AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: I-17 Parallel freeway plan  (Read 4772 times)

kdk

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 50
  • Location: Scottsdale AZ
  • Last Login: September 11, 2017, 03:44:42 AM
I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« on: March 26, 2016, 05:49:23 PM »

Does anyone remember when there were discussions about 10 years ago about an I-17 reliever freeway plan- from Phoenix to Flagstaff?  I haven't heard much about it in the past 8-10 years but it seemed like it was a real possibility at one time.

The main reason was with all of the accidents that close down this freeway often, or with the heavy weekend traffic during the summer between Phoenix and Flagstaff there does seem a need, but not sure enough to get this built.

Here's the most recent article I found on it, but the ADOT links are no longer valid.

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/interstate-alternatives-pondered-at-meeting/article_76c312e1-8b25-5524-b225-860394c4e3f0.html

« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 10:57:24 PM by andy3175 »
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 07:09:30 PM »

I could see repaving the old dirt part of AZ 69 that runs through Bumble Bee up to Mayer as a frontage road type deal but not another freeway.  I could see even extending the six lane section from Anthem to Cordes Junction but it would have to be a huge feat of engineering.  It seems like most of the big wrecks are coming and going from Black Canyon City/Sunset Point.  I remember there was some crazy truck tip over that spilled hundreds of cows onto the road just south of Sunset Point.  I was up in Sedona that day and had to take AZ 260 and AZ 87 through Payson to get home, I think I-17 was closed for about 8 hours.

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5811
  • Don't do what Donny Don't does

  • Age: 21
  • Location: BC / Tacoma, Wash
  • Last Login: Today at 02:16:12 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 07:55:45 PM »

According to the Wayback Internet Archive, the AZDOT webpage expired between 2009 and 2010. Interestingly, the last update before expiry included this summary:

Quote
The I-17 Alternatives Study as been incorporated into the Statewide Transportation Planning Framework effort, being undertaken by ADOT and regional planners.

ADOT thanks all of you for devoting your time, energy and attention to the I-17 Alternatives Study during the past year. The study effectively identified a number of critical operational issues on I-17 and confirmed a very strong public sentiment to address those issues. It also became evident during the study that these issues should be addressed within the broader context of regional mobility. We now have the Statewide Transportation Framework Studies underway, which are focused on regional mobility. This consolidation of planning efforts will ensure a more unified approach to the corridor and reduce confusion among members of the traveling public.

The information collected as part of the I-17 Alternatives Study will be incorporated into the ongoing statewide studies which are designed to help quantify transportation needs statewide and identify the full range of options to address those needs. For more information on the Statewide Planning Framework Studies and the Building A Quality Arizona efforts, please visit www.bqaz.gov.

Sounds like the public favored I-17 improvements over a new freeway.
Logged

pumpkineater2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 255
  • Jamie O' Neal lied. It does exist.

  • Age: 19
  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Last Login: September 16, 2017, 03:09:00 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 01:01:21 AM »

I think building a whole new freeway would be overdoing it. I-17 has had very little improvements between Anthem and Flagstaff, yet the amount of traffic has only increased more and more over time. It really needs to be widened to at least six lanes the entire way to Flagstaff. The fact that I-17 has such elevation changes, combined with it being only two lanes on those steep hills, plus the amount of trucks on it that cant go fast uphill is what really creates problems. Additionally, the northbound pavement is horrible in places, especially the 30 or so miles leading up to Flagstaff.

Recently, a climbing lane was added south of Camp Verde, but only for about half of the hill that the road climbs. Not sure why ADOT chose to only do half, other than it cost too much to do it all at once.
Logged
Come ride with me to the distant shore...

kdk

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 50
  • Location: Scottsdale AZ
  • Last Login: September 11, 2017, 03:44:42 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2016, 02:17:52 AM »

I think building a whole new freeway would be overdoing it. I-17 has had very little improvements between Anthem and Flagstaff, yet the amount of traffic has only increased more and more over time. It really needs to be widened to at least six lanes the entire way to Flagstaff. The fact that I-17 has such elevation changes, combined with it being only two lanes on those steep hills, plus the amount of trucks on it that cant go fast uphill is what really creates problems. Additionally, the northbound pavement is horrible in places, especially the 30 or so miles leading up to Flagstaff.

