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Author Topic: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?  (Read 2501 times)

roadman65

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Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« on: July 08, 2021, 01:12:43 PM »

I noticed that a part of US 101 where it becomes rural south of Crescent City and north of Trinidad, there are one lane segments with portable stop lights managing traffic. One of those has the hill up on the inland side over the NB lane and the SB lane used for both lifted up.

I assume a recent avalanche must of happened?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 01:16:51 PM »

Not only just recently, thatís just how unstable the Last Chance Grade is.  Essentially the modern highway is probably going to be rerouted inland to the east somewhat soon.  I did my own take on the Last Chance Grade this last February which goes into a lot of the historic problems the area has seen:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2021/02/us-route-101-and-last-chance-grade.html?m=1
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 01:18:53 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2021, 01:33:15 PM »

BTW, you in California right now?
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roadman65

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 05:27:22 PM »

BTW, you in California right now?

Yes clinching 101.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 05:30:10 PM »

BTW, you in California right now?

Yes clinching 101.

If arenít to San Juan Bautista yet look into Old Salinas Road/San Juan Grade.  Itís a relic example of original 101, the San Benito County side even has 20 foot wide concrete slabs still.  Awesome and short detour:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2017/10/old-us-101-san-juan-grade.html?m=1
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 05:40:13 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2021, 05:48:32 PM »

Some other stuff that probably is worth checking out as you head south on US 101:

-  Trees or Mystery in Klamath.
-  The Drive Thru Tree on CA 169 in Klamath.
-  Old US 101 and the Douglas Memorial Bridge on the Klamath River. 
-  Old US 101/Newton B. Drury Scenic Drive. 
-  The Fernbridge on CA 211 (briefly temporary US 101)
-  Old US 101/current CA 283 over the Rio Dell Bridge
-  Avenue of the Giants (current CA 254/Old US 101)
-  Richardson Grove State Park
-  Old US 101 over The Slab near Confusion Hill.
-  Confusion Hill/Old US 101
-  The Tour Thru Tree on current CA 271/old US 101
-  The Willits Arch on former US 101/current CA 20.
-  The Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands
-  The San Juan Grade (as discussed above)
-  Old Coast Road/Old US 101 near the CA 1/US 101 junction approaching Gaviota Pass.
-  Cuesta Pass and Old Stage Road near San Bautista.
-  The Tunnel View Trail in Gaviota State Park which overlooks the Gaviota Tunnel
-  The Arroyo Hondo Bridge on Santa Barbara Channel near Goleta. 

Hit me up if there is anything that you think you might be interested in finding.
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roadman65

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2021, 05:57:28 PM »

Are there any stoplights on US 101 south of Willits and north of The Golden Gate Bridge? So far I have hit none from Eureka to Willits. The road alternates from two to four lanes with brief super four freeways in spots and the 31 mile modern alignment from Phillipswood to Peeperwood is a four lane undivided freeway.
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2021, 06:00:07 PM »

Are there any stoplights on US 101 south of Willits and north of The Golden Gate Bridge? So far I have hit none from Eureka to Willits. The road alternates from two to four lanes with brief super four freeways in spots and the 31 mile modern alignment from Phillipswood to Peeperwood is a four lane undivided freeway.

I donít believe there are any left aside from an emergency light in Laytonville.  Once you hit the Bayshore Freeway in San Francisco you wonít encounter any South to Los Angeles. 
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roadman65

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 06:07:24 PM »

So Eureka and Crescent City  and SF are the only places statewide.  Cool.
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2021, 06:14:55 PM »

So Eureka and Crescent City  and SF are the only places statewide.  Cool.

Yes, 101 essentially is about as far as a major highway can really be developed before it converted into full freeway standards.  Thatís part of the reason why Iím always surprised it rarely pops up on the Fictional Board on this forum.  The stretch through Prunedale is probably my favorite segment given how close to full limited access it is but yet has things like driveways to homes on it.
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TheStranger

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2021, 01:49:16 AM »

So Eureka and Crescent City  and SF are the only places statewide.  Cool.

