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Author Topic: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes  (Read 5862 times)

roadfro

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #200 on: January 19, 2019, 08:15:40 PM »

Thank you very much for posting that. That was very interesting and insightful.  :nod:

It appears that I-15 from Barstow, California to Nevada must indeed have a good bit of traffic. Perhaps Interstate 15 being a minimum of six lanes from the SoCal Megalopolis to Las Vegas could be in order.

Not sure about the regular daily traffic volumes, but it does get jam packed on weekends and holidays with the SoCal folks spending time in Vegas. It's a rough go northbound at the beginning of weekends and much worse southbound on the last day of a holiday weekend. The backup is pretty bad (1) just before the state line, where the #3 lane exits at Primm and (2) the CA Agriculture inspection station slows/stops traffic.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #201 on: January 20, 2019, 02:29:19 PM »

So mileage data for 6 laning? Lets see...

Oregon: I-5: +63 miles
I-84 +1 (Boise)
I-205: +6 miles

Washington: I-5: +78 miles
I-90 +about 40 (I don't know the exact mp when it drops from 6 lanes to 4)

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capt.ron

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #202 on: March 05, 2019, 10:50:07 AM »

US 67 (from the terminus of the new 6 lanes at exit 16). 6 lanes to the new exit 21 (AR 38). In the far future when it becomes I-57, the whole freeway may need to be 6 laned, depending on how much truck traffic utilizes the route from Dallas (via I-30); points west (I-40) to Chicago. I-30 from northeast of Dallas (east of Lake Hubbard), TX to the outskirts of Texarkana needs to be 6 laned.
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dvferyance

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #203 on: March 05, 2019, 04:33:38 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
The 3rd lane ending in Portage never made any sense. I always thought the reason why it was 3 lanes out of Madison is to handle traffic going to the Dells but the 3rd lane stops before it reaches the Dells.
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froggie

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #204 on: March 05, 2019, 10:16:40 PM »

^ It makes sense in the context that, even today, about 1/3 of the traffic (37% specifically per 2017 counts) on 39/90/94 exits at 39/78.
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tribar

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #205 on: March 06, 2019, 02:09:35 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
The 3rd lane ending in Portage never made any sense. I always thought the reason why it was 3 lanes out of Madison is to handle traffic going to the Dells but the 3rd lane stops before it reaches the Dells.

It definitely makes sense. You have 3 interstates between Madison and Portage. One of them exits at Portage. Makes sense that you’d lose a lane there.
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Flint1979

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #206 on: March 06, 2019, 04:06:00 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
The 3rd lane ending in Portage never made any sense. I always thought the reason why it was 3 lanes out of Madison is to handle traffic going to the Dells but the 3rd lane stops before it reaches the Dells.

It definitely makes sense. You have 3 interstates between Madison and Portage. One of them exits at Portage. Makes sense that you’d lose a lane there.
But even then you're on a highway that is carrying two different routes.
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Flint1979

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #207 on: March 06, 2019, 04:21:06 PM »

After driving to Chicago the last several times I have done that trip I have noticed how badly an I-94 widening is needed. To start out in western Michigan I-94 has an emergency route that is carried on another road not an Interstate but another road such as a state highway I can't think of a good example right off the top of my head M-96 might be one since that highway has both terminals at a business loop for I-94. But with that said I-94 is four lanes (two in each direction) from Ann Arbor to Benton Harbor except for a small stretch in Kalamazoo near US-131. With all the Detroit-Chicago traffic and vice versa I would think that an upgrade to I-94 would have been done already or at least started or being planned.

I seriously think that I-94 should be rebuilt through the entire state. It has very outdated interchanges in Detroit and the number of lanes are outdated as well. In 2015 the highway averaged 168,200 vpd between I-75 and Chene Street in Detroit (the busiest stretch of I-94 in Michigan). The lowest number of vpd anywhere on I-94 in Michigan was 12,554 vpd just west of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron (it's eastern terminus). The stretch that has 168,200 vpd has six lanes (three in each direction). This is through a major city and the highway has never been up to Interstate standards in the first place.

