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Author Topic: Alabama  (Read 151213 times)

ukfan758

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #500 on: February 20, 2021, 01:14:30 AM »

I wish ALDOT would hurry up and open the third lane on 20/59 up to McFarland Blvd. There’s zero reason why they need to keep it at two lanes through the whole project. Make it 3 and then go down to two right before the McFarland Blvd bridge they’re working on.
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asdfjkll

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #501 on: February 21, 2021, 06:49:36 PM »

I wish ALDOT would hurry up and open the third lane on 20/59 up to McFarland Blvd. There’s zero reason why they need to keep it at two lanes through the whole project. Make it 3 and then go down to two right before the McFarland Blvd bridge they’re working on.

There is still some work to be done on the median barrier around the two bridges and approaching it (where in earlier phases one of the two lanes cross over the median into the other carriageway during the bridge construction), went through there this afternoon to see the new Vance bridge on M-Class Boulevard and they are still pouring the missing sections of median barrier. In both directions all four lanes are back to their pre-construction configuration, and going eastbound the new 3rd lane is already open between Exits 76 and 77 (which is the first section of new lanes to completely open to traffic). I assume when the missing sections of concrete median are finished and cured they'll open the 3rd lane between McFarland and Skyland in both directions. Work zone speed limit is still 45 mph which I believe should be raised up to 60 mph (like with similar widening projects in Florida which are always posted at 60 mph) now that the crossovers/lane shifts and narrow lanes that warranted the 45 mph work zone speed limit are no longer present.

Both arches on the McFarland bridge are now installed, they still have the temporary supporting scaffolding underneath them for now, next thing to do after the arches pass inspection they will begin installing the suspension cables that will hold the bridge up after the temporary supports underneath are removed to start building the McFarland SPUI. In addition, the resurfacing of I-20 west of the current widening project to I-359 (with a short widening up to the 3rd Avenue bridge to make room for a westbound merge ramp for McFarland) should go out to letting soon now that the bridge is getting close to completion. When this is all finished you'll have a seamless 6-lane corridor from I-459 to I-359. Later this year you'll start seeing some work on a new US-82 expansion from Highway 43/69 to Rice Mine Road and a few other non-interstate capacity projects as well, stay tuned for more updates on those upcoming projects.
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formulanone

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #502 on: February 22, 2021, 05:07:08 AM »

Work zone speed limit is still 45 mph which I believe should be raised up to 60 mph (like with similar widening projects in Florida which are always posted at 60 mph) now that the crossovers/lane shifts and narrow lanes that warranted the 45 mph work zone speed limit are no longer present.

In all, a good excuse to just take US 11 a few months back. 

I can respect lowered work zone limits for a short stretch, but it's aggravating when everyone else wants to go 10-15 mph faster for work zones over unnecessarily long distances. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 05:09:09 AM by formulanone »
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jdb1234

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #503 on: March 09, 2021, 09:38:39 AM »

Found myself taking a trip to Northport last night.  A few notes:

After Exit 6 on I-459 heading southbound, there is a reassurance marker for I-459 that also shows trailblazers for I-65, I-20, and I-59.  Somebody wanting to go to I-65 would not be going this way.  This happens a few times in the other direction where it make sense.  I will try to get a photo later in the week.

A few signs on I-20/59 have had their destinations changed.  Exit 79 now shows Tuscaloosa instead of University Blvd.  Exit 77 is signed for Buttermilk Rd, and Exit 76 is signed for Skyland Blvd.  I have not been to Tuscaloosa in a while, so this is the first time I have seen that.

I have to go back to Tuscaloosa Friday night.  I will try to bring my camera.

It will be nice when the widening is finished.  It has been inching along for nearly 20 years from I-459 to I-359.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 09:41:39 AM by jdb1234 »
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Voyager75

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #504 on: March 09, 2021, 09:52:32 AM »

Found myself taking a trip to Northport last night.  A few notes:

After Exit 6 on I-459 heading southbound, there is a reassurance marker for I-459 that also shows trailblazers for I-65, I-20, and I-59.  Somebody wanting to go to I-65 would not be going this way.  This happens a few times in the other direction where it make sense.  I will try to get a photo later in the week.