Recently, a climbing lane was added south of Camp Verde, but only for about half of the hill that the road climbs. Not sure why ADOT chose to only do half, other than it cost too much to do it all at once.

Yeah, agree about the 6 lanes, it would make a huge difference especially in the uphill sections.  They also recently improved the AZ-69 junction and noticed that the new bridges looked like they were built to accommodate another lane on them.  Other than the climbing lane and this interchange, I can't recall any other improvements north of Anthem at all. 
Logged

coatimundi

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 788
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Marina, CA
  • Last Login: May 12, 2017, 12:42:29 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2016, 12:01:45 PM »

87 to Lake Mary Road is the alternative. Or 69 to 89 to 40, if it's open that far.
It's pretty rare to actually build a full-on alternate freeway just for the off-chance that a route happens to be temporarily closed, or to relieve traffic during peak periods (17 is ghostly late at night and in the off-season). I mean, this isn't North Carolina.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 12:35:48 PM »

87 to Lake Mary Road is the alternative. Or 69 to 89 to 40, if it's open that far.
It's pretty rare to actually build a full-on alternate freeway just for the off-chance that a route happens to be temporarily closed, or to relieve traffic during peak periods (17 is ghostly late at night and in the off-season). I mean, this isn't North Carolina.

The problem part is that section between Black Canyon City and Cordes Junction.  Unless you got some off-road capability/ability there isn't much of an alternate out that area.  It's too bad too because there should be a paved alternate at least from Sunset Point and Bumble Bee Road at minimum.    Probably the most most sensible alternative would be to pave Bloody Basin road west of I-17 to Forest Road 259 south at the Cordes ghost town.  Forest Road 259 meets up with CR 59 which will take you to Bumble Bee and back to I-17 at exit 248.  Depending on conditions a 2WD drive car could "possibly" handle this route as is since it's fairly well maintained dirt currently but I wouldn't want to try it during monsoon season or after rain.  Hell you can get to this route via Antelope Creek Road from AZ 69 in Mayer, I'm fairly certain it is the original alignment of AZ 69.

pumpkineater2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 255
  • Jamie O' Neal lied. It does exist.

  • Age: 19
  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Last Login: September 16, 2017, 03:09:00 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 07:55:41 PM »

I know ADOT is thinking about building a new alignment for the section between BCC and Sunset Point. I hope they choose not to though because I really like that section with its twists and turns. They can keep that alignment, and it can be made safer with a good widening.

I found an article that mentions the possibility of a widening to 8(:wow:) lanes between BCC and AZ-69, or reversible lanes running adjacent to the southbound lanes, though both options are quite expensive.

http://dcourier.com/news/2015/apr/17/solutions-sought-to-i-17-issues/
Logged
Come ride with me to the distant shore...

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2016, 08:13:21 PM »

I know ADOT is thinking about building a new alignment for the section between BCC and Sunset Point. I hope they choose not to though because I really like that section with its twists and turns. They can keep that alignment, and it can be made safer with a good widening.

I found an article that mentions the possibility of a widening to 8(:wow:) lanes between BCC and AZ-69, or reversible lanes running adjacent to the southbound lanes, though both options are quite expensive.

http://dcourier.com/news/2015/apr/17/solutions-sought-to-i-17-issues/

There isn't a viable realignment option available and it wouldn't make sense to orphan an existing route in an unpopulated area like that.  Besides all the land directly east of I-17 from Black Canyon City to Bloody Basin Road is part of the Aqua Fria National Monument and basically is one hundred percent unavailable.  I'm thinking that the reversable lanes in an enclosed median basically is the best solution to get truck traffic separated from automobile traffic.  Also it could potentially allow I-17 to stay open being divided off from the main line wrecks.  Not a bad idea but $100 million is going to be tough to set aside with all the business with I-11, AZ 202 and the 303 all in the works currently.

coatimundi

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 788
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Marina, CA
  • Last Login: May 12, 2017, 12:42:29 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 09:31:07 AM »

Why not just build the facilitation for reversible lanes, like they have in hurricane evacuation areas where they actually need reversible lanes? Putting two lanes of traffic into one is going to delay things, sure, but it'll delay things a lot less than shutting down everything for the hours of an accident investigation.
And the widening idea... Because four lanes of freeway will never be closed due to construction or an accident. Just look at the Valley: never seen a closure on any of those freeways, amirite?  :banghead:

