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Old May 22nd, 2005, 09:07 PM   #41
el tico
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That last picture is cool, I had never actually seen a road or freeway go through a building.


The Texas highways shown prevously look like a rollercoaster.


(Off Topic)
What I hate most is when people complain about roads in bad shape, in places like Central America, where tropical climate (heavy rain, humidity, worse than winter) cracks and does damage to the roads. With that kind of climate you can't just fix a road every 2 years, you gotta do it at least twice a year, which is very costly.
 

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Old May 22nd, 2005, 09:22 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyk
Nothing special...see...we have clusters aswell!
Yeah men!
This is the intersection between the A-3 motorway (Madrid-Valencia) and the M-50 circunvalation motorway in Madrid. It has 28 structures in 3 different levels, one of Europe's biggest (as it's said in the Spanish Ministry of Fomento page).

Last edited by DaDvD; May 22nd, 2005 at 09:35 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 11:06 PM   #43
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Are you comparing that to the big interchanges in the US?
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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:15 AM   #44
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Biggest dutch intersection, Ridderster:

North:



South:



Total overview:

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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:42 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDvD
Yeah men!
This is the intersection between the A-3 motorway (Madrid-Valencia) and the M-50 circunvalation motorway in Madrid. It has 28 structures in 3 different levels, one of Europe's biggest (as it's said in the Spanish Ministry of Fomento page).
That thing has too many loops unlike the intersections we have in Texas like the US 75, IH 635 intersection in Dallas, the IH 35E/Texas 121 north of Dallas, the many ones in Houston that don't require you to make an unconfortable, dizzying loop to change highways.

I honestly think the 635/US75 in Dallas will be the most impressive interesection in the U.S. Looking at it you have direct connectors to each highway plus an intersection for the Frontage Roads, Toll Lanes and HOV lanes in the middle.

The U.S. Beats Europe in highways hands down plus I like "whistling" concrete much better than asphalt.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #46
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Random Motorway Madness
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:25 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
The U.S. Beats Europe in highways hands down plus I like "whistling" concrete much better than asphalt.
I agree that the US has more 'impressive' freeway to freeway interchanges then Europe does, however as far as freeway condition goes, Europe wins hands down. I haven't extensively traveled many European Countries, though have never traveled along a European Freeway that is anywhere near the deplorable condition that some some northeastern US freeways are in.

I'd recommend a jaunt around Michigan to see some of the bumpier US interstates around.

Cheers!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:42 AM   #48
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A few thoughts on why European limited access highways seem better than their US counterparts:

* Europeans countries, in general, have a milder climate than the US and Canada. Freeze-thaw cycles and frost heave aren't as much of a problem in Europe as in NA.

* High gasoline taxes in Europe are often earmarked towards road construction and maintenance. In the US, revenue from gasoline taxes are usually lumped in the general fund.

* European countries, as a whole, started building expressways later than the US, learned from its mistakes, and improved on things such as signage and pavement markings.

* Roads in the US are usually built by private construction companies -- those that won the construction contract by submitting the lowest cost bid. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, even with standards in place; roads may get poured without a proper inspection of the subgrade, for instance.

* European countries have stricter roadside beauty legislation than the US Visual clutter from billboards and high-rise business signs is a problem in much of the US, especially Southern states. Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri are the worst, IMHO.



Add some Georgia-style double-decker billboards and 150' tall Cracker Barrel signs to those otherwise pretty European highway scenes, and you'll probably not think they were so hot.

Let's make that Euro-road look a bit more like what you'd see outside of Atlanta.



* Large states with a very low population (New Mexico, Wymoning, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, etc) have to pay for maintenance of their roads. Let's look at Wyoming: 5.04 people per square mile (just a bit above Mongolia, at 4.6 per square mile). 914 miles (about 1,500 kilometers) of Interstate -- all of it grade-separated and limited access, excepting the freakish I-180 -- serves a population of 493,782 residents - just a little more than Luxembourg (462,690). Don't forget that Wyoming has perhaps the harshest climate in the US; frigid cold (-30C and lower) in the winter, broiling (35C and higher) in the summer.

Think Luxembourg could afford to maintain 1,500 km of four lane dual carriageway limited access highway at Autobahn standards with a climate where temperatures vary about 70 degrees celsius between winter and summer? Wyoming does. Somehow.
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Last edited by elmwood; May 24th, 2005 at 06:11 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:40 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDvD
Yeah men!
This is the intersection between the A-3 motorway (Madrid-Valencia) and the M-50 circunvalation motorway in Madrid. It has 28 structures in 3 different levels, one of Europe's biggest (as it's said in the Spanish Ministry of Fomento page).
I think the U.S. wins hands down when it comes to interchanges--



When it comes to freeway surface quality, I think Europe is superior. Keep in mind however, that there are many freeways/highways outside of the northeast and the midwest... I think the most impressive freeways in the U.S. are in the south and west.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy999
But you have to remember, the US highway system dates back to Truman and started in the 1950s with Eisenhower and only "finished" in the 1990s.
The first german "Autobahn" (freeway) was built in 1921 (the Avus in Berlin). The first german Autobahn with a certain standard was built in 1932 - one year before Hitler came to power - between Cologne and Bonn (it is today the A 555). In the 30's the Nazis built an extensive freeway network.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #51
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A lot of the highways being shown wouldn't be allowed in some U.S. cities or states. Some of those roads are downright scary and have outdated safety designs and really poor geometrics.

