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Author Topic: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge  (Read 74012 times)

Beltway

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #100 on: June 06, 2018, 04:33:17 PM »

It's more than a navigation hazard. The Navy doesn't allow any bridges in Hampton Roads because a bridge can be bombed which would trap the fleet in Norfolk and prevent access to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth. No bridges can be built between the Navy Yard, the shipyard in Newport News, and the Atlantic. http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Bridge_Tunnels_VA.html

As the author of that article, which was last updated 14 years ago, I could add that some of the recent alternates for expanding the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel were for a high-level bridge.  The Navy may or may not go along with something like that today.  The selected alternate for HRBT expansion is another bridge-tunnel.

As I pointed out in the article, there are 4 separate factors that each militate against a bridge
1)  A high-level bridge crossing near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel or at the Elizabeth River crossing would conflict with the required aerial clear zone of the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
2) The Navy historically has opposed a high level bridge over channels used by their ships in the Hampton Roads area, in case the bridge was collapsed.
3) Concern by the Hampton Roads Maritime Association that a high level bridge may limit ship size and hinder future access to the ports of Hampton Roads.
4) For HRBT the high level bridge approach grades on the north side will have to begin inland a mile or more from the shoreline to conform with Interstate design requirements.

Another benefit of a tunnel is that it provides a mile or more of unobstructed horizontal clearance, rather than the 1,600 to 2,000 feet that would be typical for a suspension or cable-stayed bridge.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 04:36:28 PM by Beltway »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2018, 09:06:18 PM »

Quote
1)  A high-level bridge crossing near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel or at the Elizabeth River crossing would conflict with the required aerial clear zone of the Norfolk Naval Air Station.

How so?  The Chambers Field runway is east-west, while the HRBT is to the north of the runway.

The other three reasons are legit, but this one just sounds foolish.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #102 on: June 06, 2018, 09:19:50 PM »

Quote
1)  A high-level bridge crossing near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel or at the Elizabeth River crossing would conflict with the required aerial clear zone of the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
How so?  The Chambers Field runway is east-west, while the HRBT is to the north of the runway.
The other three reasons are legit, but this one just sounds foolish.

Aircraft can use various flight paths as they approach an airport before they line up with a runway, and use various flight paths after takeoff.  The speed of jet aircraft cause these Terminal Control Areas to be large.  In wartime the air traffic may be quite heavy and chaotic at times.

Looks like the Terminal Control Area for Norfolk NAS encompasses most of the HRBT.
http://vfrmap.com/?type=vfrc&lat=36.937&lon=-76.289&zoom=10

Bridge towers would be about 400 feet tall, and the Navy may have some definite objections to that.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #103 on: June 07, 2018, 10:07:31 PM »

As the author of that article, which was last updated 14 years ago, I could add that some of the recent alternates for expanding the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel were for a high-level bridge.  The Navy may or may not go along with something like that today.  The selected alternate for HRBT expansion is another bridge-tunnel.

VDOT and friends made the right choice with the added capacity being a bridge-tunnel.  As I read it, the new capacity will mean that the HRBT will no  longer be a barrier for trucks and semitrailers higher than 13' 6" which is the current height limit for I-64 westbound truck traffic. 

Carriers of HAZMAT cargo will still be banned, but IMO they usually represent a fairly small percentage of truck traffic, and can cross upstream via the U.S. 17/U.S. 258 James River Bridge between Isle of Wight County and Newport News (IIRC, no HAZMAT restrictions there), or just follow U.S. 460 or U.S. 58 to get to and from the I-95 or I-85 corridors if they are on the south side of Hampton Roads.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #104 on: June 07, 2018, 10:31:18 PM »

VDOT and friends made the right choice with the added capacity being a bridge-tunnel.  As I read it, the new capacity will mean that the HRBT will no  longer be a barrier for trucks and semitrailers higher than 13' 6" which is the current height limit for I-64 westbound truck traffic. 

That is the current westbound tube.  The new bridge-tunnel would be to the west, and both existing tubes would carry traffic westbound.  That would mean that the westbound general purpose lanes would be in the tube with the lower clearance, and the westbound HOT lanes would be in the tube with the higher clearance.  IOW westbound trucks would still be in the tube with the lower clearance.   :rolleyes:
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #105 on: June 08, 2018, 01:30:14 AM »

VDOT and friends made the right choice with the added capacity being a bridge-tunnel.  As I read it, the new capacity will mean that the HRBT will no  longer be a barrier for trucks and semitrailers higher than 13' 6" which is the current height limit for I-64 westbound truck traffic. 