Yes, 101 essentially is about as far as a major highway can really be developed before it converted into full freeway standards.  Thatís part of the reason why Iím always surprised it rarely pops up on the Fictional Board on this forum.  The stretch through Prunedale is probably my favorite segment given how close to full limited access it is but yet has things like driveways to homes on it.
That Prunedale segment actually highlights in some ways why US 101 has not been converted to Interstate (and why it isn't suggested much outside of FritzOwl) -

- In the 1950s-1960s, US 101 had been submitted in essentially 3 segments: LA-SF (including the Central Freeway which was slated to partially carry I-80), then the concurrency with 480 (which was approved as Interstate for a few years), then Golden Gate Bridge to Route 37.  By the late 1960s the long-form route was rejected and never reconsidered for incorporation into the Interstate system (and the incompletion of the Central Freeway north of Turk Street probably also added to that). 

As noted above, the Central Freeway portion between Fell Street and the Bayshore Freeway was for a time part of the planned I-80 routing west to Golden Gate Park, but returned to solely US 101 in the mid-1960s when the controversial Western Freeway I-80 project was stopped dead cold by the freeway revolts.

Ironically, one of the portions that would have been I-480 has since been upgraded to interstate standards - the segment now known as Presidio Parkway between Route 1 (pre-1968, that portion of Route 1 was to have been I-280) and Richardson Avenue.

- Going back specifically to the Prunedale section, in the mid-2000s a bypass had been proposed (with today's 101/156 section becoming 156 alone) but was already off the table by 2014: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13879.0

The current improvements did help a ton in reducing the grade crossing significantly in that town, but did not do anything for widening the road or adjusting the geometry of the curvature at all, which can still be a bit tight at freeway speeds.

Beyond Prunedale, I recall that Cuesta Grade portion near San Luis Obispo is actually not freeway either.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 02:04:59 AM by roadfro »
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2021, 08:00:32 AM »

Some of the other expressway segments south of SF not mentioned above would be:

-  Salinas-King City. 
-  Arroyo Grande-Buelleton.
-  Gaviota State Park-Goleta.
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2021, 11:56:46 AM »

Some of the other expressway segments south of SF not mentioned above would be:

-  Salinas-King City. 
-  Arroyo Grande-Buelleton.
-  Gaviota State Park-Goleta.

South of Salinas  the Central Coast section has several expressway segments:

Salinas-King City (excluding short freeway segments in Soledad, Gonzales, and Greenfield)
San Miguel - Paso Robles
Santa Margarita - SLO (Cuesta Grade)
Arroyo Grande - Nipomo
Orcutt - Goleta (excluding a short freeway segment in Buellton and occasional interchanges (Los Olivos, SR154, SR1, State beaches)

Those sections don't really need to be freeway (yet) since it's mostly rural/agricultural and interchanges have been constructed over time as needed, like at 154/San Marcos Pass. Of course, like everywhere else, mainline traffic volumes are increasing over time so making at-grade crossing or turning movements is becoming more challenging.
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mrsman

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2021, 09:06:54 AM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country.  If you have an important and busy corridor, yet don't have the funds for a complete freeway upgrade, this is the way a rural highway should be designed.  2 lanes in each direction, no traffic signals, generally keeping 55-65 MPH speeds, at-grade, shoulders in most places, the occasional intersection, and businesses setback from the roadway considerably.  Of course, small freeway segments as it passes through significant towns.
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roadman65

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2021, 07:13:41 AM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country.  If you have an important and busy corridor, yet don't have the funds for a complete freeway upgrade, this is the way a rural highway should be designed.  2 lanes in each direction, no traffic signals, generally keeping 55-65 MPH speeds, at-grade, shoulders in most places, the occasional intersection, and businesses setback from the roadway considerably.  Of course, small freeway segments as it passes through significant towns.

INDOT is trying to make US 31 between Indy and South Bend that way. 


Removed repetitive and broken quotes. óRoadfro
« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 09:44:39 AM by roadfro »
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2021, 08:39:26 PM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country.  If you have an important and busy corridor, yet don't have the funds for a complete freeway upgrade, this is the way a rural highway should be designed.  2 lanes in each direction, no traffic signals, generally keeping 55-65 MPH speeds, at-grade, shoulders in most places, the occasional intersection, and businesses setback from the roadway considerably.  Of course, small freeway segments as it passes through significant towns.

