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Author Topic: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes  (Read 5879 times)

webny99

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Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« on: January 01, 2019, 12:58:05 PM »

The goal here is to get a complete list, by state, of rural four-lane freeways that need six lanes now or will within the next 10-15 years. Generally, volumes on a given stretch must be above 30K in order to be considered for six-laning. Please include traffic volume counts (AADT) with your submissions if possible; most states have these numbers available online.

Submissions for freeways within a metro area must (a) be open to trucks, and (b) carry a significant percentage of long-distance, non-commuting, through traffic. An interstate shield is preferred, but not required.

If a six-laning is currently under construction or officially proposed by the state DOT, please note it as such. Any six-laning substantially complete by winter 2018-2019 need not be included.

I'll follow up with the beginnings of a list for NY and PA,  and keep it updated as we go!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 02:07:20 PM »

Any part of the CA 99 Freeway that is four lanes ought to be six at minimum. There are four stretches that come to mind:

-  Delano to Tulare
-  Fresno to just north of Madera
-  Merced to Turlock
-  Lodi to Elk Grove

TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 02:14:14 PM »

MN: I-94, St. Michael to Clearwater (there is progress being made toward this)

WI: I-90/94, Tomah to I-39, or at least Dells - I-39
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ilpt4u

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 02:39:41 PM »

I-57, north of Marion, IL to Mt Vernon/I-64.

IDOT has proposed, and around Marion is done, and the next few miles north of Marion are planned.

The whole segment is needed. IDOT/State of IL has to find the money, first

Also, I-55 in/around Springfield, where the ridiculous 4 lane segment exists between 6 lane segments both north and south of town. No idea if IDOT has plans on that one
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 02:48:07 PM by ilpt4u »
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 02:40:50 PM »

New York

I-81 from Exit 15/US 20/Lafayette to Exit 16A/I-481/Syracuse.
Length: 8 miles. AADT: 37,125 (south of US 11), 40,265 (north of US 11).

I-86 from Exit 116/NY 17K/Bloomingburg to Southern Terminus at I-87.
Length: 25 miles. Max AADT: 60,506 at Woodbury. Min AADT: 34,357 at Bloomingburg.

I-87 (NY Thruway) from Exit 16/I-86/Harriman to Exit 23/I-787/Albany.
Length: 95 miles. Max AADT: 48,019 at Harriman. Min AADT: 34,648 at Catskill.

I-90 (NY Thruway) from Exit 57/NY 75/Hamburg to Lackawanna Toll Barrier.
Length: 7 miles. AADT: 36,350 (southwest of NY 179), 40,206 (northeast of NY 179).

I-90 (NY Thruway) from Williamsville Toll Barrier to Exit 33/NY 365/Verona.
Note: There are two segments (Exit 47 to 46, and Exit 35 to 34A) where volumes fall below 30K. I am including them anyway for consistency.
Length: 167 miles. Max AADT: 50,729 at Williamsville. Min AADT: 30,729 immediately east of I-81.

I-490 from Exit 25/NY 31F/Fairport to Exit 27/NY 96/Bushnell Basin.
Length: 4 miles. :banghead:
AADT: 72,453 (northwest of NY 31), 61,196 (southeast of NY 31).




Long-term, say as part of a 50-year plan, I would include the entire mainline Thruway, I-81 from Binghamton to Syracuse, and I-86 from I-390 to Corning (the theoretical I-83/I-86 multiplex!  :-P).
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 03:28:59 PM by webny99 »
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1995hoo

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 02:46:56 PM »

In South Carolina, I-95 between I-26 and the Georgia state line is well-known to need widening. I'm not motivated enough to look up the traffic counts. While the other four-lane portions need widening too, the heavy traffic and resulting congestion seem noticeably worse south of I-26.
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kphoger

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2019, 04:19:22 PM »

Please include traffic volume counts (AADT) with your submissions if possible

It was worth a shot.  It really was.
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 04:28:37 PM »

In South Carolina, I-95 between I-26 and the Georgia state line is well-known to need widening. I'm not motivated enough to look up the traffic counts. While the other four-lane portions need widening too, the heavy traffic and resulting congestion seem noticeably worse south of I-26.

