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US 33 Upgrades in Ohio

Started by Buck87, March 25, 2015, 11:36:46 AM

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GCrites

That "View on Map" overlay system on the Highway Plans Viewer is sexy.


TempoNick

#201
Quote from: seicer on January 22, 2024, 10:15:37 AM
I never could find anything about why it was developed the way it was - but an article from 1980 noted that it connected with a "local service road that's crumbling into the river rather than a highway" on the Ohio side. 😒

The bridge plans on the state highway plans viewer are from 1975 and 1976, and at that time the four-lane connector to Interstate 77 did not exist. It was a bridge connecting WV Route 2 and OH Route 338. A refinement to the plans on the latter of those two links (page two), from 1978, shows the new WV Route 2 connector to Interstate 77.

Although as I'm working through the plans, it's interesting that of the three sites studied, the connector to the interstate was shown as proposed. Site B Alternate B-2 and B-3 indicate a direct connection with the connector and WV Route 2, with one being an intersection and the other being an interchange at Hemlock Road.  And more interesting is the plans originally included provisions for a toll plaza. It ultimately looks like Site B Alternate B-5 was considered.

It seems like it would be easy enough to straighten it out. The guy who owns that house with the red roof might not be very happy about it though.

As much as I would like to see this completed, it still seems like a low priority project compared to some of the other needs in the state. You would think doing something about US 23 or completing US 35 would be a higher priority. Maybe they've got money to spend and nobody down there would complain about it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ni0QA8StOTXwui1kpdp7sgrJLYmqd6mj/view?usp=drivesdk

carbaugh2

Here is the link to the files shared at the public information meetings on the 4 lane expansion in Athens and Meigs Counties.

https://www.dot.state.oh.us/projects/files/Forms/pid.aspx?&FilterField1=PID&FilterValue1=33-expansion

sprjus4

^ It appears from these plans that the northern 10 miles from Athens to Darwin will indeed be built to freeway standards, with 3 new interchanges along with modified ramps at the southern part of that section with Route 681.

seicer

#204
Project files for the US 33 expansion in Meigs County (Pomeroy-Ravenswood) and Athens and Meigs County (Pomeroy-Athens) are now live: https://www.dot.state.oh.us/projects/files/Forms/pid.aspx?&FilterField1=PID&FilterValue1=33-expansion

Considering how quickly these plans came together, it makes me wonder if these are the original plans for the Pomeroy-Ravenswood segment from 20 years ago when the expressway was completed. Note that in this segment, all intersections are retained. The expanded right-of-way continues to the Ohio River, but the four-lane expansion begins west of Great Bend.

For the Pomeroy-Athens segment, interchanges are proposed because of the higher traffic counts: https://www.dot.state.oh.us/projects/files/U.S.%2033%20Athens%20to%20Darwin%20Public%20Meeting%20Exhibits.pdf

I didn't realize that they had set aside right-of-way for these back then.

carbaugh2

Prior to the public meetings, the webpage mentioned that designs were put together back in 2000-2001, so I think these are the same plans that will be tweaked based on public comments. I still remember my normally stoic grandfather telling me about the Super 2 as it cut drive into Athens from southern Alexander Twp by 10-15 minutes. I'm sure he would be just as proud to see the freeway completed.

After looking at what is available, I am curious to see how they execute the eastbound lanes of 33. There is a large drop off from the current 2 lanes (future westbound lanes). My guess is that there will be 2 levels of lanes that come together for the interchanges and overpasses. I am disappointed that the plans never addressed the intersection between 681 and the rest areas. I don't have a preference between cul de sacs, an overpass, or frontage roads, but it needs addressed.

seicer

It leaves four at-grade intersections south of the future Darwin interchange, and it doesn't look like any of them were built with future interchanges or overpasses in mind.

On a somewhat related note, it's nice to see those rest areas at Darwin rebuilt. They were basically outhouses+. I wonder if they will affix a "Modern" tab above the rest area signs as they did for the rest area north of Portsmouth on US 23.

It would be nice to see more intersections closed, especially north of Logan - and the right-in/right-out at that rest area modified into ramps.

carbaugh2

Quote from: seicer on February 15, 2024, 01:22:24 PM
It would be nice to see more intersections closed, especially north of Logan - and the right-in/right-out at that rest area modified into ramps.

They received a $1 million grant for a feasibility study covering Sugar Grove to 180 back in November 2022. Hopefully we see the results soon.

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/OHIOGOVERNOR/2022/11/03/file_attachments/2319081/2022%20Safety%20Projects.pdf

Bitmapped

Quote from: carbaugh2 on February 15, 2024, 12:43:26 PM
Prior to the public meetings, the webpage mentioned that designs were put together back in 2000-2001, so I think these are the same plans that will be tweaked based on public comments. I still remember my normally stoic grandfather telling me about the Super 2 as it cut drive into Athens from southern Alexander Twp by 10-15 minutes. I'm sure he would be just as proud to see the freeway completed.

