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Author Topic: Washington  (Read 10983 times)

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2017, 03:16:49 PM »

Attn: Link Light Rail not likely to run along US-99 between Angle Lake and Federal Way (according to today's Tacoma News Tribune).

http://i.imgur.com/GuMrN16.jpg

Any way a link to the article itself could be supplied? -- would like to see the (supplied) reasoning behind the I-5 alignment choice.

Here you go:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/traffic/article133022569.html

Interesting to see that they're combining this LR effort with the WA 509 freeway extension -- that particular freeway alignment most likely had a good deal of influence regarding the decision to deploy the LR line adjacent to I-5 rather than straight down WA 99 -- there was a "ready-made" location in which the shunt the line over to I-5 requiring little or no additional property acquisition.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #126 on: February 18, 2017, 06:33:30 PM »

This was decided way back in 2015, after requests from city leaders in the area to not disrupt business on Pacific Highway South. They may have shot themselves in the foot by not placing the stations on 99 proper to take advantage of development potential (which brings in tons of tax revenue), now that the stations placed mid-way between I-5 and SR 99 will have a lot of walkshed eaten up by ramps.

The new development (from the board meeting before last...quite old news, TNT?) is at the request of the Federal Way School District because they don't want a light rail trench near their school. It's a win-win, though, if the property swap can go through: Sound Transit can have a closer P&R and TOD parcel to their station and off-load what would become surplus land anyway once the Redondo P&R closes.

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #127 on: February 18, 2017, 10:34:17 PM »

Before this goes on further, I would like to point out that the article names Hwy 99 as "US 99". That's the only reason I posted the photo.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #128 on: February 18, 2017, 11:27:07 PM »

And speaking of Sound Transit, the City of Mercer Island is suing them and WSDOT over the loss of single-occupant access to the HOV lanes on I-90 after June, when the express lanes close for light rail construction. They allege that the 1976 memorandum that was signed to get I-90 built across the island has been broken by ST, but the FHWA ruled that this kind of access was illegal and could require them to cut federal funds.

If this actually goes to court and gets drawn out, light rail construction could be set back by years. And this is on top of what Mercer Island did to delay planning of the line in the first place.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2017, 12:30:43 AM »

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

I wasn't thinking so much about the design process as with the aspect of acquiring the property/parcels necessary to shift the LR pathway from Pacific Highway/WA 99 to the I-5 easement.  Generally, it's much easier to "bundle" projects in an area such as the 509 extension with the LR extension -- acquire the necessary property for both projects in one fell swoop rather than expending the time & expense endemic to two separate albeit adjacent transportation endeavors, developed for different purposes -- the 509 freeway to provide enhanced automotive access to the airport as well as the Burien/White Center area, and the Link LR to potentially reduce commuter traffic.   
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Alps

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Re: Washington
« Reply #130 on: February 19, 2017, 12:23:13 PM »

Before this goes on further, I would like to point out that the article names Hwy 99 as "US 99". That's the only reason I posted the photo.
I caught that.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #131 on: February 19, 2017, 12:27:26 PM »

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

I wasn't thinking so much about the design process as with the aspect of acquiring the property/parcels necessary to shift the LR pathway from Pacific Highway/WA 99 to the I-5 easement.  Generally, it's much easier to "bundle" projects in an area such as the 509 extension with the LR extension -- acquire the necessary property for both projects in one fell swoop rather than expending the time & expense endemic to two separate albeit adjacent transportation endeavors, developed for different purposes -- the 509 freeway to provide enhanced automotive access to the airport as well as the Burien/White Center area, and the Link LR to potentially reduce commuter traffic.   


The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

As for property acquisition, it's actually easier to do so separately, given that Sound Transit would have to sign yet another agreement with WSDOT for the land swap and then engineer around whatever they do to SR 509.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #132 on: February 19, 2017, 08:58:32 PM »

The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

Pardon me if I'm mistaken, but IIRC the plans I've seen show some sort of connection (possibly not a spur freeway facility but at least some type of direct roadway) from the 509 extension to the south side of the airport, putting airport access into the mix.  If this exists, it ostensibly is to divert traffic coming from the south from using existing surface streets such as 188th -- or even the "long way around" via WA 518 -- to gain access to Seatac. 
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #133 on: February 19, 2017, 09:27:55 PM »

The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

Pardon me if I'm mistaken, but IIRC the plans I've seen show some sort of connection (possibly not a spur freeway facility but at least some type of direct roadway) from the 509 extension to the south side of the airport, putting airport access into the mix.  If this exists, it ostensibly is to divert traffic coming from the south from using existing surface streets such as 188th -- or even the "long way around" via WA 518 -- to gain access to Seatac. 

