AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 07:50:44 AM

Title: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 07:50:44 AM
The only capacity increase currently under study is doing something at the U.S. 301 (Harry Nice Bridge) crossing well south of Washington, D.C.  The Maryland Transportation Authority has been working on this for quite a few years (Web site here (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Nicebridge/nice_index.html)).

In the past week, there have been two stories by WTOP radio regarding river crossings:

Is Maryland cut off from Dulles International Airport? (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2721043)

WTOP Answer Desk: New Potomac river crossing coming? (http://wtop.com/?nid=892&sid=2726720)

Earlier in the month, Washington Post op-ed writer Steven Pearlstein wrote in favor of new crossings here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/steven-pearlstein-a-call-of-action-to-washingtons-business-elite/2012/01/16/gIQA3xUqGQ_story.html).

Thoughts?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 74/171FAN on January 30, 2012, 08:13:13 AM
I can't see anything getting built for a very long time and development might make that unattainable by the time this could be built.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 08:41:33 AM
I can't see anything getting built for a very long time and development might make that unattainable by the time this could be built.

Never ending delay and controversy were two of the strategies used against Md. 200, the InterCounty Connector.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on January 30, 2012, 09:28:26 AM
Quote
and development might make that unattainable by the time this could be built.

Development pretty much already makes it unattainable at this point.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on January 30, 2012, 09:56:39 AM
I don't think it's a lack of political will, but it is politics:  MD will never spend taxpayer $$ to make travel to Dulles easier than to BWI
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: oscar on January 30, 2012, 10:07:14 AM
In the past week, there have been two stories by WTOP radio regarding river crossings:

Is Maryland cut off from Dulles International Airport? (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2721043)

WTOP Answer Desk: New Potomac river crossing coming? (http://wtop.com/?nid=892&sid=2726720)

Short of a new highway between Dulles airport and northern Montgomery County MD (needed but unlikely to happen), there are easier things that could help with access to Dulles.  For example, a pet peeve of mine is that on the Maryland side there are all kinds of signs promoting and steering travelers to BWI, but none pointing the way to Dulles or Reagan National airports in Virginia.  (The converse is true for Virginia, though there are lots of signs pointing travelers to Baltimore, and so indirectly to BWI just southwest of that city.)  My sister once almost missed her flight to California out of Dulles, because there was no signage on southbound I-95 approaching the Capital Beltway in Silver Spring about which direction to take to get to Dulles, and she took the wrong turn and wound up detouring through Alexandria.  More even-handed directions to *all* the major local airports would help.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Henry on January 30, 2012, 10:43:29 AM
Classic case of the two states' dislike of each other, which is not as well-known as the one between the two cities, but still as intense.

While an extension of the ICC into Virginia would be great, I don't see it happening for decades, mainly because of the lawsuits and hefty opposition that would result and also caused the unnecessarily endless delay of the current highway's construction in the first place.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Takumi on January 30, 2012, 12:08:55 PM
I doubt anything's going to happen in our lifetimes as well.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on January 30, 2012, 12:14:53 PM
Gov. O'Malley was asked about it on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" this morning.  His response is that they're willing to explore a new Point of Rocks crossing (http://wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2727383&pid=0&page=2) (about halfway down the page).

The problem with such a crossing is that Loudoun County is opposed to widening US 15 north of Leesburg.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on January 30, 2012, 12:55:25 PM
Nothing will ever happen in any of our lifetimes.

One of the problems with a new bridge to the west/north of the Beltway is that the roads that would be linked up don't really match each other all that well. That is, if you continue I-370/the ICC on its natural arc towards the Potomac, you'd cross somewhere in the neighborhood of Springvale Road in Virginia (where L'Auberge Chez Francois is) and you'd have to expand the roads leading to that area, which won't happen and would cost a fortune. Those are all twisty narrow roads that hearken back to a Fairfax County of a different era. Also a lot of extremely wealthy people living in that area to fight the project. Can't cross east of there due to Great Falls and Riverbend Parks. A crossing further to the west to link to VA-28 or the Fairfax County Parkway would require massive disruption across Montgomery County.

Prior to the reconstruction of the Springfield Interchange and the Wilson Bridge I thought it would be useful to have a crossing somewhere between the Beltway and the Governor Nice Bridge. The most logical location seemed to be if there were a way to extend MD-210 (Indian Head Highway) across the Potomac to link up to I-95 in the Dale City area (though I recognize the naval base on the Maryland side would pose a practical problem for security reasons, and if it were further south the same issue would arise with the Marine Corps base on the Virginia side). For the most part the reconstruction seems to have solved the worst of the traffic issues. I don't think there's the same local demand down there that there is from Montgomery County to the Dulles or Tysons areas, such that another crossing to the south would serve more as a bypass for long-distance traffic. With the billions spent on Springfield and the Wilson Bridge, I suppose construction of a bypass around that area might render the work already done a bit of a white elephant, so I'd rather see the Beltway's "local"/"thru" arrangement extended to Springfield in the unlikely event there were ever enough money to do it.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: J N Winkler on January 30, 2012, 02:36:14 PM
I still remember the huge flamewar in MTR about the Techway Connector, which was

. . . only a study, and

. . . over ten years ago.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 03:25:04 PM
I still remember the huge flamewar in MTR about the Techway Connector, which was

. . . only a study, and

. . . over ten years ago.

Wasn't one of the flamers Mark Robinowitz, formerly a resident of Takoma Park, Md. (and admitted member of Earth First!) and apparently now residing in Oregon?

He had a very elaborate anti-ICC Web site that he put up during the 1990's ICC DEIS process, but it's gone now (though parts can be retrieved from Archive.org).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2012, 05:36:08 PM
More from WTOP Radio: Leaders talk seriously about new Potomac bridge (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2730232)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on February 01, 2012, 09:41:00 PM
The only capacity increase currently under study is doing something at the U.S. 301 (Harry Nice Bridge) crossing well south of Washington, D.C.  The Maryland Transportation Authority has been working on this for quite a few years (Web site
Thoughts?

Should have been done 30 years ago.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: mtfallsmikey on February 03, 2012, 06:54:16 AM
There should have been an extension of Rt. 28, going over the Potomac to I-270 done long ago, too late now.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 03, 2012, 02:56:15 PM
There should have been an extension of Rt. 28, going over the Potomac to I-270 done long ago, too late now.

Though many of the people that were involved in the frantic and decades-long opposition to the Md. 200 toll road (ICC) are the same that have opposed new crossings of the river.  The standard arguments against both are pretty much identical.

(1) It cannot be built without massive environmental damage.
(2) Money should be spent on mass transit projects using steel wheels running on steel rails instead.
(3) The tolls will be too high.
(4) It won't be used.
(5) It will "drain" jobs from Prince George's County.
(6) It will "drain" jobs from Montgomery County.
(7) It will "induce" more vehicular traffic.
(8) It won't provide any congestion relief for the Capital Beltway (this argument is always last).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2012, 06:14:34 PM
To be fair, they're right on 1, 6, and 7.  Regarding #2, some have suggested connecting Bethesda with Tysons via rail.  As for #8, depending on how far east they put it, it probably would draw some trips from the Beltway.  But there's enough latent and unmet demand along the Beltway to where, strictly speaking, #8 would be correct.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Henry on February 04, 2012, 12:13:47 PM
To be fair, they're right on 1, 6, and 7.  Regarding #2, some have suggested connecting Bethesda with Tysons via rail.  As for #8, depending on how far east they put it, it probably would draw some trips from the Beltway.  But there's enough latent and unmet demand along the Beltway to where, strictly speaking, #8 would be correct.


East, as in Laurel to Bowie, or somewhere near?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on February 04, 2012, 08:48:30 PM
East as in closer to the American Legion Bridge than to Leesburg.  You're thinking of something totally different.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: mtfallsmikey on February 07, 2012, 06:55:22 AM
To be fair, they're right on 1, 6, and 7.  Regarding #2, some have suggested connecting Bethesda with Tysons via rail.  As for #8, depending on how far east they put it, it probably would draw some trips from the Beltway.  But there's enough latent and unmet demand along the Beltway to where, strictly speaking, #8 would be correct.


Wrong on #6. Montgomery Co. has been identified as an emerging tech corridor growth area by many real estate experts.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 07, 2012, 08:26:36 AM
To be fair, they're right on 1, 6, and 7.  Regarding #2, some have suggested connecting Bethesda with Tysons via rail.  As for #8, depending on how far east they put it, it probably would draw some trips from the Beltway.  But there's enough latent and unmet demand along the Beltway to where, strictly speaking, #8 would be correct.


East, as in Laurel to Bowie, or somewhere near?

Henry, what you are speaking of was once part of the InterCounty Connector, which was late truncated at U.S. Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue), which will be the eastern terminus of the road in a few years.

It was shown on the Prince George's County Master Plan of Highways as Route A-44 and ran as far south and east as U.S. 301 near Upper Marlboro. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Henry on February 07, 2012, 10:45:14 AM
Obviously, I was thinking something different. But froggie is right, that placing it closer to the American Legion Bridge would take some traffic off that part of the Beltway.

There should have been an extension of Rt. 28, going over the Potomac to I-270 done long ago, too late now.

Though many of the people that were involved in the frantic and decades-long opposition to the Md. 200 toll road (ICC) are the same that have opposed new crossings of the river.  The standard arguments against both are pretty much identical.

(1) It cannot be built without massive environmental damage.
(2) Money should be spent on mass transit projects using steel wheels running on steel rails instead.
(3) The tolls will be too high.
(4) It won't be used.
(5) It will "drain" jobs from Prince George's County.
(6) It will "drain" jobs from Montgomery County.
(7) It will "induce" more vehicular traffic.
(8) It won't provide any congestion relief for the Capital Beltway (this argument is always last).

I see contradiction in #4 and #7. One suggests that no one will drive it for the reason cited in #3, and the other indicates a potential congestion problem along the route. But remember, this is a toll road with no gates to stop at, like on a traditional one; and even with the ICC in place, the parallel-running Beltway will still have more traffic, so congestion would be the very least of ICC travelers' worries.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 07, 2012, 12:06:09 PM
real estate experts.


a completely credible source.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on February 07, 2012, 08:34:12 PM
Quote
Wrong on #6. Montgomery Co. has been identified as an emerging tech corridor growth area by many real estate experts.

However, the cost of doing business is generally lower on the Virginia side of the Potomac.  Cost of living, too, which is one reason why I chose Virginia over Maryland when I transferred here.  Also, while the Dillon Rule creates some rather Byzantine-like governance in Virginia, Fairfax and Loudoun aren't quite as hamstrung by growth boundaries as Montgomery County is.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 07, 2012, 09:27:48 PM
Quote
Wrong on #6. Montgomery Co. has been identified as an emerging tech corridor growth area by many real estate experts.

However, the cost of doing business is generally lower on the Virginia side of the Potomac.  Cost of living, too, which is one reason why I chose Virginia over Maryland when I transferred here.  Also, while the Dillon Rule creates some rather Byzantine-like governance in Virginia, Fairfax and Loudoun aren't quite as hamstrung by growth boundaries as Montgomery County is.

Not so sure that the cost of doing business is that much less in Northern Virginia than it is in Montgomery County, but Montgomery's Byzantine planning, zoning and approval process does make building something new an expensive and drawn-out proposition.

Absolutely correct regarding the Montgomery County growth boundary - known as the (so-called) Agricultural Preserve.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 01, 2012, 09:20:57 AM
WTOP Beltway Poll: Yea to Potomac bridge, nay to gas tax (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2767672)

Quote
Two-thirds of people in the Washington area support the building of a new bridge across the Potomac River to ease traffic congestion, according to a new WTOP Beltway Poll.

Quote
Sixty nine percent of Marylanders support a new span. The poll finds that 65 percent of Virginia residents back a new bridge, while 58 percent of District residents support the idea.

Quote
Overall, 66 percent of those surveyed say they approve of building a new bridge.

Quote
The poll shows overwhelming opposition to an increase in the gas tax, with 78 percent saying they would oppose paying higher fees at the pump.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Alps on March 01, 2012, 06:41:54 PM
WTOP Beltway Poll: Yea to Potomac bridge, nay to gas tax (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2767672)

Quote
Two-thirds of people in the Washington area support the building of a new bridge across the Potomac River to ease traffic congestion, according to a new WTOP Beltway Poll.

Quote
Sixty nine percent of Marylanders support a new span. The poll finds that 65 percent of Virginia residents back a new bridge, while 58 percent of District residents support the idea.

Quote
Overall, 66 percent of those surveyed say they approve of building a new bridge.

Quote
The poll shows overwhelming opposition to an increase in the gas tax, with 78 percent saying they would oppose paying higher fees at the pump.

Toll it is, then.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 29, 2012, 09:56:54 AM
D.C. Examiner: McDonnell, O'Malley discuss new Potomac crossing (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/03/mcdonnell-omalley-discuss-new-potomac-crossing/416666)

Quote
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are discussing building a new Potomac River crossing to ease traffic on the Beltway.

Quote
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton told reporters Wednesday that the two governors are reviving discussions of the project, which has been proposed several times in recent years only to collapse under local and environmental concerns.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 30, 2012, 07:12:18 AM
Washington Post: Maryland, Virginia revisit talks on possible new Potomac River crossing, officials say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/virginia-politics/post/maryland-virginia-revisit-talks-on-possible-new-potomac-river-crossing-officials-say/2012/03/30/gIQAHZlYkS_blog.html)

TOLLROADSnews: New Potomac toll bridge being discussed - to link Montgomery Co MD, Fairfax Co VA (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5842)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on March 31, 2012, 10:37:01 PM
Won't happen in my lifetime.  As the one article says 'Ordinary folks want it special interests are against it'  Some of those special interests are the high end residential land owners along the river who don't want to spoil their nice estates.  Those land owners are very well connected politically and have held up road improvements in that area for years.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on April 01, 2012, 01:45:58 PM
This is why special interests should be curtailed or outlawed altogether.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: hbelkins on April 01, 2012, 09:28:25 PM
This is why special interests should be curtailed or outlawed altogether.

Why would one group of people be a special interest while another group not be?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 02, 2012, 11:13:44 AM
Won't happen in my lifetime.  As the one article says 'Ordinary folks want it special interests are against it'  Some of those special interests are the high end residential land owners along the river who don't want to spoil their nice estates.  Those land owners are very well connected politically and have held up road improvements in that area for years.

Groups claiming to represent those land owners (including those on the Virginia side of the river) were very much involved in the frantic opposition to the Md. 200 (InterCounty Connector) toll road project, though they did not contribute money to the (ultimately failed) federal lawsuits against the project (the main litigation was provided, pro-bono, by the Georgetown University School of Law).

Not that they lived near the ICC, but they were opposed to the project anyway, even they all of them reside in areas not well-served by transit.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 02, 2012, 11:14:42 AM
This is why special interests should be curtailed or outlawed altogether.

Why would one group of people be a special interest while another group not be?

Very good (and very fair) question. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 02, 2012, 11:41:44 AM
This is why special interests should be curtailed or outlawed altogether.

Why would one group of people be a special interest while another group not be?

more powerful lawyers.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on April 02, 2012, 11:52:26 AM
This is why special interests should be curtailed or outlawed altogether.

Why would one group of people be a special interest while another group not be?
It's about influence.  Normal voters are powerless against groups like the environmentalists or the NRA to influence policy due to the supreme court's delusion that money = speech.  I'm talking groups like the anti-69 people in Bloomington.

As far as I'm concerned, people should vote or write their congressman.  That's it.  No bribing officials.  No multi-million dollar attack ads against officials that refuse your bribe.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: qguy on April 02, 2012, 03:34:55 PM
Normal voters are powerless against groups like the environmentalists or the NRA…

Actually, normal voters band together to *form* groups like the environmentalists or the NRA.

Ironically, "special interest groups" as often as not start because a bunch of normal voters decide that individually they are powerless against some other perceived "special interest group" (or the government) and get together to promote or oppose something they think is either toward or against their benefit.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: hbelkins on April 03, 2012, 09:57:17 AM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on April 03, 2012, 12:06:27 PM
Hey, I actually do the right thing and refuse to place myself in groups.  For example, while I identify with the Democrats and loathe most Republicans, I refuse to join any political party (those should be abolished as well).

Most interest groups are backed by the wealthy and/or corporations, so the phrase "class warfare" very much applies (though it's the opposite of what FOX claims is going on).

If I was home, I'd get my AP Government and Politics notes and quote the exact definition.  My teacher gave a very good impromptu speech on how voter apathy and special interest groups are destroying the country.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 03, 2012, 01:49:25 PM
They need to go back to the US 17 to US 15, Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Point of Rocks, Frederick plan, make it toll, limit exits to an average of 8-10 miles, maybe extend Sam Eig due west to PoR.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: qguy on April 03, 2012, 07:35:43 PM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!  :clap:

My lovely assistant will now explain your prizes…
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on April 04, 2012, 08:06:00 AM
They need to go back to the US 17 to US 15, Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Point of Rocks, Frederick plan, make it toll, limit exits to an average of 8-10 miles, maybe extend Sam Eig due west to PoR.

It depends on what you percieve the purpose of the route to be.

If it is to provide a bypass to the heavy traffic area around DC and keep through traffic (such as trucks) away from the core of the area this route is one of two that could serve the purpose.  If the intent is to relieve daily commuter traffic between residential areas one one side of the river and jobs on the other (The I 270 and Dulles Tollroad corriders being the concentration points of both) than a route out as far as Point of Rocks does not work, you need a high volume crossing (not a barge on a string) no further out than Balls B and prefferably downstream of that (Connect Cascades Parkway in VA to Seneca Rd and on to Sam Eig in MD)

I've been commuting in this area for over 25 years  lived here for my entire life except for 9 years in the USAF and there has never been concensus on where river crossings should be.  I believe it becomes a power struggle between the VA and MD political machines to see who can force their will on the other rather than trying to resolve the issue.  I would be happy if they would just continue US-15 Straight north from the last big turn before the river (Where the now Valero gas Station is before 15 enters 'the gulley') across the eastern tip of Heaters Island, around the east side of Point of rocks and reconnect with current 15 north of the traffic circle at Rt 464.  That would avoid most of the houses built in the last 20 years (would have been better if it had been done 20 years ago)  Then we would only need to build around Lucketts and put a full interchange at US-340.  Oh amnd install good deer fencing.  There are times I think you need a hunting license to drive that road at night!
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on April 04, 2012, 11:34:59 AM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!  :clap:

My lovely assistant will now explain your prizes…

You just don't get it, do you?  Stuff like this is the reason why all Americans should be required to pass the AP US History, AP US Government, and AP Comparative Government exams with a 4 or better in order to be allowed to vote.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on April 04, 2012, 11:41:15 AM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!  :clap:

My lovely assistant will now explain your prizes…

You just don't get it, do you?  Stuff like this is the reason why all Americans should be required to pass the AP US History, AP US Government, and AP Comparative Government exams with a 4 or better in order to be allowed to vote.

It's been over 20 years, but I thought AP Government was one of the easiest courses I took in high school (and I include both the US and comparative portions of the course, and their associated exams, within that general statement). Passing that course wouldn't be much of a hurdle, IMO.

I could say more about legal education and the like, but it would become political and I don't want to go down that route.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: hbelkins on April 04, 2012, 11:41:44 AM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!  :clap:

My lovely assistant will now explain your prizes…

You just don't get it, do you?  Stuff like this is the reason why all Americans should be required to pass the AP US History, AP US Government, and AP Comparative Government exams with a 4 or better in order to be allowed to vote.

Do you seriously think there is no difference between, say, the AFL-CIO or the Sierra Club and the US Chamber of Commerce or the Club for Growth? Why would one be a special interest and the other not?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: NE2 on April 04, 2012, 11:47:49 AM
Because the AFL-CIO is communist.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 04, 2012, 12:55:46 PM
They need to go back to the US 17 to US 15, Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Point of Rocks, Frederick plan, make it toll, limit exits to an average of 8-10 miles, maybe extend Sam Eig due west to PoR.

It depends on what you percieve the purpose of the route to be.

If it is to provide a bypass to the heavy traffic area around DC and keep through traffic (such as trucks) away from the core of the area this route is one of two that could serve the purpose.  If the intent is to relieve daily commuter traffic between residential areas one one side of the river and jobs on the other (The I 270 and Dulles Tollroad corriders being the concentration points of both) than a route out as far as Point of Rocks does not work, you need a high volume crossing (not a barge on a string) no further out than Balls B and prefferably downstream of that (Connect Cascades Parkway in VA to Seneca Rd and on to Sam Eig in MD)

I would go for connecting Sam Eig Highway to Va. 28.