This is the way I think it should be:
Port Huron to 23 Mile Road: Four lanes (two in each direction)
23 Mile Road to I-696: Eight lanes (four in each direction)
I-696 to I-275: Ten lanes (five in each direction)
I-275 to M-14: Eight lanes (four in each direction)
M-14 to the Michigan/Indiana border: Six lanes (three in each direction)

Currently it is six lanes from I-196 to the Michigan/Indiana border and continues as six lanes (three in each direction) all the way to Lake Station, Indiana where it joins I-80 and becomes the Borman Expressway.
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mgk920

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #208 on: March 06, 2019, 08:39:56 PM »

Also not mentioned elsewhere in this thread and likely not totally kosher for it, IMHO, the entire I-39/90/94 triplex here in Wisconsin should be upgraded from six lanes to eight lanes.

Mike
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #209 on: March 07, 2019, 04:28:55 AM »

In Louisiana? ALL of Interstate 10 needs to be upgraded to at least 6 lanes through this state, and probably jacked up to 8 lanes through Lafayette, Baton Rouge (though that is already planned), and from the I-55 split in LaPlace through NOLA. How to handle the portion through the Atchafalaya Basin will be the tricky section.

It would also be nice if they could find some way to increase capacity on the new Mississippi River Bridge going into BTR and fix the mess of the I-10/I-110 Split "exit ramp". Though, I still think a south bypass freeway would do the trick for that, along with the proposed North Bypass Loop and the current plans for I-10 proper.

Long term would welcome widening I-49 from I-10 in Lafayette to just north of Opelousas (US 167 divergence at Nuba, Exit 23) to six lanes, too.

Other than the sections through Shreveport (from the Texas state line to the east I-220 interchangew) and through Monroe, I-20 looks OK for now.
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Scott5114

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #210 on: March 07, 2019, 06:51:22 AM »

Going off the OP's criterion of 30K+ AADT, that puts all of I-35 between Goldsby, Oklahoma and the Texas state line in need of widening. (Goldsby is where the interstate widens to 3 lanes as it enters Norman and the OKC metro). 106 or so miles.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #211 on: March 07, 2019, 09:39:20 AM »

Going off the OP's criterion of 30K+ AADT, that puts all of I-35 between Goldsby, Oklahoma and the Texas state line in need of widening. (Goldsby is where the interstate widens to 3 lanes as it enters Norman and the OKC metro). 106 or so miles.
I-35 needs to be six lanes from OKC to Dallas. Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma. There are few sections in the arbuckles have climbing lanes. I am not sure how much it would cost to widen it.
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webny99

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #212 on: March 08, 2019, 12:29:22 PM »

Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma.

:hmmm:
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nexus73

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #213 on: March 08, 2019, 12:46:07 PM »

Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma.

:hmmm:

Sssh, I'm hunting wabbits...LOL!  Those sneaky Texans!

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kphoger

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #214 on: March 08, 2019, 01:43:59 PM »

Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma.

:hmmm:

The two-mile sections are mind-blowing to drive on.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #215 on: March 08, 2019, 02:05:57 PM »

Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma.

:hmmm:
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #216 on: March 08, 2019, 02:45:06 PM »

Texas is already widening it 8 lanes a mile into Oklahoma.

:hmmm:
I did a horrible job phrasing that. There is a project in the planning stages to completely reconstruct and realign I-35 in North Texas. It includes the replacement of the Red River bridges and added frontage roads, IIRC, into Oklahoma.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/wichita-falls/020515.html
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DJStephens

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #217 on: March 13, 2019, 07:12:35 PM »

Interstate 10 in Southeastern Arizona.   

Twenty miles, East of downtown Tucson. Milepost 262 to exit 281. To the inside, with corresponding full depth reconstruction,  SPUI interchanges , and full one way frontage.  Years overdue. 