That is the current westbound tube.  The new bridge-tunnel would be to the west, and both existing tubes would carry traffic westbound.  That would mean that the westbound general purpose lanes would be in the tube with the lower clearance, and the westbound HOT lanes would be in the tube with the higher clearance.  IOW westbound trucks would still be in the tube with the lower clearance.   :rolleyes:
Unless VDOT realized what's going on and allowed them through the HOT tube.

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #106 on: June 08, 2018, 06:16:08 AM »

That is the current westbound tube.  The new bridge-tunnel would be to the west, and both existing tubes would carry traffic westbound.  That would mean that the westbound general purpose lanes would be in the tube with the lower clearance, and the westbound HOT lanes would be in the tube with the higher clearance.  IOW westbound trucks would still be in the tube with the lower clearance.   
Unless VDOT realized what's going on and allowed them through the HOT tube.

That would mean signs telling their drivers to note their height and if more than 13.5 feet then to get in the left lane and to take the inner tube.  So there would be large truck weaving movements both approaching and leaving the tube.   Would be disruptive to traffic when the general purpose lanes are congested and moving slowly.  Seems like lot to ask of certain truck drivers who already aren't able to properly manage the height restrictions of their vehicle, and if they stay in the general purpose lanes then we still have the current problem.

This is one of the reasons why I opposed this project and wanted to see the money put to the I-564 extension instead.  All-modern height clearances on I-564 and I-664.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 06:21:27 AM by Beltway »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #107 on: June 09, 2018, 06:32:54 PM »

3) Concern by the Hampton Roads Maritime Association that a high level bridge may limit ship size and hinder future access to the ports of Hampton Roads.

A concern that the Baltimore port interests apparently did not partake of when that state's Bay Bridge(s) and Key Bridge were being planned.  I've yet to hear demands for a tunnel at whatever site is chosen for a third Bay Bridge in MD, either.

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #108 on: June 09, 2018, 08:16:18 PM »

3) Concern by the Hampton Roads Maritime Association that a high level bridge may limit ship size and hinder future access to the ports of Hampton Roads.
A concern that the Baltimore port interests apparently did not partake of when that state's Bay Bridge(s) and Key Bridge were being planned.  I've yet to hear demands for a tunnel at whatever site is chosen for a third Bay Bridge in MD, either.
ixnay

The planning for the Bay Bridge was in the late 1940s.  Commercial ships were smaller back then and 180 feet of vertical navigational clearance was deemed plenty adequate.  The second bridge was planned in the late 1960s, and there wasn't any advocate for more clearance then either.  Once that bridge existed, unless they are going to replace the whole thing with a tunnel (and they are not) then there is no reason why not to build bridges upstream of there.

As I pointed out previously, there are 4 separate factors that militate against a bridge across Hampton Roads, not just one or two or three.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #109 on: November 21, 2019, 05:12:19 PM »

Looks like a joint venture led by Skanska is the winning bidder to replace the HWN, and there will not be a bike/ped trail built with the four new lanes for motorized traffic.
 
MDTA press release: MDTA BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES TOLL MODERNIZATION PACKAGE SAVING CUSTOMERS $28 MILLION OVER 5 YEARS

Quote
MDTA approves contract for Nice/Middleton Bridge

Quote
The Board also approved a $463 million contract for Skanska-Corman-McLean (SCM) Joint Venture to design and build the new US 301 bridge to replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge over the Potomac River, which is used by about 18,000 vehicles daily. The project is one of the state’s largest transportation initiatives and will improve mobility, safety and economic opportunities for southern Maryland, northeastern Virginia and the region. Virginia will contribute $13 million to the project.

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“We’re implementing a major infrastructure project that’s affordable, invests in safety and will improve our citizens’ quality of life today – not years down the road,” said MDTA Chairman and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

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The Hogan Administration has long committed to building a new, wider and safer bridge to replace the 1.9-mile Nice/Middleton span, which opened in December 1940 and connects Charles County, Md., to King George County, Va. The project will replace the existing two-lane bridge with a new, four-lane span that will be aligned with the existing roadway approaches in Maryland and Virginia. The four, 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities.

