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Interstate 11 alignment, though Vegas and points north

Started by swbrotha100, October 16, 2012, 09:51:18 PM

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JayhawkCO

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 24, 2024, 11:26:33 AM
Quote from: JayhawkCOBut if most new interstates are built to connect to our neighbors to the north and south respectively, I just have no idea why I-11 would have those same goals. There aren't any population centers north of Reno in the U.S other than maybe Spokane or Boise, and certainly nothing in Canada.

That's looking in the wrong direction. If the I-11 route is directed from Reno to Klamath Falls and over to the Medford-Ashland area it taps into I-5. Portland, Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver BC are all very big, major destinations. That's how I-11 can be turned into a "CANAMEX" route.

Fair idea except for the terrain. Someone more familiar with the area than me, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't see an interstate in this day and age in that portion of southern Oregon.


Max Rockatansky

The terrain along OR 39/CA 139 isn't unworkable. Jogging west from Klamath Falls over to Medford would a significant engineering challenge.  There is a reason US 97 was rerouted over Green Springs Highway to Weed, California.

cl94

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on June 24, 2024, 01:26:07 PMThe terrain along OR 39/CA 139 isn't unworkable. Jogging west from Klamath Falls over to Medford would a significant engineering challenge.  There is a reason US 97 was rerouted over Green Springs Highway to Weed, California.

The biggest problem with CA 139 is getting between Susanville and the Tule Lake area. Some really rugged terrain in there that would cost a fortune to deal with. The railroad grade that generally parallels US 395 takes a very circuitous route to get over that set of mountains.
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Max Rockatansky

Quote from: cl94 on June 24, 2024, 02:43:08 PM
Quote from: Max Rockatansky on June 24, 2024, 01:26:07 PMThe terrain along OR 39/CA 139 isn't unworkable. Jogging west from Klamath Falls over to Medford would a significant engineering challenge.  There is a reason US 97 was rerouted over Green Springs Highway to Weed, California.

The biggest problem with CA 139 is getting between Susanville and the Tule Lake area. Some really rugged terrain in there that would cost a fortune to deal with. The railroad grade that generally parallels US 395 takes a very circuitous route to get over that set of mountains.

Right, which is why most freight swings east on CA 299 in Canby to get towards US 395.  US 395 has far more reasonable terrain south of there towards Susanville.

mrsman

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 24, 2024, 11:26:33 AM
Quote from: JayhawkCOBut if most new interstates are built to connect to our neighbors to the north and south respectively, I just have no idea why I-11 would have those same goals. There aren't any population centers north of Reno in the U.S other than maybe Spokane or Boise, and certainly nothing in Canada.

That's looking in the wrong direction. If the I-11 route is directed from Reno to Klamath Falls and over to the Medford-Ashland area it taps into I-5. Portland, Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver BC are all very big, major destinations. That's how I-11 can be turned into a "CANAMEX" route.

I don't think I-11 needs to be extended down to Tucson or Nogales either to gain that function either. It would be enough for I-11 to just reach the Phoenix area. I-19 has more than enough room in its existing ROW to be doubled in capacity. People in Tucson just have to get over themselves and allow some new loop freeways to get built.

That's right.  Suggesting a CANAMEX route does not necessarily imply that the entire road as one number has to reach from Canada to Mexico.  Instead it can be part of an important link in the chain.

I would say that I-29 (north of Kansas City) and I-35 (south of Kansas City) combined makes a CANAMEX route, even though there is a number change and possibly some interchanging (or bypassing) in the KC area that is needed to make the route work.

So traffic from Calgary and Lethbridge cross into the USA and enter I-15.  The most direct way to Mexico from there, utilizes I-90, I-25, and I-10 to reach Ciudad Juarez by way of Denver, Albuquerque and El Paso.  Or if the western parts of Mexico are desired, traffic can stay on I-15 to pass through SLC, Las Vegas, and San Diego to Tijuana.

Now if I-11, in conjunction with I-15, is to be used as a CANAMEX corridor, does this mean that the traffic from Canada is basically going to use I-15 to Las Vegas and then I-11 to get to the Phoenix area, and then use the existing interstates to get to Tucson and Nogales?  Would this be faster than following the US 89 corridor between southern Utah and Flagstaff?  And if so much traffic will be "turning" from I-15 to I-11, it would seem that it would be really nice if the eastern leg of a I-215 beltway could somehow be built to divert this traffic away from central Las Vegas.