Quote
I've been commuting in this area for over 25 years  lived here for my entire life except for 9 years in the USAF and there has never been concensus on where river crossings should be.

I disagree.  There was consensus on this in the 1960's, when the Washington Outer Beltway was planned.

Then the voters of Montgomery County, Maryland elected a slate of no-growth/slow growth people to its County Council, led by the late Idamae Garrott.  Garrott was to spend the rest of her life lobbying against any and all new highways - first on the County Council, then in the Maryland House of Delegates and finally in the Maryland State Senate.   She died in 1999 thinking that she had won the battle of the InterCounty Connector. 

She used to boast that she personally went to meetings of the Fairfax County and Loudoun County Boards of Supervisors to lobby them to cooperate in her effort to remove highways from the planning maps.  And in the case of the Outer Beltway and the Rockville Facility (part of which was recently completed as the Montrose Parkway), she got away with it.

Quote
I believe it becomes a power struggle between the VA and MD political machines to see who can force their will on the other rather than trying to resolve the issue.  I would be happy if they would just continue US-15 Straight north from the last big turn before the river (Where the now Valero gas Station is before 15 enters 'the gulley') across the eastern tip of Heaters Island, around the east side of Point of rocks and reconnect with current 15 north of the traffic circle at Rt 464.  That would avoid most of the houses built in the last 20 years (would have been better if it had been done 20 years ago)  Then we would only need to build around Lucketts and put a full interchange at US-340.  Oh amnd install good deer fencing.  There are times I think you need a hunting license to drive that road at night!

U.S. 15 is too far west, and the right-of-way does not exist in Loudoun County to significantly upgrade the road, especially near Lucketts and approaching the Point-of-Rocks Bridge.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Alps on April 05, 2012, 06:45:34 AM
Actually, I think "special interest group" means any group that holds a position that is opposite to yours. ;-)

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!  :clap:

My lovely assistant will now explain your prizes…

You just don't get it, do you?  Stuff like this is the reason why all Americans should be required to pass the AP US History, AP US Government, and AP Comparative Government exams with a 4 or better in order to be allowed to vote.

Do you seriously think there is no difference between, say, the AFL-CIO or the Sierra Club and the US Chamber of Commerce or the Club for Growth? Why would one be a special interest and the other not?
They all are, but this is a topic for Off-Topic discussion, so I expect this thread to continue on Potomac River crossings after this post.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on April 05, 2012, 07:11:00 AM
I'll concede the point of focus in the 60s.  I was growng up in Carroll County at the time and more interested in Baltimore area roads.  Some interest in the rest of central Maryland and an awareness through travel through the area but not a focus.

I figured the lack of improvements along 15 from Lucketts on was due to right of way issues as well as lack of local need but looking at the map and having 15 years when it was my daily commute route made me wish.  And living in the Frederick area it would be just what I need to avoid the DC area.

As far as connecting Sam Eig to RT 28 that was what I thought also but looking at Google Maps it seemed like it is angling the wrong way.  Cascades Pkway cuts off Rt 28 and points more directly over to Sam Eig/Seneca Rd.  It's just the two Golf courses on the VA side (Alogonkian and Trump National) and one Golf Course (Bretton Woods) on the MD side that are in the way (I wonder if there is any political clout associated with them :-))
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 07, 2012, 03:49:24 PM
From Frederick News-Post via WTOP Radio: Officials: New Potomac River crossing unlikely (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2818390)

Quote
When it comes to getting cars across the Potomac River, Maryland's top priority is not building a new bridge, but restoring an old one.

Quote
Discussions between Maryland and Virginia transportation officials about the possibility of building another Potomac crossing have just begun, but Maryland seems unlikely to budge.

Quote
The state's primary concern is the 71-year-old Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (U.S. 301), the southern crossing that connects Charles County with Virginia.

Quote
A northern Potomac crossing may not be a priority for Maryland right now, but supporters hope a new bridge could divert traffic from the Capital Beltway, allowing drivers to bypass Washington and cross the river on a new connection northwest of the American Legion Bridge in Cabin John.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on April 08, 2012, 09:33:05 AM
You beat me to it!  I was driving up through the PA Dutch country yesterday (Rt 30 between York and Gettysburg is dangerous after a long day shopping and driving)  and didn't get online to post until this morning.  Here is a link to the Frederick News Post with the comments that were posted on their website
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display_Comments.htm?section=a1&storyID=134113#postComments

I was hoping for a better article when I saw the headline (It was on the front page) It will be interesting if it draws any Letters to the Editor in the next couple weeks.  If I see any I'll let everyone know
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 17, 2012, 08:39:42 AM
WTOP Radio: Report fuels debate for new Potomac bridge (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2829712)

Quote
Supporters of a new bridge across the Potomac may have more fuel in the controversial debate.

Quote
While Maryland and Virginia leaders say they have been talking about the possibility, others call for expanding transit options across the river as a faster and more cost-effective option to relieving congestion.

Quote
However, the region's Transportation Planning Board just examined the demand for transit across the American Legion Bridge, and found that the demand simply may not exist between the Interstate 270 and Dulles corridors. The Planning Board points to a previous Metrobus route (Metrobus 14 service) across the bridge that was ultimately canceled because of low ridership.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2012, 03:57:02 PM
Dr. Gridlock (Robert Thomson) in the Washington Post: Potomac bridge: Not in your commuting lifetime (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/potomac-bridge-not-in-your-commuting-lifetime/2012/04/19/gIQA6PpbTT_blog.html)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 02, 2012, 11:24:23 AM
WAMU Radio: From A To B: New Potomac River Bridge Talks Continue (http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection/12/04/27/from_a_to_b_new_potomac_river_bridge_talks_continue)

And GreaterGreaterWashington's response to this report: WAMU missteps with one-sided Outer Beltway story (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14621/wamu-missteps-with-one-sided-outer-beltway-story/)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 11, 2012, 04:16:43 PM
Out of Control: Washington Outer Beltway and I-495 BRT Have Benefits (http://reason.org/blog/show/washington-outer-beltway-and-i-495)

Quote
Last Week transportation reporter Martin Di Caro of Metro Connection received a dressing down by David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington. Alpert argued in a column that Di Caro’s transportation article was one sided. Specifically, Alpert took notion with the idea that an Outer Beltway or other arterial highway could solve congestion in the Washington area. Other environmental and smart growth advocates issued similar critiques.

Quote
Alpert accurately highlighted some of the shortcomings of the article. He was honest in noting that all of his articles are opinions and in detailing the difference between editorials and objective news coverage. I also agree with him about the quality of transportation coverage. Washington DC is fortunate to have dedicated, knowledgeable transportation reporters such as Robert Thompson of the Washington Post. But transportation is not as big a priority as issues such as taxes or defense. Sometimes transportation beat reporters are just passing through to other more lucrative positions. Most of the DC media tries very hard to offer balanced transportation coverage; but transportation is often the red headed stepchild.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: NE2 on May 11, 2012, 04:41:40 PM
"Out of Control" is, for the record, the blog of the "Reason Foundation", a bunch of right-wing loonies.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on May 11, 2012, 04:44:41 PM
"Out of Control" is, for the record, the blog of the "Reason Foundation", a bunch of right-wing loonies.

You can't refute the message, so you attack the messenger...
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: NE2 on May 11, 2012, 04:53:39 PM
I don't know what the message is, because I don't choose to read the rantings of idiots.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Alps on May 11, 2012, 07:42:24 PM
Right, left, purple, I want my news coming from established sources, not .orgs and tollroadsblog.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on May 11, 2012, 09:41:34 PM
I don't know what the message is, because I don't choose to read the rantings of idiots.

Then that means that you don't read your own posts...
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Alps on May 12, 2012, 12:23:38 AM
I don't know what the message is, because I don't choose to read the rantings of idiots.

Then that means that you don't read your own posts...
He didn't say geniuses.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: NE2 on May 12, 2012, 01:11:19 AM
Insert self deprecation here.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: qguy on May 12, 2012, 02:00:33 PM
Right, left, purple, I want my news coming from established sources, not .orgs and tollroadsblog.

Orgs and blogs do have their viewpoints which color their commentary, but if by "established sources" you mean "objective sources," there aren't any. There's no such thing as an objective source of news. All news sources have a bias; some simply don't own up to it.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 14, 2012, 12:03:08 PM
"Out of Control" is, for the record, the blog of the "Reason Foundation", a bunch of right-wing loonies.

Reason is generally skeptical of taxpayer-funded rail transit projects, and, for that matter, taxpayer-funded highway projects too.

They are pro-free-market, not "conservative." I don't think they advocate for "conservative" social policies, for instance.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: oscar on May 14, 2012, 01:22:54 PM
"Out of Control" is, for the record, the blog of the "Reason Foundation", a bunch of right-wing loonies.

Reason is generally skeptical of taxpayer-funded rail transit projects, and, for that matter, taxpayer-funded highway projects too.

They are pro-free-market, not "conservative." I don't think they advocate for "conservative" social policies, for instance.

For example, Reason magazine carries a lot of stuff on drug legalization, and also has a leftward tilt on civil liberties issues.

"Libertarian" seems the best description, and libertarians don't fit neatly on the traditional left-right spectrum.

That said, the quality of Reason's work is uneven.  We've probably all read one of their annual state-by-state comparisons of highways, which is a slice-and-dice of existing data that seems geared to get them press coverage.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2012, 03:06:52 PM
[This is related to the original subject, which is why I am bumping this thread]

Examiner: Rapid bus considered for American Legion Bridge (http://washingtonexaminer.com/rapid-bus-considered-for-american-legion-bridge/article/2502937)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 25, 2012, 10:05:38 PM
WTOP Radio: Effort begins to clear bottleneck on American Legion Bridge (http://www.wtop.com/41/2961625/Effort-begins-to-clear-bottleneck-on-American-Legion-Bridge)

Quote
Traffic congestion is not just a problem in some neighborhoods. It's a regional problem. And now there may be some cooperation on one of the biggest bottlenecks in the region: the American Legion Bridge on the Beltway that connects Virginia and Maryland.

Quote
Within a year, the Express Lanes on the Beltway near Tysons Corner will be operational. But those lanes stop short of the American Legion Bridge and the border with Maryland, leaving the likelihood of bigger tieups there.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 26, 2012, 11:10:03 AM
Washington Post: Fairfax, Montgomery leaders meet to talk traffic (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/fairfax-montgomery-leaders-meet-to-talk-traffic/2012/07/25/gJQAhTih9W_blog.html)

Quote
It was a historic first, folks agreed. Leaders from Fairfax and Montgomery counties met Wednesday to talk transportation and traffic — and work jointly on solutions to help their residents spend less time on roads so they could spend more time with loved ones.

Quote
Roger Berliner, president of the Montgomery County Council, and Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, presided over the gathering, which included other board members and supervisors with special interest in transportation issues

Quote
“We have never done this before,” Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) said. “That’s something we need to change. We need to do [these] on a regular basis. We owe it to our communities.”
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 18, 2012, 10:10:20 PM
Robert Thomson ("Doctor Gridlock") of the Washington Post: Montgomery, Fairfax look to future of Legion Bridge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/montgomery-fairfax-look-to-future-of-legion-bridge/2012/08/17/3c228fce-e575-11e1-8741-940e3f6dbf48_story.html)

Quote
When elected leaders from Montgomery and Fairfax counties met in July for what many said was their first joint discussion of regional transportation concerns, it was only natural that the conversation focused on the American Legion Bridge. Each day, the counties use it to exchange tens of thousands of commuters.

Quote
But the Legion Bridge tends to be less talked about and fussed over than its cousin, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, on the other side of the Capital Beltway.

Quote
The Wilson Bridge, part of Interstate 95, the East Coast’s Main Street, is just emerging from a major makeover that widened not only the bridge but also its approaches. The last big thing that happened to the Legion Bridge was in 2007, when it got a paint job — underneath, where nobody could see it.

Quote
Now, with Virginia widening the west side of the Beltway for the high-occupancy toll lanes, the bridge just north of the new lanes may be in for a new round of attention. So let’s look at its history, its role in regional traffic and some visions for its future.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on August 18, 2012, 10:36:57 PM
Now, with Virginia widening the west side of the Beltway for the high-occupancy toll lanes, the bridge just north of the new lanes may be in for a new round of attention. So let’s look at its history, its role in regional traffic and some visions for its future.

Maryland has known for at least 6 years that the HOT lanes were coming to the Virginia Beltway. 

It's not Virginia's fault that the HOT lanes end the way that they do near VA-193 Georgetown Pike, since Maryland hasn't done anything to extend the Beltway managed lanes at least to I-270, where they could integrate with the HOV lanes on I-270.  Either one lane each way or 2 lanes each way, could make a very worthwhile managed lane facility.


Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 18, 2012, 11:39:49 PM
Now, with Virginia widening the west side of the Beltway for the high-occupancy toll lanes, the bridge just north of the new lanes may be in for a new round of attention. So let’s look at its history, its role in regional traffic and some visions for its future.

Maryland has known for at least 6 years that the HOT lanes were coming to the Virginia Beltway.

More than a few elected officials and civic activists in Montgomery County don't want to discuss any new river crossing capacity that might possibly improve highway access from the county or its Maryland neighbors to employment centers in Northern Virginia (including Tysons Corner and the Dulles Toll Road corridor).  That probably holds true among some members of the Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.

But Maryland's State Highway Administration had been studying it since 2006, though not much going on since 2009: West Side Mobility Study (http://capitalbeltway.mdprojects.com/osWestSideMobility.html)

Why nothing since 2009?  I don't know for certain, but I suspect money has something to do with it.

It's not Virginia's fault that the HOT lanes end the way that they do near VA-193 Georgetown Pike, since Maryland hasn't done anything to extend the Beltway managed lanes at least to I-270, where they could integrate with the HOV lanes on I-270.  Either one lane each way or 2 lanes each way, could make a very worthwhile managed lane facility.

In 2003 and 2004, the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Montgomery County Council approved an amendment to the Master Plan of Highways which added HOV lanes to the Capital Beltway between the Virginia end of the American Legion Bridge and I-270Y.  Details here (http://www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings_archive/04_meeting_archive/agenda_031104/item8_031104_opt.pdf) (Adobe Acrobat .pdf format, 311 Kb).

The resolution does not say how many HOV lanes were approved (and it may have been left indeterminate). But traffic in HOV lanes won't flow especially fast in concurrent-flow HOV (or HOT) lanes adjacent to extremely congested general purpose lanes, and one lane each way leaves operations vulnerable to disabled vehicles and wrecks.  If the elected officials really want credible transit bus service in the corridor, then the right approach is to extend the Virginia managed lanes north to I-270Y. 

That still leaves the issue of what to do with the transition there (since the HOV lanes on I-270 and I-270Y are concurrent-flow HOV-2), and what to do with traffic on I-495 to and from Chevy Chase, Silver Spring and points east.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 19, 2012, 01:47:42 AM
D.C. Examiner editorial (05-Aug-2012): Brace for even bigger backups on Legion Bridge (http://washingtonexaminer.com/examiner-local-editorial-brace-for-even-bigger-backups-on-legion-bridge/article/2504141)

Quote
Maryland officials are suddenly worried that traffic on the American Legion Bridge will worsen when Virginia's High Occupancy Toll lanes open next year. Twelve lanes of traffic will be forced to squeeze back into 10 upon entering the Free State. But as with their ongoing angst over long-expected military base-closings, such belated concern does not let them off the hook. In both cases, state and Montgomery County officials knew about these major traffic problems more than five years ago and did practically nothing to ameliorate their impact.

Quote
HOT lane construction began in 2008, but plans to add new toll lanes to the Capital Beltway were underway long before the first bulldozer appeared. In 2006, the Maryland State Highway Administration launched its West Side Mobility Study "to evaluate a managed lane system connecting Virginia's HOT Study, Maryland's Capital Beltway Study, Maryland's I-270 Multi-Modal Study, and Maryland's Intercounty Connector."

Quote
Traffic engineers knew that an expanded Beltway in Virginia would force traffic to merge into fewer lanes in Maryland, creating inevitable slowdowns on both sides of the Potomac. But Maryland made no plans to add capacity on its side of the 60-mile Beltway, even though traffic congestion in one state directly affects the other. The 2006 study included recommendations to deal with the inevitable bottleneck, including a proposal to convert High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 270 to HOT lanes. But Maryland didn't even do that.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on August 19, 2012, 08:16:40 AM
[Examiner]
Traffic engineers knew that an expanded Beltway in Virginia would force traffic to merge into fewer lanes in Maryland, creating inevitable slowdowns on both sides of the Potomac. But Maryland made no plans to add capacity on its side of the 60-mile Beltway, even though traffic congestion in one state directly affects the other. The 2006 study included recommendations to deal with the inevitable bottleneck, including a proposal to convert High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 270 to HOT lanes. But Maryland didn't even do that.

Some talk, but no actual action ... this reinforces what I said.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on August 20, 2012, 04:18:02 PM
VA I-495 HOT lanes northern terminal -- adding 2 lanes each way northward would be ideal from a traffic engineering standpoint. 

However, the right-of-way constraints on MD I-495 between the river and I-270, would make it very expensive and intrusive to add more than one lane each way, maybe it would be effectively impossible. 

Adding one managed lane each way would still be a very worthwhile improvement and extension of the managed lanes from Virginia to I-270.  Maryland needs to get moving on this project, IMHO.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 20, 2012, 11:43:14 PM
VA I-495 HOT lanes northern terminal -- adding 2 lanes each way northward would be ideal from a traffic engineering standpoint.

That's correct.

However, the right-of-way constraints on MD I-495 between the river and I-270, would make it very expensive and intrusive to add more than one lane each way, maybe it would be effectively impossible.

Intrusive in places, yes.  But at some points, the right-of-way is remarkably wide (and much wider than it is, for example, through Silver Spring).

And there are at least two golf courses that back up to the Beltway, one of which is Burning Tree Country Club, which forbids women (and is not likely to get much sympathy if the state decides it wants to condemn some of its land).   

Adding one managed lane each way would still be a very worthwhile improvement and extension of the managed lanes from Virginia to I-270.  Maryland needs to get moving on this project, IMHO.

No dispute on that, but money (or lack thereof) is a serious constraint.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 19, 2012, 08:32:36 AM
Leesburg Today: Board Doesn’t Back Potomac River Bridge Study (http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/board-doesn-t-back-potomac-river-bridge-study/article_948976bc-01fb-11e2-a1c0-001a4bcf887a.html)

Edit: Made it clear that the above link was from Leesburg Today.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 19, 2012, 02:28:47 PM
WTOP Radio: County leaders: Study shoulder traffic for bridge (http://www.wtop.com/46/3044768/County-Study-traffic-on-shoulders-of-American-Legion-Bridge)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 20, 2012, 09:10:31 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Northern extension of Beltway Express Lanes discussed, Maryland study of Tysons/I-270 XLs (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6194)

Quote
2012-09-19: With the Capital Beltway's toll express lanes due to open by December there will be twelve traffic lanes (2x4 free lanes and 2x2 toll lanes) between northern Virginia's Springfield Interchange at I-95 and just beyond the Dulles Toll/Access Road VA267 near Tysons Corner - 14 miles. From there for three miles north to the Potomac River it's back to eight (2x4) lanes.

Quote
Reasonably enough people are asking about the big lane drop just north of Tysons Corner. How will 12 go into 8 lanes, or more precisely six northbound lanes go into four. The American Legion bridge across the white water section of the Potomac into Maryland at Cabin John has ten (2x5) lanes but the fifth lane each direction is  dedicated to travel on and off the George Washington Parkway - Marylanders major route to Washington DC, CIA HQ and the Pentagon.

Quote
Then north of the bridge there's another four miles of the Beltway in Maryland with over 200k/day up to the I-270/Beltway split.

Quote
Berliner suggested as an interim measure shoulder lanes should be used to provide extra highway capacity, perhaps for buses and HOVs.

Quote
A problem: the American Legion Bridge itself has no shoulder. The travel lane edges are hard up against the bridge curb and concrete median.

Quote
The Beltway in this stretch is eminently widenable. Few buildings are close to it.

