AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 138111 times)

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5383
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:26:03 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #825 on: June 10, 2020, 10:31:21 PM »

^

See this post. It was proposed as a free-flowing facility utilizing the existing interchange, but not to have continuity.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released and published on the study website.

As was announced before, the preferred alternative is Alternative C. The total cost estimate is $615,905,708. A detailed breakdown of the costs is located in Appendix E (Page 156) of the Alternative Analysis Technical Report.

The eastern route options initially proposed were eliminated from further study due to the inability to meet the Purpose and Need, due to the fact it would not accommodate regional traffic heading to the west.

The typical section for the new roadway includes two 12 ft lanes in each direction, 12 ft right paved shoulder, and 4 ft left paved shoulder. A 60 ft grassy median would divide opposing directions of traffic. An 18 ft clear zone from the edge of right shoulder to a 2:1 embankment would be required. The minimum right of way for the new location segment would be 168 ft, and 275 ft on the upgraded segment (near the North Carolina state line). The entire project would have full access control with access only permitted at interchanges; at-grade intersections and private driveways would be prohibited. The design speed for the roadway is proposed at 60 mph. Contrary to the typical section diagrams, the upgraded portion near the state line would only have a frontage road on the southern side per the detailed drawings (linked below), not on the northern side.



Interchanges on the new facility would be located at US-220 near the state line, Soapstone Rd, and Joseph Martin Hwy / US-58 / US-220. The southerly US-220 and Soapstone Rd interchanges would be standard diamond interchanges, and the Joseph Martin Hwy / US-58 / US-220 interchange would also be a standard diamond interchange with a flyover and cloverleaf to accommodate movements from the MSC and US-58 / US-220 in both directions. In the Noise Technical Report in Appendix E (Page 180), detailed drawings of the entire project are provided, including the interchange layouts.




As for traffic volumes, the new roadway would carry 10,700 - 11,900 AADT by 2025, and 11,300 - 12,800 AADT by 2040. Truck volumes would be 14 - 16% by 2025, and 18 - 20% by 2040.


Thoughts:

A couple of concerns. First, the design speed for the roadway is proposed at 60 mph, so the likelihood of having a speed limit above 60 mph would be low, maybe 65 mph if it's determined appropriate. In my opinion, this roadway ought to have a design speed of 75 mph. While it is not currently being designed as an interstate highway facility presently, there is a high chance it will be incorporated into Interstate 73 at some point in the future. Per VDOT's Design Standards, a new interstate facility should have a posted +5 mph design speed. In this case, a 75 mph design speed on the Martinsville Southern Connector would accommodate a proper 70 mph posted speed limit.

My other concern is the proposed northern connection with the US-58 / US-220 bypass. To provide maximum continuity for US-220, and in the future potentially I-73 (assuming it will run the MSC and US-220 bypass), the connection should be designed to provide full continuity to/from US-220 to the west and the MSC to the south, with traffic to/from US-58 to the east and Joseph Martin Hwy having to exit right. The southern junction reflects this design, as should the northern one.
Logged

rickmastfan67

  • The Invisible One
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2900
  • I want I-67 in PA!!!!

  • Age: 36
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pa, USA
  • Last Login: Today at 03:36:14 AM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #826 on: June 11, 2020, 06:44:48 AM »

I'm betting the owner(s) of those big buildings made a stink about having that access road go right thru all 3, hence the adjustment of the alignment.

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5383
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:26:03 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #827 on: June 11, 2020, 11:21:25 AM »

I'm betting the owner(s) of those big buildings made a stink about having that access road go right thru all 3, hence the adjustment of the alignment.
Iíve always thought that alignment was poor to begin with. A complex design with decent right of way impacts when thereís plenty of open land to the west to create a rural, simplistic design.
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5383
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:26:03 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #828 on: July 16, 2020, 05:48:30 PM »

Back in May 2020, VDOT has revised the preferred alternative of the Martinsville Southern Connector project to connect with the US-220 bypass further west of the Joseph Martin Hwy interchange, a location IMO that is more logical and would have less right-of-way impact. It also opens up the possibility to have continuity between the US-220 bypass north and the new Martinsville Southern Connector south.

