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Old January 1st, 2011, 07:59 AM   #1001
hammersklavier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Nice exit along Arroyo Seco Parkway (California 110) in Los Angeles:
Nice picture underlining the Art Deco heritage of the Arroyo Seco ("dry creekbed") Parkway.

Highways built before the Interstate Highway act are often not at Interstate standards. The Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia, for example, pretty clearly has a design speed of only about 55 mph and has many "substandard" exits. The same goes for any Interstate-signed highways in New York that were carved out of Moses' parkway network (the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York, for example).

Since I have found relatively little concrete information on this, I'm going to take a wild guess, based on experiential knowledge, and say that prior to the Interstate Highway act, limited-access roads in the U.S. were predominantly divided into "turnpikes" and "parkways"--and that turnpikes had higher design standards than parkways.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 05:11 PM   #1002
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I-94 in Detroit is like that. It's probably one of the older expressways in the country, and one that hasn't undergone substantial upgrades. The ramps are incredibly short, especially in the city. Very hard to see cars on the expressway when you are getting on. Also the hard shoulder is very narrow. So if someone pulls over, it can drag down all 3 lanes of traffic because their car is sticking out.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 09:35 PM   #1003
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The Arroyo Seco Parkway (formerly: Pasadena Freeway) was built in 1940 and is now an Historic Landmark. It will be kept in the original state, that's why it looks like a 3rd world freeway.
I honestly do not think those poor souls that have to drive daily on the Arroyo Seco Parkway give a damn about it being a historic landmark Pave the damn road! Oh forgot... California ain't got no money for that... On a very serious note, I should mention that most concrete motorways in California are in such a poor condition. Any explanation for that?
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Old January 4th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #1004
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Highways built before the Interstate Highway act are often not at Interstate standards. The Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia, for example, pretty clearly has a design speed of only about 55 mph and has many "substandard" exits. The same goes for any Interstate-signed highways in New York that were carved out of Moses' parkway network (the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York, for example).

Since I have found relatively little concrete information on this, I'm going to take a wild guess, based on experiential knowledge, and say that prior to the Interstate Highway act, limited-access roads in the U.S. were predominantly divided into "turnpikes" and "parkways"--and that turnpikes had higher design standards than parkways.
No. In New York, there was always a bright line between expressways and parkways. There's plenty of info at http://www.nycroads.com/ and its sister sites for other cities, including Philadelphia. Hope you're not busy for eight hours or so.

As for why the design standards for expressways was so low, I suppose it was mostly because in NYC space was often very limited, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington
I-94 in Detroit is like that. It's probably one of the older expressways in the country, and one that hasn't undergone substantial upgrades. The ramps are incredibly short, especially in the city. Very hard to see cars on the expressway when you are getting on. Also the hard shoulder is very narrow. So if someone pulls over, it can drag down all 3 lanes of traffic because their car is sticking out.
...in other cases, there was surely plenty of room for such things as proper merge lanes and overpass clearances (on Streetview I see quite a few of those). Perhaps once standards were established for NYC-quality conditions, there was a rationale for sticking with them in the name of economy and consistency.

Re I-94, count your blessings. Atlanta's first freeways had no merger lanes at all, just dead yields, and the most notorious segment, I-75/85 on the near northside, survived in its original state until it was widened from six to ten lanes in the mid '80's.

I also see that I-94 in Detroit has curb and gutter between the shoulders and the traffic lanes. In Atlanta, the oldest freeways were built that way, and I-20 East stayed like that until it, too, was widened from six to ten lanes in the early '90's. However, I-20 West was also built with bogus shoulders like that, and it was finished in 1965, after some other freeways with proper flush shoulders. WTF?

On I-20 West, there was a project in the '80's to redo the shoulders (including adding them on bridges!) and replace the curbed/metal guardrail median with a jersey barrier, retaining the existing six lanes of concrete pavement. But when the project neared completion, they decided to asphalt the whole thing and stripe it for eight lanes at reduced standards.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #1005
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As for why the design standards for expressways was so low, I suppose it was mostly because in NYC space was often very limited, though...
Some NY expressways were built before the Interstate Highway standards came into effect and were grandfathered into the IH system later. For example the most substandard section of the BQE was constructed in the early 50's, predating IH standards.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #1006
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Some NY expressways were built before the Interstate Highway standards came into effect and were grandfathered into the IH system later. For example the most substandard section of the BQE was constructed in the early 50's, predating IH standards.
Yes. The real question is why pre-Interstate standards were so low-- by the '50's, surely the need for decently-liberal merge lanes (for instance) had already been established. That I have no acceptable answer for.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:59 AM   #1007
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Going east on CA 62 between 29 Palms and Lake Havasu. Gotta love this landscape.



