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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: 74/171FAN on June 04, 2009, 07:50:37 PM

Title: I-73 in VA
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 04, 2009, 07:50:37 PM
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=19173 (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=19173)  Update on I-73 in the Martinsville area including a possible route realignment to connect to an industrial park but VDOT's funding problems won't allow this to be built any time soon.  I've never driven US 220 through there so I'm wondering if an interstate is even needed there.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: njroadhorse on June 04, 2009, 07:53:46 PM
Quote from: 74/171FAN
I've never driven US 220 through there so I'm wondering if an interstate is even needed there.

I would think that it would have some merit to it as an alternate to I-77 in trying to reach I-81.  I would also think it would bring economic benfits to the Martinsville area because it is now connected to an Interstate, as well as Roanoke, where it is now the crossroads of two major 2-dis.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: mightyace on June 04, 2009, 07:56:40 PM
I've never driven US 220 through there so I'm wondering if an interstate is even needed there.

I know it would help twice a year when NASCAR comes to town.  But, I don't think even a racefan like myself could justify building it for crowds of 60-80,000 twice a year.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: donutbandit on June 04, 2009, 10:48:57 PM
US 220 from Martinsville to the NC line is an excellent 4 lane highway. It's the part between Martinsville and Roanoke that needs the upgrade. It supports a ton of truck traffic, and is one of those old Virginia 2 + 2 = 4 deals, with the ancient 2 lane alignment serving as the southbound lanes.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: leifvanderwall on October 10, 2009, 10:55:40 PM
I think I-73 is better served on the US 23 corridor and besides I think we have enough interstates gobbling up US 220 as it is. Is there a conspiracy to get rid of US 220?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 10, 2009, 11:42:26 PM
I think I-73 is better served on the US 23 corridor and besides I think we have enough interstates gobbling up US 220 as it is. Is there a conspiracy to get rid of US 220?

Which part of the US 23 corridor?

The Kentucky-Virginia part doesn't need an interstate designation, neither does the section from Columbus to Portsmouth.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: leifvanderwall on October 11, 2009, 06:50:06 PM
I disagree. Perhaps on my next roadtrip I'll take US 23 from Columbus to Atlanta, GA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Alps on October 14, 2009, 10:32:31 PM
(Off-topic discussion about alternative I-73 has been moved to Fictional Highways.  Please remember that all discussion of nonexistent, non-planned, and alternative highways goes there.)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 15, 2009, 11:20:39 AM
Keep in mind that I-73 is supposed to go on the Smart Road near Blacksburg and over to I-81 in the Roanoke-Salem vicinity. It will be a prohibitively expensive upgrade to convert US 460 from Blacksburg to Bluefield into an interstate.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on October 18, 2009, 06:03:02 PM
The citizen's group, Virginians for Appropriate Roads, have filed with the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Judge James C. Turk's decision allowing VDOT to proceed with planning/building I-73.
 
VAR believes that VDOT did not diligently consider upgrading current US 220 to Interstate Standards vs. building a new alignment for I-73.

Even if they win the appeal, VAR concedes that VDOT can still study US 220 and decide to build I-73 on a new alignment.
 
Story:
http://www.thesunnews.com/news/local/story/1115740.html (http://www.thesunnews.com/news/local/story/1115740.html)


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 04, 2009, 08:10:11 PM
Two years ago, the Henry County Board of Supervisors suggested an alternate route for I-73 through their county.  The route would bring the highway closer to Martinsville (on the eastern limits of the city and county). 
 
Last week, VDOT released their preliminary findings on this suggestion.  The Board of Supervisors' route has mixed results.  While it provides quicker and closer access to Martinsville (eight interchanges compared to six), the route is 1.8 miles longer and costs more.  It displaces no existing businesses - but impacts more residences.  Environmentally, it effects less wetlands and has fewer stream crossings; however, more acreage of local flood plain is impacted.
 
For more read the Martinsville Bulletin's story here:
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=21175 (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=21175)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 28, 2009, 04:00:27 PM
Earlier this month, VDOT officially supported the current FHWA approved route for I-73 through Henry County vs. a recently completed study alternate route proposed by the Henry County Board of Supervisors. VDOT has suggested to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) that the alternate route not be studied further.

The CTB has not made a decision on whether or not they will consider the alternate route for futher study.

VDOT's biggest concerns is that the alternate route costs more. But their biggest concern is that any further study of the route could delay and ultimately jeopardize the project. The current approved route for I-73 was cleared by the FHWA in 2004. However, the Henry County Board of Supervisors wants the route closer to Martinsville. They see I-73 as a key to reviving the local economy and that the current planned route is too far from Martinsville to make a positive impact.

VDOT also is concerned that if I-73 gets changed in Henry County, Franklin and Roanoke Counties will also change the route in their counties which would result in further costs and delays.

Story Links:
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=21474
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=21433
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on December 18, 2009, 06:17:33 PM
Two possible setbacks for Interstate 73 in Virginia.

http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2009/12/expecting-i-73-soon-in-virginia-its.html

First, the US 4th District Court of Appeals has extended the filing period one month on the Virginians for Appropriate Roads appeal of a US District Court decision in favor of VDOT.

Story:
http://www.thesunnews.com/news/local/story/1214649.html

Secondly, and this may have the biggest impact on I-73.  The Commonwealth Transportation Board has directed VDOT to further study an alternate route of I-73 through Henry County.  The alternate routing was suggested by the Henry County Board of Supervisors.  VDOT did a preliminary study - and had suggested to the CTB that no further study was necessary.

An interesting case where people wanting the road in their backyard possibly delaying construction of a highway.

Story:
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=21778
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on January 27, 2010, 11:51:50 PM
Virginians for Appropriate Roads (VAR) may have suffered a fatal blow in their attempt to block the eventual construction of Interstate 73. 

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal by VAR.  VAR announced their intentions to appeal U.S District Court Judge James C. Turk's decision last October.  Turk ruled that the Virginia Department of Transportation did all that was necessary required by Federal Law in studying the route.

Even with this decision, Interstate 73 in Virginia is a long long way from reality.  Funding is not available for the route at this time and the foreseeable future.

Story:
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=22261
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on February 14, 2010, 03:14:59 PM
What appeared to be a fatal blow to Virginia's for Appropriate Roads battle against I-73 appears to be more of a victory for them.

The agreement allows VAR to raise issues and legally challenge any future I-73 studies in exchange for the dismissal of the appeal.

More interesting is VAR's opinion that I-73 will never be built in South Central Virginia anyways.

Story:
http://martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=22432

Commentary:
http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2010/02/vars-i-73-appeal-was-dropped-due-to.html
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on March 03, 2011, 10:37:57 PM
VDOT has completed the environmental study of the Henry County (Martinsville, VA) Alternative Routing for I-73.  This route was suggested by the Henry County Board of Supervisors, and the Environmental Study was ordered by the Commonwealth Transportation Board even though VDOT requested that the alternate route be dropped from further consideration.

Some details and more at the blog:
http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2011/03/henry-county-va-i-73-alternative-route.html
Title: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on June 17, 2011, 09:38:26 PM
VA CTB has approved the Henry County Alternative and consideration of that alternative now moves on to the FHWA (link has a good map of the Henry County Alternative):

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=28953

Quote
State transportation officials have approved an alternate route for Interstate 73 through Henry County that would move the highway closer to Martinsville, local industrial parks and a major tourist attraction ... The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on Wednesday adopted a resolution favoring the I-73 Henry County Alternative (HCA) in a unanimous vote. The route will move on to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for consideration of final approval, according to Salem District CTB member Dana Martin, who presented the resolution for consideration ... Specifically, the resolution calls for I-73’s alignment to be shifted from the corridor already approved to the HCA, said Jason Bond, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Salem District office ... Compared to a route that already had been adopted, he said, the alternate route would be “more valuable” in economic development efforts and would save money on construction since it uses part of an existing highway ... The alternate route runs slightly east of Martinsville, follows the alignment of the U.S. 58 bypass for five miles and includes seven interchanges. That is two more interchanges than a route already approved by the CTB that would take the interstate a little farther east ... VDOT officials have said the bypass will be upgraded to interstate standards if the alternate route is used for I-73 ... The alternate route begins at Virginia 108/890 near Figsboro and basically runs south to Virginia 87 southeast of Ridgeway, where it ties back into the corridor that the CTB already had approved ... Neither Martin nor Bond had an idea of how long it will take the FHWA to consider the route. Bond said that will depend on how much information on the project that the FHWA requests from VDOT and how long it takes the federal agency to study the information ... FHWA officials in Washington could not be reached for comment Thursday night ...

merged topics since this topic with the exact same name already existed
-Mark
Title: VA; FHWA Has Issued FONSI For I-73 Henry County Alternate Route
Post by: Grzrd on January 02, 2013, 11:17:10 AM
VA CTB has approved the Henry County Alternative and consideration of that alternative now moves on to the FHWA

This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=36053) reports that the FHWA has completed the environmental assessment work for the I-73 corridor, but there is no available money for design work:

Quote
...The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration on Dec. 21 issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on the environment with the Henry County alternate route for the interstate.
The alternate route runs from Virginia 890/108, near Figsboro, around the east side of Martinsville to Virginia 87 near Ridgeway, according to the statement issued Dec. 21 by Irene Rico, division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) ....
The highway administration concluded that the alternate route for I-73 “will not have any significant impact on the environment not already considered in the Environmental Impact Statement.” ....
Jason Bond, Salem District spokesman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said Friday the Finding of No Significant Impact “completes the environmental assessment work for the corridor” of I-73, and “it means that design work could proceed if funding were available.”
In addition to the $8.5 million that has been allocated, an estimated $12.9 million more is needed to start the design phase, according to previous reports ....
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 02, 2013, 12:59:16 PM
That's a good news. Get that road built by using some sections of US 220 and the bypass could save money. They should also use the existing US 220 Rocky Mount bypass as well.. will save more money, IMO.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on March 16, 2013, 01:10:41 PM
VDOT is encouraging Henry County officials to Think Bigger on I-73 (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=36871):

Quote
Enlarging the 6.5-mile section of Interstate 73 identified as a priority by the Henry County Board of Supervisors may give the project a better chance of getting funds, according to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials.
A recently approved county resolution asks VDOT and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to start and fund the first leg of I-73. The 6.5-mile section from the Patriot Centre industrial park to the U.S. 58 bypass was identified in the resolution as the first priority project.
But the 6.5-mile prioritized section must be “part of a larger section that is either in the works or planned” to be considered to receive a federal earmark, Jason Bond of VDOT said.
Bond, who is the communications manager for the Salem District of VDOT, along with Robert Cary, district administrator; Thomas Digiulian, assistant district administrator; and Lisa Price-Hughes, resident engineer, recently discussed the I-73 project in depth.
Bond said the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) looks at projects to “ensure there is connectivity” so the section of road being built would connect with another portion and/or function independently “as a link in the overall chain.”
Digiulian suggested adding another approximately 10 miles to the priority section to connect it to U.S. 220, even though doing so will add to the cost of the project. No cost estimate was available.
The added segment would start at the northern part of the section listed as the county’s priority (the Patriot Centre) and continue for roughly for 10 miles to connect to U.S. 220 in Franklin County, according to Bond and Digiulian ....

It looks like VDOT is suggesting that the FHWA will be more receptive to supporting the project if a feasible Section of Independent Utility can be put forth.  I'm really surprised that Henry County officials have not already gone through such a process.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on June 09, 2013, 11:02:34 AM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=37929) reports that a member of the Henry County Board of Supervisors attended a Commonwealth Transportation Board ("CTB") hearing to request funding for I-73:

Quote
A member of the Henry County Board of Supervisors attended a public hearing in Roanoke on Tuesday to support funding for construction of Interstate 73.
Iriswood District Supervisor Milton Kendall said he attended the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public hearing on the Six-Year Plan as a representative of the supervisors to “advocate for the construction of” I-73 in Henry County.
“On behalf of the board, I encourage you to give I-73, and the residents of Henry County, the attention they deserve,” Kendall told the CTB ....
Kendall reminded the CTB that the Federal Highway Administration recently issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” or FONSI, for the Alternative Route of I-73 through Henry County. “That means we are ready to move forward with this life-changing” project, he said. “We just need someone to pay for it.”
The Henry County Alternative Route calls for construction of I-73 to begin between the Patriot Centre industrial park and the U.S. 58 Bypass and continue south to the North Carolina line, with an interchange near Martinsville Speedway ....
“I think it’s important to put your request in. If we don’t ask, we’ll never get anything, so I took a shot,” Kendall said.
After all, he added, “it can’t hurt.”

I'll be surprised if the CTB includes I-73 in the Six-Year Plan ....
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 09, 2013, 11:35:01 AM
Good! They should include that on their six-year plan. Even if I-73 temporarily ends at the Martinsville Speedway interchange, it opens the door for extension to Roanoke easily.

NC is already having the section of US 220 from VA state line to NC 68 funded to be upgraded to I-73 in a couple of years, so hopefully VA can start on their section too!
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on June 10, 2013, 12:09:02 PM
Good! They should include that on their six-year plan. Even if I-73 temporarily ends at the Martinsville Speedway interchange, it opens the door for extension to Roanoke easily.

NC is already having the section of US 220 from VA state line to NC 68 funded to be upgraded to I-73 in a couple of years, so hopefully VA can start on their section too!
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 10, 2013, 01:52:50 PM
Hopefully too! I'd love for it to be completed by then as well.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 10, 2013, 02:06:18 PM
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.
Can you explain why a new I-73 is required to make this drive nonstop, rather than simple incremental improvements?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 10, 2013, 10:42:27 PM
NE2, Come and drive on US 220 from NC state line to Roanoke and you will find out why.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 10, 2013, 10:55:05 PM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 12, 2013, 04:58:01 AM
Quote
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.

You really don't understand how VDOT and the CTB work, do you?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 12, 2013, 11:20:07 AM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 12, 2013, 11:22:43 AM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.

I've only driven the route once, but even then I didn't notice what traffic lights there were as a problem.

Don't know why that when there is a perfectly good four-lane route that moves traffic reasonably well (*cough* US 31 in Indiana) that people insist on converting it to a full freeway and slapping an Interstate shield on it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 12, 2013, 11:40:06 AM
sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks)
Let's specifically look at the part south of Rocky Mount (north of there a new alignment may be justifiable). I see one light at each end of the Rocky Mount-Martinsville stretch and nothing in between. Several lights just south of Martinsville can easily be handled with local improvements. Any sharp curves, horizontal or vertical, can be fixed much more easily than VDOT's plan to build a new alignment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on June 12, 2013, 01:39:32 PM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?

That was the design standards of VDOT when they dualized a lot of their arterial routes.  The curves, dips, etc of US 220 on that stretch is the original road.

http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Arterial_Virginia.html

SPUI,

Conversion of US 220 to Interstate standards would not be easy as building two new lanes on either side of the road and converting the other to a frontage like road.

The problem with the current US 220 from Roanoke to Martinsville is that r/o/w purchases, construction or retrofit of new bridges, realignments, grade corrections to build the existing highway to Interstate standards would be also very expensive - and in various sections it would be like building a completely new alignment. 

Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on June 12, 2013, 01:41:26 PM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.

I've only driven the route once, but even then I didn't notice what traffic lights there were as a problem.

Don't know why that when there is a perfectly good four-lane route that moves traffic reasonably well (*cough* US 31 in Indiana) that people insist on converting it to a full freeway and slapping an Interstate shield on it.

It's the Interstate Highway System
Quote
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.

You really don't understand how VDOT and the CTB work, do you?

Especially when Grzrd and even the lobbyist in the article state that there is no guarantee of it being in the six year plan.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 12, 2013, 01:55:01 PM
Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 12, 2013, 02:06:55 PM
Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

certainly not every road needs to be a signed interstate.

it's fine to have a road be designated an interstate for the purposes of funding allocation... but it can be signed as US-220 without any driver being inconvenienced.  poor US-220 has received, along various segments, three of the least useful interstate designations in the system today. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on June 12, 2013, 02:12:42 PM
Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

certainly not every road needs to be a signed interstate.

it's fine to have a road be designated an interstate for the purposes of funding allocation... but it can be signed as US-220 without any driver being inconvenienced.  poor US-220 has received, along various segments, three of the least useful interstate designations in the system today. 

Which is an altogether different argument than the Anti I-73 folks in South Central VA are making.  They just don't want the freeway along the Roanoke to
Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

However, that's not the reason why those against I-73 in South Central Virginia are against it.  They don't want a new freeway between Roanoke and Martinsville period - regardless of designation.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 12, 2013, 02:33:15 PM
Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 12, 2013, 03:13:50 PM
Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...

what else could it be, if they still want to get federal funding?  I'm asking because I honestly have no idea what the various sources are.  there's Appalachian Development which comes to mind - anything else?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on June 12, 2013, 03:46:38 PM
Interstates get no special funding anymore. There may be special funding for the I-73/74 Corridor, but it's definitely not tied to Interstate standards in West Virginia is any indication. The most prominent 'special system' is the National Highway System (basically the old Federal Aid Primary with some changes).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 12, 2013, 04:02:23 PM
I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?

That was the design standards of VDOT when they dualized a lot of their arterial routes.  The curves, dips, etc of US 220 on that stretch is the original road.

http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Arterial_Virginia.html

This is absolutely correct.

Examples of such "dualized" highways can be seen on many parts of Virginia's (usually) rural (sometimes) suburban arterial highway network.

Fairly long sections of U.S. 17 between Newport News and Port Royal are like this.  In Northern Virginia, such treatment can be found long Va. 7 and Va. 236.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 12, 2013, 04:11:18 PM
Interstates get no special funding anymore. There may be special funding for the I-73/74 Corridor, but it's definitely not tied to Interstate standards in West Virginia is any indication. The most prominent 'special system' is the National Highway System (basically the old Federal Aid Primary with some changes).

got it.  now if only NHS put up little signs to mark the ends of their projects.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/blog/photos/105343.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on July 02, 2013, 11:58:44 AM
Interstates get no special funding anymore.

The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has included I-73 as one of ten projects in the “2013 Virginia PPTA Project Pipeline." (http://vappta.org/resources/Draft_2013_Pipeline.pdf) (pages 12-13/16 of pdf) :

Quote
6. I-73 Corridor (VDOT; Southwest Virginia):
a. VDOT identified the purpose and need for the I-73 Corridor to include improving safe movement of people and goods in the US Route 220 corridor, enhancing system linkage and intermodal connections, and providing for the economic growth, economic vitality and maintenance of existing economic competitiveness in southwest Virginia. The alignment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and Federal Highway Administration also improves access to existing and developing industrial areas and enhances economic development in the City of Martinsville and Henry County.
b. High-Level Screening Report to be initiated to evaluate the potential for procurement of the I-73 Corridor via the PPTA or other alternative delivery methods.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 04, 2013, 02:03:12 AM
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

US 220 could be improved.. however it is going to be even more expensive than just a new alignment.. plus there's obvious safety issues out there.


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on July 04, 2013, 07:34:01 AM
Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 04, 2013, 03:40:17 PM
Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.

Though there are times when an improved highway is desired precisely because  it may "induce" more traffic to use it (and visit the area).

Case in point in Maryland - I-68 (f/k/a U.S. 48 for those scoring at home).

No less of an authority than the former head of planning at MDOT/SHA told me that "induced" traffic was a major reason that then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer and others pushed so hard for the (always) substandard sections of U.S. 40 west of Hancock to be upgraded to full freeway (and I concede that the old elevated section of what is now signed as I-68 through Cumberland does not meet anybody's idea of a modern freeway).

One could probably make the  case that at least some of the other segments of the Appalachian Development Highway System were funded for design and construction to induce more traffic.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on July 12, 2013, 11:53:39 AM
Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.


The argument Strider is making for Interstate 73 would be a lot stronger if it was made from a Supply Chain/Logistics slant.  Martinsville Speedway has two major events and does nothing to make a case for the interstate.

The manufacturing operations in Martinsville and Rocky Mount (look at how Henry County moved the alignment closer to an existing or is it planned Business Park) would certainly benefit from an Interstate standard highway.

Another example, MW Manufacturing (Windows) is located in Rocky Mount and would see a reduction in travel times as a result of a better standard highway.   The direct access vs a connection via US 220 to the Interstate System is what Martinsville and Rocky Mount is looking for and that's why they are pushing it.

Roanoke would benefit more for possible distribution sites as it would be at the intersection of two interstates.  It would allow companies to have quicker access South to Greensboro and into North Carolina - Quicker access into Southern West Virginia and Charleston in addition to the points NE & SW on 81.

But saying that because Martinsville has a race track that it's famous and they need the highway for it - holds no weight and is laughable.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 12, 2013, 01:48:11 PM
It may be laughable.. and its sad that they (the speedway) do nothing to make a case for the interstate. Or maybe they don't have to since the manufacturing operations in both towns know the importance of the interstate connection and is making a case for it.

But that's not the argument I am making. I'm just pointing out that traffic wise there needs to be a connection to the interstate for speedway goers.

Other than that, you just pointed all the valid facts, CanesFan27.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on July 13, 2013, 05:52:39 PM
I would think that Martinsville is close enough to both Roanoke and Greensboro that it would continue to survive. It's no farther from Louisville, Cincinnati or Lexington than Kentucky Speedway, and they gave Kentucky a date despite its proximity to Indianapolis.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 13, 2013, 07:31:02 PM
FWIW, a Native American reservation that shares some boundaries with my farm is in talks to build a NASCAR facility along I-8 63 miles east of San Diego
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on July 24, 2013, 11:13:14 AM
Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...
The argument Strider is making for Interstate 73 would be a lot stronger if it was made from a Supply Chain/Logistics slant .... Roanoke would benefit more for possible distribution sites as it would be at the intersection of two interstates.  It would allow companies to have quicker access South to Greensboro and into North Carolina - Quicker access into Southern West Virginia and Charleston in addition to the points NE & SW on 81 ....

This article (http://www.roanoke.com/news/2080714-12/vdot-addresses-traffic-saftey-concerns-on-us-220.html) discusses $8 million of improvements made to US 220 during the past eight years.  The article briefly mentions I-73, but does not address arguments promoting Interstate standard construction  through the corridor.  VDOT does not even consider the work a "significant upgrade".  At any rate, the article includes some traffic counts, etc.:

Quote
At a cost of nearly $8 million, U.S. 220 south of Roanoke has message boards, more turn lanes and fewer dangerous crossovers after an eight-year improvement push designed to keep traffic moving as safely as possible, highway officials said .... this ain’t no I-73 ....Having accepted that it’s laden with deficiencies, state officials have been advancing plans for a new multibillion-dollar, north-south interstate in the same general area to be designated the Virginia leg of Interstate 73 .... The 1950s-era highway has undergone a series of retrofits to try to accommodate today’s heavy, high-speed traffic moving over the 50-some miles between Roanoke and Martinsville. VDOT does not consider the work a makeover or even a significant upgrade of the road, a path some residents have said they wish the state would take in lieu of building I-73. Instead, VDOT has limited the work to what could be accomplished without buying additional land .... 

Jason Bond, a spokesman for VDOT, gave a progress report on the retrofitting process.

At a total cost of $7.85 million, electronic message boards are up in three locations along the highway. Turn lanes were added or lengthened at 13 of 18 locations identified as needing a turn pocket in 2005. Three sites identified in 2005 as needing a fix are unimproved.
Meanwhile, 14 of 22 median breaks deemed unsafe have been closed. Crossovers judged as questionable in 2005 are still open at four locations, Bond said. The construction of Clearbrook’s Walmart addressed two turn lane issues and four crossover locations.

In addition, crews have upgraded 37,825 feet of guardrail, removed trees and fixed objects, installed new pavement markers, added a turn lane and traffic light at Morehead Avenue in Ridgeway, and pegged two places in Henry County for a correction of an overly steep bank, one of which was completed and one of which could start later this year.

As for additional fixes, none are in the pipeline at the moment, according to VDOT.

Also from the article:

(http://i.imgur.com/cP4EGVo.gif)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on September 11, 2013, 01:53:11 PM
This Roanoke Times editorial (http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorial/2204176-12/from-581-turn-into-73.html) suggests that a short extension of I-581 into Franklin County could trigger a redesignation of I-581 as I-73:

Quote
... Roanoke City Council will make some noise and call for the construction of Interstate 73 from Interstate 81 to the state border. Not that council members realistically expect to see the entirety of it this decade or next, but any little piece will help.
Should Virginia invest in a segment that extends Interstate 581 through Roanoke County and into Franklin County, that highway could be renamed I-73. City officials flirted briefly with just asking for the name change, given its value to economic developers who could say Roanoke has not one, but two interstates. But unless the pavement lives up to the pitch, none would be fooled by the ruse ....
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2013, 11:38:43 PM
Huh...apparently to them, I-581 isn't an Interstate.  Funny, last time I checked, it was designed, built, and signed as one...

As for their claim that it could become I-73 with even a short extension, they're a bit off.  FHWA requires a logical and significant termini for new Interstates...for the most part, another Interstate, an NHS route, or a major city/installation.  Aside from VA 419 (which is still in Roanoke County), there's nothing along US 220 that would meet that criteria until Martinsville.

In other words, local officials blowing smoke because they don't know any better...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 12, 2013, 11:36:38 AM
I am glad they didn't give up. Despite money woes, the project can easily be divided in short sections... They could extend I-581 to US 220 (by building a connector road somehow) south of Boones Hill "Boones Hill bypass". IMO, if they divide the project in short sections, they could build it with a little money they have left if any... or just put toll on it and apply for a waive to allow it to be called I-73 Toll Road.

I, for one.. wants to see I-73 built in VA as it is in NC and hopefully SC. It's just reasonable to have  I-73 start in Roanoke and end at Myrtle Beach since other states aren't too keen in building their portion.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 12, 2013, 12:41:45 PM
They could certainly build it as a toll road...the toll road/Interstate rule bit only applies to existing Interstates built with Interstate construction money.  Issues in Raleigh, NC notwithstanding, new toll roads fully built to Interstate standards can be added to the Interstate system as non-chargeable Interstate...see I-185 SC and I-355 IL for examples.

But given the topography of the area, the resultant high cost of construction, and the relative lack of heavy traffic, there's no way an I-73 toll road would generate enough money to repay the construction bonds...public money would still have to be used.  See US 460 for an ongoing/current example.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on September 12, 2013, 01:39:49 PM
Seeing that the Greensboro Urban Loop is continuing to take shape, I wouldn't be surprised if they completed the link to Roanoke a decade from now.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on September 12, 2013, 04:27:06 PM
Seeing that the Greensboro Urban Loop is continuing to take shape, I wouldn't be surprised if they completed the link to Roanoke a decade from now.

Bookmarked via microsoft OneNote on my I-73 notes page.  I'll get back to you in ten years.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 13, 2013, 11:24:42 AM
They could certainly build it as a toll road...the toll road/Interstate rule bit only applies to existing Interstates built with Interstate construction money.  Issues in Raleigh, NC notwithstanding, new toll roads fully built to Interstate standards can be added to the Interstate system as non-chargeable Interstate...see I-185 SC and I-355 IL for examples.

But given the topography of the area, the resultant high cost of construction, and the relative lack of heavy traffic, there's no way an I-73 toll road would generate enough money to repay the construction bonds...public money would still have to be used.  See US 460 for an ongoing/current example.

What is the percentage of truck traffic along this corridor?  That matters - a lot - when discussing most toll roads.  If there is steady demand from truck traffic, then the project may work as a toll road, even if overall traffic counts are rather low.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 13, 2013, 12:48:40 PM
Quote
If there is steady demand from truck traffic, then the project may work as a toll road, even if overall traffic counts are rather low.

Not true.  Example:  US 460, where VDOT's required contribution is still TWICE what the tolls are expected to repay.

As for your question, around 11-13% tractor-trailers on US 220 south of Roanoke.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 13, 2013, 07:29:52 PM
VA's proposal of US 460 as a toll road is just silly. What's wrong with current US 460? is it only 2 lanes? too many business on each side? From what I see on the Google Maps, the road can easily be wided with bypasses around towns it passes (unless I'm wrong as I never been down that road)


Even though paper said 11-13% of truckers use US 220, I still see awfully a lot of trucks using the road each time I made a trip to Roanoke. The road is seriously dangerous (too many curves, which is not safe for trucks) and needed to be bypassed. If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate. When I-73 is completed, more traffic will use that as it opens more mileage from North Carolina.

Greensboro Urban Loop is getting done. the I-73 connector is going to get done in a few years. so VA needs to get it going.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 13, 2013, 08:54:35 PM
Quote
If there is steady demand from truck traffic, then the project may work as a toll road, even if overall traffic counts are rather low.

Not true.  Example:  US 460, where VDOT's required contribution is still TWICE what the tolls are expected to repay.

As for your question, around 11-13% tractor-trailers on US 220 south of Roanoke.

Note that I said may work, not would work.

From what I have read, the U.S. 460 project sounds like a loser (as a toll road) - and the Commonwealth does not have the dollars to build it as a "free" freeway.

I have never driven that part of U.S. 220, so I do not know what the terrain looks like - at least the proposed U.S. 460 route is almost flat.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 13, 2013, 10:23:09 PM
The terrain on US 220 varies.. if you have driven on US 58 between South Hill and Emporia, or US 29 between Lynchburg and Charlottesville.. it's similar.. except there are too many up and down hills, sharp curves and a few long climb and deep downgrade (especially between Roanoke and Rocky Mount). It is definitely not flat like US 460.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on September 13, 2013, 10:50:57 PM
It's not dissimilar to US 23 or Alternate US 58 in the southwestern part of the state.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 14, 2013, 12:40:14 AM
Quote
If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate.

Given both Interstate standards for roadways and the topography, I doubt it would cost less to build a new-location Interstate over upgrading existing US 220, where VDOT already owns right-of-way for the existing corridor.  Incremental improvements to 220 would both improve safety AND cost much less than a new-terrain Interstate.  I'd argue that the 220 corridor doesn't need an Interstate anyway....if the Triad really "needs" an Interstate connection to/from the north, upgrading US 29 would be more cost-effective (better topography plus some of it is already freeway-grade), serves a higher population level, and also has a higher traffic level to justify it.

Also, the Greensboro Outer Loop isn't getting done anytime soon, so I'm not sure what your hurry is.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MBHockey13 on September 14, 2013, 02:44:17 AM
Quote
If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate.

Given both Interstate standards for roadways and the topography, I doubt it would cost less to build a new-location Interstate over upgrading existing US 220, where VDOT already owns right-of-way for the existing corridor.  Incremental improvements to 220 would both improve safety AND cost much less than a new-terrain Interstate.  I'd argue that the 220 corridor doesn't need an Interstate anyway....if the Triad really "needs" an Interstate connection to/from the north, upgrading US 29 would be more cost-effective (better topography plus some of it is already freeway-grade), serves a higher population level, and also has a higher traffic level to justify it.

Also, the Greensboro Outer Loop isn't getting done anytime soon, so I'm not sure what your hurry is.

As someone who lives in Greensboro and takes US-220 to Roanoke often, as well as US-29 regularly, I disagree on both counts.

US-29 and US-220 serve different purposes. US-29 is a great alternative to I-95 to D.C. and Baltimore. US-220 serves as a direct route to I-81, which heads through Hagerstown, Harrisburg, and then connects to the Turnpike to Philly, or to I-78 to NYC. I do both trips a few times a year. US-220 has plenty of truck traffic, sharp curves, changes in elevation, and lights - not to mention heavy police enforcement in the non-bypass areas. I-73 would help alleviate much of this.

As far as the Greensboro Outer Loop is concerned, I think all segments are scheduled for completion within the next ten years. The segments between both Bryan Boulevard to US-220 and from US-70 to US-29 are going to start next year. Also, there is an escalated schedule to build the I-73 segment between Bryan Boulevard and the US-220/NC-68 Connector. This is mainly due to the increased traffic from the new FedEx hub at PTI - which will also necessitate the upgrades to US-220 North to Roanoke.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 14, 2013, 03:50:25 AM
My point is that I dispute the need for an Interstate to the north, period.  The traffic volumes are not there (and the general trend nationwide for several years now has been lower VMT, not higher), with much of the traffic that is there being local in nature to begin with...I doubt there's enough through traffic to justify a new route.  And every issue you cite with US 220 can be solved with incremental upgrades that cost less than a new-terrain Interstate and can be funded more easily as stand-alone projects.

About the only thing an I-73 corridor has going for it is the truck traffic between PTI and the southern part of the I-81 corridor in Virginia.  North of about Staunton already largely goes to Dulles, which is also positioning itself as a freight hub airport.  Furthermore, this FHWA map (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/nat_freight_stats/nhsavglhft2007.htm) suggests most of the freight flow in North Carolina is along I-40/85, with only a small amount of that continuing north into Virginia.

My secondary point is that if you're hell-bent on adding an Interstate, given population, traffic levels, and topography, US 29 should be the higher priority over US 220.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on September 14, 2013, 03:31:07 PM
VA's proposal of US 460 as a toll road is just silly. What's wrong with current US 460? is it only 2 lanes? too many business on each side? From what I see on the Google Maps, the road can easily be wided with bypasses around towns it passes (unless I'm wrong as I never been down that road)


Even though paper said 11-13% of truckers use US 220, I still see awfully a lot of trucks using the road each time I made a trip to Roanoke. The road is seriously dangerous (too many curves, which is not safe for trucks) and needed to be bypassed. If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate. When I-73 is completed, more traffic will use that as it opens more mileage from North Carolina.

Greensboro Urban Loop is getting done. the I-73 connector is going to get done in a few years. so VA needs to get it going.

Doesn't North Carolina need to finish upgrading US 220 from NCC 68 to the Virginia State line first?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 14, 2013, 08:18:23 PM
My point is that I dispute the need for an Interstate to the north, period.  The traffic volumes are not there (and the general trend nationwide for several years now has been lower VMT, not higher), with much of the traffic that is there being local in nature to begin with...I doubt there's enough through traffic to justify a new route.  And every issue you cite with US 220 can be solved with incremental upgrades that cost less than a new-terrain Interstate and can be funded more easily as stand-alone projects.

About the only thing an I-73 corridor has going for it is the truck traffic between PTI and the southern part of the I-81 corridor in Virginia.  North of about Staunton already largely goes to Dulles, which is also positioning itself as a freight hub airport.  Furthermore, this FHWA map (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/nat_freight_stats/nhsavglhft2007.htm) suggests most of the freight flow in North Carolina is along I-40/85, with only a small amount of that continuing north into Virginia.

My secondary point is that if you're hell-bent on adding an Interstate, given population, traffic levels, and topography, US 29 should be the higher priority over US 220.





Well, US 29 is already on the way there. (future I-785, then possible interstate upwards to D.C.)

I don't think traffic volumes matter much anymore as freeways are being built around the United States despite all of that. Sorry if you dont like it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 14, 2013, 08:22:04 PM
VA's proposal of US 460 as a toll road is just silly. What's wrong with current US 460? is it only 2 lanes? too many business on each side? From what I see on the Google Maps, the road can easily be wided with bypasses around towns it passes (unless I'm wrong as I never been down that road)


Even though paper said 11-13% of truckers use US 220, I still see awfully a lot of trucks using the road each time I made a trip to Roanoke. The road is seriously dangerous (too many curves, which is not safe for trucks) and needed to be bypassed. If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate. When I-73 is completed, more traffic will use that as it opens more mileage from North Carolina.

Greensboro Urban Loop is getting done. the I-73 connector is going to get done in a few years. so VA needs to get it going.

Doesn't North Carolina need to finish upgrading US 220 from NCC 68 to the Virginia State line first?



Yeah, after the US 220/NC 68 connector is finished, I-73 will stop there at least until 2020 when the remaining upgrades from there to the Virginia state line will begin. But I suspect our state is going to try to accelerate that just like they do with most road construction in the state.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 14, 2013, 08:23:22 PM
Quote
If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate.

Given both Interstate standards for roadways and the topography, I doubt it would cost less to build a new-location Interstate over upgrading existing US 220, where VDOT already owns right-of-way for the existing corridor.  Incremental improvements to 220 would both improve safety AND cost much less than a new-terrain Interstate.  I'd argue that the 220 corridor doesn't need an Interstate anyway....if the Triad really "needs" an Interstate connection to/from the north, upgrading US 29 would be more cost-effective (better topography plus some of it is already freeway-grade), serves a higher population level, and also has a higher traffic level to justify it.

Also, the Greensboro Outer Loop isn't getting done anytime soon, so I'm not sure what your hurry is.

As someone who lives in Greensboro and takes US-220 to Roanoke often, as well as US-29 regularly, I disagree on both counts.

US-29 and US-220 serve different purposes. US-29 is a great alternative to I-95 to D.C. and Baltimore. US-220 serves as a direct route to I-81, which heads through Hagerstown, Harrisburg, and then connects to the Turnpike to Philly, or to I-78 to NYC. I do both trips a few times a year. US-220 has plenty of truck traffic, sharp curves, changes in elevation, and lights - not to mention heavy police enforcement in the non-bypass areas. I-73 would help alleviate much of this.

As far as the Greensboro Outer Loop is concerned, I think all segments are scheduled for completion within the next ten years. The segments between both Bryan Boulevard to US-220 and from US-70 to US-29 are going to start next year. Also, there is an escalated schedule to build the I-73 segment between Bryan Boulevard and the US-220/NC-68 Connector. This is mainly due to the increased traffic from the new FedEx hub at PTI - which will also necessitate the upgrades to US-220 North to Roanoke.



I also live in Greensboro and I completely agreed. Can't make any judgments until you actually drove the road. Doesn't matter what paper says.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 15, 2013, 12:26:58 AM
My secondary point is that if you're hell-bent on adding an Interstate, given population, traffic levels, and topography, US 29 should be the higher priority over US 220.

I suspect that the Piedmont Environmental Council would be most upset at any proposal to upgrade U.S. 29 to a full freeway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on September 17, 2013, 11:43:28 AM
VA's proposal of US 460 as a toll road is just silly. What's wrong with current US 460? is it only 2 lanes? too many business on each side? From what I see on the Google Maps, the road can easily be wided with bypasses around towns it passes (unless I'm wrong as I never been down that road)


Even though paper said 11-13% of truckers use US 220, I still see awfully a lot of trucks using the road each time I made a trip to Roanoke. The road is seriously dangerous (too many curves, which is not safe for trucks) and needed to be bypassed. If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate. When I-73 is completed, more traffic will use that as it opens more mileage from North Carolina.

Greensboro Urban Loop is getting done. the I-73 connector is going to get done in a few years. so VA needs to get it going.

Doesn't North Carolina need to finish upgrading US 220 from NCC 68 to the Virginia State line first?



Yeah, after the US 220/NC 68 connector is finished, I-73 will stop there at least until 2020 when the remaining upgrades from there to the Virginia state line will begin. But I suspect our state is going to try to accelerate that just like they do with most road construction in the state.

I don't think you will see a push for anything north of NC 68 until at least 2023.  I hope you've had practice watching the paint dry or grass grow.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 17, 2013, 12:37:18 PM
Quote
I also live in Greensboro and I completely agreed. Can't make any judgments until you actually drove the road. Doesn't matter what paper says.

I have.  Quite a few times.  I also prefer to stick to numbers, facts, and figures over empirical evidence.  The old adage "numbers don't lie" applies.  Or do you not believe that the DOTs actually go out and do traffic and vehicle classification counts?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on September 17, 2013, 01:39:28 PM
VA's proposal of US 460 as a toll road is just silly. What's wrong with current US 460? is it only 2 lanes? too many business on each side? From what I see on the Google Maps, the road can easily be wided with bypasses around towns it passes (unless I'm wrong as I never been down that road)


Even though paper said 11-13% of truckers use US 220, I still see awfully a lot of trucks using the road each time I made a trip to Roanoke. The road is seriously dangerous (too many curves, which is not safe for trucks) and needed to be bypassed. If VDOT knows if they have to fix US 220, it's going to cost twice as much as building a new interstate. When I-73 is completed, more traffic will use that as it opens more mileage from North Carolina.

Greensboro Urban Loop is getting done. the I-73 connector is going to get done in a few years. so VA needs to get it going.

Doesn't North Carolina need to finish upgrading US 220 from NCC 68 to the Virginia State line first?



Yeah, after the US 220/NC 68 connector is finished, I-73 will stop there at least until 2020 when the remaining upgrades from there to the Virginia state line will begin. But I suspect our state is going to try to accelerate that just like they do with most road construction in the state.

I don't think you will see a push for anything north of NC 68 until at least 2023.  I hope you've had practice watching the paint dry or grass grow.
But still, everyone can agree that NC is the most serious when it comes to finishing new highways, even if they don't go anywhere else (meaning they will be stuck with two horribly misnumbered Interstates forever).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on March 06, 2014, 11:31:29 PM
The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has included I-73 as one of ten projects in the “2013 Virginia PPTA Project Pipeline." (http://vappta.org/resources/Draft_2013_Pipeline.pdf) (pages 12-13/16 of pdf) :
Quote
6. I-73 Corridor (VDOT; Southwest Virginia):
a. VDOT identified the purpose and need for the I-73 Corridor to include improving safe movement of people and goods in the US Route 220 corridor, enhancing system linkage and intermodal connections, and providing for the economic growth, economic vitality and maintenance of existing economic competitiveness in southwest Virginia. The alignment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and Federal Highway Administration also improves access to existing and developing industrial areas and enhances economic development in the City of Martinsville and Henry County.
b. High-Level Screening Report to be initiated to evaluate the potential for procurement of the I-73 Corridor via the PPTA or other alternative delivery methods.
I-73 is an important route in and around Greensboro.  Which is why they are currently constructing I-73 north of Greensboro now.  When Virginia gets their butts in gear and start building the freeway to Roanoke, then its existence will be less questioned (they already got an approved route: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg)).
(bottom quote from Interstate 73/74 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=18.msg283666#msg283666) thread)

This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=41116) reports that the Virginia Senate has approved a resolution establishing a joint committee to study the construction of proposed Interstate 73 to help expedite the project:

Quote
The Virginia Senate has approved a resolution establishing a joint committee to study the construction of proposed Interstate 73 to help expedite the project.
The Senate passed unanimously by a voice vote Sen. Bill Stanley’s Resolution 32, according to a news release Tuesday from Stanley’s office and the General Assembly website.
Stanley, R-Glade Hill, said in an interview Wednesday the I-73 route has been determined and environmental studies are done, and “it’s time to act.” This study will focus on how to get the proposed road built, including procurement and logistics: possible funding, such as federal bonds and state resources; and coordinating construction with North Carolina and South Carolina, he said.
“We have not up to this point had a concerted effort to work with North Carolina and South Carolina on construction of I-73,” Stanley said ....
The committee also will work to get the Commonwealth Transportation Board to place the project on the six-year road improvement plan so that it is a high priority for Virginia, Stanley said.
“It is my aim to see that the results of the I-73 study lead to the timely construction of this road in the very near future, so that we can proceed with opening up our region to the surrounding markets with a safer and more efficient road system,” Stanley stated in the release. “I remain committed to seeing to it that Virginia’s I-73 corridor becomes a reality in our lifetime.”
As a Senate resolution, neither the House of Delegates nor the governor is required to consider the measure any further, according to the release.
“SR 32 provides the necessary funding to complete a detailed study for construction of I-73. This is a key milestone in making this important interstate highway link through Southside and Southwest Virginia a reality,” Stanley said.
The study will focus on I-73 from the Virginia-North Carolina border through Southside north to I-81 near Roanoke, Stanley said.
“The first priority of the study is to focus on safety improvements along the current U.S. Route 220 corridor since the present geometric configuration of this corridor and its uncontrolled access limit the area’s ability to safely and efficiently transport goods and handle personal vehicular travel,” Stanley said ....
According to the General Assembly website, the joint committee will be limited to four meetings each in 2014 and in 2015. It must complete its meetings by Nov. 30 each year and “submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the next regular session of the General Assembly for each year.”
Direct costs of the study “shall not exceed $17,280 for each year without approval as set out in this resolution,” the website states.
According to Stanley’s news release, once the work of this committee is completed by 2015, it will present a report to the General Assembly detailing its findings on how Virginia can best accomplish the construction of I-73 in a timely manner ....
Copies of the resolution will be transmitted to the General Assemblies of North Carolina and South Carolina, “with the recommendation to appoint similar entities in their states to work cooperatively with the joint committee in promoting the construction of proposed Interstate 73,” according to the Virginia General Assembly website.

As far as I can tell, the article does not indicate what role, if any, the PPP High-Level Screening Report will play in the Committee's analysis.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 13, 2014, 11:40:12 AM
When Virginia finally gets the I-73 project going, I think they should focus on building the short section from NC/VA state line to US 58 bypass first (bypass Ridgeway), giving them a headstart. (I know VDOT is broke, but so is other DOTs across the U.S.)


Anyways, any news on it?


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on July 21, 2014, 08:54:35 PM
The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has included I-73 as one of ten projects in the “2013 Virginia PPTA Project Pipeline." (http://vappta.org/resources/Draft_2013_Pipeline.pdf) (pages 12-13/16 of pdf) :
Quote
6. I-73 Corridor (VDOT; Southwest Virginia):
a. VDOT identified the purpose and need for the I-73 Corridor to include improving safe movement of people and goods in the US Route 220 corridor, enhancing system linkage and intermodal connections, and providing for the economic growth, economic vitality and maintenance of existing economic competitiveness in southwest Virginia. The alignment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and Federal Highway Administration also improves access to existing and developing industrial areas and enhances economic development in the City of Martinsville and Henry County.
b. High-Level Screening Report to be initiated to evaluate the potential for procurement of the I-73 Corridor via the PPTA or other alternative delivery methods.
When Virginia finally gets the I-73 project going ... Anyways, any news on it?

The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has issued its High-Level Screening Report (http://www.vappta.org/resources/I-73%20HLS%20-%20signed.pdf) and has recommended that the I-73 project be advanced to the Detail-Level screening phase of the process, apparently over the objection of Charlie Kilpatrick, VDOT's Commissioner of Highways:

(http://i.imgur.com/PjG2qMG.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Arkansastravelguy on July 21, 2014, 11:21:41 PM
I used to live in Greensboro and worked in Roanoke usually once or twice a week. The road sucks. Good deal of truck tragic and is dangerous. I hated driving it. No matter where they put 73, it's needed.


iPhone
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: roadman65 on October 10, 2014, 10:09:05 AM
Truck tragic?  Anyway I know what you mean lol!

I believe that I-73, anyway, should be built between the Triad and the State Line as when I rode that stretch even many years ago, it was substandard to say the least for handling the needs of the motorists using that part.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on October 14, 2014, 04:32:15 PM
The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has issued its High-Level Screening Report (http://www.vappta.org/resources/I-73%20HLS%20-%20signed.pdf) and has recommended that the I-73 project be advanced to the Detail-Level screening phase of the process, apparently over the objection of Charlie Kilpatrick, VDOT's Commissioner of Highways

The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships website (http://www.vappta.org/projects.asp) indicates that Kilpatrick's objection removed I-73 from PPTA consideration.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on November 11, 2014, 08:21:50 AM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=41116) reports that the Virginia Senate has approved a resolution establishing a joint committee to study the construction of proposed Interstate 73 to help expedite the project

This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=44214) reports that the Interstate 73 Joint Subcommittee held its first meeting on November 10 and that their initial strategy appears to be an attempt to put together a four-state or five-state joint effort to get federal funding:

Quote
Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley left the first meeting of the Interstate 73 Joint Subcommittee feeling encouraged about the future of the highway.
“The concerns before this meeting started were, ‘Does anyone have an interest in I-73?’” Stanley said following the Monday meeting at New College Institute. “I think we answered that today. ... People in our region and people from West Virginia all the way down to South Carolina have an incredible desire to see this road built in our lifetimes.” ....
A collaborative approach between states, Stanley said, is the only way to get the project off the ground.
“We know highways cost billions of dollars to (build), but I think with a collaborative effort ... we can build this road together,” he said. “Individually, it may be a harder go, but I think together, a four-state (or) five-state compact going to the federal government can make this road a reality.”
The single largest challenge that I-73 faces, Stanley said, is the sheer cost of the project. There are several different funding resources to consider, he said, including road bonds and federal funds, though states also must be prepared to shoulder some of the burden ....
A portion of the subcommittee’s meeting was devoted to the economic impact of I-73, as calculated by Chmura Economics and Analytics. Dr. Xiaobing Shuai of Chmura offered his analysis.
Shuai said that Chmura estimates the construction cost of the Virginia portion of I-73 at $4 billion.
....
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on April 03, 2015, 03:54:13 PM
This Roanoke Times editorial (http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorial/2204176-12/from-581-turn-into-73.html) suggests that a short extension of I-581 into Franklin County could trigger a redesignation of I-581 as I-73
I am glad they didn't give up. Despite money woes, the project can easily be divided in short sections... They could extend I-581 to US 220 (by building a connector road somehow) south of Boones Hill "Boones Hill bypass". IMO, if they divide the project in short sections, they could build it with a little money they have left if any...

They're still not giving up. Although I-73 shields are not going up on I-581, this radio story (http://wfirnews.com/local-news/i-73-corridor-signs-going-up-on-i-581-in-roanoke) reports that “Future I-73 Corridor” signage was unveiled today and will soon be installed along I-581 in Roanoke:

Quote
You’ll soon start seeing signs on I-581 in Roanoke identifying it as part of the Interstate 73 corridor ….
Court Rosen is a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board …  Rosen – also a Roanoke City Council Member – appeared outside Valley View Mall today with State Senator Bill Stanley to unveil the “Future I-73 Corridor” signage …
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on April 05, 2015, 11:58:23 PM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=44214) reports that the Interstate 73 Joint Subcommittee held its first meeting on November 10 and that their initial strategy appears to be an attempt to put together a four-state or five-state joint effort to get federal funding:
Quote
Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley ....
A collaborative approach between states, Stanley said, is the only way to get the project off the ground.
“We know highways cost billions of dollars to (build), but I think with a collaborative effort ... we can build this road together,” he said. “Individually, it may be a harder go, but I think together, a four-state (or) five-state compact going to the federal government can make this road a reality.”

