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Author Topic: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway  (Read 15105 times)

froggie

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2020, 09:11:13 AM »

The tolling debate in Alabama is endemic of the root cause of the issue:  people want new roads, but they don't want to pay for them.
I think they would rather stick with the existing toll-free bridge / tunnel rather than widening / replacing it with a toll.

Also, they do pay for them at the gas pump.

Not enough.  It has been repeatedly demonstrated that what drivers pay in gas tax is not even close to being enough to cover road costs.
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Beltway

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2020, 09:59:14 AM »

2013 vs. 2018 Volumes -
Downtown Tunnel - 86,000 to 84,000
Midtown Tunnel - 36,000 to 28,000
I-64 between Great Bridge Blvd and US-17 Business - 83,000 to 93,000
US-13 between Canal Dr and Bainbridge Blvd - 17,000 to 35,000
Where did the traffic go?
Traffic volumes decreased on -both- tunnels and increased significantly on free routes.
Those figures don't add up.  A drop of 10,000 on the tunnels and an increase 28,000 on the other routes?

BTW I always did question the published counts on the 2-lane Midtown Tunnel as being way too high.  That was also before it had a freeway connection to I-264.

Also the new Gilmerton Bridge opened in 2014 and provided a big improvement on that part of US-13.  The old bridge had low clearance and opened something like 40 times per day for marine traffic, which limited the usage.  Also it was carrying 35,000 per day according to a ASHE presentation on the project that I have.
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froggie

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #77 on: February 21, 2020, 09:39:58 AM »

Since I was stationed there at the time and using it regularly, I can very much believe the 36K figure for the Midtown Tunnel in 2013.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #78 on: February 21, 2020, 10:27:31 AM »

Those figures don't add up.  A drop of 10,000 on the tunnels and an increase 28,000 on the other routes?

BTW I always did question the published counts on the 2-lane Midtown Tunnel as being way too high.  That was also before it had a freeway connection to I-264.

Also the new Gilmerton Bridge opened in 2014 and provided a big improvement on that part of US-13.  The old bridge had low clearance and opened something like 40 times per day for marine traffic, which limited the usage.  Also it was carrying 35,000 per day according to a ASHE presentation on the project that I have.
I'm simply posting what VDOT's AADT publications from 2013 and 2018 indicated.

Looking at AAWDT (Annual Average Weekday Daily Traffic)...

2013 vs. 2018 Volumes -
Downtown Tunnel - 93,000 to 91,000
Midtown Tunnel - 40,000 to 34,000
I-64 between Great Bridge Blvd and US-17 Business - 82,000 to 98,000
US-13 between Canal Dr and Bainbridge Blvd - 19,000 to 39,000
I-64 between US-13 and US-17 Business - 77,000 to 90,000
I-264 between Portsmouth and I-64 - 56,000 to 65,000

Hard to say the Tunnels was the only cause for the major spike in traffic on I-64, I-264, and US-13, as you also have to factor traffic naturally increasing annually with more growth, population increase, etc, but there was most certainly a -decrease- in traffic on both tunnels after the implementation of tolling, and if the AAWDT vs. AADT volumes are only indication, the decrease is more evident during weekends. During the weekday, the decrease was less noticeable, only 2,000 on the Downtown and 6,000 on the Midtown, but still there nonetheless. Had tolling not been implemented, that 93,000 AADT figure could easily be close to or at 100,000 AADT today.

But what is certainly true - the Midtown Tunnel being expanded was -not- the cause for the traffic decrease on the Downtown Tunnel, otherwise volumes would be higher on the Midtown than previously, not lower.