Yes, the Port of Seattle has plans for that in their Airport Master Plan (being updated right now), but there's no funding for it as of right now. They have to get the ball rolling now if they want to open it by 2030.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #134 on: February 19, 2017, 09:49:48 PM »

Yes, the Port of Seattle has plans for that in their Airport Master Plan (being updated right now), but there's no funding for it as of right now. They have to get the ball rolling now if they want to open it by 2030.

Thanks for the update re the airport/port plans.  Real-time info is always appreciated!
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compdude787

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Re: Washington
« Reply #135 on: April 03, 2017, 11:05:18 PM »

So, I saw an article in the Everett Herald today that WSDOT is beginning to study how to improve the congested interchange between US 2, WA 204 and 20th Street SE on the east end of the US 2 trestle.

I'll offer my two cents: At the very minimum, there needs to be some safety improvements where the ramps from WB 204 and 20th Street SE meet. There is virtually no space to merge, even though the WB trestle was built in the late-60s, so you'd expect it to be designed better than that. Every time I come that way, I pretty much turn my head to the left and look at the onramp from 20th Street to be absolutely sure that there is no one coming down the hill really fast, lest I have to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting them. So at minimum, there needs to be a longer merge lane there, and they need to completely repave the WB trestle. It's in bad shape!

Ideally, the trestle needs to be widened to three lanes in each direction. But that's gonna cost a lot more money, but it might be worth it to accommodate expected population growth in the area.

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #136 on: April 19, 2017, 05:59:30 PM »

Went to the Open House for the Puget Sound Gateway Program in Fife last night. This one focused more on 167 (I missed last week's 509 open house in Seatac). The visualizations will be online within the next two weeks, but there are a few things that I saw that have changed from the previous phase one design:

- Ramps to and from the west at Meridian (where 167 currently ends) have been shelved. There's a $15mil budget gap
- The phase one interchange where the 5/167/509-Spur meet will be a partial diverging diamond instead of half diamond. It's hard to explain the design -- the visualizations make better sense.
- The entire route will be four lanes. WSDOT's Craig Stone said that "lanes are cheap, interchanges are not". I guess they found the money to have four lanes, but couldn't afford fancy interchanges.
- North Levee EB will turn into a on-ramp towards 167 NB (as it does now), but will instead utilise the old on-ramp that was never torn up.
- The oddly-shaped on-ramp from Meridian (the current one) was built in that manner due to a historic tree. One of the interns suggested that I cut it down for them.

I also learned that the stub-ramp at the end of the departures deck at Seatac was built for a south access road. According to Craig Stone, the 509's phase one design will include provisions for a future south access road. The South Access Road has been planned for some time, but always shelved due to funding and lack of a proper place to dump all the traffic. The southern extension of the 509 will finally provide a good place for the end of the access road.

This is the stub ramp in question:

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compdude787

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Re: Washington
« Reply #137 on: April 22, 2017, 01:03:11 AM »

That's cool! I'm glad you got the chance to go to it. Hopefully they have updated design drawings on their website.

In other news, today was probably the last day that the I-90 express lanes were open, because this weekend, WSDOT is planning on restriping I-90 to include an HOV lane the whole length of the main lines so that the express lanes can be converted to the light rail line. But considering that it's going to be raining all weekend, that might not actually happen.

Either way, I just went down there earlier today and filmed I-90 in both directions.  I Was planning to drive in the express lanes, but they were clearly marked for HOVs only, so unfortunately, I had to stay out of them. :( Why is it that I-90's express lanes are HOV only, but I-5's are not? I wasn't aware of this and was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get to drive in them one last time. :(

Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #138 on: April 22, 2017, 11:15:55 PM »

That's cool! I'm glad you got the chance to go to it. Hopefully they have updated design drawings on their website.

In other news, today was probably the last day that the I-90 express lanes were open, because this weekend, WSDOT is planning on restriping I-90 to include an HOV lane the whole length of the main lines so that the express lanes can be converted to the light rail line. But considering that it's going to be raining all weekend, that might not actually happen.

Either way, I just went down there earlier today and filmed I-90 in both directions.  I Was planning to drive in the express lanes, but they were clearly marked for HOVs only, so unfortunately, I had to stay out of them. :( Why is it that I-90's express lanes are HOV only, but I-5's are not? I wasn't aware of this and was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get to drive in them one last time. :(

During a full shutdown of either direction of I-90, the lanes are usually open to all traffic (HOV or not).

You can always take the 550 bus during rush hour and experience the lanes that way.

 


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