This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=46109) reports that Gov. McAuliffe has signed into law Senate Bill 847, which establishes the I-73 Federal Transportation Compact:

Quote
State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill, announced Friday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed into law Senate Bill 847, which establishes the I-73 Federal Transportation Compact.
The legislation, which Stanley sponsored, creates a partnership between Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to coordinate the funding and strategic development and construction of the proposed interstate
, which would link coastal South Carolina and the Canadian border.
The bill was approved with strong bipartisan support earlier during this year’s General Assembly session.
When completed, the Virginia portion of I-73 will traverse the Virginia state line in Henry County, through Martinsville and Franklin County, and lead through Roanoke to the West Virginia border ....
Stanley is chairman of the Senate I-73 Committee, which has been tasked by the Virginia Senate to develop the strategic plan and funding needed to build the Virginia portion of the interstate highway within the next 10 years, the release said.



this radio story (http://wfirnews.com/local-news/i-73-corridor-signs-going-up-on-i-581-in-roanoke) reports that “Future I-73 Corridor” signage was unveiled today and will soon be installed along I-581 in Roanoke:

This April 3 article (http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/new-i--signs-go-up-but-not-the-highway/article_af3b4be0-9f4f-576d-a4f0-e436f136ab26.html) also reports on the unveiling:

Quote
Local, state and federal transportation patrons on Friday hailed the installation of five signs that say “Future 73 Corridor.”
You’ll see the red and blue markers along Interstate 581 and the Roy L. Webber Expressway  soon
....
VDOT paid for the signs at $400 apiece at the request of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization. That regional planning body called for building the road “as soon as feasible.” ....
State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, predicted it will be built “in our lifetime.” He is 47 and noted that the typical life expectancy is 75. That leaves 28 years in his lifetime.

In addition, this April 2 TV video (http://www.wdbj7.com/video/new-sign-in-roanoke-shows-future-i73/32181068) has footage of the unveiling ceremony.  Here is a snip from the video:

(http://i.imgur.com/UNQ07Q2.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on April 06, 2015, 01:07:40 PM
I knew it would only be a matter of time before I-73 signs appeared in Roanoke! Now comes the hard part of finding the money to build it to Greensboro.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 04, 2015, 01:44:11 PM
Resurrected the topic..

I drove through Roanoke the other day, I saw the "Future I-73 Corridor" along I-581/US 220. I'd say. About time! I am still holding hope for VA to build their part. NC is starting to build I-73 North of Greensboro towards NC 68 intersection that will be turned into an interchange.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 06, 2015, 08:39:52 AM
Don't hold your breath...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on September 25, 2015, 03:24:57 PM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=36053) reports that the FHWA has completed the environmental assessment work for the I-73 corridor, but there is no available money for design work:
Quote
...The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration on Dec. 21 issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on the environment with the Henry County alternate route for the interstate.
The alternate route runs from Virginia 890/108, near Figsboro, around the east side of Martinsville to Virginia 87 near Ridgeway, according to the statement issued Dec. 21 by Irene Rico, division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) ....
Jason Bond, Salem District spokesman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said Friday the Finding of No Significant Impact “completes the environmental assessment work for the corridor” of I-73, and “it means that design work could proceed if funding were available.”
In addition to the $8.5 million that has been allocated, an estimated $12.9 million more is needed to start the design phase, according to previous reports ....

This September 24 article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/more-studies-needed-on-i/article_ef9eb36a-6273-11e5-9fac-9f79cf654a05.html) reports that design work cannot begin until additional studies requested by the Army Corps of Engineers are completed:

Quote
Further studies are needed before design work could begin on Interstate 73, according to Virginia Department of Transportation Resident Engineer Lisa Hughes.
While providing the Henry County Board of Supervisors with an update on general highway matters at the board’s 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, the issue of the long-delayed interstate was brought up by Iriswood District Supervisor Milton Kendall. Hughes said that the Army Corps of Engineers has requested the additional study of alternative routes for the highway.
Board Chairman H.G. Vaughn said that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had already approved the alternative route for I-73. Hughes agreed that was the case, but said that the Army Corps of Engineers still has requested studies of alternative locations that would use existing roadways.
Henry County Administrator Tim Hall
....
“As I understand it,” Hall continued, “the correspondence from the Corps related to this (I-73) project was they wanted to know why nobody had ever fully studied … updating 220 as opposed to building a new structure. The Corps has purview if something crosses waters of national significance – as they define waters of national significance – and it requires an alternatives analysis to see if you can avoid those impacts.”
Vaughn pointed out that 220 Business would not be suitable for an upgrade because it is lined with commercial development. Hall said that while that may seem obvious, it still must be proven to the Corps.“
Sometimes what appears logical to us does not fit their parameters of what they need you to prove,” Hall said. “I think the Corps comes in when you start talking about impacting streams on that route. The route could be selected as the appropriate route, but the Corps will still require someone to study the alternatives to that route to lessen the impact on waters of national significance.”
Hall added that he did not mean to bash the Corps, as they do excellent work and it is of course important to protect water sources.
“But they have a certain process, and you do not deviate them from that process,” he said.

Is Corps approval not part of the standard environmental process?



Huh...apparently to them, I-581 isn't an Interstate.  Funny, last time I checked, it was designed, built, and signed as one...
As for their claim that it could become I-73 with even a short extension, they're a bit off. FHWA requires a logical and significant termini for new Interstates...for the most part, another Interstate, an NHS route, or a major city/installation.  Aside from VA 419 (which is still in Roanoke County), there's nothing along US 220 that would meet that criteria until Martinsville.

Meanwhile, this September 2 article (http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/i--greenway-rank-high-on-roanoke-s-transportation-wish/article_dd183a11-e98f-536c-ad5b-0ae55a41c670.html) reports that, as regards Roanoke, the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization does not intend to include I-73 as a priority for the Roanoke area because "planners haven’t found a logical way to break off a piece in the Roanoke region to build by itself":

Quote
The top transportation needs for 2016 are the widening and lighting of Interstate 81 in the Roanoke Valley, paving another segment of greenway and coordinating traffic lights on U.S. 220 south, according to a tentative list drawn up by Roanoke-area officials.
Between now and Sept. 30, when applications for state highway money are due, officials plan to hear public comments and may revise the list ....
House Bill 2, signed into law in 2014, requires “a quantifiable and transparent prioritization process for making funding decisions for capacity-enhancing projects,” a user guide says. The first deadline for local governments, regional planning bodies, transit agencies and others to seek money under the new scheme, HB2 for short, is Sept. 30 ....
Roanoke’s regional body doesn’t plan to ask for money for the proposed new Interstate 73. It’s too large to score well under HB2 and planners haven’t found a logical way to break off a piece in the Roanoke region to build by itself, said Bryan Hill, a transportation planner at the commission.

“We’re in a holding pattern,” he said.
Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, has established a partnership between Virginia and the other states to coordinate how to pay for and build the proposed interstate.



I hope you've had practice watching the paint dry or grass grow.

In light of the above two I-73 "developments", there will be ample opportunity for more practice .............
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 25, 2015, 03:46:10 PM
The dealings with the Corps suggest to me that there are wetland impacts with the approved and/or alternative routes.  The Corps is the entity that issues Federal wetlands permits...and this was the primary reason why the "new 460" withered on the vine.  Virginia leaders of the time were ignorant of the matter and approved contracts (and spending) anyway even though the Corps had not issued permits and was not about to given the amount of impacts with the 460 project.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Rothman on September 25, 2015, 10:43:07 PM
The dealings with the Corps suggest to me that there are wetland impacts with the approved and/or alternative routes.  The Corps is the entity that issues Federal wetlands permits...and this was the primary reason why the "new 460" withered on the vine.  Virginia leaders of the time were ignorant of the matter and approved contracts (and spending) anyway even though the Corps had not issued permits and was not about to given the amount of impacts with the 460 project.


That's a bizarre situation, at least in terms of how NY proceeds with lettings of projects.  In NY, you have to have all permits in at least by award of the contract.  In other words, you can't award a contract without the USACE sign-off, if applicable. 

That said, authorizing federal funding is simple enough and can basically be done at any appropriate time (i.e., if you have a PS&E, you can authorize construction funds; if you have design approval, authorization of design phases V-VI...etc.).  If it was entirely state funded, even easier.

My point is that the funding for it being set up isn't so surprising as the fact they "approved" the contract without the USACE permit.  NYSDOT fears that if they ever did something like that, that it would incur all sorts of oversight from all sorts of places that would hamper its ability to progress future projects.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on September 26, 2015, 07:50:28 AM
Quote
My point is that the funding for it being set up isn't so surprising as the fact they "approved" the contract without the USACE permit.

To my knowledge, there was either zero or very little Federal funding involved.  Most of it was going to be state funding...toll-backed bonds wouldn't even cover 40% of the project cost.  Then-governor McConnell heavily backed the project and IMO is the primary reason why the contracts were let before the wetlands permits were issued, even though ACE at that point already had reservations about the amount of wetlands being destroyed for the project.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 26, 2015, 03:26:55 PM
When Virginia finally gets the I-73 project going, I think they should focus on building the short section from NC/VA state line to US 58 bypass first (bypass Ridgeway), giving them a headstart. (I know VDOT is broke, but so is other DOTs across the U.S.)


Anyways, any news on it?




How far would it be from the last planned exit in NC to the state line?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Rothman on September 28, 2015, 05:43:57 PM
Quote
My point is that the funding for it being set up isn't so surprising as the fact they "approved" the contract without the USACE permit.

To my knowledge, there was either zero or very little Federal funding involved.  Most of it was going to be state funding...toll-backed bonds wouldn't even cover 40% of the project cost.  Then-governor McConnell heavily backed the project and IMO is the primary reason why the contracts were let before the wetlands permits were issued, even though ACE at that point already had reservations about the amount of wetlands being destroyed for the project.


That's still crazy...Then again, I'm saying that from the state where NYSDOT starts cutting down trees before getting local support for a rest area on Long Island...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on January 18, 2016, 10:50:53 AM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=46109) reports that Gov. McAuliffe has signed into law Senate Bill 847, which establishes the I-73 Federal Transportation Compact:
Quote
State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill, announced Friday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed into law Senate Bill 847, which establishes the I-73 Federal Transportation Compact.
The legislation, which Stanley sponsored, creates a partnership between Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to coordinate the funding and strategic development and construction of the proposed interstate, which would link coastal South Carolina and the Canadian border.

This January 15 article (http://augustafreepress.com/robert-hurt-introduces-bill-to-encourage-i-73-development/) reports that Virginia Congressman Robert Hurt is the lead sponsor of a U.S. House of Representatives resolution in support of I-73:

Quote
Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) recently introduced H. Res. 585, along with Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-North Carolina), Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Virginia), Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia), and Congressman Tom Rice (R-South Carolina).  This resolution promotes a cooperative effort among states along the Interstate 73 corridor that would be beneficial to its development.

The resolution, H. Res. 585 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/585/text), reads partially as follows:

Quote
Mr. Hurt of Virginia (for himself, Ms. Adams, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Griffith, Mrs. Comstock, and Mr. Rice of South Carolina) submitted the following resolution ....
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding an Interstate 73 corridor transportation compact.
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the entering into of an agreement or compact by 2 or more States, for cooperative effort and mutual assistance, would be beneficial to the development of an Interstate 73 corridor. Such an agreement may incorporate the following elements to the extent that such elements are consistent with Federal law and specifically section 1105(c)(5) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991:
(1) Study, development, and promotion of a plan for the design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor through the States of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan.
(2) Coordination of efforts to establish a common legal framework in all the signatory States to authorize and facilitate design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor or through public-private partnerships.
(3) Advocacy for Federal funding to support the establishment of the Interstate 73 corridor.
(4) Making available to the Interstate 73 corridor project funding and resources that are or may be appropriated by the signatory States and allocated for that purpose.
(5) Doing all things necessary or convenient to facilitate and coordinate the design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor to the extent that such plans and programs are consistent with Federal law and the laws of the signatory States.

I suppose the "cooperative effort and mutual assistance" is ultimately intended to be some form of dedicated funding for I-73.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 18, 2016, 12:50:13 PM

The resolution, H. Res. 585 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/585/text), reads partially as follows:

Quote
Mr. Hurt of Virginia (for himself, Ms. Adams, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Griffith, Mrs. Comstock, and Mr. Rice of South Carolina) submitted the following resolution ....
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding an Interstate 73 corridor transportation compact.
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the entering into of an agreement or compact by 2 or more States, for cooperative effort and mutual assistance, would be beneficial to the development of an Interstate 73 corridor. Such an agreement may incorporate the following elements to the extent that such elements are consistent with Federal law and specifically section 1105(c)(5) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991:
(1) Study, development, and promotion of a plan for the design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor through the States of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan.
(2) Coordination of efforts to establish a common legal framework in all the signatory States to authorize and facilitate design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor or through public-private partnerships.
(3) Advocacy for Federal funding to support the establishment of the Interstate 73 corridor.
(4) Making available to the Interstate 73 corridor project funding and resources that are or may be appropriated by the signatory States and allocated for that purpose.
(5) Doing all things necessary or convenient to facilitate and coordinate the design, construction, financing, and operation of the Interstate 73 corridor to the extent that such plans and programs are consistent with Federal law and the laws of the signatory States.

IMO, those "sense of the House of Representatives" and "sense of the Senate" resolutions should be eliminated.

Either come up with a plan that funds the project, or do nothing, but don't waste federal tax dollars on these "sense of" resolutions.

I suppose the "cooperative effort and mutual assistance" is ultimately intended to be some form of dedicated funding for I-73.

I do not know enough about the merits of the project (from the Virginia/North Carolina border to Roanoke) to express an opinion, though it sounds almost like an ADHS-type of highway project.
Title: End of I-73 in VA Dream?
Post by: Grzrd on May 25, 2016, 03:09:03 PM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/county-supervisors-told-i--project-appears-to-be-over/article_1a5d2a02-2225-11e6-a372-9b23997f96d8.html) reports that Ronald “Skip” Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 Committee of Martinsville and Henry County, revealed that the I-73 project has come to an end:

Quote
The Board of Supervisors held a meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in which they opened the floor for public hearings and matters presented by the public.
Ronald “Skip” Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 Committee of Martinsville and Henry County, revealed that the I-73 project has come to an end.
"The time has come to give up on this dream," Ressel told a silent crowd.
Even though the interstate no longer plans to run through Henry County, Ressel encouraged the Board members to consider a corridor, which would follow a similar route.

"We do not want the money spent 50 miles away," Ressel said.
The proposed corridor would be maintained by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it would not have to follow the exact route originally proposed by I-73. The corridor would run from the Patriot Center to Virginia 57 to the Laurel Park interchange hosting U.S. 58 ....

Now we wait and see if anyone challenges Mr. Ressel's assertion.
Title: Re: End of I-73 in VA Dream?
Post by: Strider on May 25, 2016, 03:32:12 PM
This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/county-supervisors-told-i--project-appears-to-be-over/article_1a5d2a02-2225-11e6-a372-9b23997f96d8.html) reports that Ronald “Skip” Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 Committee of Martinsville and Henry County, revealed that the I-73 project has come to an end:

Quote
The Board of Supervisors held a meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in which they opened the floor for public hearings and matters presented by the public.
Ronald “Skip” Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 Committee of Martinsville and Henry County, revealed that the I-73 project has come to an end.
"The time has come to give up on this dream," Ressel told a silent crowd.
Even though the interstate no longer plans to run through Henry County, Ressel encouraged the Board members to consider a corridor, which would follow a similar route.

"We do not want the money spent 50 miles away," Ressel said.
The proposed corridor would be maintained by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it would not have to follow the exact route originally proposed by I-73. The corridor would run from the Patriot Center to Virginia 57 to the Laurel Park interchange hosting U.S. 58 ....

Now we wait and see if anyone challenges Mr. Ressel's assertion.



If that is true, that would be very disappointing. If they expect to build I-73 all at once, that is not going to work. They need to start building small segments of it. I am sure somebody will challenge Mr. Ressel's assertion soon.

Building it as a toll road could work.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 25, 2016, 03:41:03 PM
So the Interstate 581 designation in Roanoke is here to stay, and US 220 from Roanoke to the North Carolina border will permanently remain in its existing configuration?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 25, 2016, 07:42:12 PM
NOOOOOO! I'll admit I was always skeptical about the whole thing being built from NC to Roanoke because it seems VDOT never has any money for anything let alone building a whole new interstate 70 miles in mountain country. Still though I can't believe they just publicly gave up like that, at least South Carolina is talking about it with some hope(even though they know enviourmentalists will never let it happen anyways). I wonder if NC will try and make VA reconsider since ya know they spent like a billion dollars  already on a now dead I-73. Lol classic NC. If anything VA please use all if anl money actually saved for this to go towards widening I-81 instead.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 25, 2016, 08:29:11 PM
This just confirms what I've long suspected. Unless there's a complete overhaul of the politics revolving around transportation in VA, I-73 will never be built in this state.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on May 25, 2016, 08:54:43 PM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.

As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.

Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 25, 2016, 09:45:12 PM
I don't think any new interstates that actually go through more than one state stand a chance. Today there just too expensive and much harder to build than 50 years ago. States just can't ignore there own crumbling infrastructure to build brand new,sometimes unnecessary, roads(I-73). To be honest because of this, I can't see new cross country interstates (I-49 in Arkansas, I-69, I-11, I-14, and perhaps the new I-87) ever being fully completed. There's just not nearly as much a motive and reason anymore. I think for this point on ,there should not be any more new interstates created.


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 25, 2016, 10:03:16 PM
To clarify that last sentence, I'm still fine with new auxiliary interstates, just no more two digit routes that won't ever realistically be finshed.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 25, 2016, 11:04:36 PM
I wonder if NC will try and make VA reconsider since ya know they spent like a billion dollars  already on a now dead I-73. Lol classic NC.

North Carolina is going forward with construction of I-73 and I-74, and it doesn't matter at all whether Virginia (or South Carolina) build their sections.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 25, 2016, 11:20:54 PM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.

As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.

Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.



well.. they built roads that carry low traffic, so that shouldn't even matter. I-73 will be back. Not worried.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Alps on May 26, 2016, 12:18:03 AM
I wonder if NC will try and make VA reconsider since ya know they spent like a billion dollars  already on a now dead I-73. Lol classic NC.

North Carolina is going forward with construction of I-73 and I-74, and it doesn't matter at all whether Virginia (or South Carolina) build their sections.
Not worried about SC. They're moving.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 26, 2016, 01:51:33 AM
I wonder if NC will try and make VA reconsider since ya know they spent like a billion dollars  already on a now dead I-73. Lol classic NC.

North Carolina is going forward with construction of I-73 and I-74, and it doesn't matter at all whether Virginia (or South Carolina) build their sections.
Not worried about SC. They're moving.


moving?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on May 26, 2016, 02:26:51 AM
So ironic -- the impetus to re-do HPC 5 as a twinned I-73/I-74 originated with Roanoke interests; now, unless the situation changes down the line, that city won't see I-73 except at a distance!  At this point it appears that the whole purpose of that route north of Greensboro will be as an Interstate-grade access road to the Martinsville Speedway! 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 26, 2016, 05:40:16 AM
I wonder if NC will try and make VA reconsider since ya know they spent like a billion dollars  already on a now dead I-73. Lol classic NC.

North Carolina is going forward with construction of I-73 and I-74, and it doesn't matter at all whether Virginia (or South Carolina) build their sections.
Not worried about SC. They're moving.


moving?

I think he's referring to this:

http://m.wmbfnews.com/wmbfnews/db_330822/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=btjvcAPG (http://m.wmbfnews.com/wmbfnews/db_330822/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=btjvcAPG)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 26, 2016, 06:33:17 AM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.

As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.

Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.



Haven't been able to find the 1990s feasibility study VDOT did to see if tolls were initially considered.  However, the FAQ on VDOT's website says I-73 funding would be 90% federal and 10% state which strongly suggests Virginia's posture is/was if Congress wants an interstate in this corridor they will also need to pay for it...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: mvak36 on May 26, 2016, 09:19:41 AM
So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on May 26, 2016, 09:46:10 AM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.
As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.
Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.
Haven't been able to find the 1990s feasibility study VDOT did to see if tolls were initially considered.  However, the FAQ on VDOT's website says I-73 funding would be 90% federal and 10% state which strongly suggests Virginia's posture is/was if Congress wants an interstate in this corridor they will also need to pay for it...

In 2014, the Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships issued its High-Level Screening Report (http://www.vappta.org/resources/I-73%20HLS%20-%20signed.pdf), which recommended that the I-73 project be advanced to the Detail-Level screening phase of the process in order to, among other things, determine the feasibility of tolling. However, as this snip shows, the Virginia Commissioner of Highways disagreed and stopped further study:

(http://i.imgur.com/PjG2qMG.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 26, 2016, 10:20:24 AM
So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?



Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 26, 2016, 10:23:34 AM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.
As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.
Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.
Haven't been able to find the 1990s feasibility study VDOT did to see if tolls were initially considered.  However, the FAQ on VDOT's website says I-73 funding would be 90% federal and 10% state which strongly suggests Virginia's posture is/was if Congress wants an interstate in this corridor they will also need to pay for it...

In 2014, the Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships issued its High-Level Screening Report (http://www.vappta.org/resources/I-73%20HLS%20-%20signed.pdf), which recommended that the I-73 project be advanced to the Detail-Level screening phase of the process in order to, among other things, determine the feasibility of tolling. However, as this snip shows, the Virginia Commissioner of Highways disagreed and stopped further study:

(http://i.imgur.com/PjG2qMG.jpg)


No surprise there. he is from Fairfax County. (Northern VA).

It is sad that some places in the state gets a lot of funding, while others don't. politics BS.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 26, 2016, 11:13:45 AM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.
As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.
Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.
Haven't been able to find the 1990s feasibility study VDOT did to see if tolls were initially considered.  However, the FAQ on VDOT's website says I-73 funding would be 90% federal and 10% state which strongly suggests Virginia's posture is/was if Congress wants an interstate in this corridor they will also need to pay for it...

In 2014, the Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships issued its High-Level Screening Report (http://www.vappta.org/resources/I-73%20HLS%20-%20signed.pdf), which recommended that the I-73 project be advanced to the Detail-Level screening phase of the process in order to, among other things, determine the feasibility of tolling. However, as this snip shows, the Virginia Commissioner of Highways disagreed and stopped further study:

(http://i.imgur.com/PjG2qMG.jpg)


No surprise there. he is from Fairfax County. (Northern VA).

It is sad that some places in the state gets a lot of funding, while others don't. politics BS.

That's exactly the reason why I've been saying that unless there's a major political change on where transportation money goes in this state, I-73 will remain dead in VA. I'm not saying NoVA shouldn't get anything, but there's more to the state than just NoVA. It's basically the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. I don't see it changing anytime soon, if ever.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: bob7374 on May 26, 2016, 11:27:27 AM

So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Currently, I-73 construction stops at the NC 68 interchange being built north of Greensboro. If VA doesn't build their portion, I highly doubt NC will spend money to upgrade US 220 north to the border. Thus the great town of Stokesdale will be the northern terminus of I-73.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 26, 2016, 11:36:31 AM

So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Currently, I-73 construction stops at the NC 68 interchange being built north of Greensboro. If VA doesn't build their portion, I highly doubt NC will spend money to upgrade US 220 north to the border. Thus the great town of Stokesdale will be the northern terminus of I-73.

I agree with that. It doesn't make any sense for NC to spend any more money extending I-73 towards a state that obviously has no intention of building their part. The money would be better spent on projects within NC that they could actually benefit from, like upgrading US-70 to I-42.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on May 26, 2016, 11:58:28 AM

So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Currently, I-73 construction stops at the NC 68 interchange being built north of Greensboro. If VA doesn't build their portion, I highly doubt NC will spend money to upgrade US 220 north to the border. Thus the great town of Stokesdale will be the northern terminus of I-73.

I agree with that. It doesn't make any sense for NC to spend any more money extending I-73 towards a state that obviously has no intention of building their part. The money would be better spent on projects within NC that they could actually benefit from, like upgrading US-70 to I-42.


Yeah, I-73 will stop at the NC 68 interchange for now. I don't think NC has funded that section from NC 68 to VA border with the exception of upgrading US 220/NC 135 interchange, so yeah you're right.. Stokesdale will be the temporary northern terminus of I-73.. but for how long remains seen.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on May 26, 2016, 12:02:48 PM
Talk about another state that will not build I-73 anytime soon...so this means that it will dead end at the border, like the new I-87/I-89 will?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 26, 2016, 12:09:28 PM

So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Currently, I-73 construction stops at the NC 68 interchange being built north of Greensboro. If VA doesn't build their portion, I highly doubt NC will spend money to upgrade US 220 north to the border. Thus the great town of Stokesdale will be the northern terminus of I-73.

I agree with that. It doesn't make any sense for NC to spend any more money extending I-73 towards a state that obviously has no intention of building their part. The money would be better spent on projects within NC that they could actually benefit from, like upgrading US-70 to I-42.

The only difference is the need to massively upgrade 220 goes away.  They'll most likely continue with piecemeal upgrades as demand dictates. For example the improvements to the US 311/NC 135 interchange in Mayodan as currently listed in the STIP.  there was not, to the best of my knowledge, anything else happening north of NC 68 for some time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on May 26, 2016, 12:15:21 PM
Talk about another state that will not build I-73 anytime soon...so this means that it will dead end at the border, like the new I-87/I-89 will?


yeah politics and money seem to be the issue. Let's see how things go in 2025.  :wow: :wow: :wow:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on May 26, 2016, 12:17:27 PM

So if the project is dead in VA, where will NC end I-73? At the VA border?
Yeah more likely it will end at the VA border.
Currently, I-73 construction stops at the NC 68 interchange being built north of Greensboro. If VA doesn't build their portion, I highly doubt NC will spend money to upgrade US 220 north to the border. Thus the great town of Stokesdale will be the northern terminus of I-73.

I agree with that. It doesn't make any sense for NC to spend any more money extending I-73 towards a state that obviously has no intention of building their part. The money would be better spent on projects within NC that they could actually benefit from, like upgrading US-70 to I-42.

The only difference is the need to massively upgrade 220 goes away.  They'll most likely continue with piecemeal upgrades as demand dictates. For example the improvements to the US 311/NC 135 interchange in Mayodan as currently listed in the STIP.  there was not, to the best of my knowledge, anything else happening north of NC 68 for some time.


Yeah a little upgrades, something like that. US 220 in that area don't really need much upgrades to interstate standards, which is probably it can wait until after 2025, depending on what VA does at that time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 26, 2016, 12:28:41 PM
Seeing that the Greensboro Urban Loop is continuing to take shape, I wouldn't be surprised if they completed the link to Roanoke a decade from now.

Well that only took three years not 10.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on May 26, 2016, 12:42:46 PM
Quote from: LM117
That's exactly the reason why I've been saying that unless there's a major political change on where transportation money goes in this state, I-73 will remain dead in VA. I'm not saying NoVA shouldn't get anything, but there's more to the state than just NoVA. It's basically the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. I don't see it changing anytime soon, if ever.

(and for Strider, too)

Believe it or not, far more money flows out of NoVA than goes back into it.  NoVA is a cash cow to the rest of the state and they know it.  It took tolls and a private partnership to get improvements to 95 and the Beltway that were warranted by traffic demands two decades ago.  Most of these "business-desired Interstates" are along corridors that just don't have the traffic volume to warrant their expense.  Furthermore, if you completely gridlock Northern Virginia, the entire state economy will suffer.  Or is it that you guys just don't care?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 26, 2016, 01:07:31 PM
So ironic -- the impetus to re-do HPC 5 as a twinned I-73/I-74 originated with Roanoke interests; now, unless the situation changes down the line, that city won't see I-73 except at a distance!  At this point it appears that the whole purpose of that route north of Greensboro will be as an Interstate-grade access road to the Martinsville Speedway!

Roanoke should get VDOT to replace the I-581 shields with I-73 shields. Whenever there's an obvious gap in an interstate highway, pressure will eventually build to get that gap filled.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on May 26, 2016, 01:10:30 PM
Quote from: LM117
That's exactly the reason why I've been saying that unless there's a major political change on where transportation money goes in this state, I-73 will remain dead in VA. I'm not saying NoVA shouldn't get anything, but there's more to the state than just NoVA. It's basically the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. I don't see it changing anytime soon, if ever.

(and for Strider, too)

Believe it or not, far more money flows out of NoVA than goes back into it.  NoVA is a cash cow to the rest of the state and they know it.  It took tolls and a private partnership to get improvements to 95 and the Beltway that were warranted by traffic demands two decades ago.  Most of these "business-desired Interstates" are along corridors that just don't have the traffic volume to warrant their expense.  Furthermore, if you completely gridlock Northern Virginia, the entire state economy will suffer.  Or is it that you guys just don't care?


I don't live in NoVA so I can't comment on that. I'd believe what you said, however. If more money actually flows out of NoVA, where does they go? To unnecessary projects or? All I know is that the state is broke, but how?

Not that I don't care, but its just sad that parts of the state (not just VA, I am sure other states has similar issues) that gets funding while others either get a little or they don't. The I-73 link from  NC border to Roanoke is needed for economic reasons in that part of the state (even with I-77 just to the west). If traffic doesn't warrant it (I have seen PLENTY of traffic on US 220 as I drove up and down that road fairly a lot), the road still needs to be built either way, even if it is in a small segments and takes 20 years to complete.

I am really curious on how they are going to deal with the money they're holding for the I-73 project ($8 million).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on May 26, 2016, 01:26:52 PM
Quote
Building it as a toll road could work.

As I recall, VDOT looked at this awhile back, but between low traffic volumes and high construction costs, it would still require public money.

Color me unsurprised by this.  Everyone who paid half an ounce of attention in Virginia realized this was politically driven, and with VDOT's perpetual budget woes combined with an increasing push to do something about urban area traffic, I-81, and I-95, this "I-73" idea never really stood a serious chance.

As well it shouldn't have. US 220 is a perfectly adequate link between Greensboro and Roanoke via Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 26, 2016, 01:52:10 PM
The money flowing from NoVA doesn't all go to transportation.

NoVA money is why rural counties can build new schools and other non-transportation infrastructure.

Southwestern Virginia is already getting a slow long-term improvement project on the scale of I-73: US 121 and US 460.

I-73 money would be better spent doing spot upgrades to US 220 and improving the older parts of I-81.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on May 26, 2016, 02:03:11 PM
Quote from: MazdaStrider
I don't live in NoVA so I can't comment on that. I'd believe what you said, however. If more money actually flows out of NoVA, where does they go? To unnecessary projects or? All I know is that the state is broke, but how?

Keep in mind that, except for the cities and two counties, VDOT maintains all public roads in the state.  That takes a considerable amount of resources and is where a huge chunk of the transportation money goes.

If the local jurisdictions feel that I-73 is needed "for economic reasons", then perhaps they should find a way to put together the funding instead of waiting for the state to consider it.  That's what the NoVA jurisdictions do.  Fairfax County routinely puts 9-digits a year of their own money into transportation projects in the county...I believe it was $120 million this past year.  Further proof that NoVA isn't keeping VDOT money for themselves, not when they have to put their own county money in just to get things done.

One should also consider that it's Richmond that dictates where the money goes, not VDOT.  And despite demographic changes over the past couple decades, the General Assembly has gerrymandered the legislative districts so that rural areas still have a huge power block in the Assembly far out of proportion to their population.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: JacobNC on May 26, 2016, 02:24:44 PM
Talk about another state that will not build I-73 anytime soon...so this means that it will dead end at the border, like the new I-87/I-89 will?

US-17 in Chesapeake is largely being upgraded to a freeway (I'm not exactly sure about Interstate standards), so they could probably pretty easily make the new I-87 connect to Norfolk.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 26, 2016, 03:26:12 PM
Quote from: LM117
That's exactly the reason why I've been saying that unless there's a major political change on where transportation money goes in this state, I-73 will remain dead in VA. I'm not saying NoVA shouldn't get anything, but there's more to the state than just NoVA. It's basically the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. I don't see it changing anytime soon, if ever.

(and for Strider, too)

Believe it or not, far more money flows out of NoVA than goes back into it.  NoVA is a cash cow to the rest of the state and they know it.  It took tolls and a private partnership to get improvements to 95 and the Beltway that were warranted by traffic demands two decades ago.  Most of these "business-desired Interstates" are along corridors that just don't have the traffic volume to warrant their expense.  Furthermore, if you completely gridlock Northern Virginia, the entire state economy will suffer.  Or is it that you guys just don't care?
Not that I don't care, but its just sad that parts of the state (not just VA, I am sure other states has similar issues) that gets funding while others either get a little or they don't. The I-73 link from  NC border to Roanoke is needed for economic reasons in that part of the state (even with I-77 just to the west). If traffic doesn't warrant it (I have seen PLENTY of traffic on US 220 as I drove up and down that road fairly a lot), the road still needs to be built either way, even if it is in a small segments and takes 20 years to complete.

+1
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 26, 2016, 06:49:14 PM
Quote from: LM117
That's exactly the reason why I've been saying that unless there's a major political change on where transportation money goes in this state, I-73 will remain dead in VA. I'm not saying NoVA shouldn't get anything, but there's more to the state than just NoVA. It's basically the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. I don't see it changing anytime soon, if ever.

(and for Strider, too)

Believe it or not, far more money flows out of NoVA than goes back into it.  NoVA is a cash cow to the rest of the state and they know it.  It took tolls and a private partnership to get improvements to 95 and the Beltway that were warranted by traffic demands two decades ago.  Most of these "business-desired Interstates" are along corridors that just don't have the traffic volume to warrant their expense.  Furthermore, if you completely gridlock Northern Virginia, the entire state economy will suffer.  Or is it that you guys just don't care?
Not that I don't care, but its just sad that parts of the state (not just VA, I am sure other states has similar issues) that gets funding while others either get a little or they don't. The I-73 link from  NC border to Roanoke is needed for economic reasons in that part of the state (even with I-77 just to the west). If traffic doesn't warrant it (I have seen PLENTY of traffic on US 220 as I drove up and down that road fairly a lot), the road still needs to be built either way, even if it is in a small segments and takes 20 years to complete.

+1


According to this page on Wikipedia about I-73:

On May 24, 2016, Ronald "Skip" Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 committee serving the Martinsville area, announced that he would not pursue building I-73 through his part of the state; however, a proposed corridor would follow the same general route, and be maintained by the Commonwealth of Virginia.[2]


Sounds like the proposed corridor that would follow the same general route, my guess is that they are making it a expressway or similar. That could be something to get them started, and then have it upgraded to interstate standards later. Does anyone know about the proposed corridor?

For now, the I-73 project is shelved.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 26, 2016, 07:52:32 PM
Quote from: MazdaStrider
I don't live in NoVA so I can't comment on that. I'd believe what you said, however. If more money actually flows out of NoVA, where does they go? To unnecessary projects or? All I know is that the state is broke, but how?

Keep in mind that, except for the cities and two counties, VDOT maintains all public roads in the state.  That takes a considerable amount of resources and is where a huge chunk of the transportation money goes.

If the local jurisdictions feel that I-73 is needed "for economic reasons", then perhaps they should find a way to put together the funding instead of waiting for the state to consider it.  That's what the NoVA jurisdictions do.  Fairfax County routinely puts 9-digits a year of their own money into transportation projects in the county...I believe it was $120 million this past year.  Further proof that NoVA isn't keeping VDOT money for themselves, not when they have to put their own county money in just to get things done.

One should also consider that it's Richmond that dictates where the money goes, not VDOT.  And despite demographic changes over the past couple decades, the General Assembly has gerrymandered the legislative districts so that rural areas still have a huge power block in the Assembly far out of proportion to their population.

In addition to this, NoVA and Hampton Roads have special Transportation Authorities that exist because the state legislature allows these regions to impose extra Sales Tax, Grantor’s Tax, and Transient Occupancy Tax.  This extra tax money is viewed as a pass-through by VDOT and that money goes right back to these districts and the Authority decides what projects to use it on.  So these places get more money because they pay for it directly and specifically for transportation projects.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: AlexandriaVA on May 26, 2016, 09:56:35 PM
These highways to nowhere have horrible ROIs comparded to projects in the urban areas. As mentioned, Nova and Hampton roads get the good projects because they actually.pay their way, rather then depend on taz receipts from other parts of the Commonwealth
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: WashuOtaku on May 26, 2016, 11:32:40 PM
These highways to nowhere have horrible ROIs comparded to projects in the urban areas. As mentioned, Nova and Hampton roads get the good projects because they actually.pay their way, rather then depend on taz receipts from other parts of the Commonwealth

I-73 would have hardly been going nowhere.  Connecting Greensboro to Roanoke would be a big boost to the trucking industry and those not wanting to take I-77.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 26, 2016, 11:48:50 PM
These highways to nowhere have horrible ROIs comparded to projects in the urban areas. As mentioned, Nova and Hampton roads get the good projects because they actually.pay their way, rather then depend on taz receipts from other parts of the Commonwealth

I-73 would have hardly been going nowhere.  Connecting Greensboro to Roanoke would be a big boost to the trucking industry and those not wanting to take I-77.


This. is why Roanoke is pushing for I-73 hard. they know it would be a big boost.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: AlexandriaVA on May 26, 2016, 11:56:36 PM
There's already a freeway between the two cities. Not everything can be gold-plated. Don't know why there's such an Interstate fetish when US Highway is just as good....shaving a few minutes off a trip isn't justified in this case.

Like most rural freeways, the numbers won't ever justify construction. A single extra lane in Richmond, Hampton Roads, or NOVA would get better utilization.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 27, 2016, 02:17:50 AM
Sounds like the proposed corridor that would follow the same general route, my guess is that they are making it a expressway or similar. That could be something to get them started, and then have it upgraded to interstate standards later. Does anyone know about the proposed corridor?

It's the first I've heard of it. It seems to have come out of left field. I'm curious about it myself.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 27, 2016, 02:47:59 AM
There's already a freeway between the two cities. Not everything can be gold-plated. Don't know why there's such an Interstate fetish when US Highway is just as good....shaving a few minutes off a trip isn't justified in this case.

Like most rural freeways, the numbers won't ever justify construction. A single extra lane in Richmond, Hampton Roads, or NOVA would get better utilization.


Freeway? you mean Expressway. Between the northern termius of I-73 in Stokesdale to the end of US 220 freeway in Roanoke, the corridor is mostly expressway (except Martinsville bypass)

if the numbers won't justify construction, then explain why some states build roads that they know numbers won't ever justify it?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 27, 2016, 02:48:59 AM
Like most rural freeways, the numbers won't ever justify construction.

If numbers were used to justify construction, half of the Interstate Highway system wouldn't exist today. Example, I-10 in areas like west Texas carries little traffic (mostly trucks), but it connects the cities along the Gulf Coast with those in the Southwest. I-10 wouldn't have been built in it's entirety if numbers justified it's construction. Same with I-80, I-70, etc. I-73 would have connected the largest city in SW VA, Roanoke, with NC's 3rd largest city, Greensboro and ended at Myrtle Beach SC, one of the most well-known and visited tourist destinations on the East Coast. Would I-73 automatically revive economically depressed areas like Martinsville? No, but it would at least put them on the map so-to-speak and then it would be up to the state and the city whether it sinks or swims. I-73 can be argued that it's a waste in West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan, but I-73 connecting Roanoke, the Triad region of NC and Myrtle Beach is far from a waste and certainly isn't a "highway to nowhere". SW Virginia (and in the grander scheme of things, Greensboro) got screwed. Simple as that.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on May 27, 2016, 09:26:46 AM
Quote
if the numbers won't justify construction, then explain why some states build roads that they know numbers won't ever justify it?

Political pressure.  There is also a somewhat mistaken belief that an Interstate shield will automatically bring economic salvation.  The reality is a lot more complicated than that.  You also need a skilled workforce, logistics besides transportation, and startup capital.  The banks can be very stingy with that last one, especially for small businesses.

Some towns may see "benefit" from it (and I use that term loosely given the number of tax breaks big companies tend to demand before they move), but others won't.  The net effect/benefit is usually less than the backers/promoters claim.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Thing 342 on May 27, 2016, 09:36:56 AM
These highways to nowhere have horrible ROIs comparded to projects in the urban areas. As mentioned, Nova and Hampton roads get the good projects because they actually.pay their way, rather then depend on taz receipts from other parts of the Commonwealth

I-73 would have hardly been going nowhere.  Connecting Greensboro to Roanoke would be a big boost to the trucking industry and those not wanting to take I-77.
I'm sure the people of Roanoke will very much appreciate having spent that money while they're stuck in traffic on the still 2-lane I-81, a far more important trucking corridor. If the freight industry had any interest in using the proposed corridor, they would be using it already, and US-220 would be  much busier than it currently is. There are many projects *in the area* with a much better ROI than upgrading a route that adequately serves its purpose.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 27, 2016, 12:16:08 PM
In the Arterial Highway System project Virginia upgraded a lot of its 2-lane roads, like US 220, by twinning them: laying down two new lanes next to the old ones. This created a statewide network of "pretty good" 4-lane roads. The question is whether "pretty good" is going to be "good enough" in the future, or whether some of these roads need to be replaced by freeways. To answer this question, I think it's not enough to look at today's traffic counts; you also have to look at where you want things to be in 20-30 years.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Grzrd on May 27, 2016, 12:44:12 PM
Now we wait and see if anyone challenges Mr. Ressel's assertion.
I am really curious on how they are going to deal with the money they're holding for the I-73 project ($8 million).
Sounds like the proposed corridor that would follow the same general route, my guess is that they are making it a expressway or similar. That could be something to get them started, and then have it upgraded to interstate standards later. Does anyone know about the proposed corridor?
It's the first I've heard of it. It seems to have come out of left field. I'm curious about it myself.

A September 30 deadline to reallocate the $8.5 million in I-73 funding, or risk losing it altogether, appears to be a major force in driving the angst about the future of I-73 in Henry County. This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/challenges-loom-for-i--approval/article_50596b26-23af-11e6-aafb-ef452b129cc3.html) reports that the $8.5 million might be re-allocated to the proposed corridor, and that Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, contends that building I-73 is still a high priority for the county:

Quote
The clock is ticking for Henry County officials, as they'll have to soon make a decision about continued support for Interstate 73.
Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, said the board will examine their options within the next few months.
So far, the federal government has allocated about $8.5 million for I-73’s stretch through the county. That is not nearly enough to design, acquire rights of way and then build the highway, said Jason Bond, communications manager for the Salem District office of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Lisa Price Hughes, resident administrator at VDOT’s local office in Bassett Forks, made a similar comment.
"It’s a $4 billion project," Bond said. He predicted that due to economic constraints at the state and federal levels, "that kind of funding is going to be hard to get anytime soon."
No state funds have been allocated so far.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December, allows a state to repurpose earmarks for transportation projects for other projects – either new or existing - within the state and 50 miles of the original project, according to Bond. But there is a catch. For an earmark to be repurposed, that new project has to be proposed before Sept. 30, when the new fiscal year starts for the federal government.
County officials have discussed, at the least, trying to get a new highway built to connect the Patriot Center at Beaver Creek Industrial Park with U.S. 58 east of Martinsville in the Laurel Park area.
Bond said he doubts that $8.5 million is enough to design and build the connector route. But it would be a start.

To pursue repurposing the earmarked funds, the county would have to make a request to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), Bond said.
There is no guarantee that the repurposing would be approved, he said.
The $8.5 million would be exempt from scoring under a new state system being used to determine transportation projects that are funded, but any future allocations may have to be scored, he added.
Ultimately, though, "the county must make a decision as to whether it wants to continue advocating for I-73," Bond said.
If a decision is made to continue advocating for it, the interstate project in Henry County will have to score high enough to earn a place on the CTB’s Six-Year Six Year Improvement Plan
, he said.
State House Bill 2, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law in 2014, directed the CTB to develop and start using by July of this year an objective scoring process for deciding which highway projects can be funded. Factors that are to be taken into account include economic development, environmental and safety issues and if a road would improve people’s access to jobs and ease traffic congestion, the state website www.virginiahb2.org shows.
To have I-73 considered for scoring, an application must be submitted online between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30. After the latter date, evaluation teams will work through December to screen and score projects. They will then provide those scores to the CTB in January, the website shows.
An application can be submitted either by the county or the West Piedmont Planning District Commission, the website indicates.
If a project makes it onto the six year plan, it will receive funding, Bond said, although the federal earmarks already provided may be lost.
Yet even if a project scores high enough, "the CTB decides what projects it wants to fund," he said. The board could decide to fund a lower-scoring project instead of a higher-scoring one if it believes – despite the evaluation – that the lower-scoring one would be more beneficial than the higher-scoring one, he indicated.
Funding decisions ultimately are based on board members’ opinions, he said.
"I-73, as always, remains in the hands of the Commonwealth Transportation Board," Bond emphasized. "Until the … board decides it will be a funding priority, it will remain unfunded and not be built."

Adams, the Blackberry District representative on the Board of Supervisors, said getting I-73 built remains a high priority of the county. Referring to getting the project scored, he said "if that’s what the county needs to do, that’s what we will do."
Nevertheless, the board will need to discuss the county’s options for pursuing construction of a new highway "within the next couple of (monthly) board meetings," Adams said.
"We need to look at any viable project and not lock ourselves into any single proposal," he said. "We need to look at what’s in the best interests of all citizens."
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: BrianP on May 27, 2016, 12:50:04 PM
I think it's not enough to look at today's traffic counts; you also have to look at where you want things to be in 20-30 years.
Agreed but before you look to the future you need to look at what's a problem now.  That problem will also probably worsen in the future. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 27, 2016, 01:55:24 PM
Now we wait and see if anyone challenges Mr. Ressel's assertion.
I am really curious on how they are going to deal with the money they're holding for the I-73 project ($8 million).
Sounds like the proposed corridor that would follow the same general route, my guess is that they are making it a expressway or similar. That could be something to get them started, and then have it upgraded to interstate standards later. Does anyone know about the proposed corridor?
It's the first I've heard of it. It seems to have come out of left field. I'm curious about it myself.

A September 30 deadline to reallocate the $8.5 million in I-73 funding, or risk losing it altogether, appears to be a major force in driving the angst about the future of I-73 in Henry County. This article (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/challenges-loom-for-i--approval/article_50596b26-23af-11e6-aafb-ef452b129cc3.html) reports that the $8.5 million might be re-allocated to the proposed corridor, and that Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, contends that building I-73 is still a high priority for the county:

Quote
The clock is ticking for Henry County officials, as they'll have to soon make a decision about continued support for Interstate 73.
Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, said the board will examine their options within the next few months.
So far, the federal government has allocated about $8.5 million for I-73’s stretch through the county. That is not nearly enough to design, acquire rights of way and then build the highway, said Jason Bond, communications manager for the Salem District office of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Lisa Price Hughes, resident administrator at VDOT’s local office in Bassett Forks, made a similar comment.
"It’s a $4 billion project," Bond said. He predicted that due to economic constraints at the state and federal levels, "that kind of funding is going to be hard to get anytime soon."
No state funds have been allocated so far.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December, allows a state to repurpose earmarks for transportation projects for other projects – either new or existing - within the state and 50 miles of the original project, according to Bond. But there is a catch. For an earmark to be repurposed, that new project has to be proposed before Sept. 30, when the new fiscal year starts for the federal government.
County officials have discussed, at the least, trying to get a new highway built to connect the Patriot Center at Beaver Creek Industrial Park with U.S. 58 east of Martinsville in the Laurel Park area.
Bond said he doubts that $8.5 million is enough to design and build the connector route. But it would be a start.

To pursue repurposing the earmarked funds, the county would have to make a request to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), Bond said.
There is no guarantee that the repurposing would be approved, he said.
The $8.5 million would be exempt from scoring under a new state system being used to determine transportation projects that are funded, but any future allocations may have to be scored, he added.
Ultimately, though, "the county must make a decision as to whether it wants to continue advocating for I-73," Bond said.
If a decision is made to continue advocating for it, the interstate project in Henry County will have to score high enough to earn a place on the CTB’s Six-Year Six Year Improvement Plan
, he said.
State House Bill 2, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law in 2014, directed the CTB to develop and start using by July of this year an objective scoring process for deciding which highway projects can be funded. Factors that are to be taken into account include economic development, environmental and safety issues and if a road would improve people’s access to jobs and ease traffic congestion, the state website www.virginiahb2.org shows.
To have I-73 considered for scoring, an application must be submitted online between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30. After the latter date, evaluation teams will work through December to screen and score projects. They will then provide those scores to the CTB in January, the website shows.
An application can be submitted either by the county or the West Piedmont Planning District Commission, the website indicates.
If a project makes it onto the six year plan, it will receive funding, Bond said, although the federal earmarks already provided may be lost.
Yet even if a project scores high enough, "the CTB decides what projects it wants to fund," he said. The board could decide to fund a lower-scoring project instead of a higher-scoring one if it believes – despite the evaluation – that the lower-scoring one would be more beneficial than the higher-scoring one, he indicated.
Funding decisions ultimately are based on board members’ opinions, he said.
"I-73, as always, remains in the hands of the Commonwealth Transportation Board," Bond emphasized. "Until the … board decides it will be a funding priority, it will remain unfunded and not be built."

Adams, the Blackberry District representative on the Board of Supervisors, said getting I-73 built remains a high priority of the county. Referring to getting the project scored, he said "if that’s what the county needs to do, that’s what we will do."
Nevertheless, the board will need to discuss the county’s options for pursuing construction of a new highway "within the next couple of (monthly) board meetings," Adams said.
"We need to look at any viable project and not lock ourselves into any single proposal," he said. "We need to look at what’s in the best interests of all citizens."