They added the I-65 trailblazers from Exit 10 west to the end about 3-4 years ago. Like you said it makes no sense as most people just got off/passed I-65 a couple of miles back. They may have added them getting prepared for the 20/59 bridge replacement for the detour around town but even then nobody would use that route with common sense.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 09:55:51 AM by Voyager75 »
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jdb1234

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #505 on: March 09, 2021, 10:34:50 AM »

Found myself taking a trip to Northport last night.  A few notes:

After Exit 6 on I-459 heading southbound, there is a reassurance marker for I-459 that also shows trailblazers for I-65, I-20, and I-59.  Somebody wanting to go to I-65 would not be going this way.  This happens a few times in the other direction where it make sense.  I will try to get a photo later in the week.

They added the I-65 trailblazers from Exit 10 west to the end about 3-4 years ago. Like you said it makes no sense as most people just got off/passed I-65 a couple of miles back. They may have added them getting prepared for the 20/59 bridge replacement for the detour around town but even then nobody would use that route with common sense.

It is rare for me to travel on I-459 past Exit 10, figures that signage has been there for a few years.
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bdmoss88

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #506 on: March 13, 2021, 10:10:24 AM »

Talk of four-laning US43 from Thomasville to Tuscaloosa. I don't think they would four-lane all the way to Tuscaloosa. I would think just to I59/20 around Knoxville and maybe move 43 onto the interstate to Tuscaloosa from there.
https://www.al.com/news/2021/03/in-west-alabama-skepticism-turns-into-optimism-for-a-new-us-43.html
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Tom958

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #507 on: March 14, 2021, 10:11:18 AM »

Talk of four-laning US43 from Thomasville to Tuscaloosa.

This project really bothers me. Traffic volumes are mostly in the 4000 vehicles per day range, without a huge proportion of trucks. I can't imagine that it'd be a cost-effective investment, and there are other more important priorities.

Quote
I don't think they would four-lane all the way to Tuscaloosa. I would think just to I59/20 around Knoxville and maybe move 43 onto the interstate to Tuscaloosa from there.
https://www.al.com/news/2021/03/in-west-alabama-skepticism-turns-into-optimism-for-a-new-us-43.html

Despite my skepticism, I drew some bypass routes for Linden, Demopolis, and Eutaw this morning. I drew a seven-mile route bypassing Eutaw to the west and joining I-59-20 at the AL 14 interchange, and 2 1/2 mile version running east of town, tying into I-59-20 at the Greenetrack interchange. I don't know which would be better, and maybe someone else could think of something better still.
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formulanone

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #508 on: March 14, 2021, 10:36:42 AM »

US 43 north of Tuscaloosa could use widening to four lanes, though perhaps just to Binion Creek/Samantha, and south of town to the Black Warrior River.

Passing lanes every 4-5 miles are also welcome in lieu for four-lanes for the most desolate sections.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 07:34:28 AM by formulanone »
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Finrod

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #509 on: March 15, 2021, 04:14:08 AM »

I find it weird how US 43 does a 1-block u-turn in Eulaw.
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asdfjkll

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #510 on: March 16, 2021, 12:57:27 AM »

Talk of four-laning US43 from Thomasville to Tuscaloosa.

This project really bothers me. Traffic volumes are mostly in the 4000 vehicles per day range, without a huge proportion of trucks. I can't imagine that it'd be a cost-effective investment, and there are other more important priorities.

Quote
I don't think they would four-lane all the way to Tuscaloosa. I would think just to I59/20 around Knoxville and maybe move 43 onto the interstate to Tuscaloosa from there.
https://www.al.com/news/2021/03/in-west-alabama-skepticism-turns-into-optimism-for-a-new-us-43.html

