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Author Topic: Highways that were underbuilt  (Read 3956 times)

mgk920

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2022, 10:56:09 AM »

What is now I-41 between De Pere and Kaukauna, WI (then US 41) was upgraded from two lanes to a more than adequate four lane surface expressway in 1968.  It is now programmed for upgrading to a six lane urban profile freeway starting in 3-4 years.

Mike
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skluth

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2022, 11:24:36 AM »

What is now I-41 between De Pere and Kaukauna, WI (then US 41) was upgraded from two lanes to a more than adequate four lane surface expressway in 1968.  It is now programmed for upgrading to a six lane urban profile freeway starting in 3-4 years.

Mike
I remember taking the old US 41 with my grandparents from Green Bay to Milwaukee when I was a kid. My grandfather wanted to go that was because was all four lanes as opposed to my dad's preference of taking WI 57. My grandfather died in 1966. I think this site has the date right in being expanded in 1964. It was not underbuilt at the time and has been upgraded as needed over the years with additional exits and finally to full freeway.

I don't disagree that it needs to be six lanes today.

Underbuilt on I-41 is the interchange with US 151 which should have free-flowing ramps between the interstate and expressway. The stoplights on US 151 are ridiculous after driving nonstop from Madison and encourages drivers to use WI 26 instead. I'd actually prefer a four lane WI 26 with a bypass of Rosendale, but it seems like Wisconsin's most notorious speed trap will continue for the time being.
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TheOneKEA

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2022, 03:57:47 PM »

Here are some examples of underbuilt highways in Maryland.

- The US 1 Bel Air Bypass should have been a four-lane divided highway from the start. The existing road is barely adequate and the cancellation of the Perring Freeway and the northern extension of the MD 24 dual carriageway have resulted in a lot of congestion.
- White Marsh Boulevard between I-695 and I-95 should have been fully grade separated from the beginning. The massively busy intersections and huge rush hour backups around the White Marsh Shopping District are just now being addressed with major reworking of the Honeygo Blvd intersection.
- The MD 32 terminus at I-97 narrows from two lanes to one before merging with I-97 south and widens from one lane to two after diverging from I-97 north. This causes massive congestion on I-97. The interchange should have been built from the start with much longer merges and divergences so that traffic could spread out more easily and not clog up the main lanes.
- There is a short two-lane segment of MD 216 between All Saints Road and Baltimore Avenue that is bounded on either side by four-lane segments. Traffic backs up regularly going northbound due to this unnecessary bottleneck.
- I-70 between I-81 and US 40 south of Hagerstown might fit into this category, but because of how early it was built it might not. This entire segment needs to be six lanes to cater for the large volumes of local traffic going between the various suburban highways and to provide more room to enter and exit the I-81 interchange.
- The segment of MD 174 between Severn Road and Telegraph Road is hugely overcrowded due to the suburban infill in Severn. This road should have been widened a long time ago to handle the existing suburban development and is now in acute need of improvements to handle the massive traffic backups that occur during rush hour.
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Flint1979

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2022, 04:03:08 PM »

United States Highway 23 in Michigan for the 90 miles between Flint and the state line.
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ftballfan

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2022, 08:34:56 PM »

United States Highway 23 in Michigan for the 90 miles between Flint and the state line.

Most of I-94 in Michigan can also fit.
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Flint1979

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2022, 10:13:37 AM »

United States Highway 23 in Michigan for the 90 miles between Flint and the state line.

Most of I-94 in Michigan can also fit.
I agree with I-94 as well.
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thenetwork

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2022, 10:48:05 AM »

United States Highway 23 in Michigan for the 90 miles between Flint and the state line.

Most of I-94 in Michigan can also fit.
I agree with I-94 as well.

Most of those freeways were completed in the 1950's, when it was rare to see more than two lanes per direction outside of the urban areas -- the traffic counts did not warrant it.