I suspect that they may want to try to build a expressway on the proposed route of I-73 and then upgrade it to interstate standards later down the road (they obviously want to get it started). My question is.. where will they start doing that?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 27, 2016, 02:23:29 PM
There is also this out there:  General Assembly is working on (has passed the 3rd reading in the Senate and the House is continuing it to the 2017 session) a bill to establish the Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund and Program (SB 197) - https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+sum+SB197

The bill itself - https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+ful+SB197S1 - commits $40M/yr to this, contingent on the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Program being paid in full.  The money can go to any type of highway as long as it is in the general I-73 corridor area.

So this might not lead to I-73 per se, but it does attempt to address the economic factors behind why some want I-73 built.  The bill seems to recognize that an interstate isn't necessarily the only solution.

It also appears to me that the Henry County Board has considerable power over whether I-73 has a future or not and it appears they are killing it at this point in time.  That might be because it is taking a long, slow path to get anywhere with it, but it is nonetheless with Henry County that the current endgame is being enacted.  VDOT has been slow on it, but they have certainly been doing stuff with it all along - http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/i73/i73-about.asp

As for truck traffic, the 2015 traffic data is out and it shows truck traffic at 12% in the Martinsville area; 10% up through Franklin County; 4% on I-581 (in raw numbers these work out to about 1200-2000 in Martinsville, 1500-2500 up through Franklin County, and about 3000 AADT trucks on I-581).

Compare that to I-81 which is 21% in the Roanoke area (12,000 AADT trucks ballpark); 30% or more from Exit 150 to Staunton (though only about 7k AADT).  I-77 has 25-30% trucks which works out to AADTs of 5-6k.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 27, 2016, 06:39:08 PM




The reason for I-73 in Virginia has nothing to do with AADT. It has something to do with connecting three cities (Greensboro, Martinsville and Roanoke) for economic boost. They are preparing for the future, which makes sense. They see economic benefits when a interstate serves them.

There are interstate routes that is already built but carries way a few AADT than this one. Me, for one, support it because of economic boost and benefits. It will also provide a direct link to I-81 in Roanoke so trucks doesn't have to travel all the way to I-77 while reducing heavy truck traffic on I-77 between NC border and I-81.

If they choose to build an expressway on the proposed path, this would be a good start. Follow the baby steps to a success.
[/quote]
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 27, 2016, 10:00:39 PM
The current way I-73 was coming along suggests the future is what was being contemplated...

Has anyone done any studies to show that slapping up an interstate shield or building a new one altogether actually brings industry jobs faster than was going to happen without one?  And if so, how long does that take?  Plenty of long empty stretches of interstate that are 40+ years old in the Southeast...

Don't see why a new expressway would materially be different from an improved US 220...

Also a little fuzzy on why it is necessary to connect these 3 cities this way. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: AlexandriaVA on May 27, 2016, 11:17:46 PM
Because people confuse correlation with causation. Just because an Interstate is near economic activity doesn't mean that it necessarily caused it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 27, 2016, 11:18:27 PM
The current way I-73 was coming along suggests the future is what was being contemplated...

Has anyone done any studies to show that slapping up an interstate shield or building a new one altogether actually brings industry jobs faster than was going to happen without one?  And if so, how long does that take?  Plenty of long empty stretches of interstate that are 40+ years old in the Southeast...

Don't see why a new expressway would materially be different from an improved US 220...

Also a little fuzzy on why it is necessary to connect these 3 cities this way.

Short answer: no. Building an interstate highway doesn't, by itself, bring jobs or industry. I think things sort of work the other way round. If you're working to develop an area economically, you have to make a case that exciting things are happening in your town, and that includes developing its infrastructure: roads, rail connections, airports, sewer systems, all kinds of necessary stuff. So a freeway doesn't bring jobs, but it may play an important role in creating the context in which it's possible for you to bring jobs.

I don't know, because I don't know this area very well: maybe improving 220 would work just as well as building I-73. But for sure NC's development of I-73 is a gift to Martinsville and maybe to Roanoke; it means this north-south corridor is going to be more important than it was before. What's the best way to capitalize on that?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 27, 2016, 11:53:07 PM
The current way I-73 was coming along suggests the future is what was being contemplated...

Has anyone done any studies to show that slapping up an interstate shield or building a new one altogether actually brings industry jobs faster than was going to happen without one?  And if so, how long does that take?  Plenty of long empty stretches of interstate that are 40+ years old in the Southeast...

Don't see why a new expressway would materially be different from an improved US 220...

Also a little fuzzy on why it is necessary to connect these 3 cities this way.


Because they voted to build a road on a new location. I don't agree with the location they choose, but they wanted it to happen, and I see their point. Maybe you don't.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: May 28, 2016, 05:54:52 AM
There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html

Merged posts as they were practically one right after the other.   -Mark
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 28, 2016, 06:00:53 AM
There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html

Didn't he get the memo that I-73 is dead in MI, OH and WV? His intentions are good and he talks a good game, but I still have my doubts for reasons I've already mentioned. I wish him luck. He's damn sure gonna need it. Also, I thought the final routing of I-73 was already chosen and approved by the FHWA in 2012?

(http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 28, 2016, 10:02:51 AM
There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html

Didn't he get the memo that I-73 is dead in MI, OH and WV? His intentions are good and he talks a good game, but I still have my doubts for reasons I've already mentioned. I wish him luck. He's damn sure gonna need it. Also, I thought the final routing of I-73 was already chosen and approved by the FHWA in 2012?

(http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg)



Yeah, he didn't get the memo that I-73 is dead in Ohio and Michigan.

West Virginia is building their portion but not as a interstate. It is still built on a proposed routing of I-73. So they can revive that plan later if they like.

My point is that.. if he didn't give up, nobody should. It is going to be a interesting next couple of months.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on May 28, 2016, 12:08:51 PM

There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html



This confirms what my post in reply 145 was talking about.   The kill I-73 now crowd is in Henry County.

The nuance I did not pick up on is that there is some money that must be spent by Sept and so Henry County can influence whether it can go towards something that I-73 can use later.  And the Henry County guy made it sound like there was an industrial park that could be connected...

The easternmost 3 miles of I-526 was done this way...built as a 2-lane road on a 4-lane ROW identified as the future 526 path to connect the Wando Port.

I am not anti-I73.  But in a universe that does not have unlimited resources, it would not be as high on my list of things for VDOT to spend a big pile of $ on as some needs that exist right now.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 28, 2016, 02:24:54 PM
What would the impacts be to upgrade existing US 220 to Interstate Standards, and would such an undertaking be possible?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 28, 2016, 02:33:28 PM
What would the impacts be to upgrade existing US 220 to Interstate Standards, and would such an undertaking be possible?



Good question. It is still possible, but I know that they did a study on this.. and I can't remember what is the result from that. I am sure someone will chime in.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 28, 2016, 02:39:42 PM

There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html



This confirms what my post in reply 145 was talking about.   The kill I-73 now crowd is in Henry County.

The nuance I did not pick up on is that there is some money that must be spent by Sept and so Henry County can influence whether it can go towards something that I-73 can use later.  And the Henry County guy made it sound like there was an industrial park that could be connected...

The easternmost 3 miles of I-526 was done this way...built as a 2-lane road on a 4-lane ROW identified as the future 526 path to connect the Wando Port.

I am not anti-I73.  But in a universe that does not have unlimited resources, it would not be as high on my list of things for VDOT to spend a big pile of $ on as some needs that exist right now.

I don't think it's kill it.  I think it's more impatience and the September deadline - similar to the I-73 funds in South Carolina.  They want it built as soon as possible.  They have $8.5 million and are afraid of it not being used for the business park they have been tying to I-73.  If what they do lays the ground work for a conversion to I-73 all the better.   

I think Mr. Ressell is more crestfallen because of his personal involvement versus taking a step back on it.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: May 28, 2016, 03:40:40 PM
Also Ressel said the road would be state owned and maintained - well yeah, unless it was a private toll road of course.  When I first read the article something said no there's more to it than what Mr. Ressel implied. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 28, 2016, 05:00:01 PM

There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html



This confirms what my post in reply 145 was talking about.   The kill I-73 now crowd is in Henry County.

The nuance I did not pick up on is that there is some money that must be spent by Sept and so Henry County can influence whether it can go towards something that I-73 can use later.  And the Henry County guy made it sound like there was an industrial park that could be connected...

The easternmost 3 miles of I-526 was done this way...built as a 2-lane road on a 4-lane ROW identified as the future 526 path to connect the Wando Port.

I am not anti-I73.  But in a universe that does not have unlimited resources, it would not be as high on my list of things for VDOT to spend a big pile of $ on as some needs that exist right now.

The $8.5 million is from a combination of various earmarks summarized here:

June 09, 1998
-  Congress reauthorizes the federal transportation bill as TEA-21.  I-73
earmarks for Fiscal Years 1998-2003 included: $6 million for construction of I-73 from Roanoke
to the NC line and two line items totaling $4 million to conduct Preliminary Engineering on I-73
from Roanoke to the NC line.  In addition to this allocated federal money, Virginia kicked in an
additional 25 percent to cover its required match. The U.S. and Virginia I-73 earmarks totaled
approximately $12.5 million for FY ‘98-‘03

Source: http://www.bredl.org/pdf4/I-73_Timeline.pdf 

I'm guessing the difference between the $8.5 that Mr. Russel mentioned and the $12.5 allocated is the preliminary engineering study.  Unfortunately, the $8.5 million won't really allow anything to be built - either a spur from US 58 north to the proposed business park or even a spur southward towards Ridgeway and US 220 at the NC state line. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 28, 2016, 05:03:56 PM

There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html



This confirms what my post in reply 145 was talking about.   The kill I-73 now crowd is in Henry County.

The nuance I did not pick up on is that there is some money that must be spent by Sept and so Henry County can influence whether it can go towards something that I-73 can use later.  And the Henry County guy made it sound like there was an industrial park that could be connected...

The easternmost 3 miles of I-526 was done this way...built as a 2-lane road on a 4-lane ROW identified as the future 526 path to connect the Wando Port.

I am not anti-I73.  But in a universe that does not have unlimited resources, it would not be as high on my list of things for VDOT to spend a big pile of $ on as some needs that exist right now.

I don't think it's kill it.  I think it's more impatience and the September deadline - similar to the I-73 funds in South Carolina.  They want it built as soon as possible.  They have $8.5 million and are afraid of it not being used for the business park they have been tying to I-73.  If what they do lays the ground work for a conversion to I-73 all the better.   

I think Mr. Ressell is more crestfallen because of his personal involvement versus taking a step back on it.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: May 28, 2016, 03:40:40 PM
Also Ressel said the road would be state owned and maintained - well yeah, unless it was a private toll road of course.  When I first read the article something said no there's more to it than what Mr. Ressel implied.


Yeah, I am thinking they will just build it to expressway standards (even though there is a freeway section of US 220 on the west side of Martinsville) and then upgrade it later when money comes. We will see how that plan goes.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 28, 2016, 06:42:28 PM

There you go:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/virginia-senator-i--effort-alive-in-region/article_0469865e-2442-11e6-9261-7f31c381fab8.html



This confirms what my post in reply 145 was talking about.   The kill I-73 now crowd is in Henry County.

The nuance I did not pick up on is that there is some money that must be spent by Sept and so Henry County can influence whether it can go towards something that I-73 can use later.  And the Henry County guy made it sound like there was an industrial park that could be connected...

The easternmost 3 miles of I-526 was done this way...built as a 2-lane road on a 4-lane ROW identified as the future 526 path to connect the Wando Port.

I am not anti-I73.  But in a universe that does not have unlimited resources, it would not be as high on my list of things for VDOT to spend a big pile of $ on as some needs that exist right now.

I don't think it's kill it.  I think it's more impatience and the September deadline - similar to the I-73 funds in South Carolina.  They want it built as soon as possible.  They have $8.5 million and are afraid of it not being used for the business park they have been tying to I-73.  If what they do lays the ground work for a conversion to I-73 all the better.   

I think Mr. Ressell is more crestfallen because of his personal involvement versus taking a step back on it.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: May 28, 2016, 03:40:40 PM
Also Ressel said the road would be state owned and maintained - well yeah, unless it was a private toll road of course.  When I first read the article something said no there's more to it than what Mr. Ressel implied.


Yeah, I am thinking they will just build it to expressway standards (even though there is a freeway section of US 220 on the west side of Martinsville) and then upgrade it later when money comes. We will see how that plan goes.

Well...it's a start, I suppose.  :hmm:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 28, 2016, 07:43:18 PM
Blog entry pretty much summarizing everything and pointing to what I believe is the reason why Henry County raised the white flag - they want something anything built to connect to the Patriot Centre Business Park.

http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2016/05/is-interstate-73-dead-in-virginia.html
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Bitmapped on May 28, 2016, 08:40:17 PM
West Virginia is building their portion but not as a interstate. It is still built on a proposed routing of I-73. So they can revive that plan later if they like.

West Virginia doesn't really have any plans to build anything beyond finishing the section between US 52 and WV 123 near Bluefield and from the WV 44 connector into Gilbert. WVDOH has severe funding difficulties, the coal mining they were hoping to use to cut costs isn't really economically feasible anymore, and population in the area is collapsing. These projects aren't on WV's radar screen.

The sections that WV has built have at-grade intersections and development along the roadway. It's not practical to upgrade them to freeways. I-73 in WV is dead.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: WashuOtaku on May 29, 2016, 07:13:55 PM
The sections that WV has built have at-grade intersections and development along the roadway. It's not practical to upgrade them to freeways. I-73 in WV is dead.

Its not dead... only in hibernation.  :sleep:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CobaltYoshi27 on May 29, 2016, 08:03:47 PM
The sections that WV has built have at-grade intersections and development along the roadway. It's not practical to upgrade them to freeways. I-73 in WV is dead.

Its not dead... only in hibernation.  :sleep:

If they have to, they can just co-sign it with I-64 and I-77.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on May 29, 2016, 08:19:51 PM
The sections that WV has built have at-grade intersections and development along the roadway. It's not practical to upgrade them to freeways. I-73 in WV is dead.

Its not dead... only in hibernation.  :sleep:

I-73 in WV will only come out of hibernation if VA builds their part from I-81 to the WV state line and even then, since OH and MI have said they have no interest in building I-73, where would it end in WV? Considering the fact that I-73 is currently on life support from Roanoke to NC, I'd say I-73 in WV is...

(https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/54489687.jpg)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on May 30, 2016, 01:03:03 PM
The sections that WV has built have at-grade intersections and development along the roadway. It's not practical to upgrade them to freeways. I-73 in WV is dead.

Its not dead... only in hibernation.  :sleep:


I-73 in WV will only come out of hibernation if VA builds their part from I-81 to the WV state line and even then, since OH and MI have said they have no interest in building I-73, where would it end in WV? Considering the fact that I-73 is currently on life support from Roanoke to NC, I'd say I-73 in WV is...

(https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/54489687.jpg)



I don't expect I-73 to go beyond Roanoke, so I am not worried about what WV, MI or OH do. The approved corridor is for VA, NC and SC.

But, if other states decide to revive I-73 (and I-74), they may do so. But again, something has to be done or they'll lose money. If they cannot build a interstate sooner, build a expressway and upgrade it when money comes. That should satisfy the demands this time at the same time getting the project to go. Hopefully they can get it done.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on May 31, 2016, 02:26:55 PM
Do I need to point out the utter stupidity in building an expressway between Martinsville and Roanoke when there is already a four-lane expressway (US 220) that adequately serves the corridor?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on May 31, 2016, 02:43:09 PM
Do I need to point out the utter stupidity in building an expressway between Martinsville and Roanoke when there is already a four-lane expressway (US 220) that adequately serves the corridor?


I don't know what your beef is, we were just discussing things. no need for trying to point out the utter stupidity here. People built things and it happens. get over it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on June 01, 2016, 06:11:26 PM
That is why I suggested possibly upgrading existing 220 between Roanoke and Martinsville, instead of building a whole new roadway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on June 01, 2016, 08:21:14 PM
Upgrading US 220 itself north of Boones Mill to a freeway would be a challenge.

South of there the terrain is a lot better...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 01, 2016, 10:19:09 PM
That is why I suggested possibly upgrading existing 220 between Roanoke and Martinsville, instead of building a whole new roadway.



I believe they did a study on that before? I don't know, but that would probably be a little cheaper.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 02, 2016, 12:14:40 AM
Do I need to point out the utter stupidity in building an expressway between Martinsville and Roanoke when there is already a four-lane expressway (US 220) that adequately serves the corridor?


I don't know what your beef is, we were just discussing things. no need for trying to point out the utter stupidity here. People built things and it happens. get over it.

My beef is that this is a totally stupid and wasteful project. The US 220 expressway four-lane corridor is perfectly adequate for the Roanoke-to-Martinsville-to-Greensboro corridor. The idea that a parallel freeway is needed is absurd. Making it a toll road would be even more absurd because I have the feeling most traffic would shunpike it in favor of 220.

I'm glad this bad idea is dead. There are certainly more worthwhile projects in rural Virginia, such as finishing Corridor H, the US 58 widening, and the Coalfields Expressway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 02, 2016, 10:09:17 AM
Quote
  such as finishing Corridor H,

By the numbers, I-73 is a better project than Corridor H in Virginia, so you might want to reevaluate this statement...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: MazdaStrider on June 02, 2016, 11:49:36 AM
Do I need to point out the utter stupidity in building an expressway between Martinsville and Roanoke when there is already a four-lane expressway (US 220) that adequately serves the corridor?


I don't know what your beef is, we were just discussing things. no need for trying to point out the utter stupidity here. People built things and it happens. get over it.

My beef is that this is a totally stupid and wasteful project. The US 220 expressway four-lane corridor is perfectly adequate for the Roanoke-to-Martinsville-to-Greensboro corridor. The idea that a parallel freeway is needed is absurd. Making it a toll road would be even more absurd because I have the feeling most traffic would shunpike it in favor of 220.

I'm glad this bad idea is dead. There are certainly more worthwhile projects in rural Virginia, such as finishing Corridor H, the US 58 widening, and the Coalfields Expressway.


Except it is not dead. It is shelved for time being.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on June 02, 2016, 05:38:23 PM
Virginia might look at the possibility of building the Ridgeway Bypass section of the I-73 corridor. This ought to be a useful improvement over US 220 and it ought to be fundable in a reasonable time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 02, 2016, 06:58:37 PM
Virginia might look at the possibility of building the Ridgeway Bypass section of the I-73 corridor. This ought to be a useful improvement over US 220 and it ought to be fundable in a reasonable time.


Yeah they should at least get it to start off by building a Ridgeway Bypass section of I-73 corridor from NC border to US 58 bypass first or the Patriot Centre connector first. It shouldn't cost that much.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 03, 2016, 07:53:30 PM
Quote
  such as finishing Corridor H,

By the numbers, I-73 is a better project than Corridor H in Virginia, so you might want to reevaluate this statement...

I'd think that improving access to the Virginia Inland Port from the west would be financially beneficial to the Commonwealth.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on June 03, 2016, 10:41:52 PM
Poking around the Port of Virginia website, they largely use trucks to do any business with WV and rail for places further out that direction.

Because the inland port is just an arm of the shore port, anything going to the inland port goes through the shore port first for the most part.  There is already decent road access from the shore ports to West Virginia so an improved US 48 west of Strasburg might only be beneficial to Virginia if it could be shown that shipping stuff to the inland port by rail first then putting it on a truck to go somewhere in WV is cost-effective.

The inland port says they exist to improve port access to the DC and Baltimore regions (really).  About 30 companies have set up around the inland port area to take advantage of it.

I will say that even if I-73 scores better, it certainly would be cheaper to improve US 48 but in terms of what is necessary, a full fledged expressway-type road may not have to be done...just some spot improvements.  Currently the truck AADT at the state line is barely 150 (6% of total traffic).

edit: fixed typo
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 05, 2016, 04:44:58 PM
Poking around the Port of Virginia website, they largely use trucks to do any business with WV and rail for places further out that direction.

Because the inland port is just an arm of the shore port, anything going to the inland port goes through the shore port first for the most part.  There is already decent road access from the shore ports to West Virginia so an improved US 48 west of Strasburg might only be beneficial to Virginia if it could be shown that shipping stuff to the inland port by rail first then putting it on a truck to go somewhere in WV is cost-effective.

The inland port says they exist to improve port access to the DC and Baltimore regions (really).  About 30 companies have set up around the inland port area to take advantage of it.

I will say that even if I-73 scores better, it certainly would be cheaper to improve US 48 but in terms of what is necessary, a full fledged expressway-type road may not have to be done...just some spot improvements.  Currently the truck AADT at the state line is barely 150 (6% of total traffic).

edit: fixed typo


Virginia is not going to build their part of Corridor H anytime soon according to this article in 2015:

http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/


Back to the I-73 topic.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 05, 2016, 09:01:23 PM
Poking around the Port of Virginia website, they largely use trucks to do any business with WV and rail for places further out that direction.

Because the inland port is just an arm of the shore port, anything going to the inland port goes through the shore port first for the most part.  There is already decent road access from the shore ports to West Virginia so an improved US 48 west of Strasburg might only be beneficial to Virginia if it could be shown that shipping stuff to the inland port by rail first then putting it on a truck to go somewhere in WV is cost-effective.

The inland port says they exist to improve port access to the DC and Baltimore regions (really).  About 30 companies have set up around the inland port area to take advantage of it.

I will say that even if I-73 scores better, it certainly would be cheaper to improve US 48 but in terms of what is necessary, a full fledged expressway-type road may not have to be done...just some spot improvements.  Currently the truck AADT at the state line is barely 150 (6% of total traffic).

edit: fixed typo


Virginia is not going to build their part of Corridor H anytime soon according to this article in 2015:

http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/


Back to the I-73 topic.

I have checked several times - it is not in the VDOT Six Year Program (http://syip.virginiadot.org/) for anything, so no progress anytime soon should be anticipated. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: dvferyance on June 10, 2016, 10:38:41 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 11, 2016, 07:12:58 AM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.

Are the Future I-73 signs still up along I-581 in Roanoke? Those were put there not too long ago. I think anybody that's paid attention to the politics in Henry County and in the General Assembly in Richmond have already known this for a long time. Bill Stanley seems to be the only vocal advocate for I-73 in the General Assembly. He's just kidding himself at this point. I will say, however, that if given the choice between the two, I'd much rather see I-87 done first. I don't expect that one to ever be finished either, for the same reason.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 11, 2016, 05:56:09 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 11, 2016, 06:09:07 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.

Thanks for confirming that the signs are still there. I hardly ever get out that way myself.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 11, 2016, 06:19:13 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.

Thanks for confirming that the signs are still there. I hardly ever get out that way myself.


You are welcome. :)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: dvferyance on June 17, 2016, 06:42:53 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
I was on US 220 between Roanoke and Rocky Mount last October and didn't see any. Excuse me but I live in SE Wisconsin if anything has changed since then how would I know?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 17, 2016, 07:34:05 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
I was on US 220 between Roanoke and Rocky Mount last October and didn't see any. But what do I know now? I live over 800 miles away.

To my knowledge, there still isn't any Future I-73 signs between Rocky Mount and Roanoke (not counting I-581). They're only placed at the spots Strider mentioned. I-73 in VA is dead for the forseeable future.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 18, 2016, 02:40:11 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
I was on US 220 between Roanoke and Rocky Mount last October and didn't see any. But what do I know now? I live over 800 miles away.

To my knowledge, there still isn't any Future I-73 signs between Rocky Mount and Roanoke (not counting I-581). They're only placed at the spots Strider mentioned. I-73 in VA is dead for the forseeable future.



That is because that section of US 220 between Rocky Mount and Roanoke is not going to be a part of I-73 (the plan is to have I-73 follow US 220 to the EAST), therefore why you don't see the "Future I-73 Corridor" signs anywhere between these two cities. The "future I-73" Corridor signs you see.. that's where the part of US 220 will become I-73 in the future.


As of you saying I-73 is dead, it is NOT dead. it is being shelved for time being.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 18, 2016, 03:31:07 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
I was on US 220 between Roanoke and Rocky Mount last October and didn't see any. But what do I know now? I live over 800 miles away.

To my knowledge, there still isn't any Future I-73 signs between Rocky Mount and Roanoke (not counting I-581). They're only placed at the spots Strider mentioned. I-73 in VA is dead for the forseeable future.



That is because that section of US 220 between Rocky Mount and Roanoke is not going to be a part of I-73 (the plan is to have I-73 follow US 220 to the EAST), therefore why you don't see the "Future I-73 Corridor" signs anywhere between these two cities. The "future I-73" Corridor signs you see.. that's where the part of US 220 will become I-73 in the future.

Yeah, I forgot about the new location routing there. I should've remembered it since I posted a map of the I-73 corridor in this thread not too long ago. Damn brainfart... :pan:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on June 18, 2016, 03:49:53 PM
The future I-73 sings on US 220 are gone. I think it's safe to say I-73 in Virginia is dead.



WRONG! I went up to Roanoke today and saw PLENTY of Future I-73 corridor signs on US 220. I don't know where you get this. There is one just south of NC/VA border, a few miles north of Martinsville, and 4 of them in Roanoke area (I-581/US 220) as of TODAY. Make sure you drive in that area before making a false comments like this.
I was on US 220 between Roanoke and Rocky Mount last October and didn't see any. But what do I know now? I live over 800 miles away.

To my knowledge, there still isn't any Future I-73 signs between Rocky Mount and Roanoke (not counting I-581). They're only placed at the spots Strider mentioned. I-73 in VA is dead for the forseeable future.



That is because that section of US 220 between Rocky Mount and Roanoke is not going to be a part of I-73 (the plan is to have I-73 follow US 220 to the EAST), therefore why you don't see the "Future I-73 Corridor" signs anywhere between these two cities. The "future I-73" Corridor signs you see.. that's where the part of US 220 will become I-73 in the future.


As of you saying I-73 is dead, it is NOT dead. it is being shelved for time being.

You can have future corridor signs along highways that are not going to be converted to an Interstate.  That was the case with I-73 Future Corridor signs in South Carolina. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: WashuOtaku on June 19, 2016, 01:39:38 AM
You can have future corridor signs along highways that are not going to be converted to an Interstate.  That was the case with I-73 Future Corridor signs in South Carolina.

Just because South Carolina did that doesn't mean other states do the same.  :pan:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on June 19, 2016, 12:37:19 PM
You can have future corridor signs along highways that are not going to be converted to an Interstate.  That was the case with I-73 Future Corridor signs in South Carolina.

Just because South Carolina did that doesn't mean other states do the same.  :pan:

Mark, yes you are correct.  But I am sure that you recall that on the north end of the US 1 interchange with US /Future I-74 in Rockingham there were "Begin" and "End Future 73/74 Corridor signs" and that part of US 1 isn't being upgraded.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 27, 2016, 09:28:51 PM
Update on the I-73 earmarked funds, the Henry County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to ask the CTB for the funds to be used for the planned connector road (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/supervisors-ask-ctb-to-consider-connector/article_3ada005c-539e-11e6-b795-a767e9257281.html) from Patriot Centre to US 58.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: CanesFan27 on July 27, 2016, 09:37:18 PM
Update on the I-73 earmarked funds, the Henry County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to ask the CTB for the funds to be used for the planned connector road (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/supervisors-ask-ctb-to-consider-connector/article_3ada005c-539e-11e6-b795-a767e9257281.html) from Patriot Centre to US 58.

Which is all that matter to them in the first place.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 27, 2016, 10:39:34 PM
Update on the I-73 earmarked funds, the Henry County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to ask the CTB for the funds to be used for the planned connector road (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/supervisors-ask-ctb-to-consider-connector/article_3ada005c-539e-11e6-b795-a767e9257281.html) from Patriot Centre to US 58.

Which is all that matter to them in the first place.


From what I heard, (still waiting for someone from there to respond to my question) the Henry County's plan is to build I-73 from NC border to the Patriot Centre. Kudos to them, I just wish they could consider other alternatives that uses the existing US 220 freeway around Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on July 28, 2016, 06:03:39 AM
Update on the I-73 earmarked funds, the Henry County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to ask the CTB for the funds to be used for the planned connector road (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/supervisors-ask-ctb-to-consider-connector/article_3ada005c-539e-11e6-b795-a767e9257281.html) from Patriot Centre to US 58.

Which is all that matter to them in the first place.


From what I heard, (still waiting for someone from there to respond to my question) the Henry County's plan is to build I-73 from NC border to the Patriot Centre. Kudos to them, I just wish they could consider other alternatives that uses the existing US 220 freeway around Martinsville.

So, they want the connector road to become part of I-73 eventually?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 28, 2016, 10:25:44 AM
Update on the I-73 earmarked funds, the Henry County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to ask the CTB for the funds to be used for the planned connector road (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/supervisors-ask-ctb-to-consider-connector/article_3ada005c-539e-11e6-b795-a767e9257281.html) from Patriot Centre to US 58.

Which is all that matter to them in the first place.


From what I heard, (still waiting for someone from there to respond to my question) the Henry County's plan is to build I-73 from NC border to the Patriot Centre. Kudos to them, I just wish they could consider other alternatives that uses the existing US 220 freeway around Martinsville.

So, they want the connector road to become part of I-73 eventually?


Yeah. The connector is going to be on or close to the proposed I-73 approved corridor through Henry County.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on July 28, 2016, 04:15:06 PM
Will the connector road be a freeway, a four-lane expressway with at-grade intersections, or be built in some other road configuration entirely?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on July 28, 2016, 04:23:39 PM
Yeah. The connector is going to be on or close to the proposed I-73 approved corridor through Henry County.
I'm not from the area, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Looks like the revised I-73 route, as shown on the VDOT map (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg) has an interchange with Barrows Mill Road (SR 663) just at the north edge of the Patriot Centre property (http://www.yesmartinsville.com/properties/details/id/52/patriot-centre-ii). So yes, the connector road would be a segment of Future I-73. Assuming there is a Future I-73 in VA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 28, 2016, 04:59:13 PM
Will the connector road be a freeway, an four-lane expressway with at-grade intersections, or be built in some other road configuration entirely?


Good question. I heard they plan on building it as a freeway, but not interstate standards (upgrade it to interstate later), but most definitely not an expressway. I am still waiting for the new information from Henry County Board of Supervisors though
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 28, 2016, 05:09:26 PM
Yeah. The connector is going to be on or close to the proposed I-73 approved corridor through Henry County.
I'm not from the area, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Looks like the revised I-73 route, as shown on the VDOT map (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg) has an interchange with Barrows Mill Road (SR 663) just at the north edge of the Patriot Centre property (http://www.yesmartinsville.com/properties/details/id/52/patriot-centre-ii). So yes, the connector road would be a segment of Future I-73. Assuming there is a Future I-73 in VA.


That is correct map. The revised I-73 route follows the green lines on the map (red was the original proposed route). Yeah the connector road follows "exactly" the same route. I put an " " on it because after getting a comment from a member of that I-73 group, I'd rather wait for a new information after they meet (which is planned for next Thursday) and one in September.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on July 28, 2016, 06:18:06 PM
Will the connector road be a freeway, an four-lane expressway with at-grade intersections, or be built in some other road configuration entirely?


Good question. I heard they plan on building it as a freeway, but not interstate standards (upgrade it to interstate later), but most definitely not an expressway. I am still waiting for the new information from Henry County Board of Supervisors though

Hell, if the connector is supposed to become part of I-73 eventually, and if it's to be built as a freeway to start with, they might as well go ahead and build it to interstate standards. It would save the time and hassle of having to upgrade it later.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on July 28, 2016, 07:11:41 PM
Will the connector road be a freeway, an four-lane expressway with at-grade intersections, or be built in some other road configuration entirely?


Good question. I heard they plan on building it as a freeway, but not interstate standards (upgrade it to interstate later), but most definitely not an expressway. I am still waiting for the new information from Henry County Board of Supervisors though

Hell, if the connector is supposed to become part of I-73 eventually, and if it's to be built as a freeway to start with, they might as well go ahead and build it to interstate standards. It would save the time and hassle of having to upgrade it later.

That is exactly what I thought it should be done this way. We will see when I finally hear something (should know something by next Thursday).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 19, 2016, 11:53:26 PM
The latest on I-73:

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/city-council-asks-state-to-create-transportation-district/article_f4ef8fbb-d478-5681-8133-b4a023bd1c7d.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/city-council-asks-state-to-create-transportation-district/article_f4ef8fbb-d478-5681-8133-b4a023bd1c7d.html)

Quote
In making economic progress, Southside and Southwestern Virginia are lagging behind those regions in part due to significant differences in spending amounts for transportation infrastructure, the resolution states.

Amid influence that Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia have on legislators, “in our part of the state, it’s become obvious that it’s going to be difficult” to get substantial funding for I-73 from them, said City Manager Leon Towarnicki.

Quote
Officials hope that if I-73 is ever built, construction starts in Henry County at the North Carolina line.

The interstate already exists in the central part of that state.

Towarnicki said he understands that if Virginia commits to starting construction of I-73 locally, North Carolina will extend its stretch of the highway to the state line.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: codyg1985 on October 25, 2016, 07:41:29 AM
I am surprised VA is even remotely supportive of I-73.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 25, 2016, 09:44:24 AM
I am surprised VA is even remotely supportive of I-73.

I honestly don't think they are. The only support it has is from Roanoke and the city of Martinsville. Henry County appears to have thrown in the towel. State sen. Bill Stanley seems to be the only guy at the state level pushing for I-73.

Southside/SW VA is just too far low on the totem pole compared to the rest of the state, for better or worse.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 25, 2016, 12:56:33 PM
I am surprised VA is even remotely supportive of I-73.

I honestly don't think they are. The only support it has is from Roanoke and the city of Martinsville. Henry County appears to have thrown in the towel. State sen. Bill Stanley seems to be the only guy at the state level pushing for I-73.

Southside/SW VA is just too far low on the totem pole compared to the rest of the state, for better or worse.


They are, however the CTB wants those who supports the building of I-73 to prove they are "serious" about pursuing I-73, in which is why Henry, Franklin and Roanoke countries are trying to set up some sort of transportation board that is looking to increase the gas tax.

So basically they have to start all over because I believe the money they had that was supposed to be reserved for I-73, was transferred elsewhere.. (somebody correct me if I am wrong).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2016, 01:36:18 PM
They are, however the CTB wants those who supports the building of I-73 to prove they are "serious" about pursuing I-73, in which is why Henry, Franklin and Roanoke countries are trying to set up some sort of transportation board that is looking to increase the gas tax.

So basically they have to start all over because I believe the money they had that was supposed to be reserved for I-73, was transferred elsewhere.. (somebody correct me if I am wrong).

It's interesting to note that the original transportation district in Northern Virginia (http://www.novatransit.org/), formed in the 1960's, has been the beneficiary of a motor fuel sales tax (http://www.novatransit.org/resources/motor-fuels-tax/) since the early 1980's (originally 2% on retail sales, now 2.1% on wholesale sales) collected to subsidize transit only. Not highways.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2016, 02:21:05 PM
Quote from: Strider
in which is why Henry, Franklin and Roanoke countries are trying to set up some sort of transportation board that is looking to increase the gas tax.

The only way this would be allowed is if the General Assembly passes legislation that allows them to.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on October 25, 2016, 02:45:53 PM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 25, 2016, 02:57:33 PM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?

No. (Hi, Strider.  :D )
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2016, 03:31:48 PM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?

No. (Hi, Strider.  :D )

My  impression (from a detached and pretty disinterested perspective) is that at least some of the elected officials in the U.S. 220 Corridor believe that having I-73 will "induce" more traffic, and perhaps "induce" more interest in their area from potential employers.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 25, 2016, 04:32:44 PM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?


At this time, the Interstate freeway is not needed. Despite the fact that they are pushing the interstate highway to be on a new location for most of the areas, I feel they should upgrade US 220 to interstate standards. (build I-73 ON US 220 and add frontage roads and build bypasses around towns it goes through)

The road itself is curvy, hilly and dangerous for traffic, especially for semi trucks. If they are THAT desperate to build I-73, there is clearly something is going on down there. I support the growth of Martinsville and SW VA, which has been lacking these days.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 25, 2016, 07:51:23 PM
I support the growth of Martinsville and SW VA, which has been lacking these days.

That's an understatement! :-D
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 25, 2016, 11:31:48 PM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?

No. (Hi, Strider.  :D )

My  impression (from a detached and pretty disinterested perspective) is that at least some of the elected officials in the U.S. 220 Corridor believe that having I-73 will "induce" more traffic, and perhaps "induce" more interest in their area from potential employers.

Correct. That's the same reasoning that local officials in eastern NC used to lobby for (and successfully gain) I-42, I-87 and possibly an I-x87 spur along US-264 between Zebulon and Greenville (pending AASHTO approval in November) with projects along those corridors either under construction or in the planning stages (unlike VA's portion of I-73).

The difference is that those highways have a lot of support at the state level, including the governor. Eastern NC also seems to have a good bit of political clout lately. Southside/SW VA has a lot more hurdles to jump through and I-73 hasn't had nowhere near as much support at the state level. There's also the issue froggie mentioned: That the VA General Assembly has to pass legislation allowing the region to set up their own transportation board. Chances of that are slim, IMO.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 26, 2016, 08:17:58 AM
How dire is the situation on existing US 220? Is an Interstate Standard freeway desperately needed at this time, or in the future?

No. (Hi, Strider.  :D )

My  impression (from a detached and pretty disinterested perspective) is that at least some of the elected officials in the U.S. 220 Corridor believe that having I-73 will "induce" more traffic, and perhaps "induce" more interest in their area from potential employers.

Correct. That's the same reasoning that local officials in eastern NC used to lobby for (and successfully gain) I-42, I-87 and possibly an I-x87 spur along US-264 between Zebulon and Greenville (pending AASHTO approval in November) with projects along those corridors either under construction or in the planning stages (unlike VA's portion of I-73).

The difference is that those highways have a lot of support at the state level, including the governor. Eastern NC also seems to have a good bit of political clout lately. Southside/SW VA has a lot more hurdles to jump through and I-73 hasn't had nowhere near as much support at the state level. There's also the issue froggie mentioned: That the VA General Assembly has to pass legislation allowing the region to set up their own transportation board. Chances of that are slim, IMO.



and money is an issue as well.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2016, 09:02:38 AM
Correct. That's the same reasoning that local officials in eastern NC used to lobby for (and successfully gain) I-42, I-87 and possibly an I-x87 spur along US-264 between Zebulon and Greenville (pending AASHTO approval in November) with projects along those corridors either under construction or in the planning stages (unlike VA's portion of I-73).

I suppose I question the need for those Interstates more than an upgraded U.S. 220 in Virginia south of Roanoke.    That land is Coastal Plain and as such, reasonably  flat, unlike the path that U.S. 220 follows.

The difference is that those highways have a lot of support at the state level, including the governor. Eastern NC also seems to have a good bit of political clout lately. Southside/SW VA has a lot more hurdles to jump through and I-73 hasn't had nowhere near as much support at the state level. There's also the issue froggie mentioned: That the VA General Assembly has to pass legislation allowing the region to set up their own transportation board. Chances of that are slim, IMO.

It is my impression that the Virginia General Assembly, if asked politely, will approve such districts. 

What is likely more of a challenge is getting them to approve higher motor fuel taxes on gasoline and Diesel fuel dispensed within the bounds of the district.

Of course, such  a district, without the taxing powers granted from Richmond, is  a waste of everyone's time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 26, 2016, 09:50:33 AM
I suppose I question the need for those Interstates more than an upgraded U.S. 220 in Virginia south of Roanoke.    That land is Coastal Plain and as such, reasonably  flat, unlike the path that U.S. 220 follows.

For the most part, I agree. However, I think US-70 between I-40 in Garner and Morehead City warrants becoming I-42. US-70 carries more traffic than I-87's routing and US-264 and it also acts as a hurricane evacuation route. US-70 has also had significant safety issues in the past (some still present), especially between Goldsboro and Clayton. I-795's future extension along US-117 from Goldsboro to I-40 near Faison would act as a shortcut for traffic going from Wilmington to the Northeast and vice-versa, along with serving as an additional hurricane evacuation route.

Quote
What is likely more of a challenge is getting them to approve higher motor fuel taxes on gasoline and Diesel fuel dispensed within the bounds of the district.

Of course, such  a district, without the taxing powers granted from Richmond, is  a waste of everyone's time.

Agreed. I don't see much hope for I-73 otherwise.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 26, 2016, 01:13:51 PM
I suppose I question the need for those Interstates more than an upgraded U.S. 220 in Virginia south of Roanoke.    That land is Coastal Plain and as such, reasonably  flat, unlike the path that U.S. 220 follows.

For the most part, I agree. However, I think US-70 between I-40 in Garner and Morehead City warrants becoming I-42. US-70 carries more traffic than I-87's routing and US-264 and it also acts as a hurricane evacuation route. US-70 has also had significant safety issues in the past (some still present), especially between Goldsboro and Clayton. I-795's future extension along US-117 from Goldsboro to I-40 near Faison would act as a shortcut for traffic going from Wilmington to the Northeast and vice-versa, along with serving as an additional hurricane evacuation route.

Quote
What is likely more of a challenge is getting them to approve higher motor fuel taxes on gasoline and Diesel fuel dispensed within the bounds of the district.

Of course, such  a district, without the taxing powers granted from Richmond, is  a waste of everyone's time.

Agreed. I don't see much hope for I-73 otherwise.

Despite many of you not having a hope for I-73, I remain hopeful it will be built and eventually it will be whether it is in my lifetime or not.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 26, 2016, 02:09:09 PM
Despite many of you not having a hope for I-73, I remain hopeful it will be built and eventually it will be whether it is in my lifetime or not.

It won't be needed in my lifetime, or yours, or anyone else's.

I would be absolutely THRILLED if I could somehow pick up existing US 220 and put it down along any number of corridors in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, southwestern Virginia (oh wait, they already did in spots, they're called US 19, US 23, US 58, US 460 and a few other numbers), east Tennessee or western North Carolina.

I feel the same way about upgrading US 220 to an interstate between Roanoke and Martinsville as I do about US 31 between South Bend and Indianapolis -- some spot improvements might be beneficial, but a full freeway built to Interstate standards is not needed and a waste of money.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2016, 02:53:43 PM
I feel the same way about upgrading US 220 to an interstate between Roanoke and Martinsville as I do about US 31 between South Bend and Indianapolis -- some spot improvements might be beneficial, but a full freeway built to Interstate standards is not needed and a waste of money.

A road built to West Virginia's expressway-type ADHS corridor standards such as Corridor G and Corridor H would be an improvement, though in the case of U.S. 220 south of Roanoke, it would mean cutting-off a lot of access to the highway from private properties along the way.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 26, 2016, 06:16:01 PM
Despite many of you not having a hope for I-73, I remain hopeful it will be built and eventually it will be whether it is in my lifetime or not.

It won't be needed in my lifetime, or yours, or anyone else's.

I would be absolutely THRILLED if I could somehow pick up existing US 220 and put it down along any number of corridors in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, southwestern Virginia (oh wait, they already did in spots, they're called US 19, US 23, US 58, US 460 and a few other numbers), east Tennessee or western North Carolina.

I feel the same way about upgrading US 220 to an interstate between Roanoke and Martinsville as I do about US 31 between South Bend and Indianapolis -- some spot improvements might be beneficial, but a full freeway built to Interstate standards is not needed and a waste of money.


And you have no problem with I-69 being built in your state? okay. Good for you.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: vdeane on October 26, 2016, 08:32:42 PM
Building I-69 in Kentucky IS only spot improvements on existing freeways, with the exception of the Ohio River Bridge.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on October 26, 2016, 10:19:52 PM
Correct.  A more relevant comparison for Strider to have made was the proposed construction of I-66 in Kentucky.  But HB is also on record as opposing that as "a waste of money"...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 26, 2016, 10:55:50 PM
For the zillionth time -- I'm generally in favor of signing any Interstate-compatible freeway with the red, white and blue shield. I'd be A-OK with signing every Kentucky parkway as such, but that's not possible because most don't meet strict Interstate (capital "I") standards although the differences are not noticeable to the average non-roadgeek or non-engineer motorist.

Congress pushed for the building of I-69 as a border-to-border route and Kentucky was lucky enough to have freeways already in place. I think Kentucky would have been more than happy to put up I-69 signs on the existing parkways, but the feds demanded certain upgrades before it could be done. So blame the feds for that, not Kentucky. Kentucky also made a cost-saving decision to route I-69 on the Western Kentucky and Pennyrile parkways instead of building a new-terrain route paralleling US 60 between the Paducah area and Henderson.

Indiana is building I-69 through virgin territory and is not replacing viable four-lane expressways between Evansville and Bloomington. If there was a route in existence similar to US 220, or any number of other four-lane routes, between central and southwestern Indiana, I'd say it's a waste of money too. But when you have a good, serviceable four-lane, it's just wasteful to build a parallel interstate. 220 has some hills and curves, but it's not an overly unsafe route, nor are those factors impediments to travel.

Although I know I'll never convince some that think just because Martinsville wants an interstate, it should be done, because the government says so.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on October 27, 2016, 04:58:07 PM
Despite many of you not having a hope for I-73, I remain hopeful it will be built and eventually it will be whether it is in my lifetime or not.

It won't be needed in my lifetime, or yours, or anyone else's.

I would be absolutely THRILLED if I could somehow pick up existing US 220 and put it down along any number of corridors in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, southwestern Virginia (oh wait, they already did in spots, they're called US 19, US 23, US 58, US 460 and a few other numbers), east Tennessee or western North Carolina.

A long time ago when I-73 was first discussed, the reasonable routing in Virginia added it to existing I-77 to get from West Virginia to North Carolina. But some politicians saw a way to enhance their standing with voters and gerrymandered the route to the east, even though there is no really good way to do so unless one spends lots and lots of money, moves lots of earth, and displaces a lot of people -- with limited benefit. Pretty much any discussion of how to get from West Virginia to Roanoke has faded away, since U.S. 460 is already pretty much on what would be the most viable route (and improving that road is a major part of any expense to create the new highway).

The same problem exists with U.S. 220 -- it is an old road built on the path of least resistance established back in colonial days. Putting a parallel interstate through that area has already met resistance from landowners who would lose their property to a new road. Probably the best compromise would be to work on sections of the existing highway where it was "twinned" to improve curves and grades and to build a couple of new sections to get around some problem areas (like bypassing speed-trap Boones Mill and avoiding the roll-over curve a little north of Oak Level).

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on October 27, 2016, 09:10:15 PM
A long time ago when I-73 was first discussed, the reasonable routing in Virginia added it to existing I-77 to get from West Virginia to North Carolina. But some politicians saw a way to enhance their standing with voters and gerrymandered the route to the east, even though there is no really good way to do so unless one spends lots and lots of money, moves lots of earth, and displaces a lot of people -- with limited benefit. Pretty much any discussion of how to get from West Virginia to Roanoke has faded away, since U.S. 460 is already pretty much on what would be the most viable route (and improving that road is a major part of any expense to create the new highway).
Bruce in Blacksburg

I always thought that I-73 was supposed to be routed across the Smart Road.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on October 27, 2016, 09:35:00 PM
A long time ago when I-73 was first discussed, the reasonable routing in Virginia added it to existing I-77 to get from West Virginia to North Carolina. But some politicians saw a way to enhance their standing with voters and gerrymandered the route to the east, even though there is no really good way to do so unless one spends lots and lots of money, moves lots of earth, and displaces a lot of people -- with limited benefit. Pretty much any discussion of how to get from West Virginia to Roanoke has faded away, since U.S. 460 is already pretty much on what would be the most viable route (and improving that road is a major part of any expense to create the new highway).
Bruce in Blacksburg

I always thought that I-73 was supposed to be routed across the Smart Road.

Bruce is talking about the period of 1991-95 when I-73/74 was legislatively on the same exact corridor (I-74's current corridor)...

A synopsis of the early history of these corridors is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_73
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 28, 2016, 09:20:40 AM
A resolution to support a Transportation Tax District failed in Henry County.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/tax-district-vote-fails-to-move-forward-in-henry-county/article_17841dbb-001e-5ac0-b01a-436d6649d907.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/tax-district-vote-fails-to-move-forward-in-henry-county/article_17841dbb-001e-5ac0-b01a-436d6649d907.html)

Quote
COLLINSVILLE-A Henry County resolution to support a Transportation Tax District failed for lack of a motion on Tuesday.

During the 3 p.m. meeting of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, the group considered endorsing a resolution which would ask the General Assembly to create the district. However when the time to make a motion and put it up for a vote, no one was interested in moving forward.

Hall added that the General Assembly would have three options regarding the district: They could approve its creation, they could reject it outright, or they could move to put the creation of the district to a referendum and let voters decide.

Collinsville District Supervisor Joe Bryant said that he was concerned by the fact that the funds raised in Henry County might not end up in Henry County, a concern echoed by several other members of the board.

Iriswood District Representative Milton Kendall said that he didn’t think the resolution would move the needle on Interstate 73. In Henry County, he said, it’s estimated that the 0.7 percent tax increase would generate $2.8 million annually in the county. At that rate, he said, it would take 20 years to build one mile of I-73, and even if the money didn’t go to I-73, it might not even go toward a transportation project within the county.

Ridgeway District Supervisor Ryan Zehr echoed these concerns, adding that he would feel more comfortable supporting the resolution if the General Assembly were to put it to a referendum and allow the voters to decide. Without that guarantee, he said, he had a hard time supporting it.

Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan added that a lack of support for this particular resolution should not be seen as a lack of support for I-73, because the board supports the creation of I-73.

The resolution failed for lack of a motion.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on October 28, 2016, 10:58:21 AM
I always thought that I-73 was supposed to be routed across the Smart Road.

Yeah, but that is only a short portion of the entire route -- and given the research that is carried out on the Smart Road now, I seriously doubt that it will ever be extended to I-81 (not that many people really believed that fairy tale).