Traffic (AAWDT) volumes spiked between 2013 and 2018 on the pre-existing MLK Freeway segment between VA-141 and VA-164 from 37,000 to 58,000, though the majority of that new traffic is bound towards VA-164, as the new route now acts as a short-cut from Portsmouth to I-664 North. Traffic volumes (AAWDT) as a result increased on VA-164 from 54,000 to 64,000 between US-58 and West Norfolk Rd, and from 52,000 to 60,000 near the Suffolk line.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 10:34:36 AM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2020, 11:25:52 AM »

Those figures don't add up.  A drop of 10,000 on the tunnels and an increase 28,000 on the other routes?
BTW I always did question the published counts on the 2-lane Midtown Tunnel as being way too high.  That was also before it had a freeway connection to I-264.
Also the new Gilmerton Bridge opened in 2014 and provided a big improvement on that part of US-13.  The old bridge had low clearance and opened something like 40 times per day for marine traffic, which limited the usage.  Also it was carrying 35,000 per day according to a ASHE presentation on the project that I have.
I'm simply posting what VDOT's AADT publications from 2013 and 2018 indicated.
Got it, but I don't think the Midtown Tunnel figures are accurate, given the inherent limitations of a 2-lane 2-way tunnel compared to a modern 4-lane twin tube tunnel that is now connected to the regional freeway system.

Plus those figures for the Downtown Tunnel showed only a very small decline.

Also re-note the effects of the major upgrade on the US-13 Gilmerton Bridge -after- 2013. 

[remainder read and snipped]
 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 11:30:22 AM by Beltway »
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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2020, 10:34:52 PM »

The new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge was opened for use in October, 2012.  The old bridge closed in 2008.  This is something else that needs to be factored into the mix for changes in traffic distribution on the Elizabeth River crossings.

Reported traffic volumes for 2018 are 7,900 AADT and 8,600 AAWDT.

Current toll for 2-axle vehicles is $2.55 each way.


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sprjus4

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2020, 10:43:27 PM »

The new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge was opened for use in October, 2012.  The old bridge closed in 2008.  This is something else that needs to be factored into the mix for changes in traffic distribution on the Elizabeth River crossings.

Reported traffic volumes for 2018 are 7,900 AADT and 8,600 AAWDT.

Current toll for 2-axle vehicles is $2.55 each way.
The traffic volumes on the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge were 6,400 AADT and 6,800 AADT in 2013. There has been an increase of 1,500 AADT or 1,800 AAWDT, so certainly a factor indeed.

Offers a congestion-free link from Portsmouth to I-464, though needs to traverse 2-lane road to reach it, and has a higher toll than the tunnels ($0.70 higher during off-peak hours, $0.22 higher during peak hours). Having used it during peak hours, I'd say it's certainly worth it over the tunnels when congested. Off-peak though, it's a no brainer to use the tunnels or I-64 High Rise Bridge depending on where coming from.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 10:46:38 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #83 on: December 28, 2020, 04:59:01 PM »

An update:

https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2020/11/no-tolls-only-a-vision-mobile-baldwin-officials-reassure-i-10-opponents.html



At least the conversation stays in the forefront with this project.

If there are concerns with the cost of the entire project, then built it in phases. Build a higher and wider bayway in one phase. If the bayway piece by itself is still expensive (which I figure it will be, perhaps in the $1 billion range), then since the bayway was going to be expanded to eight lanes, build one of the two required structures at a time at a cost of $500 million each and squeeze the existing four lanes onto the first structure, then build the second bayway structure. Finally, build the Mobile River bridge in another phase.

For whatever reason, the replacement southbound AL 35 bridge across the Tennessee River ended up being built in three separate phases I guess due to not having enough cash on hand to build it all at the same time. This state has done it before.

If the feds see that progress is being made, then perhaps Alabama will get some infusion of cash to speed up things.
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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2021, 03:59:04 PM »

The I-10 Mobile River bridge project is back.  Under the new plan, ALDOT will build a new 4-lane toll bridge over the Mobile River that will be for trucks only. The existing byway will also be restriped to 6 lanes.  From the project website https://www.mobilerivertruckbridge.com/

Phase one of this project will construct a dedicated four-lane bridge over the Mobile River for large trucks only. All trucks over 46 feet – class 4, 5 and 6 – would be required to use this new bridge. This will eliminate all large truck traffic from the existing passageways resulting in smoother traffic flow and fewer accidents through the Wallace Tunnel. All current routes would remain toll-free.