Athens to the West Virginia line was originally intended to be built as four lanes but was cut to two due to cost constraints. I wouldn't be surprised if they had done at least some level of plans for four lanes previously.

I see the work includes converting the US 33/SR 681 interchange at Darwin to a diamond interchange. This will be third configuration of SR 681's junction with the new US 33. When it was first built, it was an at-grade intersection; turn lanes were the reason why the US 33 bridge is so wide. After a couple years, they shoehorned a new roadway for SR 681 under the bridge and converted it to a RIRO configuration. Now, it'll be changed to a diamond.

GCrites

Quote from: seicer on February 15, 2024, 01:22:24 PM

On a somewhat related note, it's nice to see those rest areas at Darwin rebuilt. They were basically outhouses+. I wonder if they will affix a "Modern" tab above the rest area signs as they did for the rest area north of Portsmouth on US 23.


These "oldies" are often newer than I thought. One I think is from the early '70s turns out to be from 1985. I'm almost certain they were primitive at some point. In Ohio the tell is the hand-pump water fountain. ODOT even uses an image of the pumps in its literature as a "We've come a long way".

Black-Man

Quote from: seicer on January 22, 2024, 10:15:37 AM
I never could find anything about why it was developed the way it was - but an article from 1980 noted that it connected with a "local service road that's crumbling into the river rather than a highway" on the Ohio side. 😒

That's exactly what it was. I drove down US33 from Cowtown in '79 and deviated across Pomeroy to Racine along the river and over unstriped country roads along the cornfields to get towards Ravenswood. I still remember one of the most bizarre sites I've seen traveling where literally out of the cornfields arose this new 2 lane bridge over the Ohio. Usually WVDOT is 30 years *behind* highway construction (at least in the southern counties) and in this case they were 30 years ahead. Just a shame they've never moved past a stop sign at the foot of the bridge where on any given summer Friday afternoon traffic backs up to the bridge itself. SMH

webny99

Which is a better route between Columbus and Charleston: US 33 or US 23/US 35?

Google suggests they are very similar time-wise so I am curious if these projects could tip the scales in favor of US 33.

JREwing78

Quote from: webny99 on February 15, 2024, 10:15:49 PM
Which is a better route between Columbus and Charleston: US 33 or US 23/US 35?

Google suggests they are very similar time-wise so I am curious if these projects could tip the scales in favor of US 33.

I don't think it's going to appreciably change drive time that much in favor of US 33. West Virginia completing the 4-lane segment of US-35 to I-64 was the great equalizer in that regard.

Probably the biggest choke point for US 33 is the Ohio River crossing in Ravenswood, which forces traffic to navigate two left turns to continue eastbound. This widening doesn't resolve that particular issue, but it sets up a future project to twin the Ravenswood bridge to complete the 4-lane US-33 to I-77. That will ultimately save time and improve safety.

GCrites

Quote from: Black-Man on February 15, 2024, 10:13:15 PM
Quote from: seicer on January 22, 2024, 10:15:37 AM
I never could find anything about why it was developed the way it was - but an article from 1980 noted that it connected with a "local service road that's crumbling into the river rather than a highway" on the Ohio side. 😒

That's exactly what it was. I drove down US33 from Cowtown in '79 and deviated across Pomeroy to Racine along the river and over unstriped country roads along the cornfields to get towards Ravenswood. I still remember one of the most bizarre sites I've seen traveling where literally out of the cornfields arose this new 2 lane bridge over the Ohio. Usually WVDOT is 30 years *behind* highway construction (at least in the southern counties) and in this case they were 30 years ahead. Just a shame they've never moved past a stop sign at the foot of the bridge where on any given summer Friday afternoon traffic backs up to the bridge itself. SMH

It is quite palatial, even now. With most Ohio River bridges there's at least a moderate level of hubbub surrounding them if not full-on metroplexes. But that bridge stands on its own. 

TempoNick

Quote from: JREwing78 on February 15, 2024, 10:40:06 PM
Quote from: webny99 on February 15, 2024, 10:15:49 PM
Which is a better route between Columbus and Charleston: US 33 or US 23/US 35?

Google suggests they are very similar time-wise so I am curious if these projects could tip the scales in favor of US 33.

I don't think it's going to appreciably change drive time that much in favor of US 33. West Virginia completing the 4-lane segment of US-35 to I-64 was the great equalizer in that regard.

Probably the biggest choke point for US 33 is the Ohio River crossing in Ravenswood, which forces traffic to navigate two left turns to continue eastbound. This widening doesn't resolve that particular issue, but it sets up a future project to twin the Ravenswood bridge to complete the 4-lane US-33 to I-77. That will ultimately save time and improve safety.