Benson area truck lanes.
a.  WB milepost 305 to just east of exit 300. 
b.   EB milepost 305, to Texas Canyon rest area. 
Completely to outside, with median preservation.  All new widened bridges and full depth reconstruction milepost 301 to bridge crossing at roughly milepost 305.   Currently features extremely heaved pavement, original concrete slabs moved by expansive soils and heavy truck traffic.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 07:18:22 PM by DJStephens »
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Paulinator66

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #218 on: March 14, 2019, 03:55:56 PM »

I'm not sure if Springfield, IL counts as rural (115,000 population) but I certainly wouldn't call it urban.  Regardless, for those of you that have traveled I-55 through here I'm sure you'll remember that both north of town and south of town there are six lanes of wonderfulness but once you actually get to the city limits the interstate inexplicably drops to 4 lanes.  This stretch of road was installed in the late sixties and early seventies so I've asked all the old-timers if they could remember what the rationale was and no one I've talked to so far can remember.  I've asked numerous IDoT and City officials I've known over the years (I work for State gov't) and no one there knows either.

Because of the congestion of traffic condensing from 6 down to 4 lanes there are numerous accidents along this 10 mile stretch of road through town.  In the past 4 days (March 10-14) there have been 5 crashes in this area resulting in 2 deaths and one Life Flight to one of the local hospitals.  I now call this area the Springfield Kill Zone.  Take I-57 instead!! Save yourselves!!!

Even though they have studied the problem, and even have plans to do a complete tear out and rebuild ([/url]http://i55springfield.com/site/[/url]), there is of course no money to fund any of it because it's Illinois :banghead:.  Meanwhile, I can retire in 2 years and I hear I-75 on the gulf side of Florida is nice.  It's 6 lanes minimum from Tampa all the way down to Naples. . .I think.
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Mark68

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #219 on: March 14, 2019, 04:53:04 PM »

So about how many miles are we up to, perhaps 12,000 out of the 48,000 miles of Interstate highway, that need to be widened to 6 lanes?

25% seems a bit high.

We will get a final mileage count at some point, but my guess is closer to ~7,000.

(Replying a week late because it took me that long to get the dataset winnowed down to a size that won't crash ArcMap...)

Using the 2017 FHWA Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) dataset.  This is from data that the state DOTs (or equivalents) have submitted to FHWA...part of the recent "ARNOLD" requirements for all state DOTs to submit their road networks to FHWA in a GIS Linear Reference System format.

The dataset includes recent Interstate additions such as I-2 and I-14 in Texas and also includes the limited-access segments of Alaska's "Interstates".  It does not include the latest additions such as I-69 north of Bloomington, IN or the completion of I-269 in Mississippi.

Out of approximately 48,158 miles of Interstate highway...:

11,887 miles (just under 25%) are listed as already being 6 or more lanes.

3,487 miles (7.2%) are listed as 8 or more lanes.

7,446 miles (15.5%) meet the OP's criteria of being in rural areas (also to include urbanized areas less than 50,000 population), currently 4 lanes, and at least 30,000 AADT.

2,751 miles (5.7%) that are in rural areas and currently 4 lanes, but have a more restrictive (yet better-than-normal-scenaro) volume of 41,000 AADT or higher.  41,000 AADT is the LOS C/D threshold for a rural roadway with the following characteristics:

- Free flow speed of 75 MPH
- Interchange spacing of 2+ miles
- 25% trucks
- K-Factor of 10%
- Directional split of 65%
- Peak Hour Factor of 0.9

Most rural Interstates have a lower truck percentage, a lower directional split, and a higher peak hour factor, all of which would result in a higher LOS threshold than 41K.