Quote
It's a tony area of large houses on large lots in a treed setting. Of course that doesn't mean there won't be NIMBY-type local opposition.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 20, 2012, 10:38:13 AM
WTOP Radio: Should a tunnel connect Loudoun and Montgomery cos.? (http://www.wtop.com/654/3045817/Should-a-tunnel-connect-Va-and-Md)

Quote
For decades, there has been talk of a second Potomac River crossing. But what about a tunnel that would connect Va. 28 in Loudoun County with Interstate 270 in Montgomery County?

Quote
Virginia Delegate Randy Minchew, a Republican who represents part of Loudoun County, has floated the idea. He requested the state study the idea when he asked the state to study a bridge across the river.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Doctor Whom on September 24, 2012, 01:24:51 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Northern extension of Beltway Express Lanes discussed, Maryland study of Tysons/I-270 XLs (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6194)

Quote
It's a tony area of large houses on large lots in a treed setting. Of course that doesn't mean there won't be NIMBY-type local opposition.
We're talking about Montgomery County.  NIMBY-type opposition is a given.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2012, 09:21:36 PM
Bacon's Rebellion: VDOT to Study Potomac Crossings (http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2012/11/vdot-to-study-potomac-crossings.html)

Quote
Three days ago the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) issued an innocuous press release announcing that it would sponsor and fund a study of future travel demand across the Potomac River. Specifically, the study will focus on cross-river traffic and demand between the Route 15 crossing north of Leesburg to the Route 301 crossing some 60 miles to the southeast.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2012, 12:04:05 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Virginia DOT study of Potomac River crossings, Maryland not interested for now (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6302)

Quote
Virginia DOT is doing forecasts of future pressure on Potomac River crossings but Maryland on the other side of the river isn't cooperating - so far. The Virginia study announced last month is described by VDOT as aimed to "develop a common set of data from which Virginia, D.C. and Maryland can discuss approaches to ease congestion and increase multi-modal mobility among the three jurisdictions."

Quote
VDOT's study will look at traffic at crossings between Point of Rocks MD some 38 miles upstream of the center of Washington DC and the US301 Nice Bridge 36 miles south of Washington DC. By our count there are nine bridges carrying 54 lanes of traffic in total.

Quote
Area transport planners see the highest priority as a new crossing  to link the Intercounty Connector tollroad MD200 at I-270 in Gaitherburg MD to VA28 Sully Road in Sterling VA.  There's a missing 13 mile link in an expressway standard route from I-95 west around the northern and western portions of the Washington DC metro area.

It would directly link the area's most populous counties - Montgomery County MD and Fairfax County VA.

Quote
One local official who asks not to be named says the "environmentalist" label of the groups opposing transport improvements here is "largely bogus" adding: "They are bunch of very wealthy old-money families on inherited estates who use the 'green' mantras to keep the riff-raff out." One of their favorite lobby organizations is called the Piedmont Environmental Council. He says they also use the mantras of so-called 'smart growth' to manipulate land use zonings to keep minorities confined to the District of Columbia.

Quote
Forcing trucks and cars to travel circuitous routes and getting them stuck in congestion is clearly bad for the environment as well as reducing redundant routes for emergencies, and an ongoing liability to the economy of the area, he notes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: BrianP on December 05, 2012, 06:51:22 PM
Maryland isn't interested because there is nowhere to put a new highway to connect to I-270.  The furthest place south along I-270 that I can see it happening is around Clarksburg.  It would have to pass on the west side of Little Seneca Lake.  And if that's the case then I'm not sure it's worth it.  It's missing one important thing that the ICC had which is a right of way.  A new metro crossing connecting the red line to the new silver line could happen since that could be underground. 

The likeliest scenario roadwise I think is widening the beltway to I-270 and widening the I-270 spur. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2012, 08:45:08 PM
Maryland isn't interested because there is nowhere to put a new highway to connect to I-270.  The furthest place south along I-270 that I can see it happening is around Clarksburg.  It would have to pass on the west side of Little Seneca Lake.  And if that's the case then I'm not sure it's worth it.  It's missing one important thing that the ICC had which is a right of way.
 

The Outer Beltway did have land in reservation up to the 1970's.  But thanks to elected officials like the late Idamae Garrott, we don't any longer.

A new metro crossing connecting the red line to the new silver line could happen since that could be underground. 

The land use does not support Metro - and, by the way, there's no reason that a highway cannot be undergrounded, though it is much more expensive than on the surface.

The likeliest scenario roadwise I think is widening the beltway to I-270 and widening the I-270 spur. 

That would work as an extension of the HOV/Toll lanes from Virginia.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on December 08, 2012, 01:17:52 PM
Quote
The Outer Beltway did have land in reservation up to the 1970's.  But thanks to elected officials like the late Idamae Garrott, we don't any longer.

As I understand it, the reservation land was all east of I-270 because there was uncertainty on Virginia's part on where to put the river crossing, documented quite well in the 1969 Northern Virginia Major Thoroughfare Plan.

But Brian's right.  There just isn't any good place to place a new crossing where it'd do the most good.  Between suburban residential development on both sides of the river (especially in North Potomac) and the parks along/adjacent to the river, there is no way anymore to directly connect the ICC/I-370 with either 28 or Fairfax County Pkwy.  And even if it were supported, it would be such a massively expensive endeavor that the real-estate costs alone makes it cost-prohibitive.

If you include the Great Falls area downstream and facilities on the Virginia side upstream, the physical reality prevents any new crossing between the Beltway and about Leesburg.  Both the political and fiscal realities are such that the best we can hope for is improvements to the existing American Legion and Point of Rocks Bridge crossings.

I agree that the land use does not support Metro. But there's enough latent demand plus intervening smaller nodes to where an LRT extension of the planned Purple Line from Bethesda to Tyson's becomes feasible.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2012, 12:30:58 PM
Quote
The Outer Beltway did have land in reservation up to the 1970's.  But thanks to elected officials like the late Idamae Garrott, we don't any longer.

As I understand it, the reservation land was all east of I-270 because there was uncertainty on Virginia's part on where to put the river crossing, documented quite well in the 1969 Northern Virginia Major Thoroughfare Plan.

At more than a few meetings that led up to the never-completed 1998 InterCounty Connector Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the late state Sen. Idamae Garrott (D-19) proudly held forth about her efforts (back then, as a member of the Montgomery  County  Council) how she and her anti-highway and anti-mobility colleagues on that council would journey to meetings of the Loudoun and Fairfax County  Boards of Supervisors and lobby them to remove any mention of new crossings of the Potomac River between the I-495 American Legion Bridge (known as the Cabin John Bridge back then) and White's Ferry.  The implicit sales pitch she made then was that those same tactics would be successful in stopping the  InterCounty Connector from ever being built (beyond the short I-370 segment, which she also opposed).  She went to her grave in 1999 thinking she had won the battle of the ICC.

But Brian's right.  There just isn't any good place to place a new crossing where it'd do the most good.  Between suburban residential development on both sides of the river (especially in North Potomac) and the parks along/adjacent to the river, there is no way anymore to directly connect the ICC/I-370 with either 28 or Fairfax County Pkwy.  And even if it were supported, it would be such a massively expensive endeavor that the real-estate costs alone makes it cost-prohibitive.

The subject has not been studied (on  the Maryland side) since the early 1970's, when Garrott and her allies got away with removing the Rockville Facility and new crossings of the Potomac River from the Master Plan of Highways.  Much of the land is not developed, and claims that it will "harm" the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve are just that - claims. I-270 (completed and opened to traffic in the late 1950's as the U.S. 240 Washington National Pike freeway) has crossed the Agricultural Preserve since it was created by the Montgomery County Council with little public debate in the 1970's).

If you include the Great Falls area downstream and facilities on the Virginia side upstream, the physical reality prevents any new crossing between the Beltway and about Leesburg.  Both the political and fiscal realities are such that the best we can hope for is improvements to the existing American Legion and Point of Rocks Bridge crossings.

Great Falls is a park on both  sides (as is the entire C&O Canal on the Maryland side from Cumberland to Georgetown). But the American Legion Bridge has not adversely  affected the C&O Canal and its towpath.

I agree that the land use does not support Metro. But there's enough latent demand plus intervening smaller nodes to where an LRT extension of the planned Purple Line from Bethesda to Tyson's becomes feasible.

I disagree, for the following reasons.

(1) You think there's well-funded NIMBYist opposition to new river crossings? I suggest you consider communities west of Md. 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) and all along Md. 190 (River Road).  They are going to oppose any rail transit project that runs near their homes.

(2) The demand for travel is not from Bethesda to Tysons Corner.  The Metrobus Route 14 service that was 100% funded by Maryland (thanks to then-Gov. Parris Glendening) had no patronage at all, and was discontinued shortly after he left office for that reason.  People wanting to get from Maryland to jobs along the Va. 267 corridor are not coming  from downtown Bethesda.

(3) A lot of the heavy traffic on the Beltway between Va. 267 and I-270Y in the afternoons is due to Dulles Airport, which is an afternoon peaking airport because of all of the international traffic first arriving from Europe and then  departing a little later in the evenings.

(4) If Montgomery County is going to have any chance of attracting more and new private sector jobs, it needs to upgrade its ground access to Dulles Airport.  Managers of private-sector firms that make location decisions are just not that interested in being near rail transit stops, no matter how fervently planners and the elected officials that oversee them would like to believe that. In spite of Montgomery County's claim of being committed to Life Sciences, the American Type Tissue Collection moved from Rockville to Prince William County just outside of Manassas (moving them significantly closer to Dulles), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (long headquartered in the Chevy Chase area of Montgomery County) did not even consider Montgomery County when they established the Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Loudoun County, overlooking the Potomac River (and Montgomery County's Agricultural Preserve) and a short, easy drive to Dulles).

(5) Finally, you are making an assumption that has been going on in the metropolitan Washington area since the 1960's, that rail transit can replace limited access freeway-class roads.  I believe that is wishful thinking.  The biggest beneficiary of such have been the counties of Northern Virginia, especially Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, but also Arlington County (home to National Airport and the Pentagon) and Prince William County.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 24, 2012, 10:01:01 AM
Transportation Nation (includes WAMU Radio) reports on VDOT's efforts to build new highway capacity on the western side of the region:

Northern Virginia Planning Big ‘Outer Beltway’ Road Expansion (Part 1) (http://transportationnation.org/2012/12/19/northern-virginia-planning-big-outer-beltway-road-expansion-part-1/)

Quote
In a massive undertaking that would transform the face of Northern Virginia, state transportation planners are unveiling plans to create a “north-south corridor of statewide significance.” Some are calling it a potential beginning of an “outer Beltway,” others say it’s essential infrastructure for the region’s economy. Critics call it a big waste of money, unnecessary and poorly planned.

Quote
The proposal would add a path between I-95 in Prince William County to Route 7 in Loudoun County, arcing west of Dulles International Airport and connecting to I-66, Rt. 50, and the Dulles Greenway.

Quote
Neither the exact route of a new highway, the cost, nor the number of lanes has been decided, but the agency’s objective is coming into focus: to dramatically expand Northern Virginia’s road capacity to benefit commerce, namely the growth of Dulles Airport into the east coast’s largest freight hub.

Northern Virginia Road Expansion: Betting on Dulles Airport as Freight Hub (Part 2) (http://transportationnation.org/2012/12/21/northern-virginia-road-expansion-betting-on-dulles-airport-as-freight-hub-part-2/)

Quote
To elected officials and Virginia transportation planners, Dulles International Airport is an untapped well of economic growth. However, maximizing its potential will necessitate major improvements of the surrounding road network.  That includes completion of a “north-south” corridor which is now in the conceptual stages.

Quote
On Dec. 12 the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority unveiled its intentions to pursue development of airport properties, including 400 acres on Dulles’ western side and sixteen acres around the future Rt. 606 stop of the Silver Line. The goal is to enhance the airport’s industrial capacity as a freight hub.

Quote
“We are the only airport on the east coast with that kind of land available to us for development purposes. Cargo is down at Dulles right now, but it is down because of the economic uncertainty in Europe,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn). “The problem we have today is there is no easy access from the airport. The only access we have today is Rt. 28 and 28 is very limited.”

Quote
At their monthly board meeting, MWAA officials emphasized the importance of both expanding the Dulles Loop – Routes 606, 28, and 50 – and eventually connecting it to the north-south corridor.  Studies to expand all three roadways are underway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 28, 2012, 10:01:07 AM
Washington Post's State of NoVa blog: Plans for Loudoun-Prince William highway move forward; crossing to Md. under discussion (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/plans-for-loudoun-prince-william-highway-move-forward-crossing-to-md-under-discussion/2012/12/27/4b16eab6-4ace-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_blog.html)

Quote
The major North-South highway that is being planned for Loudoun and Prince William counties got a public rollout of sorts last week. “Open houses” were held at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn and the Four Points Sheraton in Manassas. There were no formal presentations for this new “Northern Virginia North-South Corridor,” just a series of informational boards that showed roughly where the limited-access highway would go and why local and state officials think it’s needed.

Quote
This is not just the previously discussed Tri-County Parkway between I-66 and Route 50. This is the whole enchilada: a 45-mile limited-access highway from Route 7 in Ashburn all the way to I-95 in Dumfries. And the discussion is now officially beginning about extending this road across the Potomac River into Maryland, which makes the warnings from environmental and smart-growth groups of an emerging “Outer Beltway” connecting with the Intercounty Connector and then I-95 in Maryland seem more plausible.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on December 31, 2012, 05:01:29 PM



Quote
This is not just the previously discussed Tri-County Parkway between I-66 and Route 50. This is the whole enchilada: a 45-mile limited-access highway from Route 7 in Ashburn all the way to I-95 in Dumfries. And the discussion is now officially beginning about extending this road across the Potomac River into Maryland, which makes the warnings from environmental and smart-growth groups of an emerging “Outer Beltway” connecting with the Intercounty Connector and then I-95 in Maryland seem more plausible.

I wonder who he thinks the discussion is beginning with?  I cannot remember anytime when there has been interest in crossing the Potomac in that area from Maryland.  There is just too much political clout against it.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on January 01, 2013, 06:26:37 PM
stonefort:  Northern Virginia doesn't need more roads.  It needs better existing roads.  The problem isn't getting from Dumfries to Manassas or Dulles...the problem is getting from any of the three to the Beltway or inside the Beltway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 01, 2013, 07:29:10 PM
stonefort:  Northern Virginia doesn't need more roads.  It needs better existing roads.  The problem isn't getting from Dumfries to Manassas or Dulles...the problem is getting from any of the three to the Beltway or inside the Beltway.


Eliminating at-grade signalized intersections on Va. 286, Va. 234, Va. 294 and (most of) Va. 28 would certainly help - a lot. 

I think there is room to get rid of most of them on most of thee above, excepting Va. 28 through Manassas and Manassas Park.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: hbelkins on January 04, 2013, 09:24:55 AM
...and (most of) Va. 28...

And then turn it into I-366!
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on January 04, 2013, 12:54:56 PM
And raise the speed limit to 85.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 04:00:29 PM
[This from Dr. Gridlock is (in part) related to severe Capital Beltway congestion crossing and near the American Legion Bridge]

Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock: Daunting commutes, streetcar plans, date spots (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dr-gridlocks-traffic-transit-tips-daunting-commutes-streetcar-plans-date-spots/2013/03/01/32b9517c-7f83-11e2-8074-b26a871b165a_story.html)

Quote
A question during Monday’s online chat illustrated a common problem for couples in the D.C. region: “My husband and I are contemplating purchasing a home, and the best neighborhood we can come up with to meet our budget works well on every factor except his commute. He would be driving from a Silver Spring neighborhood near the Beltway to the Worldgate Centre in Herndon . . . but we’re trying to get a sense of how to make this workable and what . . . commute times might be.”

Quote
The morning rush won’t be so bad, considering that it’s about 26 miles on the Capital Beltway and Dulles Toll Road. The trip home at rush hour is likely to be ghastly, especially on the Beltway’s inner loop from the American Legion Bridge through Bethesda, one of the region’s worst bottlenecks. I’d allow about an hour and 15 minutes for the morning trip, though that might go quicker, and two hours for the afternoon.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 25, 2013, 03:52:42 PM
Washington Post: Virginia to allow travel on Beltway shoulder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/06/25/virginia-to-allow-travel-on-beltway-shoulder/)

WTOP Radio: Fifth lane to ease congestion on Capital Beltway (http://www.wtop.com/149/3370033/Gov-5th-lane-to-ease-congestion-on-495)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 26, 2013, 03:50:22 AM
WTOP Radio: Another bridge across Potomac River unlikely (http://www.wtop.com/654/3369264/Another-bridge-across-Potomac-River-unlikely)

Quote
A new bridge across the Potomac River has been a commuter pipe dream for decades, but it may never happen.

Quote
Another crossing between the American Legion Bridge and Point of Rocks over the Potomac River could alleviate the traffic-riddled Interstate 495 by taking traffic away from the Capital Beltway, but differences between Maryland and Virginia on how to handle the congestion may make that impossible.

Quote
David Versel, a researcher at George Mason University, says traffic over the American Legion Bridge has increased 13 percent since 1990 and is forecasted to increase even more. While the bridge continues to see more drivers, local traffic between Fairfax County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md., has declined according to the study.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 03, 2013, 02:56:24 PM
Bacon's Rebellion: No Easy Answers for American Legion Bridge (http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2013/07/no-easy-answers-for-american-legion-bridge.html)

Quote
The last bridge built to span the Potomac River in the Washington region was the American Legion Memorial Bridge, part of the Capital Beltway, in 1962. The population of Montgomery and Fairfax counties, which the bridge connected, totaled about 600,000. In the intervening six decades, the combined populations now exceed 2.1 million, accounting for 36% of the region’s population and 44% of its personal income.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 19, 2013, 01:46:36 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: Learn more about plan to open Beltway shoulder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/11/19/learn-more-about-plan-to-open-beltway-shoulder/)

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation has scheduled an information session Tuesday night on its plan to allow rush hour traffic on the left shoulder of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop south of the American Legion Bridge.

Quote
The project would open the shoulder for a mile and a half north of where the 495 Express Lanes end. This plan is one of the reasons I think it’s meaningless to judge after one year whether the express lanes are a success. The Northern Virginia transportation network keeps evolving. The major changes will be the opening of the Metro Silver Line and the 95 Express Lanes. But the opening of the shoulder is another small piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 03, 2015, 01:14:26 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: Hey, Maryland. It’s your turn to ease congestion on the Capital Beltway. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hey-maryland-its-your-turn-to-ease-congestion-on-the-capital-beltway/2015/06/01/6fe33632-0323-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html)

Question from a reader:

Quote
Can you please give us an update on the inner loop’s express lanes extension? It’s been over a year since the construction began. It looks like there is an end in sight, but I’ve not heard anything definitive.

Quote
Also, what’s the chance that, by having the new merge right before the American Legion Bridge, the fees and traffic on the inner loop express lanes will increase? Won’t having a left-lane merge from the express lanes at the same place as a right-lane merge from the George Washington Parkway create a larger bottleneck, as well as a greater chance for accidents just before the bridge?

Quote
I’m sorry to sound so cynical, but I believe that the only way to alleviate rush-hour traffic in that area of the Capital Beltway is to widen the bridge. Perhaps if the additional express lanes continued to the Interstate 270 split, traffic could significantly improve.

Quote
That, as well as connecting Route 28 in Northern Virginia to Interstate 370 in Montgomery County, really need to be done as long-term solutions to ease congestion. (Although I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.)

Some of Dr. Gridlock's response (emphasis added):

Quote
In recent years, the state government said it wanted to focus its transportation programs on preserving what we already have and on finding multimodal solutions to mobility problems. “Multimodal” means giving people more choices about how to get around, so they aren’t always stuck in their cars.

Quote
This is an acknowledgment of the realities of financing transportation improvements in this era and also a more sophisticated way of thinking about how to move people.

Quote
But Maryland has no serious program to accomplish those things on the west side of the Beltway.

Quote
For years, the Maryland government has shown no interest in building a new Potomac River crossing to the west of the Beltway, because it would only worsen problems with suburban sprawl. At this point, the state’s stand is no more than an excuse for inaction.

Quote
If there won’t be a new Potomac crossing for the foreseeable future, then something has to be done to upgrade the existing crossing, at the Legion Bridge and its connecting interstates through Bethesda.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 14, 2015, 12:01:30 PM
Washington Post: See which Potomac River crossings need the most relief (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/07/14/see-which-potomac-river-crossings-need-the-most-relief/)

Quote
A Virginia Department of Transportation study recommends that the state work with Maryland to address traffic congestion on the American Legion Bridge, but its numbers also make a good case for relieving the Rosslyn tunnel transit jam.