South Carolina's TDV is actually quite user-friendly. Volumes are 43,400 immediately south of I-26, and sustained above 40K all the way to the Georgia line. The bridge into Georgia actually carries 55,300.

North of I-26, volumes are lower, generally in the mid-30K's, but still six-lane territory by my standards. Of course, there's another spike north of I-20 - up to 54,100 - but that's already six-laned. Wouldn't hurt to continue the six-laning to the NC border, either.
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 04:31:58 PM »

Please include traffic volume counts (AADT) with your submissions if possible
It was worth a shot.  It really was.

 :pan:

Well, I guess I'll find the counts myself (the ones I care about, anyways!)
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froggie

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 04:34:55 PM »

In South Carolina, I-95 between I-26 and the Georgia state line is well-known to need widening. I'm not motivated enough to look up the traffic counts. While the other four-lane portions need widening too, the heavy traffic and resulting congestion seem noticeably worse south of I-26.

 You may or may not recall that I did an analysis of I-95 in the Carolinas and south of Petersburg a couple years ago.  Widening is very warranted from the Georgia line up to US 17/Exit 33 and again near I-26, but from Yemassee to north of Walterboro less so.

And a note on what "needs widening".  FHWA generally considers LOS D the threshold at which improvements (including widening) become warranted, though freeways will still flow even at LOS D.  For most rural freeway sections, that roughly translates into a daily vehicle volume around or north of 40K.  Lower vehicle thresholds will exist for segments with more trucks, more of a directional split, or more recreational traffic as opposed to commuter traffic.  For I-95 through the Carolinas and southern Virginia, that threshold was in the neighborhood of 48K.

But even going with 40K as a base threshold, most of the segments already mentioned would meet that.
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 04:42:09 PM »

WI: I-90/94, Tomah to I-39, or at least Dells - I-39

How about Tomah to the Illinios line?
I recall construction of some sort on I-90/I-39 south of Madison, but I would love to see a consistent six lanes from Rockford, IL, up to Tomah.

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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 04:47:50 PM »

WI: I-90/94, Tomah to I-39, or at least Dells - I-39

How about Tomah to the Illinios line?
I recall construction of some sort on I-90/I-39 south of Madison, but I would love to see a consistent six lanes from Rockford, IL, up to Tomah.



It’s being six laned south of Madison, so I omitted it.
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2019, 04:48:15 PM »

You may or may not recall that I did an analysis of I-95 in the Carolinas and south of Petersburg a couple years ago.  Widening is very warranted from the Georgia line up to US 17/Exit 33 and again near I-26, but from Yemassee to north of Walterboro less so.

I was not aware of that -- it was just before my time. Thanks for posting!
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sparker

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 04:49:36 PM »

Any part of the CA 99 Freeway that is four lanes ought to be six at minimum. There are four stretches that come to mind:

-  Delano to Tulare
-  Fresno to just north of Madera
-  Merced to Turlock
-  Lodi to Elk Grove

Fortunately -- or not, depending upon Caltrans' whims and priorities -- the ultimate plan as outlined in the "CA 99 Master Plan" active for nearly 20 years is to 6-lane the entire route while getting rid of substandard (by reasonably current as well as Interstate-compliant) the remaining "virtual RIRO's" (i.e., the several 15mph on/off "ramp" facilities in the Delano-Tulare segment).  Unfortunately, as there was no timetable attached to that master plan, the agency is free to prioritize as they will -- although D10 has been considerably more active than D6 since the CA 198-to-Kingsburg segment was done. 

I just returned from an abbreviated trip to SoCal to take care of some business related to my audio ventures; my traveling companion, who is also in that field, needed to get back early to handle some family stuff.  I'll post what I saw on the 2-day venture in the Road Trip section either today or tomorrow.