If you are coming from East Columbus, 33 is the superior way. From other parts of Columbus, it depends on how much you like or dislike 23 between Columbus and Circleville. It is very dislikable.

6a

Quote from: webny99 on February 15, 2024, 10:15:49 PM
Which is a better route between Columbus and Charleston: US 33 or US 23/US 35?

Google suggests they are very similar time-wise so I am curious if these projects could tip the scales in favor of US 33.

When I lived in the south, I preferred 23-35, but my folks live in the west part of the county. I'm a big creature of habit, though, so I very rarely explored other options.

TempoNick

Quote from: 6a on February 19, 2024, 08:37:24 PM
Quote from: webny99 on February 15, 2024, 10:15:49 PM
Which is a better route between Columbus and Charleston: US 33 or US 23/US 35?

Google suggests they are very similar time-wise so I am curious if these projects could tip the scales in favor of US 33.

When I lived in the south, I preferred 23-35, but my folks live in the west part of the county. I'm a big creature of habit, though, so I very rarely explored other options.

Playing with the map, in Franklin County and maybe up through Powell, east of US 23, you are better off taking US 33 or or it's roughly the same. West of US 23 you are better off taking US 35.

GCrites

Weird that the time difference is on the Columbus side.

TempoNick

Quote from: GCrites80s on February 20, 2024, 10:27:29 AM
Weird that the time difference is on the Columbus side.

I think Powell and Worthington were a few miles more going US 33 but roughly same amount of time. West of 23, the difference started getting into the 10 mile range or more. There is still a lot of friction between Columbus and the Pickaway County line though.

Hot Rod Hootenanny

(Granted I'm posting at 12:30 at night, but...)
From my house (Delaware/Morrow Co. line) to Charleston it is a dead heat. Both routes (71-33-77 & 71-23-35-64) are the same in mileage and time for me.
Please, don't sue Alex & Andy over what I wrote above

TempoNick

Quote from: Hot Rod Hootenanny on February 24, 2024, 12:34:41 AM
(Granted I'm posting at 12:30 at night, but...)
From my house (Delaware/Morrow Co. line) to Charleston it is a dead heat. Both routes (71-33-77 & 71-23-35-64) are the same in mileage and time for me.

I can't think of any choke points going US 33, but we know that there is the potential for trouble on US 23 until you pass South Bloomfield.

GCrites

33 and Gender Road gets bad at peak. The Pickerington Rd. light is still there and causes platooning that goes on for miles.

TempoNick

Quote from: GCrites80s on February 24, 2024, 11:19:28 AM
33 and Gender Road gets bad at peak. The Pickerington Rd. light is still there and causes platooning that goes on for miles.

During rush hour, that is true. But any other time of the day, US 33 is an easy ride all the way to 77.

carbaugh2

My thought on driving 33 to Charleston versus 23/35 is that 33 is more consistent in drive time since the only lights are at Pickerington Rd and Allen Rd/Sugar Grove (just south of the Lancaster Bypass), and the Pickerington Rd interchange project goes to bid on 5/8/25 (https://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/ContractAdmin/Contracts/Pages/upcoming-projects-overview.aspx). The only other place I've experienced congestion is on the 2-lane section in Meigs County when someone is sticking to the 55 MPH speed limit, which is understandable since I have seen troopers monitoring speeds every time I have driven it. On the other hand, 23 has traffic lights from 270 to South Bloomfield and on the south side of Circleville.

Speaking of bid dates, the same page lists the dates for the sale of various parts of the Super-2 conversion projects. A project to repair the existing concrete pavement in Meigs County goes to bid in early May. Tree clearing in Athens County is set for August, while the same work in Meigs County will be sold in September.

Both sections are being split into two sections. The Five Points-Ravenswood construction projects are scheduled February and March 2025, while the Athens-Darwin projects will be let in April 2025. ODOT has its total construction estimate for the Five Points-Ravenswood project at just over $83 million, while the Athens-Darwin work is estimated at just under $117 million.

Another project that will be bid this year is the interchange reconstruction at 33/682 at The Plains. The ramp intersections are being converted to roundabouts at an estimated cost of $2 million. It has a sale date in October. The public comments indicate area residents are fans of the move. Personally, I think the roundabouts at 664 have been a great improvement to traffic flow and sight lines, so I think this will be just as beneficial.

carbaugh2

Quote from: Buck87 on December 01, 2023, 11:43:12 AM
The US 33 / Petzinger Rd intersection was supposed to get an RCUT this year, did that happen?

I'm having trouble finding info as to whether or not that happened. Just reference to the fact that the planned full interchange there is not yet funded and that an RCUT would be installed in 2023 to serve that intersection during the interim period.

I drove through here earlier today. The RCUT is not complete; however, it appears they have recently relocated utility lines, so I'm guessing they will be working on it in the near future.



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