Even I-75 in Monroe County (Between Toledo & Detroit) was only 2 lanes in each direction until they added a third lane in the mid 70s.
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webny99

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2022, 05:59:28 PM »

As for non-interstates, how about CA 152?
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JREwing78

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2022, 02:46:29 PM »


Here's specifically where I think MDOT was short-sighted with I-94 and US-23 (also including US-127 and US-131 between I-94 and I-96): they didn't provide an easy way to widen the freeways when they built them out. The overpasses were built too narrow to accommodate a third lane (without resorting to schmuckery like the "Flex Lane").
When the 1980s came around and roads like US-23 and I-94 warranted widening, they couldn't do so easily because they'd have to destroy overpasses that were only 20-30 years old and had plenty of life left in them. It was marginally cheaper to build a 24-foot narrower overpass, but basically locked them into a 4-lane configuration until it needed a complete rebuild. I notice that MDOT is pulling similar crap on recent overpass rebuilds - widening overpasses from 4 to 6 when it should be built wide enough to allow 8 lanes. Example (US-131 at 100th St, Byron Center):2018: https://goo.gl/maps/VU6uBauFRKiAPAM6A2021: https://goo.gl/maps/n6VgXLeffc6fiZPQ7

MDOT in the late 1960's and later built freeways with enough ROW to allow cheap and easy widening when needed. US-127 north of I-69, for example, could grow into a 10-lane freeway without touching the existing overpasses. That may well be overkill, but in another 60 years it's certainly possible US-127 could need to grow from 4 lanes to 6.

US-131 south of M-6, for a counterpoint, can't widen beyond 4 lanes each way until each and every overpass along the way gets replaced. And, astonishingly enough, the 76th St. overpass was replaced within the past 20-30 years - with ONLY enough width for 4 lanes of US-131!

https://goo.gl/maps/q7xDvTVhi9L8gxMF9
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tolbs17

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2022, 03:22:15 PM »

^^^

That looks like it can support a third lane in the future.
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US 89

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2022, 03:43:39 PM »

^^^

That looks like it can support a third lane in the future.

Not without rebuilding the bridge, unless maaaaaaybe if you were okay with absolutely zero shoulder on either side...

TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2022, 04:13:45 PM »

Someone else can explain the details better than I can, but when I-394 was built in the 1990s MnDOT was restricted by Minnesota state law that for some reason they could only have it be four through lanes which required a bottleneck lane drop at Penn Avenue to comply with state law. However MnDOT had the good planning to build the freeway wide enough for six through lanes so that when said law was repealed, all they had to do was re-stripe to six lanes (394 through Penn went to six lanes around 2000).
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Henry

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2022, 01:28:05 PM »

Outside of I-90/I-94, all expressways in Chicago are underbuilt.

Same goes for Atlanta, with the exception of the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector.
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Mark68

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2022, 06:02:51 PM »

I-270 in Denver.

Hell, CDOT is underbuilding I-70 through town right now.
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thenetwork

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2022, 07:42:29 PM »

I-270 in Denver.

Hell, CDOT is underbuilding I-70 through town right now.

I-76 between US-85 and I-70 says, "Hold my Coors Light"...
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Tom958

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2022, 06:18:59 AM »

The at-grade portions of GA 316. Everyone knew it was a mistake to build it that way. The state should've scraped the money together to build it as a freeway or, failing that, built it as a toll road.
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Flint1979

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2022, 07:18:54 AM »

United States Highway 23 in Michigan for the 90 miles between Flint and the state line.

Most of I-94 in Michigan can also fit.
I agree with I-94 as well.

Most of those freeways were completed in the 1950's, when it was rare to see more than two lanes per direction outside of the urban areas -- the traffic counts did not warrant it.

