up heroin, and the winter weather is frankly depressing. The summer is supposed to be nice though...
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Old August 1st, 2015, 12:35 AM   #10695
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It's one of the few places in Canada where it isn't frozen for half the year.

As far as the Texas highways go, yes they are impressive but it makes you wonder what's the end game. Soon enough you're going to see a 30 lane highway there and it will STILL end up being congested.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 12:45 AM   #10696
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I think local density would limit the attractiveness to traffic, nobody would want to use the road if they need to go south for 10 miles, then north back up 10 miles...

Maybe you'd end up with 10 concentric ring-roads at 10 lanes each...
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Old August 1st, 2015, 03:57 AM   #10697
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You, gee, el, why
You ain't got no alibi
You ugly.

If there's a bad lane line painting contest, somebody make sure this gets entered, please.


I-5 southbound from 164th Street by SounderBruce, on Flickr

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Old August 1st, 2015, 06:07 AM   #10698
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it was this guy who painted it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4efHNdR96uU
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Old August 1st, 2015, 08:49 AM   #10699
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It's one of the few places in Canada where it isn't frozen for half the year.

As far as the Texas highways go, yes they are impressive but it makes you wonder what's the end game. Soon enough you're going to see a 30 lane highway there and it will STILL end up being congested.
Well regardless of what you do there will always be traffic in urban areas. Texas cities are the prime example of sprawl development being done "right" if there is such a thing. They widen highways with massive free-flowing interchanges along with service roads for businesses along the major highways and adequate roads feeding neighborhoods. In other sprawled cities they either have a poor road network (Atlanta) or a poor highway network (many cities) but still sprawl out. For as fast as Texas is growing it has managed traffic pretty well.

Texas also has clustered business centers so not everyone is commuting to the same place so that helps to an extent as well.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 11:12 AM   #10700
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Vancouver is something I can't understand... consistently rated as one of the most "livable" cities in the whole world. But the traffic is tremendously bad, the cost of housing is astronomically high, the salaries are low, the streets are lined with homeless people shooting up heroin, and the winter weather is frankly depressing. The summer is supposed to be nice though...
These 'most livable cities' comparisons usually have a pretty limited list of cities they compare. For one they usually exclude suburbs. And what constitutes 'most livable' is highly subjective.

No doubt that Vancouver is one of the better cities to live in, it's the only part of Canada without a deep freeze and it has many amenities. But it comes at a very high cost. It's only livable if you can afford it, otherwise you're just part of the landscape.

The big draw of Texas of course is the high economic growth and relatively low taxes. And its cities are rapidly turning into some of the most diverse in the United States.

Suburban growth seems to be managed quite well in Texas. They are usually medium density suburbs, much denser than for example suburban Boston or Philadelphia. If you go north in Dallas, there's pretty much the same density for over 25 miles. Houston tends to be a bit more messy, though many new developments also have a reasonable density for a suburban area.

One thing North Texas has done right is the urban arterial road network. It has a consistent grid of high-capacity urban arterials, unlike for example suburban Atlanta or Boston. Phoenix also developed a similar network, like much of southern California.
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