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Author Topic: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee  (Read 5684 times)

thspfc

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2021, 06:32:34 PM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.
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skluth

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2021, 07:17:26 PM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.

Both were built 40 years ago. A lot has changed over forty years and we've seen the reduced need for many proposed Rust Belt highways. Both of these bridges would have been built regardless because of Green Bay's tremendous growth over the last 40 years, especially when compared to similar-sized Rust Belt cities like Youngstown and Rochester. The rush to build the Tower Drive Bridge may be the reason a portion of it sank and that it was built too low when Great Lakes levels are high for St Lawrence Seaway vessels. Lake Michigan's max elevation was 582.3 ft ASL. The Tower Drive (now Frigo) Bridge is fine when lake levels are normal but ships need to add ballast, if possible, to slip under the bridge during high water times.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2021, 10:35:45 PM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.

Both were built 40 years ago. A lot has changed over forty years and we've seen the reduced need for many proposed Rust Belt highways. Both of these bridges would have been built regardless because of Green Bay's tremendous growth over the last 40 years, especially when compared to similar-sized Rust Belt cities like Youngstown and Rochester. The rush to build the Tower Drive Bridge may be the reason a portion of it sank and that it was built too low when Great Lakes levels are high for St Lawrence Seaway vessels. Lake Michigan's max elevation was 582.3 ft ASL. The Tower Drive (now Frigo) Bridge is fine when lake levels are normal but ships need to add ballast, if possible, to slip under the bridge during high water times.

Green Bay isnít a ďrust belt city.Ē
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Rothman

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2021, 11:41:37 PM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.

Both were built 40 years ago. A lot has changed over forty years and we've seen the reduced need for many proposed Rust Belt highways. Both of these bridges would have been built regardless because of Green Bay's tremendous growth over the last 40 years, especially when compared to similar-sized Rust Belt cities like Youngstown and Rochester. The rush to build the Tower Drive Bridge may be the reason a portion of it sank and that it was built too low when Great Lakes levels are high for St Lawrence Seaway vessels. Lake Michigan's max elevation was 582.3 ft ASL. The Tower Drive (now Frigo) Bridge is fine when lake levels are normal but ships need to add ballast, if possible, to slip under the bridge during high water times.

Green Bay isnít a ďrust belt city.Ē
How do you figure?
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2021, 06:45:38 AM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.

Both were built 40 years ago. A lot has changed over forty years and we've seen the reduced need for many proposed Rust Belt highways. Both of these bridges would have been built regardless because of Green Bay's tremendous growth over the last 40 years, especially when compared to similar-sized Rust Belt cities like Youngstown and Rochester. The rush to build the Tower Drive Bridge may be the reason a portion of it sank and that it was built too low when Great Lakes levels are high for St Lawrence Seaway vessels. Lake Michigan's max elevation was 582.3 ft ASL. The Tower Drive (now Frigo) Bridge is fine when lake levels are normal but ships need to add ballast, if possible, to slip under the bridge during high water times.

Green Bay isnít a ďrust belt city.Ē
How do you figure?

Itís manufacturing base doesnít revolve around steel, coal or the auto industry. Itís food and paper products.
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Rothman

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2021, 06:53:18 AM »

This is what WisDOT should have been pursuing instead of building unneeded four lane highways along corridors that donít need them.

As convenient as it is to blame WisDOT for everything (and they deserve some blame), those "unneeded" four lane highways don't get built without legislative approval. I remember Concrete Clete making sure projects like the Tower Drive Bridge and WI 172 being built in Brown County; while one or the other was needed at the time, both were overkill back then though obviously both would have been needed by today. Ultimately, anything that does or doesn't get built is down to the politicians.


One could argue that if they were overkill back then, but "obviously" needed by now, that they made a good decision building it when they did.
100% this. Much better and easier to build something when ROW is cheaper and itís not boxed in by surrounding development, even if that means building a highway that is larger than needed for its first few years.

Both were built 40 years ago. A lot has changed over forty years and we've seen the reduced need for many proposed Rust Belt highways. Both of these bridges would have been built regardless because of Green Bay's tremendous growth over the last 40 years, especially when compared to similar-sized Rust Belt cities like Youngstown and Rochester. The rush to build the Tower Drive Bridge may be the reason a portion of it sank and that it was built too low when Great Lakes levels are high for St Lawrence Seaway vessels. Lake Michigan's max elevation was 582.3 ft ASL. The Tower Drive (now Frigo) Bridge is fine when lake levels are normal but ships need to add ballast, if possible, to slip under the bridge during high water times.