How about a real modern properly designed highway complete with barrier, sufficient shoulder, super visual lighting properly placed away from traffic and correct geometrics for safer entrance/exit.

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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #52
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European highways are better than American ones. Theres nothing special going on with American freeways besides its just big and with tons of overpasses which actually kinda distracting and destroys the ambience of the city. European highways are very smooth since they use asphalt. Here in Los Angeles we use concrete on most of our highways and in other States too which the ride can be quite harsh and its never as smooth as asphalt roads. To me the smoothness of the ride is more important than the looks of the freeway, on some LA freeways you can actually crack a rim take 710,10,and 110 freeways for example and after all these years they never really repave or repair the freeways its just horrible.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #53
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There's nothing special about the European Highways shows. There are many American highways that use asphalt as well. It is an environment and climate choice that many places simply would be foolish to choose one for just smoothness or for the sake of looks. Besides a well maintained highway will be smooth regardless of material, and there are concrete types that are flexible and smooth just like asphalt. Its all about what your DOT chooses to implement. Some states and Tolling authorities are much, much better at this.

To me, proper design and safety are more important than smoothness. The geometric design and safety features of the European highways shown are downright scary. With the amount of comparative driving in the US, there would be probably twice as many fatalities with some of those road designs. There is so much wrong and scary in some of those pics that I don't know where to start.

Having said that, this is nothing more than another generalizing post. You cannot group all highways in Europe vs all those in America. There are highways in the US that go through beautiful countryside, many times even more spectacular than pics shown here, and there are super urban highways built to suit there environment and many of great aesthetic just like I'm sure you'll find in Europe. What one can say is that driving IS living in the US and the highways reflect that need. It is almost a joke to compare modern urban expressways of the U.S. to the poorly designed 50s style highways shown in many of these pics. How does an entity get away with some of those on ramp and exit angles. How do they get away with large exposed light poles. I remember seeing a video of two CLKs racing and one flipping into the base of 2 or 3 light poles. Absolutely crazy!!!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAESARS-PALACe
In Rome there is this big elevated highway that runs through a part of the city , it will be demolished within a few months and replaced with a beautiful urban tunnel


Tangenziale Est :
























There were some proposals to find another purpose for "the monster", some were quite interesting :









this one proposed making a garden of the highway :





making a building out of it :



constructing houses on it :







another integrated building :


they should make the garden, stupid ****s
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #55
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That was done in Boston with the Big Dig. I believe Seattle and Portland have done so, as will Dallas with Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyburbia
A few thoughts on why European limited access highways seem better than their US counterparts:

* Europeans countries, in general, have a milder climate than the US and Canada. Freeze-thaw cycles and frost heave aren't as much of a problem in Europe as in NA.

* High gasoline taxes in Europe are often earmarked towards road construction and maintenance. In the US, revenue from gasoline taxes are usually lumped in the general fund.

* European countries, as a whole, started building expressways later than the US, learned from its mistakes, and improved on things such as signage and pavement markings.

* Roads in the US are usually built by private construction companies -- those that won the construction contract by submitting the lowest cost bid. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, even with standards in place; roads may get poured without a proper inspection of the subgrade, for instance.

* European countries have stricter roadside beauty legislation than the US Visual clutter from billboards and high-rise business signs is a problem in much of the US, especially Southern states. Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri are the worst, IMHO.



Add some Georgia-style double-decker billboards and 150' tall Cracker Barrel signs to those otherwise pretty European highway scenes, and you'll probably not think they were so hot.

Let's make that Euro-road look a bit more like what you'd see outside of Atlanta.



* Large states with a very low population (New Mexico, Wymoning, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, etc) have to pay for maintenance of their roads. Let's look at Wyoming: 5.04 people per square mile (just a bit above Mongolia, at 4.6 per square mile). 914 miles (about 1,500 kilometers) of Interstate -- all of it grade-separated and limited access, excepting the freakish I-180 -- serves a population of 493,782 residents - just a little more than Luxembourg (462,690). Don't forget that Wyoming has perhaps the harshest climate in the US; frigid cold (-30C and lower) in the winter, broiling (35C and higher) in the summer.

Think Luxembourg could afford to maintain 1,500 km of four lane dual carriageway limited access highway at Autobahn standards with a climate where temperatures vary about 70 degrees celsius between winter and summer? Wyoming does. Somehow.

Hahaha........I love that second picture. In my opinion I think it helps to have billboards and tall signs cluttering our Interstates. Interstates are made for travel, not scenery. Plus we have many highways that go through scenic areas. Speaking of signs and stuff people should notice that our highways support business so much that we actually have "business" highways.