This new routing will be evaluated in the Final EIS projected to be complete by October 2020.



https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/Martinsville-Connector/Route_220_MAY_2020_Newsletter_FINAL.pdf
https://www.virginiadot.org/Projects/Salem/asset_upload_file57_143753.pdf

I would hope that the following changes occur in the Final EIS from the Draft EIS -
- Further west tie in
- Continuity between Martinsville Southern Connector with traffic continuing on US-58 East and vice versa having to exit/enter to/from the right.
- Design speed of 70 mph or 75 mph as opposed to 60 mph to permit a posted 70 mph speed limit.

If this highway is to conceptually become apart of I-73 in the future, these features would be standard on a rural interstate facility, and even though the project is technically an independent arterial bypass, it should be designed to be apart of an I-73 that follows MSC and the existing US-220 bypass north.
VDOT released a new update regarding the projects, indicating that they have submitted a Joint Permit Application (JPA) for the modified preferred alternative of the Martinsville Southern Connector project.

Digging through, I was able to find schematics of the new alignment and how they have decided to tackle the US-58 / US-220 interchange, and it seems they have decided to properly redesign it to include full continuity between the Martinsville Southern Connector and US-220 to the north, with the cross section significantly widening south of the interchange area to match the wide median of the existing US-220 bypass.

With the southern interchange remaining the same, the current design of the Martinsville Southern Connector will have full continuity to US-220 on either end, a bonus if it is to become apart of Interstate 73 in the future to avoid a TOTSO situation.

The only other feature that still has not been updated is the proposed design speed of 60 mph, which would indicate they still intend posting a 55 mph speed limit on this rural, interstate-standard freeway. Specifically, the curve the highway will take to diverge from US-220 on the southern end of the project is designed at 60 mph, not 70 mph. Hopefully this will be addressed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.




Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5383
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:26:03 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #829 on: August 03, 2020, 12:19:04 PM »

The public hearing regarding the DEIS that was originally scheduled for March 26, 2020 that was canceled due to COVID-19 has been rescheduled for September 1, 2020, and will be held in person. Information boards and brochure are currently posted online for review.

Quote
Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
3 to 7 p.m.
Jack Dalton Park
130 Jack Dalton Road, Collinsville, Virginia 24078


This public hearing, rescheduled from March 26, 2020, will provide an opportunity for the public to discuss the Martinsville Southern Connector Study: Route 220 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The public is encouraged to view the Draft EIS and submit comments or ask questions online/remotely in lieu of attending this public hearing in person.

No more than 50 people at a time, including VDOT staff, will be permitted inside the meeting venue. Please observe the social distancing guides in place at the venue. Face coverings are encouraged.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/martinsville_southern_connector_study.asp
Logged

Dirt Roads

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Central North Carolina
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:24:33 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #830 on: December 01, 2020, 11:49:30 AM »

Moved from the North Carolina thread in Southeast forum.

Some old ideas never die -- the eastern route for I-77 from Princeton via U.S. 460 surfaced as a route for I-73 from Princeton to I-81, although it was an all-U.S. 460 routing instead of jogging over to VA 100 (the better to hit closer to Roanoke, then the turn south).

Bruce in Blacksburg

Wasn't the original plan for I-73 to take the planned routing of I-781 out of Blacksburg and down Ellett Valley to connect with I-81 at/near the Ironto exit?  A short section of this route has already been constructed and is being used by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute as the Smart Road.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 12:11:56 PM by Dirt Roads »
Logged

sparker

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7767
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:54:22 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #831 on: December 01, 2020, 04:31:32 PM »

Moved from the North Carolina thread in Southeast forum.