Like U.S. 220, U.S. 460 between the West Va. state line and I-81 is pretty much already on the path of least resistance. The Narrows where the New River flows between two mountains is the easy way to go -- it would take a lot of cuts, fill, and bridges to get from, say, Kellysville, WVa. to the north end of the Blacksburg bypass. VDOT has too many other projects that need funding (and no good reason to "shortcut" I-77 to I-81 to get to Roanoke and beyond) so an interstate highway through this area is pretty much a dead issue.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: mvak36 on October 28, 2016, 11:00:20 AM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2016, 11:39:44 AM
Ridgeway District Supervisor Ryan Zehr echoed these concerns, adding that he would feel more comfortable supporting the resolution if the General Assembly were to put it to a referendum and allow the voters to decide. Without that guarantee, he said, he had a hard time supporting it.

Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan added that a lack of support for this particular resolution should not be seen as a lack of support for I-73, because the board supports the creation of I-73.

The resolution failed for lack of a motion.

This is very revealing. I read it as saying that they want I-73 as long as their own constituents do not have to pay for it.

They should tell that to Northern Virginia taxpayers, who fund the WMATA, VRE and some other transit service operating deficits and capital subsidies in part from taxes on motor fuels though transportation districts.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2016, 11:41:45 AM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.

That's a project that has great merit regardless of what happens (or does not happen) with I-73.  Most of I-81 in the Commonwealth ought to be six or eight lanes wide.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on October 28, 2016, 01:40:03 PM


This is very revealing. I read it as saying that they want I-73 as long as their own constituents do not have to pay for it.



Don't know that I would go that far in interpreting, but it does reinforce my original thought regarding forming a special tax district:  The article posted upthread said the entire district would expect about $60M per year.  Even at that figure getting I-73 built as currently planned it would take a while to accumulate enough cash to do anything substantial.  What I think would happen is that geographic groups within the district would want to siphon off money from that pot to fund local projects that VDOT can't/won't fund instead of letting it sit for years at a time before I-73 construction could happen.  Would Roanoke be OK with taking the first few years of the fund to build the NC to Martinsville section?  Would Martinsville be OK with taking the first few years and building the first section south of I-581?  The tax district would have to be legislatively tied to I-73 in order for it to have a chance to be successful in getting I-73 built, IMO.

I am in favor of these types of tax districts so that local areas have the ability to fund local projects that don't score well with VDOT's method of funding projects.  Not sure a general tax district is as useful to fund one megaproject.

Separately, don't forget there is this still out there from the one guy pushing hard at the state level ($40M a year starting NLT 2020 for I-73): http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+SB197

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on October 28, 2016, 02:42:48 PM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.

That's a project that has great merit regardless of what happens (or does not happen) with I-73.  Most of I-81 in the Commonwealth ought to be six or eight lanes wide.

I agree, but sadly I-81 seems to get the same treatment in VA that I-95 gets in NC.

Hell, I don't think parts of I-581 (I-73's routing) in Roanoke even meets current interstate standards. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on October 28, 2016, 09:18:21 PM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.

That's a project that has great merit regardless of what happens (or does not happen) with I-73.  Most of I-81 in the Commonwealth ought to be six or eight lanes wide.

I agree, but sadly I-81 seems to get the same treatment in VA that I-95 gets in NC.

Hell, I don't think parts of I-581 (I-73's routing) in Roanoke even meets current interstate standards.


I-581 is fully interstate standard from I-81 to the end of US 220 Freeway south of Roanoke with the exception of the bridge that crosses some streets near the Elm Ave interchange.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on October 28, 2016, 09:59:28 PM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.

That's a project that has great merit regardless of what happens (or does not happen) with I-73.  Most of I-81 in the Commonwealth ought to be six or eight lanes wide.

I agree, but sadly I-81 seems to get the same treatment in VA that I-95 gets in NC.

Hell, I don't think parts of I-581 (I-73's routing) in Roanoke even meets current interstate standards.

I-81 is a very schizophrenic highway. There are times when it is bumper to bumper in both lanes for miles in both directions and there are times when it barely has any traffic. This can even occur within a couple of miles on the same trip, from being in a slug of traffic to being almost alone. The most bizarre thing I've seen was an almost totally vacant highway. We were returning from Vermont on a New Year's Eve and stopped for a late dinner in Winchester. It was about 9 p.m. when we got back on the road and for most of the way south we were the only car on the road. We were climbing Christiansburg Mountain when midnight hit.

But these days, there are more times that traffic is almost overwhelming the capacity of the road. Throw in the daily wreck that slows or stops traffic and more lanes would help. The three lanes southbound from Ironto to the Christiansburg exit at MP 119 have made a great difference in keeping traffic moving (except when a wreck covers all three lanes). There was a great deal of noise a number of years ago about improving the highway across multiple states, but about all that came of that was the improvement program at Bristol and a handful of bridge and climbing lane projects. Harrisonsburg, Winchester, and Roanoke would all benefit from additional lanes but the timing on any work is far in the future.

As to I-581, most of the main road isn't bad but it is plagued by VDOT's "instant on/instant off" ramps that don't allow an easy mix of traffic. South of Elm Avenue, where 581 ends and U.S. 220 continues, there are some curves that may not be up to interstate standards. Again, that highway follows the path of least resistance through an urban area. There isn't much choice to launch a new route for I-73 without a lot of expensive property condemnation. That will probably keep the project off the books for years to come.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 31, 2016, 11:08:53 AM


This is very revealing. I read it as saying that they want I-73 as long as their own constituents do not have to pay for it.



Don't know that I would go that far in interpreting, but it does reinforce my original thought regarding forming a special tax district:  The article posted upthread said the entire district would expect about $60M per year.  Even at that figure getting I-73 built as currently planned it would take a while to accumulate enough cash to do anything substantial.  What I think would happen is that geographic groups within the district would want to siphon off money from that pot to fund local projects that VDOT can't/won't fund instead of letting it sit for years at a time before I-73 construction could happen.  Would Roanoke be OK with taking the first few years of the fund to build the NC to Martinsville section?  Would Martinsville be OK with taking the first few years and building the first section south of I-581?  The tax district would have to be legislatively tied to I-73 in order for it to have a chance to be successful in getting I-73 built, IMO.

I am in favor of these types of tax districts so that local areas have the ability to fund local projects that don't score well with VDOT's method of funding projects.  Not sure a general tax district is as useful to fund one megaproject.

Separately, don't forget there is this still out there from the one guy pushing hard at the state level ($40M a year starting NLT 2020 for I-73): http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+SB197

You are asking the right questions about Roanoke wanting to fund improvements closer to Martinsville and vice versa, and I do not know enough about local attitudes to have a clue about what the answers might be.

I perceive the "I-73 District" along the existing U.S. 220 corridor as being a way to tell the CTB, VDOT and the General Assembly that the localities along the route have some "skin in the game," not to fund the entire project or series of projects (be it an entirely new freeway-class road on a new alignment or a series of upgrades to existing U.S. 220).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 31, 2016, 11:27:24 AM
Maybe they can finally concentrate on widening I-81 throughout the state.

That's a project that has great merit regardless of what happens (or does not happen) with I-73.  Most of I-81 in the Commonwealth ought to be six or eight lanes wide.

I agree, but sadly I-81 seems to get the same treatment in VA that I-95 gets in NC.

Hell, I don't think parts of I-581 (I-73's routing) in Roanoke even meets current interstate standards.

I-81 is a very schizophrenic highway. There are times when it is bumper to bumper in both lanes for miles in both directions and there are times when it barely has any traffic. This can even occur within a couple of miles on the same trip, from being in a slug of traffic to being almost alone. The most bizarre thing I've seen was an almost totally vacant highway. We were returning from Vermont on a New Year's Eve and stopped for a late dinner in Winchester. It was about 9 p.m. when we got back on the road and for most of the way south we were the only car on the road. We were climbing Christiansburg Mountain when midnight hit.

Presumably you had the  benefit of not having to share I-81 southbound with hundreds of commercial vehicles on New Years Eve.

At the north end of I-81 (roughly from Woodstock to the West Virginia border), WTOP Radio in Washington now reports wrecks on that part of the system.  Last week, there was a pretty bad truck crash between Exit 323 (VA-669) and the West Virginia border (it was just north of 669 but still in Virginia) that led to a total shut-down of the northbound lanes, and loads of spillover traffic onto U.S. 11, and plenty of gridlocked intersections.  Many of the interchanges along I-81 could use reconstruction (perhaps the worst in this section of I-81 being at I-66 (I-81 Exit 300), which is somewhat newer than the rest of I-81 but still has many issues, starting with that brutal left-hand merge from I-66 westbound to I-81 southbound).

But these days, there are more times that traffic is almost overwhelming the capacity of the road. Throw in the daily wreck that slows or stops traffic and more lanes would help. The three lanes southbound from Ironto to the Christiansburg exit at MP 119 have made a great difference in keeping traffic moving (except when a wreck covers all three lanes). There was a great deal of noise a number of years ago about improving the highway across multiple states, but about all that came of that was the improvement program at Bristol and a handful of bridge and climbing lane projects. Harrisonsburg, Winchester, and Roanoke would all benefit from additional lanes but the timing on any work is far in the future.

Agreed on all points.  I still think that every state in the I-81 corridor should take a serious look at tolling for all traffic, not just the "toll trucks only since that will not offend the Virginia General Assembly" scheme that fell apart about 10 years ago.

As to I-581, most of the main road isn't bad but it is plagued by VDOT's "instant on/instant off" ramps that don't allow an easy mix of traffic. South of Elm Avenue, where 581 ends and U.S. 220 continues, there are some curves that may not be up to interstate standards. Again, that highway follows the path of least resistance through an urban area. There isn't much choice to launch a new route for I-73 without a lot of expensive property condemnation. That will probably keep the project off the books for years to come.

I have not been on I-581 for a long time, but it did not seem that different from other (older) urban Virginia freeways such as I-64 in Hampton Roads and the RTP part of I-95 in Richmond.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on November 27, 2016, 11:39:25 AM
I just stumbled across an op-ed posted in The Roanoke Times by Skip Ressel on November 16, president of the I-73 committee in Martinsville. He's the guy who declared I-73 dead IIRC.

http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/letters/ressel-i--money-is-misspent/article_5b300512-3be1-52a3-b5a5-383369829181.html?TNNoMobile (http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/letters/ressel-i--money-is-misspent/article_5b300512-3be1-52a3-b5a5-383369829181.html?TNNoMobile)

Quote
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and Commonwealth Transportation Board members Court Rosen and William Fralin have decided to buck the wishes of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and squander earmarked money on studies of the U.S. 220 corridor and improving an intersection at Bassett Forks instead of helping this area grow by re-purposing an earmark toward a much-needed connector road where the earmark was originally intended.

At stake is $8.3 million earmark that was to be spent near Martinsville on I-73. The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 is directing the money either be returned to the federal government or re-purposed. Same is true for about $2.2 million to be spent near Roanoke, now also going to be spent on studies.

These CTB members are going to waste the money on studies on the 220 corridor and improve a stop light. We need economic development help in Henry County and using this money for a connector road to expand our largest industrial park makes more sense than studies. But they are not from Henry County and do not feel the loss of businesses like we have.

It must be nice to wield power with no consequences and help funnel money to people who do studies and do nothing to create jobs and grow the tax base for Virginia. Overwhelmingly, businesses and the public want the connector road started. The CTB members know this but are acting like they know better what we need.The earmark was gotten in 2005 long before HB2 came about and about $800,000 of this money has been spent.

We would like to use the rest of the earmark to be "shovel ready" on the connector road when the Smart Scale shows the road is a high priority. With Henry County donating 68 percent of the ROW the $8.5 million can be used to pay for the preliminary engineering surveying and purchasing of the balance of ROW needed. Layne is afraid to "encumber future boards" with the task of finishing the connector road. Isn't this the new normal since road building takes so long, without starting somewhere nothing will get done? Maybe that is what the CTB members want.

SKIP RESSEL, JR.
MARTINSVILLE
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on November 27, 2016, 01:39:07 PM
I just stumbled across an op-ed posted in The Roanoke Times by Skip Ressel on November 16, president of the I-73 committee in Martinsville. He's the guy who declared I-73 dead IIRC.

http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/letters/ressel-i--money-is-misspent/article_5b300512-3be1-52a3-b5a5-383369829181.html?TNNoMobile (http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/letters/ressel-i--money-is-misspent/article_5b300512-3be1-52a3-b5a5-383369829181.html?TNNoMobile)

Quote
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and Commonwealth Transportation Board members Court Rosen and William Fralin have decided to buck the wishes of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and squander earmarked money on studies of the U.S. 220 corridor and improving an intersection at Bassett Forks instead of helping this area grow by re-purposing an earmark toward a much-needed connector road where the earmark was originally intended.

At stake is $8.3 million earmark that was to be spent near Martinsville on I-73. The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 is directing the money either be returned to the federal government or re-purposed. Same is true for about $2.2 million to be spent near Roanoke, now also going to be spent on studies.

These CTB members are going to waste the money on studies on the 220 corridor and improve a stop light. We need economic development help in Henry County and using this money for a connector road to expand our largest industrial park makes more sense than studies. But they are not from Henry County and do not feel the loss of businesses like we have.

It must be nice to wield power with no consequences and help funnel money to people who do studies and do nothing to create jobs and grow the tax base for Virginia. Overwhelmingly, businesses and the public want the connector road started. The CTB members know this but are acting like they know better what we need.The earmark was gotten in 2005 long before HB2 came about and about $800,000 of this money has been spent.

We would like to use the rest of the earmark to be "shovel ready" on the connector road when the Smart Scale shows the road is a high priority. With Henry County donating 68 percent of the ROW the $8.5 million can be used to pay for the preliminary engineering surveying and purchasing of the balance of ROW needed. Layne is afraid to "encumber future boards" with the task of finishing the connector road. Isn't this the new normal since road building takes so long, without starting somewhere nothing will get done? Maybe that is what the CTB members want.

SKIP RESSEL, JR.
MARTINSVILLE


It is sad how these people just ignore how Henry County wants and choose to improve the Bassett Forks stoplight (hey, it does need an improvements badly), but the money is (or was) for I-73 and should never be taken away.

They are still fighting for that money, I believe. I have not heard anything about what happened to $8.5 million though. Hopefully someone knows something.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on December 06, 2016, 06:37:28 AM
This tidbit from a Nov. 29 article indicates that Martinsville is not giving up their pursuit of a regional transportation authority.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/council-wants-to-stop-henry-county-s-wastewater-plans/article_acf84c12-b5d6-11e6-a4b4-bbfe0bc59000.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/council-wants-to-stop-henry-county-s-wastewater-plans/article_acf84c12-b5d6-11e6-a4b4-bbfe0bc59000.html)

Quote
City continues to push for transportation authority

Also added to the proposed agenda is a statement that the council seeks legislative approval of “the concept of a transportation authority for southern Virginia, with a dedicated revenue stream for the construction of I-73 and other transportation priorities.”

At the urging of state Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, the council recently adopted a resolution asking the General Assembly to create a regional transportation authority like ones in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. Those authorities control revenue generated from state sales tax hikes and put it toward transportation needs.

Interstate 73 would run through Henry County. Yet the county’s board of supervisors has opted not to approve a similar resolution. According to County Administrator Tim Hall, there is no guarantee that the governing board of a transportation authority would let money collected in the county stay in the county. That argument is echoed by the way the Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia authorities operate. The money collected by each is put into a pool and then the group as a whole votes on where it goes. Therefore, there would be no guarantee that any of the money would go toward building the interstate.

Knox made similar comments during a recent council meeting.

Without the county’s support for a transportation authority, “I just don’t know if it’s going to happen,” said Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge.

“The concept is good,” Knox said, but “the chance of it coming to fruition without Henry County is a long shot.”

To convince the state to approve it, “you need a true unified (regional) authority,” he said.

Still, Councilmen Gene Teague and Mark Stroud said they think the statement should be in the agenda.

“We’ve adopted a resolution of support” for the authority, Teague said. “That’s our position” on it.

The way that the statement is worded, he said, there is nothing committing Martinsville to supporting a sales tax increase or any particular way of generating revenue to get I-73 built.

State officials “could create anything” as far as a tax or another type of revenue stream, Teague said.

The council plans to discuss the legislative agenda more during its Dec. 13 meeting before considering approving it.

Franklin County, like Henry, is hesitant about a regional transportation authority.

http://m.roanoke.com/news/local/franklin_county/franklin-county-still-part-of-push-for-i--but/article_b75c423f-b985-5e71-85d4-a5dc8f63e573.html?mode=jqm (http://m.roanoke.com/news/local/franklin_county/franklin-county-still-part-of-push-for-i--but/article_b75c423f-b985-5e71-85d4-a5dc8f63e573.html?mode=jqm)

Quote
Though the Interstate 73 highway project has long been stalled, Franklin County and other localities in the region haven’t given up on the idea of a faster link to North Carolina.

At its November meeting, the Franklin County Board of Supervisors was visited by key players in moving the project forward: Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, and Rob Catron with Alcalde & Fay — Virginia, a lobbying firm hired as a project advocate.

At the meeting, Stanley praised the county for taking the step last year of hiring a lobbyist. He said it was the first time Franklin County had ever done so, and County Administrator Brent Robertson said he believes the senator’s assertion was correct.

In 2015, Franklin County joined with four other localities — Roanoke and Henry counties and the cities of Martinsville and Roanoke — and the lobbying firm to create the Interstate 73 Coalition.

“The purpose of the coalition is to work on getting I-73 built in Virginia. That’s our mission, if you will,” said Catron, managing partner at the lobbying firm’s Virginia branch.

According to a June 2015 contract establishing the relationship, each locality pays the firm a monthly fee. For Franklin and Henry counties, it’s $1,500. Roanoke and Roanoke County pay $2,000 and Martinsville pays $1,000.

The contract is set to expire at the end of the year, but has a provision that would allow for its extension, if the localities provide the firm with written notice of their intent to continue the contract 60 days before it expires. On Tuesday, Robertson said he was unsure if that step had been taken. The contract predates Robertson, who started in his position in July 2015.

Franklin supervisors Chairman Cline Brubaker said the county has not given notice of its interest in extending the contract but said he believes the board is still interested in working with the lobbying firm to push the project forward. However, Brubaker said he cannot speak for his fellow supervisors.

“I know that I’m strongly in favor of it [I-73], I hope the rest of them are,” he said.

Catron would not comment on localities specifically, but said, “I anticipate the I-73 coalition continuing into the new year with the same members we have now or maybe even additional members.”

Robertson said the creation of the coalition speaks to the county’s view that transportation projects are “critically important,” particularly in a more rural area. This region has different transportation needs than say, Northern Virginia, where the primary concern is congestion, Robertson said.

“Here, we’re talking about connecting disparate dots,” he said. And Robertson believes the interstate could help to do that.

The county’s new 550-acre business park makes the interstate even more significant, as the road could be used to lure prospects, Robertson said, given that the project would have a direct impact on the transportation of goods.

Catron of the lobbying firm said localities generally hire lobbyists for their expertise concerning particular issues of interest and for their knowledge of state government . Transportation is a common issue for which localities seek assistance from lobbyists, he said, given its complex funding process.

In relation to I-73, the firm is essentially “trying to be a squeaky wheel to get some grease,” Catron said.

There are many projects in Virginia worthy of funding, he said, so a locality needs to have a presence in Richmond getting the word out about the project and ensuring it’s a priority.

“That’s what we bring, is a focus and an effort to get those CTB [Commonwealth Transportation Board] members and the administration and the General Assembly to pay attention to our project,” Catron said. “Because frankly if you don’t do that, it will never get built.”

Catron outlined legislative initiatives that have been pursued thus far, such as working to establish an interstate compact with other states the highway will travel through; creating a state senate subcommittee, which Stanley chairs, to research the project and the impact it would have on the region’s economy; and introducing legislation that would create an I-73 development fund and program that would reallocate the money going toward a similar fund for the U.S. 58 corridor, though that money likely wouldn’t come through for another 15 to 20 years.

The most recent idea floated around to push the project forward is creating a regional transportation district, in which the state sales tax rate is increased by 0.7 percent, bumping it up from 5.3 to an even 6 percent, and the additional money collected goes toward funding projects within that region. Stanley pitched the idea to the board at its November meeting. Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads have established such regional transportation districts.

Robertson said the senator made strong arguments for a regional transportation district, but that the board would need more information before it could come to a decision about an initiative that would require a tax increase.

“There can be a lot of value to the localities being able to have that sort of discretionary funds to focus on projects for this area that they can control the decision making on,” Robertson said. “Obviously you’re ultimately talking about a tax increase.”

The supervisors briefly discussed the senator’s presentation during a Tuesday strategic planning meeting. Robertson asked the board members whether they’d want to discuss a regional transportation district at their December meeting. Ultimately the supervisors decided not to put it on the agenda, saying they’d like more information before moving forward.

The transportation district idea came up before the Henry County Board of Supervisors in October, but no action was taken because no member of the board offered a resolution amid concerns voiced about the proposal, according to The Martinsville Bulletin. The Martinsville City Council so far is the only government body to support the concept.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on January 24, 2017, 12:03:48 PM
According to this Jan. 12 article from the Martinsville Bulletin, the Martinsville City Council voted to extend it's I-73 lobbying contract.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/city-agrees-to-extend-i--lobbying-contract/article_a18169ca-d85b-11e6-a87b-c3e8c30cb560.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/city-agrees-to-extend-i--lobbying-contract/article_a18169ca-d85b-11e6-a87b-c3e8c30cb560.html)

Quote
MARTINSVILLE – The city will remain part of the Interstate 73 Coalition, at least through the end of this year.

In a unanimous vote, Martinsville’s City Council on Tuesday extended the contract with Alcalde & Fay LLC, the Washington lobbying firm that oversees the coalition, for 12 months.

The extension will cost $1,000 per month for a total of $12,000, said city Finance Director Linda Conover.

In December, the Henry County Board of Supervisors voted 5-1 to renew the county’s contract with the firm.

Franklin County is a participant, as are Roanoke County and the city of Roanoke. John Stirrup, co-executive director of the coalition, said the latter two localities so far also have renewed their contracts.

The coalition advocates for the development and construction of the Southwestern Virginia portion of I-73, which would run through Henry County near Martinsville.

Economic developers say that having an interstate would help the area attract new businesses and industries. Such four-lane, divided highways lack driveway connections that can slow traffic, which enables tractor-trailers delivering raw materials and shipping products to get to their destinations faster.

Among their work, coalition representatives have met with federal and state transportation officials to discuss funding needs and necessary planning and environmental studies, and they have met with members of Congress representing areas along I-73’s entire corridor from Michigan to South Carolina to solicit their support for the highway, Stirrup said. Some portions of the interstate already have been established outside Virginia.

Several potential funding sources exist, including the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Stirrup said, though, that with the impending change of presidential administrations, it will take time to determine whether those sources will continue to exist and, if so, how they will function.

According to Stirrup, President-elect Trump has indicated that a possible new funding method – the American Energy and Infrastructure Act – is worth exploring. The legislation, in development, would leverage public-private partnerships and private investments spurring $1 trillion in infrastructure investments over 10 years, he said.

There’s still a question as to how that would happen or what the final bill will look like. Also, several conservative groups like The Heritage Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute questioned the need for the proposal.

Still, Stirrup said, Trump has indicated he will sign legislation to lower the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent and enable trillions of American corporate dollars held overseas to be brought back at a 10 percent rate. Those funds are to be dedicated to infrastructure improvements nationwide, he added.

Taking on a challenge

Stirrup said the coalition will seek to take advantage of any opportunities for funding I-73, or at least upgrading U.S. 220.

But obtaining funding for I-73 is “going to be challenging,” he said. “Lots of members of Congress have different ideas on how to spend money.”

Republican state Sen. Bill Stanley of Franklin County has actively pushed I-73 before the General Assembly, such as by introducing legislation to establish the Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund and Program. Money allocated for improvements along U.S. 58 would be reallocated and transferred to the I-73 fund after the work is finished but no later than July 1, 2020. Forty million dollars a year now is being allocated for U.S. 58 upgrades.

Last year, the legislation passed the Senate but not the House. Stanley resubmitted it for consideration in the legislative session that started Wednesday.

All total, I-73 would cost an estimated $4 billion. The only money set aside for the local portion was $8.5 million in federal dollars, but even that was taken earlier this year, thanks to a Congressional bill to eliminate “orphan earmarks” – idle earmarked funds that have had less than 10 percent of the total spent. That money went instead to fund road improvements on U.S. 220.

Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge asked whether the coalition or Stanley is doing more in support of I-73.

“We work hand-in-glove with him,” Stirrup said of the coalition. Yet “we see ourselves as quarterbacking the entire project.”

Stanley has remarked that he is not able to be everywhere in Richmond he needs to be at one time to talk with state officials about the need for the interstate, said Mayor Gene Teague.

Councilwoman Jennifer Bowles asked how state Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne Jr. feels about I-73.

Layne realizes, Stirrup replied, that for many years, Southern Virginia has been shortchanged on transportation funds as compared to other more heavily urbanized regions of the state such as Hampton Roads. However, the secretary has commented that there are many transportation needs that could be funded statewide, he said.

Regardless, “I think we (the coalition) can make a strong case for I-73,” Stirrup added.

Speaking to Bulletin reporter Ben Williams back in September, Layne recommended that the $8.5 million earmarked for I-73 be spent instead toward improving the U.S. 220 corridor. At the time, he also pointed out that VDOT couldn’t start work on any portion of I-73 until the project is fully funded.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Hodge said she planned not to vote for extending the city’s contract with the coalition because she perceives that state and federal officials generally are supportive of the interstate project. But hearing Stirrup’s comments prompted her to change her mind, she said.

If Martinsville was to not be part of the coalition, “it would be a hindrance to the effort” to get I-73 developed, Hodge said. Bowles agreed.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on January 27, 2017, 02:11:27 PM
State sen. Bill Stanley has introduced a funding bill for I-73 in the General Assembly. This would be his second attempt.

http://m.roanoke.com/news/local/franklin_county/interstate-funding-gains-traction-in-general-assembly/article_4de289fd-7853-58d2-86c5-1c1810591bca.html?mode=jqm (http://m.roanoke.com/news/local/franklin_county/interstate-funding-gains-traction-in-general-assembly/article_4de289fd-7853-58d2-86c5-1c1810591bca.html?mode=jqm)

Quote
About two decades after the idea was first introduced, local representatives and state lawmakers are still fighting to build Interstate 73, which would create an avenue for high-speed travel between Roanoke and the North Carolina line south of Martinsville.

A bill to help fund the road at $40 million a year is back in the General Assembly and gaining traction as a way to economically revive Southwest and Southside Virginia.

The bill by Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, passed through a Senate Finance subcommittee unopposed Wednesday. Last year, Stanley’s same bill passed in the Senate but died in a House committee .

The state would not issue new funds for the project. Rather, it would reallocate expenses directed toward U.S. 58, an east-to-west southern Virginia highway, as soon as that work is complete, perhaps in 20 years.

The proposed I-73 route along present-day U.S. 220 already bears ambitious signs that read “Future 73 Corridor.”

Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, called Southwest and Southside a “vision” for the rest of the state because of area efforts to reinvigorate an economy that used to rely heavily on manufacturing jobs.

Infrastructure investments are necessary to expand and diversify the economy, Wagner said.

“I think we’ve got all the ingredients to really watch that area explode,” he said.

Estimates say construction of I-73 will cost about $4 billion. Should the bill pass, it would secure the first chunk of funding for the road that would run through Stanley’s district.

On Wednesday, county administrators from Franklin and Henry counties — two localities through which the interstate would pass — pitched the road as an economic engine.

Brent Robertson of Franklin County said the proposed interstate would run next to a new 550-acre business park and enhance the region’s growing tourism industry .

As Franklin County residents see economic development and growth in other parts of the state, they feel left behind, Robertson said.

“Keep us in mind as you try to grow Virginia,” he said.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 27, 2017, 02:17:39 PM
Yeah I heard of it. It went through the Senate with no issues. Now the only thing left is the House. Hopefully it goes through, even though 20+ years is a long wait. I have a feeling it will be built as a toll road, in which I don't mind driving on one. (Have done this many times).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on January 27, 2017, 04:10:28 PM
Yeah I heard of it. It went through the Senate with no issues. Now the only thing left is the House. Hopefully it goes through, even though 20+ years is a long wait. I have a feeling it will be built as a toll road, in which I don't mind driving on one. (Have done this many times).

If it gets built as a toll road, it would never be paid off, especially since there would be a perfectly good four-lane alternative parallel route (US 220) between Martinsville and Roanoke. I would probably drive I-73 once (for the novelty and to re-clinch all of Virginia's interstates) but I suspect a toll I-73 would be a very lonely road. Most traffic would still use 220 because it would be a four-lane free alternative.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 27, 2017, 04:35:17 PM
Yeah I heard of it. It went through the Senate with no issues. Now the only thing left is the House. Hopefully it goes through, even though 20+ years is a long wait. I have a feeling it will be built as a toll road, in which I don't mind driving on one. (Have done this many times).

If it gets built as a toll road, it would never be paid off, especially since there would be a perfectly good four-lane alternative parallel route (US 220) between Martinsville and Roanoke. I would probably drive I-73 once (for the novelty and to re-clinch all of Virginia's interstates) but I suspect a toll I-73 would be a very lonely road. Most traffic would still use 220 because it would be a four-lane free alternative.

So why even worry about building I-73 if it's superfluous. I don't understand the Interstate fetishism in rural areas.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 27, 2017, 05:08:13 PM
If they eventually do build Interstate 73 from Roanoke to North Carolina, I think they should use as much of the existing alignment as possible, and minimize using new alignments unless they are absolutely necessary. Would this be a practical plan?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on January 27, 2017, 05:44:50 PM
I don't understand the Interstate fetishism in rural areas.

Just because an interstate runs through a rural area, doesn't automatically mean that it's a waste of money. Future I-42 in NC is a prime example of a rural interstate that is much warranted.

I do agree with hbelkins that tolling I-73 would not be a good idea because of US-220 being a shunpike route. US-301 played a role in keeping tolls off of I-95 in NC when it was proposed there a few years ago. If VA actually does build I-73, it will need to be toll free. Tolling I-73 might work in SC, but not VA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 27, 2017, 10:59:36 PM
I don't understand the Interstate fetishism in rural areas.

Just because an interstate runs through a rural area, doesn't automatically mean that it's a waste of money. Future I-42 in NC is a prime example of a rural interstate that is much warranted.

I do agree with hbelkins that tolling I-73 would not be a good idea because of US-220 being a shunpike route. US-301 played a role in keeping tolls off of I-95 in NC when it was proposed there a few years ago. If VA actually does build I-73, it will need to be toll free. Tolling I-73 might work in SC, but not VA.

The only way I-73 will be toll free in Virginia is if the feds pay it, and unfortunately I do not see it on Trump's infrastructure list. VA would rather not build I-73 at all then not have tolls on it. There are just way too many other expensive priorities like widening I-64 and I-81 and not enough money for VA to spend 4 billion on a new toll-free interstate in a rather scarcely populated area.

As to US-220 being a shun-pike, if VA or whatever private company decide to build I-73, they would also probably try to toll U-220 is some parts as well. I know US routes aren't allowed to be tolled, but US-3 is tolled in NH and US-278 in SC so it's possible.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Rothman on January 29, 2017, 09:17:13 AM
If it isn't a priority, then there's no need to rush to build as a toll road.  Spend the money where it is needed and then fit I-73 in when you have room in your program.

As NYSDOT puts it: Preservation First.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on January 29, 2017, 04:42:48 PM
If it isn't a priority, then there's no need to rush to build as a toll road.  Spend the money where it is needed and then fit I-73 in when you have room in your program.

It's not needed at all. Again, US 220 is fine as-is to connect Martinsville to Roanoke.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on January 30, 2017, 05:37:32 PM
If they eventually do build Interstate 73 from Roanoke to North Carolina, I think they should use as much of the existing alignment as possible, and minimize using new alignments unless they are absolutely necessary. Would this be a practical plan?

There are few places that the existing road could be upgraded to interstate standards, which is why there has been a push (and resistance) for a new highway. There are a lot of side roads, driveways, and business entrances along much of current U.S. 220 to the point that they can't just be waved away or fixed with frontage roads. Of course, if sections of the existing road were re-used, it would wipe out a lot of those homes and businesses. This is the problem with starting with a game trail/colonial pathway as the basis for a highway.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 31, 2017, 01:35:12 AM
If they eventually do build Interstate 73 from Roanoke to North Carolina, I think they should use as much of the existing alignment as possible, and minimize using new alignments unless they are absolutely necessary. Would this be a practical plan?


I can see there are a very few sections of US 220 that can be upgraded to interstate standards. (very few).. but there are so many side roads like Bruce in Blacksburg mentioned along the road. That is probably why I-73 has to be built on mostly a new terrain. I have always support the road to be built using mostly existing alignments (Martinsville and Rocky Mount bypasses) and the new alignments when it must be, but they have already decided on the routing in 2012.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 31, 2017, 08:29:01 AM
I can see there are a very few sections of US 220 that can be upgraded to interstate standards. (very few).. but there are so many side roads like Bruce in Blacksburg mentioned along the road. That is probably why I-73 has to be built on mostly a new terrain. I have always support the road to be built using mostly existing alignments (Martinsville and Rocky Mount bypasses) and the new alignments when it must be, but they have already decided on the routing in 2012.

I am not saying that it is possible in this case, but Virginia has converted a U.S. arterial highways to an Interstate before (notably I-95 between Jarrat and Petersburg).

From driving I-95 there, it appears that there were people on the east side of the old U.S. 301 that were cut-off when the conversion was done, though VDH did (in places) build a new frontage road on the east side.

Not in any way claiming that this is feasible or desirable along U.S. 220, just putting it out there.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on January 31, 2017, 08:43:33 AM
Terrain on I-95 is also much more forgiving than the terrain along US 220...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 31, 2017, 11:45:56 AM
Terrain on I-95 is also much more forgiving than the terrain along US 220...

Yes, that's correct. I-95 south from Emporia is mostly pancake-flat.  It also helped that the old four lane divided U.S. 301 had few curves.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 31, 2017, 10:54:42 PM
I can see there are a very few sections of US 220 that can be upgraded to interstate standards. (very few).. but there are so many side roads like Bruce in Blacksburg mentioned along the road. That is probably why I-73 has to be built on mostly a new terrain. I have always support the road to be built using mostly existing alignments (Martinsville and Rocky Mount bypasses) and the new alignments when it must be, but they have already decided on the routing in 2012.

I am not saying that it is possible in this case, but Virginia has converted a U.S. arterial highways to an Interstate before (notably I-95 between Jarrat and Petersburg).

From driving I-95 there, it appears that there were people on the east side of the old U.S. 301 that were cut-off when the conversion was done, though VDH did (in places) build a new frontage road on the east side.

Not in any way claiming that this is feasible or desirable along U.S. 220, just putting it out there.


Yeah it is possible. You are correct. I would prefer this kind of method when upgrading U.S. 220 into a interstate. We shall see, don't we?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on March 11, 2017, 06:23:34 AM
The General Assembly passed an I-73 bill.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/i--bill-approved-by-general-assembly/article_c80bfb1e-fbce-11e6-9d3c-7727f3ef1261.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/i--bill-approved-by-general-assembly/article_c80bfb1e-fbce-11e6-9d3c-7727f3ef1261.html)

Quote
When work is finished on Route 58, the money could pass over to Interstate 73. The General Assembly signed off on a bill to make that happen this week, with one catch. It has to be approved one more time in 2018 by both the Virginia House and Senate.

Right now, $40 million a year goes from state taxes to the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Fund. The next phase of the project is set to be advertised in 2020. All total, Route 58 is expected to be complete by 2030 at the latest. When that happens, under the terms of SB806, the money would go toward the Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund.

That doesn't mean construction could start in 2030. Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion. At the same time, state Sen. Bill Stanley, the bill's author, feels this is a good next step.

“It's a huge policy statement Virginia has made,” Stanley said. “It shows Virginia is serious about building I-73.”

Stanley argues that it's only fair for southern Virginia to get money for this project, especially when you look back at the last decade of road funding. In that period, Northern Virginia got $6 billion, the Hampton Roads area got $4 billion and this region got less than $900 million.

Local officials say they're also encouraged that the General Assembly gave a tentative approval to the bill.

“It's good to see a commitment from the Commonwealth toward the I-73 project,” said Dale Wagoner, Henry County Deputy Administrator. “We have heard numerous times that the state needed to have some skin in the game so that the federal government will provide some money, so it’s exciting to hear that the General Assembly supports that project and has made a commitment for future funding for it.”

Wagoner said that the county board of supervisors and staff are committed to doing what's needed to make this project work and want to encourage federal lawmakers to include this in any infrastructure bill considered by the new administration. The district lost $8.5 million this fall, money originally earmarked for the project. It was one of several “orphan” earmarks, money for projects not yet ready to move forward that was redistributed.

“I know that money will be needed and used when it becomes available,” said Skip Ressel, president of the I-73 Committee for Martinsville and Henry County. He did ask however for lawmakers to consider starting the Henry County portion of the road first and then building out from there.

“I would urge the I-73 committee to start where it will do Henry County the most good, and that’s the Patriot Centre, then head to the North Carolina line,” Ressel said. “That would help the citizens and the industries in the Patriot Centre, allowing existing businesses to get a leg up on the competition by being close to a four lane road.”

Benefit of the road

Stanley sees I-73 as a way to help spur economic growth in the area. He argued that it would bring 48,000 jobs to the area, as well as attracting new businesses and providing more tax revenue for local governments.

A new study on the road and its impact is expected to be released in April, Stanley said. It would be the first done on the project since one by Chmura Economics in 2008, paid for by the Harvest Foundation. That 2008 study found that “the city of Roanoke is expected to land more than half of the jobs along I-73, followed by the counties of Henry, Franklin and Roanoke.”

All total, the 2008 report projected Henry County to get six hotels, eight gas stations, five fast food and two full-service restaurants. By comparison, it estimated Roanoke would get 30 hotels, 25 gas stations, 21 fast food and 16 full-service restaurants. That's based on the number of interchanges each area would have with I-73.

As a benefit, Stanley also points to the fact the road would connect Southside and Southwest Virginia to three deep water ports in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He also pointed out that North Carolina has plans to build a road from Raleigh to the ports in the near future. If I-73 isn't built, Stanley cautions that Virginia could lose some of that traffic from the port. Instead of going to Virginia distribution centers, it could go to North Carolina. Other local officials have argued similar points, stating that the goal would be to recruit distribution centers to Henry County.

The report cautioned however that “in light of the fact that I-73 in Virginia is much shorter than I-81 and further from mega-metropolitan areas, the region might not be able to attract a cluster of distribution centers like those on the northern end of Virginia's I-81.” That 2008 report does say “with proper targeting and incentives, there is potential for I-73 in Virginia to land a couple of distribution centers serving mid-sized metropolitan areas.”

The new report is set to come out April 5, when the General Assembly gathers for their reconvened session.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on March 11, 2017, 10:54:50 AM
Of course NoVA got $6B over southern Virginia's $900M.  NoVA has traffic and population that is several orders of magnitude higher than the Roanoke-Martinsville region...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Takumi on March 11, 2017, 12:54:09 PM
$40 million a year works out to I-73 being fully funded in ~2130. I'm not waiting around for that.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on March 11, 2017, 05:04:53 PM
And that's assuming funding stays even and costs don't rise...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on March 11, 2017, 06:58:27 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.

That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on March 11, 2017, 09:43:44 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.

That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?

US 121 was not fully funded as of 2014 but construction had begun on parts of it (per http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2014/may/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_3.pdf).  The prohibition may not mean the entirety of some huge endeavor but may instead mean specific definable phases...?

Otherwise US 29 Madison Height Bypass couldn't have been built either because the desired continuation down to the VA 24 area wasn't funded.  I'm sure there are more examples...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 13, 2017, 01:46:00 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.

That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?


I agree, they should change the code to allow projects to be built in segments. Much easier that way.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on March 13, 2017, 09:54:15 PM
One relevant section of code, Section 33.2-368, for financial plans for projects valued over $100 million, which "I-73" certainly falls under:

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title33.2/chapter3/section33.2-368/
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 14, 2017, 02:30:25 PM
One relevant section of code, Section 33.2-368, for financial plans for projects valued over $100 million, which "I-73" certainly falls under:

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title33.2/chapter3/section33.2-368/

If any of this proposed project falls in an area with a Metropolitan Planning Organization, then the federal requirement for a financially constrained Long Range Plan also will apply.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on March 15, 2017, 09:23:00 AM
There is a revived push to extend the Smart Road in Blacksburg to finally reach I-81. At one time, this short stretch of highway was proposed to be a link in I-73 as it made its way west/north via I-81 from Roanoke. That never gained much traction since U.S 460 beyond the north end of the Blacksburg bypass is nowhere near interstate standards and a new highway would face the same problems as a new road between Roanoke and Martinsville. See http://www.roanoke.com/news/education/higher_education/virginia_tech/montgomery-county-restarts-call-for-million-smart-road-connector-to/article_5841f8f9-a8ed-509c-911c-7ce0e7820ae3.html or https://goo.gl/YO9pRl

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 21, 2017, 04:45:23 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.
That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?

In the NEPA EIS/location study process, FHWA allows Segments of Independent Utility (SIU) to be identified to allow independent construction as funding becomes available.  Each segment would be a separate project.

The northern half of the US-29 Lynchburg / Madison Heights Bypass was approved and constructed in this manner. 

In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 22, 2017, 03:02:04 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.
That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?

In the NEPA EIS/location study process, FHWA allows Segments of Independent Utility (SIU) to be identified to allow independent construction as funding becomes available.  Each segment would be a separate project.

The northern half of the US-29 Lynchburg / Madison Heights Bypass was approved and constructed in this manner. 

In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.


My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on June 22, 2017, 03:32:44 PM
Quote
Under the Virginia Code, the Virginia Department of Transportation can only start construction once a project is fully funded. Currently, the project has an estimated price tag of $4 billion.
That's the issue right there.

Wouldn't it be better to change the code to allow projects to be built in segments as funding is found, providing that the segments have logical (albeit temporary) beginning/end points, such as the segment from Martinsville to NC?

In the NEPA EIS/location study process, FHWA allows Segments of Independent Utility (SIU) to be identified to allow independent construction as funding becomes available.  Each segment would be a separate project.

The northern half of the US-29 Lynchburg / Madison Heights Bypass was approved and constructed in this manner. 

In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.


My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

IIRC, the published plans for the I-73 alignment near Martinsville did not utilize more than a mile of the US 58 bypass before it veered off on its own.  I would venture that since the proposed route traverses a sizeable chunk of suburban area south of Roanoke -- plus the populated Martinsville area, not to mention intervening towns along US 220 -- much of that projected cost is property acquisition. 

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: codyg1985 on June 22, 2017, 04:14:02 PM
That works out to about $57 million per mile. Could terrain also play a factor?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on June 22, 2017, 04:16:37 PM
What is the terrain like in Interstate 73's proposed path? Is it very hilly?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 22, 2017, 04:27:53 PM
Quite hilly.  Lots of blasting and earth movement would be required, which will also bump the cost up.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 05:10:30 PM
In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.
My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 22, 2017, 06:35:23 PM
In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.
My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.


To be honest with you, other than upgrading the bridges that I-581 crosses in Downtown Roanoke just north of VA 24 exit, and the I-81/I-581 interchange, every section on I-581 is already up to interstate standards and don't need major upgrades. The US 58 Martinsville Bypass is another story though.. no shoulders, narrow lanes.. I can see for obvious reasons it needs a major upgrade.

I think the terrain might have something to do but it shouldn't cost more than $30 million per mile.

Sometimes I wish they have the brains to decide to use (upgrade) US 220 western Martinsville and Rocky Mount bypasses and build some on a new terrain instead of its current plans... it could save a lot of money.

I believe the state will find money. I can see it coming.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 22, 2017, 06:52:54 PM
^ Don't hold your breath.  Not when VDOT's been trying to find money to widen I-81 for 20 years (let alone other needed major projects across the state).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 22, 2017, 07:10:40 PM
^ Don't hold your breath.  Not when VDOT's been trying to find money to widen I-81 for 20 years (let alone other needed major projects across the state).

I wouldn't. I do know it is coming. If VDOT cannot find money to widen I-81 for 20 years.. we both know why.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 22, 2017, 07:38:05 PM
And I would say you're overly optimistic.  I-73 is so far down the totem pole that your grandchildren will be wondering when it'll be built...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 08:16:29 PM
There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.
To be honest with you, other than upgrading the bridges that I-581 crosses in Downtown Roanoke just north of VA 24 exit, and the I-81/I-581 interchange, every section on I-581 is already up to interstate standards and don't need major upgrades. The US 58 Martinsville Bypass is another story though.. no shoulders, narrow lanes.. I can see for obvious reasons it needs a major upgrade.

I think the terrain might have something to do but it shouldn't cost more than $30 million per mile.

What if they decide that I-581 and the Southwest Expressway need to be widened to 8 lanes?  That would definitely cost some big dollars.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on June 22, 2017, 08:19:26 PM
In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.
My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.

Since no one has pointed out the obvious, I will.  There is an actual mountain that has to be crossed on new alignment.  The crossing will be roughly where SR 657 used to cross the mountain at Crowell Gap (~1700 ft) just southeast of Roanoke

A second smaller mountain with 1600 ft elevation is skirted closer to Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 08:20:14 PM
^ Don't hold your breath.  Not when VDOT's been trying to find money to widen I-81 for 20 years (let alone other needed major projects across the state).

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 08:23:07 PM
There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.
Since no one has pointed out the obvious, I will.  There is an actual mountain that has to be crossed on new alignment.  The crossing will be roughly where SR 657 used to cross the mountain at Crowell Gap (~1700 ft) just southeast of Roanoke

A second smaller mountain with 1600 ft elevation is skirted closer to Martinsville.

Mountains bow before VDOT.  Afton Mountain, North Mountain, Fancy Gap, Big Walker Mountain, East River Mountain.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 22, 2017, 08:24:19 PM
Mountains may bow, but they only roll over after filling them with green(backs)...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 08:28:33 PM
Mountains may bow, but they only roll over after filling them with green(backs)...

Dynamite and dump trucks.  Scraper pans and front-end loaders.  It's looks spectacular but it is not as hard as it looks.

Building (and widening) I-95 thru Georgia was probably more complex and expensive than I-80 across Pennsylvania, given all those wetlands and river crossings.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 22, 2017, 10:12:55 PM
^ Don't hold your breath.  Not when VDOT's been trying to find money to widen I-81 for 20 years (let alone other needed major projects across the state).

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

OT, though your figure would at minimum have to go to I-78 (about 22 miles past Harrisburg). 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 22, 2017, 10:24:31 PM
And I would say you're overly optimistic.  I-73 is so far down the totem pole that your grandchildren will be wondering when it'll be built...

Hopefully, no one's grandchildren will ever see it built, and they'll be using US 220 which is perfectly fine for moving traffic between Roanoke and Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2017, 10:40:27 PM
^ Don't hold your breath.  Not when VDOT's been trying to find money to widen I-81 for 20 years (let alone other needed major projects across the state).
I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.
OT, though your figure would at minimum have to go to I-78 (about 22 miles past Harrisburg). 

Actually, yes.  Volume substantially drops on I-81 north of I-78.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 23, 2017, 01:06:27 AM
And I would say you're overly optimistic.  I-73 is so far down the totem pole that your grandchildren will be wondering when it'll be built...


I have a faith. Learn how to use it one day. Thanks for your judgment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 23, 2017, 01:09:19 AM
In the case of VA I-73, there may only be two segments that would logically be built as SIU, with the dividing line being where I-73 touches US-220 about 2 miles north of the Franklin/Henry county line.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

A third segment might be the extension of the US-220 freeway from VA-419 southward thru the urban area for about 3 miles, that would have major immediate benefits.

Traffic warrants building this highway, as AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  Even though US-220 is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, traffic will grow over the next 20 years to where an Interstate highway would be warranted, and this would be part of the I-73 corridor between I-40 at Greensboro, NC and I-81 at Roanoke, VA.

The problem is the cost, I can't see where they are going to obtain $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.
My question is this: How in the world is it costing $4 billion for just 63 miles of unbuilt highway (not including I-581 and the US 58 Martinsville bypass in which I-73 will be using). I find that cost a full of crap.

There will be major upgrades to I-581 and the Martinsville Bypass, but I have also wondered why it would cost more than $25 to $30 million per mile on average.  The section just south of VA-419 will be complex but for only about 3 miles.

Since no one has pointed out the obvious, I will.  There is an actual mountain that has to be crossed on new alignment.  The crossing will be roughly where SR 657 used to cross the mountain at Crowell Gap (~1700 ft) just southeast of Roanoke

A second smaller mountain with 1600 ft elevation is skirted closer to Martinsville.


Yeah i'm aware of the mountains on or close proximity to US 220, I didn't know how many ft these mountains are... Thank you for pointing them out to me, honestly. I have always wondered. Appreciate you messaging on here.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on June 23, 2017, 09:58:22 AM

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

The inadequacy of I-81 was recognized years ago. There were even multi-state meetings to discuss the growing problem, but so far only West Virginia has been actively working to add lanes. VDOT started gung-ho with the widening through Bristol but has pretty much ignored I-81 since then. There are some projects that were spot-fixes (adding a lane southbound up Christiansburg Mountain and near Lexington) and some bridge replacements have included space for a future third lane. Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Winchester are sorely in need of improvements but as long as the General Assembly is controlled by tax-adverse republicans not much will happen.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 23, 2017, 11:00:09 AM

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

The inadequacy of I-81 was recognized years ago. There were even multi-state meetings to discuss the growing problem, but so far only West Virginia has been actively working to add lanes. VDOT started gung-ho with the widening through Bristol but has pretty much ignored I-81 since then. There are some projects that were spot-fixes (adding a lane southbound up Christiansburg Mountain and near Lexington) and some bridge replacements have included space for a future third lane. Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Winchester are sorely in need of improvements but as long as the General Assembly is controlled by tax-adverse republicans not much will happen.

Maryland is widening its (admittedly  very short) part of I-81 now, much  to the rage of some of the state's "spend all motor fuel tax money on mass transit instead" crowd. 