Quote
The VDOT study of the traffic on 11 Potomac River crossings, underway since 2013, will be presented to Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday. The only recommendation is that high-occupancy toll lanes across the Legion Bridge to Interstate 270 be the top priority for addressing crowding on the western Potomac crossings: “With concurrence of the board, staff will begin outreach to Maryland to determine interest in examining options for extending HOT lanes to the 270 spur.”

Quote
So far, the Maryland state government has shown no interest in a HOT lanes project involving the Legion Bridge. It was not part of the highway spending program outlined by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in June.

Quote
The VDOT staff noted that the study does not rule out the possibility of creating a new river crossing farther to the west at some point.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: noelbotevera on July 14, 2015, 01:34:58 PM
Why not a bridge that traced John Wilkes Booth's path from where he escaped Maryland into Virginia? A sneaky shortcut to bypass I-95 north of the Beltway to Tysons Corner Vienna? Basically, Dulles-bound traffic could use this to detour around the Beltway and instead end up in Tysons Corner Vienna just near the Dulles Toll Road.

edit: changed Tysons Corner to Vienna
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 14, 2015, 02:36:28 PM
Why not a bridge that traced John Wilkes Booth's path from where he escaped Maryland into Virginia? A sneaky shortcut to bypass I-95 north of the Beltway to Tysons Corner Vienna? Basically, Dulles-bound traffic could use this to detour around the Beltway and instead end up in Tysons Corner Vienna just near the Dulles Toll Road.

edit: changed Tysons Corner to Vienna

Because Booth escaped south from Washington, and crossed the Potomac River in the vicinity of the Gov. Harry Nice Memorial Bridge (U.S. 301) between Charles County, Maryland and King George County, Virginia.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: kkt on July 14, 2015, 03:23:30 PM
Why not a bridge that traced John Wilkes Booth's path from where he escaped Maryland into Virginia?

It would be a toll bridge, so it would have the Booth Bridge Toll Booth.  :D
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2015, 01:04:50 PM
WTOP Radio: Va. to offer toll lanes as fix to Legion Bridge bottleneck (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/07/va-offers-toll-lanes-fix-legion-bridge-bottleneck/)

Quote
Virginia transportation officials want to extend the 495 Express Lanes into Maryland to reduce congestion on the American Legion Bridge, a major choke point along the Capital Beltway.

Quote
Preliminary materials made available before Wednesday’s Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting show that Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation Nick Donohue will recommend pursuing the extension of the tolled lanes across the bridge and all the way to the Interstate 270 Spur in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Quote
The Commonwealth Transportation Board, which must approve such projects, is expected to be asked to sign off on an effort by Virginia officials to reach out to their counterparts across the Potomac River to determine whether Maryland would support the project.

Quote
Charlie Gischlar, with Maryland’s State Highway Administration, says the agency cannot comment because his agency has not seen any proposals yet. But he says the agency looks forward to hearing from Virginia.

Presentation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board can be found here (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2015/july/pres/PotomacRiverStudy.pdf) (.pdf).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 17, 2015, 10:14:27 AM
WTOP Radio: Potential new Potomac crossing pits Maryland against Virginia (http://wtop.com/local/2015/07/potential-new-potomac-crossing-pits-maryland-virginia/)

Quote
A new way to drive across the Potomac River that avoids the traffic-clogged Beltway has the support of Virginia transportation leaders, even if Maryland says it is not going to happen any time soon.

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation floated the idea of extending the I-495 Express Lanes over the Legion Bridge to the Interstate 270 Spur in Maryland at a Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting this week. Deputy Transportation Secretary Nick Donohue said his staff would really prefer to add an entire new crossing miles to the west, connecting Fairfax and Montgomery counties.

Quote
“Tysons Corner is located right off of 495 in central Fairfax, and as the development takes place there, because of the Silver Line investment [and] Beltway HOT Lanes, it’s really anticipated that you’ll have a lot more people commuting from Maryland into Tysons Corner and back,” Donohue said.

Quote
“Our focus, looking at river crossings, is addressing the issues at the American Legion Bridge. It has the worst congestion; it has the largest projected growth into the future,” Donohue told the board.

Quote
But Maryland has said it is not interested in building another crossing, especially into the rural areas of northwestern Montgomery County between the Potomac River and 270.

Quote
Other groups opposed to a new Potomac River crossing argue it would simply create more traffic and draw more cars to areas the plan is intended to help.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 17, 2015, 10:25:16 AM
I'd love to see the express lanes extended across the Legion Bridge like these plans say but they could split at I-270 Spur with 1 lane going to I-495 and the other lane going to I-270 Spur. Maybe the I-270 express lane could go up to to existing I-270 express lanes. Maybe also have the I-495 express lane continue to I-270 Proper. That could help out with that area especially by improving the 6 lane segment of the Beltway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 17, 2015, 12:03:22 PM
I'd love to see the express lanes extended across the Legion Bridge like these plans say but they could split at I-270 Spur with 1 lane going to I-495 and the other lane going to I-270 Spur. Maybe the I-270 express lane could go up to to existing I-270 express lanes. Maybe also have the I-495 express lane continue to I-270 Proper. That could help out with that area especially by improving the 6 lane segment of the Beltway.

Problem with continuing east along I-495 is the lack of space east of Md. 187, the large (and poorly-designed) interchange at Md. 355, I-270 and I-495; and perhaps even more of a problem, the lack of space for added lanes east of Md. 355 (the Beltway from there to the Mormon Temple was built on parkland, sometime that would likely not win approval these days (see this (https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/4f/4fAtGlance.asp) for some details why)).

IMO, better to have two managed lanes continue north along I-270Y and I-270 all the way to Frederick, perhaps with added ramps from those lanes to I-370/Md. 200.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 17, 2015, 02:38:31 PM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 18, 2015, 09:16:46 AM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

Plenty of I-95 traffic that could benefit from an upgrade of the U.S. 301 corridor on the east side. 

To the west, yes there is some traffic that desires that movement (just look at the truck traffic on U.S. 17 between I-95 and U.S. 29 [Opal] for an indication of same). But I am less sure about car traffic.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 18, 2015, 06:06:37 PM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

Plenty of I-95 traffic that could benefit from an upgrade of the U.S. 301 corridor on the east side. 

To the west, yes there is some traffic that desires that movement (just look at the truck traffic on U.S. 17 between I-95 and U.S. 29 [Opal] for an indication of same). But I am less sure about car traffic.


I have been using the US 17 to I-66 to I-81 route to head to Harrisburg lately (so I do not have to worry so much about traffic).    I will also mention that I am used to driving I-81 in Roanoke and the portion from Winchester to Harrisburg is definitely not IMO any more annoying than Christiansburg to Roanoke.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 19, 2015, 01:35:51 PM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

Plenty of I-95 traffic that could benefit from an upgrade of the U.S. 301 corridor on the east side. 

To the west, yes there is some traffic that desires that movement (just look at the truck traffic on U.S. 17 between I-95 and U.S. 29 [Opal] for an indication of same). But I am less sure about car traffic.

I agree wholeheartedly; at the very least, bypasses of US 301 in Waldorf and La Plata need to be built, and the former needs to have a freeway-grade spur to MD 5 at the triple left turn and another north of the future MD 373 interchange. Those bypasses alone, combined with some other grade separations in Upper Marlboro and the construction of the quad carriage way project in Bowie, would be a HUGE improvement for through traffic along 301.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on July 20, 2015, 10:53:50 AM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

Plenty of I-95 traffic that could benefit from an upgrade of the U.S. 301 corridor on the east side. 

To the west, yes there is some traffic that desires that movement (just look at the truck traffic on U.S. 17 between I-95 and U.S. 29 [Opal] for an indication of same). But I am less sure about car traffic.

I agree wholeheartedly; at the very least, bypasses of US 301 in Waldorf and La Plata need to be built, and the former needs to have a freeway-grade spur to MD 5 at the triple left turn and another north of the future MD 373 interchange. Those bypasses alone, combined with some other grade separations in Upper Marlboro and the construction of the quad carriage way project in Bowie, would be a HUGE improvement for through traffic along 301.

What about continuing I-97 south and having it join I-95 near Richmond?  It isn't like we can't use the capacity.

The problem when attempting to discuss an 'outer crossing' for the Potomac is that MD has always favored an eastern bypass and Virginia has always wanted a western bypass
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 20, 2015, 11:14:31 AM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

Plenty of I-95 traffic that could benefit from an upgrade of the U.S. 301 corridor on the east side. 

To the west, yes there is some traffic that desires that movement (just look at the truck traffic on U.S. 17 between I-95 and U.S. 29 [Opal] for an indication of same). But I am less sure about car traffic.

I agree wholeheartedly; at the very least, bypasses of US 301 in Waldorf and La Plata need to be built, and the former needs to have a freeway-grade spur to MD 5 at the triple left turn and another north of the future MD 373 interchange. Those bypasses alone, combined with some other grade separations in Upper Marlboro and the construction of the quad carriage way project in Bowie, would be a HUGE improvement for through traffic along 301.

What about continuing I-97 south and having it join I-95 near Richmond?  It isn't like we can't use the capacity.

The problem when attempting to discuss an 'outer crossing' for the Potomac is that MD has always favored an eastern bypass and Virginia has always wanted a western bypass

This is getting OT and into fictional territory but I would love to see I-97 be extended to Norfolk by running concurrent with I-64 from somewhere around Williamsburg to I-664 where I-97 would replace it. It could have a spur (I-197?) go to Richmond.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 20, 2015, 02:39:07 PM
Quote
What about continuing I-97 south and having it join I-95 near Richmond?  It isn't like we can't use the capacity.

The problem when attempting to discuss an 'outer crossing' for the Potomac is that MD has always favored an eastern bypass and Virginia has always wanted a western bypass

Even so, there are plenty of people along the 301 corridor who are opposed to improvements to that corridor as it would induce even more growth than the already-insane development along the corridor that's already happened, especially between Waldorf and La Plata.

Realistically, I think the best one can expect in the next 20 years is a replacement of the Nice Bridge (eliminating that bottleneck) and completing the freeway conversion of MD 5 between the 301 split and the Beltway.  Aside from the Nice Bridge, I highly doubt you'll see any improvements to 301 proper.

Which is both a shame and no big deal.  It's a shame in that it would give long-distance travelers a better alternative to 95.  It's "no big deal" because long-distance travelers are really not a large chunk of I-95 DC-area traffic...you might see a little improvement through NoVA on the weekends, but effectively zero improvement to the weekday slogs through Woodbridge/Dale City, the Wilson Bridge, and Greenbelt.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: bsmart on July 21, 2015, 09:34:32 AM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

I live in the Frederick area and while I take 15 south to 17 when heading down towards Richmond I run into the problem that I still have to join I-95 on the north side of the Rappahanock river at Fredericksburg.  I wish there was a good crossing that would let me avoid that bottleneck
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 21, 2015, 01:08:53 PM
^ You could stay on 15/29 to Brandy Station then take SR 669 down to VA 3.  Would avoid the Rappahannock crossing on 95, but then you'd be dealing with the western Fredericksburg sprawl along VA 3.  The sprawl on 3, though, could be avoided by "cutting the corner" and taking SR 613 to Spotsylvania and eventually catching I-95 at Thornburg.  This routing is 7 miles longer than taking 17, but it's almost 20 minutes longer, so unless the delays at the Rappahannock are more than 20 minutes long you're certainly not saving any time.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 21, 2015, 01:21:11 PM
How much Richmond to Harrisburg/Frederick traffic still uses the beltway, is it tile to revive the US 17/29/15 freeway proposal from the late 1980's

I live in the Frederick area and while I take 15 south to 17 when heading down towards Richmond I run into the problem that I still have to join I-95 on the north side of the Rappahanock river at Fredericksburg.  I wish there was a good crossing that would let me avoid that bottleneck

That is a notoriously bad spot, at least in part because of all of the truck traffic that comes south on U.S. 17 from Opal and wants to enter I-95 southbound at the Exit 133 interchange at Falmouth. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 21, 2015, 07:22:07 PM
Quote
What about continuing I-97 south and having it join I-95 near Richmond?  It isn't like we can't use the capacity.

The problem when attempting to discuss an 'outer crossing' for the Potomac is that MD has always favored an eastern bypass and Virginia has always wanted a western bypass

Even so, there are plenty of people along the 301 corridor who are opposed to improvements to that corridor as it would induce even more growth than the already-insane development along the corridor that's already happened, especially between Waldorf and La Plata.

Realistically, I think the best one can expect in the next 20 years is a replacement of the Nice Bridge (eliminating that bottleneck) and completing the freeway conversion of MD 5 between the 301 split and the Beltway.  Aside from the Nice Bridge, I highly doubt you'll see any improvements to 301 proper.

Which is both a shame and no big deal.  It's a shame in that it would give long-distance travelers a better alternative to 95.  It's "no big deal" because long-distance travelers are really not a large chunk of I-95 DC-area traffic...you might see a little improvement through NoVA on the weekends, but effectively zero improvement to the weekday slogs through Woodbridge/Dale City, the Wilson Bridge, and Greenbelt.

Unfortunately, I agree with you. My only expectation is to see the Nice Bridge replaced and the segment through Bowie reconstructed. Nothing else will happen until/unless there is congestion so horrible that even the locals won't oppose removing it.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 21, 2015, 09:14:40 PM
I could never understand MD's objections to the US 15 upgrade when the ROW already exists.  BTW lived in Brunswick 1988-1991.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 22, 2015, 07:29:02 AM
IIRC, it's moreso northern Loudoun County that objects to US 15 upgrade than Maryland.  They want to keep the road as-is in order to discourage development, and have convinced the county board of supervisors to follow suit.  As long as they get their way, you won't see anything more than spot safety updates north of Leesburg.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: noelbotevera on July 22, 2015, 09:07:28 AM
IIRC, it's moreso northern Loudoun County that objects to US 15 upgrade than Maryland.  They want to keep the road as-is in order to discourage development, and have convinced the county board of supervisors to follow suit.  As long as they get their way, you won't see anything more than spot safety updates north of Leesburg.
True, but if Loudoun County does not get their way, this improves connections to Leesburg and Dulles Airport for people in all the way up to Gettysburg. Traffic can flow faster through Loudoun and Fairfax Counties as a bonus too.

There isn't really much development between the US 15/US 340 split and Leesburg (about 15-16 miles). I don't think any development would grow even if US 15 got an upgrade.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 22, 2015, 09:51:15 AM
You really don't understand Northern Virginia, Noel.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: noelbotevera on July 22, 2015, 09:54:42 AM
Part of it, but not all of it. I really still don't and do understand Northern Virginia.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2015, 10:48:47 AM
IIRC, it's moreso northern Loudoun County that objects to US 15 upgrade than Maryland.  They want to keep the road as-is in order to discourage development, and have convinced the county board of supervisors to follow suit.  As long as they get their way, you won't see anything more than spot safety updates north of Leesburg.

Agreed.  U.S. 15 carries heavy, heavy traffic nearly every day between Leesburg and Point of Rocks, but the people living there complain that they have a hard time getting out onto U.S. 15, and I believe they are reporting that accurately. 

Maryland has long touted an upgraded Potomac River crossing at U.S. 15, but I suspect that is with the knowledge that Loudoun County does not want to upgrade the road on their side of the river. The curious thing is that there has been plenty of McMansion development all along that part of U.S. 15 in the past 15 or 20 years, which puts even more traffic on the road.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 22, 2015, 10:50:42 AM
IIRC, it's moreso northern Loudoun County that objects to US 15 upgrade than Maryland.  They want to keep the road as-is in order to discourage development, and have convinced the county board of supervisors to follow suit.  As long as they get their way, you won't see anything more than spot safety updates north of Leesburg.

IIRC, it's moreso northern Loudoun County that objects to US 15 upgrade than Maryland.  They want to keep the road as-is in order to discourage development, and have convinced the county board of supervisors to follow suit.  As long as they get their way, you won't see anything more than spot safety updates north of Leesburg.

Agreed.  U.S. 15 carries heavy, heavy traffic nearly every day between Leesburg and Point of Rocks, but the people living there complain that they have a hard time getting out onto U.S. 15, and I believe they are reporting that accurately. 

Maryland has long touted an upgraded Potomac River crossing at U.S. 15, but I suspect that is with the knowledge that Loudoun County does not want to upgrade the road on their side of the river. The curious thing is that there has been plenty of McMansion development all along that part of U.S. 15 in the past 15 or 20 years, which puts even more traffic on the road.

I think that the four-laning of US 340 through the two-lane part just east of Harpers Ferry should be a higher priority (especially since the current Potomac River Bridge has no shoulders).  Of course I have no idea how/when that would get built.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2015, 10:57:06 AM
I think that the four-laning of US 340 through the two-lane part just east of Harpers Ferry should be a higher priority (especially since the current Potomac River Bridge has no shoulders).  Of course I have no idea how/when that would get built.

IMO, not a bad idea, but very expensive - and because it passes through Virginia, which otherwise gets little benefit from widening this part of U.S. 340, I do not see it getting done, though the population growth in Jefferson County, W.Va. probably warrants a widening of that part of the road, and the bridge between Loudoun County, Va. and Knoxville, Washington County, Maryland. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 22, 2015, 11:29:56 AM
Quote
and the bridge between Loudoun County, Va. and Knoxville, Washington County, Maryland.

Assuming you're referring to the bridge on VA 287/MD 17 at Brunswick (not Knoxville), that bridge sees less than 5K AADT...not nearly enough to warrant widening.

By comparison, the US 340 crossing sees over 24K AADT, and the US 15 Point of Rocks Bridge has about 19K AADT.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: noelbotevera on July 22, 2015, 11:59:07 AM
I think that the four-laning of US 340 through the two-lane part just east of Harpers Ferry should be a higher priority (especially since the current Potomac River Bridge has no shoulders).  Of course I have no idea how/when that would get built.

IMO, not a bad idea, but very expensive - and because it passes through Virginia, which otherwise gets little benefit from widening this part of U.S. 340, I do not see it getting done, though the population growth in Jefferson County, W.Va. probably warrants a widening of that part of the road, and the bridge between Loudoun County, Va. and Knoxville, Washington County, Maryland.
Point of Rocks may need one, so that US 15 could at least warrant an upgrade (yeah, yeah, I know bugger all about Northern VA). Now, unless Loudoun County would compromise...
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 22, 2015, 04:28:52 PM
Why is it so damn hard to cross the Potomac anyway? Its not exactly a large river north of DC.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2015, 10:17:35 PM
Quote
and the bridge between Loudoun County, Va. and Knoxville, Washington County, Maryland.

Assuming you're referring to the bridge on VA 287/MD 17 at Brunswick (not Knoxville), that bridge sees less than 5K AADT...not nearly enough to warrant widening.

Nope.  I mean U.S. 340 bridge, which runs between Sandy Hook (or Knoxville), Washington County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Virginia (Google Maps claims the Virginia side to be Purcellville, which is awfully far away -  Neersville or Loudoun Heights make better sense to me).

By comparison, the US 340 crossing sees over 24K AADT, and the US 15 Point of Rocks Bridge has about 19K AADT.

The U.S. 340 bridge would probably have higher AADT if not for the capacity constraints there.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2015, 10:18:20 PM
Why is it so damn hard to cross the Potomac anyway? Its not exactly a large river north of DC.

A combination of NIMBYism and clashing political cultures.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 23, 2015, 07:23:42 AM
Topography plays a factor as well.  For most intents, DC sits on the piedmont line.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2015, 09:34:13 AM
Washington Post: How to ease Potomac River crossings: Put solutions where the people are (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/how-to-ease-potomac-river-crossings-put-solutions-where-the-people-are/2015/07/20/781665d2-2ca3-11e5-a250-42bd812efc09_story.html)

Quote
Virginia’s highway engineers keep pushing their projects closer and closer to the American Legion Bridge, but they’re going to be out of options once their feet get wet. When they reach the Potomac River, they will need their counterparts in Maryland to extend a hand.

Quote
Virginia transportation officials would like to talk about the possibility of advancing the high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes over the bridge and up the Maryland side of the Beltway to the Interstate 270 spur. And in September, Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board probably will give them the okay to reach out for a chat.

