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Author Topic: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes  (Read 5858 times)

Bruce

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2019, 10:38:01 PM »

I-5 from Mount Vernon, WA to the Canadian border. It would be rather difficult, since the current freeway (built as part of the pre-Interstate US 99 upgrades) weaves its way tightly around downtown Mount Vernon and has a major bridge over the Skagit River (the one that partially collapsed in 2013) that would need to be replaced. Then there's more issues once you reach the Samish Mountains and start the descent into Bellingham.

It was definitely a mistake not to build I-5 to the west of Mount Vernon (with extra bridges over the river) and thus only really hitting farmland.

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2019, 10:45:49 PM »

I-65 between Nashville and the Kentucky border

I do remember seeing it listed as a future project on some long list of potential Tennessee projects, but can't recall its funding status or timeline. 
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2019, 11:16:10 PM »

I-65 between Nashville and the Kentucky border

I-65 all the way thru Indiana.
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Bickendan

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2019, 11:16:52 PM »

Interstate 180 in Illinois
:meh:


WA: I-5 between Tumwater and the lane drop/addition between Centralia and Chehalis
I-205's north end

OR: I-5 Rose Quarter (not rural)
I-5 South Salem Hills to OR 34 at minimum, otherwise to OR 569
I-205 Stafford to OR 99E
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2019, 11:27:36 PM »

I-5 from 99 to Sacramento needs 6 lanes minimum due to the heavy amount of truck traffic, then prohibit trucks from being in the left lane.  That would let the traffic roll along much safer and faster.  It would be cheaper and handle more volume than the HSR project too.

Rick
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mgk920

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2019, 01:02:12 AM »

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

- I-41 (WI 15 to Scheuring Rd)
- US 41/141 (entire length of duplex)
- I-94 (Cottage Grove to Waukesha and WI 35 to WI 29)
- US 10/45 (entire length of duplex)
- I-43 (I-41/894 to WI 163)

Mike
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2019, 01:05:56 AM »

ALL of I-5 from Exit 188 in Oregon to the Canadian Border.
I-205 mp 1-6 (Oregon)
I-84 Onterio to Cadwell.
I-90 west of I-82.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2019, 02:29:53 AM »

I-65 all the way thru Indiana.

Hey, while we are at it, let's widen all of I-70 through Indiana!!
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2019, 06:09:31 AM »

I-25 should be six lanes north of Denver to at least Fort Collins and probably the Wyoming border. I believe long terms plans are for this to happen.

Currently where it drops to four north of CO-66 is a source of major backups.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2019, 10:45:32 AM »

The stretch of I-84 in CT between Danbury (US 7 North) & Waterbury (CT 8) at the very least.  Ideally, as far west as the I-684 interchange in Brewster, NY (granted, such includes the Danbury stretch).
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2019, 10:50:25 AM »

I-65 all the way thru Indiana.
Hey, while we are at it, let's widen all of I-70 through Indiana!!

Not sure if that is needed yet, but the entire I-65 north of Indianapolis certainly does.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2019, 11:23:59 AM »

I-65 all the way thru Indiana.
Hey, while we are at it, let's widen all of I-70 through Indiana!!
Not sure if that is needed yet, but the entire I-65 north of Indianapolis certainly does.

Yeah, the Chicago-Indianapolis corridor looks like a great candidate for six lanes.
2018 volumes on the four-lane stretch (although I'm not sure exactly where the lane-drop is) are generally between 38K and 46K. Comparable to the Thruway, but probably with more truck traffic.

As a general rule, I am surprised at the lack of six-lane corridors heading into/out of the Chicago area.

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.

West of Iowa City, volumes are generally in the mid-20K's, not quite high enough to warrant it. I'd agree with widening from there east to I-280, though, given volumes near or above 35K and 34% truck traffic.

At the end of the day, though, I'd give I-380 from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids a much higher priority than I-80.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2019, 11:24:48 AM »

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.

Not all rural Interstate highways have the weekend demand or the consistent differences between weekday and weekend traffic that I-95 do.  It's really a special case or, at worst, falls into a small category of such highways compared to the overall Interstate system.

That said, I did figure out a way to test your theory.  In addition to AADT, VDOT includes average weekday volumes (defined by them as Monday-Thursday).  I was able to use those to back out average weekend volumes for I-95 south of Petersburg.  Those weekend volumes are, on average, about 22% higher than the AADT.

I'm assuming that the 22% value is also typical through the Carolinas (in the absence of available weekday/weekend data or ATRs for either state).  Using that, I redid my previous I-95 analysis based on weekend traffic:



I used the same base AADT data (2014/2015) for consistency and comparison and recalculated the LOS thresholds.  As the average of the weekends (roughly analogous to your "20 weekends a year"), a case could be made for Georgia to I-26 (especially south of US 17/Yemassee), Lumbarton (I-74) to Benson (I-40), and smaller bits past Florence, south of Emporia, and north of VA 35.