Bobby5280

Quote from: Max RockantanskyThe terrain along OR 39/CA 139 isn't unworkable. Jogging west from Klamath Falls over to Medford would a significant engineering challenge.  There is a reason US 97 was rerouted over Green Springs Highway to Weed, California.

The OR-140 corridor between Klamath Falls and White City wouldn't be that difficult to upgrade from an engineering standpoint. But the existing Falls Highway is considered a scenic route. So there could be vocal push-back for doing any expansion work on the highway. Nevertheless, semi trucks drive on that route already.

The more difficult thing is how to get I-11 from the NV/CA border up to Klamath Falls. Overlapping CA-139 out of Susanville looks like a non-starter. If the US could build highway tunnels without it breaking the bank then it might be an option. Otherwise, the Interstate would have to go around the Sierra Army Depot and Honey Lake and then back-track East. They might be able to shave some mileage off the route going around Honey Lake. Still, taking US-395 up to near Alturas and then shifting West looks like a more work-able solution.

Scott5114

Quote from: US 395 on June 24, 2024, 01:15:43 AMWell, if Lake Mead (and the river) dries up, Vegas will go back to being a railroad siding...

Anything's possible, I guess, but Vegas has gotten pretty good at maxing out the measly 4% of the river we're allowed to use. Just about everything that goes down the drain in Vegas gets recycled and reused. I remember seeing something saying that a given drop of water will go back and forth between Vegas and Lake Mead 17 times before it goes through Hoover Dam. And in 2027 it will become illegal to water decorative grass using Lake Mead water.

Point being, if the lake does dry up, California will start hurting way before anywhere in Nevada does. There are farms in Imperial County that use more water than the entire Las Vegas Valley does. (The Las Vegas TV news names and shames individual California farmers for this on slow news days.)

Quote from: JayhawkCO on June 24, 2024, 11:18:07 AMAs a regular poster on FlyerTalk, there's often discussion about utilizing airport codes when referring to a city vs. an airport. Obviously, on that site, airport codes are much more widely known, so they're pretty common knowledge. Outside of aviation nerds, I would argue that there are very few cities that are referred to by their airport codes.

In local usage, LAS pretty much universally refers to the airport (and neatly avoids anyone biting your head off for calling it McCarran or Reid). The preferred abbreviation for the city, meanwhile, is just "LV".
uncontrollable freak sardine salad chef

mgk920

Even if they weren't about to close, would the Mirage still be able to do their 'volcano' water and light show?

Mike

FredAkbar

Quote from: mgk920 on June 28, 2024, 08:21:25 PMEven if they weren't about to close, would the Mirage still be able to do their 'volcano' water and light show?

The Bellagio does fountain shows every half hour, which according to Google/Wikipedia, uses 12M gallons of water per year (33k/day). I suppose in the grand scheme of things that's not that much; it amounts to 0.05 gallons (0.8 cups) per Las Vegas resident per day.

Scott5114

#1309
Quote from: FredAkbar on June 28, 2024, 09:54:57 PM
Quote from: mgk920 on June 28, 2024, 08:21:25 PMEven if they weren't about to close, would the Mirage still be able to do their 'volcano' water and light show?

The Bellagio does fountain shows every half hour, which according to Google/Wikipedia, uses 12M gallons of water per year (33k/day). I suppose in the grand scheme of things that's not that much; it amounts to 0.05 gallons (0.8 cups) per Las Vegas resident per day.

The Bellagio fountains use non-potable water. I think it's seawater that's trucked in.

I imagine the Mirage volcano drains to the sewer, which means it would be fine.
uncontrollable freak sardine salad chef

cahwyguy

Quote from: Scott5114 on June 29, 2024, 04:43:30 AMThe Bellagio fountains use non-potable water. I think it's seawater that's trucked in.

The Dunes had its own wells. The Bellagio got those wells when they bought the Dunes land. It could very well not be water from the dam.
Daniel - California Highway Guy ● Highway Site: http://www.cahighways.org/ ●  Blog: http://blog.cahighways.org/ ● Podcast (CA Route by Route): http://caroutebyroute.org/ ● Follow California Highways on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cahighways

roadfro

Quote from: cahwyguy on June 29, 2024, 11:26:04 AM
Quote from: Scott5114 on June 29, 2024, 04:43:30 AMThe Bellagio fountains use non-potable water. I think it's seawater that's trucked in.

The Dunes had its own wells. The Bellagio got those wells when they bought the Dunes land. It could very well not be water from the dam.
I had heard years ago that Lake Bellagio was gray water that had been treated on site...

