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Author Topic: West Virginia  (Read 81984 times)

VTGoose

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #400 on: July 06, 2022, 03:52:45 PM »

Cardinal News (formed as the Roanoke Times sinks into oblivion) had an article on Wednesday about the Coalfields Expressway in Virginia. See "Off the beaten path" at https://cardinalnews.org/2022/07/06/off-the-beaten-path/
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #401 on: July 06, 2022, 07:46:44 PM »

I have serious doubts that the Coalfields Expressway will ever make it to US 23, let alone leave West Virginia. I have a feeling the state may eventually give up trying to construct the CE, given its been constructed at a slower-than-a-snail pace.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #402 on: July 17, 2022, 06:33:11 PM »

I've heard rumors of the Beckley service area scheduled for replacement or extensive rebuilding within the next five years. The service plaza was opened in 1993 (and replaced an original Glass House).

Probably one of the best amenities that has been added in recent years, and a trend that I'm seeing being added at other service areas (i.e. along the New York State Thruway) are showers for motorists, RV drivers, and truck drivers - or for folks like me who camp at places with no amenities. The showers at Beckley were added several years back and typically cost about $7/shower, which is about half the price of a typical truck stop. The closest truck stop with showers is either Cross Lanes or Ripley to the north or well into Virginia to the south and east.

I am hoping that a rebuild includes more of a "food hall" concept or at least a place that's not nearly as dreary or barren, more parking for trucks and RV drivers, and Superchargers (or reliable high-speed EV charging ports). The truck parking facilities are completely maxed out pretty much every night, and the general parking area can be near capacity during the day. A lot of RV drivers will park in the lower area of the Tamarack, which allows it for overnight stays.

I am hoping that if this and others are rebuilt (Morton and Bluestone opened in 1991) that they will also offer showers and charging ports.

GCrites80s

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #403 on: July 17, 2022, 09:45:45 PM »

A lot of these kinds of stops do need to change a few years down the road in order to accommodate the ostensible continuing adoption of EVs. This is why I feel Buc-ee's and Sheetz are able to find funding for rapid expansion since they are capable of accommodating charging culture which will involve far longer stops than the typical 5-minute ICE fill-up. Even if they don't have a bunch of chargers now, new Sheetz and all Buc-ee's are plenty big to add them. Will sit-down at service plazas return? It could!

As far as a food hall like you see in the city... hmmm, not so sure. Most road trippers don't lean hipster-lite like food hall patrons -- they are a bunch of families led by old Xers that don't want anything weird. I'm 8 months from being a Millennial and I don't want that on a road trip either. Too afraid it won't be enough energy or a total 2300 calorie blaster. It doesn't seem like there is a middle ground with those places like you see with fast food or a meal from like, Denny's.
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vdeane

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #404 on: July 18, 2022, 12:57:07 PM »

^ Sheetz is perfect for EVs, with their high-quality restrooms, MTO food, convenience store options, and both indoor and outdoor seating.  Does Buc-ee's have indoor seating?  If not, it might be something to look in to, so people don't have to sit in their cars to eat.

I wonder if pull-out tables could be a thing in EVs, to provide a more convenient way to eat at places that don't have somewhere to eat inside.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #405 on: July 18, 2022, 06:15:09 PM »

Sheetz was one of the earliest chains to install Tesla Superchargers, which are now open to any vehicle that has a compatible plug that works with theirs. And Superchargers are incredibly reliable and fairly fast.

The problem is with other companies - their chargers are just not reliable (https://jalopnik.com/almost-a-quarter-of-all-public-ev-chargers-in-the-bay-a-1849022357). You either have outlets that don't work at all or provide lower charging speeds than advertised. Their self-reported 95% reliability is a joke.

As far as Buc-ee's go... no indoor seating and at least with their brand new one near Richmond, Kentucky, it has -zero- EV chargers. I was flabbergasted at both. I can see not having indoor seating since the place was absolutely packed to the gills with people standing and I'm not sure where seating could be placed at without having to dramatically expand the size of the already large store. There were no tables outside, either. I'm sure it's by design to keep people moving and not lingering around too much as parking is a premium.

GCrites80s

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #406 on: July 18, 2022, 08:20:28 PM »

They'll figure it out, -- EV adoption is so low in Kentucky right now since there's little infrastructure for it in place there. Buc-ee's probably didn't make it a priority at this time.
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hbelkins

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #407 on: July 19, 2022, 01:27:04 PM »

I don't think any Buc-ee's has seating available. When I paid a visit to the Richmond location, a family was sitting on the sidewalk beneath the storefront canopy to eat.

