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Old December 6th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #1421
ChrisZwolle
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A deal was reached for construction a second Midtown Tunnel tube and extending the MLK Freeway to I-264 in the Hampton Roads region. As usual with current large projects, it will be mainly toll-funded.

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Old December 7th, 2011, 04:37 AM   #1422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The cost for the roadways is $ 3.6 billion, not 20 billion, which will be paid for by tolls.

I was referring to the COMBINED cost of the roads and the airport expansion.


You have to see it in perspective of the number of travelers. This Chicago Expressway network upgrade serves hundreds of thousands of commuters daily while rail projects typically serve less than 10% at usually a higher cost.

You can't compare inter-city rail lines with commuter expressways. The purpose of constructing the Midwest HSR network is to obviate the need to expand O'Hare. The roadway expansion isn't necessary if O'Hare isn't expanded.



$ 20 billion gives you maybe 500 miles of high-speed rail track, a far cry from a "good Midwest HSR network".

That amount of money upgrades numerous lines to 110 mph which makes Chicago a quick journey from many Midwestern metros. In addition, the Midwest HSR network connects many other cities besides Chicago with each other, enhancing mobility in a way that an O'Hare expansion never could.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 10:36 AM   #1423
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You have to see it in perspective of the number of travelers. This Chicago Expressway network upgrade serves hundreds of thousands of commuters daily while rail projects typically serve less than 10% at usually a higher cost.
Yes, but this is generally for lack of other options. Freeways externalize costs very well, too.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #1424
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The new alignment of the State Highway 130 in Texas is now visible in Google Earth imagery.

It is supposed to relieve I-35 in central Texas of through traffic. The new toll road is 90 miles long and connects I-35 at Georgetown with I-10 at Seguin.

I have my doubts if this will be an effective project. No doubt most traffic along the I-35 corridor is generated locally and regionally, which this new road will not cater to. So its existence is based on the fact if long-distance traffic from San Antonio to past Austin is willing to a) pay tolls and b) take a longer route.

It would make more sense to connect Austin to Houston if you ask me.

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Old December 8th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #1425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The new alignment of the State Highway 130 in Texas is now visible in Google Earth imagery.

It is supposed to relieve I-35 in central Texas of through traffic. The new toll road is 90 miles long and connects I-35 at Georgetown with I-10 at Seguin.

I have my doubts if this will be an effective project. No doubt most traffic along the I-35 corridor is generated locally and regionally, which this new road will not cater to. So its existence is based on the fact if long-distance traffic from San Antonio to past Austin is willing to a) pay tolls and b) take a longer route.

It would make more sense to connect Austin to Houston if you ask me.

That part of I-35 is very crowded with trucks, and I-35 is not expandable through Austin.

Also of note, this U/C section of SH130 is rumored to be the toll road that will carry that 85mph speed limit that made headlines a few months ago. The rest of SH130 has already been upped to 75mph.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #1426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washington Examiner
The Maryland State Highway Administration conspired with various firms to hide millions of dollars in both cost overruns and unspent funds even while gaining state approval for millions of dollars in more funding, according to a recent report.

The Office of Legislative Audits found that highway officials cooperated with vendors to shuffle at least $11.3 million from 10 construction inspection contracts to hide overspending and to use funds for other contracts unrelated to what the money was approved for. Some funds may have even been diverted to other agencies under the Department of Transportation.
Story continues Here (and found via the GoDCGo website)
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Old December 8th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #1427
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Phase I of the first turnpike in North Carolina opened today:

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Old December 9th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #1428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The new alignment of the State Highway 130 in Texas is now visible in Google Earth imagery.

It is supposed to relieve I-35 in central Texas of through traffic. The new toll road is 90 miles long and connects I-35 at Georgetown with I-10 at Seguin.

I have my doubts if this will be an effective project. No doubt most traffic along the I-35 corridor is generated locally and regionally, which this new road will not cater to. So its existence is based on the fact if long-distance traffic from San Antonio to past Austin is willing to a) pay tolls and b) take a longer route.

It would make more sense to connect Austin to Houston if you ask me.
As stated before, there is a lot of truck traffic through Austin on I-35, and local interests are not going to support any more expansion. However, I would imagine that the primary purpose of SH 130 is to spur land development in this area, given its advantageous location to both San Antonio and Austin. This is especially the case, given the likely high tolls for trucks that the highway will impose, incentivizing the use of I-35, even with lower speeds. Were traffic reduction the main goal, congestion pricing for I-35, with SH 130 as a less-expensive alternative, would make far more sense.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #1429
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Phase I of the first turnpike in North Carolina opened today
[IMG]image hosted on flickr
nc-triangle1 by PA Road Scholar, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #1430
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This is a prime example of why I despise the new arrow-per-lane diagrammatic signs... these signs are way, way, way too massive and waste a large portion of the sign panel. Don't think so? Compare the sign's height to the two joggers immediately below the sign... yikes!
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #1431
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Actually the arrows take up only ¼ of the sign size, it's the huge road number shields, "to /east" designations and unused green space on top which make up most of the size. If this was a European sign it could be half the height.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #1432
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Speaking of Europe, it reminds me this:

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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #1433
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Toll 45 Meets 183A outside of Austin

image hosted on flickr

Toll 45 Meets 183A for 30 Seconds on a Cold Night Outside of Austin by Robin Rowell, on Flickr
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Old December 12th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #1434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Phase I of the first turnpike in North Carolina opened today:

Is it electronic toll collection system or "old school" with toll booths and cashiers?
Maybe something like in Chicago or Orlando where there is gantry with transponders in the mainline but also cash booths off the mainline.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #1435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Actually the arrows take up only ¼ of the sign size, it's the huge road number shields, "to /east" designations and unused green space on top which make up most of the size. If this was a European sign it could be half the height.
Indeed. And what's with the proliferation of those "ONLY" tabs above the exit number tab? Indexing the tab to the left already indicates a left exit, and this sign has a diagramatic arrow, too. Double redundancy, anyone?
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Old December 12th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #1436
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Is it electronic toll collection system or "old school" with toll booths and cashiers?
Many new toll roads in the United States are all-electronic. I think this one is too. Toll plazas are outdated imo, especially on suburban toll roads where there is relatively few out-of-region traffic.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #1437
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Indeed. And what's with the proliferation of those "ONLY" tabs above the exit number tab? Indexing the tab to the left already indicates a left exit, and this sign has a diagramatic arrow, too. Double redundancy, anyone?
That's not an "ONLY" tab... it's a "LEFT" plaque that's become a requirement when signing left exits. I am with you on the redundancy issue though.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #1438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Actually the arrows take up only ¼ of the sign size, it's the huge road number shields, "to /east" designations and unused green space on top which make up most of the size. If this was a European sign it could be half the height.
Or California...
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:56 AM   #1439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Actually the arrows take up only ¼ of the sign size, it's the huge road number shields, "to /east" designations and unused green space on top which make up most of the size.
The route shields appear to be standard 36" shields which is common across the U.S. so they are by no means "huge". I will agree that there is an excessive amount of green space above the shields.

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Or California...
Funny you should mention California. Below are two drawings I made. The first one is a recreation of the sign in the photo. According to my rough calculations, this sign is about 20 1/2 feet tall...


The second drawing is the same sign drawn to California's standards. The height (not including the exit number... which really shouldn't be a separate tab but doing that way makes layout so much easier) is 10 feet or about half the original sign...
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Old December 13th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #1440
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But aren't those signs for different situations? To me it looks like the first sign is an advance sign 1.5 miles from the actual split, while the second sign is at the split itself. Otherwise you would run into the problem with the 3 or 4 lanes again.
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