Green Bay isnít a ďrust belt city.Ē
How do you figure?

Itís manufacturing base doesnít revolve around steel, coal or the auto industry. Itís food and paper products.
Its population also isn't declining overall.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2021, 02:46:22 PM »

And never was.  The population in Green Bay flatlined in the 80's, but then they started annexing more land in the 90's (particularly to the east) and grew some of their own suburbs.  Since then, the economy in the entire Fox River Valley has diversified enough that they've been able to absorb a few paper mill closings up and down the Lower Fox.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2021, 04:23:31 PM »

Green Bay hasn't annexed any land of significant amount since the merger with the Town of Preble in 1964, which gave the city most of its land east of the East River.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2021, 04:32:02 PM »

I agree Interstate 94 between Madison and Milwaukee should be expanded to six lanes (and eight lanes east of STH-16). I'm not holding my breath, though. Outside of reconstructing the STH-73 interchange, some resurfacing projects and a few bridge replacements, the Interstate 94 corridor will likely remain as-is indefinitely.
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2021, 05:13:46 AM »

I really don’t understand the logic of WisDOT of insisting every four lane widening needs to be a divided expressway/freeway with interchanges instead of just a five lane arterial. Imagine if projects like WIS 23, WIS 26, US 141, etc, had been built as five lane arterials instead of the divided expressway/freeway they ended up becoming. They would have saved money and possibly could have reinvested the savings into modernizing the Interstates. Divided expressways/freeways imho should only be used on regional routes like US 151 and WIS 29, not local routes like WIS 23.

Blech, what a dismal alternate universe.
I detest those abysmal 'Arkansas "freeways"'.  Not appropriate for a rural corridor.  Build it right or don't bother.

I couldn’t agree more.  WisDOT tried the “Arkansas freeway” on STH 29 between Wausau and Marathon City and look how long that lasted before they had to redo it.  Those five-lane prototypes may have their purposes in suburban fringes (US 8 near St Croix Falls, STH 42/57 west of Sturgeon Bay, but not as rural expressways.  I agree, do it right the first time. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 05:18:56 AM by midwesternroadguy »
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I-39

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2021, 05:39:41 PM »

I really donít understand the logic of WisDOT of insisting every four lane widening needs to be a divided expressway/freeway with interchanges instead of just a five lane arterial. Imagine if projects like WIS 23, WIS 26, US 141, etc, had been built as five lane arterials instead of the divided expressway/freeway they ended up becoming. They would have saved money and possibly could have reinvested the savings into modernizing the Interstates. Divided expressways/freeways imho should only be used on regional routes like US 151 and WIS 29, not local routes like WIS 23.

Blech, what a dismal alternate universe.
I detest those abysmal 'Arkansas "freeways"'.  Not appropriate for a rural corridor.  Build it right or don't bother.

I couldnít agree more.  WisDOT tried the ďArkansas freewayĒ on STH 29 between Wausau and Marathon City and look how long that lasted before they had to redo it.  Those five-lane prototypes may have their purposes in suburban fringes (US 8 near St Croix Falls, STH 42/57 west of Sturgeon Bay, but not as rural expressways.  I agree, do it right the first time.

And they did do it right the first time on the backbone routes. The problem is they went overboard on the connector routes like WIS 23/26, US 10 Marshfield spur, etc. Those did not need to be expressway grade with interchanges. Those serve primarily local traffic, and they could have and should have been five lane arterials at best, or in cases like US 10 to Marshfield, reconstructed two lane roads. The resources building those could have been better used elsewhere, like rebuilding/widening I-94 throughout the entire state (a badly needed project).
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triplemultiplex

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2021, 09:55:55 PM »

When it comes to WI 26, I think WisDOT reacted to the negative backlash they got from some of their on-the-cheap bypasses by going whole-hog on that corridor.  Immediately prior to that expansion, in the mid-00's, WisDOT had a number of new bypasses with high crash rates at some of the at-grade intersections.  (Fond du Lac, Whitewater) I think that attention pushed them to go straight to the full-freeway build outs for the WI 26 bypasses in the ensuing decade.