INDOT is trying to make US 31 between Indy and South Bend that way. 


Removed repetitive and broken quotes. óRoadfro

Nevertheless, it seems every few years D5 attacks one or another expressway section with freeway upgrades (D7 already did their last section with the Rincon upgrades back around 2017).  This time it's the expressway section between Paso Robles and San Miguel; the rationale here is the uptick in tourist business from the expansion of wineries (and tasting rooms) in the Paso Robles area.  A couple are located along that expressway segment, with the corresponding left-turn movements across 65mph traffic; incidents or close calls (plus likely pressure from the industry to do something) probably was the instigation for the upgrade.  Since that would complete a continuous freeway from the Cuesta grade to King City, it'll probably be the last upgrade until some other precipitating circumstances occur.  The Santa Barbara coastline "shelf" has Coastal Commission protection, so any upgrades through there would have to undergo years of vetting, as would anything in the vicinity of the Gaviota Tunnels; and the Salinas Valley seems fine as is (although increased commuter traffic between Salinas and Prunedale might result in revisiting that segment before long).  It's likely that the next section -- at least between L.A. and S.F. -- to be addressed would be between Nipomo and Arroyo Grande, for much the same reason as the Paso Robles upgrades -- tourist-friendly wineries right along the highway. 

North of S.F. the aggregate traffic flow, once past Healdsburg, is considerably less, so expressway standards will probably suffice for the present, even with the same winery dynamic in the traversed area.  And with the continuing downturn in the north coast lumber-producing area, upgrading even the remaining 2-lane segments entails less urgency than 30 years ago.  Projects will likely be of the type required to resolve the Last Chance Grade problems -- more existential than capacity-increasing. 

And INDOT seems to change their mind -- and their policies -- regarding US 31 on a regular and continuing basis -- so who knows how that corridor will look twenty years from now?
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kkt

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2021, 10:55:06 PM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country. 

While within California it's a compromise that satisfies almost no one:  the pro-freeway faction want it made to interstate standards throughout, while lots of the low-growth faction would rather it was a 2-lane road with businesses and driveways all along.
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sparker

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2021, 02:04:13 AM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country. 

While within California it's a compromise that satisfies almost no one:  the pro-freeway faction want it made to interstate standards throughout, while lots of the low-growth faction would rather it was a 2-lane road with businesses and driveways all along.


In other words, wishing it were still 1936!  At this point, it's likely neither extreme will get their wish; there's not enough money or political will to do even L.A. - S.F. at I-standards, even if all the negatives and obstacles could be dealt with; and neither is anyone going to take a jackhammer to one of the carriageways of any section of existing multilane facility.  We'll all just live with what we've got -- with sporadic changes that, like the present Prunedale configurations, will probably be best described as lateral movements. 
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2021, 11:44:56 AM »

. . . This time it's the expressway section between Paso Robles and San Miguel; the rationale here is the uptick in tourist business from the expansion of wineries (and tasting rooms) in the Paso Robles area.  A couple are located along that expressway segment, with the corresponding left-turn movements across 65mph traffic; incidents or close calls (plus likely pressure from the industry to do something) probably was the instigation for the upgrade. 

I'm sure the added winery traffic is a driver for this, pun intended.  Even so, the Wellsona Road intersection has been a bad one for years (I regularly passed through in the 80's and 90's) and there have been many crashes and close calls there.  The issue with that one is the San-Paso truck stop where you have trucks turning in/pulling out with the high-speed 101 traffic.  Visibility on the approaches is fine but it's easy to misjudge just how fast(slow) the truck pulling across/into the road is going. 

I'll be curious to see if anything happens with the Salinas Valley expressway section since it has similar issues with the large number of ag trucks entering/exiting from side roads and farm fields, and has a much narrower r/w than the San Miguel-Paso Robles section to work with.  Even the left entry/exit grade separation at Spreckels is bad news with the truck traffic.