Despite my skepticism, I drew some bypass routes for Linden, Demopolis, and Eutaw this morning. I drew a seven-mile route bypassing Eutaw to the west and joining I-59-20 at the AL 14 interchange, and 2 1/2 mile version running east of town, tying into I-59-20 at the Greenetrack interchange. I don't know which would be better, and maybe someone else could think of something better still.
Those traffic volumes in the rural areas are pretty as you said above, between 4k-5k per day (the ALDOT GIS site doesn't specify what percentage is truck traffic), with the volumes bumping up 2-3k going through the bigger towns like Demopolis and Linden. My ideas for new deviations around towns are as follows:
Dixon Mills: short 3-4 mile long deviation to the east of the existing route. It's intersection with SR-10 would be a built-in restricted crossing U-Turn intersection (similar to the one that ALDOT recently installed in Faunsdale at the SR-25/US 80 intersection). The portion of US-43 bypassed would tie in at the north and south end with regular T-intersections.
Linden: a much longer deviation going to the east of town roughly 10 miles long. RCUT's or Jughandles (like SR-5/SR28 in Catherine) at SR-28 and SR-69, depending on what grade the new road intersects these two roads. Typical T-junctions at each end of the bypass.
Demopolis: Starts at where US-43 intersects US-80 diagonally in the southeast side of town. After bridging over a pair of railroad tracks, the road veers to the northwest and ties in to existing US-43 prior to crossing the Black Warrior River.
Eutaw: Two options here: Either southwest bypass and tie-in onto SR-14 southeast of Exit 40 or eastern bypass and US-43 ends at Exit 45 by the Greenetrack. A bonus addition to the eastern bypass is to have SR-14 bypass the town to the north, tie in to the eastern bypass then returns to existing SR-14 where the east bypass intersects it, thereby eliminating heavy truck traffic in the center of town.
*Note all new bypasses/deviations I highlighted above will have rail grade separations to eliminate any rail/road traffic conflicts. Mostly no limited access restrictions as well due to low traffic volumes, promote economic development in these towns (i.e. new Walmarts and factories), and most people take the I-65 to go to the north part of the state anyways.
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Tom958

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #511 on: March 16, 2021, 11:43:11 AM »

*Note all new bypasses/deviations I highlighted above will have rail grade separations to eliminate any rail/road traffic conflicts. Mostly no limited access restrictions as well due to low traffic volumes, promote economic development in these towns (i.e. new Walmarts and factories), and most people take the I-65 to go to the north part of the state anyways.

I came up with pretty much the same thing as you did, though mine at Linden was only 4.4 miles long and I didn't bother with Dixon Mills. Then comes the debate/expression of personal prejudices over what new-terrain bypasses should be like. I'd prefer that new-terrain highways with the specific purpose of improving travel times sufficiently to redraw the state map be controlled access, but that's often not realistic, and liting access on an at-grade highway has its limitations, too. Something like this desecration of a recently-built expressway with interchanges every four miles pisses me off immensely, but maybe it's not as bad as it looks.

Oh: what's at AL 5 and AL 22 is a single-quadrant interchange. a jughandle is something else: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jughandle
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asdfjkll

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #512 on: March 30, 2021, 06:34:40 PM »

Google Maps has updated the imagery along the entire US-98 (SR-158) realignment project west of Mobile. The new imagery shows a completed 2-lane pavement complete with linemarking and signs from east of the Lott Road jughandle (which is really a single quadrant interchange as Tom mentioned above but ALDOT loves to call them jughandles anyways) to the existing west end of SR-158; the only thing separating this new section and the existing SR-158 is a missing culvert that is yet to be constructed. Between Lott and Glenwood Roads a majority of the 2-lane initial paving, bridges, and 4-lane grade/drain has been built, with a bridge being built over Collins Creek. There is still some forest to be cleared between Collins Creek and the late 2000's grade and drain project that stopped a half mile east of Glenwood Road before the grade/drain/base/pave which will complete that section of the project. The contract to build a bridge for Wilmer-Georgetown Road over the new 98 and construct a connecting link "jughandle" similar to at Lott Road was bid to contractors last February. There are two remaining projects yet to be let before US-98 can be moved onto the new alignment/SR-158: A bridge for Glenwood Road to pass over the new US-98 alignment and the completing of the remaining 4-lane grade and drain between MS and Glenwood Rd and paving the eastbound lanes (which will run as 2-way between MS and Schillinger Road before the westbound lanes are built). Speaking of the westbound lanes, they could be starting shortly after the new alignment opens with 2/4 lanes opened: The extension of the westbound bridge over Big Creek like they did with the eastbound bridge a couple years ago (which shows up on the STIP plan but not the US 98 extension website) is scheduled to let in FY 2023.
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rcm195

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #513 on: April 01, 2021, 08:03:46 PM »

I think the real issue with potentially upgrading US 43 is two fold. Politics needless to say plays into it. This area of the state of Alabama desperately needs something to help it economically. I think this might be a way of the Governors office at least saying they are trying to do something. I think personally addressing broadband access would be a better choice but that’s just me.

