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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #1881
Paddington
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Yeah, but only homos use transit. Real men drive cars.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:50 AM   #1882
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They dont't really plan to build such a long tunnel in that geologically active area? They're kidding, right? They can't be so stupid, can they?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #1883
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it is highly necessary and with todays technology even if there was an earthquake, the odds of something going wrong are quite slim.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #1884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
Yeah, but only homos use transit. Real men drive cars.
LOL!

Hey, this thread is headin' down the ol' off-topic trail, don't you think?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:58 AM   #1885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
Yeah, but only sane people use transit. Fat, idiotic and egocentric men drive cars.
fixed
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:29 AM   #1886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
Yeah, but only homos use transit. Real men drive cars.
Never knew India had so many homosexuals.

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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #1887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Wasn't that an underground proposal? Or was that the I-478 extension to the Holland tunnel?
According to Wikipedia, the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway (I-78/478) and Mid-Manhattan Expressway (I-495) were both meant to be elevated, but an early proposal for the Mid-Mahnattan Expressway called for tunnels, and even in the later proposal the western part of I-495 was to be depressed.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #1888
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Probably the most famous three-number Interstate in the U.S. is the 405 in Southern California, due to the OJ Simpson chase. (Although OJ used a number of different freeways in the infamous chase.)

More on I-405: There are three U.S. west coast I-405's, California mentioned above, a short loop through downtown Portland, Oregon, and the eastside freeway in the Seattle, Washington area. All are such named due to the north-south I-5. You can also find I-105, I-205, I-305, I-505, I-605, I-705, I-805 along the west coast. No I-905...yet.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #1889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
No I-905...yet.
But there is an I-905 wannabe: CA 905 from I-5 in San Isidro to an inland border crossing.
http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...,0.153465&z=12

Now, on an unrelated topic, re my posts on the I-75 widening: Like other states, some years ago Georgia began replacing rather than widening freeway interchange bridges when more capacity was needed on the non-freeway road. However, in the last few years, Georgia has also started replacing Interstate interchange bridges where little or no more capacity is needed, way out in the country. All of the interchange bridges across I-85 north of Atlanta have now been replaced, along with others on I-20 east of Covington and even at least one on I-16. Sometimes the new structures have a third lane for left turns, but often all they have is two lanes and full-width shoulders. And all the original bridges were completed in the mid to late '60's. I-85 north of Atlanta was to be widened to 2x3, but there's no obvious reason why more clearance would be needed-- the medians are the same width as those on the vast stretches of I-75 that were widened in the mid '80's. Besides, the original non-interchange bridges have been left intact. And there's no reason to widen I-20 out in the boonies, let alone I-16.

Why is Georgia leaving 50-year-old Interstate bridges in place while replacing 40-year-old bridges built to higher geometric standards? It drives me up the wall.

Last edited by Tom 958; March 13th, 2008 at 05:14 AM. Reason: added some stuff
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Old March 13th, 2008, 04:49 AM   #1890
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The I-85-GA 316 interchange

ATLANTA'S EL TORO Y
OK, it's not as impressive as the real El Toro Y-- there aren't any separate truck lanes. But there are a freeway-to-freeway HOV connection, collector-distributor roads and a whole lot of asphalt.

The project is on I-85 at GA 316 northeast of Atlanta,

http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&q=...76733&t=k&z=13

The 85 and 316 freeways were both completed in 1959. At that point it hadn't been decided whether 85 would pass near Athens or Gainesville (it actually ended up going between them), so both roads were built to then-current Interstate standards so the eventual I-85 could use either one. 316 remains in almost its original condition, but 85 south of 316 has been widened three times: to 2x3 in the early '70's, to 2x5 in the late '80's, and with the addition of HOV lanes just before the '96 Olympics. To the north there was a cheapo widening to 2x4 in the early '90's, then the CD system in the early 2000's.


Starting out slow: photo taken from 316 westbound just before Boggs Road. The exit sign reads "To Pleasant Hill Road," which is very unusual. "To" is normally used when motorists have to use one route in order to get to another. But this offramp leads directly to its stated destination just like any other. WTF?


I guess they used "To" because this offramp is really...


...really...


...really...


...really...


...really long. Over two miles (3.3km), actually. If there's a longer one-lane offramp on the planet, I'd like to know about it.

Looking north from near the top of the Pleasant Hill offramp, back at where we've just been. Nine lanes finish merging into six right at the low point of a vertical curve . Anybody up for some rainy day fun?


Looking north from the Pleasant Hill Road bridge over I-85. The southbound roadway is finished here, but the northbound will get an HOV lane and maybe another general traffic lane as well...


Northbound on I-85 approaching Steve Reynolds Blvd, about 1 km to the south. The tiny black and white sign on the overhead marks the end of the HOV lane. The sign reads "Restricted lane ends," but the lane itself doesn't end, just the restriction.

Before the HOV lanes were added there were five lanes here (actually six counting the auxilliary lane for the Steve Reynolds exit) and a non-lane-drop exit for Pleasant Hill. Having added an extra general traffic lane on the left, the extra lane is dispensed with by introducing a lane-drop exit for Pleasant Hill.


The Pleasant Hill Road bridge. At one point the section of 85 that was widened to 2x5 was slated to be widened to 2x4, This bridge was built at that time, and therefore has less room for I-85 than the others. Extending the HOV lane and doing away with the lane-drop exit for Pleasant Hill will entail cramming another two lanes under this bridge. Can they do it? Will they do it? We'll see...