óFixed quoting. Roadfro
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 11:42:52 PM by roadfro »
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mrsman

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2021, 01:49:27 PM »

The expressway portions of US 101, IMO, is a model for the rest of the country. 

While within California it's a compromise that satisfies almost no one:  the pro-freeway faction want it made to interstate standards throughout, while lots of the low-growth faction would rather it was a 2-lane road with businesses and driveways all along.


In other words, wishing it were still 1936!  At this point, it's likely neither extreme will get their wish; there's not enough money or political will to do even L.A. - S.F. at I-standards, even if all the negatives and obstacles could be dealt with; and neither is anyone going to take a jackhammer to one of the carriageways of any section of existing multilane facility.  We'll all just live with what we've got -- with sporadic changes that, like the present Prunedale configurations, will probably be best described as lateral movements.

There are very few corridors like 101 out there with this type of arrangement.  Obviously, a full freeway would be better - but we understand that it's not financially or politically feasible.

My own random searching on GSV for similar corridors has not turned out anything similar.  I picked a location on US 31 in Indiana and found signals.  Perhaps the full expressway approach is aspirational, but it hasn't happened yet.  US 29 as a third link between Baltimore and DC also has some signals, but the northern half is a full freeway.  US 290 between Austin and Houston also has some signals.

US 101 used to have signals too.  When the final signal in Santa Barbara was extinguished in 1992, it made travel exceedingly better.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2021, 01:57:36 PM »

US 93 in Arizona has a similar feel to US 101 in California.  In fact I recall asking the question why I-11 really is even needed when bypasses of Kingman and Wickenburg are the only real problem areas left. 
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2021, 05:38:13 PM »

US 93 in Arizona has a similar feel to US 101 in California.  In fact I recall asking the question why I-11 really is even needed when bypasses of Kingman and Wickenburg are the only real problem areas left. 

And the answer is regional political will -- pretty much the same as with other pending Interstate corridors elsewhere.  The moment that the fact that Phoenix and Vegas were two of the largest metro areas not directly connected by an Interstate corridor became a matter of public discourse -- and projects such as I-49 and I-22 could be cited as precedent -- the die was cast.  Just a matter of time until enterprising backers and the congresspersons dependent upon their donations for reelection purposes came together back in 2012 and cobbled up the original I-11 corridor (even with its highly gratuitous extension past Tucson) and later the 2015 extension north to I-80.  Once that has been done, most DOT's simply construct the facility to I-standards as funding permits.  ADOT seems to have taken a different tack with the US 93/I-11 corridor; FWIW there are pressing issues, as traffic between the cities increases, with safety (more than a few head-ons on the remaining 2-lane segments) calling for more immediate action -- so the road is being expanded to 4-lane expressway standard, with Interstate geometry, to ameliorate the more pressing problems.  Of course, short sections such as through Wikieup will be saved for last, as the lowered speeds there help with the collision problems.  So a facility much like CA's US 101 will initially emerge -- but en route to a full-blown Interstate corridor over time.  Once a divided 4-lane is in place, the bypasses (Wickenburg, the aforementioned Wikieup) will probably be next in line to be addressed (Kingman is already in process).  Unlike the I-11 segment south of Wickenburg, the pathway from there north to the NV state line essentially lies atop the existing highway (the Kingman project notwithstanding), so upgrades to an interim status serve both the immediate needs as well as the ultimate configuration.   
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2021, 05:51:19 PM »

US 93 in Arizona has a similar feel to US 101 in California.  In fact I recall asking the question why I-11 really is even needed when bypasses of Kingman and Wickenburg are the only real problem areas left. 

