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Old March 30th, 2009, 01:31 AM   #301
hoosier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
Trust me, there is. NC does have a fairly high state gas tax, but it has been raided on a number of occasions to make up general-fund deficits, and construction inflation has seriously eroded the purchasing power of the remainder. The plans on paper are ambitious but quite a few of the freeway proposals have been pushed into "post years" in the TIP. NCDOT let a large number of medium-sized turnkey construction contracts in 2002-04 but afterwards there was a drought of large contracts which has broken only in the last couple of years.

At least two of the proposals diagrammed above are being developed by the NC Turnpike Authority--which means bonds to finance construction, being done through design-build contracts, and then paid off through electronic tolling. I have my doubts about the NCTA's business case for some of these roads. In the last couple of years there was a minor scandal when revenue estimates for the NCTA's part of I-540 indicated that it would need state subsidy to meet the debt payments.
The I-73/I-74 proposals seem to be completely unnecessary. They don't run through any populated areas outside of Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

Does Raleigh really need two beltways? Most major cities only have one (including Atlanta).
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Old March 30th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #302
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The I-73/I-74 proposals seem to be completely unnecessary. They don't run through any populated areas outside of Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

Does Raleigh really need two beltways? Most major cities only have one (including Atlanta).
440 is a beltway in name only because it's so small in circumference, and through-traffic is routed onto concurrently-signed 40 on its south side.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 04:04 AM   #303
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The I-73/I-74 proposals seem to be completely unnecessary. They don't run through any populated areas outside of Winston-Salem and Greensboro.
Their purpose isn't really local service--they have a more strategic function. In the case of I-73, this would be better served if Ohio and Michigan had not abandoned plans to build their lengths of I-73.

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Does Raleigh really need two beltways? Most major cities only have one (including Atlanta).
Raleigh does need I-540. As pointed out above, I-440 is a fairly small (and old) beltway. There have been substantial amounts of development out toward Cary and Research Triangle Park which need freeway access.

I lived in Durham in the summer of 1995 and commuted to RTP fairly regularly. I was impressed at the time at how congested the freeways were, which surprised me since I had thought of NC as only a medium-sized state. I-85 through Durham was congested--it has now been widened. I-85 from Durham to the state line was original concrete with gravel shoulders (largely grassed over), and the ride was very rough--substantial lengths around Oxford and Vance have now been reconstructed. US 70 was absolute misery from Raleigh out to the beaches (four-lane divided the whole way, with very few town bypasses and literally dozens of traffic signals)--the Clayton bypass is now being built, the next bypass to the east is almost ready to go, and the rest of the way to the beaches is to be built as a freeway, which it should have been from the first. I-40 between Durham and Raleigh didn't strike me as particularly bad except south of RDU Airport, but it has been widened (controversially so, because of an element of whitetopping in the contract which was badly specified, not carried out correctly, and eventually entailed tens of millions of dollars in repairs). I-540 was a gleam in the planners' eyes back in 1995, and now substantial lengths of it are finished and open to traffic. US 1/US 64 out to Cary has also been widened, in one of NCDOT's first design-build contracts. And while this has been going on, NCDOT has also built much of the Charlotte Outerbelt, a number of small town bypasses (frequently to full freeway standard), I-26 in Madison County, and a few other mountain road upgrades to full four-lane divided.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 01:51 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
Their purpose isn't really local service--they have a more strategic function. In the case of I-73, this would be better served if Ohio and Michigan had not abandoned plans to build their lengths of I-73.
I'd suggest that the part of I-74 south of US74, to US17, is rather pointless - why not go to Wilmington and just end there? Why have such an indirect route as well as a direct one between High Point and Myrtle Beach?