It's an entirely different matter in the  Commonwealth, what with there being better than 320 miles of I-81 to deal with. 

I-81 across Virginia needs to be 6 lanes (at a minimum), in spite of opposition from some of the usual-suspect NIMBY and anti-highway  groups (and where it is now 6 lanes, the improvement is rather obvious).

I hope that unworkable gimmicks like massive fines on bad drivers and truck-only toll lanes (remember Star Solutions?) can be avoided, though tolls on all I-81 traffic ought to generate enough revenue to allow bonds to finance widening and interchange reconstruction where needed, if the Virginia general assembly remains opposed to increasing statewide motor fuel taxes enough to cover this and other needed widenings.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 23, 2017, 11:25:45 AM
I'm not convinced that ALL of I-81 in Virginia needs to be 6 lanes, but I'll agree that a good chunk would be useful as such.

I may do a detailed traffic look at the I-81 corridor, much as I did a few months ago with I-95.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 23, 2017, 11:52:08 AM

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

The inadequacy of I-81 was recognized years ago. There were even multi-state meetings to discuss the growing problem, but so far only West Virginia has been actively working to add lanes. VDOT started gung-ho with the widening through Bristol but has pretty much ignored I-81 since then. There are some projects that were spot-fixes (adding a lane southbound up Christiansburg Mountain and near Lexington) and some bridge replacements have included space for a future third lane. Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Winchester are sorely in need of improvements but as long as the General Assembly is controlled by tax-adverse republicans not much will happen.
 
I-81 across Virginia needs to be 6 lanes (at a minimum), in spite of opposition from some of the usual-suspect NIMBY and anti-highway  groups (and where it is now 6 lanes, the improvement is rather obvious).

I hope that unworkable gimmicks like massive fines on bad drivers and truck-only toll lanes (remember Star Solutions?) can be avoided, though tolls on all I-81 traffic ought to generate enough revenue to allow bonds to finance widening and interchange reconstruction where needed, if the Virginia general assembly remains opposed to increasing statewide motor fuel taxes enough to cover this and other needed widenings.
Agreed^
It seems like the only hope for finding the money to widen I-81 and keep it toll free in Virginia rests in the hands of the Feds, as Governor McAuliffe filed a funding request for improving I-81 earlier this year through the existing federal highway spending program. Apparently this is separate from the 8 potential infrastructure projects he sent to the Trump administration also earlier this year.

Relating to I-73, if VDOT wants to show that they are actually serious about one day building I-73 and put more pressure on folks in Richmond, then I think they should if possible re-designate I-581 and the rest of the US-220 freeway(upgraded to interstate standards) into I-73. However overall as much as I'd like to see it be built in Virginia ASAP, IMHO the current needs of I-81 definitely triumph and I would rather see that be fixed first.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: roadman65 on June 23, 2017, 11:57:47 AM
It would be nice to see I-73 at least be a Roanoke to Myrtle Beach Interstate, but the needs of the state come first. I am not a Virginian, so I do not know what the infrastructure is for highways.  With this being stated, other needed projects on existing roads come first especially if US 220 can really handle the needs of transporting people and commerce between Roanoke and the Triad.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 23, 2017, 02:29:30 PM
I'm not convinced that ALL of I-81 in Virginia needs to be 6 lanes, but I'll agree that a good chunk would be useful as such.

I may do a detailed traffic look at the I-81 corridor, much as I did a few months ago with I-95.

I have not been on I-81 south  of Lexington for many years, but north of the I-64 west interchange to the West Virginia border it needs to be 6 or maybe 8 lanes.

I have seen road videos of I-81 around Bristol, where apparently at least some of it is already 6 lanes. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on June 23, 2017, 06:30:05 PM

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

The inadequacy of I-81 was recognized years ago. There were even multi-state meetings to discuss the growing problem, but so far only West Virginia has been actively working to add lanes. VDOT started gung-ho with the widening through Bristol but has pretty much ignored I-81 since then. There are some projects that were spot-fixes (adding a lane southbound up Christiansburg Mountain and near Lexington) and some bridge replacements have included space for a future third lane. Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Winchester are sorely in need of improvements but as long as the General Assembly is controlled by tax-adverse republicans not much will happen.

Bruce in Blacksburg


The newly released 6-yr plan has these I-81 projects funded in some way:

Rebuilding Exit 14, VA 140 (already under construction)
Add full transition lane between I-77 (Exit 72) and US 11 (Exit 73)
Rebuilding Exit 17 (US 58 ALT/VA 75)
Improving Exit 19 (US 11-58)
Replace New River Br on I-81 NB with no additional capacity beyond having a wider shoulder
Auxiliary lanes added between Exit 141 (VA 419) and Exit 143 (I-581/US 220)
Rebuilding Exit 150, US 11-220/VA 220 ALT (already under construction)
Rebuilding Exit 310, VA 37 (already under construction)

Everything else is minor stuff like ramp modifications and smaller bridge projects.  Not much in the way of true added capacity to I-81 in the next 6 years' plan.

The Exit 310 project noted that traffic is expected to exceed 76k NB and 85k SB at that location by 2035...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 23, 2017, 07:04:16 PM
Not much in the way of true added capacity to I-81 in the next 6 years' plan.

I'm shocked. :rolleyes:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 24, 2017, 06:51:43 AM
I'm not convinced that ALL of I-81 in Virginia needs to be 6 lanes, but I'll agree that a good chunk would be useful as such.

I may do a detailed traffic look at the I-81 corridor, much as I did a few months ago with I-95.

The segment between I-77 and Pulaski is probably the only one with low enough volume to remain at 4 lanes.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: codyg1985 on June 24, 2017, 09:33:47 AM

I saw some figures that nearly all the rural sections of I-81 will be over 60,000 AADT by 2035.  That is only 18 years away (don't laugh at the number, I worked for DOTs for 43 years!), and they are going to HAVE TO find funding to widen I-81 all the way from near Knoxville, TN to Harrisburg, PA.

The inadequacy of I-81 was recognized years ago. There were even multi-state meetings to discuss the growing problem, but so far only West Virginia has been actively working to add lanes. VDOT started gung-ho with the widening through Bristol but has pretty much ignored I-81 since then. There are some projects that were spot-fixes (adding a lane southbound up Christiansburg Mountain and near Lexington) and some bridge replacements have included space for a future third lane. Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Winchester are sorely in need of improvements but as long as the General Assembly is controlled by tax-adverse republicans not much will happen.

Bruce in Blacksburg


The newly released 6-yr plan has these I-81 projects funded in some way:

Rebuilding Exit 14, VA 140 (already under construction)
Add full transition lane between I-77 (Exit 72) and US 11 (Exit 73)
Rebuilding Exit 17 (US 58 ALT/VA 75)
Improving Exit 19 (US 11-58)
Replace New River Br on I-81 NB with no additional capacity beyond having a wider shoulder
Auxiliary lanes added between Exit 141 (VA 419) and Exit 143 (I-581/US 220)
Rebuilding Exit 150, US 11-220/VA 220 ALT (already under construction)
Rebuilding Exit 310, VA 37 (already under construction)

Everything else is minor stuff like ramp modifications and smaller bridge projects.  Not much in the way of true added capacity to I-81 in the next 6 years' plan.

The Exit 310 project noted that traffic is expected to exceed 76k NB and 85k SB at that location by 2035...


I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 24, 2017, 10:45:28 AM
I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.

Southwest VA is pretty far down on the political totem pole, so it's not surprising that needs in that area often go neglected in favor of those three metro areas, especially NoVA. The three metros certainly have needs, but they've been mostly addressed or currently being addressed, whether in the planning stages or under construction. Meanwhile, I-81 and SW VA remains largely ignored with a few bread crumbs thrown their way.

I knew he wouldn't win the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but things like this was a big reason I liked Frank Wagner. He was the only candidate that not only addressed the three metros, but he realized that there was more to the state than the three metros and addressed transportation needs there as well. But that ship has sailed and the status quo continues... :banghead:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 24, 2017, 12:20:48 PM
^^ Money.  Or lack thereof.  This is in no small part why Virginia implemented their SmartScale project ranking system a few years ago (besides being Legislatively mandated), so that projects with the most bang for the buck are the ones that get funded.

Just happens to be that wholesale, widescale widenings don't see the ROI that smaller projects do.  In part because of this, virtually every major project VDOT's done in the past decade in those "three metro areas" has had a toll component to it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 24, 2017, 02:13:40 PM
I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.

Southwest VA is pretty far down on the political totem pole, so it's not surprising that needs in that area often go neglected in favor of those three metro areas, especially NoVA. The three metros certainly have needs, but they've been mostly addressed or currently being addressed, whether in the planning stages or under construction. Meanwhile, I-81 and SW VA remains largely ignored with a few bread crumbs thrown their way.
Yeah which is why VDOT is fixing I-64(neglected similarly like I-81 up until recently) with widening projects near Richmond, on the Peninsula, the HRBT, and Southside). Why deal with I-64 first? Well because I-64 connects Hampton Roads to Richmond and is pretty much at this point no longer a "rural corridor" between them. However it is also important to note that two out of the four I-64 widening protects involve tolls which is accurate with what froggie said earlier.
In part because of this, virtually every major project VDOT's done in the past decade in those "three metro areas" has had a toll component to it.

Again relating back to I-73, I would very much be interested to see how building/designating at least one part of I-73 in Viringia or even widening a portion I-81 would score in Smart Scale.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on June 24, 2017, 03:15:02 PM
Again relating back to I-73, I would very much be interested to see how building/designating at least one part of I-73 in Viringia or even widening a portion I-81 would score in Smart Scale.

I would be very interested in that as well.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on June 26, 2017, 09:37:56 AM
I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.

Southwest VA is pretty far down on the political totem pole, so it's not surprising that needs in that area often go neglected in favor of those three metro areas, especially NoVA. The three metros certainly have needs, but they've been mostly addressed or currently being addressed, whether in the planning stages or under construction. Meanwhile, I-81 and SW VA remains largely ignored with a few bread crumbs thrown their way.

I knew he wouldn't win the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but things like this was a big reason I liked Frank Wagner. He was the only candidate that not only addressed the three metros, but he realized that there was more to the state than the three metros and addressed transportation needs there as well. But that ship has sailed and the status quo continues... :banghead:

Yep, to a lot of people over east, there isn't much beyond Charlottesville (a place that doesn't have much going for it other than the school for wayward yuppies and loser football players), although some do acknowledge that Roanoke exists. Even with a map and detailed directions, there are folks in NoVA who would be unable to find Tazewell, Norton, Grundy, Big Stone Gap, Lee County, and other places in the western half of the state. NoVA types know Blacksburg is out there somewhere but may not have a clear idea of exactly where it is located (once had someone in Manassas state "Blacksburg is just on the other side of Harrisonsburg, isn't it?" -- yeah, relative to Denver we are close to Harrisonburg). It doesn't help when our "representatives" on the CTB aren't interested in the area they are supposed to represent (see dangerous N. Main/U.S. 460 intersection in Blacksburg).

As to Wagner, he had too much other baggage to be taken seriously. He was big on keeping the Confederacy alive in Virginia but I never could get an answer on his stance on keeping Massive Resistance and celebrating Harry Byrd.

Road related: Construction has begun on the replacement of the I-81 bridges over the New River at the Montgomery/Pulaski county line.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on June 26, 2017, 03:35:27 PM
I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.

Southwest VA is pretty far down on the political totem pole, so it's not surprising that needs in that area often go neglected in favor of those three metro areas, especially NoVA. The three metros certainly have needs, but they've been mostly addressed or currently being addressed, whether in the planning stages or under construction. Meanwhile, I-81 and SW VA remains largely ignored with a few bread crumbs thrown their way.

I knew he wouldn't win the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but things like this was a big reason I liked Frank Wagner. He was the only candidate that not only addressed the three metros, but he realized that there was more to the state than the three metros and addressed transportation needs there as well. But that ship has sailed and the status quo continues... :banghead:

Yep, to a lot of people over east, there isn't much beyond Charlottesville (a place that doesn't have much going for it other than the school for wayward yuppies and loser football players), although some do acknowledge that Roanoke exists. Even with a map and detailed directions, there are folks in NoVA who would be unable to find Tazewell, Norton, Grundy, Big Stone Gap, Lee County, and other places in the western half of the state. NoVA types know Blacksburg is out there somewhere but may not have a clear idea of exactly where it is located (once had someone in Manassas state "Blacksburg is just on the other side of Harrisonsburg, isn't it?" -- yeah, relative to Denver we are close to Harrisonburg). It doesn't help when our "representatives" on the CTB aren't interested in the area they are supposed to represent (see dangerous N. Main/U.S. 460 intersection in Blacksburg).

As to Wagner, he had too much other baggage to be taken seriously. He was big on keeping the Confederacy alive in Virginia but I never could get an answer on his stance on keeping Massive Resistance and celebrating Harry Byrd.

Road related: Construction has begun on the replacement of the I-81 bridges over the New River at the Montgomery/Pulaski county line.

Bruce in Blacksburg


I am pretty sure that there are things like that happening elsewhere in the United States, not just Virginia. For instance, in North Carolina, it is usually Charlotte vs. Raleigh when it comes to money for roads. Eastern coast cities, Asheville and sometimes the Triad were "ignored", but people down there acknowledges their existence, even the politics down there.

I don't know how politics work in Virginia because I am not from there... nor live in there, however I do know how SWVA feel when it comes to being ignored. Money received from Richmond (and Washington DC?) should be balanced for all regions, not based on favoritism.

If I lived in Virginia, I would vote for Frank Wagner. His ideas focused on ENTIRE state, especially SWVA. He knew SWVA needs economic boost BADLY. That is where I-73 (and widening US 58) among other projects such as Coalfields Expressway comes in. I-73 is their hope to boost their stale economy and attract jobs to that region. Most big companies want to build their in places where there is a interstate highway close, not the U.S. Routes. That is why I strongly support the state to build I-73.

I have driven though SWVA most of the time and I can see why they desperately want I-73 built down there. It is not their fault that I-73 costs around $4 billion dollars. The cost is rising (and more likely will continue to rise) because for so many years they were being neglected by the politics until the most recent voting passed last January.

The state owes it to SWVA so much for keep sending bread crumbs down their way these years.


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 26, 2017, 09:06:15 PM
The newly released 6-yr plan has these I-81 projects funded in some way:
Rebuilding Exit 14, VA 140 (already under construction)
Add full transition lane between I-77 (Exit 72) and US 11 (Exit 73)
Rebuilding Exit 17 (US 58 ALT/VA 75)
Improving Exit 19 (US 11-58)
Replace New River Br on I-81 NB with no additional capacity beyond having a wider shoulder
Auxiliary lanes added between Exit 141 (VA 419) and Exit 143 (I-581/US 220)
Rebuilding Exit 150, US 11-220/VA 220 ALT (already under construction)
Rebuilding Exit 310, VA 37 (already under construction)

Everything else is minor stuff like ramp modifications and smaller bridge projects.  Not much in the way of true added capacity to I-81 in the next 6 years' plan.

The Exit 310 project noted that traffic is expected to exceed 76k NB and 85k SB at that location by 2035...
I know this is getting OT for this thread, but I am honestly surprised that there is very little to be seen in capacity improvements planned for I-81. There are decent sized cities along I-81 which would benefit. I guess there are many other needs in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the area around Norfolk.

That is probably close to $300 million of projects in that list.  Replacing the New River bridges is about $120 million itself, they were opened in 1965 and they are wearing out (and reading between the lines in the SYP they are going to make them wide enough for 3 lanes and full shoulders).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on June 26, 2017, 09:14:09 PM
^^ Money.  Or lack thereof.  This is in no small part why Virginia implemented their SmartScale project ranking system a few years ago (besides being Legislatively mandated), so that projects with the most bang for the buck are the ones that get funded.

Just happens to be that wholesale, widescale widenings don't see the ROI that smaller projects do.  In part because of this, virtually every major project VDOT's done in the past decade in those "three metro areas" has had a toll component to it.

I am unconvinced that using a mathematical formula is really the way to "score" highway projects.  It all depends on the algorithm used.  Some things (like widening I-81) need a good dose of human and political judgment to make the best decision about.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 27, 2017, 12:05:36 PM
^^ Money.  Or lack thereof.  This is in no small part why Virginia implemented their SmartScale project ranking system a few years ago (besides being Legislatively mandated), so that projects with the most bang for the buck are the ones that get funded.

Just happens to be that wholesale, widescale widenings don't see the ROI that smaller projects do.  In part because of this, virtually every major project VDOT's done in the past decade in those "three metro areas" has had a toll component to it.

I am unconvinced that using a mathematical formula is really the way to "score" highway projects.  It all depends on the algorithm used.  Some things (like widening I-81) need a good dose of human and political judgment to make the best decision about.

Kentucky just released a prioritized list of projects using some kind of formula, and I think it may be modeled in part on what Virginia has done. You have to get down to #15 in the list to find a project NOT in either Fayette, Jefferson or Boone/Kenton/Campbell counties, and it's on an interstate.

You could not spend one single construction dollar in those five counties in the next 20 years and they would still have a transportation network vastly superior to the rest of the state.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on June 27, 2017, 04:40:05 PM
In terms of network, perhaps, but those counties also have the most traffic and VMT in the state.

Now here's a question:  are you or the state including normal repaving/bridge rehab/bridge replacement projects in that list and statement?  Or is this just for major projects?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on June 28, 2017, 01:29:14 PM
In terms of network, perhaps, but those counties also have the most traffic and VMT in the state.

Now here's a question:  are you or the state including normal repaving/bridge rehab/bridge replacement projects in that list and statement?  Or is this just for major projects?

This is for major construction projects -- basically, anything that gets included in the highway plan submitted by the governor/KYTC and approved by the legislature. Bridge replacements generally go in the SYP, but rehabs don't.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on January 10, 2018, 07:01:10 PM
State sen. Bill Stanley's I-73 funding bill that was passed last year has been re-filed with the General Assembly for their upcoming session.

http://www.roanoke.com/flurry-of-bills-precede-legislators-as-virginia-general-assembly-convenes/article_07439c01-b248-50d6-96d9-7ef2162ae96f.html (http://www.roanoke.com/flurry-of-bills-precede-legislators-as-virginia-general-assembly-convenes/article_07439c01-b248-50d6-96d9-7ef2162ae96f.html)

Quote
A bill earmarking funding for Interstate 73, which would run from Roanoke to the North Carolina line, is back for a second trip through the General Assembly gauntlet.

SB 31 would put the interstate next in line for a pot of money currently earmarked for U.S. 58. When the money becomes available in more than two decades, I-73 would receive about $40 million a year — a fraction of the project’s $6 billion price tag.

Stanley’s bill, which gained more traction last year than in previous years, will not become law unless re-enacted by the General Assembly this year.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on January 10, 2018, 08:20:17 PM
^^^

What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.

A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 10, 2018, 08:56:53 PM
^^^
What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.
A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.

"next in line for a pot of money currently earmarked for U.S. 58"  -- means -after- completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville.

I attended the monthly CTB meeting yesterday, and that was one of the discussion items, and that is what they said.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 18, 2018, 08:39:25 PM
The Senate passed Bill Stanley’s I-73 funding bill. It’s expected to pass the House when it gets voted on later this month.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 18, 2018, 11:37:23 PM
^^^

What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.

A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.


You're losing your mind, dude. Obviously you haven't drove on that road everyday.  :clap: (oh it doesn't matter how old you are.)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 19, 2018, 05:08:29 AM
The Senate passed Bill Stanley’s I-73 funding bill. It’s expected to pass the House when it gets voted on later this month.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html)

Well, it didn’t take long for someone to respond.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-for-feb/article_3d29ba40-14f0-11e8-bb9b-f3cbc33ca4e0.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-for-feb/article_3d29ba40-14f0-11e8-bb9b-f3cbc33ca4e0.html)

Quote
What do we get?

I respect Sharon Hodges for asking a question that I think Henry County supervisors, heck even Franklin should be asking. What are we getting back for all this money we’re putting in for I-73? Is that money even being spent in the right way? I mean after reading the story, I just came away sad. I wonder why a group like the Harvest Foundation couldn’t have provided the money for the updated studies long before now. I think that would have been a better investment than a walking trail people are just going to fight over. I drive down to North Carolina all the time and they’re going to it, building it up to the state line. How sad will it be when North Carolina is done with their part of I-73 and Virginia hasn’t even started? It’ll truly be the road to nowhere.

Alex Martinsen

Collinsville

I can’t say I disagree with him, particularly where Sharon Hodge is concerned...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on February 19, 2018, 11:09:58 AM
^^^

What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.

A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.


You're losing your mind, dude. Obviously you haven't drove on that road everyday.  :clap: (oh it doesn't matter how old you are.)

Looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. My opinion on this -- and turning US 31 between Indy and South Bend into an interstate -- won't change.

I'd rather see scarce transportation dollars spent improving corridors that are currently outdated two-lane roads than redoing corridors that are already four lanes and moving traffic well. I personally think the Mountain Parkway project in Kentucky is wasteful, because the super-2 that exists currently handles present traffic well and will also handle future projections. A few spot improvements (adding more passing lanes, straightening some curves, etc.) would be all that corridor needs.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 19, 2018, 11:23:05 AM
You're losing your mind, dude. Obviously you haven't drove on that road everyday.  :clap: (oh it doesn't matter how old you are.)
Looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. My opinion on this -- and turning US 31 between Indy and South Bend into an interstate -- won't change.
I'd rather see scarce transportation dollars spent improving corridors that are currently outdated two-lane roads than redoing corridors that are already four lanes and moving traffic well. I personally think the Mountain Parkway project in Kentucky is wasteful, because the super-2 that exists currently handles present traffic well and will also handle future projections. A few spot improvements (adding more passing lanes, straightening some curves, etc.) would be all that corridor needs.

Indeed.  Back when I-73 was first approved, much of N.C. US-220 was still a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway, parts of which went thru developed areas where it would have hard to widen.  So when considering 4-lane upgrades, a full relocation could be more easily justified, and at that point it is a small additional step to utilize full freeway standards.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 19, 2018, 11:31:51 AM
^^^

What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.

A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.


You're losing your mind, dude. Obviously you haven't drove on that road everyday.  :clap: (oh it doesn't matter how old you are.)

Looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. My opinion on this -- and turning US 31 between Indy and South Bend into an interstate -- won't change.

I'd rather see scarce transportation dollars spent improving corridors that are currently outdated two-lane roads than redoing corridors that are already four lanes and moving traffic well. I personally think the Mountain Parkway project in Kentucky is wasteful, because the super-2 that exists currently handles present traffic well and will also handle future projections. A few spot improvements (adding more passing lanes, straightening some curves, etc.) would be all that corridor needs.


The Mountain Parkway... I will hand you this one because I am not familiar with Kentucky roads (never drove on any of them except I-74, I-75 and I-275) or how they spend money on building/widening their roads.. except for I-69.

Yes, we can only agree or disagree on this topic.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: 1 on February 19, 2018, 12:35:35 PM
(never drove on any of them except I-74, I-75 and I-275)

Since you've been on I-74 in Kentucky, you must be from the future. When did I-74 between Ohio and North Carolina finally get completed?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on February 19, 2018, 01:18:21 PM
The Senate passed Bill Stanley’s I-73 funding bill. It’s expected to pass the House when it gets voted on later this month.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html)

This article is pretty lengthy and not once does it mention safety issues with US 220 for through traffic (including trucks).  It only seems to tout what jobs might arise out of it.  My question on the job numbers is whether they take into account jobs lost by bypassing large segments of US 220 (including the Rocky Mount bypass) which have these same types of businesses that may end up closing should I-73 be built.

Build a new road between Boones Mill and Roanoke if you must but make sensible improvements to the rest of existing US 220.  In a world of finite resources this is the right way to go.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 19, 2018, 02:05:55 PM
(never drove on any of them except I-74, I-75 and I-275)

Since you've been on I-74 in Kentucky, you must be from the future. When did I-74 between Ohio and North Carolina finally get completed?

hahaha.. I-74 never entered Kentucky. :banghead:  I mean I-64.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on February 19, 2018, 02:09:15 PM
^^^

What part of US 58? If the Commonwealth of Virginia is seriously considering building a second four-lane connection between Martinsville and Roanoke, instead of completing the four-lane US 58 corridor between Stuart and Hillsville, they've officially lost their minds in Richmond.

A new four-lane along that corridor is NOT needed.


You're losing your mind, dude. Obviously you haven't drove on that road everyday.  :clap: (oh it doesn't matter how old you are.)

Looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. My opinion on this -- and turning US 31 between Indy and South Bend into an interstate -- won't change.

I'd rather see scarce transportation dollars spent improving corridors that are currently outdated two-lane roads than redoing corridors that are already four lanes and moving traffic well. I personally think the Mountain Parkway project in Kentucky is wasteful, because the super-2 that exists currently handles present traffic well and will also handle future projections. A few spot improvements (adding more passing lanes, straightening some curves, etc.) would be all that corridor needs.


The Mountain Parkway... I will hand you this one because I am not familiar with Kentucky roads (never drove on any of them except I-74, I-75 and I-275) or how they spend money on building/widening their roads.. except for I-69.

Yes, we can only agree or disagree on this topic.

I-69 isn't new construction of a four-lane to parallel an existing four-lane. What's been done is work to bring the existing Kentucky parkways up to current interstate standards.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 19, 2018, 03:36:29 PM
This article is pretty lengthy and not once does it mention safety issues with US 220 for through traffic (including trucks).  It only seems to tout what jobs might arise out of it.  My question on the job numbers is whether they take into account jobs lost by bypassing large segments of US 220 (including the Rocky Mount bypass) which have these same types of businesses that may end up closing should I-73 be built.
Build a new road between Boones Mill and Roanoke if you must but make sensible improvements to the rest of existing US 220.  In a world of finite resources this is the right way to go.

Those are retail service businesses for travelers, restaurants mainly for travelers, motels, and fuel and service stations.  Such businesses are usually fully capitalized after 5 years or so and if eliminated usually have been profitable for the owner and have returned the original investment.

The kind of businesses they are referring to are the major manufacturing and light industrial and major service companies that would provide long term structural employment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Mapmikey on February 19, 2018, 03:50:51 PM
This article is pretty lengthy and not once does it mention safety issues with US 220 for through traffic (including trucks).  It only seems to tout what jobs might arise out of it.  My question on the job numbers is whether they take into account jobs lost by bypassing large segments of US 220 (including the Rocky Mount bypass) which have these same types of businesses that may end up closing should I-73 be built.
Build a new road between Boones Mill and Roanoke if you must but make sensible improvements to the rest of existing US 220.  In a world of finite resources this is the right way to go.

Those are retail service businesses for travelers, restaurants mainly for travelers, motels, and fuel and service stations.  Such businesses are usually fully capitalized after 5 years or so and if eliminated usually have been profitable for the owner and have returned the original investment.

The kind of businesses they are referring to are the major manufacturing and light industrial and major service companies that would provide long term structural employment.

The article only quantifies the service industry jobs and all but says don't count on much for the types of jobs you are referencing...

While it may be true a service establishment has a quick ROI for the owner/investor, the workers are still out of a job if it closes because nobody drives by there anymore (or get to work at a new establishment along the new route but that is not a net gain of jobs in the area).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 26, 2018, 06:42:51 AM
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will vote tomorrow on whether or not to remain in the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html)

Quote
On Tuesday, the Henry County Board of Supervisors will consider whether to remain a part of the “Interstate 73 Coalition.”

The coalition is currently comprised of Martinsville and Roanoke plus Henry, Franklin and Roanoke counties, as the Virginia stretch of the planned highway would run through or near each locality. Each city and county provides money for the coalition, which in turn goes to the lobbying firm of Alcalde and Fay. As per the contract, Martinsville pays $1,000 per month, while Franklin and Henry counties each pay $1,500. Roanoke and Roanoke County both pay $2,000 per month to the firm. In exchange, the lobbyists are asked to go to Richmond and Washington D.C. and convince lawmakers to help fund I-73.

Martinsville voted earlier this month to continue their contract for another 12 months. Roanoke County's supervisors did the same. Henry County's contract expired Dec. 31 and on Tuesday, the supervisors will consider a proposed one-year extension of the contract with the county’s fee of $1,500 per month remaining the same.

Board documents show that the county staff recommends that supervisors approve the extension, which would total $18,000. That money would be taken from the county's contingency fund. In the board packet, the reasoning behind the staff's recommendation is that they feel the relationship with Alcalde and Fay has “produced more awareness on the state and federal levels of the I-73 project and the issues surrounding it.”

As the Bulletin reported earlier this month, there are two problems preventing movement on the overall I-73 project. The first is that the Army Corps of Engineers will not issue a permit for the project as is. They have concerns over the extent of stream impacts and asked for some additional analysis. The second problem is that the Virginia Department of Transportation doesn't have the money needed to do that analysis.

The last Environmental Impact Statement on I-73 was done in November 2006. The Army Corps is asking for that to be updated, which would take an estimated $8 to $10 million and 4 to 5 years to complete, according to VDOT officials. That study would look at both the questions raised by the Corps and present any possible alternative routes, in order to see if a different plan would have less of an impact on the area.

Once the study is submitted, it has to be approved both by the Army Corps and the Federal Highway Administration. That has to be done before a final design can be created. Between the study and approval process, it takes between 5 to 8 years to finish. After that, then officials will need to find money for the project's design and construction.


Part of the funding puzzle will be addressed by the Virginia General Assembly. Earlier this month, the Virginia Senate approved a bill by Sen. Bill Stanley to provide at least $40 million annually for the I-73 corridor development fund. There is a catch, however. That money comes from tax stamps the state derives from the transfer of real property. It is currently allocated to the U.S. Route 58 corridor development fund. The money will not move over to I-73 until all of Route 58 becomes four lanes, which Stanley anticipates should be in about 10 years, in 2028.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 27, 2018, 09:14:31 PM
Roanoke County votes to stay in Interstate 73 Coalition.

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Roanoke-County-votes-to-stay-in-Interstate-73-Coalition-475325333.html

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 28, 2018, 03:12:05 AM
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will vote tomorrow on whether or not to remain in the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html)

Meanwhile, due to a tied vote, Henry County has left the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on February 28, 2018, 08:46:13 AM
So with some counties leaving and others staying, does this make I-73 in VA effectively dead until they all come back, or does it mean that when/if it's ever built, it'll be built in bits and pieces in the remaining counties until the ones that left decide to get back on board and finish it?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 28, 2018, 11:20:54 AM
So with some counties leaving and others staying, does this make I-73 in VA effectively dead until they all come back, or does it mean that when/if it's ever built, it'll be built in bits and pieces in the remaining counties until the ones that left decide to get back on board and finish it?


No, I-73 is not dead. The state has a very, very and very long way to go on building I-73, and the EIS must be conducted first before the Corps can approve the permit. The Corps asked for a updated study since the last one was done back in 2006. (it is not cheap to do a EIS).

However, Martinsville City Council will remain a part of the Interstate 73 Coalition after a 4-1 vote.


Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 28, 2018, 11:42:31 AM
So with some counties leaving and others staying, does this make I-73 in VA effectively dead until they all come back, or does it mean that when/if it's ever built, it'll be built in bits and pieces in the remaining counties until the ones that left decide to get back on board and finish it?


No, I-73 is not dead. The state has a very, very and very long way to go on building I-73, and the EIS must be conducted first before the Corps can approve the permit. The Corps asked for a updated study since the last one was done back in 2006. (it is not cheap to do a EIS).

However, Martinsville City Council will remain a part of the Interstate 73 Coalition after a 4-1 vote.


While they are at it, the FHA announced a study that will focus on US 220 between NC state line and Martinsville bypass. They hope to have the study complete by 2021. The study could include the proposed route between the state line and US 58 bypass that I-73 is proposed to follow as one of the alternatives. Who knows. Either way.. good for them to focus on segments. That is what should have been done the first place.

http://martinsvilledaily.com/2018/02/28/environmental-impact-statement-and-70-million-pledged-toward-i-73-from/
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 28, 2018, 04:15:40 PM
No, I-73 is not dead. The state has a very, very and very long way to go on building I-73, and the EIS must be conducted first before the Corps can approve the permit. The Corps asked for a updated study since the last one was done back in 2006. (it is not cheap to do a EIS).
However, Martinsville City Council will remain a part of the Interstate 73 Coalition after a 4-1 vote.
While they are at it, the FHA announced a study that will focus on US 220 between NC state line and Martinsville bypass. They hope to have the study complete by 2021. The study could include the proposed route between the state line and US 58 bypass that I-73 is proposed to follow as one of the alternatives. Who knows. Either way.. good for them to focus on segments. That is what should have been done the first place.

I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.

US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 28, 2018, 05:50:11 PM
No, I-73 is not dead. The state has a very, very and very long way to go on building I-73, and the EIS must be conducted first before the Corps can approve the permit. The Corps asked for a updated study since the last one was done back in 2006. (it is not cheap to do a EIS).
However, Martinsville City Council will remain a part of the Interstate 73 Coalition after a 4-1 vote.
While they are at it, the FHA announced a study that will focus on US 220 between NC state line and Martinsville bypass. They hope to have the study complete by 2021. The study could include the proposed route between the state line and US 58 bypass that I-73 is proposed to follow as one of the alternatives. Who knows. Either way.. good for them to focus on segments. That is what should have been done the first place.

I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.

US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.


Since you live in Virginia, why don't you find out?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 28, 2018, 05:50:55 PM
No, I-73 is not dead. The state has a very, very and very long way to go on building I-73, and the EIS must be conducted first before the Corps can approve the permit. The Corps asked for a updated study since the last one was done back in 2006. (it is not cheap to do a EIS).
However, Martinsville City Council will remain a part of the Interstate 73 Coalition after a 4-1 vote.
While they are at it, the FHA announced a study that will focus on US 220 between NC state line and Martinsville bypass. They hope to have the study complete by 2021. The study could include the proposed route between the state line and US 58 bypass that I-73 is proposed to follow as one of the alternatives. Who knows. Either way.. good for them to focus on segments. That is what should have been done the first place.

I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.

US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.


Since you live in Virginia, why don't you find out?


Another update:

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Plans-for-Interstate-73-moving-forward-with-environmental-study-475458533.html
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 28, 2018, 05:53:51 PM
Quote from: Beltway
I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.
US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.

Since you live in Virginia, why don't you find out?

Find out what?  I didn't pose any questions.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on February 28, 2018, 05:59:02 PM
Quote from: Beltway
I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.
US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.

Since you live in Virginia, why don't you find out?

Find out what?  I didn't pose any questions.


You didn't have to directly pose any questions.

"I question what the article said....."

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 28, 2018, 06:12:38 PM
Quote from: Beltway
I question what the article said.  The project had a completed NEPA process with approved Final EIS and ROD.  An EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take more than a year or two.  Neither the human nor the natural environment has changed much since 2006.
US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.  I do not see any special priority for that I-73 segment, the approved alignment in Virginia ties into existing US-220 at the state border, so US-220 can continue to serve that need for now.
Since you live in Virginia, why don't you find out?
Find out what?  I didn't pose any questions.
You didn't have to directly pose any questions.
"I question what the article said....."

Because in my knowledge an EIS Re-evaulation shouldn't take 5 or 6 years to complete.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 28, 2018, 06:27:42 PM
Another update:

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Plans-for-Interstate-73-moving-forward-with-environmental-study-475458533.html

Quote
Stirrup said he is delighted Roanoke County is going to continue on with the coalition.

“Obviously if they had voted against us, it would have sent a very negative message to the other coalition partners and probably would lead to others perhaps dropping out in the future as well. But it's important to remain solidarity on this issue."

The coalition is made up of Roanoke, Franklin, and Henry counties along with the Cities of Martinsville and Roanoke.

I hate to break it to Stirrup, but Henry County has already dropped out of the coalition. So much for solidarity...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 01, 2018, 10:24:48 AM
Another update:

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Plans-for-Interstate-73-moving-forward-with-environmental-study-475458533.html

Quote
Stirrup said he is delighted Roanoke County is going to continue on with the coalition.

“Obviously if they had voted against us, it would have sent a very negative message to the other coalition partners and probably would lead to others perhaps dropping out in the future as well. But it's important to remain solidarity on this issue."

The coalition is made up of Roanoke, Franklin, and Henry counties along with the Cities of Martinsville and Roanoke.

I hate to break it to Stirrup, but Henry County has already dropped out of the coalition. So much for solidarity...


Yeah, Henry County is the only one that dropped out... Martinsville City and Roanoke County are still in. I don't know about Franklin County (assuming they are still in)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on March 01, 2018, 04:05:02 PM
Of course Roanoke (city & county) are still in the coalition; the whole notion of shifting a branch of the HPC 5 corridor east to serve the area began there some 23 years ago (otherwise most of what's known as I-74 in NC would be I-73 instead).  It's ironic that the area that originally pressed hardest for that specific corridor would have the most difficult time getting it built -- perhaps it was just lack of self-awareness regarding the particulars of VA politics and funding on the part of the backers -- while their neighbor to the south, displaying a completely different package of priorities, hacks away at their portion of I-73 until it's about 85% done within the state.  Oh well -- maybe just enough of the corridor will get completed to function as a gateway to the Martinsville Speedway.     
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 01, 2018, 04:34:16 PM
Of course Roanoke (city & county) are still in the coalition; the whole notion of shifting a branch of the HPC 5 corridor east to serve the area began there some 23 years ago (otherwise most of what's known as I-74 in NC would be I-73 instead).  It's ironic that the area that originally pressed hardest for that specific corridor would have the most difficult time getting it built -- perhaps it was just lack of self-awareness regarding the particulars of VA politics and funding on the part of the backers -- while their neighbor to the south, displaying a completely different package of priorities, hacks away at their portion of I-73 until it's about 85% done within the state.  Oh well -- maybe just enough of the corridor will get completed to function as a gateway to the Martinsville Speedway.   

I guess we shall see what happens after the EIS is completed. From that point on, we all should know what's up.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: dvferyance on March 01, 2018, 06:17:23 PM
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will vote tomorrow on whether or not to remain in the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html)

Meanwhile, due to a tied vote, Henry County has left the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html)
What about Franklin County? I have been on US 220 many times between Roanoke and Martinsville. I really don't get why it should get an interstate upgrade. There are other highways that interstate upgrades would make more sense like OH 32 and US 31 in northern Indiana.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 01, 2018, 06:46:53 PM
Of course Roanoke (city & county) are still in the coalition; the whole notion of shifting a branch of the HPC 5 corridor east to serve the area began there some 23 years ago (otherwise most of what's known as I-74 in NC would be I-73 instead).  It's ironic that the area that originally pressed hardest for that specific corridor would have the most difficult time getting it built -- perhaps it was just lack of self-awareness regarding the particulars of VA politics and funding on the part of the backers -- while their neighbor to the south, displaying a completely different package of priorities, hacks away at their portion of I-73 until it's about 85% done within the state.  Oh well -- maybe just enough of the corridor will get completed to function as a gateway to the Martinsville Speedway.     

How much has the N.C. part cost, has it reached a billion in total?  As I have pointed out many times the portion between N.C. and I-81 is estimated at $4 billion.

Nearly all of US-220 in N.C. was a 2-lane highway that went thru towns.  Building a full relocation made sense, starting in the 1980s with US-220 freeway segments and then with I-73 segments after that was authorized in 1995.

The US-220 segment in Virginia is a capable 4-lane highway with town bypasses and it uses the 6-lane I-581/US-220 freeway in Roanoke, and about 30% of the total 70-mile segment is on limited access right-of-way.  It was all completed by 1980, the early parts in the 1960s.  I would like to see the I-73 route built in the future even if it takes to 2030 or beyond.  But understand why the priority is far lower than that of N.C., considering the quality of the original NC US-220 route.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 01, 2018, 07:35:56 PM
What about Franklin County? I have been on US 220 many times between Roanoke and Martinsville. I really don't get why it should get an interstate upgrade. There are other highways that interstate upgrades would make more sense like OH 32 and US 31 in northern Indiana.

US-220 volume ranges by section rounded --
NC to US-58 -- 12,000 AADT
Martinsville to Rocky Mount -- 16,000 AADT
Rocky Mount to VA-419 -- 24,000 AADT
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 01, 2018, 07:54:05 PM
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will vote tomorrow on whether or not to remain in the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/should-henry-county-stay-in-the-i--coalition/article_5b0f7bf8-1a81-11e8-bf4b-7bce5b55ae77.html)

Meanwhile, due to a tied vote, Henry County has left the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/henry-county-supervisors-split-on-i--coalition/article_ff63dd68-1c37-11e8-a211-6f70952e5844.html)
What about Franklin County? I have been on US 220 many times between Roanoke and Martinsville. I really don't get why it should get an interstate upgrade. There are other highways that interstate upgrades would make more sense like OH 32 and US 31 in northern Indiana.


No idea about Franklin County yet. We will know something as soon as the update comes.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on March 01, 2018, 10:32:45 PM
What about Franklin County? I have been on US 220 many times between Roanoke and Martinsville. I really don't get why it should get an interstate upgrade. There are other highways that interstate upgrades would make more sense like OH 32 and US 31 in northern Indiana.

Well, it's state money being spent -- or the state's allocation of federal money -- so each state gets to set its own priorities. US 220 isn't competing with Ohio or Indiana for upgrade funds. But I disagree about OH 32 and US 31 needing to be interstates. They, like US 220, are just fine as surface arterial four-lanes.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on March 02, 2018, 09:56:31 AM
The US-220 segment in Virginia is a capable 4-lane highway with town bypasses and it uses the 6-lane I-581/US-220 freeway in Roanoke, and about 30% of the total 70-mile segment is on limited access right-of-way.  It was all completed by 1980, the early parts in the 1960s.  I would like to see the I-73 route built in the future even if it takes to 2030 or beyond.  But understand why the priority is far lower than that of N.C., considering the quality of the original NC US-220 route.

Yes it is a four-lane highway but to claim it is "capable" is a bit of a stretch. There are large sections that are more than adequate for the traffic, but there are also some sections that downgrade any trip on the highway. There are some nasty horizontal and vertical curves, narrow and non-existent shoulders, and pretty much the whole section from VA 419 to the other side of Boones Mill (the on-again/off-again speed trap depending on the small-town politics and the state of the "police" department) is fraught with problems. While not as bad as the "wreck a day" I-81, U.S. 220 in that Roanoke/Boones Mill section has its share of bad tractor-trailer accidents -- many of which close the road for hours at a time and offer no alternative routes around the mess.

There is no easy solution to the problem, since there are too many side roads, businesses, and driveways in various sections that would block an upgrade in place (if the desire is to change the road to an interstate). Back when the whole discussion started, there were a number of routes offered to take care of the difficulty of getting south out of Roanoke and just about all of them were panned by various parties (lots and lots of NIMBYs). Even if bags of money were to fall from the sky offering unlimited funds for I-73 construction, it would take years to resolve all the issues.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on March 02, 2018, 09:58:49 AM
What about Franklin County? I have been on US 220 many times between Roanoke and Martinsville. I really don't get why it should get an interstate upgrade. There are other highways that interstate upgrades would make more sense like OH 32 and US 31 in northern Indiana.

Well, it's state money being spent -- or the state's allocation of federal money -- so each state gets to set its own priorities. US 220 isn't competing with Ohio or Indiana for upgrade funds. But I disagree about OH 32 and US 31 needing to be interstates. They, like US 220, are just fine as surface arterial four-lanes.
[/quote]

Upgrading for the sake of upgrading, that's what it is. And the same can be said about US 52 in WV, another highway that I-73 and I-74 have been planned to run on for years.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 02, 2018, 10:43:33 AM
Yes it is a four-lane highway but to claim it is "capable" is a bit of a stretch. There are large sections that are more than adequate for the traffic, but there are also some sections that downgrade any trip on the highway. There are some nasty horizontal and vertical curves, narrow and non-existent shoulders, and pretty much the whole section from VA 419 to the other side of Boones Mill (the on-again/off-again speed trap depending on the small-town politics and the state of the "police" department) is fraught with problems. While not as bad as the "wreck a day" I-81, U.S. 220 in that Roanoke/Boones Mill section has its share of bad tractor-trailer accidents -- many of which close the road for hours at a time and offer no alternative routes around the mess.
There is no easy solution to the problem, since there are too many side roads, businesses, and driveways in various sections that would block an upgrade in place (if the desire is to change the road to an interstate). Back when the whole discussion started, there were a number of routes offered to take care of the difficulty of getting south out of Roanoke and just about all of them were panned by various parties (lots and lots of NIMBYs). Even if bags of money were to fall from the sky offering unlimited funds for I-73 construction, it would take years to resolve all the issues.
Bruce in Blacksburg

The nonlimited-access portions were 4-laned between 1953 and 1971 per the Virginia Highways Project.  From Boones Mill to Roanoke in 1953, and that section certainly has aged into obsolescence  and that would be the segment to get priority for the first segment of I-73.

Fixing horizontal and vertical curves and narrow shoulders IMO should be considered on the existing route as long as they aren't so expensive to fix that it might be no more so to bypass it entirely.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 02, 2018, 11:04:49 AM
The US-220 segment in Virginia is a capable 4-lane highway with town bypasses and it uses the 6-lane I-581/US-220 freeway in Roanoke, and about 30% of the total 70-mile segment is on limited access right-of-way.  It was all completed by 1980, the early parts in the 1960s.  I would like to see the I-73 route built in the future even if it takes to 2030 or beyond.  But understand why the priority is far lower than that of N.C., considering the quality of the original NC US-220 route.

Yes it is a four-lane highway but to claim it is "capable" is a bit of a stretch. There are large sections that are more than adequate for the traffic, but there are also some sections that downgrade any trip on the highway. There are some nasty horizontal and vertical curves, narrow and non-existent shoulders, and pretty much the whole section from VA 419 to the other side of Boones Mill (the on-again/off-again speed trap depending on the small-town politics and the state of the "police" department) is fraught with problems. While not as bad as the "wreck a day" I-81, U.S. 220 in that Roanoke/Boones Mill section has its share of bad tractor-trailer accidents -- many of which close the road for hours at a time and offer no alternative routes around the mess.




THIS.

Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 02, 2018, 02:22:56 PM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.

It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 02, 2018, 02:44:51 PM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.

It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.

says a person who doesn't commute on US 220 everyday. Okay. good job.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 02, 2018, 02:59:14 PM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.
It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.
says a person who doesn't commute on US 220 everyday. Okay. good job.

I was referring back to something that was posted yesterday. 
If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 02, 2018, 05:47:59 PM
If Interstate 73 in Virginia is not constructed, what could be done to improve existing US 220 between Roanoke and the North Carolina border?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 02, 2018, 07:59:43 PM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.
It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.
says a person who doesn't commute on US 220 everyday. Okay. good job.

I was referring back to something that was posted yesterday. 
If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it.


Over something that was posted YESTERDAY. okay. good job. haha.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 02, 2018, 08:05:43 PM
If Interstate 73 in Virginia is not constructed, what could be done to improve existing US 220 between Roanoke and the North Carolina border?

If that ever happens, I can think of a few things: safety improvements for some intersections, correct some dangerous curves, maybe widening the shoulders and make it a little bit wider (close to interstate standards), but some sharp curves definitely needed to be addressed first.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 03, 2018, 01:42:08 AM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.
It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.
says a person who doesn't commute on US 220 everyday. Okay. good job.
I was referring back to something that was posted yesterday. 
If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it.
Over something that was posted YESTERDAY. okay. good job. haha.

Post #339 in this thread.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on March 04, 2018, 01:44:07 PM
Those of you who drives on US 220 EVERYDAY (like I do) knows what it is like. To say that the highway is "capable" is meaningless if you don't drive on it everyday. Drive on it EVERYDAY and you will get a different opinion.
It is an order of magnitude more capable than a 2-lane nonlimited-access highway that passes thru towns.  SMH.  SMPP.
says a person who doesn't commute on US 220 everyday. Okay. good job.
I was referring back to something that was posted yesterday. 
If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it.
Over something that was posted YESTERDAY. okay. good job. haha.

Post #339 in this thread.

Thanks, Scott, for the cite.  IMO, this is what's going to happen in both near and long terms:  Near term: I-73 will be built as an upgrade of US 220 from the NC line to the Martinsville bypass (more as a SIU than the beginning of the more extensive concept).  North of there, existing 220 will be signed (if it already isn't) as "Future I-73 Corridor".*  That will be the status quo until sometime in the late 2020's when post-US 58 funds become available.  By that time there will likely be additional housing development south of Roanoke that will complicate any potential I-73 alignment -- and the fun starts there.  Eventually an alignment quite a distance from the present 220 will be selected, driving the price up another half-billion, which will put the opening of the full facility out into the late 2030's.  So, 20-odd years from now, I-73 will be complete from Roanoke to (?). 

* How much "future I-73" signage is there on the 220 or even I-581 corridors?  And will such continue to be posted in Henry County now that they're out of the coalition?   
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 04, 2018, 03:11:46 PM
Thanks, Scott, for the cite.  IMO, this is what's going to happen in both near and long terms:  Near term: I-73 will be built as an upgrade of US 220 from the NC line to the Martinsville bypass (more as a SIU than the beginning of the more extensive concept).  North of there, existing 220 will be signed (if it already isn't) as "Future I-73 Corridor".*  That will be the status quo until sometime in the late 2020's when post-US 58 funds become available.  By that time there will likely be additional housing development south of Roanoke that will complicate any potential I-73 alignment -- and the fun starts there.  Eventually an alignment quite a distance from the present 220 will be selected, driving the price up another half-billion, which will put the opening of the full facility out into the late 2030's.  So, 20-odd years from now, I-73 will be complete from Roanoke to (?). 

I don't see the point for starting with the NC line to Martinsville bypass segment, that is the lowest volume segment on US-220 south of I-81 and the existing highway is adequate.

I would suggest starting from the north, from VA-419, the first segment upgrading along the existing US-220 for 2 or 3 miles, that is the most congested segment.  From there to get a usable second segment it would be necessary to go down to VA-40 at Rocky Mount, where about 1.5 miles of VA-40 west of the bypass is already 4 lanes, so the temporary connection would use a 4-lane VA-40 to connect to the pre-existing US-220 bypass.

