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Author Topic: West Virginia Turnpike  (Read 17670 times)

SP Cook

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2016, 10:31:04 AM »

I know West Virginia has a couple of special rate plans for its E-ZPass program. If they are concerned about capturing out-of-state revenue, perhaps they should really sweeten the deal for in-state drivers. Perhaps lower the rate for WV drivers to 50 cents or $1 per toll gate, and raise the rate for out-of-staters to $4 or $5. Or maybe even institute AET and allow vehicles with in-state plates to use the turnpike for free.

Not to go off-topic, but the Germans (who are the only prosperous European country who do not toll) want to toll the autobahns but make the entire amount a tax credit, meaning Germans would in effect drive for free, assuming they have income.  It is tied up in some kind of Euro "court". 

Anyway, the WV ez-pass deal is OK.  You can get an ez-pass for either $5/year and pay $1.30 per mainline toll booth (use of the broken promise Corridor L toll booth is free) rather than $2, or you can get one for $95/year per mainline toll booth (again the Corridor L toll booth is free) and you can drive the road for "free" all you want.  There is also a $5/year "free" pass for just the Corridor L booth.  Then up to $1200 of tolls are deductions from your WV income.  Since most people pay a 6.5% state income tax, that means that you get 6.5% of what you spend back off your taxes. 

I'm not big on that sort of thing.  Because it just becomes a slippery slope.  I can drive in WV for free, but then KY tolls all the roads and you can drive them for free but I have to pay $50 every couple miles, and then Tennessee charges both of us $100 and so on. 
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cpzilliacus

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2016, 05:10:42 PM »

Not to go off-topic, but the Germans (who are the only prosperous European country who do not toll) want to toll the autobahns but make the entire amount a tax credit, meaning Germans would in effect drive for free, assuming they have income.  It is tied up in some kind of Euro "court". 

I must respectfully disagree (in part) with the above.

Germany tolls its autobahn network, but only for (what we in North America call) commercial vehicles.

Denmark has tolls on the E20 Great Belt Bridge crossing, and on the E20 Øresund Bridge-Tunnel to Sweden, and will have tolls on the new tunnel crossing between Puttgarten, Germany and Rødby.  Otherwise, no tolls.

Finland has no road tolls at all, though it has been discussed from time to time.

Norway has quite a few toll roads and toll crossings.

Sweden has tolls on the E20 Øresund Bridge-Tunnel to Denmark and on the E6 bridge to Norway, and has congestion tax toll cordons around the downtown areas of Stockholm and Gothenburg.   

The revenue collected in Stockholm is being used to build a western circumferential highway for "thru" auto and truck traffic, much of which  will be in blasted-out tunnel.  Not sure what the revenue collected in Gothenburg is used for.

Otherwise, all roads in Sweden are free of tolls.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 08:50:21 PM by cpzilliacus »
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2019, 02:27:01 PM »

Parkways: Traffic study misses mark by at least 88 miles

As the Parkways Authority prepares to commission a new traffic study in preparation to sell a new round of Turnpike bonds early next year, Authority members Thursday debated why the most recent traffic study, for $173 million of bonds sold in 2018, turned out to be so far off the mark.

The study, by CDM Smith, projected the doubling of Turnpike tolls earlier this year would cause commercial truck traffic to drop 19.6 percent. It actually has been up about 1 percent.

It also estimated that more than 800,000 drivers, both in and outside of West Virginia, would snap up the offer for super-discounted E-Z Pass transponders — at $8 a year for unlimited use of the Turnpike, compared to the normal $285 charge. Instead, Parkways sold just over 100,000, bringing the total number of unlimited use transponders in service to about 150,000.

[...]

SteveG1988

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2019, 09:24:29 AM »

Parkways: Traffic study misses mark by at least 88 miles

As the Parkways Authority prepares to commission a new traffic study in preparation to sell a new round of Turnpike bonds early next year, Authority members Thursday debated why the most recent traffic study, for $173 million of bonds sold in 2018, turned out to be so far off the mark.