I just think it's really tough to justify something like this at all, let alone in a rural area, and it's not being justified by Phoenicians whining about Sedona travel times. I mean, "peak periods"? C'mon... Rebuild that decrepit section of I-17 north of Downtown Phoenix and then maybe think about these sort of projects. And, yes, I-11, 303, I-10 in Pinal County... ADOT has bigger fish, clearly.
And this idea that cutting I-17 cuts off Yavapai County from the rest of the world, bringing about apocalyptic package wait times. You're still talking about something that occurs infrequently (accidents) and delays that last in the hours. Yes, it costs money, but so does increased highway maintenance due to a wider road. You can still get to Prescott without I-17; it just takes a lot longer.

I know it's not necessarily well received to bring up public transit, but the options from Phoenix to pretty much anywhere are dismal, and that's part of the problem. Opening up something to Sedona and Prescott that didn't cost $40 and didn't just go to the airport may help pull some of the cars off of the road. At least a seasonal service, since Phoenicians refuse to go up there when it's below 90 in the Valley. We may eventually see parking bans on 89A in Oak Creek Canyon as crowds increase, and the market increasing for a shuttle service up the canyon and to the often-full state parks. We already have the Red Rock Pass impact fee program that everyone but out-of-state tourists ignore, so I would guess that would be the next step.
Logged

Sub-Urbanite

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 189
  • There's at least a 60% chance I'm just trolling

  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Last Login: Today at 12:42:20 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 10:00:10 AM »

On my recent trip to the desert, I got caught in a monster traffic jam at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday heading up I-17 from Black Canyon City to Prescott. It seemed to be caused by two factors: Snowbirds migrating north, and a gravel truck pinching the road to essentially one lane.

Wouldn't a third northbound lane solve most of the problems? Can't imagine delays are as bad coming into Phoenix.

Alternately, you could start your EIS work for regular rail service to Prescott, Sedona and Flagstaff, butů oh, nevermind.
Logged

Henry

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3528
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Chicago, IL/Seattle, WA
  • Last Login: September 18, 2017, 11:55:14 PM
    • Henry Watson's Online Freeway
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 10:29:18 AM »

I'm honestly surprised that such a proposal has been made for this. Despite the reasons listed in the OP, I really don't think a parallel freeway is needed; an alternative would be to widen I-17, but that's that.
Logged
Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 10:30:36 AM »

I know it's not necessarily well received to bring up public transit, but the options from Phoenix to pretty much anywhere are dismal, and that's part of the problem. Opening up something to Sedona and Prescott that didn't cost $40 and didn't just go to the airport may help pull some of the cars off of the road. At least a seasonal service, since Phoenicians refuse to go up there when it's below 90 in the Valley. We may eventually see parking bans on 89A in Oak Creek Canyon as crowds increase, and the market increasing for a shuttle service up the canyon and to the often-full state parks. We already have the Red Rock Pass impact fee program that everyone but out-of-state tourists ignore, so I would guess that would be the next step.

On my recent trip to the desert, I got caught in a monster traffic jam at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday heading up I-17 from Black Canyon City to Prescott. It seemed to be caused by two factors: Snowbirds migrating north, and a gravel truck pinching the road to essentially one lane.

Wouldn't a third northbound lane solve most of the problems? Can't imagine delays are as bad coming into Phoenix.

Alternately, you could start your EIS work for regular rail service to Prescott, Sedona and Flagstaff, butů oh, nevermind.

Yeah if over a decade in Arizona ever taught me one thing it's commuter rail won't ever catch on.  The city of Scottsdale nixed the light rail extension out in the East Valley because it would bring too many "undesireables" into downtown....it's actually kind of ironic considering how reliant the state was on railroads once upon a time.  I'm not saying I agree...I'm just saying that's the mindset out there for good or bad.  Personally I'm not a mass transit fan myself, I would rather drive and not be held to the whim of the schedule of a bus, train or plane.  Besides the climb up and down Yarnell Hill on US...cough AZ 89 and through Jerome on 89A is a lot more fun.