And the answer is regional political will -- pretty much the same as with other pending Interstate corridors elsewhere.  The moment that the fact that Phoenix and Vegas were two of the largest metro areas not directly connected by an Interstate corridor became a matter of public discourse -- and projects such as I-49 and I-22 could be cited as precedent -- the die was cast.  Just a matter of time until enterprising backers and the congresspersons dependent upon their donations for reelection purposes came together back in 2012 and cobbled up the original I-11 corridor (even with its highly gratuitous extension past Tucson) and later the 2015 extension north to I-80.  Once that has been done, most DOT's simply construct the facility to I-standards as funding permits.  ADOT seems to have taken a different tack with the US 93/I-11 corridor; FWIW there are pressing issues, as traffic between the cities increases, with safety (more than a few head-ons on the remaining 2-lane segments) calling for more immediate action -- so the road is being expanded to 4-lane expressway standard, with Interstate geometry, to ameliorate the more pressing problems.  Of course, short sections such as through Wikieup will be saved for last, as the lowered speeds there help with the collision problems.  So a facility much like CA's US 101 will initially emerge -- but en route to a full-blown Interstate corridor over time.  Once a divided 4-lane is in place, the bypasses (Wickenburg, the aforementioned Wikieup) will probably be next in line to be addressed (Kingman is already in process).  Unlike the I-11 segment south of Wickenburg, the pathway from there north to the NV state line essentially lies atop the existing highway (the Kingman project notwithstanding), so upgrades to an interim status serve both the immediate needs as well as the ultimate configuration.   

Aside from the remaining two lane segments you mentioned the corridor is very adequate for the task.  It could easily tied in with existing AZ 303 and have a much more logical entry point core of the Phoenix area.  US 93 has some really desolate stretches that just will never have the traffic volumes the likes of US 101 has been SF-LA.  That more than anything else is why I find it fascinating the Roadgeek world at the very least doesnít seem a greater opportunity for freeway conversion of US 101. 
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sparker

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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2021, 06:58:26 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Unless the Interstate conversion process for I-11 is "incentivized", that conversion will be done gradually over the next couple of decades; as long as the corridor remains on the books as a designated entity, it'll always be hovering over the process.  At least the 4-lane conversion to Interstate geometry generally results in a nice safe high-speed roadway for commercial and recreational travelers to use regardless of the color of the shields.  Somehow, I don't think we've heard the end of the southern end issues; the EIS for the corridor at least as far south as Casa Grande has been issued, so it's likely the Hassayampa/Buckeye routing will remain in consideration.  IMO, it should head straight down to Loop 303 and hence to I-10, but regional planners seem to be much more ambitious than that (they've probably drunk the developers' Kool-Aid!) -- but it'll probably come down to the aggregate cost of the extended corridor -- and to projections regarding just how much more exurban housing is needed in the region.  If the Hassayampa option is selected -- and those projections are less than robust -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if I-11 heads down to I-10, crosses it, and then curves over to merge with AZ 85 down to Gila Bend.  That's the second most logical and rational corridor option, IMO.

I think the roadgeek world's opinion of the future prospects for US 101, at least L.A.-S.F., change with first-hand knowledge of the corridor in question.  Seen on a map, there's a largely completed freeway connecting several metro areas without colorful shields -- and it looks like an obvious system addition (and actually farther away from I-5 than the similarly touted CA 99 corridor).  But if one is familiar with the terrain, the towns, and just what would be involved in such upgrades, a different POV would likely emerge.  I for one wrote the Interstate prospects off for 101 when the state's Coastal Commission was formed -- at about the time the original wave of freeway protests peaked ('70's).  That being said -- I could conceivably see L.A.-to-Santa Barbara as a 3di now that the Rincon section has been breached and the segment through Montecito upgraded (although not for capacity).  But north of there -- not so much. 
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Re: Was US 101 south of Crescent itís in Rockslide?
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2021, 09:43:19 AM »

US 93 in Arizona has a similar feel to US 101 in California.  In fact I recall asking the question why I-11 really is even needed when bypasses of Kingman and Wickenburg are the only real problem areas left. 
Same reason we've got Interstate 238: brand name recognition, to an extent. Motorists are familiar with the interstate shield and know when they see it, it will be a freeway. While there are a lot of US routes now modernized to freeway standards, it's not always a guarantee.
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US Highways: 1 / 2 / 6 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 / 20 / 26 / 30 / 50 / 64 / 66 / 84 / 85 / 87 / 91 / 93 / 95 / 97 / 99 / 101 / 189 / 191 / 201 / 285 / 287 / 385 / 395
Interstate Highways: 5 / 10 / 15 / 17 / 25 / 40 / 45 / 70 / 80 / 84 / 89 / 90 / 93 / 95

 


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