Second, one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama is Baldwin. I’ve chatted with some officials with the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa who feel they need some type of better road access to this area. Even going up I-65 to Montgomery or Clanton, you still have to get off on two lane roads to get to Tuscaloosa.

Just my two cents worth. 😊
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froggie

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #514 on: April 03, 2021, 06:56:01 AM »

^ Speaking of better access to Tuscaloosa, there's been talk of widening US 82 to four lanes between Centreville and Prattville since I was stationed in Meridian 20 years ago.  Would certainly be cheaper than widening (or building an Interstate along) 43.  All they've managed to do in that time, though, is finish the Centreville bypass.
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bdmoss88

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #515 on: April 04, 2021, 03:41:42 PM »

I can't find anything about it on the ALDOT website now and had to go back and find an old post of mine to see when it was, but in 2013 I posted about finding in the STIP about a study to relocate 82 on new alignment from east of Centreville and connecting to I65 near Clanton.
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asdfjkll

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #516 on: April 04, 2021, 08:54:46 PM »

I can't find anything about it on the ALDOT website now and had to go back and find an old post of mine to see when it was, but in 2013 I posted about finding in the STIP about a study to relocate 82 on new alignment from east of Centreville and connecting to I65 near Clanton.

Relocating US-82 between I-65 and the Centreville bypass is pretty much the only way they are going to get a 4-lane from Montgomery to Tuscaloosa with how steep the existing US-82 is in places within Autauga and Chilton Counties, not to mention some pretty sharp curves with gas stations and houses on both sides of the curves. With a AADT east of Centreville dropping to 3k vehicles per day until you reach Prattville, I can see why nothing's been done yet. This realignment can be something that ALDOT can implement in phases like what they are doing on SR 158/US 98 west of Mobile: A new I-65 trumpet interchange exit and connecting 2-lane on 4-lane graded roadway to US-31 as Phase 1, then US-31 to SR-191 as phase 2, SR-191 to SR-139 as phase 3 (SR-139 will soon be home to one of the three new mega jails that the governor wants to build so this phase can help improve delivery access to this pretty remote site), then SR-139 to tie in with existing US-82 east of the Centreville Bypass in phase 4. Future phases after this will progressively duplicate the new single carriageway alignment to dual carriageway with 2 lanes in each direction as funding becomes available. I don't think controlled access is necessary west of US-31 and should only be a thing between US-31 and I-65 solely to stop out of control development and red lights going up right at the new exit when the first couple phases are built. All intersections with state routes/US routes between existing US-82 and I-65 shall be grade separated interchanges in this version.
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Charles2

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #517 on: April 05, 2021, 10:03:25 PM »

The cynic, or is it the realist, in me says that there are only 7-8 days each year that a widened U.S. 43 or a widened U.S. 82 might be needed.  Neither 43 or 82 see a lot of traffic except on Saturdays when Alabama is playing at home.
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sturmde

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #518 on: April 06, 2021, 03:51:29 PM »

Practical reason for 82 to Montgomery:  The University underserves South and Central Alabama because of the difficulty in connecting to Montgomery and I-85, 65, and US 231.  It also improves access to the state capital for counties north of Tuscaloosa.
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Auburn and Auburn University have grown tremendously over the past 20 years because they can connect via I-85 and four-laned US 280 in four "somewhat" cardinal directions, NW, NE, WSW, and ESE.  Tuscaloosa can only go four-lanes in three: WNW, WSW, and NE.
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Tuscaloosa should have a better connection to the center of state government.  The "new" US 82 routing from S of Centerville to hit I-65 around south of Clanton makes a lot of sense.  It "cuts" a corner.  Put an intersection around MM 203 where CR 431 curves away near where the N and S roadways are separated and there's room for a classic Y intersection with a minimum of interruption.  Do it as full freeway limited access west from there over to current US 82 and it could qualify as a future I-365.
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I-55

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #519 on: April 06, 2021, 09:58:35 PM »