Some old ideas never die -- the eastern route for I-77 from Princeton via U.S. 460 surfaced as a route for I-73 from Princeton to I-81, although it was an all-U.S. 460 routing instead of jogging over to VA 100 (the better to hit closer to Roanoke, then the turn south).

Bruce in Blacksburg

Wasn't the original plan for I-73 to take the planned routing of I-781 out of Blacksburg and down Ellett Valley to connect with I-81 at/near the Ironto exit?  A short section of this route has already been constructed and is being used by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute as the Smart Road.

Actually, the "Smart Road" is mentioned in the brief for High Priority Corridor #5, the authorization vehicle for both I-73 & I-74, as one of the facilities to be used for I-73.   Nevertheless, that point may be moot, since the chances of I-73 getting past Roanoke/I-81 are slim indeed.
Logged

The Ghostbuster

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2913
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 10:43:01 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #832 on: December 01, 2020, 08:54:17 PM »

It remains to be seen if Interstate 73 will ever make it past Martinsville, never mind making it to Roanoke.
Logged

VTGoose

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 357
  • Age: 2016
  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 04:22:06 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #833 on: December 02, 2020, 01:32:07 PM »

Moved from the North Carolina thread in Southeast forum.

Some old ideas never die -- the eastern route for I-77 from Princeton via U.S. 460 surfaced as a route for I-73 from Princeton to I-81, although it was an all-U.S. 460 routing instead of jogging over to VA 100 (the better to hit closer to Roanoke, then the turn south).

Bruce in Blacksburg

Wasn't the original plan for I-73 to take the planned routing of I-781 out of Blacksburg and down Ellett Valley to connect with I-81 at/near the Ironto exit?  A short section of this route has already been constructed and is being used by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute as the Smart Road.

There is a long history here. U.S. 460 from the Blacksburg bypass to I-81 (except for the Christiansburg bypass) was the original two-lane road between the two towns, dual-ized by the VDH to create a four-lane road. Due to growth, the addition of more traffic lights, and an unsignalized left turn on to the Christiansburg bypass, the road was horribly congested, especially on Fridays, Virginia Tech football weekends, and the start of VT holiday breaks. VDOT finally deemed a study was needed to find a solution. There were 15 (I seem to remember) alternatives, from "do nothing" to a variety of improvements to the existing roads to a number of different routings between Blacksburg and I-81. The winner was the "connect the bypasses" plan with several new interchanges, both at the Blacksburg end and at I-81. There were at least two versions of the routing that would have gone from Blacksburg to I-81 at Ironto but they were rejected due to high cost and environmental issues. Another direct route was picked up by some local politicians and others, who (with no study or details) started to promote what is now the Smart Road. Part of the push to get a portion of the road built was that it would be available in the future when the planned "connect the bypasses" highway became inadequate (which will probably never happen).

The initial section of the road was constructed (including several unused ramps that complicate the Blacksburg interchange) and put into use as a research project, with the idea that in a few years it would be extended to I-81 and a new interchange about where the Norfolk Southern tracks pass under the interstate (about a mile from the present Christiansburg interchange). The money and need never materialized but the research highway and expansion of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been quite successful. VTTI has attracted a number of research projects that have had a direct impact on highway and vehicle safety; it just opened an adjacent area to test vehicles on rural roads (https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/11/111920-vtti-ruralroadway.html).

When the I-73 reroute through Roanoke (instead of just using I-77 between W. Va. and North Carolina) was pushed by politicians, the U.S. 460 corridor between the Virginia state line and I-81 at Christiansburg was put into play (the highway in West Virginia is almost adequate for an interstate once at-grade connections are eliminated). "We can finish the Smart Road" was the thought as an additional enticement to build the interstate. But the same problems of route around the Narrows of the New River and a lack of any funding for the project put it way off any back burner. The idea resurfaced recently when a Montgomery County supervisor thought the Smart Road should be extended, with a goofy plan to only use the road at certain times of day and in certain directions so it would still be viable as a research platform. Again, lack of concrete plans or money killed that idea.

