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US 58 -- Past, Present, and Future

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Beltway:

--- Quote from: plain on April 07, 2020, 03:52:44 AM ---I have many memories of this stretch from when I was a kid. It was indeed very dangerous, my pops had a few close calls driving us through here. A lot of people used to pass others over the solid yellow lines (the no passing zones) and it made our travels pretty scary.
It's actually pretty funny to me how the stretch between Emporia and South Hill was 4 lanes before the stretch between Emporia and Courtland was.

--- End quote ---
Because it was a high-quality 2-lane highway, with wide lanes, decent shoulders and not with much horizontal curvature, and as the article said "carries an estimated 7,355 vehicles a day," which was low enough that it was a pleasant enough drive and had no congestion issues to speak of.  The "many trucks" was not really the case, it was about 10%.  Clearly lower priority to widen than the other section that you named.

Mapmikey:

--- Quote from: Beltway on April 07, 2020, 07:20:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: plain on April 07, 2020, 03:52:44 AM ---I have many memories of this stretch from when I was a kid. It was indeed very dangerous, my pops had a few close calls driving us through here. A lot of people used to pass others over the solid yellow lines (the no passing zones) and it made our travels pretty scary.
It's actually pretty funny to me how the stretch between Emporia and South Hill was 4 lanes before the stretch between Emporia and Courtland was.

--- End quote ---
Because it was a high-quality 2-lane highway, with wide lanes, decent shoulders and not with much horizontal curvature, and as the article said "carries an estimated 7,355 vehicles a day," which was low enough that it was a pleasant enough drive and had no congestion issues to speak of.  The "many trucks" was not really the case, it was about 10%.  Clearly lower priority to widen than the other section that you named.

--- End quote ---

Per the 1990 VDOT traffic log the stretch with 7355 vehicles was 22% trucks (19% if you don't include "single unit trucks").  Don't know what constitutes heavy truck traffic but for context, in 1990 I-81, which is widely considered truck-heavy, was 25-30% truck traffic.

amroad17:
Basically, it was not the "road itself" causing all the crashes and deaths but the inability of motorists properly driving.  There were many times in my youth when, living in the Hampton Roads area, we would use US 58 west to take weekend trips to the mountains or visiting friends in Burlington, NC.  Traffic was not heavy and, as Beltway has said, the truck traffic was very low.  We had no problems, mostly because my father paid attention while driving and, being that he grew up in the Syracuse area, he was used to driving on two-lane quality NY state highways as well as the county highways.

Some of the crashes occurred because motorists were pulling onto US 58 from the side roads and did not properly judge how far another vehicle was from them.  I remember reading about at least five such crashes in the Virginian-Pilot back in the late 1970's-1980's.

It was not a "heavily traveled" corridor back in the 1970's and early 1980's.  It, however, did start becoming more traveled starting in the late 1980's for some reason (Franklin bypass?), necessitating the upgrade.  Now, it is a lot safer to drive.

Not to get into the "US 58/I-95 vs I-87" discussion/debate/argument, and I may have posted this before, depending on how one motorist wants to drive from Raleigh to Hampton Roads (and vice versa), it doesn't matter which way is quicker.  A motorist is going to drive whichever way they want to--or however their GPS tells them  :D.

Each route has its own merit.  Those living in western Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk are more than likely going to use US 58/I-95 to get to Raleigh.  Those living in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and central and southern Chesapeake may want to use I-87, in the obvious far-off future, to get to Raleigh.  However, if there was an Interstate highway proposal to "cut both the corners", the above mentioned discussion would not last for 50+ pages over two or three threads.

Beltway:

--- Quote from: Mapmikey on April 07, 2020, 08:13:22 AM ---
--- Quote from: Beltway on April 07, 2020, 07:20:14 AM ---Because it was a high-quality 2-lane highway, with wide lanes, decent shoulders and not with much horizontal curvature, and as the article said "carries an estimated 7,355 vehicles a day," which was low enough that it was a pleasant enough drive and had no congestion issues to speak of.  The "many trucks" was not really the case, it was about 10%.  Clearly lower priority to widen than the other section that you named.

--- End quote ---
Per the 1990 VDOT traffic log the stretch with 7355 vehicles was 22% trucks (19% if you don't include "single unit trucks").  Don't know what constitutes heavy truck traffic but for context, in 1990 I-81, which is widely considered truck-heavy, was 25-30% truck traffic.

--- End quote ---
1,618 truck AADT as opposed to about 10,000 truck AADT.

I could have looked that % before posting it, but today and back in the 1980s that section of US-58 had low enough truck volume that it didn't look 'truck busy' and nothing like the effect of I-81.

The highway actually flowed well enough and fast enough that it worked well with 2 lanes, other than the high head-on collision rate.
 

Beltway:

--- Quote from: amroad17 on April 07, 2020, 08:17:31 AM ---It was not a "heavily traveled" corridor back in the 1970's and early 1980's.  It, however, did start becoming more traveled starting in the late 1980's for some reason (Franklin bypass?), necessitating the upgrade.  Now, it is a lot safer to drive.
--- End quote ---
The first focus was on building the bypasses.  They were Suffolk completed in 1974, and Franklin, Courtland and Emporia completed as 2 lanes on 4-lane limited access R/W in the 1982 to 1986 range (I would need to look for some notes to get exact years).  Each city had its own congestion or delay problems, minor compared to a large metro but annoying nonetheless.


--- Quote from: amroad17 on April 07, 2020, 08:17:31 AM ---Not to get into the "US 58/I-95 vs I-87" discussion/debate/argument, and I may have posted this
--- End quote ---
The original poster created this thread specifically to separate the two, and Sprjus4 has complained repeatedly about the two being comingled.
 

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