Practical reason for 82 to Montgomery:  The University underserves South and Central Alabama because of the difficulty in connecting to Montgomery and I-85, 65, and US 231.  It also improves access to the state capital for counties north of Tuscaloosa.
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Auburn and Auburn University have grown tremendously over the past 20 years because they can connect via I-85 and four-laned US 280 in four "somewhat" cardinal directions, NW, NE, WSW, and ESE.  Tuscaloosa can only go four-lanes in three: WNW, WSW, and NE.
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Tuscaloosa should have a better connection to the center of state government.  The "new" US 82 routing from S of Centerville to hit I-65 around south of Clanton makes a lot of sense.  It "cuts" a corner.  Put an intersection around MM 203 where CR 431 curves away near where the N and S roadways are separated and there's room for a classic Y intersection with a minimum of interruption.  Do it as full freeway limited access west from there over to current US 82 and it could qualify as a future I-365.

That's pretty close to where I'd put it, my idea is to have it tie into US-31 next to Exit 205 since there's some development akin to most major junctions.

I would only plan on the interstate designation IF and ONLY IF the plan is to upgrade the rest of 82 to freeway. Otherwise it'll look almost as stupid as I-180 in Illinois. I like making new interstates, but not necessarily to the middle of nowhere. I'm sorry, but Maplesville is just not a logical interstate terminus.
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Re: Alabama
« Reply #520 on: April 06, 2021, 11:33:56 PM »

Was looking around on Google maps satellite and noticed significant road work in the median of AL-255 (Research Park Blvd) in Huntsville. The work zone stretches from I-565 to US-72. It appears to be a widening project. Can anyone confirm this?
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Re: Alabama
« Reply #521 on: April 06, 2021, 11:47:21 PM »

Was looking around on Google maps satellite and noticed significant road work in the median of AL-255 (Research Park Blvd) in Huntsville. The work zone stretches from I-565 to US-72. It appears to be a widening project. Can anyone confirm this?

yep, it is a widening project.

https://www.huntsvilleal.gov/roadworkprojects/research-park-boulevard-sr-255-between-university-drive-u-s-72-and-old-madison-pike/
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ukfan758

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #522 on: April 10, 2021, 02:48:15 AM »

After over 3 years of work, 20/59 is now 3 lanes in both directions east of McFarland Blvd. The small section from the overpass to the current 3 lane section going towards I-359 is still limited to 2 with ongoing bridge construction. Just curious, what's the holdup with installing the supporting cables on that bridge? The arches have been up for over a month now. And once that is complete, what are some ballpark figures for how long the SPUI will take to finish? 
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asdfjkll

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #523 on: April 10, 2021, 10:53:35 AM »

After over 3 years of work, 20/59 is now 3 lanes in both directions east of McFarland Blvd. The small section from the overpass to the current 3 lane section going towards I-359 is still limited to 2 with ongoing bridge construction. Just curious, what's the holdup with installing the supporting cables on that bridge? The arches have been up for over a month now. And once that is complete, what are some ballpark figures for how long the SPUI will take to finish?
I can confirm that the 3rd lane is now open both directions east of Exit 73 (McFarland Blvd) just from looking at the ALGOtraffic cameras, speaking of the arches one of the previous arches (not the two that are up now) was faulty and they had to refabricate it, maybe they want to make sure these two arches are good before they proceed with installing the suspension cables. There is some widening work going on on McFarland north of the interstate to 31st Street and they already replaced two traffic signals around that area. Most of the SPUI ramps configuration is already grade drain base and paved up to where it ties into the existing McFarland/US82, so whenever the cables are installed the SPUI won't take that long to complete.
EDIT: @ukfan758 is the work zone speed limit still 45mph? About to update OpenStreetMap with the new lane configuration for I-20/59 thru this construction zone.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 10:55:38 AM by asdfjkll »
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formulanone

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Re: Alabama
« Reply #524 on: April 11, 2021, 10:23:54 AM »

Was looking around on Google maps satellite and noticed significant road work in the median of AL-255 (Research Park Blvd) in Huntsville. The work zone stretches from I-565 to US-72. It appears to be a widening project. Can anyone confirm this?

yep, it is a widening project.

https://www.huntsvilleal.gov/roadworkprojects/research-park-boulevard-sr-255-between-university-drive-u-s-72-and-old-madison-pike/

It backs up tremendously in the Mornings at Gate 9 for the Redstone Arsenal:



Unfortunately, it won't take care of that goofy ramp to westbound I-565, which was pinned too close to the Bradford Road on-ramp.
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