Projections show that construction of the Truck Bridge will decrease average passenger car delays by approximately 60 to 90 minutes during peak times.

In addition to the new bridge, the existing Bayway will be restriped and converted from two to three lanes in each direction. This will increase traffic flow by an estimated 40% and increase highway safety.

Finally, as part of this project, the signed hazardous truck route will no longer pass through the Africatown community.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2021, 04:06:21 PM »

This seems like a decent enough plan. At least new infrastructure is being built. Any opposition from the trucking lobby?

It seems like if it successful then they could potentially rehabilitate and maybe expand the tunnel one day.

PS, what an impressive timeline! Something like that even in rural California would just be impossible. Starting construction by 22-23!? They’re going to have to get on the ball with EIS pronto.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 04:08:23 PM by Plutonic Panda »
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mvak36

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2021, 04:45:52 PM »

^I wondered a couple of years ago if they would have had to return that INFRA grant award they got for this project since the toll bridge got cancelled back in 2019. I agree that it seems like a good plan. It will be interesting to see what the truckers will say.
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barcncpt44

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2021, 06:39:44 PM »

Oh boy, a representative with a national trucking association said the truck only toll could be unconstitutional.
https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2021/03/truck-toll-pitched-for-new-i-10-bridge-in-alabama-is-it-constitutional.html
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2021, 07:01:05 PM »

Why not just allow any traffic to use a new six lane bridge for a toll and keep the tunnel free. Come back later and pay for a new, widened tunnel when the money is available.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2021, 07:16:05 PM »

Wouldn’t restriping the Bayway eliminate the shoulders entirely? Just a safety consideration to keep in mind on a high traffic corridor.
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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2021, 07:20:42 PM »

Wouldn’t restriping the Bayway eliminate the shoulders entirely? Just a safety consideration to keep in mind on a high traffic corridor.


I was literally about to say this. And that's quite a few miles of no shoulders on top of that
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vdeane

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2021, 09:41:41 PM »

I wonder what the implications for route designations are.  Would the new bridge get an interstate number (either Truck I-10 or a 3di), rendering the interstate system unclinchable for anyone who isn't a truck driver?  Would it get a state route number?

Not really a fan of re-striping the bridges.  You'll still have a jam with the tunnels, so you're eliminating the shoulders and possibly narrowing the lanes for not much gain.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2021, 09:43:13 PM »

I wonder what the implications for route designations are.  Would the new bridge get an interstate number (either Truck I-10 or a 3di), rendering the interstate system unclinchable for anyone who isn't a truck driver?  Would it get a state route number?

Not really a fan of re-striping the bridges.  You'll still have a jam with the tunnels, so you're eliminating the shoulders and possibly narrowing the lanes for not much gain.
I’ll still drive it. It’s not like they’re going to arrest me. Might have to pay a fine but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Pun intended.
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froggie

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2021, 11:32:20 PM »

Wouldn’t restriping the Bayway eliminate the shoulders entirely? Just a safety consideration to keep in mind on a high traffic corridor.

Correct.  So the claim that it would "increase highway safety" is complete bullshit.

I sent the project an email saying about as much but with nicer words.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 11:37:04 PM by froggie »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #94 on: March 23, 2021, 07:51:32 AM »

The bridge deck is only around 36 ft wide, so cramming 3 12 ft lanes wouldn’t even give you the sometimes acceptable 4 ft shoulder, it would be a mere line shoved up against a wall with no room for error. That’s only going to decrease safety and increase accidents. And it’s not like it’s a small overpass that you’ll cross in seconds. It’s over 6 miles long, one accident, one breakdown, and you’re shutting down lanes. Would the FHWA even approve such a project?