Quote
If you are among the several hundred thousand people who commute on the west side of the Beltway, let’s pause here for a message: If there’s a way to telecommute, find it, or be stuck in that mind-numbing traffic for many years to come.

Quote
The states aren’t even talking yet, let alone looking to see whether HOT lanes actually can be made a part of the trans-Potomac Beltway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2015, 09:35:50 AM
Topography plays a factor as well.  For most intents, DC sits on the piedmont line.

Not sure what being on the Piedmont has to do with - unless you want to factor-in opposition by certain groups representing wealthy people that live on the Virginia and Maryland parts of the Piedmont.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2015, 09:45:17 AM
Leesburg Today: American Legion Bridge Toll Lanes Eyed After State Potomac River Crossing Study (http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/american-legion-bridge-toll-lanes-eyed-after-state-potomac-river/article_fc687a70-307f-11e5-a210-876db76ef29b.html)

Quote
The results of a study examining the need for a new Potomac River crossing fell short of expectations for those who have advocated the construction of a new bridge as a key element in efforts to relieve regional gridlock.

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation study was initiated in 2013 and was spearheaded by Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and Deputy Secretary Nick Donohue, who presented the report to the Commonwealth Transportation Board last week.

Quote
In the end, the report did not address the merits of establishing a new crossing. Instead, it recommended that new high-occupancy toll lanes be constructed on the American Legion Bridge, and perhaps extended to the I-270 spur in Maryland. That would add capacity to the region’s most heavily travelled crossing—which carries nearly 300,000 vehicles per day—while requiring motorists to pay for the project.

Quote
Debate over whether to establish a new crossing, most likely in Loudoun, has ebbed and flowed for more than a quarter century. Opposition to a new highway connection that would pass through Maryland’s rural area on the north side of the river has been the central obstacle, along with preservation groups in Virginia that have challenged the need for such a link.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 23, 2015, 07:58:05 PM
Topography plays a factor as well.  For most intents, DC sits on the piedmont line.

Not sure what being on the Piedmont has to do with - unless you want to factor-in opposition by certain groups representing wealthy people that live on the Virginia and Maryland parts of the Piedmont.

I was referring to the fall line (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Seaboard_fall_line) that separates the Piedmont from the Atlantic coastal plain.  As you well know, topography in the Piedmont gets a bit hilly with steeper cliffs near the river.  This topography makes it more difficult to bridge the Potomac upriver from roughly Georgetown.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 23, 2015, 10:55:02 PM
Topography plays a factor as well.  For most intents, DC sits on the piedmont line.

Not sure what being on the Piedmont has to do with - unless you want to factor-in opposition by certain groups representing wealthy people that live on the Virginia and Maryland parts of the Piedmont.

I was referring to the fall line (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Seaboard_fall_line) that separates the Piedmont from the Atlantic coastal plain.  As you well know, topography in the Piedmont gets a bit hilly with steeper cliffs near the river.  This topography makes it more difficult to bridge the Potomac upriver from roughly Georgetown.

From Georgetown to just above Great Falls, yes, though the engineers that sited and designed the Chain Bridge, and later the American Legion Bridge seem to have managed O.K. 

Above the intake for the Washington Aqueduct just upstream from the Great Falls of the Potomac River, and as far upstream as far you might want to go, it would not seem terribly difficult to build another bridge.

Only problem I am aware of was in the winter of 1995/1996, when a heavy January snowfall was followed by a nearly unprecedented thaw in most of the Potomac's watershed, leading to a massive rise in the waters of the river, which almost swept-away the Point-of-Rocks (U.S. 15) Bridge.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: skluth on July 28, 2015, 12:18:51 AM
Why is it so damn hard to cross the Potomac anyway? Its not exactly a large river north of DC.

I don't think it's as much about NIMBYs, topology, or culture as much as the incredible cost to build one in modern times. Had a corridor connecting say I-370 and VA 28 been identified, reserved, and bought back in the early 70's, it would probably have happened. But the cost to build that highway today are so astronomical that a subway from Dulles to Gaithersburg might be cheaper and more practical.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 28, 2015, 08:47:49 AM
Why is it so damn hard to cross the Potomac anyway? Its not exactly a large river north of DC.

I don't think it's as much about NIMBYs, topology, or culture as much as the incredible cost to build one in modern times. Had a corridor connecting say I-370 and VA 28 been identified, reserved, and bought back in the early 70's, it would probably have happened. But the cost to build that highway today are so astronomical that a subway from Dulles to Gaithersburg might be cheaper and more practical.

A subway would cost much more than a six-lane freeway, and would require operating subsidies as well.  The groups opposed to a new highway crossing would freak out if a subway were to be proposed, for that would bring those people to their neighborhoods.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: skluth on July 28, 2015, 10:50:12 AM
Why is it so damn hard to cross the Potomac anyway? Its not exactly a large river north of DC.

I don't think it's as much about NIMBYs, topology, or culture as much as the incredible cost to build one in modern times. Had a corridor connecting say I-370 and VA 28 been identified, reserved, and bought back in the early 70's, it would probably have happened. But the cost to build that highway today are so astronomical that a subway from Dulles to Gaithersburg might be cheaper and more practical.

A subway would cost much more than a six-lane freeway, and would require operating subsidies as well.  The groups opposed to a new highway crossing would freak out if a subway were to be proposed, for that would bring those people to their neighborhoods.

The point is the cost of either is so outrageous as to be impractical.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 28, 2015, 02:24:05 PM
The point is the cost of either is so outrageous as to be impractical.

That's what was said about Md. 200.  And yes, at least one Montgomery County politician wanted a Metrorail line studied as an "alternative" to the highway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on July 28, 2015, 07:13:23 PM
What is the likelihood of any of these proposals actually proceeding to the construction phase?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 31, 2015, 12:06:28 AM
Zero.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on July 31, 2015, 02:59:34 PM
The only proposal that's at all realistic in today's world is repairing or replacing the Gov. Nice Bridge on US-301. I wonder if they'd consider instituting two-way tolling to collect payment from more of the bridge's users. Currently, the toll is paid southbound only. I have no idea what percentage of the traffic flows in which direction nor where to find said information, but I wouldn't be surprised if cpzilliacus knows.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 31, 2015, 03:21:27 PM
The only proposal that's at all realistic in today's world is repairing or replacing the Gov. Nice Bridge on US-301. I wonder if they'd consider instituting two-way tolling to collect payment from more of the bridge's users. Currently, the toll is paid southbound only. I have no idea what percentage of the traffic flows in which direction nor where to find said information, but I wouldn't be surprised if cpzilliacus knows.

By glancing at a few resources:

http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/About/Finances/Traffic_and_Toll_Revenue.html
Traffic Volume by facility: 3,243,000 vehicles
Revenue:  $20,241,000

http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Toll_Facilities/HWN.html
Traffic Volume: 6,500,000 (Both Directions).  This is at the bottom of the page.  Further up, it's reported as 6.4 million vehicles.

But regardless, it appears the traffic volume is about equal in both directions, even though one direction is toll free.


Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: TheOneKEA on August 01, 2015, 09:04:31 PM
Since the replacement bridge is intended to use open road electronic tolling, I would fully expect that the gantries will be designed and constructed in a manner to allow for northbound toll collection to take place.

The bridge is also going to have pedestrian facilities installed for foot and bike traffic. What are the chances that this facility will someday (in the far future) be tolled too?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: TravelingBethelite on August 01, 2015, 10:22:23 PM
Since the replacement bridge is intended to use open road electronic tolling, I would fully expect that the gantries will be designed and constructed in a manner to allow for northbound toll collection to take place.

The bridge is also going to have pedestrian facilities installed for foot and bike traffic. What are the chances that this facility will someday (in the far future) be tolled too?

Now I'm picturing EZ-Passes strapped to people. It's hard to get more ridiculous than that. Well, pedestrians did give toll "roads" their start...

ON TOPIC: Would there be southbound toll-collecting?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 18, 2015, 11:34:37 PM
WTOP Radio: Va. transportation officials push for more Potomac crossings (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/09/va-transportation-officials-push-potomac-crossings/)

Quote
It can sometimes seem like swimming across the Potomac would be quicker than sitting in rush-hour traffic in the Washington area, so members of Virginia’s transportation policy board are hoping to kick-start discussions over new Potomac River crossings.

Quote
At the Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting Wednesday, Gary Garczynski and James Dyke introduced a resolution that would encourage talks with Maryland and the District and put a timeline on the talks for updates.

Quote
It comes after Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation Nick Donohue recommended pursuing an extension of the 495 Express Lanes over the Legion Bridge into Maryland as the top Potomac-crossing priority.

Quote
“Although the American Legion Bridge is the most obvious, we urge in the resolution a broader dialogue that does not preclude additional river crossings such as a western crossing or an additional Rosslyn tunnel for Metro,” Garczynski says.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 22, 2015, 03:45:47 PM
Washington Post: Fairfax, Montgomery push for relief for American Legion Bridge users (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/fairfax-montgomery-push-for-relief-for-american-legion-bridge-users/2015/10/20/ac6601ca-7768-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html)

Quote
Leaders in the region’s two largest counties on Tuesday called for a renewed push to relieve traffic congestion for weary commuters who use the aging American Legion Bridge.

Quote
In a joint letter to the governors and transportation secretaries of Maryland and Virginia, members of the Montgomery County Council and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors say the two states must “come together and focus on making improvements to address the severe congestion problems at the American Legion Bridge.”

Quote
As hundreds of thousands of commuters can attest, the 53-year-old bridge is a major chokepoint in the region. With nearly 300,000 vehicles crossing it daily, the bridge is the single-most-used Potomac River crossing in the Washington region.

Quote
“As you certainly appreciate, the American Legion Bridge is a vital transportation and economic link for not only Fairfax and Montgomery, but for Maryland and Virginia and, in some ways, the entire East Coast,” the officials state in the letter. “And today, it is a choke point that has serious negative consequences for our economies, our environment and our quality of life.”
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 16, 2015, 10:34:18 PM
insidenova.com [opinion]: Future Potomac River crossings need study now (http://www.insidenova.com/opinion/editorials/sun-gazette-editorial-future-potomac-river-crossings-need-study-now/article_5950a70e-a406-11e5-921a-ebde703c58bb.html)

Quote
On the same day last week that the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved plans for tolls on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway, members of the oversight panel took a less-noticed but perhaps more far-reaching step.

Quote
The board unanimously approved a resolution calling on the Virginia Department of Transportation to more comprehensively engage its counterparts and Maryland and the District of Columbia on addressing a critical regional transportation need: improving Potomac River crossings.

Quote
Such crossings, both those above ground (bridges) and below it (the Metro tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom) are stretched to capacity at peak periods, leaving commuters frustrated and the regional economy impacted.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on December 17, 2015, 07:57:39 AM
Same day that Bob Chase's group made a similar comment.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 10:24:47 AM
Same day that Bob Chase's group made a similar comment.

Bob has (at least partly) retired from his position at NVTA. 

On many regional-scale issues, Bob Chase has been a voice of sanity (especially the air quality hysteria around 2000), and contrary to what his detractors claim in forums like GGW, has been supportive of transit, including Metrorail. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on December 18, 2015, 10:31:10 AM
However, the quantity of lip service he has paid to transit pales in comparison to his support of roads.  Especially roads that just don't have a chance to be built anymore...namely, the ongoing "Techway" proposal.  Even if you factor out the NIMBYs and NPS and factor in environmental remediation, that route would simply be too expensive and require far too much already-developed right-of-way to make it a viable project.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 10:39:31 AM
However, the quantity of lip service he has paid to transit pales in comparison to his support of roads.  Especially roads that just don't have a chance to be built anymore...namely, the ongoing "Techway" proposal.  Even if you factor out the NIMBYs and NPS and factor in environmental remediation, that route would simply be too expensive and require far too much already-developed right-of-way to make it a viable project.

The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

I have said it before, but it is appropriate to repeat that I reject out of hand all claims that this would be a "threat" to the Ag Preserve.  If the many Ag preserve activists do not want any land use impacts (which has not happened at most Interstate interchanges in Montgomery County anyway due to the county's planning and zoning powers), then they do not need any interchanges where it crosses the preserve. 

For this reason, Md. 200 has no interchanges across the Upper Rock Creek watershed, not even at Md. 115 (which would ordinarily have an interchange per MDTA practice, but only has ramps for emergency vehicles).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 18, 2015, 12:19:23 PM
If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 12:47:37 PM
If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.

A bridge (or lack of a bridge) will not prevent that.  Nor relocation of jobs, always from Maryland to Virginia. 

But what Montgomery County badly needs is better ground access to Dulles Airport.  More than one member of the Montgomery County Council has said that people can take the Red Line to downtown D.C. and then the Silver Line to Dulles (once it is complete).  That's a non-solution for Montgomery County, and not an "alternative" to new highway crossings of the Potomac River.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on December 18, 2015, 08:58:25 PM
Quote from: cpzilliacus
The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

Only if you route such a roadway entirely within the Ag Preserve.  Given that most supporters desire tying it into I-370, your assertion would not hold true.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 11:15:04 PM
Quote from: cpzilliacus
The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

Only if you route such a roadway entirely within the Ag Preserve.  Given that most supporters desire tying it into I-370, your assertion would not hold true.

I-370 runs where it does because of an intent that the road continue to the Potomac River and across to Northern Virginia.

But I am not especially concerned about that.  I am much more interested in a connection from the I-270 corridor that is downstream of White's Ferry and upstream of Great Falls.  Beyond that, I am indifferent. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2015, 08:28:13 AM
If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.

A bridge (or lack of a bridge) will not prevent that.  Nor relocation of jobs, always from Maryland to Virginia. 

But what Montgomery County badly needs is better ground access to Dulles Airport.  More than one member of the Montgomery County Council has said that people can take the Red Line to downtown D.C. and then the Silver Line to Dulles (once it is complete).  That's a non-solution for Montgomery County, and not an "alternative" to new highway crossings of the Potomac River.

Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: oscar on December 19, 2015, 08:41:03 AM
Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.

That goes as far as refusing to point highway travelers on Maryland's Interstates toward Dulles, while providing abundant signage for BWI.

My sister almost missed her flight from Dulles back to California as a result, continuing down I-95 from Howard County to Alexandria, rather than taking the shortcut on I-495 through Bethesda.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: noelbotevera on December 19, 2015, 08:47:27 AM
It's hard to string a highway from Dulles to at least Gaithersburg and south of there. There's so many national parks along the Potomac there it's pretty much impossible unless both VA and MD lose their temper.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 19, 2015, 10:10:58 AM
I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2015, 12:09:58 PM
I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

They identified that as the most pressing need. Given how that tunnel affects such a large portion of the Metrorail system (in a negative way), it's hard to argue with that conclusion—it severely reduces available capacity on three of the system's six lines. But "most pressing need" doesn't necessarily equate to "top goal" when you factor in all the other considerations, including (but not necessarily limited to) funding and inter-jurisdictional cooperation. Building the second Metrorail tunnel is not a small matter because the goal would be to tie it into a longer underground line running somewhere across DC; one proposal I've seen involves a line somewhere in the O or P street corridor eventually connecting through Union Station. I believe the figure I saw quoted was somewhere in the $25 billion range.

In other words, there's potentially a difference between what project would deliver the most relief and what project is the most "buildable."

The other thing to remember about Virginia is that the single-term governorship provision in the state constitution makes for fickle priorities at times. It wouldn't be terribly unusual for McAuliffe to trumpet the idea of a new Metrorail tunnel only for the next governor's administration to decide something else is more important.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: CentralPAguy on December 19, 2015, 08:04:07 PM
I admit that I'm somewhat ignorant of public opinions regarding a new MD/VA crossing (aside from NIMBY opposition from wealthy property owners) but one thing that I've always wondered why it was never originally planned for was to extend VA 28 into MD in the first place, whether via a bridge or tunnel (whether as part of an outer beltway or otherwise). Maybe instead of (the extremely unlikely scenario of) connecting to the ICC, it could go northwest towards the US 15 super two north of Point of Rocks.  Just my (probably batshit insane) $0.02
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on December 19, 2015, 08:45:17 PM
I admit that I'm somewhat ignorant of public opinions regarding a new MD/VA crossing (aside from NIMBY opposition from wealthy property owners) but one thing that I've always wondered why it was never originally planned for was to extend VA 28 into MD in the first place, whether via a bridge or tunnel (whether as part of an outer beltway or otherwise). Maybe instead of (the extremely unlikely scenario of) connecting to the ICC, it could go northwest towards the US 15 super two north of Point of Rocks.  Just my (probably batshit insane) $0.02

IIRC the idea through the 1960's was that what is Fairfax County Parkway was to be the outer loop freeway crossing the Potamac to become what is now 370 (maybe Montrose Parkway) but that was all killed decades ago.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2015, 10:41:03 AM
Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.

I agree.

But like it or not, BWI does not beat Dulles when it comes to flights to the Pacific coast and especially overseas service.

Dulles beats BWI hands-down in such service, and that is important to employers, which means it should be important to Maryland  generally and Montgomery County in particular.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2015, 10:49:11 AM
I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

That may be a high priority of some elected officials representing some local governments in Northern Virginia.

As for the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I do not believe that is correct. 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2015, 10:54:14 AM
It's hard to string a highway from Dulles to at least Gaithersburg and south of there. There's so many national parks along the Potomac there it's pretty much impossible unless both VA and MD lose their temper.

There is a national park (http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm) that runs parallel to the entire Maryland shoreline of the Potomac River from the District of Columbia to Cumberland, Allegany County.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2015, 11:01:25 AM
I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

They identified that as the most pressing need. Given how that tunnel affects such a large portion of the Metrorail system (in a negative way), it's hard to argue with that conclusion—it severely reduces available capacity on three of the system's six lines. But "most pressing need" doesn't necessarily equate to "top goal" when you factor in all the other considerations, including (but not necessarily limited to) funding and inter-jurisdictional cooperation. Building the second Metrorail tunnel is not a small matter because the goal would be to tie it into a longer underground line running somewhere across DC; one proposal I've seen involves a line somewhere in the O or P street corridor eventually connecting through Union Station. I believe the figure I saw quoted was somewhere in the $25 billion range.

I hope the groups promoting this (in Virginia and D.C.) do not assume that Maryland is going to help to fund the construction of any of this, for I  believe that to be highly unlikely.

In other words, there's potentially a difference between what project would deliver the most relief and what project is the most "buildable."

Highway crossings upstream of D.C. do not involve the District of Columbia (and it is reasonable to assume that D.C. will not help to pay for same).  More Metrorail crossings of the River between Arlington County, Virginia and D.C. do not involve Maryland (and it is also reasonable to assume that Maryland will not help to pay for it).   The common governmental entity in both is the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The other thing to remember about Virginia is that the single-term governorship provision in the state constitution makes for fickle priorities at times. It wouldn't be terribly unusual for McAuliffe to trumpet the idea of a new Metrorail tunnel only for the next governor's administration to decide something else is more important.

Agreed.  But even with Maryland's system, which allows someone to serve two terms in the office of governor, that is frequently not enough to get through the planning process and advertise a project for construction bids.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 10, 2017, 11:23:38 PM
Washington Post: Planners to weigh 2nd Potomac River crossing from Montgomery — again (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/planners-to-weigh-2nd-potomac-river-crossing-from-montgomery--again/2017/07/10/051d8cfe-658b-11e7-a1d7-9a32c91c6f40_story.html)

Quote
A second Potomac River bridge connecting Montgomery County and Northern Virginia — an idea that has been studied and debated since the 1950s — is again drawing both interest and criticism, as elected officials and transportation planners search for ways to ease the region’s notoriously heavy traffic.

Quote
Next week the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, the body that helps set transportation priorities for the metropolitan area, will consider listing the bridge project for further analysis.

Quote
“This is my number one for the region,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer (R), a member of the regional planning board. He served on a task force that winnowed more than 80 potential road and transit projects down to 10 for the full board to consider at its July 19 meeting.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 11, 2017, 10:06:45 AM
A new Potomac River Crossing between the Beltway and US-15 will never happen period. However if Maryland really does want to "fix what is broken instead", then I see no reason why Maryland state officials won't at least entertain the idea of letting a private company such as Transburban, who I assume would be more then willing to pick up the enormous cost, extend the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia across a widened American Legion Bridge and possibly further up I-270.