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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:09 AM   #1008
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The "stupid saga" of the Bel Air Bypass on US Route 1 in Harford County, MD. An incredibly disjointed and occasionally functional road with changes every half mile.






1. Route 1 splits into Business 1, towards Bel Air, and the Bypass. Two lanes each way with a wide forest median. Speed limit 50.

2. Both directions merge down to one lane each way to fit over the Winters Run bridge. The highway continues as two lanes with no divider.

3. Intersection with MD 24, a sprawling T-intersection that includes the first traffic light. A southbound lane on 1 is exempt from the light, and gets a blow-through. MD 24 shares the road.

4. Four lane highway with no divider

5. Partial cloverleaf interchange with MD 24 and MD 924. Highway shrinks back down to one lane each way.

6. Turn lane and T-intersection with Water Tower Way/TO MD 23, with merge ramps. Four lane highway resumes.

7. Traffic light, intersection with BUS 1. Splits into a four lane highway with wide grass divider and guardrail before traffic light at MD 23 T-intersection. No blow-through lane northbound. Traffic light again at MD 543 intersection.

8. Road shrinks back to two lanes, intersects BUS 1 again, highway ends, road continues as two lane US 1
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Old January 5th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #1009
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Yes, actually the United States had the first such road in the world.

It was the Long Island Motor Parkway that opened in 1908 and closed in 1938.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_Motor_Parkway
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #1010
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Going east on CA 62 between 29 Palms and Lake Havasu. Gotta love this landscape.



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I love the 'Dips' that are so ever-present along California's desert highways. Unique driving experience indeed.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #1011
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Reading about these pre-Interstate roads got me thinking, do two-lane, limited access, grade separated expressways (in the European sense) exist anywhere in the US? Thinking about roads like this (which isn't signed as expressway I think because Spain doesn't use that category, but it's a perfect example of one)..
I'm not sure what you mean: a dual carriageway (as the British call it) with one lane each direction?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:01 PM   #1012
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I love the 'Dips' that are so ever-present along California's desert highways. Unique driving experience indeed.
Indeed When I first came to the USA, I did not know the meaning of word "dip". I quickly learned it when my car became airborne (I am not joking)
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #1013
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e.g. I-93 in New Hampshire (Franconia Notch)

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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #1014
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
Not necessarily dual carriageway, it can be single carriageway, but with one lane in each direction, grade separation, no perpendicular (T or +) junctions, no left turns, etc.. Essentially the same as a motorway built in half profile (like the E75 in northern Serbia). The Long Island Motor Parkway looks like it was such a road, but I'm wondering if any have been built recently that are in use today..
Oh, I see. I think there are some Interstates in sparsely populated areas of the west that meet that description.

How about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Parkway
and this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyline_Drive

Haven't been on either one (they really line up and form one long road) in decades so I'm relying on the description in the Blue Ridge Parkway article.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #1015
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another example: Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts

[IMG]http://i54.************/29av85e.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i53.************/281znmu.jpg[/IMG]
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #1016
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
Yes, that's very close. Actually, it's exactly what I meant, but I didn't expect it to be an Interstate.. And it has (as one would expect) a certain American flavour to it (though it looks almost exactly like this part of the E6 in Norway).. Thanks!
I see I may not have been clear. Because I was sort of thinking as I wrote. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive are not Interstates (or in the West), but National Park Service roads built for recreational purposes, connecting national parks along the Appalachians from northern Virginia to eastern Tennessee. The Natchez Trace is too - it follows the route of a trail used by settlers from the East Coast to the lower Mississippi valley and is meant as a historic road rather than for current traffic - but I have no idea what sort of road it is.
Some of the oldest stretches of the New York state parkway system date back to the 20s and fall short of being full-fledged freeways/motorways. (I'm thinking in particular of the Bronx River Parkway, but there are places it even has traffic lights and cross traffic....) Those roads are in suburban areas near New York City - some enter the city limits actually - so they get plenty of traffic.

