National Boards > Bridges

Proactive Bridges

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The Wilson Bridge has some extra-wide shoulders that can be converted to carry light/heavy rail, and presumably the design of the bridge had to be altered in some way in order to accommodate for hypothetical trains crossing the bridge.

The center reservation of the Dulles Airport Access Road sat empty for decades, built with an eye towards heavy rail of some kind.

The Congress Branch of the CTA Blue Line was built with an easement wide enough to accommodate 3 tracks and, in some places, 4 tracks, because they thought the Chicago Aurora and Elgin would also use this branch (they ended up ceasing service in the middle of a workday before the line was completed).  In fact, there are two unused tunnel stubs just east of the UIC-Halsted stop, and they're noticeably smaller than the two tunnels the CTA uses.


--- Quote from: kurumi on June 21, 2023, 11:44:00 AM ---When I lived there as a wee lad in 1978, the Alternate A1A bridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter was 6 lanes wide while the rest of the road was mainly 2 lanes. It seemed fairly new, but I don't know the opening date.

Now, most of Alt A1A is 6 lanes in the area:

--- End quote ---

Florida was pretty good at this through the '90s, many overpasses and bridges were widened before the rest of the roadways which carried them could be widened for a good 5-10 years. Cheap and mostly unused ROW.

Of course, there's a few 1950s relics on the Turnpike on some of those 40-mile corridors between exits.

A couple examples that I'm aware of:

TX 35 crossing Austin Bayou between Danbury and Alvin. I believe this road is getting widened soon:

TX 288 crossing Croix Road near Pearland:

The new White River bridge on I-40 in Arkansas is designed for 3 lanes each way:

I-40's bridge over Shell Lake, also in E Arkansas, is similar:

Jeremiah Morrow Bridge (I-71 Ohio MM 35) was recently replaced and the new spans are wide enough for 3 lanes in each direction - that stretch of I-71 is still 2 lanes each way.

Several bridges on I-75 in Lima OH were rebuilt in the last few years, and, surprisingly they were NOT designed to expand that stretch to 3 lanes each way.  Lima (exits 120-127) lies in the only stretch of I-75 (MM 76 to MM 156) in Ohio that is not already 3 or more lanes in each direction.

The I-280 bridge over the Stanford Linear Accelerator predates the rest of the freeway (top center of image)

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