AARoads Forum

National Boards => General Highway Talk => Topic started by: V'Ger on January 26, 2009, 12:35:37 PM

Title: Highway Blunders
Post by: V'Ger on January 26, 2009, 12:35:37 PM
Post your blunders, if they're overcrowded freeways or underused ones, or if they've had anything bad happen to them. For example, this one:

(http://home.pacbell.net/hywaymn/images/Cypress_Freeway_1989.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2009, 01:16:12 PM
Do you know how many overcrowded freeways there are in the country? Each day more new drivers come to the fold too, so you can pretty much say just about every freeway in every metro area that is not losing population is overcrowded...  :-/
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: V'Ger on January 26, 2009, 01:17:03 PM
Then there will be plenty of posts!  :)

Can't think of any totally underused highways that basically serve no purpose?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 26, 2009, 01:19:14 PM
I-70 in Utah definitely does not need to be more than two lanes.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Michael on January 26, 2009, 01:55:51 PM
Interstate 81 in Syracuse, NY.  The bridges are getting near the end of their lifespan.  See a thread about this here (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11.0).
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2009, 03:24:23 PM
Well I could vote for the interchange between the 60, 91, 215, being a full-cloverleaf interchange, but they are remedying that now somewhat (already added a flyover).
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 26, 2009, 03:31:47 PM
the way 60/91/215 is numbered is also pretty much a blunder.  I can never remember which two multiplex (60 and 215 I think??) and I know that going on 215 northbound, if one is not careful - wham, instant 91!
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Revive 755 on January 26, 2009, 04:31:17 PM
The Poplar Street Bridge in downtown St. Louis, for a number of reasons:

1) Seeing how many freeways to cram onto one bridge.  It would have been even worse if the freeways for IL 3 (down to I-255) and IL 15 were built.

2) The 20 mph, single lane ramps on the Missouri end.  It seems almost guaranteed to find traffic backing up on the I-55 ramps.  Yet a new bridge is being built without access to/from I-55 . . .

3) Lack of alternatives for traffic coming from/going to I-55 and I-44 in Missouri.  I-70 drivers have easy access to the MLK Bridge.  For I-55 and I-44 the only options are to loop around on I-270/I-255 or sit through many stoplights trying to access the MLK and Eads Bridges.

4) There's almost always construction somewhere on that bridge or one of the approach ramps.  Given the additional delays, it seems they could have broken even on a replacement bridge by now.

Now some additional St. Louis blunders:

* Placing I-44 way too close to US 40. 

* No access to US 40 from I-55 and vice versa.  This kind of makes I-44 more useful.

* An overloaded I-270 between I-44 and US 40, yet all the alternatives keep getting shot down.  Light rail doesn't help if one is passing through the area - Hannibal or Kansas City to Sikeston - so it is not an alternative despite what some might say.  Really need another freeway loop farther out.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: us44mt on January 26, 2009, 04:43:08 PM
Finally, after 40 or so years, someone came up with the idea that I 84 and I 87 at Newburgh, NY should be directly connected. What a brilliant idea, connecting 2 interstates!
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 26, 2009, 05:52:02 PM
after 55 years, the Penna Turnpike (I-276) is not connected to I-95.

interestingly, Google Maps signs I-95 as going down I-276 into New Jersey and connecting to the NJ Turnpike at 276's eastern end, as though it magically jumped down a level at the 95/276 junction.

even more interestingly, it signs it as continuing northward.  Yep, two I-95s.  And not even the courtesy of an I-95E and I-95W split.  Instead, it magically becomes I-295, which heads south ... to I-195, which finally connects with the other I-95 after a horrible detour.

yep, I-95 in the south NJ and Philly area ... a colossal highway blunder! 

Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: John on January 26, 2009, 06:07:28 PM
To be fair, that mess only happened because typical NIMBY crap. At least they are fixing the numbering, although actually building a freeway couldn't hurt anything (Trenton and vicinity is a big ghetto anyway, maybe a new freeway would bring economic development.)
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 26, 2009, 06:18:06 PM
big NIMBY crap prevented a simple 276/95 interchange?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: US71 on January 26, 2009, 06:28:13 PM
How about a washout?
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2699322222_57e4181035.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: V'Ger on January 26, 2009, 07:32:41 PM
Everyone be nice now. :-)

Talking about washouts, 101 in Cotati recently fell off the side of the hill, and the section near Ukiah has been constantly rebuilt for 10 or more years. Also, what about the bridge in CT that collapsed? Where was that?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Duke87 on January 26, 2009, 11:06:06 PM
what about the bridge in CT that collapsed? Where was that?

Greenwich. I-95 over the Mianus River. That happened because stupid maintenance crews paved over the storm drains on the bridge, causing rainwater to instead be forced to trickle its way down through the structure and rust the heck out of everything. There was no real flaw with the design of the bridge.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 27, 2009, 01:39:32 AM
To be fair, that mess only happened because typical NIMBY crap. At least they are fixing the numbering, although actually building a freeway couldn't hurt anything (Trenton and vicinity is a big ghetto anyway, maybe a new freeway would bring economic development.)

I've been taking the U.S. 206 corridor since 1995. Each year I take it, there is more sprawl along the route and more traffic lights. For an area that was anti-Interstate 95, they have not been anti-development.