This is using the currently approved I-73 alignment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Jmiles32 on March 04, 2018, 03:17:12 PM
IMO, this is what's going to happen in both near and long terms:  Near term: I-73 will be built as an upgrade of US 220 from the NC line to the Martinsville bypass (more as a SIU than the beginning of the more extensive concept).  North of there, existing 220 will be signed (if it already isn't) as "Future I-73 Corridor".*  That will be the status quo until sometime in the late 2020's when post-US 58 funds become available.

What makes you think that in the near-term I-73 will be built from the NC line to the Martinsville Bypass?

By that time there will likely be additional housing development south of Roanoke that will complicate any potential I-73 alignment -- and the fun starts there.  Eventually an alignment quite a distance from the present 220 will be selected, driving the price up another half-billion, which will put the opening of the full facility out into the late 2030's.  So, 20-odd years from now, I-73 will be complete from Roanoke to (?). 

While I agree with the potential problem south of Roanoke, I don't see a fully completed I-73 opening in the late 2030's.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 05, 2018, 12:47:22 AM
Thanks, Scott, for the cite.  IMO, this is what's going to happen in both near and long terms:  Near term: I-73 will be built as an upgrade of US 220 from the NC line to the Martinsville bypass (more as a SIU than the beginning of the more extensive concept).  North of there, existing 220 will be signed (if it already isn't) as "Future I-73 Corridor".*  That will be the status quo until sometime in the late 2020's when post-US 58 funds become available.  By that time there will likely be additional housing development south of Roanoke that will complicate any potential I-73 alignment -- and the fun starts there.  Eventually an alignment quite a distance from the present 220 will be selected, driving the price up another half-billion, which will put the opening of the full facility out into the late 2030's.  So, 20-odd years from now, I-73 will be complete from Roanoke to (?). 

I don't see the point for starting with the NC line to Martinsville bypass segment, that is the lowest volume segment on US-220 south of I-81 and the existing highway is adequate.

I would suggest starting from the north, from VA-419, the first segment upgrading along the existing US-220 for 2 or 3 miles, that is the most congested segment.  From there to get a usable second segment it would be necessary to go down to VA-40 at Rocky Mount, where about 1.5 miles of VA-40 west of the bypass is already 4 lanes, so the temporary connection would use a 4-lane VA-40 to connect to the pre-existing US-220 bypass.

This is using the currently approved I-73 alignment.


Wrong. There is a pretty good amount of traffic on US 220 between the Martinsville bypass and NC/VA state line. To say it is adequate is funny. Clearly you have never been on that part of US 220 everyday.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 05, 2018, 12:48:59 AM
IMO, this is what's going to happen in both near and long terms:  Near term: I-73 will be built as an upgrade of US 220 from the NC line to the Martinsville bypass (more as a SIU than the beginning of the more extensive concept).  North of there, existing 220 will be signed (if it already isn't) as "Future I-73 Corridor".*  That will be the status quo until sometime in the late 2020's when post-US 58 funds become available.

What makes you think that in the near-term I-73 will be built from the NC line to the Martinsville Bypass?

By that time there will likely be additional housing development south of Roanoke that will complicate any potential I-73 alignment -- and the fun starts there.  Eventually an alignment quite a distance from the present 220 will be selected, driving the price up another half-billion, which will put the opening of the full facility out into the late 2030's.  So, 20-odd years from now, I-73 will be complete from Roanoke to (?). 

While I agree with the potential problem south of Roanoke, I don't see a fully completed I-73 opening in the late 2030's.

The study is only focused on the part from NC/VA state line to Martinsville bypass, in which the segment was proposed to be built FIRST.

I-73 will be completed, but not in our lifetime.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on March 05, 2018, 02:49:51 AM
The study is only focused on the part from NC/VA state line to Martinsville bypass, in which the segment was proposed to be built FIRST.

I-73 will be completed, but not in our lifetime.

I'd be pushing 90 in the late 2030's, so the odds are you're probably correct -- at least as concerns my own lifetime.  But this is a different situation than with I-87 to the east regarding a continuation of a NC project across the state line;  the benefits accruing to Martinsville (largely because of the speedway) would be tangible with continuous Interstate-grade access to the rest of the system via a southern connection to the NC I-73 segment.  While Henry County might have some misgivings about tackling the whole corridor, handling just that segment as a local-benefit SIU after NC actually extends its I-73 segment to the state line seems like a no-brainer.  And since in-state NC action on their northernmost segment of the route remains several years off in any case, that allows planners time in which to plan the improvements.   
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 05, 2018, 07:01:09 AM
I don't see the point for starting with the NC line to Martinsville bypass segment, that is the lowest volume segment on US-220 south of I-81 and the existing highway is adequate.
Wrong. There is a pretty good amount of traffic on US 220 between the Martinsville bypass and NC/VA state line. To say it is adequate is funny. Clearly you have never been on that part of US 220 everyday.

It is a high speed 4-lane divided highway, and has a bypass of Ridgeway.  It's traffic volumes are modest for the type of highway.

US-220 volume ranges by section rounded --
NC to US-58 -- 12,000 AADT
Martinsville to Rocky Mount -- 16,000 AADT
Rocky Mount to VA-419 -- 24,000 AADT

Shows why I recommend starting from the north and working to the south.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on March 05, 2018, 10:03:32 AM

It is a high speed 4-lane divided highway, and has a bypass of Ridgeway.  It's traffic volumes are modest for the type of highway.

US-220 volume ranges by section rounded --
NC to US-58 -- 12,000 AADT
Martinsville to Rocky Mount -- 16,000 AADT
Rocky Mount to VA-419 -- 24,000 AADT

Shows why I recommend starting from the north and working to the south.

That is what makes the most sense but it will also have an incredibly high price tag. There isn't enough room on the existing road between VA 419 and Clearbrook to do much of anything -- unless a number of businesses are wiped out to build frontage roads to serve those that are left. From a routing standpoint (but NIMBYs will be thick) it would make sense to follow the NS tracks from I-581 through Tanglewood Mall and on west, then south to Starkey. Once through the gap there, either a route somewhere along Va. 615 or Va. 613 to go through the gap just north of Boones Mill. From there a route to the east to bypass Boones Mill, then south to the Rocky Mount bypass. That is a lot of countryside to plow through and that is what has tied up plans in the past.

There is at least one "Future I-73 Corridor" sign on I-581, in the vicinity of the Hershberger Road exit.

Bruce in Blacksburg (an occasional traveler on U.S. 220)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 05, 2018, 10:30:57 AM
Shows why I recommend starting from the north and working to the south.
That is what makes the most sense but it will also have an incredibly high price tag. There isn't enough room on the existing road between VA 419 and Clearbrook to do much of anything -- unless a number of businesses are wiped out to build frontage roads to serve those that are left. From a routing standpoint (but NIMBYs will be thick) it would make sense to follow the NS tracks from I-581 through Tanglewood Mall and on west, then south to Starkey. Once through the gap there, either a route somewhere along Va. 615 or Va. 613 to go through the gap just north of Boones Mill. From there a route to the east to bypass Boones Mill, then south to the Rocky Mount bypass. That is a lot of countryside to plow through and that is what has tied up plans in the past.
There is at least one "Future I-73 Corridor" sign on I-581, in the vicinity of the Hershberger Road exit.
Bruce in Blacksburg (an occasional traveler on U.S. 220)

That was one of the alternates listed in the Final EIS --
Option 3a follows I-581 and U.S. Route 220 similar to Option 3 with one departure north of the interchange at existing Route 419 (Electric Road).  At this location, Option 3a departs from existing U.S. Route 220 and generally follows the railroad corridor to the southwest, turns south along the west side of Buck Mountain, and connects back into U.S. Route 220 just north of Boones Mill.

Satellite view shows about 2 miles of fairly urbanized area from US-220 down along the railroad line, mostly businesses, a number of them probably would have to be removed.

The approved line from VA-419 southward would have some rather expensive construction for 2 miles as it follows the existing US-220 highway.   They could depress the I-73 highway and use retaining walls in a couple places to minimize the right-of-way impacts, but that would be rather expensive.  Then there is the question of where to build ramps to serve the business complex a half mile south of VA-419, and what kind of circulator roads to build.  It might cost $150 to $200 million for those 2 miles, maybe more if the US-29 upgrade at Gainesville is any guide.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on March 28, 2018, 08:47:58 AM
Henry County is back in the I-73 Coalition.

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Henry-County-remains-a-member-of-I-73-Coalition-478113953.html (http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Henry-County-remains-a-member-of-I-73-Coalition-478113953.html)

Quote
All five members of the Interstate 73 coalition will remain, after a vote Tuesday.

The Henry County Board of Supervisors first voted during its February meeting on whether to renew it's contract with a lobbying firm, but the motion died in a split decision.

One of the board members that previously voted no has now changed his mind.

"I previously thought one of the other members of the coalition was going to leave the coalition, but now all four other members have stayed in, I've reevaluated my position," says Board of Supervisors member Ryan Zehr.

The motion passed four to two.

The board will pay $18,000 per year to the lobbying firm advocating for I-73 on state and federal levels.

The coalition also includes Martinsville, Roanoke, and Franklin and Roanoke Counties.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on March 28, 2018, 09:16:17 AM
Henry County is back in the I-73 Coalition.

In other news, St. Jude has also been named as a member of the coalition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jude_the_Apostle)   :D
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on April 25, 2018, 01:14:33 PM
The Senate passed Bill Stanley’s I-73 funding bill. It’s expected to pass the House when it gets voted on later this month.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html)

According to this March 22 article, the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee killed the bill. The chairman of the committee, Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), refused to bring it up for a hearing. Stanley was not happy...

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/building-blocks-is-there-another-way-to-build-i/article_7159fed6-2e42-11e8-b366-e735a4b75459.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/building-blocks-is-there-another-way-to-build-i/article_7159fed6-2e42-11e8-b366-e735a4b75459.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on April 25, 2018, 03:45:32 PM
The Senate passed Bill Stanley’s I-73 funding bill. It’s expected to pass the House when it gets voted on later this month.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/a-costly-question-what-s-the-future-look-like-for/article_b5e3b218-143e-11e8-85f2-67ab23f443b7.html)

According to this March 22 article, the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee killed the bill. The chairman of the committee, Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), refused to bring it up for a hearing. Stanley was not happy...

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/building-blocks-is-there-another-way-to-build-i/article_7159fed6-2e42-11e8-b366-e735a4b75459.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share (http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/building-blocks-is-there-another-way-to-build-i/article_7159fed6-2e42-11e8-b366-e735a4b75459.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share)

It's interesting that given this latest setback -- although even if passed, there would be a few decades of thumb-twiddling before any projects were let, has prompted -- according to the article cited -- an attempt to concentrate on strictly the segment from the NC state line to the US 58 Martinsville bypass -- which apparently could be rationalized and "written up" as more of a safety than capacity project, effectively separating it from the longer full I-73 proposal.  At least that would lend some credence to the NC project string north of Greensboro -- a trunk Interstate ending at a significant town and/or feeder route rather than a random "project end" point offers some measure of public value rather than a simple exercise in relative political will. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 25, 2018, 04:13:28 PM
It's interesting that given this latest setback -- although even if passed, there would be a few decades of thumb-twiddling before any projects were let, has prompted -- according to the article cited -- an attempt to concentrate on strictly the segment from the NC state line to the US 58 Martinsville bypass -- which apparently could be rationalized and "written up" as more of a safety than capacity project, effectively separating it from the longer full I-73 proposal.  At least that would lend some credence to the NC project string north of Greensboro -- a trunk Interstate ending at a significant town and/or feeder route rather than a random "project end" point offers some measure of public value rather than a simple exercise in relative political will. 

That is 4 miles, and at $30 million per mile that would be $120 million.  For a road where a 4-lane divided highway already exists.  Doesn't seem to be a viable use of scarce highway construction funds.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on April 25, 2018, 04:54:57 PM
It's interesting that given this latest setback -- although even if passed, there would be a few decades of thumb-twiddling before any projects were let, has prompted -- according to the article cited -- an attempt to concentrate on strictly the segment from the NC state line to the US 58 Martinsville bypass -- which apparently could be rationalized and "written up" as more of a safety than capacity project, effectively separating it from the longer full I-73 proposal.  At least that would lend some credence to the NC project string north of Greensboro -- a trunk Interstate ending at a significant town and/or feeder route rather than a random "project end" point offers some measure of public value rather than a simple exercise in relative political will. 

That is 4 miles, and at $30 million per mile that would be $120 million.  For a road where a 4-lane divided highway already exists.  Doesn't seem to be a viable use of scarce highway construction funds.

It's likely that even that 4-mile project would be let only after significant progress on the E-W US 58 corridor had been made.  One would figure that if SW VA isn't, at least for the present, getting the full I-73 project, then a small token limited-access section deployed a decade or so down the line wouldn't be begrudged either at official or observational levels -- i.e., throw SW VA a bone once in a while.  There are probably reasons why that short stretch draws attention regarding safety issues (numerous private access points on the existing facility being an obvious problem); ignoring them simply because the existing facility is multilane and divided seems a bit petty.  Obviously the methods used to eliminate private access to present US 220 will account for much of that $30M/mile estimate -- but in reality these days, that's not out of line with what that type of facility costs in that physical environment.  But OTOH, if VA elects to prioritize available funds for its three major metro areas (attending to the "squeaky wheels" first), then it looks like SW VA will be S.O.L. for the foreseeable future -- so even 4 miles of limited-access facility might be fiscally problematic.  We'll just have to see; it'll all depend upon whether that region can mobilize enough political clout to get anything accomplished. 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 25, 2018, 09:17:02 PM
It will score very low on the SMART SCALE system.   As the article pointed out, there are much higher commitments on the nearby US-58 Corridor projects.

"The debt already issued to pay for the Route 58 Corridor Program isn’t enough to finish the project.  The Virginia General Assembly in 2013 authorized another $595.7 million in debt to be issued for work on the Crooked Oak, Vesta and Lover’s Leap sections of Route 58.  That increased the project’s debt from $704.3 million to $1.3 billion."

"As it stands, that $595.7 million hasn’t been issued yet.  The commonwealth’s current Six-Year Improvement Program shows it will happen in three sets of bonds, with the first issued in 2020, the second in 2021 and finally, the third in 2023.  Also, there’s no guarantee yet that those three sets of bonds will be enough to finish Route 58 [by 2028]."

It was decided back in 1989 when the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Program established, that large amounts of bond debt would be used, to be retired by the state recordation tax revenues.  That annual debt service will greatly increase after those new bonds have been issued.  This is a considerably gift to the region, toll-free bond funded construction that will be debt-serviced by the whole state.

Stop obsessing about I-73.  There are much higher priorities nearby, and on a highway that has 2 lanes in a mountainous area.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on April 25, 2018, 10:36:33 PM
It will score very low on the SMART SCALE system.   As the article pointed out, there are much higher commitments on the nearby US-58 Corridor projects.

"The debt already issued to pay for the Route 58 Corridor Program isn’t enough to finish the project.  The Virginia General Assembly in 2013 authorized another $595.7 million in debt to be issued for work on the Crooked Oak, Vesta and Lover’s Leap sections of Route 58.  That increased the project’s debt from $704.3 million to $1.3 billion."

"As it stands, that $595.7 million hasn’t been issued yet.  The commonwealth’s current Six-Year Improvement Program shows it will happen in three sets of bonds, with the first issued in 2020, the second in 2021 and finally, the third in 2023.  Also, there’s no guarantee yet that those three sets of bonds will be enough to finish Route 58 [by 2028]."

It was decided back in 1989 when the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Program established, that large amounts of bond debt would be used, to be retired by the state recordation tax revenues.  That annual debt service will greatly increase after those new bonds have been issued.  This is a considerably gift to the region, toll-free bond funded construction that will be debt-serviced by the whole state.

Stop obsessing about I-73.  There are much higher priorities nearby, and on a highway that has 2 lanes in a mountainous area.

Of course there are higher priorities -- and those, according to all accounts, will be dealt with before a shovel is turned on I-73.  But the plain fact is that it was VA-based interests that got the corridor routed up US 220 to begin with some 20+ years ago; it's still on the books in its '95 form.  Now, one can talk on and on about the fact that there's a relatively rigid scoring system VA uses to evaluate projects -- and the virtues of that methodology; but this is in the context of an overarching theme to a number of threads, particularly those concerning nascent/future Interstate corridors -- that they are intrinsically flawed because they more often than not are the product of political machinations rather than plans eked out within state and/or local transportation departments.  The general gist among critics of this phenomenon seems to be that absent these political machinations, there would be few if any new Interstate corridors.  The presence of any divided/multilane facility within a given corridor, regardless of access control, seems to evoke the sentiment that "it's adequate, and an Interstate-grade replacement facility would be wasteful". 

It's not that some of us are obsessing over I-73, I-87, or any other proposed corridor in this particular region; it's just that there seems to be a propensity for actors in both the political and bureaucratic arenas to engage in a bit of "bait and switch" when it comes to large-scale projects such as a planned Interstate corridor of this magnitude.  If the state legislature, VADOT, and other entities involved in the project activity (or lack thereof) had no intention of following through with the project, that should have been transmitted to the concept's backers some 23 years ago.  Now if the political environment in VA has changed to the point where such deception -- or even lack of meaningful communication -- is institutionalized (which, I'll acknowledge, has to some degree occurred where rabidly anti-tax activists have gained the upper hand) to the point where no project, regardless of initial political and institutional support, can be certain of some degree of continued attention, then my sympathies go out to anyone dealing with those groups. 

I suppose some north of the state line will look south to NC and characterize the highway developmental atmosphere there as silly and spendthrift -- and that dragging their projects to or near the state line is simply pointless.  But one thing that seems to typify their approach is that "adequate" just isn't in their lexicon.  Perhaps they've seen too many disastrous "T-bone" wrecks on conventional divided highways and are looking to minimize the effects of such incidents.  But, like VA, they have their share of politically active folks who bristle at public revenue-raising methods -- but they almost always seem to find a way to construct limited-access roads, Interstate and otherwise.  North of the line, not so much (yeah, I know, different structure, atmosphere, and circumstances -- NC doesn't have DC metro to deal with!).  But that system seems to have led to the present situation -- just to use the I-73 dilemma as an example -- the original backers of the project made their bed right on top of the layers of state policy -- but no one in any position of authority or influence currently seems to want to lie in it -- simply kicking the can so far down the road in hopes no one will ever find it again.  Not a particularly transparent -- or even-handed -- way to handle an issue.

My late father had a saying (which he obviously stole from somewhere else):  if you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree!  In regards to VA, that Roanoke tree shouldn't have been shaken two decades ago unless they were prepared to make peach pie!             
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 25, 2018, 11:15:46 PM
You're obsessed.  You live over 2,500 miles away and you just can't help yourself.

Priorities change.  Costs change.  Environmental impacts change.  What was possible 25 years ago might become a low priority in the future.  There is no obligation to build something just because it was a good idea sometime in the past, particularly when there is a high-speed 4-lane divided highway already in the corridor.  If it was still possible to build this highway for $10 million per mile, then I would be an enthusiastic supporter to put high priority on it.  Highway construction costs have skyrocketed in the last 10 years in a manner that no one had envisioned.  In the current environment I-73 is not a priority.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Alps on April 25, 2018, 11:33:54 PM
You're obsessed.  You live over 2,500 miles away and you just can't help yourself.
Drop it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 26, 2018, 12:02:17 AM
You're obsessed.  You live over 2,500 miles away and you just can't help yourself.
Drop it.

Gladly ... if he does so also.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on April 26, 2018, 12:38:38 AM
OK, fine -- we'll just have to agree to disagree.  Period, end of conversation.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on April 26, 2018, 11:42:30 AM
I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 26, 2018, 01:16:41 PM
I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

Depends on who is defining it.  I don't know of an official definition, but the Wikipedia article includes Martinsville and Henry County.

"Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth.  Located within the broader region of western Virginia, Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or at its greatest expanse, as far east as Blacksburg and Roanoke.  Another geographic categorization of the region places it as those counties within the Tennessee River watershed.  Regardless of how borders are drawn, Southwest Virginia differs from the rest of the commonwealth in that its culture is more closely associated with Appalachia than the other regions of Virginia."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Virginia
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 26, 2018, 02:35:23 PM
I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

Depends on who is defining it.  I don't know of an official definition, but the Wikipedia article includes Martinsville and Henry County.

"Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth.  Located within the broader region of western Virginia, Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or at its greatest expanse, as far east as Blacksburg and Roanoke.  Another geographic categorization of the region places it as those counties within the Tennessee River watershed.  Regardless of how borders are drawn, Southwest Virginia differs from the rest of the commonwealth in that its culture is more closely associated with Appalachia than the other regions of Virginia."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Virginia


It doesn't help that different state agencies define regions differently. The Department of Health considers Martinsville to be part of Southwest Virginia, but the Department of Education does not (VDOE has seven regions rather than just five, though). Still other state agencies have it in "Western Virginia" or "Southside Virginia".
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on April 26, 2018, 02:46:55 PM
Stuart is marginally in southwest Virginia. Hillsville is a little closer to SWVA. Independence is 75 percent in SWVA. Volney and Damascus definitely are.

Abingdon, Bristol, Gate City, Duffield, Jonesville, Rose Hill and Ewing are so far southwest that they are southeast.  :bigass:

Geographically, Blacksburg/Christiansburg and Roanoke may be closer to southwest Virginia than they are any other portion of the state, but I don't tend to think of them as being particularly southwestern -- even though Blacksburg isn't that far from Bluefield, which definitely IS in SWVA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 26, 2018, 05:22:02 PM
All a matter of definition, and I don't know of an official definition that is recognized by everyone.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 27, 2018, 01:59:35 PM
All a matter of definition, and I don't know of an official definition that is recognized by everyone.

My own (admittedly informal and very arbitrary) definition is that everything south of U.S. 60 and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway is Southwest Virginia.  Another suggestion is that only the parts of the Commonwealth where the rivers drain toward the Mississippi River (west of the Eastern Continental Divide) should be considered Southwest Virginia.

The excellent Virginia Places site has varied definitions here (http://www.virginiaplaces.org/regions/15southwest.html).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 27, 2018, 03:34:29 PM
My own (admittedly informal and very arbitrary) definition is that everything south of U.S. 60 and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway is Southwest Virginia.  Another suggestion is that only the parts of the Commonwealth where the rivers drain toward the Mississippi River (west of the Eastern Continental Divide) should be considered Southwest Virginia.

The counties that straddle the Blue Ridge Mountains ridgeline logically get included.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Thing 342 on May 03, 2018, 05:39:54 PM
The functional definition I use for SWVA is the region where water drains into the Ohio/Mississippi basin as opposed to the Chesapeake / Atlantic. This puts the dividing line at roughly MM 130 on I-81, including most of Giles, Montgomery, Floyd and Carroll counties and excluding most of Roanoke, Franklin, and Patrick counties. However, I often tend to fudge this a bit to include Roanoke, as it tends to be somewhat of a hub for the region.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: skluth on May 03, 2018, 06:29:10 PM
I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

 :-D When I lived in Portsmouth, we thought anything west of I-85 was SWVA
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on May 07, 2018, 10:26:26 AM
The functional definition I use for SWVA is the region where water drains into the Ohio/Mississippi basin as opposed to the Chesapeake / Atlantic. This puts the dividing line at roughly MM 130 on I-81, including most of Giles, Montgomery, Floyd and Carroll counties and excluding most of Roanoke, Franklin, and Patrick counties. However, I often tend to fudge this a bit to include Roanoke, as it tends to be somewhat of a hub for the region.

When talking politics (especially the view from Richmond), Southwest Virginia starts at Roanoke and goes west from there. Botetourt County may or may not be included depending on the topic, same for Bedford County (which typically more identifies with the Lynchburg region -- although the Smith Mountain Lake area is a toss-up) and Franklin County. The Martinsville area is more Piedmont than SWVA. Geographers, sociologists, geologists, and others who define regions have other definitions, so context is important when deciding what town/city/county is in SWVA.

Bruce, definitely in Southwest Virginia in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on September 02, 2018, 06:42:32 PM
I'm surprised there's not some discussion in this forum of the Martinsville Southern Connector project. This could be the opening piece of I-73 in Virginia. I-73 in NC was built similarly, one short piece at a time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on September 02, 2018, 09:22:41 PM
I'm surprised there's not some discussion in this forum of the Martinsville Southern Connector project. This could be the opening piece of I-73 in Virginia. I-73 in NC was built similarly, one short piece at a time.

It has been discussed elsewhere, here is a copy of what I posted --

It is being studied in a separate EIS to be completed in 2021
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/martinsville_southern_connector_study.asp

The Martinsville Southern Connector study will focus on a potential limited access road on a new location and/or will look at potential new improvements to Route 220.

The area for study generally covers Route 220 between Route 58 and the North Carolina state line.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on September 03, 2018, 10:24:32 AM
https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/business/martinsville-henry-county-asked-to-reconsider-transport-tax/article_37c89532-92d9-11e8-bc78-0f445ccd9ea3.html (https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/business/martinsville-henry-county-asked-to-reconsider-transport-tax/article_37c89532-92d9-11e8-bc78-0f445ccd9ea3.html)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2018, 10:41:21 AM
The area for study generally covers Route 220 between Route 58 and the North Carolina state line.

U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

In a recent trip there, I think I saw at least three "Future I-73" signs.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on September 04, 2018, 11:18:27 AM
U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.   What would be 'tough' would be if it was still 2 lanes like much of it was in N.C. not too long ago.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2018, 11:55:35 AM
Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.   What would be 'tough' would be if it was still 2 lanes like much of it was in N.C. not too long ago.

Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 

Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on September 04, 2018, 12:25:01 PM
Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 
Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).

The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on September 04, 2018, 12:32:38 PM
I believe VDOT is doing a study in finding ways to improve US 220 between Martinsville and Roanoke. I remembered seeing it on their website the other day. I don't know how farther they are in this part:

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/route_220_preservation_and_improvement_plan.asp

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on September 04, 2018, 03:02:26 PM
U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph. . . . 
. . . by competent drivers. The section between Clearbrook and Boones Mill is almost as bad as I-81 with its "wreck of the day" that ties up traffic. One tractor trailer wipe-out shuts down the road for several hours -- and like parts of I-81, there is no good alternative route for those who need to get on down the road.

There are also some other bad curves, both horizontal and vertical, that require a drop from that 50 to 60 mph speed to remain on the road. Good luck to VDOT in finding some reasonable solutions to fix this road.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on September 04, 2018, 06:41:25 PM
. . . by competent drivers. The section between Clearbrook and Boones Mill is almost as bad as I-81 with its "wreck of the day" that ties up traffic. One tractor trailer wipe-out shuts down the road for several hours -- and like parts of I-81, there is no good alternative route for those who need to get on down the road.
There are also some other bad curves, both horizontal and vertical, that require a drop from that 50 to 60 mph speed to remain on the road. Good luck to VDOT in finding some reasonable solutions to fix this road.

Crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains between Tanglewood and Boones Mill does complicate the highway.  Problem curves could at minimum be improved to ensure 12 foot lanes, 10 foot paved shoulders, and a third climbing lane on major grades.  That would provide more safety and drivability even on tight curves.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 07:36:27 PM
New information for the Martinsville Southern Connector study was released about a week ago. This includes 9 freeway alternatives, and 2 non-freeway alternatives.

No price estimates are given, though I'd say about $150-200 million for this segment.

The proposed typical sections for the new, approx. 6 mile freeway include two 12 foot travel lanes in each direction, 12 foot outer shoulders, and 4 foot inner shoulders, divided by a 60 foot grassy median. It would be built to full interstate standards. Upgraded segments of existing U.S. 220 would include the same typical section section. A barrier would separate the freeway lanes from the frontage road in an upgraded alignment. There would be no grassy separation between the freeway lanes and frontage lanes under this current concept. The frontage road section would include two 11 foot travel lanes, and 4 foot shoulders.

(https://i.ibb.co/d6C5HmS/US-220-Martinsville-Southern-Connector-Typical-Sections.png)

For the proposed alternatives, 9 different freeway alternatives were considered, and the two standard no-build and TSM alternatives.

There's 4 western alternatives, 4 eastern alternatives, and an alternative to upgrade the existing roadway to interstate standards.

(https://i.ibb.co/R2nX2Dt/US-220-Martinsville-Southern-Connector-Alignments.png)

-------------------------------------------------------
IMHO, I believe that Option 4A if slightly modified would be the best option. This proposal seems to have this as a discontinuous road at U.S. 58 / U.S. 220 Bypass. By that, I mean the road would likely terminate at a three-way interchange. If this roadway had continuity onto U.S. 220 North / U.S. 58 West Bypass, it would allow I-73 to be brought up the new connector and seamlessly tie into the existing bypass. It would likely cost slightly more to construct this segment than the eastern due to terrain, however in the long run, it utilizes a good 9 miles of the current freeway around the western side, and the existing bypass could be incorporated into I-73. Building an eastern alignment would be a mistake, almost nobody would use it en route on U.S. 220 until the rest of the I-73 freeway is built, which then again this would likely not be built either for years. But it would have more justification for building a western alignment than eastern. A western alignment also provides a phasing constructing of I-73, not all at once. This is the approach that needs to be used for the rest of the corridor, junctions with U.S. 220 at least a few different times.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 07:41:32 PM
Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 
Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).

The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
Again, the whole anti-new interstate rhetoric. If it was a useless project, then nobody would be studying it, or considering it. If there's heavy interest in it, then clearly there's a reason. U.S. 220 is a major trucking corridor, and has serious safety issues. It's not your highway through the farm fields that's 60-65 MPH, wide lanes, sweeping curves, etc. It's a narrow roadway, 55 MPH, and has some sharp curves, bad accidents, and serious safety concerns. It's not an "adequate four-lane arterial highway".
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 17, 2019, 07:43:35 PM
I presume 4A-C and 5B involve freeway upgrades down to the state line?
Good to see that they're at least not totally ignoring upgrades to 220. The sooner VA does something south of Martinsville, the sooner NC will finish the first of their four pet Interstates :bigass: (once SC builds any).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 07:49:25 PM
I presume 4A-C and 5B involve freeway upgrades down to the state line?
That is correct. I assume continuity would be used at these junctions, exit to stay on U.S. 220, stay in the two mainline lanes to use the new freeway.

Good to see that they're at least not totally ignoring upgrades to 220. The sooner VA does something south of Martinsville, the sooner NC will finish the first of their four pet Interstates
It can be said that the upgrades are unnecessary because of other concerns on the corridor, but what this allows is to connect to North Carolina first, allowing them to continue building I-73 NC and provide a continuous corridor from Martinsville to Rockingham. This is the first phase of many to come I presume in Virginia.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 09:15:06 PM
The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
Again, the whole anti-new interstate rhetoric. If it was a useless project, then nobody would be studying it, or considering it. If there's heavy interest in it, then clearly there's a reason. U.S. 220 is a major trucking corridor, and has serious safety issues. It's not your highway through the farm fields that's 60-65 MPH, wide lanes, sweeping curves, etc. It's a narrow roadway, 55 MPH, and has some sharp curves, bad accidents, and serious safety concerns. It's not an "adequate four-lane arterial highway".

Again, the whole uber-new Interstate rhetoric.  Where above did I say that it was an "adequate four-lane arterial highway"?  Those issues could be remediated by spot improvements.  The I-73 corridor was approved in ISTEA in 1991, that is why it was studied.  Priorities change.

For the umpteenth time, the 70 miles of new Interstate would cost $4 billion.  This is not a 2-lane highway like most of it was in N.C. before I-73, it is a 4-lane divided highway with town bypasses, and the cost versus what is already there demonstrates why there is no rush to build it.

You will be thrilled to know that the General Assembly just introduced a bill similar to the one just introduced for I-81 -
SB1014 (Stanley) – Establishes an I-73 Corridor Development Fund and Program

No details yet on funding mechanisms, although tolls could be part of it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 10:13:43 PM
Where above did I say that it was an "adequate four-lane arterial highway"?

....
The US-220 segment in Virginia is a capable 4-lane highway with town bypasses and it uses the 6-lane I-581/US-220 freeway in Roanoke, and about 30% of the total 70-mile segment is on limited access right-of-way.
For a road where a 4-lane divided highway already exists.  Doesn't seem to be a viable use of scarce highway construction funds.
particularly when there is a high-speed 4-lane divided highway already in the corridor.
US-220 between N.C. and the Martinsville Bypass is already 4-lane rural arterial highway, and it has a bypass of Ridgeway.
It is a high speed 4-lane divided highway, and has a bypass of Ridgeway.  It's traffic volumes are modest for the type of highway.

You will be thrilled to know that the General Assembly just introduced a bill similar to the one just introduced for I-81 -
SB1014 (Stanley) – Establishes an I-73 Corridor Development Fund and Program

No details yet on funding mechanisms, although tolls could be part of it.
Interesting, I did see that earlier. It would be interesting to see tolls implemented to get it built, but phase construction like proposed near Martinsville is another concept to get it built without tolls. There are certain ways that the highway could be aligned to reduce costs, but that would require a seperate EIS and the whole nine yards.

Here's one approach I could support for segmented construction -
1 - North Carolina to U.S. 220 Bypass
2 - U.S. 220 Bypass near Collinsville to U.S. 220 north of Oak Level
3 - U.S. 220 north of Oak Level to Rocky Mount Bypass
4 - Upgrade Rocky Mount Bypass median with barrier wall & paved shoulders and upgrade interchanges / sharp curves to interstate standards.
5 - North end of Rocky Mount Bypass to U.S. 220 south of Roanoke.
6 - Upgrade U.S. 220 south of Roanoke to U.S. 220 freeway.

That would require 38 miles of new freeway, 8 miles of upgrades (4 on existing freeway, 4 on surface highway), and 10 miles already interstate standard (Martinsville Bypass). A lot less than 70 miles, and a plan such as this would likely reduce costs to around $3 billion (estimate $60 million per mile for a 50 mile figure). It would also allow phased construction, meaning not all the money has to be poured in at once.

If it cannot receive any funding though in 10-15 years from now, I would support the toll option simply to get it built at that point.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 11:16:12 PM
<snip>
That would require 38 miles of new freeway, 8 miles of upgrades (4 on existing freeway, 4 on surface highway), and 10 miles already interstate standard (Martinsville Bypass). A lot less than 70 miles, and a plan such as this would likely reduce costs to around $3 billion (estimate $60 million per mile for a 50 mile figure). It would also allow phased construction, meaning not all the money has to be poured in at once.

That is not how it is going to be built, and a final alignment has already been worked out and refined and approved.  The cost estimate already factored in use of the Martinsville Bypass and I-581 and the Southwest Expresssway, so it will cost at least $4 billion.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

There really is no good way to segmentalize the central 32 mile section, from the Southwest Expressway to where it touches US-220 south of Rocky Mount.

If it cannot receive any funding though in 10-15 years from now, I would support the toll option simply to get it built at that point.

$4 billion for 30 years at 5% interest -- a monthly payment of $21 million rounded. 
Simple calculation as if every vehicle ran the whole 70-mile length.
18,000 AADT cars -- $30 toll -   $16.1 million
  2,000 AADT trucks  -- $80 toll - $4.8 million

Those tolls would lead to greatly lower than those volumes.

Realistically only about $1 billion could be toll-supported.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 11:52:05 PM
That is not how it is going to be built, and a final alignment has already been worked out and refined and approved.  The cost estimate already factored in use of the Martinsville Bypass and I-581 and the Southwest Expresssway, so it will cost at least $4 billion.

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_Map_December_2012.jpg

There really is no good way to segmentalize the central 32 mile section, from the Southwest Expressway to where it touches US-220 south of Rocky Mount.
I know how the approved route is, and I disagree with it. It uses a weird routing near Martinsville, juts out to the east, then back west to use 5 miles of US-58, then builds new location all the way to Roanoke.

With a western alignment, they could build 6 miles to the Martinsville Bypass, use 10 miles of the Martinsville Bypass, build 17 miles to Rocky Mount Bypass, improve that, then build the final 14 miles through the mountains. The rest to the Southwest Expressway would be upgraded to interstate standards, about $150 million or so. I'm considering making a drawing a "concept map" of these 4 miles of upgrades to get a general idea on what impact to businesses, etc. it would have. An urban freeway concept could be used here, six lanes with a median barrier & paved shoulders. Smaller footprint than a 4-lane with 60 ft median, or 6-lane with 40 ft median, etc.

A western alignment using existing freeways is about 33-38 miles of new freeway, about 4 miles upgraded, and about 14 miles of existing freeway used. The current plan is about 50-55 miles of new freeway, plus 5 miles of existing used. Whenever they construct this Martinsville Southern Connector, if they build the first phase to the east, then it would go nowhere for many years. It's also been mentioned before that re-evaluating a western Martinsville route for I-73 may be a better decision because it could be cheaper and less environmental impact --

"(former Del. William) Fralin’s and (former Roanoke City Council member Court) Rosen’s preference is to change I-73’s route around Martinsville from east to west so that it uses part of the existing interstate-quality bypass, thereby cutting the costs and eliminating some environmental issues that might make it hard to get an actual construction permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which issues such things."
https://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-i-73-decision-looms-really/article_b9876bab-0643-5fd8-9312-d03372a8ea36.html

It would be wise to re-evaluate this in a separate study for the entire I-73 corridor IMHO.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 18, 2019, 12:16:11 AM
I know how the approved route is, and I disagree with it. It uses a weird routing near Martinsville, juts out to the east, then back west to use 5 miles of US-58, then builds new location all the way to Roanoke.
With a western alignment, they could build 6 miles to the Martinsville Bypass, use 10 miles of the Martinsville Bypass, build 17 miles to Rocky Mount Bypass, improve that, then build the final 14 miles through the mountains. The rest to the Southwest Expressway would be upgraded to interstate standards, about $150 million or so. I'm considering making a drawing a "concept map" of these 4 miles of upgrades to get a general idea on what impact to businesses, etc. it would have. An urban freeway concept could be used here, six lanes with a median barrier & paved shoulders. Smaller footprint than a 4-lane with 60 ft median, or 6-lane with 40 ft median, etc.

Westerly alignments were considered in the DEIS, including using the Rocky Mount Bypass.  Mileagewise the Martinsville Bypass is about the same either side.

The reasons for the Adopted Location Corridor listed in the FEIS --

Basis for Selection of the ALC
The ALC was selected over other alternatives assessed in the DEIS because of the following advantages:
• The existing I-581 corridor could be modified to accept additional traffic from I-73 with substantial yet acceptable improvements with little disruption to adjacent land uses.
• Use of the existing I-581 corridor would bring traffic to the Central Business District of the City of Roanoke and would coincide with the City’s wish to have the I-73 facility constructed without bypassing the City to the east or west.
• The ALC would improve safety on existing U.S. Route 220 by removing through traffic (such as trucks, double-wides, and other commercial vehicles) from local traffic (such as school buses, emergency vehicles, and farm vehicles).
• Construction of the ALC along existing U.S. Route 220 in Roanoke City/County would avoid the newly designated Southeast Roanoke historic district.
• The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County.  Additionally just to the east of the study area Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.
• The ALC would address safety issues associated with the present crossing of Windy Gap at Route 116 by providing a high quality alternative to Route 116.
• The ALC would provide enhanced access to northeastern Franklin County and an expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount, thereby contributing to economic growth within the corridor.
• The ALC would result in lowest wetland impacts compared to other build alternatives considered in the DEIS.
• The ALC would have lower relocation impacts than the alternatives that improve existing U.S. Route 220, impact fewer historic resources and cross the Blue Ridge Parkway at the NPS’ preferred crossing.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on January 18, 2019, 08:47:22 AM
Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 
Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).

The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
Again, the whole anti-new interstate rhetoric. If it was a useless project, then nobody would be studying it, or considering it. If there's heavy interest in it, then clearly there's a reason. U.S. 220 is a major trucking corridor, and has serious safety issues. It's not your highway through the farm fields that's 60-65 MPH, wide lanes, sweeping curves, etc. It's a narrow roadway, 55 MPH, and has some sharp curves, bad accidents, and serious safety concerns. It's not an "adequate four-lane arterial highway".

Actually you can shorten that to "It's not an adequate highway" -- especially the northern section between VA 419 and at least Rocky Mount. Over on this side of the state we are used to hearing about the "wreck of the day" on I-81 and the "wreck of the week" on U.S. 220 that totally blocks traffic either north or south at an inconvenient time of day (usually during commute time). It is past time to do something to improve both roads -- at least there are plans to fund some bandaids for I-81, but U.S. 220 is the odd road out.

As to the plans adjacent to Martinsville, a western alignment for a new highway makes more sense than continuing further east to go south. I'll bet if one of those routes is chosen, there will still be a lot of people coming from the north who will just use the current road and deal with its shortcomings.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 18, 2019, 10:04:47 AM
Actually you can shorten that to "It's not an adequate highway" -- especially the northern section between VA 419 and at least Rocky Mount. Over on this side of the state we are used to hearing about the "wreck of the day" on I-81 and the "wreck of the week" on U.S. 220 that totally blocks traffic either north or south at an inconvenient time of day (usually during commute time). It is past time to do something to improve both roads -- at least there are plans to fund some bandaids for I-81, but U.S. 220 is the odd road out.

Which could involve perhaps spending a couple hundred million dollars in remedial treatments to accident prone locations.

As to the plans adjacent to Martinsville, a western alignment for a new highway makes more sense than continuing further east to go south. I'll bet if one of those routes is chosen, there will still be a lot of people coming from the north who will just use the current road and deal with its shortcomings.
Bruce in Blacksburg

There were 7 different reasons for choosing the Adopted Location Corridor listed in the FEIS that were copied in the post yesterday.  The westerly alternates weren't judged to be "bad" or even "not good".

Specifically in the Martinsville area, why it was routed to the east --

The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County. 

Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.  IOW they didn't want it farther away on a western alignment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on January 18, 2019, 12:42:43 PM
^ Approvals on "economic grounds" are the same principles behind I-87 in North Carolina...an Interstate proposal you've ballyhooed in other threads.

That said, a few of those reasons can be considered legitimate...namely those you mentioned avoiding historical resources, fewer relocation impacts, wetland impacts, and coordination with other agencies (i.e. NPS' preferred Blue Ridge crossing).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 18, 2019, 04:00:20 PM
^ Approvals on "economic grounds" are the same principles behind I-87 in North Carolina...an Interstate proposal you've ballyhooed in other threads.

I objected to justification sets that are solely economic. 

I-73 between I-95 at Florence SC and I-81 at Roanoke VA, a north-south route in an corridor unserved by an Interstate, that involves several major cities, that provides connectivity with other mainline Interstate highways, IMHO fits with the concept and intent of the original Interstate highway system concept.

That said, a few of those reasons can be considered legitimate...namely those you mentioned avoiding historical resources, fewer relocation impacts, wetland impacts, and coordination with other agencies (i.e. NPS' preferred Blue Ridge crossing).

I responded to the specific comments about Martinsville, in my followup post.  I don't consider economic justifications to be illegitimate on their face, I just went to the FEIS to find out why the eastern route was chosen, and it said that there were particular places where the county comprehensive plans wanted to focus new business development, and that involves traffic needs as well.  It also mentioned new business development on VA-40 to the east of Rocky Mount and in northeastern Franklin County.

And of course it mentioned your points in your last comment above.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 18, 2019, 05:20:19 PM
Basis for Selection of the ALC
The ALC was selected over other alternatives assessed in the DEIS because of the following advantages:
This should be fun...

• The existing I-581 corridor could be modified to accept additional traffic from I-73 with substantial yet acceptable improvements with little disruption to adjacent land uses.
• Use of the existing I-581 corridor would bring traffic to the Central Business District of the City of Roanoke and would coincide with the City’s wish to have the I-73 facility constructed without bypassing the City to the east or west.
• The ALC would improve safety on existing U.S. Route 220 by removing through traffic (such as trucks, double-wides, and other commercial vehicles) from local traffic (such as school buses, emergency vehicles, and farm vehicles).
• Construction of the ALC along existing U.S. Route 220 in Roanoke City/County would avoid the newly designated Southeast Roanoke historic district.
• The ALC would address safety issues associated with the present crossing of Windy Gap at Route 116 by providing a high quality alternative to Route 116.
• The ALC would provide enhanced access to northeastern Franklin County and an expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount, thereby contributing to economic growth within the corridor.


Stays the same with the "official" alignment and the western alignment. As for using the Rocky Mount Bypass, it still provides access to Route 40 easily, and if they want to continue development on it, then they can continue heading out, widen Route 40 to a four-lane roadway, and grow a business strip. Many towns and cities do that when the interstate runs near it. Rocky Mount shouldn't get an existing freeway facility completely bypassed solely to benefit them.

• The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County.  Additionally just to the east of the study area Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.

Locating the new interstate to the east of an existing freeway facility is a waste of money, and the current proposal from 2011-2012 near Martinsville to bulge out to the east, swing back to the west to meet US 58 bypass, ride 4-5 miles of it, then build from there is strictly to benefit Martinsville and Henry County, and has no logical reasoning. The western route is the better option IMHO, is more direct, and uses the most of existing freeways, already built to interstate (or mostly) standards.

• The ALC would result in lowest wetland impacts compared to other build alternatives considered in the DEIS.
• The ALC would have lower relocation impacts than the alternatives that improve existing U.S. Route 220, impact fewer historic resources and cross the Blue Ridge Parkway at the NPS’ preferred crossing.


Fair points for wetland impacts & relocations, but those could be reevaluated and slight modifications to avoid such things, or some of it at least could be done. For the historic property issues, if that's referring to Mill Mountain and areas near I-581, that wouldn't happen with either the existing or western alternatives. It would also still cross the Blue Ridge Parkway at the existing location. My question is would there still be an interchange with it? I don't recall interstates having direct access to parkways, but I could be wrong.

I-73 between I-95 at Florence SC and I-81 at Roanoke VA, a north-south route in an corridor unserved by an Interstate, that involves several major cities, that provides connectivity with other mainline Interstate highways, IMHO fits with the concept and intent of the original Interstate highway system concept.
Umm... which major cities? The only major cities on this route are Florence, Greensboro, and Roanoke, all of which are currently served by other interstates. You can get from I-95 South to Florence (duh), Greensboro, and Roanoke by way of interstates today, and I don't mean way out of the way like I-64 from Norfolk to Richmond to I-95 South. The others are small or medium sized towns, that's about it.

But other than that, a four-lane highway in your terms could be justified for the route, traffic wise, and is already adequately served (except the sliver in SC) very similar to I-87. The only freeway part justified fully in your terms is Asheboro to Greensboro, which carries 30,000 - 45,000 AADT. The rest of the route is about 8,000 - 15,000 AADT.

Interstate 87 will do the exact same thing Interstate 73 will, to bash I-87 but agree with I-73 seems odd to me.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 19, 2019, 12:38:22 PM
Basis for Selection of the ALC
The ALC was selected over other alternatives assessed in the DEIS because of the following advantages:
• The ALC would provide enhanced access to northeastern Franklin County and an expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount, thereby contributing to economic growth within the corridor. [/i]
Stays the same with the "official" alignment and the western alignment.

A western alignment would not -be- in northeastern Franklin County, nor would it be near the expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount.

As for using the Rocky Mount Bypass, it still provides access to Route 40 easily, and if they want to continue development on it, then they can continue heading out, widen Route 40 to a four-lane roadway, and grow a business strip. Many towns and cities do that when the interstate runs near it. Rocky Mount shouldn't get an existing freeway facility completely bypassed solely to benefit them.

Well now, a years long NEPA EIS/location process was conducted with public hearings, official and political and resource agencies input, a Draft EIS, and Final EIS, approval by FHWA, and approval of Record of Decision.

Your questions at this point come across as rather tardy.  Did you participate in the above process?  What kind of local knowledge do you have to make recommendations about where the counties should shape their development?

The Rocky Mount Bypass is only 2.5 miles long, has 150 feet of right-of-way, and a median 25 feet wide.  I don't see that as being suitable for a Interstate highway upgrade, or at least I am quite comfortable with bypassing it as being an obsolete highway.  A I-73 freeway would need to be seamlessly connected into each end and that could easily be more complicated than simply using a fully new alignment.

• The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County.  Additionally just to the east of the study area Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.
Locating the new interstate to the east of an existing freeway facility is a waste of money, and the current proposal from 2011-2012 near Martinsville to bulge out to the east, swing back to the west to meet US 58 bypass, ride 4-5 miles of it, then build from there is strictly to benefit Martinsville and Henry County, and has no logical reasoning. The western route is the better option IMHO, is more direct, and uses the most of existing freeways, already built to interstate (or mostly) standards.

There is no one "western route", if you looked at the DEIS you would see that there were at least 8 different combinations possible between the various sub-alternates, and there could have been a combination of eastern and western segments.

"The economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County" -- articles cited that they want that to occur to the east of Martinsville.  Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville want the eastern route at Martinsville, as that would put the highway about 10 miles closer to them.  Franklin County wants development shaped to the northeastern part of the county, and the county and Rocky Mount want development shaped along the VA-40 corridor east of the city. 

All those point to citizens and business persons and local elected officials all along the corridor asking for an I-73 route to the east of US-220.  Should all that input just be disregarded?

There is no significant mileage difference between eastern and western.  The connections to the Martinsville Bypass as shown in the DEIS would each use about the same mileage of it.

You may have looked at the original "red route" east of Martinsville, note that the "green route" is the approved route, and that overlaps the Martinsville Bypass.  Henry County requested the modification, and the CTB granted it --

"The Henry County Board of Supervisors requested that the CTB and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reconsider the designated route for I-73 through Henry County to better serve a number of existing and future businesses in Henry County and to make more effective use of a portion of the current Route 58 bypass, and to foster economic development potential in the area"
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_CTB_HCA_Resolution_June_2011.pdf

Also cited was the connections to provide a bypass for VA-116 over the mountains, and that is via an eastern route.
• The ALC would address safety issues associated with the present crossing of Windy Gap at Route 116 by providing a high quality alternative to Route 116.

