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Author Topic: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon  (Read 11126 times)

andrepoiy

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Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« on: April 08, 2019, 07:30:51 PM »

This interchange seems rather redundant. Does anyone know why it exists? One interchange seems sufficient to me.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 12:36:36 AM by andy3175 »
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 07:32:08 PM »

I assume to get access to that town.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 07:34:21 PM »

I assume to get access to that town.

The interchanges are a mile apart and they exit to the same road.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 07:45:05 PM »

Irdk. I dont see anything wrong with it other than that two diamond interchanges within a mile of each other, which wasnt needed
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 07:49:10 PM »

Irdk. I dont see anything wrong with it other than that two diamond interchanges within a mile of each other, which wasnt needed

This is exactly why I posted this...
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 07:55:12 PM »

Maybe they could've lengthened Bus. I-70
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 08:34:35 PM »

What the curiously-edited map doesn't show is that the western interchange is the exit for US 24 west to Colorado Springs, as well as a lot of businesses in Limon, while the eastern interchange serves US 287 traffic going in a completely different direction. Yeah, Limon has a third interchange not shown on the map that provides a shorter link to US 24 west of Limon. But you still need the overpasses carrying I-70 over I-70BL in the western interchange shown on the map, and it's not very expensive to add ramps to make that a simple diamond interchange for a speedier connection between downtown Limon and I-70.

Limon is a major watering hole, in a sparsely-populated (and boring) area of Colorado. Three cheap diamond interchanges for Limon is not excessive.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 08:45:13 PM »

What the curiously-edited map doesn't show is that the western interchange is the exit for US 24 west to Colorado Springs, as well as a lot of businesses in Limon, while the eastern interchange serves US 287 traffic going in a completely different direction. Yeah, Limon has a third interchange not shown on the map that provides a shorter link to US 24 west of Limon. But you still need the overpasses carrying I-70 over I-70BL in the western interchange shown on the map, and it's not very expensive to add ramps to make that a simple diamond interchange for a speedier connection between downtown Limon and I-70.

Limon is a major watering hole, in a sparsely-populated (and boring) area of Colorado. Three cheap diamond interchanges for Limon is not excessive.

Not to mention there's no direct interchange with CO 71, so that middle interchange also serves as the primary connection from that highway to I-70. Otherwise that connection would be lumped in with the rest of the Limon business traffic.

Maybe they could've lengthened Bus. I-70

The road that's currently Business 70 existed long before the interstate did, and it was aligned that way so that it could have a grade-separated crossing of the railroad track at a decent speed. When I-70 was built, it was already going to cross the old road twice, and there wasn't any real reason not to build another interchange.

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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 08:47:30 PM »

The western interchange is the one I think is unnecessary. How much does it really hurt people to exit at US 287 and head west?

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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 09:08:40 PM »

The western interchange is the one I think is unnecessary. How much does it really hurt people to exit at US 287 and head west?

If they really need to pee, or refuel, before taking on the deathly dull stretch between Limon and Colorado Springs, that additional exit can helpfully speed up access to traveler services. As far as I can tell, the exit to US 287 southeast to Lamar and the Oklahoma panhandle has no traveler services -- those are all concentrated near Limon's other two interchanges.

If it were an expensive interchange, I'd think twice. But a diamond interchange is almost certainly cheap enough to be worth it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 09:22:09 PM by oscar »
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 09:13:20 PM »

IMHO three interchanges for Limon overall is not unreasonable, but having two for for the same road (US 287/BL 70) and not having an interchange at CO 71 doesn't seem like the best design.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 09:25:01 PM »

The western interchange at least reduces backtracking for traffic coming to/from CO 71, but switching the middle interchange to CO 71 would be even better.

There would also be precedent for eliminating the middle 4 ramps and having two half-diamonds; effectively making these two diamonds into a single interchange. See here (Whitney Point, NY), and here (West Lancaster, OH).
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 09:31:21 PM »

The western interchange at least reduces backtracking for traffic coming to/from CO 71, but switching the middle interchange to CO 71 would be even better.