But to your point the third uphill lane is probably all that's really needed.  I never had much issue maintaining a way over the speed limit pace with the rest of downhill traffic so long as someone didn't crash south of Cordes Junction.  I don't particularly miss the weekly Sunday Sedona 500 but that's no different than the onslaught of people heading back to the Valley that AZ 87 and AZ 260 get.  But then again isn't that what the 511 phone service is really for?  The debacle with the cows I cited earlier in the thread is a good example of what headaches you can avoid but checking the status of your planned route is before you leave.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 10:39:33 AM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

mcarling

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 121
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • Last Login: September 10, 2017, 11:02:33 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 11:47:17 AM »

It seems to me that adding climbing lanes to I-17 would solve most of the problems for a fraction of the cost of a general widening.
Logged
US 97 should be 2x2 all the way from Yakima, WA to Klamath Falls, OR.

coatimundi

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 788
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Marina, CA
  • Last Login: May 12, 2017, 12:42:29 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 11:56:25 AM »

The terrain north of Phoenix makes the rail possibility infeasible. And, anyway, if they can't get it together enough to get this between Phoenix and Tucson, which both have light rail systems to supplement a heavy rail component as well as - for the most part - existing railroad ROW and flat terrain, then it sure isn't happening above the Rim.
I was more talking about shuttle buses operated as public transit. But then Valley Metro would have to work with another transit agency, and that'll never happen. And the state would have to admit that there are, in fact, people living outside of the Phoenix area.

There is certainly the need for a truck lane on much of I-17. I'm guessing though that a lot of this truck traffic will be removed by an Interstate 11, but probably not enough to make the road safe without a truck lane.

Another potential option is to improve 89 north of Congress, as it goes into the mountains. There's a reason no one likes to consider that a reasonable route from Prescott to Phoenix beyond it being 20 miles longer.
Logged

Sub-Urbanite

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 189
  • There's at least a 60% chance I'm just trolling

  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Last Login: Today at 12:42:20 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2016, 02:39:46 PM »

The terrain north of Phoenix makes the rail possibility infeasible.

Rail is never infeasible, just increasingly expensive as you add tunnels, viaducts and miles. I mean, if I lived in Phoenix and wanted to spend a day in Prescott or go skiing in Flagstaff, I'd much rather drive my car to a station, get on an air conditioned HSR, spend 45 minutes cruising through the mountains while drinking a beer and get to my destination than sit in traffic climbing up the hills.

But, then again, there's a reason I don't live in Phoenix.
Logged

coatimundi

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 788
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Marina, CA
  • Last Login: May 12, 2017, 12:42:29 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2016, 05:16:48 PM »

It's economically infeasible. You can currently fly from Phoenix to Prescott for about $70, and to Flagstaff for about $100, and both flights takes less than an hour. Meanwhile, a Greyhound to Flag is about $20 and the airport shuttles to either city are about $40.
For rail to work, the fares would have to be somewhere in between all of that, and I don't see how that would be remotely possible considering the amount of initial investment a rail project (I wasn't even talking about HSR, but I guess that's the thing now) would require. The only way this would happen was if something were to happen on the national spectrum: it makes sense to push a Albuquerque - Phoenix rail line through Flagstaff.

The easiest way to get I-17 expanded and AZ 69 improved is to move the capital back to Prescott. We'd have eight lanes and a truck tunnel within 2 years.
Logged

mcarling

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 121
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • Last Login: September 10, 2017, 11:02:33 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2016, 08:58:30 PM »

I'd much rather drive my car to a station, get on an air conditioned HSR, spend 45 minutes cruising through the mountains while drinking a beer and get to my destination than sit in traffic climbing up the hills.

Several years from now, you'll be able to buy a self-driving car.  That will result in a gradual shift away from public transportation.
Logged
US 97 should be 2x2 all the way from Yakima, WA to Klamath Falls, OR.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2016, 10:18:23 PM »

The terrain north of Phoenix makes the rail possibility infeasible. And, anyway, if they can't get it together enough to get this between Phoenix and Tucson, which both have light rail systems to supplement a heavy rail component as well as - for the most part - existing railroad ROW and flat terrain, then it sure isn't happening above the Rim.
I was more talking about shuttle buses operated as public transit. But then Valley Metro would have to work with another transit agency, and that'll never happen. And the state would have to admit that there are, in fact, people living outside of the Phoenix area.