There is no compelling reason to argue for a western corridor at this point when we have approved FEIS and ROD.

• The ALC would result in lowest wetland impacts compared to other build alternatives considered in the DEIS.
• The ALC would have lower relocation impacts than the alternatives that improve existing U.S. Route 220, impact fewer historic resources and cross the Blue Ridge Parkway at the NPS’ preferred crossing.

Fair points for wetland impacts & relocations, but those could be reevaluated and slight modifications to avoid such things, or some of it at least could be done.

Please detail exactly how that should be done.  No sweeping generalizations.

For the historic property issues, if that's referring to Mill Mountain and areas near I-581, that wouldn't happen with either the existing or western alternatives. It would also still cross the Blue Ridge Parkway at the existing location. My question is would there still be an interchange with it? I don't recall interstates having direct access to parkways, but I could be wrong.

The ALC crosses the Parkway four miles east of the US-220 location, and that distance or more depending on the western sub-alternate.

I-73 between I-95 at Florence SC and I-81 at Roanoke VA, a north-south route in an corridor unserved by an Interstate, that involves several major cities, that provides connectivity with other mainline Interstate highways, IMHO fits with the concept and intent of the original Interstate highway system concept.
Umm... which major cities? The only major cities on this route are Florence, Greensboro, and Roanoke, all of which are currently served by other interstates. You can get from I-95 South to Florence (duh), Greensboro, and Roanoke by way of interstates today, and I don't mean way out of the way like I-64 from Norfolk to Richmond to I-95 South. The others are small or medium sized towns, that's about it.

I-73 would provide a more direct route for cities and towns and areas that it would serve, and highways like I-77 and I-95 could use some relief.

But other than that, a four-lane highway in your terms could be justified for the route, traffic wise, and is already adequately served (except the sliver in SC) very similar to I-87. The only freeway part justified fully in your terms is Asheboro to Greensboro, which carries 30,000 - 45,000 AADT. The rest of the route is about 8,000 - 15,000 AADT.

US-220 AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  I-73 meets today's warrants, and traffic will only grow in the future.

Interstate 87 will do the exact same thing Interstate 73 will, to bash I-87 but agree with I-73 seems odd to me.

VI-87 (Vanity Interstate 87) will do nothing of the sort, as I have detailed many times.

The problem I-73 is the cost, $4 billion for building that 70 miles of highway.  I have -many- times spoke caution and have questioned whether that kind of money can be found.  While I agree with the routing and purpose and mission of I-73, I am highly questionable as to whether it can be funded in today's construction costs.

Just read what I have posted in this thread, I have had a -lot- of reservations about the I-73 project.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 19, 2019, 03:23:28 PM
A western alignment would not -be- in northeastern Franklin County, nor would it be near the expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount.
Using the existing Rocky Mount Bypass, it would. Plus, north of the Rocky Mount bypass, my "alignment" would be on the east side at that point.

The Rocky Mount Bypass is only 2.5 miles long, has 150 feet of right-of-way, and a median 25 feet wide.  I don't see that as being suitable for a Interstate highway upgrade, or at least I am quite comfortable with bypassing it as being an obsolete highway.  A I-73 freeway would need to be seamlessly connected into each end and that could easily be more complicated than simply using a fully new alignment.
They had no problems in Asheboro, NC using the previous U.S. 220 Bypass built in 1966 when upgrading to I-73 / I-74. It had a 20 ft wide raised median, no shoulders, substandard interchanges, etc. A project about 5 years ago replaced the median with shoulders + barrier, added 10 ft shoulders, and reconstructed the substandard interchanges and their merge on I-73 / I-74.

I too like the concept of a farther out, interstate-standard alignment, but it was just a concept to use the existing if they were to phase construction.

You may have looked at the original "red route" east of Martinsville, note that the "green route" is the approved route, and that overlaps the Martinsville Bypass.  Henry County requested the modification, and the CTB granted it --

"The Henry County Board of Supervisors requested that the CTB and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reconsider the designated route for I-73 through Henry County to better serve a number of existing and future businesses in Henry County and to make more effective use of a portion of the current Route 58 bypass, and to foster economic development potential in the area"
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/I-73_CTB_HCA_Resolution_June_2011.pdf
That is the concept I looked at. It uses 4-5 miles of the U.S. 58 Bypass, whereas a western alignment in the southern portion of the corridor would use about 8-9 miles of the U.S. 220 bypass, and require less construction overall. Even at this point, a western alignment could be used at Martinsville, then at the north end of the U.S. 220 bypass, begin to veer east to the original, proposal alignment, including new location at Rocky Mount. The only portion a western alignment would be the best is on the southern part of the corridor, because it uses more existing, interstate standard freeway, and could be phased out, like building this Martinsville Southern Connector to meet it. If they built a Martinsville Southern Connector to the U.S. 58 east bypass, then it would go almost no use. A western connector would get plenty of north-south thru traffic use.


Also cited was the connections to provide a bypass for VA-116 over the mountains, and that is via an eastern route.
• The ALC would address safety issues associated with the present crossing of Windy Gap at Route 116 by providing a high quality alternative to Route 116.

There is no compelling reason to argue for a western corridor at this point when we have approved FEIS and ROD.
At this point, an eastern alignment would be used no matter what... I said that above. And the argument goes for the Martinsville area, unless they build the eastern alignment from North Carolina to Roanoke in one construction project, it wouldn't have much reason to be built. A western Martinsville alignment can be phased out and every segment use would carry U.S. 220 traffic, then veer back to the east north of Martinsville.

I-73 / I-74 in North Carolina was segmented, and crosses U.S. 220 many times. Each junction at U.S. 220 was the end of one construction project. A project later on extended the freeway more. For instance, where I-73 / I-74 crosses U.S. 220 south of Asheboro, that 1966 freeway ended there until it was extended in 1997. Where it crosses U.S. 220 again north of Star, it turns into 1979 freeway. Where it crosses U.S. 220 south of Candor, it becomes 2008 freeway. Where U.S. 220 four-lanes south of Ellerbee, that was upgraded to interstate standards in 2017 by construction of frontage roads and an interchange. A proposed Rockingham Bypass also has ramp stubs for when it will be built in the future. Segmenting the U.S. 220 upgrades is what allowed it to all be built. There was no way all 70 miles of I-73 could've been built all in one segment. Where I-74 splits off north of Asheboro, it parallels U.S. 311 and was built in segments to High Point. The High Point Bypass opened in 2005, the Archdale Bypass opened in September 2011, and the remainder opened in June 2013. Those 3 projects created 25 miles of freeway, and ties into another 11 miles of 1984 freeway north of High Point, which then merges into I-40.


I-73 would provide a more direct route for cities and towns and areas that it would serve, and highways like I-77 and I-95 could use some relief.
And I-87 would bring the towns along the U.S. 17 corridor interstate access, and would provide some relief to I-95 from Rocky Mount to Emporia with traffic taken off of it.

US-220 AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  I-73 meets today's warrants, and traffic will only grow in the future.
And yet, aren't you the one who kept pressing before that the existing 4-lane highway is adequate? There was a whole debate a few pages back about this.

VI-87 (Vanity Interstate 87) will do nothing of the sort, as I have detailed many times.
The same general thing that I-73 will, link the towns along the corridor together and connect two major metro areas. If North Carolina could build a direct route they would, but Virginia holds that, and won't upgrade U.S. 58, so they are the best second option. North Carolina has reasons within their borders to build it, and even with slightly more milage, if you're able to get on I-87 at Norfolk and get off at Raleigh, then it is connecting the two areas via one interstate. Nobody said it has to be the most direct routing to link the areas.

If you truly have an issue, I'd recommend you write elected officials in North Carolina and Virginia and provide your comments and reasons it's not a justified project. Back-and-forthing here doesn't communicate to the people who can actually make a change in the project or reconsider it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 20, 2019, 08:50:29 AM
A western alignment would not -be- in northeastern Franklin County, nor would it be near the expanding commercial zone located along Route 40 to the east of Rocky Mount.
Using the existing Rocky Mount Bypass, it would. Plus, north of the Rocky Mount bypass, my "alignment" would be on the east side at that point.

So for the 16 miles between Rocky Mount and the Southwest Expressway you would recommend the eastern alignment similar to the ALC except that it ties into the Rocky Mount Bypass.

The Rocky Mount Bypass is only 2.5 miles long, has 150 feet of right-of-way, and a median 25 feet wide.  I don't see that as being suitable for a Interstate highway upgrade, or at least I am quite comfortable with bypassing it as being an obsolete highway.  A I-73 freeway would need to be seamlessly connected into each end and that could easily be more complicated than simply using a fully new alignment.
They had no problems in Asheboro, NC using the previous U.S. 220 Bypass built in 1966 when upgrading to I-73 / I-74. It had a 20 ft wide raised median, no shoulders, substandard interchanges, etc. A project about 5 years ago replaced the median with shoulders + barrier, added 10 ft shoulders, and reconstructed the substandard interchanges and their merge on I-73 / I-74.

Apples and oranges.  That bypass was about 8 miles long for one thing.  You may as well try to compare it to how I-95 was routed around Ashland and Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, or thru Baltimore for that matter -- every corridor has its own unique characteristics.

The Rocky Mount Bypass is short, for use in I-73 it would need complex connections at each end (*), it would need more right-of-way, and it would need total reconstruction of pavement, drainage and bridges.  That would cost as much as simply bypassing it as in the I-73 ALC.

(*) A simple flying junction between arterial US-29 and the Amherst Bypass had to be reconstructed to this more complex interchange when the Madison Heights Bypass was tied into it to make a seamless freeway and seamless business route -- https://tinyurl.com/y9hjfm78

I too like the concept of a farther out, interstate-standard alignment, but it was just a concept to use the existing if they were to phase construction.

A 4-laned segment of VA-40 could be a temporary tie-in between a segment of ALC I-73 and US-220.  Questions about the efficiency but it could stand in for a time.

You may have looked at the original "red route" east of Martinsville, note that the "green route" is the approved route, and that overlaps the Martinsville Bypass.  Henry County requested the modification, and the CTB granted it --
That is the concept I looked at. It uses 4-5 miles of the U.S. 58 Bypass, whereas a western alignment in the southern portion of the corridor would use about 8-9 miles of the U.S. 220 bypass, and require less construction overall.

I don't think it would be that much; 5 miles is apparent on the east and it would be maybe 7 miles on the west.

Even at this point, a western alignment could be used at Martinsville, then at the north end of the U.S. 220 bypass, begin to veer east to the original, proposal alignment, including new location at Rocky Mount. The only portion a western alignment would be the best is on the southern part of the corridor, because it uses more existing, interstate standard freeway, and could be phased out, like building this Martinsville Southern Connector to meet it. If they built a Martinsville Southern Connector to the U.S. 58 east bypass, then it would go almost no use. A western connector would get plenty of north-south thru traffic use.

But that is not what the localities requested, they (Martinsville, Henry County, Danville, Pittsylvania County) requested that I-73 be built EAST of Martinsville.

The ALC has 5 interchanges in the Martinsville area.  Possibly the northernmost one could be omitted and the alignment shortened a bit (maybe 1/2 mile).  But this access pattern is what the localities asked for.

Should some slight possible increase (which I question) in engineering efficiency trump what those localities requested for how they want I-73 to service their areas?

An obvious consideration is that with the I-73 ALC, the entire current route of US-220 will still exist and will be usable for local access and business development along its route.  So there will be a "western route", a 4-lane high speed arterial highway that has much lower volumes of traffic and which should be able to operate much more safely.

Also cited was the connections to provide a bypass for VA-116 over the mountains, and that is via an eastern route.
• The ALC would address safety issues associated with the present crossing of Windy Gap at Route 116 by providing a high quality alternative to Route 116.
There is no compelling reason to argue for a western corridor at this point when we have approved FEIS and ROD.
At this point, an eastern alignment would be used no matter what... I said that above. And the argument goes for the Martinsville area, unless they build the eastern alignment from North Carolina to Roanoke in one construction project, it wouldn't have much reason to be built. A western Martinsville alignment can be phased out and every segment use would carry U.S. 220 traffic, then veer back to the east north of Martinsville.

I can see 6 separately buildable segments on the ALC --
-- N.C. to US-58 including upgrading the segment of Bypass
-- US-58 to US-220 two miles north of Henry/Franklin county line.
-- US-220 two miles north of Henry/Franklin county line to VA-40 including 4-laning of VA-40 to US-220
-- VA-40 to US-220 two miles south of Roanoke
-- US-220 two miles south of Roanoke to Southwest Expressway
-- Upgrade Southwest Expressway and I-581

US-220 two miles south of Roanoke to Southwest Expressway involves upgrading along existing US-220 and would probably be the highest priority from a traffic standpoint.

I-73 / I-74 in North Carolina was segmented, and crosses U.S. 220 many times.

Yeah yeah, yeah yeah … like I said every highway is different and just because it is I-73 doesn't mean that because something is done a certain way that it should be done everywhere.  Nearly all of the old US-220 was a 2-lane highway, for one thing.  Like you said construction began in the 1960s, and it was just a US-220 bypass at that point, and construction moved slowly.

I-73 would provide a more direct route for cities and towns and areas that it would serve, and highways like I-77 and I-95 could use some relief.
And I-87 would bring the towns along the U.S. 17 corridor interstate access, and would provide some relief to I-95 from Rocky Mount to Emporia with traffic taken off of it.

They don't need it, and VI-87 will not provide relief to I-95.

US-220 AADTs are about 12,000 south of Martinsville, about 16,000 between Martinsville and Rocky Mount, and about 24,000 on the rural sections north of Rocky Mount.  I-73 meets today's warrants, and traffic will only grow in the future.
And yet, aren't you the one who kept pressing before that the existing 4-lane highway is adequate? There was a whole debate a few pages back about this.

The umpteen times that I have mentioned the $4 billion cost, like in my last post that you quoted but apparently elided that cost figure.

We are in an era since about 2005 where there are needed highway projects that meet traffic warrants, yet the costs of heavy construction have increased so much that some of them will be deemed unfundable.

VI-87 (Vanity Interstate 87) will do nothing of the sort, as I have detailed many times.
The same general thing that I-73 will, link the towns along the corridor together and connect two major metro areas. If North Carolina could build a direct route they would, but Virginia holds that, and won't upgrade U.S. 58, so they are the best second option.

VDOT and HRTAC -are- upgrading US-58, there are 4 major projects now in the works between Courtland and I-64/I-264/I-664, and one that was just completed.

North Carolina has reasons within their borders to build it, and even with slightly more milage, if you're able to get on I-87 at Norfolk and get off at Raleigh, then it is connecting the two areas via one interstate. Nobody said it has to be the most direct routing to link the areas.

Not "slightly" more mileage, about 25 more miles.  No more usable for connecting the two areas than I-64 and I-95 thru Richmond.

If you truly have an issue, I'd recommend you write elected officials in North Carolina and Virginia and provide your comments and reasons it's not a justified project. Back-and-forthing here doesn't communicate to the people who can actually make a change in the project or reconsider it.

I could say that about your complaints about the ALC alignment of I-73 that was finalized in 2012.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 20, 2019, 01:14:02 PM
So for the 16 miles between Rocky Mount and the Southwest Expressway you would recommend the eastern alignment similar to the ALC except that it ties into the Rocky Mount Bypass.
The 30 miles the U.S. 220 junction just north of Oak Level. I would say, if the existing bypass is cheaper to upgrade, it should be tie into it, but if a new alignment bypass is cheaper or the same costs, that would be the better route IMHO.

You may as well try to compare it to how I-95 was routed around Ashland and Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, or thru Baltimore for that matter -- every corridor has its own unique characteristics.
All of those examples did not have pre-existing freeways thru them. Rocky Mount does. It was just an option if it were to be cheaper to simply upgrade the existing. If building a new bypass is cheaper or the same costs, I'd say that's the better route.

(*) A simple flying junction between arterial US-29 and the Amherst Bypass had to be reconstructed to this more complex interchange when the Madison Heights Bypass was tied into it to make a seamless freeway and seamless business route -- https://tinyurl.com/y9hjfm78
That is a nice connection, I've driven it before. I will admit though it probably could've been done in a simpler way, by simply paralleling Route 29 Business along side of it instead of the weave over it to have tie in ramps. I'm not saying I'm against the concept they used, I'm just saying it could've been done less complex.

A 4-laned segment of VA-40 could be a temporary tie-in between a segment of ALC I-73 and US-220.  Questions about the efficiency but it could stand in for a time.
If VA-40 was improved, a concept like that could work.

I don't think it would be that much; 5 miles is apparent on the east and it would be maybe 7 miles on the west.

But that is not what the localities requested, they (Martinsville, Henry County, Danville, Pittsylvania County) requested that I-73 be built EAST of Martinsville.

The ALC has 5 interchanges in the Martinsville area.  Possibly the northernmost one could be omitted and the alignment shortened a bit (maybe 1/2 mile).  But this access pattern is what the localities asked for.

Should some slight possible increase (which I question) in engineering efficiency trump what those localities requested for how they want I-73 to service their areas?

An obvious consideration is that with the I-73 ALC, the entire current route of US-220 will still exist and will be usable for local access and business development along its route.  So there will be a "western route", a 4-lane high speed arterial highway that has much lower volumes of traffic and which should be able to operate much more safely.
I drew up this sketch on Google My Maps to depict the "western" and "eastern route". The only part I'm "recommending" a western routing is from NC to north of Oak Level. The rest of it would still be the eastern route.

The eastern route is 30 miles, the western route is 25 miles. The eastern route would involve 26 miles of new freeway, and 4 miles of existing. The western route would involve 17 miles of new freeway, and 8 miles of existing. The milage isn't that much difference, but the amount of construction required is reduced by 9 miles on the western alignment, and that could save as much as $400 million, a significant amount.

(https://i.ibb.co/YTKSHc3/Martinsville-I-73-2012-Options.png)

I can see 6 separately buildable segments on the ALC --
-- N.C. to US-58 including upgrading the segment of Bypass
-- US-58 to US-220 two miles north of Henry/Franklin county line.
-- US-220 two miles north of Henry/Franklin county line to VA-40 including 4-laning of VA-40 to US-220
-- VA-40 to US-220 two miles south of Roanoke
-- US-220 two miles south of Roanoke to Southwest Expressway
-- Upgrade Southwest Expressway and I-581

US-220 two miles south of Roanoke to Southwest Expressway involves upgrading along existing US-220 and would probably be the highest priority from a traffic standpoint.
I agree with this, but if the eastern route were to work, the Martinsville leg would need to be constructed last. Right now, the Martinsville leg is the first piece that is under study to be built, and if you built an eastern route now, it would cost about $200 million, and wouldn't service much traffic. If a western alignment was constructed, it would speed traffic right onto the existing US-220 bypass.

VDOT and HRTAC -are- upgrading US-58, there are 4 major projects now in the works between Courtland and I-64/I-264/I-664, and one that was just completed.
Which projects? One between I-64 and Suffolk would upgrade the highway to interstate standards (IIRC, it would be a very expensive project to build a couple of interchanges), but there's no other freeway upgrade projects beyond that point.

I will give a lot of credit to HRTAC, they've been speeding up some needed projects in the Hampton Roads area in the past 5-10 years, and upcoming with I-64, HRBT, High Rise, I-264 interchange, etc.

I could say that about your complaints about the ALC alignment of I-73 that was finalized in 2012.
I do plan on submitting input during the comment period for the Martinsville Southern Connector, which is evaluating a western route yet again. It's not fully off the table. They wouldn't build a western route, then build a new I-73 to the east. Whatever route the connector is built on will become I-73, which is why it's being built to interstate standards.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 12:48:41 AM
An obvious consideration is that with the I-73 ALC, the entire current route of US-220 will still exist and will be usable for local access and business development along its route.  So there will be a "western route", a 4-lane high speed arterial highway that has much lower volumes of traffic and which should be able to operate much more safely.
I drew up this sketch on Google My Maps to depict the "western" and "eastern route". The only part I'm "recommending" a western routing is from NC to north of Oak Level. The rest of it would still be the eastern route.
The eastern route is 30 miles, the western route is 25 miles. The eastern route would involve 26 miles of new freeway, and 4 miles of existing. The western route would involve 17 miles of new freeway, and 8 miles of existing. The milage isn't that much difference, but the amount of construction required is reduced by 9 miles on the western alignment, and that could save as much as $400 million, a significant amount.

A new well-western route south of the Martinsville Bypass like what you show, never made it to the alternates screening per the FEIS alternates map.  A western route alternate does follow close along existing US-220.  Add 2 miles to your western route.

Given the age of the Martinsville Bypass, around 30 years as I recall, use for an Interstate highway would essentially involve a total rebuild of pavement, bridges and drainage, and not necessarily be any less costly than a new alignment.

Your eastern route northern part balloons well out from the ALC.  Subtract 2 miles from your eastern route.  Based on the feasible routes studied in the DEIS you might get 1 mile less on a western route.  Not really enough to be concerned about.

But that is not what the localities requested, they (Martinsville, Henry County, Danville, Pittsylvania County) requested that I-73 be built EAST of Martinsville.  EAST OF MARTINSVILLE.

VDOT and HRTAC -are- upgrading US-58, there are 4 major projects now in the works between Courtland and I-64/I-264/I-664, and one that was just completed.
Which projects? One between I-64 and Suffolk would upgrade the highway to interstate standards (IIRC, it would be a very expensive project to build a couple of interchanges), but there's no other freeway upgrade projects beyond that point.

The other three --
-- Bowers Hill Interchange upgrade
-- Widening to 6 lanes and access management from Suffolk Bypass to 3.5 miles westward
-- Freeway connection/extension between Courtland and Franklin bypasses

They all have to do with increasing capacity and maintaining or improving travel times, and it doesn't mean that every project has to be a freeway.  The HPC 13 corridor is already 30 to 40 minutes longer than US-58 and I-95, and given the improvements above I seriously doubt that extra time number will ever be reduced even if segments of VI-87 start getting built.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 01:18:40 AM
Given the age of the Martinsville Bypass, around 30 years as I recall, use for an Interstate highway would essentially involve a total rebuild of pavement, bridges and drainage, and not necessarily be any less costly than a new alignment.
It opened in 1976 and 1977, about 45 years old. Have you ever driven on it though? I was on it about a month ago, and it seemed pretty suitable as an interstate-grade to me. Wide shoulders, wide travel lanes, wide clear sides, smooth pavement. I don't see any needed "reconstruction". I could see them repaving it, and possibly adding 2-3 ft to the outer shoulder, but that's about it.

Your eastern route northern part balloons well out from the ALC.  Subtract 2 miles from your eastern route.
The HCA is the one which balloons out, the ALC was more direct. I'm going off Henry County's proposal from about 5 years ago. In that case, my routing is correct.

But that is not what the localities requested, they (Martinsville, Henry County, Danville, Pittsylvania County) requested that I-73 be built EAST of Martinsville.  EAST OF MARTINSVILLE.
If it comes down to being $100+ million more to build an eastern route, they can deal with the interstate-grade US-58 they already have. Also constructing the Martinsville Southern Connector to the east doesn't make any sense with no I-73 to the north. If they can find a way to make a direct, eastern route, and not the HCA that has a funky routing, I could possibly see it. Also, consider the Martinsville Southern Connector. They aren't going to build it to somewhere it won't serve much traffic.

The other three --
-- Bowers Hill Interchange upgrade
I'll be honest, I've seen the plans for this interchange, and considering the current interchange, I don't see them actually investing in this for many years. The interchange is relatively fine as it is today, and spending hundreds of millions to improve it with a few flyovers seems like a waste IMHO.

-- Widening to 6 lanes and access management from Suffolk Bypass to 3.5 miles westward
This doesn't support any freeway upgrades through the area, IIRC they studied a freeway bypass in the past, but chose this over it because of expensive costs. This is more of an "urban project" in a sense, it will reduce some congestion which can be pretty bad. I'm glad to see this project starting soon.

-- Freeway connection/extension between Courtland and Franklin bypasses
I recall a study on that 2 mile corridor and the recommendation of a freeway connection, but there's been no further talk of it, in detailed studies, etc. about it. It's going to be many years until something along those lines come to fruition.

The HPC 13 corridor is already 30 to 40 minutes longer than US-58 and I-95
Woah, hold up, 30-40 minutes? Make that about 20 minutes. Nowhere near 40 minutes. Have you ever driven it before?

I seriously doubt that extra time number will ever be reduced even if segments of VI-87 start getting built.
You can try to dispute it as much as you want, but there will a significant time reduction on the I-87 corridor once it's upgraded to interstate standards, and it will match or be 1-2 minutes slower than US-58. It's not going to continue to be 20 (not 40) minutes slower if it's all 70 MPH. Plus have you seen the way some people drive on interstates? At those speeds, easily beat 58.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: froggie on January 21, 2019, 08:20:28 AM
^ Martinsville Bypass would be more in between what you two are arguing.  Won't need as much as Beltway suggests, but would require full shoulder reconstruction (depth as well as more width), and the interchange at the north end (VA 57 West) has substandard ramps so a full interchange rebuild  (and probably redesign) there would also be needed.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 10:06:50 AM
^ Martinsville Bypass would be more in between what you two are arguing.  Won't need as much as Beltway suggests, but would require full shoulder reconstruction (depth as well as more width), and the interchange at the north end (VA 57 West) has substandard ramps so a full interchange rebuild  (and probably redesign) there would also be needed.

Per your website the US-220 section was completed in 1978 and the eastern section in 1993.

Pavement design is not something you can see just by looking at a completed roadway from above.  Based on the typical asphalt pavement designs of that 1970s era for an arterial bypass, a modern Interstate design would add at least 8 inches of asphalt.  Shoulder designs then were fairly thin as well.  Bridges over 40 years old would be replaced.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 12:16:35 PM
^ Martinsville Bypass would be more in between what you two are arguing.  Won't need as much as Beltway suggests, but would require full shoulder reconstruction (depth as well as more width), and the interchange at the north end (VA 57 West) has substandard ramps so a full interchange rebuild  (and probably redesign) there would also be needed.
The alignment I suggested diverts from U.S. 220 Bypass just south of the substandard cloverleaf.

Per your website the US-220 section was completed in 1978 and the eastern section in 1993.

Pavement design is not something you can see just by looking at a completed roadway from above.  Based on the typical asphalt pavement designs of that 1970s era for an arterial bypass, a modern Interstate design would add at least 8 inches of asphalt.  Shoulder designs then were fairly thin as well.  Bridges over 40 years old would be replaced.
[/quote]
I agree the shoulders would have to be reconstructed & widened, but I wouldn't see much more issues with it. They're incorporating older 1960s & 1970s US-64 freeway in North Carolina into Interstate 87 east of Raleigh by simply widening the shoulder to 10ft & reconstruction. No bridges are being replaced except at minor ramp realignments where it's needed. Interstate 73 was incorporated into 60s & 70s US-220 sections south of Greensboro. No bridges were replaced as far as I'm aware, maybe slight ramp realignments and a repaving of the surface, but that's it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 01:45:53 PM
Quote from: Beltway
Per your website the US-220 section was completed in 1978 and the eastern section in 1993.
Pavement design is not something you can see just by looking at a completed roadway from above.  Based on the typical asphalt pavement designs of that 1970s era for an arterial bypass, a modern Interstate design would add at least 8 inches of asphalt.  Shoulder designs then were fairly thin as well.  Bridges over 40 years old would be replaced.
I agree the shoulders would have to be reconstructed & widened, but I wouldn't see much more issues with it.

I just pointed out what is wrong with using your eyeball to evaluate a pavement design on a completed highway.

They're incorporating older 1960s & 1970s US-64 freeway in North Carolina into Interstate 87 east of Raleigh by simply widening the shoulder to 10ft & reconstruction. No bridges are being replaced except at minor ramp realignments where it's needed. Interstate 73 was incorporated into 60s & 70s US-220 sections south of Greensboro. No bridges were replaced as far as I'm aware, maybe slight ramp realignments and a repaving of the surface, but that's it.

I cited what VDOT would have built according the arterial bypass standards of the time.  Either NCDOT built those pavements to higher standards or else they are engaging in substandard engineering.  As for incorporating 40-year-old bridges into a new Interstate project that is substandard engineering anywhere.

Why are you so invested in recycling illegitimate and refuted claims about VI-87 time performance once again?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 01:57:05 PM
I cited what VDOT would have built according the arterial bypass standards of the time.  Either NCDOT built those pavements to higher standards or else they are engaging in substandard engineering.  As for incorporating 40-year-old bridges into a new Interstate project that is substandard engineering anywhere.
They've done it before, my I-87 example was just one. I-73, I-74, the brand new I-285 designation, and a few other highways have done it. If the bridge is structurally safe, meets current width requirements, etc. I see no reason to replace it. They are still replacing the substandard bridges on these highways, it's just the ones that are in-tact and meet width requirements for interstates will remain. Most of the bridges on the US-220 bypass meet those standards/

Why are you so invested in recycling illegitimate and refuted claims about VI-87 time performance once again?
Umm... because I've timed it out and driven on it before? Have you actually driven it before? They're not "illegitimate", they're the facts. You cannot "refute" facts.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 02:06:36 PM
I cited what VDOT would have built according the arterial bypass standards of the time.  Either NCDOT built those pavements to higher standards or else they are engaging in substandard engineering.  As for incorporating 40-year-old bridges into a new Interstate project that is substandard engineering anywhere.
They've done it before, my I-87 example was just one. I-73, I-74, the brand new I-285 designation, and a few other highways have done it. If the bridge is structurally safe, meets current width requirements, etc. I see no reason to replace it. They are still replacing the substandard bridges on these highways, it's just the ones that are in-tact and meet width requirements for interstates will remain. Most of the bridges on the US-220 bypass meet those standards/

After 40 years, the bridge would be at or near the end of its structural lifespan for use on an Interstate highway, especially given today's truck weights.  There might be other issues such as width of roadway and vertical clearance.  It makes sense to go ahead and replace it now than in a few years.

Why are you so invested in recycling illegitimate and refuted claims about VI-87 time performance once again?
Umm... because I've timed it out and driven on it before? Have you actually driven it before? They're not "illegitimate", they're the facts. You cannot "refute" facts.

You don't have any facts WRT this issue.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 02:13:41 PM
After 40 years, the bridge would be at or near the end of its structural lifespan for use on an Interstate highway, especially given today's truck weights.  There might be other issues such as width of roadway and vertical clearance.  It makes sense to go ahead and replace it now than in a few years.
How about every interstate that's been in service for 40+ years? It's all a dependency of funding. If they can widen the shoulders on these highways and designate an interstate on it, they will do that. If later on, funding becomes available, they will replace the bridges, the same process as the existing interstates.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 02:22:35 PM
After 40 years, the bridge would be at or near the end of its structural lifespan for use on an Interstate highway, especially given today's truck weights.  There might be other issues such as width of roadway and vertical clearance.  It makes sense to go ahead and replace it now than in a few years.
How about every interstate that's been in service for 40+ years? It's all a dependency of funding. If they can widen the shoulders on these highways and designate an interstate on it, they will do that. If later on, funding becomes available, they will replace the bridges, the same process as the existing interstates.

Start off with a brand new highway.  Then enjoy a few decades where at first there is minimal maintenance, then later there are resurfacings, then much later (like 40+ years), bridges will need deck replacements or maybe full replacement.

If some other states want to do differently that is their choice.  But I will defend the practice of states that do it as I said for Interstate design and new construction standards.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 02:37:22 PM
After 40 years, the bridge would be at or near the end of its structural lifespan for use on an Interstate highway, especially given today's truck weights.  There might be other issues such as width of roadway and vertical clearance.  It makes sense to go ahead and replace it now than in a few years.
How about every interstate that's been in service for 40+ years? It's all a dependency of funding. If they can widen the shoulders on these highways and designate an interstate on it, they will do that. If later on, funding becomes available, they will replace the bridges, the same process as the existing interstates.

Start off with a brand new highway.  Then enjoy a few decades where at first there is minimal maintenance, then later there are resurfacings, then much later (like 40+ years), bridges will need deck replacements or maybe full replacement.

If some other states want to do differently that is their choice.  But I will defend the practice of states that do it as I said for Interstate design and new construction standards.
Yeah, I think North Carolina adheres to a different standard than VDOT. Whenever new interstates / freeways are built, they will generally incorporate older bridges that currently service traffic into the existing system. We discussed the long-bridges on US-17 near Williamston, Edenton, and Hertford. Those are examples of that - incorporating older bridges into the interstate. Those would still meet interstate standards, long-bridges can have shoulders of 4 ft on both sides if it's older. I must admit VDOT is better with maintenance and maintaining the roadways / bridges. Less so in North Carolina. Sometimes I feel they're more focused on constructing new freeways than maintaining what they already have. This could come back to hurt them in the future. Having new highways isn't a bad thing, it's just they need to balance it with maintaining existing infrastructure.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 21, 2019, 02:37:35 PM
I say we compromise and build I-73 straight through the middle of Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 02:55:09 PM
I say we compromise and build I-73 straight through the middle of Martinsville.

I say let the localities have input on where to route the highway.  The I-73 Henry County Alternative of 2011 is what the city and county wanted, to help support two new major developments planned to the north and northeast of the city, and the highway is an extension of the east end of the bypass on a route to the north.  If it is a couple miles longer than a theoretical western route, then so be it.  A western route would not access these.

Like I said there already is a western route, the US-220 4-lane that exists today, and which will continue to exist.

In the case of limited access highway being bypassed by a new Interstate highway, one possible treatment would be to evaluate that old limited access highway and consider decertifying the limited access right-of-way, so that over time new businesses and homes could be built along and with direct access to the highway.  The US-220 bypasses at Rocky Mount and Martinsville would most likely be in this category, pending a traffic study.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 21, 2019, 03:34:51 PM
I am just glad they're serious about building the MSC. Even though I support the western alignment (ties into US 220 Martinsville bypass), since the locals do want I-73 to be built EAST of the town, the locals always win.

I plan on attending the MSC workshop on Wednesday to find out which alignment they want to build at this time.

And, yes, once the MSC is completed, it can be incorporated into I-73.

Build the MSC!
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 04:27:19 PM
I say we compromise and build I-73 straight through the middle of Martinsville.

I say let the localities have input on where to route the highway.  The I-73 Henry County Alternative of 2011 is what the city and county wanted, to help support two new major developments planned to the north and northeast of the city, and the highway is an extension of the east end of the bypass on a route to the north.  If it is a couple miles longer than a theoretical western route, then so be it.  A western route would not access these.
Actually, there would always be eastern access no matter what. US-58 Bypass connects this area straight to a western I-73 via a limited-access freeway.

In the case of limited access highway being bypassed by a new Interstate highway, one possible treatment would be to evaluate that old limited access highway and consider decertifying the limited access right-of-way, so that over time new businesses and homes could be built along and with direct access to the highway.  The US-220 bypasses at Rocky Mount and Martinsville would most likely be in this category, pending a traffic study.
That would be a big mistake. It would still get traffic heading to developments / businesses located on the west part of Martinsville, and to convert it down to a non-limited-access roadway would have serious consequences.

I am just glad they're serious about building the MSC. Even though I support the western alignment (ties into US 220 Martinsville bypass), since the locals do want I-73 to be built EAST of the town, the locals always win.

I plan on attending the MSC workshop on Wednesday to find out which alignment they want to build at this time.

And, yes, once the MSC is completed, it can be incorporated into I-73.

Build the MSC!
Agreed, but like I mentioned before an eastern alignment wouldn't service much traffic until the rest of this "eastern" alignment for I-73 is built, which won't happen for years after MSC is built. I wouldn't say the locals would support an alignment heading nowhere as opposed to a western alignment servicing thru-traffic. If they realize this is all that's getting built now, there could be a change in interest.

I don't think a "preferred" alternative is currently decided yet, but I'll be sure to submit an online comment about this supporting the western route.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 21, 2019, 04:32:28 PM
The preferred alternative may not be decided until late Summer or Fall 2019, however. We will just see which alternatives that has the most likes on Wednesday.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 05:17:09 PM
I say let the localities have input on where to route the highway.  The I-73 Henry County Alternative of 2011 is what the city and county wanted, to help support two new major developments planned to the north and northeast of the city, and the highway is an extension of the east end of the bypass on a route to the north.  If it is a couple miles longer than a theoretical western route, then so be it.  A western route would not access these.
Actually, there would always be eastern access no matter what. US-58 Bypass connects this area straight to a western I-73 via a limited-access freeway.

It would not directly access them, they would be on the opposite side of the city from the Interstate and only accessible by 2-lane roads.  Look at the 2012 ALC map.  IOW, poor access versus excellent access.

In the case of limited access highway being bypassed by a new Interstate highway, one possible treatment would be to evaluate that old limited access highway and consider decertifying the limited access right-of-way, so that over time new businesses and homes could be built along and with direct access to the highway.  The US-220 bypasses at Rocky Mount and Martinsville would most likely be in this category, pending a traffic study.
That would be a big mistake. It would still get traffic heading to developments / businesses located on the west part of Martinsville, and to convert it down to a non-limited-access roadway would have serious consequences.

Not if the traffic dropped down to below 10,000 vpd with only light truck traffic.  If traffic studies showed that to be the case then that would make much better local use of those segments.

Agreed, but like I mentioned before an eastern alignment wouldn't service much traffic until the rest of this "eastern" alignment for I-73 is built, which won't happen for years after MSC is built. I wouldn't say the locals would support an alignment heading nowhere as opposed to a western alignment servicing thru-traffic. If they realize this is all that's getting built now, there could be a change in interest.

Then delay building the MSC until the rest of the ALC up to US-220 just north of the Henry/Franklin county line is ready to be funded.  The MSC by itself has very little utility.

The preferred alternative may not be decided until late Summer or Fall 2019, however. We will just see which alternatives that has the most likes on Wednesday.

Given the age of the FEIS (2006) there will be need for an SFEIS and possibly even a new EIS process, to meet NEPA standards, for the entire route between the N.C. and I-81.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 05:56:48 PM
It would not directly access them, they would be on the opposite side of the city from the Interstate and only accessible by 2-lane roads.  Look at the 2012 ALC map.  IOW, poor access versus excellent access.
I'm confused. Which developments are you referring to and where?

Not if the traffic dropped down to below 10,000 vpd with only light truck traffic.  If traffic studies showed that to be the case then that would make much better local use of those segments.
If Martinsville were to have the I-73 Eastern Alignment, plus a U.S. 220 Freeway to the west, they could use that to their advantage to continue growing the city and the county could develop near its areas. Having 2 freeways can lead to more growth and I think it would be wise to take advantage of it rather than convert it to a non-limited-access roadway. Controlled-access on roadways and controlled areas of development is a good strategy. Eliminating access controls and having a free-for-all on development is what can lead to overcrowding, numerous of traffic signals, and if the area does grow, traffic issues.

The MSC by itself has very little utility.
If it was built to connect to the Martinsville Bypass to the west, it would have plenty of use. They're clearly invested in studying and building this thing to connect Martinsville to North Carolina, where they're actually willing to fund construction and meet Virginia and connect directly Martinsville to Greensboro and points south.

Given the age of the FEIS (2006) there will be need for an SFEIS and possibly even a new EIS process, to meet NEPA standards, for the entire route between the N.C. and I-81.
And if a re-evaluation is done, they can study a western alignment again. You mentioned yourself they wouldn't waste time re-evaluating it because a study is already completed, if they have to redo it, then they would re-evaluate all options. I think it would be best now to study each segment at a time (like the MSC) and build it overtime in segments. Link each "connector" up in the end to create one continuous freeway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 05:57:37 PM
The preferred alternative may not be decided until late Summer or Fall 2019, however. We will just see which alternatives that has the most likes on Wednesday.
I'd imagine the western one, simply because it would have the most traffic usage, and be the most valuable and cheapest to build. But, we'll see.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 06:07:11 PM
It would not directly access them, they would be on the opposite side of the city from the Interstate and only accessible by 2-lane roads.  Look at the 2012 ALC map.  IOW, poor access versus excellent access.
I'm confused. Which developments are you referring to and where?

I'm tired of doing your work -- look it up, the map is on the VDOT I-73 page.

Not if the traffic dropped down to below 10,000 vpd with only light truck traffic.  If traffic studies showed that to be the case then that would make much better local use of those segments.
If Martinsville were to have the I-73 Eastern Alignment, plus a U.S. 220 Freeway to the west, they could use that to their advantage to continue growing the city and the county could develop near its areas. Having 2 freeways can lead to more growth and I think it would be wise to take advantage of it rather than convert it to a non-limited-access roadway. Controlled-access on roadways and controlled areas of development is a good strategy. Eliminating access controls and having a free-for-all on development is what can lead to overcrowding, numerous of traffic signals, and if the area does grow, traffic issues.

Why do they need 2 freeways, given the short length of the US-220 section?

If they don't decertify the L/A R/W, they could at least modify it to allow new at-grade intersections with public roads to access new developments.

The MSC by itself has very little utility.
If it was built to connect to the Martinsville Bypass to the west, it would have plenty of use. They're clearly invested in studying and building this thing to connect Martinsville to North Carolina, where they're actually willing to fund construction and meet Virginia and connect directly Martinsville to Greensboro and points south.

They are not going to route it west when they have an eastern ALC.  Bank on it.

And if a re-evaluation is done, they can study a western alignment again. You mentioned yourself they wouldn't waste time re-evaluating it because a study is already completed, if they have to redo it, then they would re-evaluate all options. I think it would be best now to study each segment at a time (like the MSC) and build it overtime in segments. Link each "connector" up in the end to create one continuous freeway.

No, they would need to study the whole corridor, as they did before.  There would be a variety of sub-alternates that could be evaluated and then one ALC would be chosen.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 06:24:10 PM
I'm tired of doing your work -- look it up, the map is on the VDOT I-73 page.
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.

Why do they need 2 freeways, given the short length of the US-220 section?
As it stands today, there wouldn't be a need. But if the interstate comes and development comes, the area could grow, therefore warranting more roads, and keeping the existing 12 (not short?) mile section of U.S. 220 in tact would serve new development on the western side of Martinsville.

If they don't decertify the L/A R/W, they could at least modify it to allow new at-grade intersections with public roads to access new developments.
How about developments off an interchange from a high-capacity, high-speed freeway? That would invite more development of interchanges rather than an at-grade roadway. And there would be a road to handle additional capacity from future developments, and possibly future residential.

They are not going to route it west when they have an eastern ALC.  Bank on it.
You keep referring to this as ALC, but that's the original alignment. Are you referring to the HCA, the one which overlaps the 4 miles of the US-58 bypass? The ALC was the all new location even farther east option.

No, they would need to study the whole corridor, as they did before.  There would be a variety of sub-alternates that could be evaluated and then one ALC would be chosen.
Yes, one study could happen (for instance, the original one), but by the time any segment actually gets funded or considered, a new study would be required (for instance, the MSC) Then at that point, it's only one section, and when other sections are considered, a new study would be required once again (for instance, the second study you are proposing). It would just keep going back and forth, study after study, millions of dollars wasted, and no pavement laid down.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 09:01:09 PM
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.

It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.  There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop.

Why do they need 2 freeways, given the short length of the US-220 section?
As it stands today, there wouldn't be a need. But if the interstate comes and development comes, the area could grow, therefore warranting more roads, and keeping the existing 12 (not short?) mile section of U.S. 220 in tact would serve new development on the western side of Martinsville.

The US-220-only portion of the bypass is 6 miles long.  The rest contains US-58 and is needed for US-58 which is another 4-lane arterial corridor and I would not recommend reducing the design.

If they don't decertify the L/A R/W, they could at least modify it to allow new at-grade intersections with public roads to access new developments.
How about developments off an interchange from a high-capacity, high-speed freeway? That would invite more development of interchanges rather than an at-grade roadway. And there would be a road to handle additional capacity from future developments, and possibly future residential.]

Possibly, that is why I recommended a traffic study to determine things.  Just a thought to someone who might say, "Why let a freeway go to waste?"  It could be modified into an at-grade expressway, and as 40+ year old bridges wear out the interchanges could be changed to at-grade intersections, particularly at the bypass terminals.

You keep referring to this as ALC, but that's the original alignment. Are you referring to the HCA, the one which overlaps the 4 miles of the US-58 bypass? The ALC was the all new location even farther east option.

The CBT action in 2011 incorporated the HCA into the ALC.  The green route on the VDOT map of approved I-73.

Yes, one study could happen (for instance, the original one), but by the time any segment actually gets funded or considered, a new study would be required (for instance, the MSC) Then at that point, it's only one section, and when other sections are considered, a new study would be required once again (for instance, the second study you are proposing). It would just keep going back and forth, study after study, millions of dollars wasted, and no pavement laid down.

As a long-distance Interstate highway, it should be a given that an EIS/location study would cover the whole 70 miles between the N.C. and I-81.  Such a study can identify segments of independent utility (SIU) which have stand-alone buildability.

If the MSC goes forward first, then they would make that compatible with the ACL.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 09:13:20 PM
It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.  There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop.
It's about 2 miles, not 5, from a realigned I-73.

(https://i.ibb.co/TBRkz6k/I-73-West-Alignment.png)

Plus, Henry County shouldn't plan developments off of something that isn't for sure going to be built in one set location. Only build when the interstate is under construction or already existing. If the proposed alignment gets changed, that's on them, they're assuming it will get built at that specific location. The MSC goes against that idea.

If the MSC goes forward first, then they would make that compatible with the ACL.
If they built an eastern alignment for the MSC, that's assuming the rest of I-73 gets built. Things could change, and an eastern project would be a complete waste of money until it's guaranteed to actually service an interstate. If no I-73 was proposed, and they built a road to the east, it would serve almost no traffic, and existing US-220 would still continue to be the main highway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 09:28:58 PM
It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.  There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop.
It's about 2 miles, not 5, from a realigned I-73.

None of the DEIS western sub-alternates between the US-220 bypass and just north of the county line had an alignment like that, they were at or west of US-220.

Plus, Henry County shouldn't plan developments off of something that isn't for sure going to be built in one set location. Only build when the interstate is under construction or already existing. If the proposed alignment gets changed, that's on them, they're assuming it will get built at that specific location. The MSC goes against that idea.

That is not how things work, it is a joint effort to route a new highway while taking into consideration current and proposed development patterns.

Why such intense focus on routing I-73 west of the city when all 4 southern municipalities requested it to the east and the CTB approved that?  Do you own a large tract of land west of town?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on January 21, 2019, 10:10:54 PM
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.

It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.
The route using 174 and 220 Business to 220 is four lanes, with the exception of a short piece of 174 that has only one lane westbound...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 21, 2019, 11:14:01 PM
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.
It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.

There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop. [entirely 2 lanes]

The route using 174 and 220 Business to 220 is four lanes, with the exception of a short piece of 174 that has only one lane westbound...

And at an urban bottleneck.  A poor connection compared to an excellent connection.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2019, 12:04:14 AM
None of the DEIS western sub-alternates between the US-220 bypass and just north of the county line had an alignment like that, they were at or west of US-220.
I've mentioned numerous of times this was my conceptual alignment. In that regard, it would work.

That is not how things work, it is a joint effort to route a new highway while taking into consideration current and proposed development patterns.
Correct. If you already have infrastructure there, you should want a new highway to pass it. If you plan for something there, you should want a new highway to pass it. But don't purposely build assuming the highway will go there. If the development is already there, or you want development, understandable. But I'm pretty sure that industrial park was built recently assuming that I-73 would stroke the northern end of it.

Why such intense focus on routing I-73 west of the city when all 4 southern municipalities requested it to the east and the CTB approved that?  Do you own a large tract of land west of town?
Let's see, at this point I'm a NE NC economic development lobbyist and I own a large tract west of town. I push these things the same reason you do - you believe and want one thing, I want another. We can bicker and argue about it all day and night, but the fact is we both have a difference of opinion.

I could go back and say you have an intense focus on telling me everything wrong with my concepts, opinions, or thoughts, but I don't.

And at an urban bottleneck.  A poor connection compared to an excellent connection.
Yes, an urban bottleneck because of traffic signals and businesses. And aren't you proposing to add another urban bottleneck along the US-220 Bypass by removing access controls and adding traffic signals, businesses, etc? That will lead to growth, more traffic, and congestion that may not exist now, but will in the future.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 12:43:14 AM
None of the DEIS western sub-alternates between the US-220 bypass and just north of the county line had an alignment like that, they were at or west of US-220.
I've mentioned numerous of times this was my conceptual alignment. In that regard, it would work.

How would it work?  How can you say something can "work" without your doing detailed engineering analysis?  If it would "work" then why didn't it make one of the many sub-alternates in the DEIS? 

That is not how things work, it is a joint effort to route a new highway while taking into consideration current and proposed development patterns.
Correct. If you already have infrastructure there, you should want a new highway to pass it. If you plan for something there, you should want a new highway to pass it. But don't purposely build assuming the highway will go there. If the development is already there, or you want development, understandable. But I'm pretty sure that industrial park was built recently assuming that I-73 would stroke the northern end of it.

There can be a long lead time for a highway to get built, and likewise the same for major developments.  One or the other could get delayed for various reasons.  Nevertheless they try to plan as much as possible.  That is why county governments have comprehensive plans, some try to forecast for 20 years or more.

They are proposing a much greater buildout than what has been built.  If the highway is delayed then the full buildout may be delayed, and maybe indefinitely.

Why such intense focus on routing I-73 west of the city when all 4 southern municipalities requested it to the east and the CTB approved that?  Do you own a large tract of land west of town?
Let's see, at this point I'm a NE NC economic development lobbyist and I own a large tract west of town. I push these things the same reason you do - you believe and want one thing, I want another. We can bicker and argue about it all day and night, but the fact is we both have a difference of opinion.
I could go back and say you have an intense focus on telling me everything wrong with my concepts, opinions, or thoughts, but I don't.

It was a question and not a statement.  Of course there are plenty of roadgeeks here that simply like to argue about roads and that is what motivates them.