I'd also suggest that the I-74 number could end rather a lot further north, with I-74 between I-77 (which it runs concurrent with for rather a lot) and I-73 (which it also runs concurrent with to US74) as a 3di - 777 or something. A Greensboro renumbering to get rid of the interstate standard 'green' interstates, and free up some I-x40 3dis, which are getting sparse, with lots of I-x73 numbers would also be good. I-74 along US74 could just remain as plain old US74, or could be I-28, I-32, I-34, I-36 or I-38, with the rest of US74 to I-26 getting upgraded to Interstate, not just freeway (though I doubt that will mean much effort). It would be a one-state interstate, unless taken across to Chattonooga, through the mountains.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #305
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I'd suggest that the part of I-74 south of US 74, to US 17, is rather pointless - why not go to Wilmington and just end there? Why have such an indirect route as well as a direct one between High Point and Myrtle Beach?
I don't regard that as the real problem with the I-74 routings in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. At the moment (according to Bob Malme's page on this bit of I-74) the tradeoff is between a direct, new-location overland route which would not leave I-74 with a pronounced hook in its southern end, versus straight upgrades of US 17 and US 74-76 which would take I-74 to Wilmington and thus benefit medium-distance traffic at the expense of long-distance traffic. I have a feeling that I-74 will get its hook because the long-distance traffic (High Point-Myrtle Beach) will be served by I-73 while US 74-76 and US 17 need upgrades to freeway (or, in the latter case, an extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway). The hook in I-74 will be another oddity for road enthusiasts to talk about.

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I'd also suggest that the I-74 number could end rather a lot further north, with I-74 between I-77 (which it runs concurrent with for rather a lot) and I-73 (which it also runs concurrent with to US74) as a 3di - 777 or something.
One other option is just to build new lengths of I-74 through Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio to connect with the eastern terminus of midwestern I-74 at Cincinnati. The Wikipedia map of I-74 has been drawn with this in mind. This would be done mostly through upgrades or bypasses of US 52 although in southern Ohio the logical option would be a beeline routing between Portsmouth and Cincinnati following the Ohio SR 32 corridor.

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A Greensboro renumbering to get rid of the interstate standard 'green' interstates, and free up some I-x40 3dis, which are getting sparse, with lots of I-x73 numbers would also be good. I-74 along US 74 could just remain as plain old US 74, or could be I-28, I-32, I-34, I-36 or I-38, with the rest of US 74 to I-26 getting upgraded to Interstate, not just freeway (though I doubt that will mean much effort). It would be a one-state interstate, unless taken across to Chattonooga, through the mountains.
Don't forget the US 52 lengths of I-74. Despite its twists and turns and cobbling-together of upgrades on various routes, I-74 in NC (Wilmington "hook" aside) makes enough sense as an unified route that I don't see the benefit of chopping it into pieces. My take on the I-74 versus US 74 business is that 74 is 74, whether in black against white or white against blue. Unlike other states, like California, the custom in NC is to identify routes by system class, so I don't think the concurrent US/Interstate designation is likely to confuse.

In the case of Greensboro, my understanding is that the Business 40 (former I-40) designation is being abolished and the road will once again be I-40. According to a NCDOT engineer who posts on occasion to MTR, this was done in order to maintain eligibility for IM funding. I find this unconvincing because the purpose could be served just as well with a hidden Interstate designation (the precedent being Business 80/hidden Route 51/hidden I-305 in Sacramento), and in any case questions of funding eligibility should have been settled long before the numbering plan was devised about a decade ago. But the new I-40 routing was also highly indirect in comparison to the old one, and was (IIRC) not successful in attracting truck traffic from the old route.

Anyway, for me these concerns are largely theoretical--I just read the construction plans.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
I don't regard that as the real problem with the I-74 routings in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. At the moment (according to Bob Malme's page on this bit of I-74) the tradeoff is between a direct, new-location overland route which would not leave I-74 with a pronounced hook in its southern end, versus straight upgrades of US 17 and US 74-76 which would take I-74 to Wilmington and thus benefit medium-distance traffic at the expense of long-distance traffic. I have a feeling that I-74 will get its hook because the long-distance traffic (High Point-Myrtle Beach) will be served by I-73 while US 74-76 and US 17 need upgrades to freeway (or, in the latter case, an extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway). The hook in I-74 will be another oddity for road enthusiasts to talk about.
The NC SHC plan has both US74/US76 and US17 as proposed freeways. My question is the pointless bit of road between the two US routes. As far as I can see, it's rather pointless. What I propose is ditching this little bit of freeway that serves no strategic function at all. As you said, the longer distance traffic will take the more direct I-73. As you also said, the roads it joins need making freeways. What I am saying is that the linking bit from near Bolton to near Shallot (at a cost of $500 million) seems completely pointless - just end I-74 with US 74-76 in Wilmington and have US 17 as interstate-grade freeway (which is the plan for both US routes anyway). I can't see any middle-distance reason for the link between the two US routes - it's too far from Wilmington to be of any use for that city, and is hopeless for anything other than small towns on US74/US76-Myrtle Beach traffic (which could just use I-73 from Florence/Rockingham, or local routes like NC211, anyway).