But according to this page (about 3/4 way down), Lake Bellagio is fed from groundwater well rights as well as twice-yearly pool drainage from the "O" show.
Roadfro - AARoads Pacific Southwest moderator since 2010, Nevada roadgeek since 1983.

pderocco

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 24, 2024, 11:26:33 AMThat's looking in the wrong direction. If the I-11 route is directed from Reno to Klamath Falls and over to the Medford-Ashland area it taps into I-5. Portland, Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver BC are all very big, major destinations. That's how I-11 can be turned into a "CANAMEX" route.

If you zoom way out, then the route from Phoenix to Portland via the fantasy I-11 and the route from Phoenix to Portland via I-10 and I-5 don't seem very far apart. Sure, there's lots of traffic through California, but instead of building four lanes of fresh freeway from Vegas to somewhere in Oregon, one could also add lanes to I-10 and I-5, which would benefit many more people than just long-haul truckers.

Bobby5280

I-5 and my idea of I-11 may not look very far apart on the map, but there are major differences between the two.

Gasoline prices in Nevada and Arizona are far less expensive than they are in California (which always has, by far, the most pricey fuel in America). The I-5 corridor in California gets overwhelmed with traffic. There are many locations in built up areas where there just isn't any space to add more lanes.

Mexico border crossings in California are very busy. Worse yet, most of the commercial traffic crossing back and forth on the MX/CA border is going to be headed to points in the Mexico mainland, not the Baja California peninsula. That means they'll be driving along routes 20 and 2, hugging the Mexico border to reach route 15, the next major North-South route. MX-15 and MX-15 reach the US border at Nogales.

An I-11 route spanning Medford to Phoenix could function as a very important relief route for I-5. It could draw a lot of trucks away from the I-5 corridor, which would be beneficial for motorists in California, not to mention reducing wear and tear on those roads.

This kind of a route might spur a lot of additional development of the logistics hub in Clark, the place I think I-11 should spur off I-80 towards Las Vegas.

PColumbus73

Quote from: pderocco on June 30, 2024, 02:08:12 AM
Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 24, 2024, 11:26:33 AMThat's looking in the wrong direction. If the I-11 route is directed from Reno to Klamath Falls and over to the Medford-Ashland area it taps into I-5. Portland, Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver BC are all very big, major destinations. That's how I-11 can be turned into a "CANAMEX" route.

If you zoom way out, then the route from Phoenix to Portland via the fantasy I-11 and the route from Phoenix to Portland via I-10 and I-5 don't seem very far apart. Sure, there's lots of traffic through California, but instead of building four lanes of fresh freeway from Vegas to somewhere in Oregon, one could also add lanes to I-10 and I-5, which would benefit many more people than just long-haul truckers.

I guess it comes down to a trade-off between the cities in California and a mountain crossing in Northern California or Oregon. Either traffic in the cities, or mountain grades and winter weather through the passes.

Bobby5280

#1315
I don't think the winter weather in the Merced-Klamath Falls area is nearly as bad as it is on I-80 going thru the Sierras between Sacramento and Reno. The same goes for US-395.

The main problems with the US-95 corridor in Nevada for commercial traffic are at least two-fold. Roadside services are currently few and far between. It's a mostly two-lane route over a very long distance. No one likes driving on two-lane roads for hundreds of miles. Head-on collisions can and do happen. When collisions happen in very remote locations that kind of situation goes from bad to so much worse. Those two reasons are why there is currently very little traffic on that existing route.

Just double-barreling US-95 would be a game-changer. However, I don't like the very indirect path it currently takes. I think I-11 could completely bypass Walker Lake by taking a more direct route from Tonopah to a point North of Schurz. That saves at least a half hour worth of driving.

FredAkbar

Is there any hope of building a freeway east-west across the Sierras that could serve to connect the bay area with Vegas (without having to overshoot to the north via Reno, or to the south via Bakersfield)?

CA-120 currently connects but it would surely not be feasible to bulldoze through Yosemite to get that done (plus weather concerns).

Maybe a more southernly route such as one between Fresno and Beatty? That would allow truck traffic to bypass the LA metro area and also connect the entire bay area / Sacramento / central valley to Vegas/Phoenix. And you'd have reasonable cause then to at least make I-11 up to the Beatty area.

I get that there's large mountains and national forests in the way, I'm just a bit incredulous that there are basically no east-west routes (that aren't winding mountain roads that get closed for the winter) across the Sierras north of I-15 and south of I-80.