IF a big pot of money were to fall into VDOT's lap that would fund construction of I-73 from end to end, the chances of the work actually being done are pretty slim. At most, it could be laid on top of I-77 and I-81 to reach Roanoke and extend down I-581 to its end -- but not go any further. There is too much opposition to building a new interstate between Roanoke and Martinsville; there is opposition to the new section of road being built now from Martinsville to North Carolina (see https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/11/24/in-a-shrinking-part-of-southside-virginia-vdot-presses-forward-with-highway-expansion-plans/). The Smart Road would also be somewhat compromised if it were actually completed to I-81 so there probably won't be major support from that camp. For now, VDOT needs to concentrate on fixing I-81, then turning its eyes to I-77 improvements (at the least, some truck-climbing lanes in several sections).

Bruce in Blacksburg




 
Logged
"Get in the fast lane, grandma!  The bingo game is ready to roll!"

sparker

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7767
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:54:22 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #834 on: December 04, 2020, 04:24:29 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Just as the presence of available funds is no guarantee that a project will be built, the fact that there is opposition to a project is no guarantee that it will not be built.  I-73 plans seem to rise and fall on a cyclical basis; the NC-Martinsville segment is likely to see construction as precise alignment and design plans are proceeding; whether that momentum can be sustained to effect anything farther north remains to be seen. 
Logged

Dirt Roads

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Central North Carolina
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:24:33 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #835 on: December 04, 2020, 10:05:13 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Just as the presence of available funds is no guarantee that a project will be built, the fact that there is opposition to a project is no guarantee that it will not be built.  I-73 plans seem to rise and fall on a cyclical basis; the NC-Martinsville segment is likely to see construction as precise alignment and design plans are proceeding; whether that momentum can be sustained to effect anything farther north remains to be seen.

Wouldn't it be ironic that I-73 ends up being a NASCAR trail from Martinsville to Rockingham and never gets extended further?
Logged

Henry

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6180
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Chicago, IL/Seattle, WA
  • Last Login: April 09, 2021, 07:21:56 PM
    • Henry Watson's Online Freeway
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #836 on: December 04, 2020, 10:31:23 AM »

Moved from the North Carolina thread in Southeast forum.

Some old ideas never die -- the eastern route for I-77 from Princeton via U.S. 460 surfaced as a route for I-73 from Princeton to I-81, although it was an all-U.S. 460 routing instead of jogging over to VA 100 (the better to hit closer to Roanoke, then the turn south).

Bruce in Blacksburg

Wasn't the original plan for I-73 to take the planned routing of I-781 out of Blacksburg and down Ellett Valley to connect with I-81 at/near the Ironto exit?  A short section of this route has already been constructed and is being used by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute as the Smart Road.

Actually, the "Smart Road" is mentioned in the brief for High Priority Corridor #5, the authorization vehicle for both I-73 & I-74, as one of the facilities to be used for I-73.   Nevertheless, that point may be moot, since the chances of I-73 getting past Roanoke/I-81 are slim indeed.
I wasn't aware of plans for another I-781, aside from the one in upstate NY. When was that proposed?
Logged
Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

The Ghostbuster

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2913
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 10:43:01 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #837 on: December 04, 2020, 09:23:24 PM »

Making the US 460 freeway a spur route of Interstate 81 is not a bad idea, although I would prefer the Interstate 181 designation to 781 or even 981.
Logged

Dirt Roads

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Central North Carolina
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:24:33 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #838 on: December 04, 2020, 10:26:23 PM »

Making the US 460 freeway a spur route of Interstate 81 is not a bad idea, although I would prefer the Interstate 181 designation to 781 or even 981.