It's 28 miles of pointless and expensive freeway, as shown on these plans 2, 3.
Quote:
One other option is just to build new lengths of I-74 through Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio to connect with the eastern terminus of midwestern I-74 at Cincinnati. The Wikipedia map of I-74 has been drawn with this in mind.
No building needed in VA as I-77 is right alongside US52. Basically that's the route that it takes, and from Portsmouth, OH to somewhere in VA, it's concurrent with I-73. The route can be either one or the other number - it doesn't need two. Maybe it could be Mount Airy-Wilmington that becomes I-3x, rather than Ashville-Wilmington (which has US74 anyway). However I really don't like the idea of I-73 and I-74 multiplexing all the way through WV.
Quote:
Don't forget the US 52 lengths of I-74. Despite its twists and turns and cobbling-together of upgrades on various routes, I-74 in NC (Wilmington "hook" aside) makes enough sense as an unified route that I don't see the benefit of chopping it into pieces. My take on the I-74 versus US 74 business is that 74 is 74, whether in black against white or white against blue. Unlike other states, like California, the custom in NC is to identify routes by system class, so I don't think the concurrent US/Interstate designation is likely to confuse.
As a Brit, I have no problem with I-74 and US74. My problem is just the pointlessness of long multiplexes (perhaps because of my Britishness) and two routes that multiplex with each other several times, before ending at the same place. Maybe the best approach is change Roanoke-Myrtle Beach to I-79 (ignoring the problem that the link between the proposed I-79/I-66 junction - I-66 can take the rest of I-79's route to Charleston - will never be built). This way there's no problem of I-73 and I-74 being the same. The I-81 to I-77 section of I-73 can easily just be a 3di - perhaps an I-74 one.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 12:24 AM   #307
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Continuing from the Mall onto US 1/9 North near EWR













Entering the first Pulaski Skyway Span Truss



The view south from the Skyway , Down below is US 1/9 Truck Route & Bridge



Old Signs that will soon be replaced , alerting Drivers to the First Major Interchange after the Skyway


About to cross the second span on the Skyway over the Hackensack River






5 mins later , trying to conserve dwindling battery
US 1/9 in Jersey City, NJ






My exit to Route 3 Westbound




A small Lincoln Tunnel Sign



~Corey
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:39 AM   #308
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The Pulaski Skyway needs to be closed to automobile traffic. It is too narrow and falling apart.

Also, DT Newark needs a direct connection (via I-280) to the Holland Tunnel.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:02 AM   #309
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No not really , i find the bridge quiet safe & the fact that only cars are allowed makes it not as damage as the other bridges surrounding it. All it really needs and is getting soon is a paint job, some repaving on some parts The Bridge is also a Landmark

There are 4 ways from DT Newark to the Holland Tunnel , One is NJ SR 21 South to I-78, 2. Raymond Boulevard to US 1/9 truck to NJ SR 139 > connects to Holland Tunnel or @ the US 1/9 & NJ SR 440 Jersey City Intersection > take Communipaw Avenue East > Grand Street East > Greene Street North > 2nd Street West > Henderson Street North , Luis Munoz Mann Boulevard > Brings you right to the Holland Tunnel Toll Plaza , 3rd is Harrison Ave > :Changes Under I-280 to the Newark Turnpike > then in the Industrial Port area of Kearny Intersects with the Belleview Turnpike (NJ SR 7) & contunes east to the Tonnele Avenue , US 1/9 , NJ SR 139 Interchange Roundabout , 4th is , I-280 to Newark Turnpike exit, those are all good ways , there all free except the I-78 Route to the Holland tunnel which is tolled 3 times if you enter before the Newark Liberty Airport @ the Newark DT Interchange. unfortunately the Pulaski Skyway is not a great crossing to connect the Newark DT with the Holland Tunnel , no ramps you'll only get directed to US 1/9 Truck route! But coming from Newark Liberty Airport to the Holland Tunnel is easier and cheaper if you take the skyway which is toll free unlike the I-78 & has less traffic congestion!
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Last edited by Nexis; April 2nd, 2009 at 05:22 AM.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #310
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1-level cloverleaf intersection? Why not