Bobby5280

You have to go clear down to mountain pass crossings not far from Las Vegas to avoid most (but NOT all) of the heavy winter weather than can happen along the Sierras. NV-374 to CA-190 to Stovepipe Wells is one crossing. NV-373 out of Amargosa Valley down to CA-127 and Death Valley Junction is another. Neither crossing gives any sort of direct access to other major highway corridors into California's inland valley.

FredAkbar

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 30, 2024, 05:32:33 PMNeither crossing gives any sort of direct access to other major highway corridors into California's inland valley.

Yeah, the hardest part I think is bridging the gap between CA-99 and US-395, rather than east of US-395 through the desert (and some mountains) to US-95/Vegas.

Scott5114

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 30, 2024, 02:49:21 PMHowever, I don't like the very indirect path it currently takes. I think I-11 could completely bypass Walker Lake by taking a more direct route from Tonopah to a point North of Schurz. That saves at least a half hour worth of driving.

The problem is that this would bypass Hawthorne, which is both the only place to find services in the area and a decent traffic generator in its own right (due to the Army ammunition plant there).
uncontrollable freak sardine salad chef

mgk920

#1320
I seriously doubt that there will likely ever be an east-west transport corridor of any kind developed east of CA 99 between I-80 and Bakersfield (CA 58).  Just the topological going alone would be too dfficult (think on the lines of 'beyond major tunneling through some of the hardest rock anywhere').  Why were there no major railroads built that way before the interstates?

Mike

Bobby5280

Quote from: Scott5114The problem is that this would bypass Hawthorne, which is both the only place to find services in the area and a decent traffic generator in its own right (due to the Army ammunition plant there).

The Hawthorne AAP is the main employer in that location. And it's not as if that military employers wants a lot of general public traffic moving through that location. It might actually be a benefit to the Army if public Interstate highway traffic was shunted East over the side of the next mountain ridge.

kkt

Quote from: FredAkbar on June 30, 2024, 03:51:38 PMIs there any hope of building a freeway east-west across the Sierras that could serve to connect the bay area with Vegas (without having to overshoot to the north via Reno, or to the south via Bakersfield)?

CA-120 currently connects but it would surely not be feasible to bulldoze through Yosemite to get that done (plus weather concerns).

Maybe a more southernly route such as one between Fresno and Beatty? That would allow truck traffic to bypass the LA metro area and also connect the entire bay area / Sacramento / central valley to Vegas/Phoenix. And you'd have reasonable cause then to at least make I-11 up to the Beatty area.

I get that there's large mountains and national forests in the way, I'm just a bit incredulous that there are basically no east-west routes (that aren't winding mountain roads that get closed for the winter) across the Sierras north of I-15 and south of I-80.

Briefly, no, there's no hope of building a freeway across the Sierra south of Donner Pass.  It's not only that there's a lot of parks and wilderness areas.  It's the geography.  South of Donner Pass, the passes get higher.  Donner Pass is hard enough for Caltrans to keep open in winter, they don't need one that's even higher.  The Wikipedia page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sierra_Nevada_road_passes

has a nice list, showing summit elevation and arranged from north to south.  So we get 2-lane roads over the mountains that close at the first big snow and don't open until late spring.

If you live in the Bay Area and you want gambling and floor shows, your choices are Reno, driving south to CA 58, I-40, and I-15, or flying.

Max Rockatansky

Doesn't help that the highest part of the Sierra is east of Fresno.  Minaret Summit is about the most plausible place to build "a highway" where one doesn't punch through now.  Problem is that this whole proposal happened:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2017/07/california-state-203-road-that-could.html?m=1

PColumbus73

Quote from: Bobby5280 on June 30, 2024, 11:10:12 PM
Quote from: Scott5114The problem is that this would bypass Hawthorne, which is both the only place to find services in the area and a decent traffic generator in its own right (due to the Army ammunition plant there).

The Hawthorne AAP is the main employer in that location. And it's not as if that military employers wants a lot of general public traffic moving through that location. It might actually be a benefit to the Army if public Interstate highway traffic was shunted East over the side of the next mountain ridge.

I think the AAP makes it difficult for right-of-way expansion and interstate conversion. It's not unprecedented for a freeway to be built through a military base (see NC 24/87/210 in Fayetteville / Fort Liberty), but being an ammo depot, maybe they would be more sensitive about it, particularly with clearing the ordinance.

And assuming the DOD doesn't give an inch for right-of-way, I imagine it would either kill an interstate through there or be destructive to the town of Hawthorne. DOD might even prefer a more direct route to the east, leaving US 95 for local access, but the eastern I-11 for the long-haul traffic.




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