But for the purposes of the OP, the other CA 6-laning that I consider necessary and/or overdue are, in no particular order:

(1)  US 101 from Novato through Healdsburg (the outer edge of North Bay suburbia).
(2)  I-5 from CA 12 to the existing 6-lane section at Elk Grove.  Commute traffic can overwhelm at times.
(3)  I-5 from CA 152 north to the I-580 split, and I-580 from there to I-205.  Lots of traffic coming from CA 152.  Ideally, all of I-5 needs 6-laning -- but occasional extra lanes in the median (more for the passing of trucks than anything else) plus some truck climbers in the Kettleman Hills area (both directions).
(4) I-15 north of the I-40 split, all the way to the NV line.  Just add an extra lane in the median over the whole length -- period!
(5) US 101 from south of Santa Maria up to the recent 6-laning of the Cuesta grade north of SLO.  Enough folks have moved to the area to warrant this; it tends to get congested on its own without help from LA or Bay tourists.
(6) (and this is a real long shot:) I-80 all the way over the Sierras to the NV state line.  Such an expansion would probably cost 15-20 times what the original ca. 1965 construction did, so one shouldn't hold one's breath!
(7) (another long shot considering the cost of bridge/causeway expansion):  I-5 from CA 99 near Sacramento Airport out to the CA 16 junction NW of Woodland.  Since Woodland is effectively functioning as a Sacramento exurb these days, I-5 can and does see regular congestion along that stretch.
 
 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 04:26:21 PM by sparker »
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2019, 04:51:00 PM »

WI: I-90/94, Tomah to I-39, or at least Dells - I-39
How about Tomah to the Illinios line?
I recall construction of some sort on I-90/I-39 south of Madison, but I would love to see a consistent six lanes from Rockford, IL, up to Tomah.
It’s being six laned south of Madison, so I omitted it.

I figured as much --- it looked like a widening, but there wasn't much, if any, activity, so I couldn't tell for sure. That was summer 2017.
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kphoger

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2019, 04:53:40 PM »


WI: I-90/94, Tomah to I-39, or at least Dells - I-39

How about Tomah to the Illinios line?
I recall construction of some sort on I-90/I-39 south of Madison, but I would love to see a consistent six lanes from Rockford, IL, up to Tomah.

I'd say up to Wisconsin Dells might be sufficient, but from there to Tomah is kind of right on the line, with AADT between 30k and 40k.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2019, 05:02:26 PM »

Wisconsin Dells to Tomah would be a "nice to have", but isn't outright necessary.  In my experience, it normally flows unless it floods.

(pun intended)
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2019, 05:14:15 PM »

For Michigan, US-23 between Flint and the Ohio line and I-94 between Ann Arbor and Benton Harbor. US-23 acts as a western bypass of Detroit and has very heavy traffic during peak times. I-94 is a major truck route between Chicago and Detroit and sees a lot of traffic. I-75 between the US-23 split at MM 115 and I-475 at MM 111. I-75 should be six lanes for awhile north of MM 164 as well, at that junction it goes from eight lanes to four, you pick up the extra two lanes going SB and lose the two lanes going NB. That is right at the M-13 Connector exit, the right lane becomes the exit for the M-13 connector and the left lane ends. The M-13 connector gets another lane as it's exiting I-75. All the traffic that exited at Exit 164 going SB has to use the M-13 Connector to get back to I-75 SB.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2019, 06:30:11 PM »

In South Carolina, I-95 between I-26 and the Georgia state line is well-known to need widening. I'm not motivated enough to look up the traffic counts. While the other four-lane portions need widening too, the heavy traffic and resulting congestion seem noticeably worse south of I-26.
You may or may not recall that I did an analysis of I-95 in the Carolinas and south of Petersburg a couple years ago.  Widening is very warranted from the Georgia line up to US 17/Exit 33 and again near I-26, but from Yemassee to north of Walterboro less so.

My response to that was "does it need more lanes at least 20 weekends (Fri thru Sun), including major holidays, per year"?   They tend to have very high peaks on some weekends, while having many weekdays with light traffic.  Mere AADTs are averaged over 365 days and don't reflect the needs of rural Interstate highways, in this regard, IMHO.  That would be my criteria for 6 lane widening.