(Cedar Grove, NJ)

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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:19 AM   #311
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Interesting, if you think about the traffic light-cyclus, it isn't so stupid as it looks. All traffic can be handled in just 4 phases in one cycle.

I've never seen this before.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:19 AM   #312
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Wannabe interchange
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Old April 8th, 2009, 02:31 AM   #313
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Wouldn't that cause backups with left turning traffic?
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Old April 8th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #314
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1-level cloverleaf intersection? Why not

(Cedar Grove, NJ)

How strange! To turn left you have to go through the same intersection twice (and possibly wait at a red light twice) AND you have to go around a cloverleaf ramp.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #315
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It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Those types of intersections are very efficient in cutting down wait times to turn in the middle of the intersection, and control the traffic flow better.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #316
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Wow, unique!
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Old April 8th, 2009, 09:32 AM   #317
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Yeah, it's probably prohibited to turn left or right at the crossing; otherwise it wouldn't make sense
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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:16 AM   #318
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Yeah, it's probably prohibited to turn left or right at the crossing; otherwise it wouldn't make sense
OR...maybe they planned it as a regular two level interchange but ran out of money.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #319
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We have alot of those in Southern Jersey Partially near the Coastal cities or Beach towns. There like an extended jug handle system. The also don't take up space or coast alot to build , but they don't build them anymore. There Building more Interchange Roundabouts and rebuilding old 1-level highway roundabouts to Interchange roundabouts. All in all it keeps the traffic moving pretty good , except during Memorial Weekend & the 4th of July were all roads in the state become parking lots
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Old April 12th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #320
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Seattle 'Big Dig' project moves out of committee
3 April 2009
The News Tribune

A proposal to replace Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep-bore tunnel - with the state paying $2.4 billion of the cost - won approval Thursday from the House Transportation Committee. But it still has a ways to go before it gets out of the Legislature and onto the governor's desk.

Committee members voted 16-12 in favor of Senate Bill 5768, which already had won approval from the state Senate.

But several changes were made to the "Big Dig" measure before it won committee approval.

The bill still largely gives legislative approval to most parts of the deal that Gov. Chris Gregoire struck in January with Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and King County Executive Ron Sims.

The earthquake-damaged viaduct would be torn down and replaced with a 1.7-mile deep-bore tunnel under downtown Seattle at an estimated cost of $4.24 billion. The state's share would be $2.4 billion, plus about $400 million from tolls, and the state would be on the hook for any tunnel construction cost overruns.

Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, said just before the vote on the Alaskan Way Viaduct bill that he didn't like the idea of tolls - "re-taxing," he called it - or how little he said Seattle was doing on the project, but that he was going to vote in favor anyway.

"The biggest travesty would be not to build it," he said, even though "I don't ever intend to go into that stupid tunnel."

And he did vote yes.

Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, voted no. He said he still doesn't understand how a four-lane tunnel would handle more traffic than a six-lane viaduct, and that he doesn't like the thought of so much taxpayer money going to the viaduct and Highway 520 projects over the next 10 years.

"I would like to see the project move ahead, but not at the expense of my home county," Campbell said.

Highway projects in Pierce County don't have the assurance of funding that the governor and key lawmakers are giving to the Seattle-area projects.

House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, still has concerns about moving ahead with the tunnel to replace the viaduct, and the bill could well be changed when it comes up for a vote by the full House later this month.

The state Department of Transportation wants the Legislature to authorize at least $2.4 billion in state funding and permission to borrow some money so it can order a huge drill bit and tunneling machine by the end of the year to dig under Seattle's First Avenue.
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