Congressman Thomas Massie famously drives a Tesla and has mentioned that he has to time his trips and schedule his stops between Lewis County, Ky., and DC. He typically drives instead of flying between the Capitol and home. I'm guessing the installation of chargers at Sheetz locations greatly helps his journey.

Sheetz has even retrofitted some of its older locations, such as Weston, WV, for the chargers.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia (excuding Eastern Panhandle)
« Reply #408 on: July 19, 2022, 03:17:09 PM »

West Virginia was one of the earlier adopters of EV chargers and still has some of the highest ratios of chargers to EVs out there. Superchargers are plenty along interstates because of Sheetz alone, but other brands are a lot more scattered and practically non-existent in rural areas (think the southwest coalfields, along US 33, etc.).

seicer

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #409 on: September 23, 2022, 09:20:19 PM »

https://historicaerials.com/location/38.13833658007435/-82.55922107513832/T1977/14
Interesting bit about US 52's realignment when the Tolsia Highway was being developed along the Big Sandy River in the mid-1970s and 1980s. It formerly followed WV 152, but what I wasn't aware of was that by 1975, it had been re-routed along WV 37 from Echo to Fort Gay - this is when the newer segment near Fort Gay had been completed. It opened north of WV 37 along the river in 1980.

Bitmapped

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #410 on: September 27, 2022, 01:35:48 PM »

https://historicaerials.com/location/38.13833658007435/-82.55922107513832/T1977/14
Interesting bit about US 52's realignment when the Tolsia Highway was being developed along the Big Sandy River in the mid-1970s and 1980s. It formerly followed WV 152, but what I wasn't aware of was that by 1975, it had been re-routed along WV 37 from Echo to Fort Gay - this is when the newer segment near Fort Gay had been completed. It opened north of WV 37 along the river in 1980.

I guess that would have been a net improvement in routing. WV 152 is awful south of Wayne.
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SP Cook

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #411 on: September 27, 2022, 02:13:19 PM »

The mistake the state made on US 52 was in not buying a 4 lane ROW, even if only building 2 lanes at the time.  The area was very rural and the land was not very valuable.  Now it is a heavily industrialized area.
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SP Cook

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Dirt Roads

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #413 on: October 27, 2022, 04:08:47 PM »

https://www.wsaz.com/2022/10/27/new-nitro-st-albans-bridge-open-this-weekend/

By the way, no matter what the DOH says, that is not the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge.  It is the new I-64 twin span between Exit 44 (St. Albans exit) and Exit 45 (Nitro exit), which is nowhere near St. Albans.  Looks like Nitro has annexed the entirety of I-64 bridge over the Kanawha River.

By the way, the real Nitro-St. Albans Bridge between the two cities is designated as WV-25 Spur (unposted).  Folks in St. Albans (which is not quite double the population of Nitro) have always complained about the name, and so folks on the south side of the Kanawha call it the St. Albans-Nitro Bridge.  In traditional West Virginia fashion, the original bridge there was always known as the Nitro-St. Albans Toll Bridge (or St. Albans-Nitro Toll Bridge), even though the tolls were dropped in the mid-1940s.  I guess it didn't make any sense to keep the Toll Bridge moniker after the original structure was demolished in 2014.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #414 on: October 27, 2022, 04:14:17 PM »

I was shocked how fast they got the new bridge up.

But... there is conflicting information on WVDOH's website about the project. The new bridge is staying? Or being replaced?

SP Cook

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #415 on: October 28, 2022, 09:16:56 AM »

https://www.wsaz.com/2022/10/27/new-nitro-st-albans-bridge-open-this-weekend/

By the way, no matter what the DOH says, that is not the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge.  It is the new I-64 twin span between Exit 44 (St. Albans exit) and Exit 45 (Nitro exit), which is nowhere near St. Albans.  Looks like Nitro has annexed the entirety of I-64 bridge over the Kanawha River.

By the way, the real Nitro-St. Albans Bridge between the two cities is designated as WV-25 Spur (unposted).  Folks in St. Albans (which is not quite double the population of Nitro) have always complained about the name, and so folks on the south side of the Kanawha call it the St. Albans-Nitro Bridge.  In traditional West Virginia fashion, the original bridge there was always known as the Nitro-St. Albans Toll Bridge (or St. Albans-Nitro Toll Bridge), even though the tolls were dropped in the mid-1940s.  I guess it didn't make any sense to keep the Toll Bridge moniker after the original structure was demolished in 2014.

Remember that this section of interstate was built in1962.  The policy then was to use the nearest town of some consequence.  Also remember that the road ended there for some time, with traffic pushed down what is today WV 817 towards US 60 and St. Albans.  But, 100%, the exit isnít even in the same county as St. Albans, and nobody who lives near the exit (who would have addresses in Winfield) would say they live in St. Albans. 