The study, by CDM Smith, projected the doubling of Turnpike tolls earlier this year would cause commercial truck traffic to drop 19.6 percent. It actually has been up about 1 percent.

It also estimated that more than 800,000 drivers, both in and outside of West Virginia, would snap up the offer for super-discounted E-Z Pass transponders — at $8 a year for unlimited use of the Turnpike, compared to the normal $285 charge. Instead, Parkways sold just over 100,000, bringing the total number of unlimited use transponders in service to about 150,000.

[...]

Yeah...About the "diverting due to tolls thing" the article is 100% right on why trucks use the WV Turnpike. There is only one viable alternative to it, and it only works if you're coming from the North, or going to the north via I-79. US19 over the New River Gorge is a fairly modern highway that cuts travel time if you are coming down I-79 or going to 79. Otherwise...need to connect from Ohio to the Roanoke Area? Best routing for a truck is US35,I-64,WV Turnpike,US460, I81.
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hbelkins

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2019, 10:33:14 AM »

Parkways: Traffic study misses mark by at least 88 miles

As the Parkways Authority prepares to commission a new traffic study in preparation to sell a new round of Turnpike bonds early next year, Authority members Thursday debated why the most recent traffic study, for $173 million of bonds sold in 2018, turned out to be so far off the mark.

The study, by CDM Smith, projected the doubling of Turnpike tolls earlier this year would cause commercial truck traffic to drop 19.6 percent. It actually has been up about 1 percent.

It also estimated that more than 800,000 drivers, both in and outside of West Virginia, would snap up the offer for super-discounted E-Z Pass transponders — at $8 a year for unlimited use of the Turnpike, compared to the normal $285 charge. Instead, Parkways sold just over 100,000, bringing the total number of unlimited use transponders in service to about 150,000.

[...]

Yeah...About the "diverting due to tolls thing" the article is 100% right on why trucks use the WV Turnpike. There is only one viable alternative to it, and it only works if you're coming from the North, or going to the north via I-79. US19 over the New River Gorge is a fairly modern highway that cuts travel time if you are coming down I-79 or going to 79. Otherwise...need to connect from Ohio to the Roanoke Area? Best routing for a truck is US35,I-64,WV Turnpike,US460, I81.

The alternatives to bypass the toll booths between Beckley and Charleston aren't that great for passenger cars, and trucks are prohibited on the parallel county routes -- at least the one that runs between Mossy and Pax.
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Dougtone

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2021, 07:57:39 PM »

A 14 minute documentary from 2003 about the planning, construction, usage and future of the West Virginia turnpike, a highway that was a precursor to the Interstate Highway System.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qshc2-TDMDc

GCrites80s

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2021, 11:03:12 PM »

That's a kind of sucky edit of the full 47-minute film. The whole thing used to be on YouTube or Vimeo, but I can see why it might have gotten taken off for copyright reasons. I know they used to sell DVDs of it (they were for sale at the 50th Anniversary celebration in 2004 at Tamarack, at which they showed the whole movie) but I can't find any for sale now.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 11:06:25 PM by GCrites80s »
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Tom958

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2021, 07:07:53 AM »

I just found out about the widening of the Turnpike between the I-64-exit 40 and US 19-exit 48. Just in terms of roadgeek OCD, I find widening the overlap of the I-77-US 19 Wytheville-Morganton axis with the I-77 and I-64 axes to be satisfying, as if a bit more will soon be right with the world.

It's a bit puzzling to me that the widening of the northbound side extends 1.1 miles further north than that of the southbound side, extending completely through the US 19 interchange rather than ending at the offramp to US 19 north. The added lane will apparently end just after the merger of the onramp from southbound US 19, with two lanes ending almost simultaneously. My first thought was that maybe a bit of a climbing lane effect was needed, but in fact there's a legit climbing lane on the southbound side beginning 2.3 miles before the US 19 bridges and extending through the interchange to the Tamarack exit. Does anyone here know wassup with that?

