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Author Topic: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge  (Read 31485 times)

Beltway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The other three reasons are legit, but this one just sounds foolish.
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Beltway

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #102 on: June 06, 2018, 09:19:50 PM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carriers of HAZMAT cargo will still be banned, but IMO they usually represent a fairly small percentage of truck traffic, and can cross upstream via the U.S. 17/U.S. 258 James River Bridge between Isle of Wight County and Newport News (IIRC, no HAZMAT restrictions there), or just follow U.S. 460 or U.S. 58 to get to and from the I-95 or I-85 corridors if they are on the south side of Hampton Roads.
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Beltway

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #104 on: June 07, 2018, 10:31:18 PM »

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

That is the current westbound tube.  The new bridge-tunnel would be to the west, and both existing tubes would carry traffic westbound.  That would mean that the westbound general purpose lanes would be in the tube with the lower clearance, and the westbound HOT lanes would be in the tube with the higher clearance.  IOW westbound trucks would still be in the tube with the lower clearance.   :rolleyes:
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Alps

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #105 on: June 08, 2018, 01:30:14 AM »

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

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

Beltway

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

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

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

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

« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 06:21:27 AM by Beltway »
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ixnay

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Re: U.S. 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
« Reply #107 on: June 09, 2018, 06:32:54 PM »

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

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

ixnay
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Beltway

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

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

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

As I pointed out previously, there are 4 separate factors that militate against a bridge across Hampton Roads, not just one or two or three.
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