This is part A of the solution, part B would be building a new four lane US-15 crossing from directly north of the Valero, across the eastern edge of Heaters island, east of Point of Rocks, and finally hooking back up with regular US-15 right before the power-lines cross(mentioned earlier in the thread and IMO a great idea). US-15 would also be widened north to US-340 and south all the way to Leesburg(via a bypass of Lucketts). Now I know NIMBYs in Loudoun absolutely hate the very thought of US-15 being widened north of Leesburg let alone anywhere north of Haymarket, but reality is reality and now Loudoun is considering updating their county-wide transportation plan to allow a four lane US-15 at least up to Montresor Road.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on July 11, 2017, 02:52:30 PM
Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.

Furthermore, it's been said in some circles that the existing Legion Bridge is no longer expandable.  A new/replacement bridge would need to be built, which will only add to the cost/timing.

Quote
let alone anywhere north of Haymarket,

If this were the case, VDOT would not have been successful in widening 15 between 66 and 234 earlier this decade...
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2017, 04:02:49 PM
Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.

Furthermore, it's been said in some circles that the existing Legion Bridge is no longer expandable.  A new/replacement bridge would need to be built, which will only add to the cost/timing.

(1) More to the point, I do not think the Maryland General Assembly is interested in allowing the state to do a deal with any private company for operation of public  highways, especially since the state has MDTA, which operates much like a private company while still being accountable to its elected officials and citizens of the state more than Transurban (or any  of its competitors) could be.

(2) At least one of the six structures that make up the American Legion Bridge needs total replacement (not just a deck replacement).

Quote
let alone anywhere north of Haymarket,

If this were the case, VDOT would not have been successful in widening 15 between 66 and 234 earlier this decade...

Agree. 

FWIW, that project was funded mostly or entirely by developer dollars, and the divided part runs a short distance north of VA-234.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: davewiecking on July 11, 2017, 06:41:39 PM
(2) At least one of the six structures that make up the American Legion Bridge needs total replacement (not just a deck replacement).
Now that's reassuring. Which one of the structures I drove across in the past few hours is the problem? (Actually, I was only on 4 of the 6) 2 of the smaller bridges have integral ramps as part of the Clara Barton Pkwy interchange, which would complicate any widening project.

(Edited to fix end quote tag)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2017, 07:21:24 PM
Now that's reassuring. Which one of the structures I drove across in the past few hours is the problem? (Actually, I was only on 4 of the 6) 2 of the smaller bridges have integral ramps as part of the Clara Barton Pkwy interchange, which would complicate any widening project.

From this (https://oversizeloadescorts.com/regs/md.pdf) document are these words on physical page 8:

Quote
[Montgomery] I-495 Loads over 80,000 lbs on I-495 (O/L) at Mac Arthur Blvd into Virginia must use the far left lane due to fatigue cracking on structure.

Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 11, 2017, 07:39:08 PM
Quote
let alone anywhere north of Haymarket,

If this were the case, VDOT would not have been successful in widening 15 between 66 and 234 earlier this decade...

I'm aware of that. By Haymarket I meant the US-15/VA-234 intersection because nobody ever calls that area "Woolsey". Most locals, including myself, basically refer to anything north of the railroad tracks, west of Catharpin Road, and still in Prince William County, as Haymarket.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 11, 2017, 08:02:37 PM
Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on July 11, 2017, 08:54:44 PM
Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.

They would need to conduct a full NEPA EIS/location study process first to the point of having an FHWA approved Final EIS and Record of Decision.  That took about 8 years for the I-495 HOT Lanes project between I-95 and VA-193, which is about what it takes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2017, 10:26:32 PM
Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.

They would need to conduct a full NEPA EIS/location study process first to the point of having an FHWA approved Final EIS and Record of Decision.  That took about 8 years for the I-495 HOT Lanes project between I-95 and VA-193, which is about what it takes.

I seriously doubt that the Maryland General Assembly would give its consent to a Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) type of deal to have a private-sector firm be awarded a long-term concession for any highway project in  the state (the Maryland Department of Transportation had awarded a PPTA-type concession agreement to a consortium for the Purple Line light rail project, but that may not happen at all at this point, given legal challenges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia).

There is no analog to Virginia's PPTA in Maryland, so I believe that's a non-starter.  Now Virginia might make a deal with Transurban to extend its toll lanes concession up  to the Virginia side of the American Legion Bridge, but I believe that is as far as Transurban will get.  Anything from the first expansion joint on the Virginia side north is up to Maryland.

Agree that a NEPA process will take (at a minimum) three to four years, and likely several more than that.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2017, 10:54:03 PM
Bethesda Magazine: Opposition Rising Against Plan To Study Second Potomac River Crossing in Montgomery County - Hogan said it’s not something Maryland is pushing for (http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2017/Opposition-Rising-Against-Plan-To-Study-Second-Potomac-River-Crossing-in-Montgomery-County/)
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: davewiecking on July 11, 2017, 11:26:37 PM
I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2017, 01:02:21 AM
I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: davewiecking on July 12, 2017, 07:24:05 AM
I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.

I've used the extra shoulder lane on occasion (probably not as a freebie, but as a continuation of the Express lanes), but AFAIK the decision to convert the shoulder was made after the express lanes had been operational for awhile, and that VDOT managed the work.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on July 12, 2017, 12:48:34 PM
I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?
All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.
I've used the extra shoulder lane on occasion (probably not as a freebie, but as a continuation of the Express lanes), but AFAIK the decision to convert the shoulder was made after the express lanes had been operational for awhile, and that VDOT managed the work.

The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2017, 01:28:24 PM
The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.

Did not solve the problem, which is inadequate capacity at the bridge itself.

For quite a few years, Maryland and Montgomery County elected officials have cast about for "alternatives" to a widening of the American Legion Bridge, including re-striping of the lanes on the bridge to add more capacity (unworkable and unsafe); an extension of the proposed Purple Line light rail from downtown Bethesda  to Tysons Corner (would face intense and well-funded NIMBY-type opposition on the Montgomery County side and probably on the Fairfax County side too); and well-worn talk about Montgomery County's land use plans and how they places an emphasis on transit ridership generally and Metro ridership in particular (the people that live in Montgomery County and work in Fairfax County or Loudoun County presumably did not get the memo).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on July 12, 2017, 03:29:32 PM
The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.
Did not solve the problem, which is inadequate capacity at the bridge itself.
For quite a few years, Maryland and Montgomery County elected officials have cast about for "alternatives" to a widening of the American Legion Bridge, including re-striping of the lanes on the bridge to add more capacity (unworkable and unsafe); an extension of the proposed Purple Line light rail from downtown Bethesda  to Tysons Corner (would face intense and well-funded NIMBY-type opposition on the Montgomery County side and probably on the Fairfax County side too); and well-worn talk about Montgomery County's land use plans and how they places an emphasis on transit ridership generally and Metro ridership in particular (the people that live in Montgomery County and work in Fairfax County or Loudoun County presumably did not get the memo).

Extending the current 12 lane design to I-270 would be a massive improvement.  That would include upgrading the VA-267 interchange which was only partly upgraded in the HOT Lanes project, likely because it was unknown as to what design a northerly extension would have (either 5 lanes each way or 6 lanes each way, the latter would call for a major upgrade of the VA-267 interchange).
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Mapmikey on July 14, 2017, 01:10:02 PM
I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

I also remember something along these lines but all I can find is the 2007 decision to not extend the HOT lanes all the way to VA 193 as was originally intended.

See pdf pg. 15 at http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Northern_Virginia/asset_upload_file307_72985.pdf which also details changes that were made in the design at several other interchanges...

My vague recollection at the time of construction is that Fluor offered to go ahead and extend them anyway and was turned down by VDOT...
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 18, 2017, 03:50:05 PM
WTOP Radio: Montgomery Co. Council passes resolution opposing 2nd Potomac bridge (http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2017/07/montgomery-co-council-passes-resolution-opposing-2nd-potomac-bridge/)

Quote
Tuesday’s vote on a resolution amounts to a statement by the nine council members, but it is not tied to any legislation and is not legally binding.

Quote
Councilmember Craig Rice, who previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates, said his position has not changed since coming to the council “There is not any benefit for the upcounty for having a second Potomac River crossing.”

Quote
Mark Elrich, an at-large council member running for county executive, said building a new bridge would not be a “game changer” and agreed with Rice that a new crossing would do little for Maryland. “It would be a bridge that would wind up being built by Maryland, and the most immediate beneficiaries would not be in Maryland, they would be in Virginia.”
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2019, 08:41:18 PM
Washington Post: Maryland and Virginia to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge, governors say (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/maryland-and-virginia-to-rebuild-and-widen-the-american-legion-bridge-governors-say/2019/11/12/6531d8fe-04c9-11ea-ac12-3325d49eacaa_story.html)

Quote
Maryland and Virginia will partner to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge in a ­billion-dollar project to relieve congestion at the Washington region’s worst traffic bottleneck, the states’ governors announced Tuesday.

Quote
In an unusual example of interstate cooperation, Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project even though most of the bridge — like the Potomac River flowing beneath it — belongs to Maryland.

Quote
The plan marks a breakthrough in a years-long impasse over widening the bridge on the northwestern stretch of the Capital Beltway. In the past, Maryland has said it didn’t have enough money for the undertaking, and Virginia said the bridge was its neighbor’s responsibility.

WTOP Radio: Maryland and Virginia agree on plan to rebuild American Legion Bridge, expand Beltway tolling (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2019/11/maryland-and-virginia-agree-on-plan-to-rebuild-american-legion-bridge-expand-beltway-tolling/)

Quote
Maryland and Virginia have reached a significant funding agreement on a plan to speed up clogged commutes by renovating and expanding the Capital Beltway’s American Legion Bridge.

Quote
The plan calls for the bridge, which connects he Northern Virginia suburbs to Montgomery County, to be widened with room for toll lanes extending across the Potomac, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 08:54:45 PM
Quote
Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project

Quote
Maryland has said it didn’t have enough money for the undertaking, and Virginia said the bridge was its neighbor’s responsibility.

Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

Quote
In this case, both states said, toll payers, rather than taxpayers, will foot the entire bill.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 12, 2019, 09:28:07 PM
So glad this project is finally happening. I also don't care who pays for it as long as the damn thing gets done. One question I do have however is will the auxiliary lane that currently runs in both directions on the bridge be kept? I keep reading news articles that say the new bridge will have 4 GP lanes and 2 express lanes without mention of the auxiliary lanes. Surely they wouldn't get rid of them to save costs right?
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 09:38:00 PM
So glad this project is finally happening. I also don't care who pays for it as long as the damn thing gets done. One question I do have however is will the auxiliary lane that currently runs in both directions on the bridge be kept? I keep reading news articles that say the new bridge will have 4 GP lanes and 2 express lanes without mention of the auxiliary lanes. Surely they wouldn't get rid of them to save costs right?
VDOT's study of the I-495 Northern Extension called for a conceptual American Legion Bridge consisting of either 1 or 2 HO/T / Toll lanes each way (depending on what alternative Maryland chooses), 4 GP lanes each way, and 1 GP auxiliary lane each way, plus full left and right shoulders.

https://www.495northernextension.org/documents/pim052019/i-495_i-270_vdot_display_ards_2019_final.pdf
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2019, 10:30:08 PM
Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with the "free" lanes in this area.  One of the six bridges that carries the Beltway through here (Outer Loop [Maryland to Virginia], the first of the three) has superstructure that is in particularly poor condition.  Presumably the repairs to the "free" lanes will be tax-funded by the highway users of Maryland and Virginia.  When the Transurban 495Express lanes were built, VDOT kicked in a lot of money to make repairs to the "free" I-495 lanes, and the same will happen here.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 10:55:18 PM
Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with the "free" lanes in this area.  One of the six bridges that carries the Beltway through here (Outer Loop [Maryland to Virginia], the first of the three) has superstructure that is in particularly poor condition.  Presumably the repairs to the "free" lanes will be tax-funded by the highway users of Maryland and Virginia.  When the Transurban 495Express lanes were built, VDOT kicked in a lot of money to make repairs to the "free" I-495 lanes, and the same will happen here.
The American Legion Bridge is being 100% replaced with two parallel structures that will each carry 7 lanes, 14 lanes in total. 4 GP, 1 auxiliary GP, and 2 HO/T lanes each way, along with all other bridges in the area. The project is 100% toll dollar / Transurban funded. They said zero tax dollars, and I agree, unless they want to add some general purpose lanes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 11:42:58 PM
The American Legion Bridge is being 100% replaced with two parallel structures that will each carry 7 lanes, 14 lanes in total. 4 GP, 1 auxiliary GP, and 2 HO/T lanes each way, along with all other bridges in the area. The project is 100% toll dollar / Transurban funded. They said zero tax dollars, and I agree, unless they want to add some general purpose lanes.
There is no project yet, it hasn't even had a NEPA EIS/location study completed.  The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.

If it is like I-495 between I-95 and VA-193, that was a $1.9 billion project that had about $400 million tax revenue funded.  A total rebuild to 11 miles of highway, major upgrades of the I-66 and I-95/I-395 interchanges, retention of 4 toll-free GP lanes each way, provision of 2 new HOT lanes each way.

So if the remainder of I-495 to the ALB is built like that, we will have the same type of facility and at least 20% tax funding and no change to having 4 toll-free GP lanes each way.

Hopefully Maryland will agree to a similar 12-lane facility.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on November 13, 2019, 08:22:00 AM
Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.

Actually, it did to a degree: (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/november/headline-849278-en.html)

Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.

Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 13, 2019, 09:41:06 AM
Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.
Actually, it did to a degree: (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/november/headline-849278-en.html)
Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.
Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
I was responding to an assertion of where the funds would come from, as in percentages by tax funding, bond funding, private sector funding, etc.

The data above only says "Maryland" and "Virginia" with none of the finer details.  Each state will be responsible for building a funding package with the above elements.  Sources have not yet been determined, and probably won't be until there is a completed NEPA process and design plans are approaching readiness to award.

Now that Maryland has PPP legislation they may also utilize that source (as they are on the Purple Line).

My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 13, 2019, 10:40:58 AM
Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.
Actually, it did to a degree: (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/november/headline-849278-en.html)
Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.
Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
I was responding to an assertion of where the funds would come from, as in percentages by tax funding, bond funding, private sector funding, etc.

The data above only says "Maryland" and "Virginia" with none of the finer details.  Each state will be responsible for building a funding package with the above elements.  Sources have not yet been determined, and probably won't be until there is a completed NEPA process and design plans are approaching readiness to award.

Now that Maryland has PPP legislation they may also utilize that source (as they are on the Purple Line).

My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.

If Maryland can manage to straighten out some of their 495 stretch between 95 and 270, that may help them reduce capacity on its own.  Being that the road was built that way decades ago, probably to weave around areas they couldn't impact, even adding a lane or two in that stretch may help some, but those curves are going to be a huge burden to overcome.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on November 13, 2019, 02:20:24 PM
Almost no chance of that segment being straightened due to Rock Creek Park (and the creek itself), residential areas on both sides of it, and the Mormon Temple.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 13, 2019, 03:39:38 PM
Almost no chance of that segment being straightened due to Rock Creek Park (and the creek itself), residential areas on both sides of it, and the Mormon Temple.

Exactly.  There really aren't many examples out there where 6 curvy lanes in one direction exists.  Curves, especially as sharp as what exists on that portion of the beltway now, prevents traffic from maintaining a crisp, steady flow, and will always work at reducing speeds, causing congestion.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 13, 2019, 04:02:52 PM
My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.
If Maryland can manage to straighten out some of their 495 stretch between 95 and 270, that may help them reduce capacity on its own.  Being that the road was built that way decades ago, probably to weave around areas they couldn't impact, even adding a lane or two in that stretch may help some, but those curves are going to be a huge burden to overcome.
The problematic I-495 curves are east of MD-355 Rockville Pike, thru Rock Creek Park. 

Not the section between VA and I-270 Spur.  The one curve that looks sharp on a map, south of MD-190 River Road, the long horizontal curve is about 3.0 degrees, which is adequate for 70 mph.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Rothman on November 13, 2019, 11:14:53 PM
Mormon Temple sits on a hill, so it isn't really the issue as much as the terrain is.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: 1995hoo on November 14, 2019, 08:49:15 AM
Apparently when the Beltway first opened, trucks weren’t allowed on that segment, though eventually that changed due in part to the problems it caused for local neighborhoods when truckers would drive through looking for “the other end of the Beltway.”
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 14, 2019, 10:14:26 AM
My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.
If Maryland can manage to straighten out some of their 495 stretch between 95 and 270, that may help them reduce capacity on its own.  Being that the road was built that way decades ago, probably to weave around areas they couldn't impact, even adding a lane or two in that stretch may help some, but those curves are going to be a huge burden to overcome.
The problematic I-495 curves are east of MD-355 Rockville Pike, thru Rock Creek Park. 

Not the section between VA and I-270 Spur.  The one curve that looks sharp on a map, south of MD-190 River Road, the long horizontal curve is about 3.0 degrees, which is adequate for 70 mph.

I was kinda slightly working off a comment you had made regarding a Washington bypass:

My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.

While I think you were talking about a secondary ring around DC, VA and MD have been doing quite a bit of work to maintain a single beltway, knowing that a 2nd beltway is probably never going to happen.

And based on that, with what VA has already done and with this current development south of 270 and the bridge, the only capacity issue west of mainline I-95 will be the stretch between 270 and 95.  No doubt they can squeeze in an additional lane or two in many areas, but the curvature of the roadway is problematic.  The worst areas to work in will be where the roadway goes right into the backyards of the homes here ( https://goo.gl/maps/6ZoobfHCEBidBYtZ9 ) and here ( https://goo.gl/maps/3n2bKzBZNH2UAMD78 ) on both sides of the highway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2019, 01:45:53 PM
My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.
While I think you were talking about a secondary ring around DC, VA and MD have been doing quite a bit of work to maintain a single beltway, knowing that a 2nd beltway is probably never going to happen.
In that sentence I was thinking of a "Washington bypass" in a general sense in that I-495 itself bypasses D.C.

It is not a good historical policy to have to expand I-495 into a "super freeway" to make up for the lack of an outer beltway, whereby I-495 would stay at a normal width of 8 lanes and the outer beltway would be at least 6 lanes wide.

Having both beltways would enable one of them to intercept/distribute regional traffic farther out (as near Dumfries, Centerville, Leesburg, Rockville, Laurel, Bowie, etc.) on the radial freeways rather than all that traffic have to utilize the radial freeways all the way in to the I-495 beltway.

With no outer bypass in sight, it certainly has been helpful to rebuild I-495 to 12 lanes between I-395/I-95 and VA-193, and will be helpful to extend that rebuild to I-270 Spur.

And based on that, with what VA has already done and with this current development south of 270 and the bridge, the only capacity issue west of mainline I-95 will be the stretch between 270 and 95.  No doubt they can squeeze in an additional lane or two in many areas, but the curvature of the roadway is problematic.  The worst areas to work in will be where the roadway goes right into the backyards of the homes here ( https://goo.gl/maps/6ZoobfHCEBidBYtZ9 ) and here ( https://goo.gl/maps/3n2bKzBZNH2UAMD78 ) on both sides of the highway.
That is on the part of I-495 that is east of I-270 Spur, where I said there would be major problems in expanding the highway to 12 lanes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 14, 2019, 04:44:18 PM
With no outer bypass in sight, it certainly has been helpful to rebuild I-495 to 12 lanes between I-395/I-95 and VA-193, and will be helpful to extend that rebuild to I-270 Spur.
Agreed, and they should do the same on I-95 between DC and Fredericksburg with a local / thru (3+3 each way) setup plus Transurban's privatized toll lanes running the middle. Fredericksburg is a good start with the current 3+3 toll free lanes each way project, now they need to go at least 30 more miles northward.

That would be certainly helpful with no outer bypass in sight.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2019, 04:57:02 PM
With no outer bypass in sight, it certainly has been helpful to rebuild I-495 to 12 lanes between I-395/I-95 and VA-193, and will be helpful to extend that rebuild to I-270 Spur.
Agreed, and they should do the same on I-95 between DC and Fredericksburg with a local / thru (3+3 each way) setup plus Transurban's privatized toll lanes running the middle. Fredericksburg is a good start with the current 3+3 toll free lanes each way project, now they need to go at least 30 more miles northward.  That would be certainly helpful with no outer bypass in sight.
No, Maryland needs to step up and start planning a new north-south freeway that would bypass Washington on the I-95 corridor. 