Quote
2020 SUMMER CONSTRUCTION PROJECT PLANS
FOR THE WEST VIRGINIA TURNPIKE
In July, 2018 the West Virginia Turnpike began a Highway Total Reconstruction Project in the Beckley area. This project will run thru October 2021.
Location of Total Reconstruction Project:
Raleigh County:
 North of I-64 Interchange Exit 40 – Mile marker 40.2 to 47.8 North
 South of North Beckley Exit 48 – Mile marker 46.7 to 40.7 South

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8366335,-81.2195613,680m/data=!3m1!1e3
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 05:53:56 PM by Tom958 »
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2021, 09:51:57 AM »

I was curious about that myself. Perhaps it's a prelude to the future widening to the north, which will be an absolute nightmare.

I posted these recent photos of widening in the vicinity of the WV Routes 16/97 interchange which shows the double trumpet interchange that was added during the widening of the Turnpike back in the 1970s and 1980s. The ticket-based tolling was never implemented after the widening project was completed, although the unusual configuration of this interchange would seem to indicate that it was set up for that function. Instead, two of the ramps had exact change coin baskets, the remnants of which are still visible.

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Dirt Roads

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2021, 10:02:39 AM »

I just found out about the widening of the Turnpike between the I-64-exit 40 and US 19-exit 48. just in terms of roadgeek OCD, I find it satisfying that the overlap of the I-77-US 19 Wytheville-Morganton axis with the I-77 and I-64 axes to be satisfying, as if a bit more will soon be right with the world.

It's a bit puzzling to me that the widening of the northbound side extends 1.1 miles further north than that of the southbound side, extending completely through the US 19 interchange rather than ending at the offramp to US 19 north. The added lane will apparently end just after the merger of the onramp from southbound US 19, with two lanes ending almost simultaneously. My first thought was that maybe a bit of a climbing lane effect was needed, but in fact there's a legit climbing lane on the southbound side beginning 2.3 miles before the US 19 bridges and extending through the interchange to the Tamarack exit. Does anyone here know wassup with that?

While this project is technically a widening, there has been a need for an additional truck lane in both directions of this section ever since it opened in pieces in the mid-1980s (just prior to the completion of I-64).  The interchange with Corridor L is atop a huge ridge, so the additional lane would likely be to allow a safe distance for the US-19 onramp to merge with the "truck lane" prior to dropping off.  West Virginia used to be notorious for dropping its truck lanes at the top of the crest, and in many cases trucks would stall on the upgrade while long strings of cars were platooning to try to cut off the trucker.
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hbelkins

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2021, 09:18:56 PM »

As many times as I've used that interchange, I've never seen the remnants of the coin baskets.

I see a removed overhead for the I-64 east/I-77 south split. Will the backlit sign remain up?
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seicer

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2021, 09:31:29 PM »

You can see the concrete patching that was done when the booth was removed here:



That's about as much as I can find these days. I should fly over the other double trumpet interchanges as some still have the offices intact. As far as the backlit signs - I think the gantries are all being replaced. I hope that the new signs are a bit more compliant and less ugly - the Turnpike had about the ugliest signs out there because of the stretched fonts and awful kerning.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 09:33:39 PM by seicer »
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hbelkins

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Re: West Virginia Turnpike
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2021, 10:43:22 PM »

That's about as much as I can find these days. I should fly over the other double trumpet interchanges as some still have the offices intact. As far as the backlit signs - I think the gantries are all being replaced. I hope that the new signs are a bit more compliant and less ugly - the Turnpike had about the ugliest signs out there because of the stretched fonts and awful kerning.

A lot of the signage between the Cabin Creek toll plaza and the US 19 connector was awful, but it has since been replaced. There are a few oddballs left between US 19 and the I-64 split (the WV 3 and WV 16/97 exits). And also a bit of button copy. I'll hate to see that gone.
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