In my town we have Business 35 as an offshoot of Interstate 35 following the old US 81 highway.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #57
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Okay so some people think the American are way better and some the European. It's actually kind of a stupid comparison, since there are so many different ways highwyas are made in Europe (and maybe in the States too).

I agree with some Americans that the Spanish "junction" shown here looks extremly weird, and you would never find anything like that in many other European countries. I can't say I'm a huge fan of these huge junctions you in the Stetes too though. Many of them are impressive yes, but pretty they aren't. In the States I've mostly driven on highways in Georgia and Florida, and here in Europe in Denmark and Germany. To me the big difference is still the way the highways are "build into the enviroment" (and of course the extra number of lanes on the big US ones, which we don't really need). These huge pillar stacs are real eyesores to me, why not ret to make it look good?

Here's an example of how it's done in Denmark, this is the newest cloverleaf junction here. This is just before it was opened, today there are grass and plants all over the ground:



I know there's a lot of these in other European countries too, but atleast here you would never just see a bunch of pillars with roads upon them. I'm yet to see an American junction that are not just "placed on top of the ground". But be more than welcome to prove me wrong, I have of course not seen all US highway junctions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo
To me, proper design and safety are more important than smoothness. The geometric design and safety features of the European highways shown are downright scary. With the amount of comparative driving in the US, there would be probably twice as many fatalities with some of those road designs. There is so much wrong and scary in some of those pics that I don't know where to start.
Again, most of the examples shown here are surely not "typical" European. Things like that would never be allowed in my part of the world. I'll bet you that onramps, quality of the road and things like that are more safe here them on most US highways. Atleast the ones I've drivin on.

I know Denmark is not that large, and we don't have many thousand km's of highway, which of course makes it easier to keep in a quite good condition. So I guess you can considder this post "Dansih vs. US Highways" only, I wont/can't defend the other Europeans highways...

Last edited by mlm; May 24th, 2005 at 03:15 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #58
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Germany


Still U/C





Ready for Traffic



Typical German highway in use





http://www.autobahn-online.de
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #59
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I gotta give credit to European highways...not only did many of them have to be built in already-built areas, often densely congested, but many had to be built underground or at very low levels as to disturb as little as possible the existent environment. Many of course, were built in rural areas, as was the case here in the US, where it is much easier to build.

One thing I certainly appreciate about European highways is how clean they tend to be compared to American ones. When I say clean, I am referring to automobile (ESPECIALLY tires) and cargo debris. Perhaps due to the much larger distances (a very big country and state can have its disadvantages!!!), you tend to see so many more cars break down here where I live, tires blow up, and cargo at back of truck pick-ups fall out. I cannot stress out how often I see dangerous debris and cargo on our Texas highways, and how I've almost had to dodge stupid "pick-up" truck drivers with cargo that would fall-out all of the sudden at 70 mph.

@Rantanamo
Perhaps you are a civil engineer specialized in highway construction, in which case I would respect your observations on highway geometrics etc, but you have to admit we US drivers are some of the most clumsy drivers in the world...you probably are right...we probably could not drive in European highways, much less dense European streets, where you have to make very fast choices as to where to turn, exit, enter etc. Remember, overall, European distances tend to be much shorter, and this is reflected in the need to be very fast and alert in Europe.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlm
Okay so some people think the American are way better and some the European. It's actually kind of a stupid comparison, since there are so many different ways highwyas are made in Europe (and maybe in the States too).

I agree with some Americans that the Spanish "junction" shown here looks extremly weird, and you would never find anything like that in many other European countries. I can't say I'm a huge fan of these huge junctions you in the Stetes too though. Many of them are impressive yes, but pretty they aren't. In the States I've mostly driven on highways in Georgia and Florida, and here in Europe in Denmark and Germany. To me the big difference is still the way the highways are "build into the enviroment" (and of course the extra number of lanes on the big US ones, which we don't really need). These huge pillar stacs are real eyesores to me, why not ret to make it look good?

Here's an example of how it's done in Denmark, this is the newest cloverleaf junction here. This is just before it was opened, today there are grass and plants all over the ground:



I know there's a lot of these in other European countries too, but atleast here you would never just see a bunch of pillars with roads upon them. I'm yet to see an American junction that are not just "placed on top of the ground". But be more than welcome to prove me wrong, I have of course not seen all US highway junctions.

Again, most of the examples shown here are surely not "typical" European. Things like that would never be allowed in my part of the world. I'll bet you that onramps, quality of the road and things like that are more safe here them on most US highways. Atleast the ones I've drivin on.

I know Denmark is not that large, and we don't have many thousand km's of highway, which of course makes it easier to keep in a quite good condition. So I guess you can considder this post "Dansih vs. US Highways" only, I wont/can't defend the other Europeans highways...
Cloverleafs are an outdated form of freeway intersection in my opinion since you have to slow down to a crawl then try to accelerate back to freeway speed while others are again slowing down to a crawl for an exit. They look cool from the air but that's about it.

I would agree that they're OK for freeway intersections outside of the city where traffic is low.
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