And at an urban bottleneck.  A poor connection compared to an excellent connection.
Yes, an urban bottleneck because of traffic signals and businesses. And aren't you proposing to add another urban bottleneck along the US-220 Bypass by removing access controls and adding traffic signals, businesses, etc? That will lead to growth, more traffic, and congestion that may not exist now, but will in the future.

I said that it can be -considered-, pending traffic and development studies.  I would tend to believe that if I-73 is built that most of US-220 will be in the 5,000 to 8,000 AADT range and with about 10% large trucks.  If that is the case and the bypasses are converted to at-grade highways then there would be no bottlenecks and more businesses could be added.  But the traffic studies might prove otherwise.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on January 22, 2019, 08:11:34 AM
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.
It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.

There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop. [entirely 2 lanes]

The route using 174 and 220 Business to 220 is four lanes, with the exception of a short piece of 174 that has only one lane westbound...

And at an urban bottleneck.  A poor connection compared to an excellent connection.
Moving goalposts.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 08:13:33 AM
The only one I found was the Patriot Centre Industrial Park which would be about 2 miles from a western alignment, and accessible by 4-lane roadways. The eastern alternative would get about 1.5 miles from it and is served by 2 lane roads... I must be missing some other development.
It is not accessible by 4-lane roads, it is 5 miles from US-220, and an I-73 interchange is planned right next to it.
There is major development planned at the other interchange VA-57 also on the northern loop. [entirely 2 lanes]
The route using 174 and 220 Business to 220 is four lanes, with the exception of a short piece of 174 that has only one lane westbound...
And at an urban bottleneck.  A poor connection compared to an excellent connection.
Moving goalposts.

In context.  Has a one-lane pinchpoint in an urban area.  A poor connection by any stretch.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: NE2 on January 22, 2019, 08:47:58 AM
Almost everything has a one lane pinchpoint at ramps.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 09:57:35 AM
Almost everything has a one lane pinchpoint at ramps.

Depending on the needed capacity, ramps can be loops and ramps can have 2 lanes or more, and the connecting road can have 4 lanes or more.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 22, 2019, 04:33:11 PM
I'm sure we'll all be dead before Interstate 73 gets built in Virginia.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: 1 on January 22, 2019, 04:43:16 PM
Why not route it up US 29?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2019, 04:52:46 PM
Why not route it up US 29?
A US 29 interstate is a neat concept, though that's its own corridor. I-73 wouldn't serve that traffic.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2019, 05:00:01 PM
How would it work?  How can you say something can "work" without your doing detailed engineering analysis?  If it would "work" then why didn't it make one of the many sub-alternates in the DEIS?
Same could be said about Henry County's "closer in" alternative. It wasn't originally considered, but it was requested, they studied it, and determined it could work. Same could go with this.

I said that it can be -considered-, pending traffic and development studies.  I would tend to believe that if I-73 is built that most of US-220 will be in the 5,000 to 8,000 AADT range and with about 10% large trucks.  If that is the case and the bypasses are converted to at-grade highways then there would be no bottlenecks and more businesses could be added.  But the traffic studies might prove otherwise.
There's just one problem. If they determined there's no issues, they add at-grade intersections, traffic signals every 1/2 mile, businesses grow, homes get built, that are of Henry County is now thriving, and the road now has 15,000+ AADT. Now, there's backup at all these traffic signals, and a freeway is warranted. Oh wait, we just got rid of one.

I'm sure we'll all be dead before Interstate 73 gets built in Virginia.
I'm pretty young, I'd be willing to say I could possibly see it. But it's going to be decades away. I'd rather see South Carolina's portion built first IMHO though. They need it, at least from I-95 to Myrtle Beach.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Takumi on January 22, 2019, 05:27:11 PM
Why not route it up US 29?
That’s planned to be I-785. Well east of Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2019, 05:31:26 PM
Why not route it up US 29?
That’s planned to be I-785. Well east of Martinsville.
Right now the designation only hits the Danville Bypass. I would support a freeway all the way to Lynchburg or Charlottesville though. The route between Danville and Altavista features existing limited-access bypasses that can easily be upgraded to interstate standards, then upgrade / bypass the rest. From Altavista to Lynchburg, I'd say build a new freeway from the Altavista Bypass stretching 20 miles to meet the Madison Heights Bypass.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 06:34:01 PM
How would it work?  How can you say something can "work" without your doing detailed engineering analysis?  If it would "work" then why didn't it make one of the many sub-alternates in the DEIS?
Same could be said about Henry County's "closer in" alternative. It wasn't originally considered, but it was requested, they studied it, and determined it could work. Same could go with this.

Actually a combination of 3 DEIS sub-alternates would be fairly close to the Henry County Alternative, it is getting into tweaking at that point.

What you suggested would be a major new sub-alternate.  If there is any interest in the 4 southern municipalities studying it that would be one thing, but they made it clear that they want I-73 to the east of Martinsville.

I said that it can be -considered-, pending traffic and development studies.  I would tend to believe that if I-73 is built that most of US-220 will be in the 5,000 to 8,000 AADT range and with about 10% large trucks.  If that is the case and the bypasses are converted to at-grade highways then there would be no bottlenecks and more businesses could be added.  But the traffic studies might prove otherwise.
There's just one problem. If they determined there's no issues, they add at-grade intersections, traffic signals every 1/2 mile, businesses grow, homes get built, that are of Henry County is now thriving, and the road now has 15,000+ AADT. Now, there's backup at all these traffic signals, and a freeway is warranted. Oh wait, we just got rid of one.

That is jumping way ahead to think of signalized intersections every 1/2 mile, and 15,000 AADT which is similar to what is there now.  I would be concerned about the opposite, that a completed I-73 would take the bulk of the traffic and that the old US-220 might become a ghost town as has happened in some other places.

I realize that the uber-freeway posters probably feel like blowing lunch when they see posts about decertifying a limited access right-of-way or about converting a freeway into an expressway.  :banghead:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2019, 08:53:33 PM
That is jumping way ahead to think of signalized intersections every 1/2 mile, and 15,000 AADT which is similar to what is there now.  I would be concerned about the opposite, that a completed I-73 would take the bulk of the traffic and that the old US-220 might become a ghost town as has happened in some other places.
Still, it is pointless to waste money to demolish bridges, construct at-grade intersections, etc. on a perfectly fine highway. Again, think ahead. If Henry County were to do this, and used it as an economic development tool, it could turn into traffic issues. On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it. In the long-term, if bridges become obsolete, structurally deficient, etc. then maybe I could understand replacing a bridge with an at-grade intersection, but only when it warrants.

I realize that the uber-freeway posters probably feel like blowing lunch when they see posts about decertifying a limited access right-of-way or about converting a freeway into an expressway.  :banghead:
No... it's just a waste to downgrade a freeway when it's perfectly fine as is. Don't even get me started on "road diets".
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 09:08:53 PM
That is jumping way ahead to think of signalized intersections every 1/2 mile, and 15,000 AADT which is similar to what is there now.  I would be concerned about the opposite, that a completed I-73 would take the bulk of the traffic and that the old US-220 might become a ghost town as has happened in some other places.
Still, it is pointless to waste money to demolish bridges, construct at-grade intersections, etc. on a perfectly fine highway. Again, think ahead. If Henry County were to do this, and used it as an economic development tool, it could turn into traffic issues. On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it. In the long-term, if bridges become obsolete, structurally deficient, etc. then maybe I could understand replacing a bridge with an at-grade intersection, but only when it warrants.

It wouldn't cost anything to decertify the limited access right-of-way, other than the cost of removing the limited access fence.

Maybe the west leg of the bypass could become I-173, then you would have an Interstate and the roadgeeks would be excited. 

The Rocky Mount Bypass would not be connecting to a freeway, so it could be downgraded.

No... it's just a waste to downgrade a freeway when it's perfectly fine as is. Don't even get me started on "road diets".

This would be a "freeway diet", but only if the freeway was no longer warranted.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on January 23, 2019, 09:13:46 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.

Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 23, 2019, 09:45:30 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 23, 2019, 10:03:33 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 23, 2019, 04:04:01 PM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D
Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:
No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...

I already mentioned the idea of I-173 for the west leg of the bypass, that would be 9 miles of highway, and for a supplemental route it might be able to use urban Interstate standards, and use the highway as is.  Since there already is a VA-173 and a VA-373, but no VA-573, this highway could be I-573.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 23, 2019, 05:24:32 PM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
The Winston-Salem Beltway is proposed as I-274 and I-74. I've never heard of an I-273. Winston-Salem and the PTI Airport are already directly connected by I-40.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on January 23, 2019, 06:36:02 PM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.

Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

I'm sure the fine folks of Bristol, Norton and Bluefield would laugh at the suggestion that Martinsville is in southwestern Virginia. Maybe to the inside-the-beltway crowd it is, but they probably don't know the difference between Grundy and Tazewell.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Takumi on January 23, 2019, 06:38:48 PM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
Different states, so both could theoretically exist (though neither are planned, plus there’s already a VA 273).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 23, 2019, 06:53:13 PM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
The Winston-Salem Beltway is proposed as I-274 and I-74. I've never heard of an I-273. Winston-Salem and the PTI Airport are already directly connected by I-40.

I was sarcastically referring to the connector once (possibly still?) in NCDOT's long-term plans that would've linked the eastern half of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway to I-73 near the airport, seen in the middle of this image from MalmeRoads:

(http://malmeroads.net/ncfutints/roadimprov_lg.gif)

I don't think it's ever gotten an official number and I have no idea if NCDOT or any local agencies are still considering it. The final design for the I-73/NC 68 interchange has no accommodation for it, though the slightly different design from the feasibility study(?) was designed around the connection for it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 23, 2019, 08:43:14 PM
I'm sure the fine folks of Bristol, Norton and Bluefield would laugh at the suggestion that Martinsville is in southwestern Virginia. Maybe to the inside-the-beltway crowd it is, but they probably don't know the difference between Grundy and Tazewell.

One of those topics that could be debated ad infinitum!   :D

FWIW:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Virginia
That includes the US-220 counties in the Martinsville, Roanoke and Clifton Forge corridor.

Counties that have been included in the definition of Southwest Virginia include: Alleghany County, Bedford County, Bland County, Botetourt County, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Craig County, Dickenson County, Floyd County, Franklin County, Giles County, Grayson County, Henry County, Lee County, Montgomery County, Patrick County, Pulaski County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County, Russell County, Scott County, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Washington County, Wise County, and Wythe County.

Independent cities in Southwest Virginia include Bristol, Buena Vista, Covington, Galax, Lexington, Martinsville, Norton, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem.  Christiansburg and Blacksburg are incorporated towns.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: 1 on January 23, 2019, 09:54:08 PM
The 9th congressional district, which defines SWVA, includes Martinsville, but barely. The eastern end of the Martinsville freeway bypass is in the 5th district and therefore outside SWVA.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 23, 2019, 10:02:12 PM
The 9th congressional district, which defines SWVA, includes Martinsville, but barely. The eastern end of the Martinsville freeway bypass is in the 5th district and therefore outside SWVA.

Congressional district boundaries can and do change over time.  County boundaries are generally static.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 24, 2019, 12:33:01 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
The Winston-Salem Beltway is proposed as I-274 and I-74. I've never heard of an I-273. Winston-Salem and the PTI Airport are already directly connected by I-40.

I was sarcastically referring to the connector once (possibly still?) in NCDOT's long-term plans that would've linked the eastern half of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway to I-73 near the airport, seen in the middle of this image from MalmeRoads:

(http://malmeroads.net/ncfutints/roadimprov_lg.gif)

I don't think it's ever gotten an official number and I have no idea if NCDOT or any local agencies are still considering it. The final design for the I-73/NC 68 interchange has no accommodation for it, though the slightly different design from the feasibility study(?) was designed around the connection for it.



Unfortunately, they’re still considering it. It is listed on Greensboro MPO, which is looking for improvememts and better connection to the airport, along with other improvements to local roads. I have seen the blueprint of what the interchange will be like between I-73/NC 68/the connector, and it is a complicated one. The I-73/74 connector doesn’t have a route number, but it is unfunded. I have been opposing this connector since we really don’t need a parallel road along I-40 and US 421 (Business 40).

However, the only part of the connector I can see being built is the one from I-40/US 421 split to I-73/NC 68 interchange.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 24, 2019, 12:45:16 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
The Winston-Salem Beltway is proposed as I-274 and I-74. I've never heard of an I-273. Winston-Salem and the PTI Airport are already directly connected by I-40.


I-74 for the eastern part and NC 452 (for the western part). There isn’t a proposed I-274 yet, although I will not be surprised if NCDOT do that.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 24, 2019, 01:07:39 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.
Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

Some of the roadgeeks here wouldn't be satisfied until the Martinsville Beltway was designated as I-273.     :no:

No, I-273 is for the Winston-Salem/PTI Airport connector thingy. I'm sure they'll start on that any day now...
The Winston-Salem Beltway is proposed as I-274 and I-74. I've never heard of an I-273. Winston-Salem and the PTI Airport are already directly connected by I-40.


I-74 for the eastern part and NC 452 (for the western part). There isn’t a proposed I-274 yet, although I will not be surprised if NCDOT do that.

IIRC, I-274 turned up in the design-build plans for the interchange with US 52.

Now back to arguing about I-73 in Virginia...
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on January 24, 2019, 09:22:04 AM
On the other hand, they could use it as a freeway spur of an eastern I-73 to the western side where there's already existing businesses, instead of ruining it.

Well, if it goes all the way around and connects back to I-73, then we could have the Martinsville Beltway, with an "inner loop" and "outer loop" and Southwest Virginia could be real uptown just like Northern Virginia.  :-D

I'm sure the fine folks of Bristol, Norton and Bluefield would laugh at the suggestion that Martinsville is in southwestern Virginia. Maybe to the inside-the-beltway crowd it is, but they probably don't know the difference between Grundy and Tazewell.

There are people in Northern Virginia who think Blacksburg is just the other side of Harrisonburg. Grundy (been there, and to Deel and Oakwood) might as well be on another planet.

Martinsville is in a weird place, close enough to be part of Southwest Virginia but also almost close to Piedmont (but not close enough to be considered Central Virginia).

Bruce in Blacksburg (firmly in Southwest Virginia)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Henry on January 24, 2019, 09:40:09 AM
Why not route it up US 29?
That’s planned to be I-785. Well east of Martinsville.
Right now the designation only hits the Danville Bypass. I would support a freeway all the way to Lynchburg or Charlottesville though. The route between Danville and Altavista features existing limited-access bypasses that can easily be upgraded to interstate standards, then upgrade / bypass the rest. From Altavista to Lynchburg, I'd say build a new freeway from the Altavista Bypass stretching 20 miles to meet the Madison Heights Bypass.
Well, that would call for an I-83 extension, which, of course, would have to be rerouted around Baltimore in order to reach US 29.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2019, 09:50:19 AM
Why not route it up US 29?
That’s planned to be I-785. Well east of Martinsville.
Right now the designation only hits the Danville Bypass. I would support a freeway all the way to Lynchburg or Charlottesville though. The route between Danville and Altavista features existing limited-access bypasses that can easily be upgraded to interstate standards, then upgrade / bypass the rest. From Altavista to Lynchburg, I'd say build a new freeway from the Altavista Bypass stretching 20 miles to meet the Madison Heights Bypass.
Well, that would call for an I-83 extension, which, of course, would have to be rerouted around Baltimore in order to reach US 29.
It could also be apart of I-785 which is the official designation between I-85 at Greensboro to US 58 in Danville. It would tie right in.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Life in Paradise on January 24, 2019, 03:45:05 PM
Why not route it up US 29?
That’s planned to be I-785. Well east of Martinsville.
Right now the designation only hits the Danville Bypass. I would support a freeway all the way to Lynchburg or Charlottesville though. The route between Danville and Altavista features existing limited-access bypasses that can easily be upgraded to interstate standards, then upgrade / bypass the rest. From Altavista to Lynchburg, I'd say build a new freeway from the Altavista Bypass stretching 20 miles to meet the Madison Heights Bypass.
Well, that would call for an I-83 extension, which, of course, would have to be rerouted around Baltimore in order to reach US 29.
It could also be apart of I-785 which is the official designation between I-85 at Greensboro to US 58 in Danville. It would tie right in.
One problem with this is that wouldn't Virginia be hurting their plan to turn I-81 into a toll road?  I-73 would be parallel to I-81 through a good portion of Virginia, and any I-81 traffic that would be going south on I-77 into the Carolinas would just take I-73 to avoid the toll (and perhaps save some miles).
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 24, 2019, 05:13:30 PM
I believe the two corridors (though they meet at Roanoke), are too far apart to make much of a difference in traffic diversion. Also, what about the portion of Interstate 81 north of Roanoke? The nearest Interstate corridors are Interstate 95 to the east, and Interstates 77/79 to the west. The toll avoidance diversions would likely be on the nearby US Highways, such as US 11.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2019, 05:27:10 PM
I believe the two corridors (though they meet at Roanoke), are too far apart to make much of a difference in traffic diversion. Also, what about the portion of Interstate 81 north of Roanoke? The nearest Interstate corridors are Interstate 95 to the east, and Interstates 77/79 to the west. The toll avoidance diversions would likely be on the nearby US Highways, such as US 11.
One thing to note is that some traffic heading between the north and south (I-95 direct) sneak over to the west to avoid Baltimore / D.C. then head back to I-95 via I-77. Two things here. One, that group of traffic might be motivated to just deal with I-95 and not pay $35 to avoid it, or at least that far out. At that rate, the HO/T lanes are cheaper and is way more direct than I-81. Secondly, the fact people do divert from I-95 to I-81 to avoid D.C. / Baltimore shows that some people will be willing to divert significant distances (50+ miles) to avoid high tolls, just like they do to avoid traffic.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2019, 06:16:56 PM
One thing to note is that some traffic heading between the north and south (I-95 direct) sneak over to the west to avoid Baltimore / D.C. then head back to I-95 via I-77. Two things here. One, that group of traffic might be motivated to just deal with I-95 and not pay $35 to avoid it, or at least that far out. At that rate, the HO/T lanes are cheaper and is way more direct than I-81. Secondly, the fact people do divert from I-95 to I-81 to avoid D.C. / Baltimore shows that some people will be willing to divert significant distances (50+ miles) to avoid high tolls, just like they do to avoid traffic.

That would be $22 based on the proposed car toll of 7 cents per mile.  I tend to look at I-81 as a diagonal route and a "super bypass" of the northeast, and I-73 as a north-south route, and I am not sure there would be much overlap in the usership of the two.  I-81 has a core usership for inter-state trips in its own northeast-southwest corridor.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 11:12:09 AM
Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: hbelkins on January 25, 2019, 11:16:58 AM
I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 11:23:46 AM
I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 25, 2019, 11:32:15 AM
I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.

I don't think I-73 should be signed north of the I-81/581 interchange until the Smart Road is extended, because I-73 is supposed to use that, not 460 from Christiansburg. If that's finished before the entire section from the NC state line to Roanoke is finished, though, I agree that I-73 should be signed from Roanoke to Blacksburg, if only to create a superficial pressure to connect it to NC's portion.

I hope that when they finally get around to completing the Smart Road, they widen its connection from eastbound 460 to two lanes. The unopened ramp appears to only be one lane, though the northbound connection is two.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 11:42:13 AM
I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.

I don't think I-73 should be signed north of the I-81/581 interchange until the Smart Road is extended, because I-73 is supposed to use that, not 460 from Christiansburg. If that's finished before the entire section from the NC state line to Roanoke is finished, though, I agree that I-73 should be signed from Roanoke to Blacksburg, if only to create a superficial pressure to connect it to NC's portion.

I hope that when they finally get around to completing the Smart Road, they widen its connection from eastbound 460 to two lanes. The unopened ramp appears to only be one lane, though the northbound connection is two.
I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

I-73 should be posted on the existing bypass IMHO.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on January 25, 2019, 12:01:05 PM
Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.


Yeah, I heard the same thing. I was at the meeting and it was said (from most citizens) that they prefer the western route.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on January 25, 2019, 02:25:28 PM

I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

Agreed. There are bigger problems that need to be solved instead of messing up the Smart Road. It makes no sense to extend the road just to get to I-81 and sit in traffic backed up by the wreck-of-the-day event. Even with one of the goofy plans put forward it makes no sense -- someone suggested when the Smart Road was extended, that it be opened only at certain times to avoid totally disrupting its use for research, with westbound traffic in the morning and eastbound traffic in the afternoon for commuters and before and after Virginia Tech football games.

 
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 02:45:50 PM

I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

Agreed. There are bigger problems that need to be solved instead of messing up the Smart Road. It makes no sense to extend the road just to get to I-81 and sit in traffic backed up by the wreck-of-the-day event. Even with one of the goofy plans put forward it makes no sense -- someone suggested when the Smart Road was extended, that it be opened only at certain times to avoid totally disrupting its use for research, with westbound traffic in the morning and eastbound traffic in the afternoon for commuters and before and after Virginia Tech football games.
Here's an idea - leave it to research. Let the existing bypass do what it was built for back in 2002.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2019, 03:26:45 PM
Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.

Source?
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 04:33:58 PM
Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.

Source?
https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local/in-a-long-road-to-a-fix-residents-weigh-in/article_c13b0c21-2155-5f1d-8106-e453e6f924f0.html

The few people talked to mentioned they favor the western route, the eastern route was not once mentioned. Also, Strider mentioned he went up to the meeting, and that he heard a lot of people favoring the western route over the eastern.

It's simple. The eastern route does not connect anywhere, while the western route ties into U.S. 220 and provides a full freeway into North Carolina that has a purpose. It seems many citizens in the area feel this way to. How many times do I have to say it, an eastern route makes logically no sense or has any bearing to it whatsoever. A western route however would bypass the dangerous and substandard U.S. 220 with a modern freeway that would serve thru-traffic adequately.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2019, 05:06:35 PM
Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.
Source?
https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local/in-a-long-road-to-a-fix-residents-weigh-in/article_c13b0c21-2155-5f1d-8106-e453e6f924f0.html
The few people talked to mentioned they favor the western route, the eastern route was not once mentioned. Also, Strider mentioned he went up to the meeting, and that he heard a lot of people favoring the western route over the eastern.

The article mentions 2 people out of 36 that attended.  Also that 775 comments were submitted to VDOT's website.  Let's see what those comments say before deciding what is the consensus.

It's simple. The eastern route does not connect anywhere, while the western route ties into U.S. 220 and provides a full freeway into North Carolina that has a purpose. It seems many citizens in the area feel this way to. How many times do I have to say it, an eastern route makes logically no sense or has any bearing to it whatsoever. A western route however would bypass the dangerous and substandard U.S. 220 with a modern freeway that would serve thru-traffic adequately.

You repeat various stuff over and over again.  The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 05:18:15 PM
The article mentions 2 people out of 36 that attended.  Also that 775 comments were submitted to VDOT's website.  Let's see what those comments say before deciding what is the consensus.
Those 775 comments are from the initial hearings a few months back - about the U.S. 220 corridor overall. This wave of comments that started Wednesday is strictly about the freeway alignments under consideration. Why would anybody support the eastern alignment logically though? The western alignment has more basis and could easily be justified and supported. For all the people are aware, the eastern alignment sends them to U.S. 58 east and dumps them off. A western alignment takes them up the new freeway, up the U.S. 220 Bypass and on their way up U.S. 220.

You repeat various stuff over and over again.  The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
Key word - if. Looking at a standpoint now, the western alignment makes the most sense. By the time any construction starts, a whole new EIS, study process, etc. would be needed for the entire corridor. If a western alternative is chosen now because it would best service U.S. 220, that future EIS could study a way to then upgrade the Martinsville Bypass and tie back into the original ALC corridor north of there. Things can change you know, especially over decades. When costs rise, and it becomes apparently obvious that this sort of alignment is cheaper, it could change.

Plus, these alternatives in the Martinsville Southern Connector are completely different alignments than the original ALC. If they were so determined to sticking to that, there would be one alternative that is the exact same as that, but there's not. Also, if they wanted to stick to the ALC, the western alternatives wouldn't even be considered. It just goes to show there can be changes made.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2019, 11:54:20 PM
The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
Key word - if. Looking at a standpoint now, the western alignment makes the most sense. By the time any construction starts, a whole new EIS, study process, etc. would be needed for the entire corridor. If a western alternative is chosen now because it would best service U.S. 220, that future EIS could study a way to then upgrade the Martinsville Bypass and tie back into the original ALC corridor north of there. Things can change you know, especially over decades. When costs rise, and it becomes apparently obvious that this sort of alignment is cheaper, it could change.

What empirical evidence exists that would support a western alignment being cheaper or making "more sense"?  A full NEPA process was conducted over a period of years that said the opposite, and a FEIS Reevaluation should be all that is needed to update the FEIS.

Again, the 4 southern municipalities (2 counties and 2 cities) strongly support the eastern route.  Unless they can be convinced to change their official positions, that will not change.  They will not support a western MSC.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: vdeane on January 26, 2019, 10:36:52 PM
A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 09:32:23 AM
A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
Exactly. It would tie into existing freeway that would be easy to upgrade, and if they built the MSC this way, it could have immediate use, and North Carolina could begin upgrading their segments. If we built an eastern MSC, a new freeway north of the U.S. 58 Bypass would also have to be constructed to tie back into U.S. 220 12 miles north until it could be used, or at least get any numbers above 3,000 AADT.

The concept worked when there was the assumption all 70 miles would be built at once, or over large segments, but the way it's planned now, the western route would make the most sense, no matter how some want to put it.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 27, 2019, 05:01:26 PM
A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
Exactly. It would tie into existing freeway that would be easy to upgrade, and if they built the MSC this way, it could have immediate use, and North Carolina could begin upgrading their segments. If we built an eastern MSC, a new freeway north of the U.S. 58 Bypass would also have to be constructed to tie back into U.S. 220 12 miles north until it could be used, or at least get any numbers above 3,000 AADT.
The concept worked when there was the assumption all 70 miles would be built at once, or over large segments, but the way it's planned now, the western route would make the most sense, no matter how some want to put it.

For the umpteenth time, the eastern route is the route as approved by the full NEPA EIS/location study process, and that chosen by the municipalities, the CTB and FHWA.  Just because some roadgeeks think something else, won't change anything unless there is a major revisiting by those parties and a new NEPA study.  A western MSC would be useless for the chosen alternative, and an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.

I-73 would be built in segments of independent utility (SIU), meaning that any one constructed will have value and usability by itself.

You -might- use 2 more miles of existing freeway by going west, but that is not what the process decided to do.  I don't know why you keep harping on this... let it go.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 06:01:50 PM
Just because some roadgeeks think something else.
I think it's a stretch to use the term "roadgeeks". Are you considering those few people mentioned in the article I cited a few posts up "roadgeeks"? They seem like ordinary people to me. There's likely more people who feel a western alignment would be the best, which is why they are also evaluating western corridors.

I-73 would be built in segments of independent utility (SIU), meaning that any one constructed will have value and usability by itself.
Exactly, not an eastern segment.

an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.
If it needs to wait, then why is this the first segment VDOT is studying? And why are they even considering a western corridor at all? If they truly wanted an eastern route, the only options on the table would be different eastern alignments. Instead, there's 4 eastern (which I should mention none of which even follow the ALC), 4 western, and even one that would upgrade the existing to freeway (though that's a stretch). It appears to me they are re-evaluating the entire thing.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 27, 2019, 06:16:46 PM
Just because some roadgeeks think something else.
I think it's a stretch to use the term "roadgeeks". Are you considering those few people mentioned in the article I cited a few posts up "roadgeeks"? They seem like ordinary people to me. There's likely more people who feel a western alignment would be the best, which is why they are also evaluating western corridors.

No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
 
Quote
an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.
If it needs to wait, then why is this the first segment VDOT is studying? And why are they even considering a western corridor at all? If they truly wanted an eastern route, the only options on the table would be different eastern alignments. Instead, there's 4 eastern (which I should mention none of which even follow the ALC), 4 western, and even one that would upgrade the existing to freeway (though that's a stretch). It appears to me they are re-evaluating the entire thing.

NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Roadsguy on January 27, 2019, 06:36:27 PM
Keep in mind that this (https://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/roads/rt295/pdf/altE.pdf) was one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, even though I'm sure it took all of 15 seconds to be eliminated.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 07:20:50 PM
No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
That's what they're doing here... they're doing a new NEPA EIS / location study. That's what this is. If they wanted / were going to build what was previously planned, they would simply re-evaluate the older study. But instead, they're doing a whole new one.
 
NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
Correct, and they could've drawn up 8 different eastern alignments. That could've been the project - I-73 Phase 1, eastern alignment. A study to see where exactly to the east it should go. Nobody said they had to look at the western alternatives at all, however they did.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 07:21:14 PM
Keep in mind that this (https://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/roads/rt295/pdf/altE.pdf) was one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, even though I'm sure it took all of 15 seconds to be eliminated.
That looks feasible. In 1960.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 27, 2019, 11:10:07 PM
No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
That's what they're doing here... they're doing a new NEPA EIS / location study. That's what this is. If they wanted / were going to build what was previously planned, they would simply re-evaluate the older study. But instead, they're doing a whole new one.

"The Martinsville Connector Study is a first step toward identifying future improvements to the Route 220 corridor within its study limits.  It is a separate analysis than the EIS for the I-73 corridor that was completed in November 2006."

They are not planning on replacing the 2006 EIS study, this study is only for the segment south of the Martinsville Bypass, that is what is meant by "within its study limits".

NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
Correct, and they could've drawn up 8 different eastern alignments. That could've been the project - I-73 Phase 1, eastern alignment. A study to see where exactly to the east it should go. Nobody said they had to look at the western alternatives at all, however they did.

Doesn't necessarily mean that the others are more than study filler.  I have seen many EISs and some of the alignments are quite infeasible, like the one posted by Roadsguy about one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, quite illustrative on my point!

There are western alignments that are not far from US-220 and they obviously could be tied into the ALC.  One of them even follows the existing US-220 closely and may be a freeway upgrade of that.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 11:18:52 PM
They are not planning on replacing the 2006 EIS study, this study is only for the segment south of the Martinsville Bypass, that is what is meant by "within its study limits".
But likely any other segment built would have this same process redone again. At this point the original ALC is going to eventually get redone one piece at a time. That's proven by this leg of the project.

There are western alignments that are not far from US-220 and they obviously could be tied into the ALC.  One of them even follows the existing US-220 closely and may be a freeway upgrade of that.
I could see that, but I still believe a western alignment would be better. But that's a different subject - this is about the Martinsville Southern Connector leg of the project.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 27, 2019, 11:46:08 PM
They are not planning on replacing the 2006 EIS study, this study is only for the segment south of the Martinsville Bypass, that is what is meant by "within its study limits".
But likely any other segment built would have this same process redone again. At this point the original ALC is going to eventually get redone one piece at a time. That's proven by this leg of the project.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid.  Nothing such is being proved, there simply is a desire for early action and some flexibility about that segment.

There is no evidence that the state or the municipalities don't continue to support the ALC.  They are not going to conduct a series of EIS studies.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 11:51:40 PM
There is no evidence that the state or the municipalities don't continue to support the ALC.
And there's no evidence that the state or the municipalities do continue (as of 2019) to support the ALC. Interests could have changed. We'll have to see when the preferred alternative is selected in a few months.

They are not going to conduct a series of EIS studies.
That's exactly what they're doing here!
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 12:01:20 AM
There is no evidence that the state or the municipalities don't continue to support the ALC.
And there's no evidence that the state or the municipalities do continue (as of 2019) to support the ALC. Interests could have changed. We'll have to see when the preferred alternative is selected in a few months.

Look at the VDOT I-73 webpage, last modified: July, 2018, nothing has changed as to the ALC.

The fact that they haven't passed resolutions changing their decision shows that it hasn't changed.

They are not going to conduct a series of EIS studies.
That's exactly what they're doing here!

This is one segment.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 12:06:15 AM
Look at the VDOT I-73 webpage, last modified: July, 2018, nothing has changed as to the ALC.

The fact that they haven't passed resolutions changing their decision shows that it hasn't changed.
Let's wait until the Preferred Alternative is chosen, and more input is given by the localities.

This is one segment.
Correct, and as other segments are proposed, an EIS will be completed on those.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: LM117 on February 14, 2019, 10:17:13 AM
As mentioned in the Virginia thread:

https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general-assembly-notebook-panel-kills-reckless-driving-threshold-increase-effort/article_5563168f-4bc3-5dc1-92a8-9c3eb190d20a.html (https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general-assembly-notebook-panel-kills-reckless-driving-threshold-increase-effort/article_5563168f-4bc3-5dc1-92a8-9c3eb190d20a.html)

Quote
Bill to provide funding for I-73 stalls

A bill to earmark funding for the proposed Interstate 73 came to a halt in the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Interstate 73 would create an avenue for high-speed travel between Roanoke and the North Carolina line south of Martinsville. It was proposed more than two decades ago, but the $6 billion project has long been stalled because of funding issues. The bill from Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, would’ve put the interstate next in line for funding that’s currently being allocated to U.S. 58. When the money was available, I-73 would have received about $40 million a year.

The transportation subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee voted not to advance SB 1014 on a 5-0 vote, but the chairman of the committee, Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, said the legislation could be revived Friday at the full Transportation Committee.

The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 28-11.

The bill has been introduced in previous General Assembly sessions.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on February 19, 2019, 08:42:23 PM
The CTB had this presentation today, and it provided more clarity as to what they are doing.

MARTINSVILLE SOUTHERN CONNECTOR/ROUTE 220 EIS INTRODUCTION
Angel Deem, Environmental Division Director
February 19, 2019
http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2019/feb/pres/2_martinsville.pdf

Excerpts:

The purpose of the Martinsville Southern Connector Study is to enhance mobility for both local and regional traffic traveling along U.S. Route 220 between the North Carolina state line to the U.S. Route 58 Bypass near Martinsville, Virginia

FHWA identified the project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018
-- Prescribed under Executive Order 13807 (8/15/2017)
-- Sets prescribed timelines to obtain a NEPA decision and related federal permits (goal = 24 months)
-- Federal agencies identify eligible projects to apply OFD
-- FHWA has currently identified three projects for OFD – two projects in Maryland and the Martinsville Southern Connector
. . . . . . . .

This a special case, among the first usages of the OFD.  A way to expedite and advance single projects thru the EIS process.  They didn't use the word "pilot" but that is about what this is, in addition to meeting a need to advance a particular project that VDOT and the Salem CTB member wants to prioritize and advance.  So this is no predictor of what may happen on the rest of VA I-73.

CTB discussion raised some question about the efficacy of the OFD, namely the issue of compressing what normally takes 4 or 5 years into 24 months, also the issue of obtaining sufficient public involvement in the shortened time frame.

This is bound to raise controversy about this process, but it will be interesting to see what happens, or if it is possible to work this process successfully.  And again it doesn't mean that OFD will be utilized on any of the rest of the I-73 corridor.
. . . . . . . . .

One Federal Decision - Fact Sheet
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/policy-initiatives/320411/ofd-fact-sheet.pdf

Excerpt:

Issued on August 15, 2017, Executive Order (EO) 13807: Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects requires Federal agencies to process environmental reviews and authorization decisions for “major infrastructure projects” as One Federal Decision (OFD). The EO sets a government-wide goal of reducing the average time to complete required environmental reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects to not more than two years from publication of a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to issuance of a record of decision (ROD) prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EO also requires all Federal authorization decisions for the construction of these projects to be completed within 90 days of the issuance of a ROD.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 20, 2019, 07:49:26 PM
Revision to some of the western alignments posted to the Martinsville Southern Connector website. Notice the differences on the southern end.

Haven't seen anything regarding the eastern alternatives.

(https://i.ibb.co/z5qrJbC/Martinsville-Southern-Connector-March-Update.png)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 20, 2019, 08:38:28 PM
Revision to some of the western alignments posted to the Martinsville Southern Connector website. Notice the differences on the southern end.
Haven't seen anything regarding the eastern alternatives.

Nothing about this project at today's CTB Workshop.  Last workshop discussed in Post #506.

Wonder if that Red Route is a freeway upgrade of the existing highway.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 20, 2019, 08:55:27 PM
Nothing about this project at today's CTB Workshop.  Last workshop discussed in Post #506.
I noticed that on the project website recently. Notice in the bottom right corner it says "March 2019". And the alignment is different than the original slightly, at least the southern tie in near the state line.

Wonder if that Red Route is a freeway upgrade of the existing highway.
It is. This is the proposed typical section for any upgrades to existing highway to interstate standards. It would be within a 188 foot right of way.

Likely though, this option would not be selected, but rather an eastern or western option. It was likely included the EIS to provide a basis for the other alternatives, and for comparison purposes. The Draft EIS and preferred alternative will be completed by the end of this year, as per the schedule, and we will know then what option they are looking to build, along with likely cost estimates, more detailed designs, etc.

(https://i.ibb.co/d6C5HmS/US-220-Martinsville-Southern-Connector-Typical-Sections.png)
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 20, 2019, 10:49:27 PM
Nothing about this project at today's CTB Workshop.  Last workshop discussed in Post #506.
I noticed that on the project website recently. Notice in the bottom right corner it says "March 2019". And the alignment is different than the original slightly, at least the southern tie in near the state line.

Wonder if that Red Route is a freeway upgrade of the existing highway.
It is. This is the proposed typical section for any upgrades to existing highway to interstate standards. It would be within a 188 foot right of way.

Likely though, this option would not be selected, but rather an eastern or western option. It was likely included the EIS to provide a basis for the other alternatives, and for comparison purposes. The Draft EIS and preferred alternative will be completed by the end of this year, as per the schedule, and we will know then what option they are looking to build, along with likely cost estimates, more detailed designs, etc.

(https://i.ibb.co/d6C5HmS/US-220-Martinsville-Southern-Connector-Typical-Sections.png)



Interesting that they modified the southern end. I like it though, but I wouldn't pick option E. Too many business in that section of the road, and probably more expensive. I'd go for Option A or C.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 20, 2019, 10:57:03 PM
Also, from their website, it said:


Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study
"VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has identified the alternatives that will be advanced through the study."


Sounds like all of the eastern alternatives are eliminated, therefore why they aren't being listed on the revised map. I might be wrong, but take it with a grain of salt.

Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 20, 2019, 11:39:00 PM
Also, from their website, it said:
Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study
"VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has identified the alternatives that will be advanced through the study."
Sounds like all of the eastern alternatives are eliminated, therefore why they aren't being listed on the revised map. I might be wrong, but take it with a grain of salt.

Eastern alternates are there, see the map on this --
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/Martinsville-Connector/Martinsville_Brochure_010219_v8b.pdf
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 21, 2019, 06:54:55 AM
Also, from their website, it said:
Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study
"VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has identified the alternatives that will be advanced through the study."
Sounds like all of the eastern alternatives are eliminated, therefore why they aren't being listed on the revised map. I might be wrong, but take it with a grain of salt.

Eastern alternates are there, see the map on this --
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/Martinsville-Connector/Martinsville_Brochure_010219_v8b.pdf
That was from the public hearing in January, and those are the original maps I had shared here a few months ago. After looking at VDOT's website, it does indicate that...

"VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has identified the alternatives that will be advanced through the study."

and the following picture listed right below it, with a March 2019 stamp on it.

(https://i.ibb.co/z5qrJbC/Martinsville-Southern-Connector-March-Update.png)

It does indeed look as the eastern alternatives have been eliminated. It makes sense, I really don't see the benefits of an eastern alignment for this particular project. I could be wrong, but we will know more when the Draft EIS & preferred alternative are selected in the Summer, or if a project update is released announcing the eastern alternatives have been eliminated.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 21, 2019, 10:43:10 AM
The March 2019 newsletter that I received from VDOT when I subscripted to them, didn't directly said the eastern alternatives are eliminated, but they made no mention of eastern alternatives. This seems true that all eastern alternatives are eliminated.

Because they are going to move along with the field work with potential environment impacts of EACH ALTERNATIVE ADVANCED in the study, which means the alternatives in the updated map is being advanced, thus eliminating the eastern alternatives.

I will find out soon as I just emailed them. Hopefully they will respond so I can share the news in here.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 21, 2019, 10:45:23 AM
Eastern alternates are there, see the map on this --
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Salem/Martinsville-Connector/Martinsville_Brochure_010219_v8b.pdf
That was from the public hearing in January, and those are the original maps I had shared here a few months ago. After looking at VDOT's website, it does indicate that...
"VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has identified the alternatives that will be advanced through the study."
and the following picture listed right below it, with a March 2019 stamp on it.

I would have to disagree.  They are not going to drop the original approved alternate that was obviously active 2 months ago, without some kind of explanation.  I would say that the webmaster made a mistake.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 21, 2019, 12:20:30 PM
That was fast. I got a response from the one who is in charge for the Route 220 Study. Here is what he told me that pretty much confirms the eastern alternatives are in fact eliminated and put aside.

Martinsville 220 <martinsville220@vdot.virginia.gov> (sent by scott.smizik@vdot.virginia.gov)
11:50 AM (28 minutes ago)
to me


You are correct. The options that were previously shown east of Route 220 were not retained for detailed study. Those options will be documented and discussed in the Environmental Impact Statement; however, they will not be analyzed in detail and will not be under consideration for identification of a preferred alternative. Thank you for your interest in the study.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 21, 2019, 01:17:01 PM
That was fast. I got a response from the one who is in charge for the Route 220 Study. Here is what he told me that pretty much confirms the eastern alternatives are in fact eliminated and put aside.

Did he say WHY?  They need to provide a detailed explanation.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 21, 2019, 02:47:22 PM
That was fast. I got a response from the one who is in charge for the Route 220 Study. Here is what he told me that pretty much confirms the eastern alternatives are in fact eliminated and put aside.

Did he say WHY?  They need to provide a detailed explanation.


I am sure this will be explained in a later date.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 21, 2019, 03:41:55 PM
That was fast. I got a response from the one who is in charge for the Route 220 Study. Here is what he told me that pretty much confirms the eastern alternatives are in fact eliminated and put aside.
Did he say WHY?  They need to provide a detailed explanation.
I am sure this will be explained in a later date.

My reply to VDOT -- not a valid response.  If you are publishing a major change like this then I want to know upon the publishing.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 21, 2019, 04:22:09 PM
That was fast. I got a response from the one who is in charge for the Route 220 Study. Here is what he told me that pretty much confirms the eastern alternatives are in fact eliminated and put aside.
Did he say WHY?  They need to provide a detailed explanation.
I am sure this will be explained in a later date.

My reply to VDOT -- not a valid response.  If you are publishing a major change like this then I want to know upon the publishing.
I wouldn't know the exact reason... I'll write an email to the project manager, along with asking about how this will affect the rest of the I-73 corridor.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 21, 2019, 04:34:03 PM
I emailed the project manager asking about specifically why were the eastern alignments disregarded, and how will this impact the I-73 alignment approved in 2012, and what's the plan for I-73 north of here now that the roadway will likely follow a western alignment. I specifically asked if a new EIS would be completed for I-73 north of Martinsville, now that it will stem from the western side as opposed to the eastern side.

I will follow-up once I receive a response.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on March 21, 2019, 05:20:03 PM
I emailed the project manager asking about specifically why were the eastern alignments disregarded, and how will this impact the I-73 alignment approved in 2012, and what's the plan for I-73 north of here now that the roadway will likely follow a western alignment. I specifically asked if a new EIS would be completed for I-73 north of Martinsville, now that it will stem from the western side as opposed to the eastern side.

My CTB-related post from Feb. 19th said that FHWA identified the project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process.

It has no connection to the approved route north of Martinsville, MSC is its own project.  If they select the red route or the green route, it would only add 1 or 2 miles to the previously approved corridor between N.C. and I-81.  Today's neo-Interstate highways cater more toward local interests and development, than as compared to the original Interstate system.  Adding 1 or 2 miles would not obviate using the approved route north of Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Strider on March 21, 2019, 09:22:32 PM
I am think that if I-73 is going to use MSC (if it comes to this point), I am pretty sure a new EIS will be conducted to connect to the approved one north of Martinsville. Or... they might have to start a whole new study, thus delaying I-73 extension even more... we will never know until we get a response from them.

at the mean time, I will wait and see what sprjus4 said once he got a response from the project manager.

At this time, eastern alternatives are not being considered.

This is just one step a time.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 31, 2019, 10:53:45 AM
Finally received a response on Friday...
Quote
Thank you for your interest in the Martinsville Southern Connector Study/Route 220 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To your first point on the change in  the south end of the study area, there was a brief error on the VDOT web site where an incorrect figure was shown. That has been corrected. Now that we have retained alternatives for detailed study, they will be further engineered and you can expect to see more detail this summer at our next public meeting.

You are correct in noting that the eastern alignments that were under consideration were not retained for detailed analysis in the study. This is due to their inability to meet the Purpose and Need for the study. The Purpose and Need sets the goals for the study and also serves as the primary criteria in the alternatives screening process. The first step in this screening was for VDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) , the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to agree on which alternatives met the Purpose and Need and should be advanced for detailed study. That agreement occurred earlier this month and we are now focused on the five alternatives retained for analysis. You can find some information on the Purpose and Need in our previous public meeting materials (see link below). More information on how the alternatives were retained will be presented in future newsletters, at our August public meeting, and of course in the Draft EIS which is anticipated to be issued by FHWA in December 2019.

With regards to your comments on I-73, I can only speak to what is going on in our current study. While we are fully aware of the proposed I-73 corridor and its proximity to our study area, the current study has an independent Purpose and Need which has resulted in a different array of alternatives being retained for analysis. This current study will result in the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) identifying a preferred alternative, FHWA issuing a Record of Decision to approve the preferred alternative, and USACE issuing a permit for the project. At that point, decision makers will have two approved projects to consider. What they do with those two projects is well beyond the scope of this current effort.

Thank you again for your interest in the study. If you have not done so already, I would recommend you visit our study web site to review additional materials and sign up for our newsletter so you can stay informed as we advance. As noted above, previous public meeting materials are available here: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/martinsville_southern_connector_study_archives.asp

Basically, once this environmental study is completed, there will be two options to chose from. The eastern alternatives have been previously studied, and now this study will focus on western alternatives.

The reason the western alternatives were chosen specifically in this study, because this is focused at creating a freeway connector from the US 220 bypass to North Carolina. US 220 follows the western route, so naturally, so would this. I've said this many times.

At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.

So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Interstate 69 Fan on March 31, 2019, 07:09:32 PM
Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on March 31, 2019, 07:13:58 PM
Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(
Pretty much. The focus now is really from Roanoke to Myrtle Beach.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: VTGoose on April 01, 2019, 11:08:29 AM
Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(

It never really had much of a life beyond a fantasy road in Virginia. While I-81 to I-77 may be a bit longer to reach West Virginia from Roanoke, it exists as an interstate. To upgrade/replace U.S. 460 from Blacksburg to somewhere along the four-lane almost-interstate section in West Virginia just wouldn't work. The main problem is terrain and some sensitive areas around and along the New River. Given the bigger needs for other projects, it will be a long, long time before this plan gets a glimmer of attention.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sparker on April 01, 2019, 06:05:29 PM
Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(

It never really had much of a life beyond a fantasy road in Virginia. While I-81 to I-77 may be a bit longer to reach West Virginia from Roanoke, it exists as an interstate. To upgrade/replace U.S. 460 from Blacksburg to somewhere along the four-lane almost-interstate section in West Virginia just wouldn't work. The main problem is terrain and some sensitive areas around and along the New River. Given the bigger needs for other projects, it will be a long, long time before this plan gets a glimmer of attention.


And even after it intersects I-77 in WV, what are the chances of building out the section along US 52 northwest of there?  That particular set of projects, whether labeled the "King Coal" (a bit anachronistic by today's standards) or "Toilsa" parkways, has been promoted and subsequently reconfigured to the point where it is and likely will always be a series of spot improvements to a corridor becoming less and less significant as time passes, since the Great Lakes states marking the corridor's north & west termini have effectively washed their hands of the corridor.  Unless something else in that area crops up as an outlet (such as elevating the US 35 corridor to an Interstate) the concept of cutting maybe 5-10 miles off a Roanoke-Bluefield trip via an upgrade of US 460 is certainly not a cost-effective use of funds.  Planning for I-73 will cease at Roanoke for the time being.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: wdcrft63 on April 01, 2019, 06:31:35 PM
At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.

So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: Beltway on April 01, 2019, 06:37:13 PM
At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.  So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.

My CTB-related post from Feb. 19th said that FHWA identified the Martinsville Southern Connection project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process.

It has no connection to the approved route north of Martinsville, MSC is its own project.  If they select the red route or the green route, it would only add 1 or 2 miles to the previously approved corridor between N.C. and I-81.  Today's neo-Interstate highways cater more toward local interests and development, than as compared to the original Interstate system.  Adding 1 or 2 miles would not obviate using the approved route north of Martinsville, and the city and county already planned the new developments along that route.
Title: Re: I-73 in VA
Post by: sprjus4 on April 01, 2019, 07:40:44 PM
At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.  So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.

My CTB-related post from Feb. 19th said that FHWA identified the Martinsville Southern Connection project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process.

It has no connection to the approved route north of Martinsville, MSC is its own project.  If they select the red route or the green route, it would only add 1 or 2 miles to the previously approved corridor between N.C. and I-81.  Today's neo-Interstate highways cater more toward local interests and development, than as compared to the original Interstate system.  Adding 1 or 2 miles would not obviate using the approved route north of Martinsville, and the city and county already planned the new developments along that route.
From what I got out of the email from the project manager, this is a separate study to I-73. This plan could be scrapped in 5-10 years, and the 2012 approved I-73 alignment could still be constructed instead. It really depends on what it will cost, what will have the most benefits. Who knows, they could re-study I-73 north of Martinsville at a later date.

But what we do know is that the 2012 alignment approved for I-73 isn't fully dead, it's just on the back burner right now.

I believe the whole intent of a southern connector leading out of Martinsville was to connect to North Carolina's I-73 since nothing is happening north of them for quite a long time.