CO 71 doesn't seem to go anywhere significant, though it is undoubtedly useful to the small towns and cattle ranches along the way. The "western" (really middle) interchange is at a more useful location for travel to and from Colorado Springs.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 01:26:28 AM »

Here's a USGS of Limon from 1970:



US-287 is the diagonal route if you are traveling from Denver to Dallas without having to drive through Kansas.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2019, 01:34:08 PM »

I like how the map of Colorado is captioned "Quadrangle Location". I know that it's referring to the location of this particular four-sided map, but in this case it happens to be located in a much larger quadrangle that has its own governor, flag, etc.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2019, 02:58:12 PM »

If anything it was to provide direct access to 287 that’s my take on it. If they were two half interchanges make some sense, but still


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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2019, 04:27:50 PM »

The western interchange is the one I think is unnecessary. How much does it really hurt people to exit at US 287 and head west?

If, by "the western interchange", you mean the western one in the image posted in the OP, then I agree with you.  As there are three interchanges for Limon, this is actually the middle one.

If the railroad crossing at US-40 was already grade-separated when I-70 was constructed, which is how I interpreted US 89's comment, then that interchange serves no functional purpose.  There is virtually no disadvantage to the layout shown below.

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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2019, 07:34:34 PM »

The western interchange at least reduces backtracking for traffic coming to/from CO 71, but switching the middle interchange to CO 71 would be even better.

CO 71 doesn't seem to go anywhere significant, though it is undoubtedly useful to the small towns and cattle ranches along the way. The "western" (really middle) interchange is at a more useful location for travel to and from Colorado Springs.

http://heartlandexpressway.com/

I could see 71 being rerouted onto a northside frontage road to the existing interchange.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 09:59:16 AM »

Does anyone know why it exists?

Sounds like the answer is no.  Lol

I would remove the central 4 ramps from the photo: the eastern 2 ramps from the western interchange, and the western 2 ramps from the eastern interchange.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 05:39:44 PM »

My cynical answer is “to reward the person who owned the land under the center interchange, who happened to play poker on Saturday evenings with some DOT planners”...
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2019, 10:34:26 AM »

My cynical answer is “to reward the person who owned the land under the center interchange, who happened to play poker on Saturday evenings with some DOT planners”...

Or, slightly less cynical: They couldn't decide which to build, so they built them both?
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2019, 11:19:25 AM »

My cynical answer is “to reward the person who owned the land under the center interchange, who happened to play poker on Saturday evenings with some DOT planners”...

Or, slightly less cynical: They couldn't decide which to build, so they built them both?

What the hell is wrong with it as it is? It's like oscar already said: the bridges had to be built anyway, so why not just build an interchange at each?

If I'd been in charge of designing this segment, the only thing I would have done differently would be to build the middle interchange on CO 71 instead of Business 70, if only because putting the middle interchange on an intersecting highway rather than the parallel business loop is probably the most familiar way to handle a three-exit town in the west. Places like Walsenburg CO, Las Vegas NM, Cedar City UT, Evanston WY, and Elko NV all use that format.

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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2019, 11:56:49 AM »

My cynical answer is “to reward the person who owned the land under the center interchange, who happened to play poker on Saturday evenings with some DOT planners”...

Or, slightly less cynical: They couldn't decide which to build, so they built them both?

What the hell is wrong with it as it is? It's like oscar already said: the bridges had to be built anyway, so why not just build an interchange at each?

It's four additional ramps to maintain, and the western of the two interchanges involves two additional overpasses, to carry ramps over the rail ROW.

I don't know that it's necessarily "wrong"...but there is an incremental cost. 
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2019, 02:57:54 PM »

It's four additional ramps to maintain, and the western of the two interchanges involves two additional overpasses, to carry ramps over the rail ROW.

I don't know that it's necessarily "wrong"...but there is an incremental cost. 

I agree.  Added cost (and bridges ain't cheap) for near-zero functional advantage.
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Re: Why is there a redundant interchange on I-70 at Limon
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2019, 05:10:02 PM »

Added cost... for near-zero functional advantage.
I've used all three of those interchanges in various situations, so I think each of them serves a purpose.  I would argue that exit 363 (the east one) doesn't even serve Limon.  Rather, it's for I-70/US 287 traffic wishing to bypass Limon.  Exits 361 (central) and 359 (west) are standard business loop interchanges on both ends of town, for people who have a destination there. 

Also, keep in mind I-70 was built through that area about 50 years ago.  It's possible the interchanges were intentionally overbuilt in anticipation of future growth (which so far hasn't really materialized).  But don't count Limon out just yet, because they are still the Hub City of the Plains!
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