Current needs in my region based on that, for widening to no less than 6 lanes --
-- I-81, the entire distance between TN I-40 and PA I-78
-- I-64, the entire distance between VA I-295 and Williamsburg 6-lane widening projects
-- I-95, the entire distance between Georgia and VA I-295
-- I-83, the entire distance between Towson MD and Harrisburg
-- I-270, the entire distance between Frederick MD and Gaithersburg

Granted that is about 20 billion dollars, but I have answered the question of the OP for my region!   :clap:
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 06:37:11 PM by Beltway »
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kphoger

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2019, 06:40:13 PM »

Is there talk of widening I-70 across Missouri?
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3467

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2019, 06:52:34 PM »

Interstate 180 in Illinois
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3467

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2019, 06:55:13 PM »

Just kidding. I 55 around Springfield has been studied but the cost is sky high. There was a study on 74 just west of 57 that was dropped. Someday 80 to LaSalle and maybe 39 north of 88...so a long answer to say none right now.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2019, 06:57:35 PM »

Iowa thinks 80 across the state though they finally decided it did not need to be done that urgently so maybe between Iowa City and 280.
Missouri same thing with 70 though its condition is worse or was because MO is out of road money.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2019, 07:53:35 PM »

Is there talk of widening I-70 across Missouri?

There's talk but no funding.  IMHO it will probably be piecemealed - MoDOT will probably try to get a few grants to do a few small sections.  Maybe if the delays from the upcoming repairs to the Missouri River crossing are as bad as predicted (supposedly a bad day will back westbound traffic up to Kingdom City) there will be more talk or a stronger move toward tolls.
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Eth

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2019, 08:22:16 PM »

Georgia (all AADT values cited are from 2017)

I-16
I-75 to US 80: AADT 47k+, but this is an urban area, so might not qualify
(US 80 to US 280: no widening needed)
US 280 to Pooler Pkwy: AADT 35k-40k
Pooler Pkwy to I-95: AADT ~58k
I-95 to I-516: AADT ~67k
(East of I-516: urban and/or 6+ lanes)

Should likely be widened for a bit west of the Savannah area out to around US 280.

I-20
AL state line to US 27: AADT 37k-42k
US 27 to GA 61/101: AADT ~50k
(GA 61/101 to GA 142: already 6+ lanes)
GA 142 to GA 11: AADT ~50k
GA 11 to US 129/441: AADT 36k-38k
(US 129/441 to Exit 169: no widening needed)
Exit 169 to GA 47: AADT 32k-37k
GA 47 to GA 388: AADT 43k
GA 388 to GA 383: AADT 59k
(GA 383 to GA 104: already 6+ lanes)
GA 104 to SC state line: AADT 60k

Should probably be 6 lanes west to the Alabama border and east to at least GA 11, and probably from at least GA 47 east to Augusta.

I-24
West of I-59: AADT ~50k
East of I-59: AADT ~70k

Should probably be 6 lanes in full.

I-59
(South of GA 136: no widening needed)
GA 136 to I-24: AADT 40k-50k

Should be considered for 6 lanes down to GA 136.

I-75
No existing 4-lane rural sections

I-85
AL state line to I-185: AADT 33k-37k
I-185 to Meriwether/Coweta county line: AADT ~52k
(Meriwether/Coweta county line to Hamilton Mill Rd: already 6+ lanes)
Hamilton Mill Rd to GA 211: AADT 108k(!)
GA 211 to US 441: AADT 52k-62k
US 441 to SC state line: AADT 45k-47k

So everything north of I-185 certainly, and south of I-185 might still be useful.

I-95
No existing 4-lane sections

I-185
(South of US 80: already 6+ lanes)
US 80 to GA 315: AADT 33k-37k
(North of GA 315: no widening needed)

I-185 is probably fine as it is.

I-285
Fully urban

I-475
North of US 41: AADT ~40k
(South of US 41: already 6+ lanes)

The short 4-lane section at the north end isn't too bad and also isn't very long, so no real need to worry about it.

I-516
Fully urban

I-520
No sections in need of widening

I-675
South of Forest Pkwy: AADT ~55k-75k
(North of Forest Pkwy: already 6+ lanes)

This probably needs to be 6 lanes all the way.

I-985
I-85 to US 129 (Exit 22): AADT 57k-69k
US 129 (Exit 22) to US 129 (Exit 24): AADT ~41k

Should probably make the whole thing 6 lanes.
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