No more fantastically expensive super-freeways built by Virginia because of Maryland's recalcitrance and lack of planning.

Besides, I-95 is already at the full feasible buildout north of Woodbridge, given right-of-way constraints.

Virginia has already had to spend at least $6 billion (and that figure includes the private sector funds that the highway users will pay for in tolls) in improvements to I-95 and I-495 that would have been greatly reduced if the above was built.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 14, 2019, 05:02:13 PM
With no outer bypass in sight, it certainly has been helpful to rebuild I-495 to 12 lanes between I-395/I-95 and VA-193, and will be helpful to extend that rebuild to I-270 Spur.
Agreed, and they should do the same on I-95 between DC and Fredericksburg with a local / thru (3+3 each way) setup plus Transurban's privatized toll lanes running the middle. Fredericksburg is a good start with the current 3+3 toll free lanes each way project, now they need to go at least 30 more miles northward.  That would be certainly helpful with no outer bypass in sight.
No, Maryland needs to step up and start planning a new north-south freeway that would bypass Washington on the I-95 corridor. 

No more fantastically expensive super-freeways built because of Maryland's recalcitrance.

Besides, I-95 is already at the full feasible buildout north of Woodbridge, given right-of-way constraints.

Virginia has already had to spend at least $5 billion (and that includes the private sector funds that the highway users will pay for in tolls) in improvements to I-95 and I-495 that would have been greatly reduced if the above was built.
 
You say all this, but then you show major support for the massive expansion of I-495. Is it because I-95 already has HO/T lanes, therefore no further expansion needed? You get that 70 mph trip already, so it's built out enough.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2019, 05:13:06 PM
Maryland needs to step up and start planning a new north-south freeway that would bypass Washington on the I-95 corridor. 
[…]
You say all this, but then you show major support for the massive expansion of I-495. Is it because I-95 already has HO/T lanes, therefore no further expansion needed? You get that 70 mph trip already, so it's built out enough.
Not sure about "major support," as in Post #204 I basically lamented the fact that the I-495 expansion was a result of not having an outer beltway.   

Besides I-495 HOT Lanes was opened back in 2012, so it is just a fact of life at this point.  And we're only looking at 4 miles in each state to build the remainder up to I-270 Spur.

Plus I do question the feasibility of widening MD I-495 between I-270 and I-95, especially the segment in Rock Creek Park.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 14, 2019, 05:16:08 PM
Not sure about "major support," as in Post #204 I basically lamented the fact that the I-495 expansion was a result of not having an outer beltway.
What if VDOT introduced a project (highly unlikely due to the current political climate and the wide open message saying they're not expanding I-95, and Transurban's "compensation events") to widen I-95 to a 3+3 setup between DC and Fredericksburg?

What's your position then?

Just curious.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2019, 05:22:56 PM
Not sure about "major support," as in Post #204 I basically lamented the fact that the I-495 expansion was a result of not having an outer beltway.
What if VDOT introduced a project (highly unlikely due to the current political climate and the wide open message saying they're not expanding I-95, and Transurban's "compensation events") to widen I-95 to a 3+3 setup between DC and Fredericksburg?
What's your position then?  Just curious.

Would be unaffordable, and therefore no such project (a 12-lane highway between Fredericksburg and the 14th Street Bridge) would be introduced.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 14, 2019, 05:32:55 PM
Not sure about "major support," as in Post #204 I basically lamented the fact that the I-495 expansion was a result of not having an outer beltway.
What if VDOT introduced a project (highly unlikely due to the current political climate and the wide open message saying they're not expanding I-95, and Transurban's "compensation events") to widen I-95 to a 3+3 setup between DC and Fredericksburg?
What's your position then?  Just curious.

Would be unaffordable, and therefore no such project (a 12-lane highway between Fredericksburg and the 14th Street Bridge) would be introduced.
More so referring to I-495, and along I-495 to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

A project with this layout was proposed years back in VTrans recommendations. It's not an unheard of proposal.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2019, 09:00:44 PM
More so referring to I-495, and along I-495 to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
A project with this layout was proposed years back in VTrans recommendations. It's not an unheard of proposal.
Older VTrans long-range plans proposed all sorts of things back then, and we have had enormous increases in construction costs over the last 15 years or so.

The 7.5 mile WWB Project built 5 lanes each way and one auxiliary lane each way in some places including between US-1 and I-295.   And no I do not support eliminating full shoulders to provide another lane.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: froggie on November 15, 2019, 07:28:41 AM
Virginia has already had to spend at least $6 billion (and that figure includes the private sector funds that the highway users will pay for in tolls) in improvements to I-95 and I-495 that would have been greatly reduced if the above was built.

Especially given Tysons and Alexandria growth, I'm not convinced that VDOT would have avoided spending 10-digits on 95 and 495 even if we had an outer beltway.  The vast bulk of traffic impacting both routes is local.  All an outer beltway would have done would have been to provided the through traffic with an alternative route (opening up capacity on both routes which, again given already existing growth, would have likely filled back up again).  And any such outer beltway would have provided extreme pressure to develop the land along it, especially in Virginia.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 15, 2019, 08:20:21 AM
Chicken-Egg scenario here, with the Chicken being Tysons Corner, Alexandria, etc.  Viriginia allowed many of the DC 'suburbs' to build up.  That created a huge influx in businesses and companies making that area their home, which caused many people to move into the area, which pushed a great demand on housing costs, which caused developers to build further west and south, which caused people to move further west and south, which caused the roads to congest, which caused for Viriginia to find a way to widen the roads.

If an outer beltway were to have been built, that would've needed to have been done before all this growth occurred.  Which also would've been during a time when people didn't see the need for such a beltway.  The best VA did was build the Fairfax County Parkway.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 15, 2019, 05:05:47 PM
Virginia has already had to spend at least $6 billion (and that figure includes the private sector funds that the highway users will pay for in tolls) in improvements to I-95 and I-495 that would have been greatly reduced if the above was built.
Especially given Tysons and Alexandria growth, I'm not convinced that VDOT would have avoided spending 10-digits
10 digits is at minimum $1 billion.  Not a difficult sum to spend nowadays.

on 95 and 495 even if we had an outer beltway.  The vast bulk of traffic impacting both routes is local.  All an outer beltway would have done would have been to provided the through traffic with an alternative route (opening up capacity on both routes which, again given already existing growth, would have likely filled back up again).
So instead the existing routes get crushed with traffic, including the radial freeway segments between the unbuilt outer beltway and the existing beltway, and part of the "through traffic" is actually regional in the sense of for one example of many, Dumfries to Rockville, applying pressure for the inner routes to become "super freeways" which are also super-expensive to build.

And any such outer beltway would have provided extreme pressure to develop the land along it, especially in Virginia.
Widely spaced exits as I have suggested before, at least 5 mile average spacing if not 8 to 10.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 15, 2019, 06:07:52 PM
^ You continuously seem to believe that the -majority- of traffic congestion is caused by thru traffic, and that a bypass would eliminate the need for more lanes, whether be HO/T or GP, on I-95 and I-495, whether it be the proposed lanes, the needed ones VDOT refuses to study, or the ones already built, and that congestion would be significantly less.

You’re completely missing the fact that the -vast majority- of traffic is either local, or long-distance traffic originating in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland coming in from I-95 from the south and north, I-270, I-66, the BW Pkwy, and other routes that lead in/out, and that an outer bypass wouldn’t divert much traffic, I’d estimate 20,000 - 30,000 AADT at most taken off the I-495 system, and that’s minuscule compared to the amount of traffic either side of the beltway has.

The completed & proposed improvements with the addition of HO/T lanes on the beltway, the need for more GP lanes and thru lanes south of I-495 would still be needed regardless of this bypass existing or not.

I agree, a bypass is needed for thru traffic. But a bypass would not eliminate the need for a megafreeway on I-95 from Fredericksburg northward, and beltway HO/T lanes. The traffic counts are well over 200,000 in the Northern Virginia area, and over 130,000 north of Fredericksburg and would remain such with or without a bypass.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 15, 2019, 07:25:45 PM
^ You continuously seem to believe that the -majority- of traffic congestion is caused by thru traffic, and that a bypass would eliminate the need for more lanes, whether be HO/T or GP, on I-95 and I-495, whether it be the proposed lanes, the needed ones VDOT refuses to study, or the ones already built, and that congestion would be significantly less.
I'm not sure who you are pointing at, but 1) I have not said that the need for widening would be eliminated, 2) that any "majority" of traffic is "thru," 3) but I am saying that part of the traffic is "regional" in the sense of not really local and not really thru; between those two definitions.

You’re completely missing the fact that the -vast majority- of traffic is either local, or long-distance traffic originating in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland coming in from I-95 from the south and north, I-270, I-66, the BW Pkwy, and other routes that lead in/out, and that an outer bypass wouldn’t divert much traffic, I’d estimate 20,000 - 30,000 AADT at most taken off the I-495 system, and that’s minuscule compared to the amount of traffic either side of the beltway has.
Again, see what I said about "regional" traffic, one example of dozens, is Dumfries-Rockville which could be handled on one bypass route instead of adding to inner routings using I-95, I-495 and I-270.   (I mentioned the whole "ring" of Dumfries, Manassas, Centreville, Reston, Leesburg, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Laurel, Bowie, Waldorf, etc.).

Before you estimate that 20,000 to 30,000, we need official traffic engineering studies to estimate the  volumes, and for the last 30+ years Maryland has refused to participate in any such EIS/location study.

I agree, a bypass is needed for thru traffic. But a bypass would not eliminate the need for a megafreeway on I-95 from Fredericksburg northward, and beltway HO/T lanes. The traffic counts are well over 200,000 in the Northern Virginia area, and over 130,000 north of Fredericksburg and would remain such with or without a bypass.
Define "megafreeway".  If you mean like the recently widened 35 miles of NJTP with 12 lanes on 4 separate roadways, look at how they financed it (tolls), look at how long it was delayed before they got to it (40 years), and look at how the NJTP has been financed (tolls) since its inception in 1951.

I am not opposed to tolling all lanes of I-95 between I-295 and I-495.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on November 15, 2019, 10:20:19 PM
You’re completely missing the fact that the -vast majority- of traffic is either local, or long-distance traffic originating in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland coming in from I-95 from the south and north, I-270, I-66, the BW Pkwy, and other routes that lead in/out, and that an outer bypass wouldn’t divert much traffic, I’d estimate 20,000 - 30,000 AADT at most taken off the I-495 system, and that’s minuscule compared to the amount of traffic either side of the beltway has.
I imagine this speaks to why VA would have a lot more interest than MD in a bypass route.  The worst traffic is I-95 between DC and Richmond.  As far as MD is concerned, it's not their problem.  A bypass does a lot more for VA than MD.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 15, 2019, 10:42:45 PM
I imagine this speaks to why VA would have a lot more interest than MD in a bypass route.  The worst traffic is I-95 between DC and Richmond.  As far as MD is concerned, it's not their problem.  A bypass does a lot more for VA than MD.
As I have said before, only one north-south freeway south of I-495 until I-295.

Maryland has I-95 and the NPS-built B-W Parkway, but traffic isn't much better between Washington and Baltimore.

It is a problem for Maryland because US-301 passes thru southern Maryland, and is horribly congested as a result.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on November 15, 2019, 11:11:23 PM
In my experience, Richmond-DC has been worse than DC-Baltimore.  I've experienced severe congestion on Richmond-DC 2/3 of the time, and that manifests as very long stretches of stop and go, often with rather prolonged stopping.  Baltimore-DC, by contrast, I've only had issue 1/2 the time, and that time was more intermittent and in heavy rain, and at least one location had a severe crash.

I've also encountered stop and go heading north out of Baltimore - not coincidentally, that's one place MD is working to build toll lanes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 15, 2019, 11:38:58 PM
In my experience, Richmond-DC has been worse than DC-Baltimore.  I've experienced severe congestion on Richmond-DC 2/3 of the time,
I thought you said before that you had only made 3 such trips.  I rarely experience major congestion on the route other than maybe 5 or 10 minutes of delay occasionally and that is without using the HOT lanes.

and that manifests as very long stretches of stop and go, often with rather prolonged stopping.  Baltimore-DC, by contrast, I've only had issue 1/2 the time, and that time was more intermittent and in heavy rain, and at least one location had a severe crash.
I don't use that much but when I am in the area I hear the traffic reports on WMAL and WTOP, and there is plenty of peak period congestion on I-95 between I-495 and I-695.

Again, Maryland can't just stick their head in the sand and refuse to do their part to provide another north-south freeway between Baltimore and central Virginia.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 16, 2019, 12:47:35 AM
I thought you said before that you had only made 3 such trips.  I rarely experience major congestion on the route other than maybe 5 or 10 minutes of delay occasionally and that is without using the HOT lanes.
Have you attempted using the general purpose lanes during peak hours in the direction of the HO/T lanes, say on any afternoon, notably Friday, southbound? Or even southbound on a Sunday where the peak flow is south yet the HO/T lanes are pointed northbound.

Your “5 or 10 minutes” must have been during the week in the opposite direction of the HO/T flow.

I can tell you from personal experience, it’s at least 30 minutes, if not more of delay between I-495 and the southern end of the HO/T lanes, and it’s no better south of there. Fredericksburg -> Richmond is hit or miss. Somedays it’s easy to flow 75 mph, other times it’s free flow -> stop and -> free flow -> stop and go in the middle of nowhere. VA-30 to I-295 is a bottleneck as well.

Said it before, I’ll say it again - there needs to be at least 8 general purpose lanes between I-295 and Fredericksburg, and at least 10 general purpose lanes north of Fredericksburg to the Springfield Interchange. Congestion isn’t going anywhere, even if these bypasses get built.

How would these 90 mile outer bypasses get funded? I’d imagine by tolls of at least $15 - $20 or more for a full trip considering the heavy wetlands impacts, a Potomac River bridge crossing, and having at least 6 lanes (3 each way), 8 lanes (4 each way) in areas where needed, which that cost alone would deter a percentage of drivers, especially these large amount of “regional” trips you cite that exist. It could also deter local trips that should rather benefit from a bypass, especially for high costs, again continuing to add congestion to already choked I-95, US-301, I-495, I-270.

Unless VDOT and Maryland can develop some funding plan to get an at least $6 billion freeway built with low or no tolls, that’s what I see as the reality if anything is built / studied. And that’s just for one eastern or western bypass. Now try getting both the eastern and western built and creating a funding plan to buy down the needed high toll rates.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 16, 2019, 09:14:46 AM
A new North South highway between Baltimore and Richmond should be discussed in the Fictional Highway forum, because it will never happen.

Beltway...I'd defer to Vdeane and sprjus here. I dont know how you could believe there's just minor congestion this area.  If it was that quiet, it wouldn't have justified all the rebuilding and HOT lanes that were done.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 12:26:54 PM
A new North South highway between Baltimore and Richmond should be discussed in the Fictional Highway forum, because it will never happen.
So you suggest that "New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?" be moved to the Fictional Highway forum?

This has been the subject of a number of official studies over the years and as recently as the early 2000s, plus the new 4-lane US-301 bridge has been approved and will start construction in the next year or so, and unlike the current bridge it could support a freeway route between I-95 at Carmel Church and I-97 at Dorrs Corner.

I vote to keep it here.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 16, 2019, 12:30:56 PM
Since the topic does fit well into this forum thread, I see no reason why it can’t be discussed.

But I do agree, it probably will never be built - studies or not.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 16, 2019, 12:34:02 PM
and unlike the current bridge it could support a freeway route between I-95 at Carmel Church and I-97 at Dorrs Corner.
Isn’t the new bridge being built with 2 ft right and left shoulders, and a narrow median barrier? That’s a substandard design for a freeway. Not to mention, any I-95 bypass should realistically have at least 6 lanes when considering holidays, peak weekends, etc. travel.

The new substandard bridge could be incorporated, and be striped as 3 lanes one way, then construct a second parallel 3-lane bridge, resulting in two parallel 3-lane bridges. I’d support such a concept.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 01:09:33 PM
I thought you said before that you had only made 3 such trips.  I rarely experience major congestion on the route other than maybe 5 or 10 minutes of delay occasionally and that is without using the HOT lanes.
Have you attempted using the general purpose lanes during peak hours in the direction of the HO/T lanes, say on any afternoon, notably Friday, southbound? Or even southbound on a Sunday where the peak flow is south yet the HO/T lanes are pointed northbound.
Your “5 or 10 minutes” must have been during the week in the opposite direction of the HO/T flow.
I can tell you from personal experience, it’s at least 30 minutes, if not more of delay between I-495 and the southern end of the HO/T lanes, and it’s no better south of there. Fredericksburg -> Richmond is hit or miss. Somedays it’s easy to flow 75 mph, other times it’s free flow -> stop and -> free flow -> stop and go in the middle of nowhere. VA-30 to I-295 is a bottleneck as well.
So a Friday afternoon?   In the center of peak hours?  In the summer?

Is this like your assertions about the "$30+ tolls," based on an "app" that you were following?  I have posted several lists of real actual transaction data from my EZPass account and they have date-time stamps, and my average round trip tolls in or near peak hours are about half that; and by observing time estimates on the GP VMS and observing my total time between I-495 and I-295, the average delay is far less than that, rarely more than 15 minutes on the section that has no HOT lanes, sometimes none.

If the HOT lanes are needed on your trip to get around major congestion, then use them!

Said it before, I’ll say it again - there needs to be at least 8 general purpose lanes between I-295 and Fredericksburg, and at least 10 general purpose lanes north of Fredericksburg to the Springfield Interchange. Congestion isn’t going anywhere, even if these bypasses get built.
So something like the northern NJTP.  They were timely with the section north of New Brunswick, 1970-75 completions, but the recent project was about 40 years after the 6 lanes was no longer adequate.

How is the NJTP funded?  How was the recent 35-mile project funded?

How would these 90 mile outer bypasses get funded? I’d imagine by tolls of at least $15 - $20 or more for a full trip considering the heavy wetlands impacts, a Potomac River bridge crossing, and having at least 6 lanes (3 each way), 8 lanes (4 each way) in areas where needed, which that cost alone would deter a percentage of drivers, especially these large amount of “regional” trips you cite that exist. It could also deter local trips that should rather benefit from a bypass, especially for high costs, again continuing to add congestion to already choked I-95, US-301, I-495, I-270.
A repeated complaint of mine is the fact that Maryland didn't get at least one of these done back when it would have been much cheaper to build.

The serious regional problems that their intransigence has caused.

If they had agreed to their portion of the Western Transportation Corridor 20 years ago, it may have been all completed by now, or the last segment close to completion.   With the ~10-mile interchange spacing that VDOT was proposing, no one would have to worry about "sprawl development."

Unless VDOT and Maryland can develop some funding plan to get an at least $6 billion freeway built with low or no tolls, that’s what I see as the reality if anything is built / studied. And that’s just for one eastern or western bypass. Now try getting both the eastern and western built and creating a funding plan to buy down the needed high toll rates.
Your "I-95 super freeway" concept would probably cost that much, and would provide no relief or alternate to I-495.

If you want to fund it like the aforementioned NJTP widening projects were funded, then it could be built in a timely fashion.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 01:12:44 PM
and unlike the current bridge it could support a freeway route between I-95 at Carmel Church and I-97 at Dorrs Corner.
Isn’t the new bridge being built with 2 ft right and left shoulders, and a narrow median barrier? That’s a substandard design for a freeway. Not to mention, any I-95 bypass should realistically have at least 6 lanes when considering holidays, peak weekends, etc. travel.
They are still considering full shoulders.  You didn't seem to mind narrow shoulders on some other freeway bridges.

Six lanes isn't really needed there.  Four lanes of metropolitan freeway could handle 70,000 VPD without breathing hard, and an I-97 Extension to I-95 at Carmel Church probably would not come near that for many years.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 16, 2019, 01:45:45 PM
You didn't seem to mind narrow shoulders on some other freeway bridges.
If you’re referring to the I-87 project in North Carolina, those bridges have 4 foot shoulders, which is permitted on long bridges, and I merely mentioned it was the preferred design by the study. I am not opposed to them widening the shoulders properly to 10 ft and all the bridges except 1 was built in the last 20 years, and replacing the one southbound 1950s bridge that lacks any shoulders near Hertford, and quite frankly think they should.