Yes, I was surprised that VDOT didn't request to move the I-781 designation in 2003 after they completed the connection between the Blacksburg and Christiansburg bypasses.  But I'm not sure that the Christiansburg bypass ever met strict Interstate standards for shoulders and recovery areas.
Logged

74/171FAN

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1942
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Harrisburg, PA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 08:22:14 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #839 on: December 05, 2020, 11:32:18 AM »

Making the US 460 freeway a spur route of Interstate 81 is not a bad idea, although I would prefer the Interstate 181 designation to 781 or even 981.

Yes, I was surprised that VDOT didn't request to move the I-781 designation in 2003 after they completed the connection between the Blacksburg and Christiansburg bypasses.  But I'm not sure that the Christiansburg bypass ever met strict Interstate standards for shoulders and recovery areas.

You also have to remember that US 460 still had at-grade intersections on the Blacksburg Bypass (VA 314/Southgate Dr and SR 650/Toms Creek Rd) when that connection was completed.
Logged
I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

froggie

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 11571
  • Location: Greensboro, VT
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 09:45:48 AM
    • Froggie's Place
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #840 on: December 05, 2020, 11:37:03 AM »

^ I also recall the shoulders on the Christiansburg bypass were narrower than they are now.
Logged

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1350
  • Age: 23
  • Location: VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 05:29:22 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #841 on: December 05, 2020, 12:27:01 PM »

The portion from I-81 to Blacksburg is mostly (?) up to interstate standards, but the Blacksburg Bypass portion definitely isn't. It's missing inner shoulders for the vast majority. Not sure why only a portion of the US-460 freeway would warrant a freeway upgrade, especially since everyone knows to take 460 to VT.
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5383
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 11:26:03 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #842 on: December 05, 2020, 12:34:01 PM »

^

Doesnít the newer 2000ís connect the bypass portion only have 8 foot right shoulders?
Logged

VTGoose

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 357
  • Age: 2016
  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 04:22:06 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #843 on: December 07, 2020, 12:15:20 PM »

The portion from I-81 to Blacksburg is mostly (?) up to interstate standards, but the Blacksburg Bypass portion definitely isn't. It's missing inner shoulders for the vast majority. Not sure why only a portion of the US-460 freeway would warrant a freeway upgrade, especially since everyone knows to take 460 to VT.

The Christiansburg Bypass is a late '60s project (I would have to dig to find actual dates for construction) and the Blacksburg Bypass is an early '70s project. The "connect the bypasses" project was a compromise between "do nothing" and "build a new road to I-81" (the current Smart Road route and/or other routes to Ironto). It was built on the cheap with some questionable expenses -- like lots of landscaping in the median, a lot of which no longer exists. The contractor also did a poor job on the bridge approaches and some subgrade; until work was done a few years ago it was like riding a roller coaster with the humps and dips, especially at the bridges. The project only covered what needed to be done between the bypasses but no additional work on the existing highways, so they retain their original lanes and shoulders. The only other improvements have been on the Blacksburg bypass with the construction of the interchanges at Toms Creek Road and Southgate Drive.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Logged
"Get in the fast lane, grandma!  The bingo game is ready to roll!"

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3241
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 51
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 08:22:48 PM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #844 on: December 07, 2020, 01:03:28 PM »

CTB minutes show money being allocated to the Christiansburg-Cambria Bypass 1964-67.

The one bridge I can see clearly in GMSV is dated 1967.
Logged

VTGoose

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 357
  • Age: 2016
  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • Last Login: April 11, 2021, 04:22:06 PM
Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #845 on: December 07, 2020, 09:26:58 PM »

CTB minutes show money being allocated to the Christiansburg-Cambria Bypass 1964-67.

The one bridge I can see clearly in GMSV is dated 1967.

That's the only bridge on the original bypass and it crosses the Norfolk & Western (now Norfolk Southern) tracks.
Logged
"Get in the fast lane, grandma!  The bingo game is ready to roll!"

 


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.