The blue-shrouded sign reads, "GA 120 - Duluth - Lawrenceville - Boggs Road," So far its the first notice of the exit, only 1/2 mile (800m) out. Hopefully there'll be another sign further in advance.

That offramp merges with the onramp from Pleasant Hill to become the northbound collector-distributor road.


This is the third bridge to carry Old Norcross Road over I-85. The previous one, c. 1987, was replaced to provide room for the CD roads. The sign shrouded in blue is a new directional arrow; currently there are five lanes here splitting into four for 85 and two for 316, but the new one shows six-- still split four and two, but with no optional lane. Optional lanes are losing favor in
Georgia-- some have been striped away, but this is the first I know of to be designed away.


Taking the ramp onto 316. The Struma-black asphalt ahead is, of course, the future 316 mainline; the detour more or less follows the route of the CD road's 316 branch. The mainline can't be opened until the bridge over the CD road's 85 branch (next pic) is completed. The narrow roadway to the left is the northbound HOV ramp to 316. At this writing, construction of the HOV bridges over northbound 85 is just beginning.

The low white building is a luxury car dealership. If you check out the Google Map satellite view, you'll see that the interchange of Boggs Road and 85/316 has five ramps, but lacks the sixth-- from westbound 316 to Boggs Road-- to make it complete. If this missing ramp existed it would allow traffic to access the enormous Gwinnett Place commercial district more directly and via somewhat-underutilized multilane roads. But the interests that dictated the design of this interchange felt that providing traffic-signal-controlled access to that as-yet-undeveloped piece of property was more important.

To add insult to injury, the car dealership quickly outgrew its strategically-placed new digs and opened a second campus (with a parking deck!) on Boggs Road just across 85, within sight but too far to walk.


Eastbound 316 over the CD road-- the detour from the previous pic is in the foreground.


OK, that's enough for now. Stay tuned for part two...
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #1891
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Excellent report! I recall the I-85/GA-316 split being wooded area, but it appears all those trees were cut down for the project. That's a shame; hopefully they will replant some trees in the grassy medians.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #1892
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttownfeen View Post
Excellent report! I recall the I-85/GA-316 split being wooded area, but it appears all those trees were cut down for the project. That's a shame; hopefully they will replant some trees in the grassy medians.
Some of my youngest freeway memories were of I-85 in Gwinnett County in the Late '80s. Quite honestly my favorite stretch of road.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #1893
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Atlanta sure has some massive freeways. But the city is sprawling like hell, i think it's one of the least densest cities in the world. That requires massive freeways, because everyone has to commute a longer distance than average.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #1894
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The real El Toro Y:



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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #1895
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I count 23 lanes there. There is an adjacent surface road which brings the total to 26 lanes. But those are mostly collector and connection lanes. There are only 7 through lanes on the I-5. To be frank, the I-95 in Newark is more impressive with a whopping 6x3 (18) through lanes. A little bit to the north are even 23 lanes, but those are fly-overs.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #1896
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Thanks, ttownfeen and AUchamps, though I never would've imagined that this stretch of 85 was anyone's favorite road.

I seem to have lost some photos overnight. Gotta resolve that issue before posting part two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Atlanta sure has some massive freeways. But the city is sprawling like hell, i think it's one of the least densest cities in the world. That requires massive freeways, because everyone has to commute a longer distance than average.
It didn't just happen-- Atlanta sprawls largely for political reasons. If you look at the politics as closely as I have over the years, it's amazing that this city isn't even more screwed up than it is.

Also, while this project is massive, it doesn't really add much capacity because the existing bottleneck remains intact to the south.

Also, before I get sidetracked and forget: the old interchange was really horrible, with an accident rate approaching 365 crashes per year. A corrective project was planned for at least a decade before construction began: a simple flyover ramp to move the entrance of 316 onto 85 from the left to the right and, later, a direct HOV connection between the two freeways, possibly using the old (c. 1989) bridge. Cost, about $25m. But the locals were given the power to design the interchange and they held out for something more elaborate. The current project was estimated at $100m, but the bids came in at $147m. Ouch!

There used to be heated philosophical agreements over whether we should build lots of new freeway capacity, but the arguments are now largely moot. There simply isn't enough money.

Last edited by Tom 958; March 13th, 2008 at 01:32 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #1897
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 958 View Post
It didn't just happen-- Atlanta sprawls largely for political reasons. If you look at the politics as closely as I have over the years, it's amazing that this city isn't even more screwed up than it is.
Can you explain that? Sounds interesting.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #1898
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Tom 958, thanks for the updates in Georgia. I-75 was such a choke point when it narrowed to two lanes each way south of Macon and north of Valdosta.

The 85/316 interchange is really a work of art that's typical of GDOT's post-1980 Atlanta-area freeway-freeway interchanges. The reason those collector-distributors are there is that GDOT's plan is to upgrade every stretch of interstate in Atlanta outside the Perimeter with CD roads. Eventually, those CD lanes will reach I-285. That's probably the next phase of the project.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #1899
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Another Metro Atlanta monster, the "Spaghetti Junction"

It is the intersection of I-85 and the I-285 beltway. I'm not sure if this was posted before, but here it is. I have had the honor of driving on this interchange...the best part is driving on those flyover ramps.

Pics from Wikipedia.



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Old March 13th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #1900
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Great descriptions! It's an interesting interchange, impressive already as we speak. Comparing American and European interchanges leaves you under impression it's more than just necessary connections of different roads in the US, but already some sort of an art.
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