Quote
Four lanes of metropolitan freeway could handle 70,000 VPD without breathing hard
Disagree. Just take a look at I-64, notably Richmond -> Williamsburg. Carries 60,000 AADT and is bottleneck half the time, and is a rural freeway with exits spaced for apart. Nearby to me, the VA-168 Chesapeake Expressway gets up to 70,000 AADT, and it’s a bottleneck during peak hours.

When constructing a new freeway, 4-lanes should ideally be used for 40,000 AADT or less IMO looking at long-range projections. Anything higher, 6-lanes should definitely be considered. It was a mistake building the most recent part of the Expressway in 1999 with only 4-lanes, it needs at least 6-lanes, preferably 8-lanes until it drops to 50,000 AADT south of VA-165.

and an I-97 Extension to I-95 at Carmel Church probably would not come near that for many years.
And yet this bypass is supposed to significant relieve congestion in Northern Virginia?

And if it is projected to reach those numbers in “years”, I thought it was good design practice to design a roadway now to accommodate future volumes. Keeping only 4-lanes over the Potomac River on a I-95 system route with over 50,000 AADT would only become another I-64 bottleneck between Williamsburg -> Richmond.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Mapmikey on November 16, 2019, 02:57:09 PM
Since data being thrown around is from infrequent and peripheral experiences, here is some actual data during the peak period.

The average afternoon rush hour speed on I-495 outer loop main lanes during rush hour is frequently 20-25 mph for the entire stretch from the HOT lane entrance to Springfield.  This is based on actual posted times on the VMSs which I see 4 days a week.

On I-95 south it is usually a little better than that but it is rarely wide open north of Dumfries for any meaningful length.  South of Dumfries can be anywhere from wide open to crawling.  I save a minimum of 30-45 minutes a day.

How much are the tolls during peak times when I go through (entry onto 495 toll lanes is typically 5 to 5:15 and most days it is 30-35 min to Garrisonville)?

All values are 495 followed by 95 tolls:
9/30 - $17 + $23.40
10/1 - $19.65 + $24.25
10/2 - $19.05 + $31.20
10/3 - $21.50 + $30.70
10/7 - $19.45 + $26.05
10/9 - $18.15 + $26.65
10/10 - $29.40 + $27.10
10/21 - $21.20 + $26.50
10/22 - $30.90 + $35.35
10/23 - $21.40 + $31
10/24 - $20.20 + $37.95
10/28 - $19.40 + $25.45
10/29 - $20.20 + $26.80
10/30 - $25.95 + $32.60
10/31 - $28.45 + $22.45
Including Nov 5 because I took off an hour early...
11/5 - $17.40 + $27.70

The 95 NB toll at 5:15 a.m. entry is typically less than $10 to get to the beltway.  I don't use the 495 inner loop toll lanes in the morning but the toll posted is usually under $5 for the full length.

Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 16, 2019, 05:44:36 PM
A new North South highway between Baltimore and Richmond should be discussed in the Fictional Highway forum, because it will never happen.
So you suggest that "New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?" be moved to the Fictional Highway forum?

This has been the subject of a number of official studies over the years and as recently as the early 2000s, plus the new 4-lane US-301 bridge has been approved and will start construction in the next year or so, and unlike the current bridge it could support a freeway route between I-95 at Carmel Church and I-97 at Dorrs Corner.

I vote to keep it here.

This was a bit tongue-in-cheek; a bit of how the thought of crossing the Potomac was getting expanded into a 200 mile highway in a very built up part of the nation. In fact, a semi realistic bypass of this length involves going east of DC and thus never crossing the Potomac.

Quote
How is the NJTP funded?  How was the recent 35-mile project funded?

You may already know the answer, but via tolls, via bonds to be paid by future tolls. For what it's worth, it was a 25 mile expansion (not 35) and cost about $2.3 Billion...in a relatively rural part of the state.  Of that 25 miles, 8 was a simple widening of one lane in each direction; 17 was basically building a new 6 lane highway parallel to an existing 6 lane highway.

Quote
So something like the northern NJTP.  They were timely with the section north of New Brunswick, 1970-75 completions, but the recent project was about 40 years after the 6 lanes was no longer adequate.

(then)

If you want to fund it like the aforementioned NJTP widening projects were funded, then it could be built in a timely fashion.

You see what you did there, right?

First you criticized the NJ Turnpike for taking decades longer than it should have taken to expand the turnpike, then you say VA can more timely widen a road just like the Jersey Turnpike. Reasons why it took so long to expand the turnpike include people don't want to pay tolls, they don't want to pay increased tolls, people don't want to give up land near highways, and people don't want to deal with construction. Oh, and dozens of multi-year local, state and federal studies. And a few lawsuits, real or threatened. And a lot of compromises.

One I recall involved a utility company. Apparently the company shorted the Jersey Turnpike some reimbursement money (like, hundreds of thousands of $$). The turnpike thought about taking them to court, but by doing so the utility company wouldn't have timely worked with the turnpike on that widening project. The turnpike forgave the reimbursement money on that unrelated project in order to get cooperation with more larger concerns.

It's certainly not as easy as just saying "hey that's incorporate tools and make it happen".
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 05:49:49 PM
Since data being thrown around is from infrequent and peripheral experiences, here is some actual data during the peak period.
[big snip]
The 95 NB toll at 5:15 a.m. entry is typically less than $10 to get to the beltway.  I don't use the 495 inner loop toll lanes in the morning but the toll posted is usually under $5 for the full length.
So as a peak period commuter you are able to average a low toll in the morning (~$9 for I-95) with a high toll in the evening (avg. $28.45 for I-95 in the evening).  About $19 per trip averaged over all for I-95.  (Leaving I-495 out of the I-95 discussion).

Not bad at all!
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 05:58:57 PM
If you want to fund it like the aforementioned NJTP widening projects were funded, then it could be built in a timely fashion.
You see what you did there, right?
First you criticized the NJ Turnpike for taking decades longer than it should have taken to expand the turnpike, then you say VA can more timely widen a road just like the Jersey Turnpike. Reasons why it took so long to expand the turnpike include people don't want to pay tolls, they don't want to pay increased tolls, people don't want to give up land near highways, and people don't want to deal with construction. Oh, and dozens of multi-year local, state and federal studies. And a few lawsuits, real or threatened. And a lot of compromises.
I get what you are saying, it is not a simple matter to analyze the alternatives in this case.

All your NJTP comments would apply to this segment of I-95 as well.  I was mainly trying to point out to a particular poster what would be involved in widening to 10 or 12 lanes between I-295 and I-495.

It probably would not be fundable within the foreseeable future without at least a few billion dollars in toll revenue bonds, in addition to the road user tax funding that could be obtained.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 16, 2019, 06:12:41 PM
Four lanes of metropolitan freeway could handle 70,000 VPD without breathing hard
Disagree. Just take a look at I-64, notably Richmond -> Williamsburg. Carries 60,000 AADT and is bottleneck half the time, and is a rural freeway with exits spaced for apart. Nearby to me, the VA-168 Chesapeake Expressway gets up to 70,000 AADT, and it’s a bottleneck during peak hours.
I wouldn't see the I-97 Extension having the high rush hour peaks at the Potomac River that would be seen on a local radial freeway like VA-168.

A metropolitan freeway is more tolerable with peak congestion that a long distance rural freeway like I-64.

When constructing a new freeway, 4-lanes should ideally be used for 40,000 AADT or less IMO looking at long-range projections. Anything higher, 6-lanes should definitely be considered.
True for a rural Interstate long-distance highway.

and an I-97 Extension to I-95 at Carmel Church probably would not come near that for many years.
And yet this bypass is supposed to significant relieve congestion in Northern Virginia?
Yes, and the other function is to provide an alternative route -- I-97 passing east of NoVA to Baltimore, connecting to US-50 to Annapolis and the MD Eastern Shore, connecting to I-695, I-895 and I-95 North.

And if it is projected to reach those numbers in “years”, I thought it was good design practice to design a roadway now to accommodate future volumes.
Start with the new 4-lane bridge, I-97 can utilize that.  Build a parallel 3-lane bridge in the future when traffic warrants exist.  Don't worry about it now, get to it in the future.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: vdeane on November 16, 2019, 10:26:12 PM
In my experience, Richmond-DC has been worse than DC-Baltimore.  I've experienced severe congestion on Richmond-DC 2/3 of the time,
I thought you said before that you had only made 3 such trips.  I rarely experience major congestion on the route other than maybe 5 or 10 minutes of delay occasionally and that is without using the HOT lanes.
Yes, and 2 of the 3 times had SEVERE gridlock.  Even south of the HOT lanes.  I'm talking about a whole hour of delay.  The one time I didn't have issues?  8 AM on Columbus Day.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 16, 2019, 10:35:00 PM
In my experience, Richmond-DC has been worse than DC-Baltimore.  I've experienced severe congestion on Richmond-DC 2/3 of the time,
I thought you said before that you had only made 3 such trips.  I rarely experience major congestion on the route other than maybe 5 or 10 minutes of delay occasionally and that is without using the HOT lanes.
Yes, and 2 of the 3 times had SEVERE gridlock.  Even south of the HOT lanes.  I'm talking about a whole hour of delay.  The one time I didn't have issues?  8 AM on Columbus Day.
The entire I-95 corridor is a bottleneck between DC -> Richmond, HO/T lanes present or not. The “15 minutes” of delay assertion is an understatement. I’ve frequently exceeded an hour+ of delay, and often a simply routing on Google during congestion will estimate at least 45-55 minutes longer, which is the reality.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I-95 needs a minimum of 8 lanes, preferably 10-12 north of Fredericksburg - for the entire corridor between DC and Richmond, and VDOT has refused to ever study in detail such a buildout. Even if this magical DC bypass is built with $20 tolls, congestion isn’t going to get relieved much, and nothing will be relieved south of Fredericksburg or Ruther Glen, depending on alignment.

Austin, TX had a long-distance bypass constructed for I-35 thru traffic, which is a major freight / regional / thru traffic corridor in central Texas linking Oklahoma -> Dallas / Fort Worth -> Austin -> San Antonio -> Laredo -> Mexico, and connects with I-37 to Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, and Mexico. It does wonders for thru traffic willing to pay the $14-$19 toll (TxTAG or Toll By Plate) on the 90 mile bypass, speaking from experience almost no delay with the exception of one segment that is currently being widened from 4 to 6 lanes, but traffic congestion nonetheless in central Austin on I-35 is horrendous and hasn’t seen much relief if any. And appropriately so, TXDOT has extensively studied and is going to upgrade I-35 into a mutlibillion dollar mega freeway, with multiple carriageways each way, overhauled interchanges, more lanes, etc. and no HO/T lanes or tolls included.

Bypasses benefit thru traffic, which is a small percentage of all the traffic in the DC metro, and building one would have long reaching national significance and allow thru traffic an easy way around for $20-$30 (those willing to pay that is), but would not do much to the majority of the traffic which would still be stuck in massive gridlock that VDOT has failed to study and fix for decades, and refuses to further study, unless it includes Transurban’s lanes.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Rothman on November 17, 2019, 12:27:29 AM
Yep, I-95 south of DC is the drive I dread most in the entire country, actually.  Never get through there without some sort of stupid delay.

I hate it more than anything in Chicagoland or LA, for example.

It is just a frustrating configuration that I think would have been better handled through more general purpose lanes than the reversible express lane nonsense.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 17, 2019, 01:27:07 AM
Yep, I-95 south of DC is the drive I dread most in the entire country, actually.  Never get through there without some sort of stupid delay.

I hate it more than anything in Chicagoland or LA, for example.

It is just a frustrating configuration that I think would have been better handled through more general purpose lanes than the reversible express lane nonsense.
Agreed, or an express concept going both ways, but without tolls and no exit points, strictly for long distance thru traffic leaving / originating in Northern Virginia, similar to the 3+3 concept I’ve touted on here in previous posts. This concept has been used in other areas, and not merely just the New Jersey Turnpike, and has been used in other areas without tolls any lanes or HOV restriction.

It would have significant congestion relief to ALL drivers rather than only those who opt to pay at least $20+ during peak hours. With the high taxes people pay in this state and Northern Virginia, maybe use that money on a project such as this, rather than the continuous stream of HO/T projects that have been non-stop since 2012. They began 8-lane widening (not enough, but a start and has helped) between I-495 and the Occoquan River, but then all of a sudden refused to study extending that further south once Transurban converted the HOV lanes into HO/T operations, and essentially blocked VDOT from doing any general purpose improvements that would hurt their revenue stream. They rejected a project and/or study for 8-lane widening to VA-234 due to compensation events, just recently rejected any GP widening between Woodbridge -> Fredericksburg, but then proposed widening a few miles to 8-lanes to US-1 south of where Transurban’s territory (extending from Fredericksburg to Maryland) ends, and they refuse to extend the megafreeway 3+3 concept they’re properly & rightfully building in Fredericksburg into Transurban’s territory, which would bring massive traffic benefits all the way to Maryland that benefits ALL traffic, not just those wanting to pay $20+ during peak hours, that right now only Fredericksburg is getting.

It was proposed years back (a 3+3 each way between Fredericksburg and Woodrow Wilson Bridge) before VDOT went HO/T lane crazy in 2012 and suspended all general purpose improvements in favor of tolls as the solution for everything inside of Transurban’s territory.

How long will it be until Transurban’s territory will extend to I-295 or further into Richmond and tolls will be implemented on every GP improvement?

The traffic situation on I-95 is horrendous and will only get worse. The state has zero proposed improvements, and continues to sit around twiddling it’s thumbs. It’s a shame how bad it’s gotten, and that the state cannot get serious about the problems. Bypass or not (which that in itself is a pipe dream - an overhaul of I-95 is a more realistic proposal IMO), traffic is going to get more severe and congestion will worsen, and Virginia needs to get serious and develop a long-range plan to overhaul I-95 with GP expansions without tolling, and work vigorously to get it constructed as soon as possible. As hard as it may be for some posters to accept the fact tolls cannot be the answer to everything, and that a good number of people strongly oppose tolls, it’s reality. The current setup is quite frankly unacceptable, even with the Transurban’s toll lanes which don’t do much to benefit traffic except people paying $20+ during peak hours and HOV (something that a 3+3 setup would provide congestion relief to ALL traffic) and will remain such until the state gets moving.

I’m thankful I no longer have to go thru that area as frequently as I have in the past.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 17, 2019, 08:37:30 AM
Yep, I-95 south of DC is the drive I dread most in the entire country, actually.  Never get through there without some sort of stupid delay.
I hate it more than anything in Chicagoland or LA, for example.
But you don't hate anything in New York City, which has the 3 worst Interstate highways in the country (well one of them is tied with the Schuylkill).  Albany should focus on problems in their own state and not complain about others.

I have made hundreds of trips between Richmond and Washington and 9/10 of the time I don't have a major delay.  If you are not willing to use the HOT lanes then what can I say …
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 17, 2019, 08:43:05 AM
It was proposed years back (a 3+3 each way between Fredericksburg and Woodrow Wilson Bridge) <<< snips >>>
How many times are you going to repost this screed?

Two outer Washington bypasses (possibly 3 or 4) were planned years back as well.  Where are they, even one?

What you want to build (down to I-295) will require at least $3 billion in toll revenue bonds even if $2 to 3 billion can be found in road user taxes.

That means that all lanes will be tolled between I-295 and I-495.  I am not opposed to that.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Rothman on November 17, 2019, 08:45:04 AM
I have made so many trips through NYC that I think I don't mind the congestion as much because the physical length of the congestion hasn't been anywhere close to the jams I have experienced on I-95 south of DC.  Multiple times, I-95 has been jammed from I-495 to as far south as Fredericksburg (more frequently around Aquia).  We're talking miles and miles of congestion in that regard. 

When I travel through NYC, you have the relatively short Cross Bronx and Trans-Manhattan.  On the west side of the GWB, you have that arch bridge where my father jokes, "This is where I feel like I can exhale."  And sure, the NJTP gets jammed, but not as frequently and not for the lengths that I-95 south of DC does.

So, yeah, I tolerate NYC much better than I-95 in northern VA.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Beltway on November 17, 2019, 08:49:46 AM
When I travel through NYC, you have the relatively short Cross Bronx and Trans-Manhattan.  On the west side of the GWB, you have that arch bridge where my father jokes, "This is where I feel like I can exhale." 

Try looking at it from the perspective of someone who needs to regularly travel between Long Island and the other side of NYC (as in NJ or Westchester Co. or beyond).  Worst in the country and LI has almost the population of Maryland.
 
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: Rothman on November 17, 2019, 10:20:00 AM
When I travel through NYC, you have the relatively short Cross Bronx and Trans-Manhattan.  On the west side of the GWB, you have that arch bridge where my father jokes, "This is where I feel like I can exhale." 

Try looking at it from the perspective of someone who needs to regularly travel between Long Island and the other side of NYC (as in NJ or Westchester Co. or beyond).  Worst in the country and LI has almost the population of Maryland.
Nah, that's not the worst in the country.  Congestion in NYC has come down relative to other urban regions in the last decade or so. 

And, heck, I know the guy that calculated official PHD for the LIE.  He artificially inflated the number since he's from Long Island and felt the actual data was not representative. :D

Still, if someone is making that commute, they should rethink living on Long Island in any matter. :D
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 17, 2019, 10:31:25 AM
I have made hundreds of trips between Richmond and Washington and 9/10 of the time I don't have a major delay.
I frankly find that hard to believe. I’ve made hundreds of trips myself in the past 10 years, and at least half the time, if not more, there’s at least 30-40 minutes if not more of delay.

Quote
If you are not willing to use the HOT lanes then what can I say …
So if somebody doesn’t want to pay $20+ during peak hours to bypass traffic, they have no right to complain about traffic and the fact VDOT has failed to fix the issues?

Just because you have the luxury of willing to pay the $20+ peak hour tolls and rack up hundreds of dollars of tolls per year to save 30 minutes on a trip, then claim there’s almost no congestion that exists in the GP lanes when that’s a fallacy, doesn’t mean everybody is willing to and can afford it, and just because HO/T lanes exist does NOT mean that VDOT should just suspend all future GP improvements on that corridor because HO/T lanes are the solution and have already been implemented.

The GP lanes still exist, they have some of the worst congestion on the East Coast, and they shouldn’t just be ignored just because it’s in Transurban’s territory and any GP improvements would hurt their revenue stream.

What you want to build (down to I-295) will require at least $3 billion in toll revenue bonds even if $2 to 3 billion can be found in road user taxes.
The concept I suggested, the 3+3 would only be for 35 miles on I-95 between north of US-17 and I-495, not the entire corridor. The southern end of the 3+3 is already being built as we speak, it would not go further than that. Maybe 8-lane widening, but that’s another topic.

The bypass you propose would costs billions of dollars, likely much costlier than a 3+3 on I-95 would cost. How do you propose we pay for that in a way that would maximize the amount of traffic utilizing it?

Quote
That means that all lanes will be tolled between I-295 and I-495.  I am not opposed to that.
People avoid paying the high Transurban fee now. If you tolled all lanes, and stuck a high toll on them, that would only place a burden on parallel roads that already face problems.

I think you’re in the minority when you support tolling on that corridor - notably commuters, who make up vast majority of the traffic now despite your claims a lot is thru, who already will not pay the Transurban’s high fee now.

A 3+3 could reasonably cost $100 million per mile on average when comparing to the Fredericksburg project, which had cheaper per mile rights AND caused a river, so about $3.5 - $4 billion.

That could reasonably be funded in the way I-81 was. A tax increase along with other fees increased appropriately and bonds to be repaid through those sources. And not to mention - I-95 already has some allocation from the I-81 program. Pitch in some money from Northern Virginia, which already has a higher tax that seems to all go for tolls, and it could reasonably get done without tolling for that 35 mile stretch.

This is a project that Virginia could study in detail themselves, work to get funding allocated to it, and get built within 10 years if they started now. It’s a lot less costly then an entire outer bypass would be, doesn’t require cooperating with a state who you claim refuses to study such a corridor, and can be done a lot sooner than a 90 mile outer bypass would be. Not to mention, such improvements would likely be necessary even with an outer bypass, despite what you’ve claimed.
Title: Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
Post by: sprjus4 on November 17, 2019, 10:34:25 AM
Congestion in NYC has come down relative to other urban regions in the last decade or so.
And the I-95 corridor has continued to get worse, and now extends 30+ miles down to Fredericksburg, despite the Transurban’s $20+ peak hour lanes.

When I drove through NY and LA in the past, the traffic congestion was comparable to Northern Virginia. It was even faster at some times.