Last edited by Penn's Woods; January 5th, 2011 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Meant, "may NOT have been clear." Doing too much at once. :-(
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #1017
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Bethpage State Parkway in eastern Nassau County, NY, is also a two-lane grade-separated road.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #1018
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
Yes, these roads (BRP & SLD) look like they have direct access and at-grade intersections, but they're very interesting roads nonetheless. From what I can tell on Google Maps, the surroundings of the entire road is classified as a park/nature reserve?



This one is very similar to the kind of road I was thinking of that you can find in Europe, it even ends (well, the grade separated part) in a roundabout It has a very distinct "expressway feeling" to it.. It's interesting that it runs through such a populated area..
The Blue Ridge Parkway, according to the article, has "side roads" at intersections, and no cross-traffic. That's according to the article. Personally, I don't know.

The Skyline Drive is entirely in a national park. The BRP I'm not sure about (there is a major national park - the Great Smoky Mountains N.P. - at the south end), but the word "parkway" implies to me that the right of way is legally park land, so there would be no adjoining property owners, so it would be limited-access in that sense. That's true of New York-area parkways as well. They also usually forbid trucks.

I suspect Nerdly_Dood knows the BRP....
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Old January 7th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #1019
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Originally Posted by WSDOT
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) today signed a contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners to design and build the SR 99 bored tunnel – the preferred alternative for replacing the seismically unsafe Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle’s downtown waterfront.

In a ceremony today at the Port of Seattle, Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond signed the design-build contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners representatives Fernando González Alcañiz and Jack Frost. Design-build combines project design and construction in a single contract.

“With this contract, we are confident that the tunnel will be built within budget and delivered on time,” Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “More than 90 percent of the design-build work will be performed for a fixed price.”

In addition to Seattle Tunnel Partners’ proposal price of just under $1.09 billion, the contract includes allowances for inflation, bonding and insurance requirements. Utility work reimbursed by the City of Seattle is also included in the contract. This brings the total contract amount to $1.35 billion, with up to $70 million in incentives.

WSDOT will direct the design-build team to continue preliminary design work in February. If tunnel plans are approved at the conclusion of the project’s environmental review, expected this summer, the agency will direct the design-build team to begin final design and construction of the bored tunnel.

“Seattle Tunnel Partners is pleased to sign this contract with WSDOT. We have worked very hard to win this project and we are ready to go to work,” said Manuel Pardo, Seattle Tunnel Partners Project Executive. “Our team is composed of international, national, and local contractors and provides the people of Seattle and the State of Washington the best value to build the bored tunnel. We look forward to a close collaboration with construction unions, minority business advocates, and the local community right up to the ribbon-cutting ceremony of this incredible transportation asset.”

The Federal Highway Administration, WSDOT and the City of Seattle have identified a two-level, 1.7-mile tunnel from S. King Street to Thomas Street as the preferred replacement for the central section of the vulnerable double-deck viaduct. WSDOT’s review of the tunnel and other alternatives for replacing the viaduct began in 2001.

WSDOT named Seattle Tunnel Partners the apparent best-value bidder last month based on a combination of bid price and technical score for their project proposal. The team exceeded WSDOT requirements by proposing to build a tunnel that includes an 8-foot-wide safety shoulder in each direction of traffic. The contractor team also proposes to open the tunnel to traffic by late 2015 – a year sooner than WSDOT required.

The design-build contract requires Seattle Tunnel Partners to take a greater share of the risk than a traditional construction contract. WSDOT will manage the project to ensure it is completed on time and on budget by consulting with a panel of international tunnel experts, utilizing an innovative dispute resolution process and implementing a risk management plan.

Seattle Tunnel Partners, a joint venture of Dragados USA and Tutor Perini Corp., is one of two teams that competed for the SR 99 bored tunnel design-build contract. Key members of the team delivered the comparable 49.5-foot-diameter Madrid M-30 highway tunnel in Spain. The team includes several local firms, including Frank Coluccio Construction, Mowat Construction and HNTB Corp.

Seattle Tunnel Partners will be responsible for tunnel boring, mitigation for tunnel settlement, construction of tunnel portals, building the road within the tunnel and constructing two operations buildings.

Total cost of the proposed bored tunnel is estimated to be $1.96 billion. This includes design, right-of-way acquisition, construction management, and more than $200 million set aside for risk. Also included in the $1.96 billion are separate, future construction contracts for roadway connections at the north and south ends of the tunnel.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #1020
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How can the tunnel be "bored" if it hasn't even been built yet?

(Sorry - couldn't resist.)
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