Not really, there a ton of rail grades that are no longer in use that could definitely be built fairly easily between Prescott and Phoenix.  I'm not saying that it would be economically feasible, it probably wouldn't be even more so because mass transit is largely still unpopular in Arizona as a whole.  The light rail in Phoenix largely hasn't reached the scale that it was projected to at this point and why should it?  You have a large city in Phoenix with a well laid out city grid that's easy to follow with redundant freeways and beltways all over the place.  Also isn't the whole talk of I-11 blowing through uninhabited wastes west of Tucson an acknowledgement of push that the area may have a transportation need in the future? 

There is certainly the need for a truck lane on much of I-17. I'm guessing though that a lot of this truck traffic will be removed by an Interstate 11, but probably not enough to make the road safe without a truck lane.

Another potential option is to improve 89 north of Congress, as it goes into the mountains. There's a reason no one likes to consider that a reasonable route from Prescott to Phoenix beyond it being 20 miles longer.

Probably not as much as you might think.  US 93 already has plenty of truck traffic since they blew it out to almost a full expressway between Vegas and Wickenburg.  I-17 would end up taking you way of way in regards to heading northwest unless you cut over on AZ 69, Fain Road, AZ 89A and AZ 89 north to I-40.  There isn't much potential improve Congress Hill with the grade along that route, don't forget the south bound lane used to be the ENTIRE two lanes of US 89 in it's original configuration.  Basically with US 89 long dead between Wickenburg and Prescott that probably killed any motivation there might have been to improve the route.  I myself enjoyed the mountain grades with little no truck traffic along them as a back door route into Prescott, but then again I'm not one for thinking the most direct route necessarily means the "best" route.

I'd much rather drive my car to a station, get on an air conditioned HSR, spend 45 minutes cruising through the mountains while drinking a beer and get to my destination than sit in traffic climbing up the hills.

Several years from now, you'll be able to buy a self-driving car.  That will result in a gradual shift away from public transportation.

That pipe dream is more than just a few years away much less how long it ever takes to be mainstream...then again I don't understand this broad based desire to hand over driving duties to a machine.  But for me driving has always been more fun than not, hence why I'm not a mass transit nut myself.  You guys are all aware that a rail line does run from Williams to the Grand Canyon right?...basically for the purpose of the scenic route with a beer in hand.   
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 10:31:47 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

Sonic99

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 178
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Prescott, AZ
  • Last Login: Today at 01:31:51 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2016, 02:12:32 AM »

I travel pretty frequently along there, and I think a third lane from Cordes Junction to Anthem (both NB and SB) would be the most efficient upgrade. The weekend traffic through there is ridiculous. Then you get semi trucks taking one lane, people scared to go over 60mph, etc, and it's a mess.

17 is already 3 lanes up to Anthem. And I think the traffic numbers would justify adding the third lane.
Logged
If you used to draw freeways on your homework and got reprimanded by your Senior English teacher for doing so, you might be a road geek!

hm insulators

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1120
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Last Login: September 10, 2017, 06:18:06 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2016, 04:29:32 PM »

I travel pretty frequently along there, and I think a third lane from Cordes Junction to Anthem (both NB and SB) would be the most efficient upgrade. The weekend traffic through there is ridiculous. Then you get semi trucks taking one lane, people scared to go over 60mph, etc, and it's a mess.

17 is already 3 lanes up to Anthem. And I think the traffic numbers would justify adding the third lane.

If not the entire distance between Anthem and Cordes Junction, at least the grade going up toward Sunset Point; that badly needs a third lane, or if nothing else, put TRUCKS--RIGHT LANE ONLY signs and have lots of cops to ticket the truck drivers that use the left lane.
Logged
Remember: If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

I'd rather be a child of the road than a son of a ditch.


At what age do you tell a highway that it's been adopted?

707

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 328
  • Age: 22
  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Last Login: September 18, 2017, 08:31:07 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2016, 01:00:33 AM »

I've often wondered if I-11 is supposed to be a parallel freeway to I-10/I-19. Everything I've read on the proposals doesn't confirm or deny a concurrency with I-10 or a takeover of I-19 (until at least Sahuarita/Green Valley for the latter). What is with Arizona's love of parallel freeways if this is the case? Did they hire Fritzowl to run ADOT or something?
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:33 AM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2016, 08:27:30 AM »

I've often wondered if I-11 is supposed to be a parallel freeway to I-10/I-19. Everything I've read on the proposals doesn't confirm or deny a concurrency with I-10 or a takeover of I-19 (until at least Sahuarita/Green Valley for the latter). What is with Arizona's love of parallel freeways if this is the case? Did they hire Fritzowl to run ADOT or something?