Seems like I-94 could very well get some attention from the 5 billion highway dollars Wisconsin will get out of this 2021 infrastructure bill.
I figure WisDOT uses most of it to do the idle Stadium Interchange project, expand I-41 between Appleton and De Pere, and maybe expand 90/94 from Portage to the Dells.  That probably eats up a bit over 4 billion; then spread the rest around the state to catch up on maintenance.
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2021, 07:24:32 AM »

I really donít understand the logic of WisDOT of insisting every four lane widening needs to be a divided expressway/freeway with interchanges instead of just a five lane arterial. Imagine if projects like WIS 23, WIS 26, US 141, etc, had been built as five lane arterials instead of the divided expressway/freeway they ended up becoming. They would have saved money and possibly could have reinvested the savings into modernizing the Interstates. Divided expressways/freeways imho should only be used on regional routes like US 151 and WIS 29, not local routes like WIS 23.

Blech, what a dismal alternate universe.
I detest those abysmal 'Arkansas "freeways"'.  Not appropriate for a rural corridor.  Build it right or don't bother.

I couldnít agree more.  WisDOT tried the ďArkansas freewayĒ on STH 29 between Wausau and Marathon City and look how long that lasted before they had to redo it.  Those five-lane prototypes may have their purposes in suburban fringes (US 8 near St Croix Falls, STH 42/57 west of Sturgeon Bay, but not as rural expressways.  I agree, do it right the first time.

And they did do it right the first time on the backbone routes. The problem is they went overboard on the connector routes like WIS 23/26, US 10 Marshfield spur, etc. Those did not need to be expressway grade with interchanges. Those serve primarily local traffic, and they could have and should have been five lane arterials at best, or in cases like US 10 to Marshfield, reconstructed two lane roads. The resources building those could have been better used elsewhere, like rebuilding/widening I-94 throughout the entire state (a badly needed project).

I go back and forth about US 10 to Marshfield. Traffic volumes didnít justify it compared to other projects.  But it provides a nice alternative to the Fox Valley for me now that itís done. 

I-94 from Hudson to Elk Mound certainly has its issues, considering the heavy truck volumes and the Minnesota left lane hogs.  There will be a future need for expansion sooner that I-90/94 between the Dells and Tomah.
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I-39

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2021, 09:33:04 AM »

I really donít understand the logic of WisDOT of insisting every four lane widening needs to be a divided expressway/freeway with interchanges instead of just a five lane arterial. Imagine if projects like WIS 23, WIS 26, US 141, etc, had been built as five lane arterials instead of the divided expressway/freeway they ended up becoming. They would have saved money and possibly could have reinvested the savings into modernizing the Interstates. Divided expressways/freeways imho should only be used on regional routes like US 151 and WIS 29, not local routes like WIS 23.

Blech, what a dismal alternate universe.
I detest those abysmal 'Arkansas "freeways"'.  Not appropriate for a rural corridor.  Build it right or don't bother.

I couldnít agree more.  WisDOT tried the ďArkansas freewayĒ on STH 29 between Wausau and Marathon City and look how long that lasted before they had to redo it.  Those five-lane prototypes may have their purposes in suburban fringes (US 8 near St Croix Falls, STH 42/57 west of Sturgeon Bay, but not as rural expressways.  I agree, do it right the first time.

And they did do it right the first time on the backbone routes. The problem is they went overboard on the connector routes like WIS 23/26, US 10 Marshfield spur, etc. Those did not need to be expressway grade with interchanges. Those serve primarily local traffic, and they could have and should have been five lane arterials at best, or in cases like US 10 to Marshfield, reconstructed two lane roads. The resources building those could have been better used elsewhere, like rebuilding/widening I-94 throughout the entire state (a badly needed project).

I go back and forth about US 10 to Marshfield. Traffic volumes didnít justify it compared to other projects.  But it provides a nice alternative to the Fox Valley for me now that itís done. 

I-94 from Hudson to Elk Mound certainly has its issues, considering the heavy truck volumes and the Minnesota left lane hogs.  There will be a future need for expansion sooner that I-90/94 between the Dells and Tomah.

US 10 to Marshfield was a total waste. It is redundant with WIS 29 to the north and does not save a lot of time.

I agree I-94 between the Mississippi River and WIS 29 in Elk Mound needs to be reconstructed and widened. Unfortunately, it doesnít look like itís a high priority for WisDOT.
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thspfc

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2021, 06:12:31 PM »

I really donít understand the logic of WisDOT of insisting every four lane widening needs to be a divided expressway/freeway with interchanges instead of just a five lane arterial. Imagine if projects like WIS 23, WIS 26, US 141, etc, had been built as five lane arterials instead of the divided expressway/freeway they ended up becoming. They would have saved money and possibly could have reinvested the savings into modernizing the Interstates. Divided expressways/freeways imho should only be used on regional routes like US 151 and WIS 29, not local routes like WIS 23.