Even with the "more restrictive" AADT level, several notable candidates stand out:

- I-5 from Eugene to Salem, OR
- I-10 from Lafayette to Baton Rouge, LA
- I-15 from Barstow, CA to the Nevada line
- I-26 from I-95 to Columbia, SC
- I-71 from Cincinnati to Columbus, OH
- I-77 from Columbia to Rock Hill, SC
- I-81 from Wythville to Strasburg, VA
- I-85 from outside Atlanta, GA into South Carolina
- I-90 from Buffalo, NY to I-490 (towards Rochester)
- I-95 from Savannah, GA to I-26 (noted a number of times upthread)
- Most of I-95 through North Carolina (exceptions south of Lumbarton, bypassing Fayetteville, and Kenley-Wilson)


Lastly, there are about 230 miles that are in rural areas, currently 4 lanes, but have a volume of 62,360 AADT or higher.  This volume level meets the LOS C/D threshold I described above for needing 8 lanes, though the actual LOS threshold for these road segments would need to be determined at a local level.

Thank you very much for posting that. That was very interesting and insightful.  :nod:


It appears that I-15 from Barstow, California to Nevada must indeed have a good bit of traffic. Perhaps Interstate 15 being a minimum of six lanes from the SoCal Megalopolis to Las Vegas could be in order.


If you have ever driven I-15 thru the Mojave on a weekend or near a holiday (any holiday/excuse for a 3-day weekend), you would agree that 6 lanes should be a minimum through this stretch.

I have been stuck in stop-and-go traffic in Mountain Pass (the last hamlet one passes thru before turning the corner and descending toward the Nevada line at Primm) on the day after Christmas...at 10 PM.
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JustDrive

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #220 on: March 16, 2019, 04:50:14 AM »

I-10 in Arizona is getting 6-laned between Casa Grande and Tucson, but that stretch through the Gila River reservation is a pretty bad bottleneck. And I feel I-10 should also be 6-laned from Verrado Way all the way to at least AZ 85.

I-5 should be 6-laned between Wheeler Ridge and Tracy, too.
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Flint1979

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #221 on: March 16, 2019, 09:17:18 AM »

I have never understood why I-75 between MM's 111 and 115 goes down to four lanes for a 4 mile stretch when it's at least six lanes everywhere else between the Ohio line and Bay City. I think I've mentioned this on here before but I-75 really should be at least six lanes from the Ohio line to the northern terminus of US-127 then cut down to four lanes there until the northern terminus in Sault Ste. Marie.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #222 on: March 16, 2019, 10:00:18 AM »

I'm not sure if Springfield, IL counts as rural (115,000 population) but I certainly wouldn't call it urban.  Regardless, for those of you that have traveled I-55 through here I'm sure you'll remember that both north of town and south of town there are six lanes of wonderfulness but once you actually get to the city limits the interstate inexplicably drops to 4 lanes.  This stretch of road was installed in the late sixties and early seventies so I've asked all the old-timers if they could remember what the rationale was and no one I've talked to so far can remember.  I've asked numerous IDoT and City officials I've known over the years (I work for State gov't) and no one there knows either.

Because of the congestion of traffic condensing from 6 down to 4 lanes there are numerous accidents along this 10 mile stretch of road through town.  In the past 4 days (March 10-14) there have been 5 crashes in this area resulting in 2 deaths and one Life Flight to one of the local hospitals.  I now call this area the Springfield Kill Zone.  Take I-57 instead!! Save yourselves!!!

Even though they have studied the problem, and even have plans to do a complete tear out and rebuild ([/url]http://i55springfield.com/site/[/url]), there is of course no money to fund any of it because it's Illinois :banghead:.  Meanwhile, I can retire in 2 years and I hear I-75 on the gulf side of Florida is nice.  It's 6 lanes minimum from Tampa all the way down to Naples. . .I think.

I am a former IDOT employee but don’t have any particular “inside information”. The best I can guess is that the 6 lane section north was built to accommodate the eventual extra traffic via I-155 between Springfield and Peoria. Not sure what the rationale was going south where the extra lane drops around Divernon. But maybe there was hope that the traffic on I-55 around Springfield would split up, with a portion taking the “west bypass” of Business 66/IL 4 and reducing the need for the extra lanes on the east side of Springfield. That, and the expense of a wider bridge across the Sangamon River, are the only two that I could come up with.
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