The route south of the Phoenix area hasn't been finalized which is why you are hearing all these crazed plans for the route.  Supposedly it is going to cut southeast past the Estrallas in Goodyear and head to I-10 between Maricopa and Casa Grande.  From there it looks like the talk is about a multiplex which would split off somewhere near Marana for the west side the Tucson Mountains before taking an eastern hook towards I-19 along the general path of AZ 86.

Personally I think the route south of Maricopa/Casa Grande is ill conceived.  Tucson is a city with a Metro area that consists of approximately 1 million people and the current freeway configuration is adequate aside from maybe needing a lane expansion on I-10 east of downtown all the way to Benson.  Basically there is some minor growth in western Tucson but nothing that really anyone should get too excited about.  There was more of a freeway need in the east part of the city but the time to do that has long since past since urban sprawl has taken over the area.  I don't think it should be part of I-11, I could conceivably see maybe an I-410 (if AZ 210 every morphs into a freeway) at best. 

As for I-11 I like the idea of it going to Maricopa/Casa Grande but only if the alignment stays east of the White Tanks rather than following the city annexation limits of Buckeye on the west side.  If does happen to go the western side the White Tanks having I-11 head to I-8 and terminating there would make a much more logical route.

DJStephens

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 285
  • Location: Dona Ana New Mexico USA
  • Last Login: September 16, 2017, 08:48:35 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 09:42:54 PM »

It's economically infeasible. You can currently fly from Phoenix to Prescott for about $70, and to Flagstaff for about $100, and both flights takes less than an hour. Meanwhile, a Greyhound to Flag is about $20 and the airport shuttles to either city are about $40.
For rail to work, the fares would have to be somewhere in between all of that, and I don't see how that would be remotely possible considering the amount of initial investment a rail project (I wasn't even talking about HSR, but I guess that's the thing now) would require. The only way this would happen was if something were to happen on the national spectrum: it makes sense to push a Albuquerque - Phoenix rail line through Flagstaff.

The easiest way to get I-17 expanded and AZ 69 improved is to move the capital back to Prescott. We'd have eight lanes and a truck tunnel within 2 years.

hypothetically, hundreds of millions, if not low billions of scarce transportation dollars could be spent to move a few thousand people / riders with hypothetical Arizona rail based transit.  Comparing it to Bill Richardson's pet train (rail runner) and Jerry Browns' exercise in futility.

A more reasonable, and potentially far effective path to pursue, would be rubber tired shuttles utilizing the existing I-10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson, and 17 up to Flagstaff.  Not sure, and don't know if that demand exists to warrant a N-S shuttle between Phoenix / Flagstaff.    Furthermore, would imagine that there are private entities doing just that - providing shuttle services.  It might be well to leave it alone at that.   
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 07:11:21 PM by DJStephens »
Logged

paulthemapguy

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2094
  • Beeeeees?

  • Age: 27
  • Location: Illinois
  • Last Login: September 18, 2017, 11:10:14 PM
Re: I-17 Parallel freeway plan
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 10:39:42 PM »

I think building a whole new freeway would be overdoing it. I-17 has had very little improvements between Anthem and Flagstaff, yet the amount of traffic has only increased more and more over time. It really needs to be widened to at least six lanes the entire way to Flagstaff. The fact that I-17 has such elevation changes, combined with it being only two lanes on those steep hills, plus the amount of trucks on it that cant go fast uphill is what really creates problems. Additionally, the northbound pavement is horrible in places, especially the 30 or so miles leading up to Flagstaff.

Recently, a climbing lane was added south of Camp Verde, but only for about half of the hill that the road climbs. Not sure why ADOT chose to only do half, other than it cost too much to do it all at once.

This guy nailed it.  Building a second alignment isn't necessary where the origin and destination are the same, and it isn't viable where the mountainous terrain is unforgiving.  Constructing one alignment was difficult enough through those mountains.  Just add more lanes- widen it to 6.  Maybe add an extra lane on uphill sections, making it 7.
Logged
My life is a collect-a-thon. Like Banjo Kazooie but IRL.
Avatar is the last significant highway I clinched.

My goal:  A shield photo for every Interstate and US Hwy, plus three state hwys from each state!
Shield collection: https://flic.kr/s/aHskHbf8zR
Originals: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFU42pF

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.