Quote
SCM, a joint venture comprised of firms with local ties, had the highest rated proposal and the lowest bid price for the project. Construction will begin in early 2020 and will create more than 500 jobs. The new bridge is expected to open by 2023. The height of the new span will accommodate tall vessels, and it will have all-electronic (cashless) tolling. The bridge will have a 100-year service life.

Quote
The MDTA had previously offered to make repairs to the bridge and turn it over to Charles County for a pedestrian/bicycle crossing, but county officials declined the offer. Due to Charles County’s decision, the existing bridge now will be demolished as part of this approved contract.

Quote
As part of the procurement process, MDTA requested a bid option to add a separated bicycle/pedestrian path to the new structure. The proposal from SCM would cost an additional $64 million for a separated path with limited daily use. After a thorough discussion and analysis, as well as public testimony, the board voted instead to move forward with a project to improve safety and capacity for thousands along the I-95 corridor.

Quote
To expand practical access, the new Nice/Middleton Bridge will include several safety enhancements for bicyclists, including bicycle-friendly roadway joints and intelligent transportation systems tools such as lighting and signage.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 05:24:29 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #110 on: November 21, 2019, 05:25:43 PM »

The four, 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities.
2 foot shoulders... Wow.

What a joke - that's how Maryland saves some money by eliminating a major safety feature on a high-rise bridge, on a heavily used roadway.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #111 on: November 21, 2019, 07:19:10 PM »

The four, 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety, enhancing emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities.
2 foot shoulders... Wow.

What a joke - that's how Maryland saves some money by eliminating a major safety feature on a high-rise bridge, on a heavily used roadway.

And going back to CP's last quoted paragraph, by "bicycle-safe", do they mean bikes will be riding in the bridges's travel lanes or on that 2 foot shoulder?
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #112 on: November 21, 2019, 07:57:16 PM »

And going back to CP's last quoted paragraph, by "bicycle-safe", do they mean bikes will be riding in the bridges's travel lanes or on that 2 foot shoulder?

IMO that is a bad, bad idea. 

Allowing bikes on that new bridge (without a barrier-separated trail/path) will (again, IMO) almost mean certainly mean that there will be fatal crashes involving bikes. 
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #113 on: November 21, 2019, 08:05:27 PM »

And going back to CP's last quoted paragraph, by "bicycle-safe", do they mean bikes will be riding in the bridges's travel lanes or on that 2 foot shoulder?

IMO that is a bad, bad idea. 

Allowing bikes on that new bridge (without a barrier-separated trail/path) will (again, IMO) almost mean certainly mean that there will be fatal crashes involving bikes. 
Waiting for an advocacy group to sue and force their hand.

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #114 on: November 21, 2019, 08:12:25 PM »

And going back to CP's last quoted paragraph, by "bicycle-safe", do they mean bikes will be riding in the bridges's travel lanes or on that 2 foot shoulder?

IMO that is a bad, bad idea. 

Allowing bikes on that new bridge (without a barrier-separated trail/path) will (again, IMO) almost mean certainly mean that there will be fatal crashes involving bikes. 
Waiting for an advocacy group to sue and force their hand.

I give it 6 months.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #115 on: November 21, 2019, 08:35:50 PM »

And going back to CP's last quoted paragraph, by "bicycle-safe", do they mean bikes will be riding in the bridges's travel lanes or on that 2 foot shoulder?

IMO that is a bad, bad idea. 

Allowing bikes on that new bridge (without a barrier-separated trail/path) will (again, IMO) almost mean certainly mean that there will be fatal crashes involving bikes.
Not to mention, they're worried about cost, but it's a toll financed bridge. Any extra costs would just be picked up by tolls, ditto with adding shoulders which should be a standard feature.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #116 on: November 21, 2019, 08:39:11 PM »

Not to mention, they're worried about cost, but it's a toll financed bridge. Any extra costs would just be picked up by tolls, ditto with adding shoulders which should be a standard feature.

Larry Hogan kept blocking it because of the "cost", so they had an incentive to cut the cost so they get a replacement before it falls down.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #117 on: November 21, 2019, 08:42:41 PM »

Not to mention, they're worried about cost, but it's a toll financed bridge. Any extra costs would just be picked up by tolls, ditto with adding shoulders which should be a standard feature.