Even I-75 in Monroe County (Between Toledo & Detroit) was only 2 lanes in each direction until they added a third lane in the mid 70s.
Yeah and 70 years later we are still waiting for them to be updated. It really boggles the mind on why MDOT has chosen to wait so long before doing anything with it. I-75 in parts of Bay, Saginaw and Genesee Counties are eight lanes but I-94 is still underbuilt no matter what way you want to spin it. I mean this is the freeway carrying Detroit to Chicago traffic and vice versa but it's only four lanes in most areas of Michigan? It makes no sense. Then US-23 carrying Flint to Toledo traffic and vice versa same thing only four lanes it's ridiclous. It's time for MDOT to upgrade these two freeways.
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Gnutella

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2022, 03:36:00 AM »

I-476 in PA (the Blue RouteSection) was deliberately under built due to NIMBY compromise.

At least PennDOT left enough right-of-way to expand the highway easily in the future.

The at-grade portions of GA 316. Everyone knew it was a mistake to build it that way. The state should've scraped the money together to build it as a freeway or, failing that, built it as a toll road.

Seriously, I-985 serves Gainesville, and I-575 serves Sticksville, but Athens, which is more important than any city served by the two Interstate spurs, got a rinky-dink arterial highway that was functionally obsolete the moment it was completed. Thankfully, GDOT is slowly but surely adding interchanges along the route, but they really need to make a Carl-Bethlehem Road overpass a higher priority. Doing that will create a good 12 miles of signal-free traffic in Barrow County once the GA 11 and GA 53 interchanges are completed.
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Occidental Tourist

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2022, 03:50:56 AM »

The 105 in Los Angeles.  3 general purpose lanes in each direction was too small even back in the 80s when final planning was occurring.
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bing101

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2022, 11:40:19 AM »

I-680 from Benicia to Fairfield it's only 4 lanes wide

I-80 within Vallejo city limits it's only 6 lanes wide.

This was due to I-680 being signed as CA-21 at the time of construction and the population for Solano County was way lower than the current population of 450k as of 2022. Also in the case of I-80 Vallejo this is due to the area population at the time of construction and was originally meant for US-40.

Solano County in 2022 is approximately the same population as Long Beach, CA. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solano_County,_California
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Beach,_California


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solano_County,_California

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Chris19001

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2022, 12:12:03 PM »

Schuylkill expressway in Philadelphia/Montgomery County.
In that case it was "under-built" but the bulk of the problem came from them not bothering to build the other expressway on the opposite side of the river.
Well you have a classic chicken and egg scenario.  The expressway was built in the mid-late 1950's based on estimates that by 1970 there would be 35k vehicles per day (AADT).  After it was completed, there was close to 70k AADT in 1960.  Hence, Penn Dept of Highways proposed the Manayunk Expressway to alleviate the burden.  That signifies a significant underbuild to me to miss your mark by 100% and 10 years.
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roadman65

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2022, 12:35:58 PM »

Many freeways in Florida are under built. If I-4 Ultimate was built properly it would have been built and completed in the early eighties as that was when it was needed.

Then I-295 as an eastern bypass for Jacksonville is a joke. DOT knows quite well new freeways bring dollar signs to the eyes of developers, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that developers look for new roads to build on. Considering our latest industry is building  new communities and using people from states like New York fleeing high taxes and Blue politicians as patrons along with a former Governor who went to visits states like CA to get developers to invest in land along such corridors in our once quiet state, makes any future freeway planned as already under built.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 12:38:28 PM by roadman65 »
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StogieGuy7

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Re: Highways that were underbuilt
« Reply #47 on: March 30, 2022, 03:39:58 PM »

Outside of I-90/I-94, all expressways in Chicago are underbuilt.

Same goes for Atlanta, with the exception of the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector.

Quite true: the Edens is underbuilt, the Stevenson is an underbuilt POS, and the Ike is woefully underbuilt. The Kennedy isn't so much underbuilt as it is given an impossible task of serving as 3 expressways in one to get people to/from Chicago's north and northwest suburbs.

As an aside, my first thought upon reading the subject line was I-94 and many other freeways in Michigan, so I'm glad that others have covered this.
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