Unless the other solution is to pull a Texas and reduce lane sizes to 11 ft, leaving a mere 1.5 to 2 ft on either side, still no better, especially given high truck volumes.

With high traffic volumes, truck traffic, and safety concerns, the only viable solution is to completely replace the viaduct with one that has six lanes with full shoulders on both sides, or at minimum widen the existing Bayway to have a minimum of a 10 ft right shoulder.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 07:58:48 AM by sprjus4 »
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vdeane

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2021, 02:20:44 PM »

Unless the other solution is to pull a Texas and reduce lane sizes to 11 ft, leaving a mere 1.5 to 2 ft on either side, still no better, especially given high truck volumes.

With high traffic volumes, truck traffic, and safety concerns, the only viable solution is to completely replace the viaduct with one that has six lanes with full shoulders on both sides, or at minimum widen the existing Bayway to have a minimum of a 10 ft right shoulder.
You keep talking about trucks.  Did you miss the part where they would also build a new four-lane, truck-only bridge, and make the existing bridge cars-only?
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bwana39

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #96 on: March 23, 2021, 04:12:41 PM »

Unless the other solution is to pull a Texas and reduce lane sizes to 11 ft, leaving a mere 1.5 to 2 ft on either side, still no better, especially given high truck volumes.

With high traffic volumes, truck traffic, and safety concerns, the only viable solution is to completely replace the viaduct with one that has six lanes with full shoulders on both sides, or at minimum widen the existing Bayway to have a minimum of a 10 ft right shoulder.
You keep talking about trucks.  Did you miss the part where they would also build a new four-lane, truck-only bridge, and make the existing bridge cars-only?

Driving the reduced lane width is far less onerous with the truck traffic removed. 
 


Oh boy, a representative with a national trucking association said the truck only toll could be unconstitutional.
https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2021/03/truck-toll-pitched-for-new-i-10-bridge-in-alabama-is-it-constitutional.html

The simple way to do this is not for it to be a "truck only" bridge, but to restrict heavy trucks from the free bridge due to safety (perhaps weight) restrictions. It would not restrict autos from the new bridge, but there would be little incentive for cars to use the new bridge.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2021, 04:29:10 PM »

Yeah count me against 11ft lanes if it can be avoided. I can understand it in places like LA but there is land widely available in Alabama.
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froggie

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #98 on: March 23, 2021, 04:47:35 PM »

Unless the other solution is to pull a Texas and reduce lane sizes to 11 ft, leaving a mere 1.5 to 2 ft on either side, still no better, especially given high truck volumes.

With high traffic volumes, truck traffic, and safety concerns, the only viable solution is to completely replace the viaduct with one that has six lanes with full shoulders on both sides, or at minimum widen the existing Bayway to have a minimum of a 10 ft right shoulder.
You keep talking about trucks.  Did you miss the part where they would also build a new four-lane, truck-only bridge, and make the existing bridge cars-only?

Did you miss the part that the new truck only bridge covers the Mobile River part of the crossing and not the rest of the Bayway?
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vdeane

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Re: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
« Reply #99 on: March 23, 2021, 09:54:33 PM »

Unless the other solution is to pull a Texas and reduce lane sizes to 11 ft, leaving a mere 1.5 to 2 ft on either side, still no better, especially given high truck volumes.

With high traffic volumes, truck traffic, and safety concerns, the only viable solution is to completely replace the viaduct with one that has six lanes with full shoulders on both sides, or at minimum widen the existing Bayway to have a minimum of a 10 ft right shoulder.
You keep talking about trucks.  Did you miss the part where they would also build a new four-lane, truck-only bridge, and make the existing bridge cars-only?

Did you miss the part that the new truck only bridge covers the Mobile River part of the crossing and not the rest of the Bayway?
There are separate rivers there!?  This is suddenly looking like a much smaller project than what I imagined (though that does answer the question of why bother to re-stripe the bridges if the tunnels would still be two lanes each).  Where would that even go?  Or would it not be a freeway?
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