Larry Hogan kept blocking it because of the "cost", so they had an incentive to cut the cost so they get a replacement before it falls down.
Bad idea in the long-run. They are building a bridge to serve the next 100 years on a major north-south arterial corridor between two states, and they're designing it with a narrow cross section with practically no shoulder and no bike/pedestrian accommodations.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #118 on: November 22, 2019, 06:01:03 AM »

Quote
MDTA approves contract for Nice/Middleton Bridge
The Board also approved a $463 million contract for Skanska-Corman-McLean (SCM) Joint Venture to design and build the new US 301 bridge to replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge over the Potomac River, which is used by about 18,000 vehicles daily. The project is one of the state’s largest transportation initiatives and will improve mobility, safety and economic opportunities for southern Maryland, northeastern Virginia and the region.
That bid is far below the $750 million estimate, which is good news.  They should go ahead and provide full shoulders.  Use a work order to add that design and construction to the contract that was just awarded.

Was there a competitive bid process or was this a sole source design-build contract award?  Sounds like the latter.
 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 06:07:13 AM by Beltway »
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #119 on: November 22, 2019, 11:02:04 AM »

The Navy doesn't allow any bridges in Hampton Roads because a bridge can be bombed which would trap the fleet in Norfolk and prevent access to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth. No bridges can be built between the Navy Yard, the shipyard in Newport News, and the Atlantic. http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Bridge_Tunnels_VA.html

Under what authority? Where's the relevant statute that would prohibit the state from building a bridge?
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #120 on: November 22, 2019, 11:31:04 AM »

The Navy doesn't allow any bridges in Hampton Roads because a bridge can be bombed which would trap the fleet in Norfolk and prevent access to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth. No bridges can be built between the Navy Yard, the shipyard in Newport News, and the Atlantic. http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Bridge_Tunnels_VA.html
Under what authority? Where's the relevant statute that would prohibit the state from building a bridge
Federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard. 

They get to approve or deny building of structures that impact marine navigation.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #121 on: November 22, 2019, 11:43:40 AM »

The Navy doesn't allow any bridges in Hampton Roads because a bridge can be bombed which would trap the fleet in Norfolk and prevent access to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth. No bridges can be built between the Navy Yard, the shipyard in Newport News, and the Atlantic. http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Bridge_Tunnels_VA.html

Under what authority? Where's the relevant statute that would prohibit the state from building a bridge?

Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, the General Bridge Act of 1946, and... a few other miscellaneous laws and amendments thereto.

The short if it is that in order to build a crossing of any navigable waterway, you need a permit from the US Coast Guard.

As part of the permitting process, they have the authority to set vertical clearance requirements for said structures, which by proxy means they can if they deem fit require that the crossing be a tunnel.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #122 on: November 22, 2019, 01:20:27 PM »

The Navy doesn't allow any bridges in Hampton Roads because a bridge can be bombed which would trap the fleet in Norfolk and prevent access to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth. No bridges can be built between the Navy Yard, the shipyard in Newport News, and the Atlantic. http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Bridge_Tunnels_VA.html

Under what authority? Where's the relevant statute that would prohibit the state from building a bridge?

Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, the General Bridge Act of 1946, and... a few other miscellaneous laws and amendments thereto.

The short if it is that in order to build a crossing of any navigable waterway, you need a permit from the US Coast Guard.

As part of the permitting process, they have the authority to set vertical clearance requirements for said structures, which by proxy means they can if they deem fit require that the crossing be a tunnel.


For what it's worth, the US's ability to move around and handle a battle has changed a lot from 1899 and even from 1946. 

Wanna trap some ships now?  There's a whole lotta fighter jets out there that'll take care of the initiator within minutes.
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #123 on: November 22, 2019, 04:28:01 PM »

For what it's worth, the US's ability to move around and handle a battle has changed a lot from 1899 and even from 1946. 
Wanna trap some ships now?  There's a whole lotta fighter jets out there that'll take care of the initiator within minutes.
How about a cargo ship getting commandeered by foreign powers and rammed into one of the main towers, as in the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge (which of course was accidental in that case)?

Torpedoes, or ballistic missiles, launched by submarine? 
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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #124 on: November 22, 2019, 04:59:15 PM »

The short if it is that in order to build a crossing of any navigable waterway, you need a permit from the US Coast Guard.
As part of the permitting process, they have the authority to set vertical clearance requirements for said structures, which by proxy means they can if they deem fit require that the crossing be a tunnel.
Horizontal clearances as well.

That is another advantage of tunnels, 4,000 to 6,000 feet of horizontal navigational clearance in the case of I-64, I-664 and CBBT.

Bridges get really expensive when the main span gets longer than the 1,500 to 2,000 foot range.
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