Blech, what a dismal alternate universe.
I detest those abysmal 'Arkansas "freeways"'.  Not appropriate for a rural corridor.  Build it right or don't bother.

I couldnít agree more.  WisDOT tried the ďArkansas freewayĒ on STH 29 between Wausau and Marathon City and look how long that lasted before they had to redo it.  Those five-lane prototypes may have their purposes in suburban fringes (US 8 near St Croix Falls, STH 42/57 west of Sturgeon Bay, but not as rural expressways.  I agree, do it right the first time.

And they did do it right the first time on the backbone routes. The problem is they went overboard on the connector routes like WIS 23/26, US 10 Marshfield spur, etc. Those did not need to be expressway grade with interchanges. Those serve primarily local traffic, and they could have and should have been five lane arterials at best, or in cases like US 10 to Marshfield, reconstructed two lane roads. The resources building those could have been better used elsewhere, like rebuilding/widening I-94 throughout the entire state (a badly needed project).

I go back and forth about US 10 to Marshfield. Traffic volumes didnít justify it compared to other projects.  But it provides a nice alternative to the Fox Valley for me now that itís done. 

I-94 from Hudson to Elk Mound certainly has its issues, considering the heavy truck volumes and the Minnesota left lane hogs.  There will be a future need for expansion sooner that I-90/94 between the Dells and Tomah.

US 10 to Marshfield was a total waste. It is redundant with WIS 29 to the north and does not save a lot of time.
Itís overbuilt, but FWIW, the project was more about giving Marshfield a four lane connection to I-39. None of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all.
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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2021, 08:41:30 AM »

Itís overbuilt, but FWIW, the project was more about giving Marshfield a four lane connection to I-39. None of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all.

The Marshfield spur is absolutely is redundant with WIS 29. Marshfield did not need a four lane connection and traffic coming from the west can use WIS 29 to I-39 to US 10 to go east.
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thspfc

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2021, 09:34:35 AM »

Itís overbuilt, but FWIW, the project was more about giving Marshfield a four lane connection to I-39. None of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all.

The Marshfield spur is absolutely is redundant with WIS 29. Marshfield did not need a four lane connection and traffic coming from the west can use WIS 29 to I-39 to US 10 to go east.
Read my post again. US-10 was upgraded solely because of Marshfield traffic. It did not NEED to be upgraded; but it was, rightfully so or not, because of Marshfield.
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I-39

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2021, 08:46:12 AM »

Itís overbuilt, but FWIW, the project was more about giving Marshfield a four lane connection to I-39. None of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all.

The Marshfield spur is absolutely is redundant with WIS 29. Marshfield did not need a four lane connection and traffic coming from the west can use WIS 29 to I-39 to US 10 to go east.
Read my post again. US-10 was upgraded solely because of Marshfield traffic. It did not NEED to be upgraded; but it was, rightfully so or not, because of Marshfield.

I did read your post.

You said ďNone of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all

That is completely false. The Marshfield spur is completely redundant to WIS 29.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2021, 10:55:25 AM »

The primary purpose of US-10 west of I-39 is to get to Marshfield.  In that case, it is completely overbuilt but not really redundant to WI-29.

That's a distinction without a difference though.
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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2021, 11:03:55 AM »

Yes, it is a crime that I-94 hasn't been widened to serve the state's capital city and its largest one. Hopefully, it will happen eventually.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2021, 12:04:23 PM »

Don't hold your breath.
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thspfc

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Re: The Case for an I-94 rebuild and expansion between Madison and Milwaukee
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2021, 12:26:30 PM »

Itís overbuilt, but FWIW, the project was more about giving Marshfield a four lane connection to I-39. None of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all.

The Marshfield spur is absolutely is redundant with WIS 29. Marshfield did not need a four lane connection and traffic coming from the west can use WIS 29 to I-39 to US 10 to go east.
Read my post again. US-10 was upgraded solely because of Marshfield traffic. It did not NEED to be upgraded; but it was, rightfully so or not, because of Marshfield.

I did read your post.

You said ďNone of US-10, as Iíve said many times, is redundant to WI-29 at all

That is completely false. The Marshfield spur is completely redundant to WIS 29.
Try looking at a map sometime.
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Whether a team makes the playoffs isn't comparable to whether they are above .500. Part of making the playoffs is getting the wins when you need them to get in, which Brady/Belichick always found a way to do. That's skill. Being above .500 or below .500 is just however things shake out. That's luck.

 


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