I was shocked how fast they got the new bridge up.

But... there is conflicting information on WVDOH's website about the project. The new bridge is staying? Or being replaced?

There are at least 3 different sets of pages on this project on the DOT website.  Each reflecting the ideas or plans of the time they were posted, no one seems to be the web master and take stuff down.  There are dozens of pages of information on projects that have been finished for 10 years or more as well.

But, I believe that the current plan is to remove everything except the piers and construct a twin bridge to the new one.  The new bridge is maybe 10 feet higher than the current one. 

There remains a lot of work to be done on the Nitro side of the bridge, including new bridges over WV 25 and adding exit lanes, which has not even started.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #416 on: October 28, 2022, 09:28:53 AM »

That's what the Charleston Gazette-Mail seems to have indicated, too. The old bridge will be lifted onto a barge and cut up elsewhere. The piers will be reused. I'm sure they will have to do some modifications to the pier caps to accommodate the new girders and to raise the profile.

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/kanawha_valley/new-i-64-span-to-begin-carrying-traffic-on-saturday/article_2d6d2241-e485-5d6b-9b6e-271a7baefef3.html

Dirt Roads

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #417 on: October 28, 2022, 09:13:04 PM »

Remember that this section of interstate was built in1962.  The policy then was to use the nearest town of some consequence.  Also remember that the road ended there for some time, with traffic pushed down what is today WV 817 towards US 60 and St. Albans.  But, 100%, the exit isnít even in the same county as St. Albans, and nobody who lives near the exit (who would have addresses in Winfield) would say they live in St. Albans. 

Amazingly, the nearby businesses do indeed have St. Albans addresses, but those businesses along the river north of I-64 have Winfield addresses.  The exit ramp itself appears to be the dividing line.  Homes along Teays Valley Road and Scary Road have Scott Depot addresses, and the homes up Vintroux Hollow (pronounced holler) have always had St. Albans addresses.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #418 on: October 28, 2022, 10:53:06 PM »

Well, the new bridge is now officially designed the... Nitro WWI Memorial Bridge. A nod to the town's unique history. At least it's not named after yet another politician or human being.

GCrites80s

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #419 on: October 29, 2022, 10:55:55 AM »

So a Veterans bridge
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Dirt Roads

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #420 on: October 29, 2022, 02:51:47 PM »

Well, the new bridge is now officially designed the... Nitro WWI Memorial Bridge. A nod to the town's unique history. At least it's not named after yet another politician or human being.

So a Veterans bridge

Not quite.  Nitro was a factory town built for the production of nitrocellulose (redwop) for the war effort in the War to End All Wars (ergo WWI).

By the way, the original bridge that will be demolished and rebuilt was named after Donald M. Legg, a local steelworker who fell to his death in 1962 during the bridge construction.  Sorry for reposting old information, but locals called the old structure the "Green Bridge", even during the time it was painted blue.  Truckers referred to the old structure as the "Stinky Bridge", after a different chemical plant in Nitro located next to the I-64 viaduct that stored mercaptin (the smelly additive for natural gas).  That plant is long gone, but the legend of that stench remains engraved in the nose of many locals.
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #421 on: October 29, 2022, 09:00:10 PM »

And it's interesting that the plant was never put into production as the War ended before it was complete.

SP Cook

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #422 on: October 30, 2022, 12:38:18 PM »

90% of road and bridge namings are ignored by the general population both in WV and nationwide.   If a road feature needs a unique name, truckers or others will come up with their own names as needed.  Route numbers and MPs are all you really need in most situations.

To answer some questions above, the westbound lanes are now on the new bridge, it will take maybe 2 weeks to construct the temporary transition for the east bound lanes.   The main span of the old bridge will be lifted by cranes and dropped down onto a barge and taken away for recycling.  The rest will be demolished locally.  The piers will be cut down to just above water level, then added to from that point to reach the level of the new bridge.  A new bridge will be delivered by barge, as was the new westbound one. 
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bluecountry

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #423 on: October 31, 2022, 10:06:05 AM »

Any reason why when planning the ARC corridors, they had Corridor D end at I-79, and Corridor H as well?
Why not instead just have Corridor D follow Route 50 to I-81 instead?
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Bitmapped

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Re: West Virginia
« Reply #424 on: October 31, 2022, 10:49:18 AM »

Any reason why when planning the ARC corridors, they had Corridor D end at I-79, and Corridor H as well?
Why not instead just have Corridor D follow Route 50 to I-81 instead?

Corridor D would be unnecessarily close to Corridor E (I-68). Corridor H is also more useful in providing connectivity - Buckhannon and Elkins are larger towns than Grafton, and  the Corridor H alignment is more useful as a jumping-off point to places south than US 50 would have been.
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