The monumental back-ups that occur periodically on the NJ Turnpike are partially the result of Interstate 95's demise because all of that traffic between New York to Philadelphia is relegated to one limited-access route.  There have been upgrades to U.S. 1 over the years, but the route still retains several traffic lights and side access points. Thus the Turnpike remains the defacto route for through travelers.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Scott5114 on January 27, 2009, 01:44:53 AM
Breezewood. Just...Breezewood.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: rawr apples on January 27, 2009, 01:46:31 AM
Haha I love breezewood. So many time have I driven through that town, I hope it always stays like that.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 27, 2009, 01:54:03 AM
Breezewood is a joke, I've only driven the surface-routing of Interstate 70 once, and that was enough...
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Scott5114 on January 27, 2009, 02:30:47 AM
I-70 south of Breezewood is a joke too!
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: rawr apples on January 27, 2009, 02:32:21 AM
whats wrong with it south of?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Scott5114 on January 27, 2009, 02:52:18 AM
Very substandard, with some exit ramps bearing 15 MPH advisory speeds, as well as signs old enough to drink (many of them predate shields!). Of course if you look at it a different way, having ancient signs isn't a bad thing...
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Ubeans2001 on January 27, 2009, 03:43:19 AM
I personally think old signs are pretty cool. Like in California, the interstate 15 was built in the 60s-70s and some signs are still the originals! I have a home movie from 1989 and clearly an old dark green button copy sign reading "Baker  11, Las Vegas  103" was still there when I went to los angeles last summer and surprisingly my research showed the signs dated back from 1969-1972. A piece of history lays before my eyes, but sadly the CalTrans is starting to replace most of them with new retroreflective signs. It would be awesome. If I could get them to sell me that sight when they decide to replace it with a newer one. Just think, it was there for more than 30 years, through rain, heat waves, snow, and lonely cloudy thunderstormy days with no car in sight for miles... Creepy 0.0 - same goes for the Mohave Phone Booth (look it up if you don't know what that is. It's a pretty creepy story just because it was a phone booth in tv middle of the desert).
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Scott5114 on January 27, 2009, 06:16:39 AM
Yeah, I remember reading about it. Lots of weird stuff goes on in the desert. Random phone booths, people transmitting radio stations that merely broadcast strings of numbers...

Oh, to get back on topic...Man, the Skelly Drive (I-44) in Tulsa is a big pain in the ass. If you have the change to spare, take the Creek Turnpike and bypass Tulsa! Did somebody say `substandard`?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: algorerhythms on January 27, 2009, 09:45:46 AM
How about a washout?
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2699322222_57e4181035.jpg)
Heh. Once when I was driving down US 219 south of Somerset, PA, I went around a corner and saw a scene like that. Apparently the sinkhole had just happened shortly before I got there, so I consider myself lucky that I wasn't a little bit faster.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: SSOWorld on January 27, 2009, 10:20:57 AM
WIS 29/WIS 52 and US 51 in Wausau before last year.  Two freeways joined by a diamond interchange with traffic lights.

Its bad enough that it could get worse - oh if you travel straight under the bridge onto WIS 52 east, you're guaranteed to run into 5 red lights!
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: vdeane on January 27, 2009, 12:53:29 PM
Both I-490 between Fairport and Bushnell's Basin as well as I-90 between Buffalo and Syracuse are in dire need of a third lane each direction.  Traffic can get pretty bad on both.

NY 204 is ridiculous.  It was intended to connect I-490 to the Rochester airport, but it was never completed and only connects I-490 to NY 33A (it has no exits).  It's fairly useless and should be reduced to one lane each way or removed completely.

The Inner Loop is also underused.  It's possible to drive on it and be the only car on the entire road.  That may change though, because the DOT is signing it as Alternate I-490 now.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 27, 2009, 12:55:48 PM
Both I-490 between Fairport and Bushnell's Basin as well as I-90 between Buffalo and Syracuse are in dire need of a third lane each direction.  Traffic can get pretty bad on both.

NY 204 is ridiculous.  It was intended to connect I-490 to the Rochester airport, but it was never completed and only connects I-490 to NY 33A (it has no exits).  It's fairly useless and should be reduced to one lane each way or removed completely.

The Inner Loop is also underused.  It's possible to drive on it and be the only car on the entire road.  That may change though, because the DOT is signing it as Alternate I-490 now.

They are signing it at Alternate Interstate 490 now? Will be Interstate 490 Alt east and west, or just generic I-490 ALT. I've seen a few ALT Interstates around through the years, and I have always wondered if any one actually pays attention to them. This may be the first time that a freeway with no other numerical designation gained that status however...
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: vdeane on January 27, 2009, 01:01:22 PM
Partially.  It says Alt I-490 on the new signs on I-490 east on exit 13, but I don't know if it does anywhere else or not (I'm leaning towards not).
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: V'Ger on January 27, 2009, 01:03:56 PM
I would consider Sacramento's freeway systems to be a blunder in themselves.
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: Alex on January 27, 2009, 02:18:28 PM
One highway blunder not mentioned is the Delaware 1 Indian River Inlet bridge replacement project. DelDOT paid a contractor money for the initial earthwork that resulted in large earth piles on the approach to each side. It was thought that a new arch bridge with no supports in the water would replace the agining crossing. However, it was determined that that span was cost prohibitive, so designers were forced to go back and reconsider the crossing. Last I heard some kind of cable-stayed bridge was touted.

Meanwhile the large mounds of earth that were paid for now have to be removed as the bridge design has changed. More money out the window there. What a blunder!
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: V'Ger on January 29, 2009, 04:29:32 AM
Didn't they once use some kind of experimental pavement that made all the cars slide in the rain?
Title: Re: Highway Blunders
Post by: vdeane on January 29, 2009, 03:19:12 PM
Here's my neighborhood's experience with experimental pavement:

The streets in our neighborhood were in dire need of repair about five years ago so the town decided to put a layer of new, experimental pavement that was supposed to last us 50 years on top of the roads.  What the roads really needed was a reconstruction from the foundation up, and needless to say the pavement that was supposed to last us 50 years has eroded away in many places, leaving the roads worse than before.