Even with weekend traffic factored in, I-26 to I-20 remains adequate.  Others have commented in other threads that the problem with that segment isn't capacity...it's the pavement condition.  Most of Benson to Roanoke Rapids is also adequate currently.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2019, 01:36:22 PM »

Quote
… pavement condition.

Indeed, the right lane is particularly bad throughout South Carolina on I-95. I'm pretty rigid about lane discipline and my wife was constantly complaining about all the bumps and depressions along the right side of the right lane in both directions. She wanted me to drive in the left lane like all the left-lane hogs.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2019, 01:44:18 PM »

Not all rural Interstate highways have the weekend demand or the consistent differences between weekday and weekend traffic that I-95 do. It's really a special case or, at worst, falls into a small category of such highways compared to the overall Interstate system.

I'm not sure. I would include much of the Thruway (certainly through the Finger Lakes, and arguably all of Buffalo to Albany), much of I-81, and much of I-86/NY 17 in that category.

In fact, though I don't have the data to back it up, I would think most rural interstates east of the Mississippi see a distinct uptick in volumes Friday-Sunday. At least 10%, more like 20% in areas with tourist destinations.

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Big John

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2019, 01:46:41 PM »

[
- I-43 (I-41/894 to WI 163)

Mike
Do you mean WI 83?  :hmmm: WI 163 was decommissioned 20 years ago.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2019, 01:48:22 PM »

   Sections of I-25 S and N of Albuquerque.   MP 195 north side of Belen to MP 220 Rio Bravo Blvd. 
N side of Albuquerque to MP 282 St. Francis Dr.   This widening is what should have been done, in lieu of what was - that is the Richardson pet commuter train.   Did go to a Scoping meeting or two, in the early 00's and left formal comments that a rubber tired commuter transit vehicle could operate on a widened facility, w/o the expenditures and limitations of said train.   Very low attendance at the meetings, the decision appeared to have been made by a select few elites in the Richardson administration.
  Interstate 10, MP 144 to MP 134.   The 2012 widening of I-10 south to El Paso should have been continued W through las Cruces to the top of the climb W of the Rio Grande river.  Several interchanges that were reconstructed since then, within the city limits should have had space for a third lane in each direction.  Almost unbelievable that they weren't, as it would have been relatively easy to simply have constructed bridges 12 feet wider to the outside.     
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bing101

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2019, 01:53:07 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     
     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.








I-505 Vacaville should be in the Running for widening project to 6 lanes at some point due to Truck traffic and a housing development currently along I-505 as a feeder highway for I-80 serving both Sacramento and Bay Area traffic.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2019, 01:54:41 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     
     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.








I-505 Vacaville should be in the Running for widening project to 6 lanes at some point due to Truck traffic and a housing development currently along I-505 as a feeder highway for I-80 serving both Sacramento and Bay Area traffic.

Another local one came to mind for me me; CA 198 between CA 99 and CA 216. 

inkyatari

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2019, 03:09:13 PM »



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

The plans are indeed out there.

I don't know if Springfield, IL counts as rural, however.

I would six lane I-80 from IL 71 to US 6
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2019, 04:50:44 PM »

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.
Not all rural Interstate highways have the weekend demand or the consistent differences between weekday and weekend traffic that I-95 do.  It's really a special case or, at worst, falls into a small category of such highways compared to the overall Interstate system.
That said, I did figure out a way to test your theory.  In addition to AADT, VDOT includes average weekday volumes (defined by them as Monday-Thursday).  I was able to use those to back out average weekend volumes for I-95 south of Petersburg.  Those weekend volumes are, on average, about 22% higher than the AADT.
I'm assuming that the 22% value is also typical through the Carolinas (in the absence of available weekday/weekend data or ATRs for either state).  Using that, I redid my previous I-95 analysis based on weekend traffic:

You're averaging over a whole year, and then projecting the same figure over rural Interstate highways in general.  Plus that ignores my accounting of Friday being part of the weekend traffic, which certainly is the case after Noon.  That doesn't measure what is happening on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day inclusive, what is happening Wed-Sun on Thanksgiving, and what is happening Christmas thru New Years.

I didn't mention the heavy truck traffic on these highways, specifically I-81 and I-95, even if low on Sunday it is high on Friday and Saturday.

These highways [I-81 TN/VA/WV/MD/PA and NC/SC I-95] don't work at 4 lanes during these 20 or so weekends including Friday in the year.  That criteria is many times more than the "30th highest hourly volume in the year" that is commonly used for highway capacity.

I was taking monthly weekend trips to South Carolina in the early 1990s, and NC I-95 was experiencing problems with spot rolling backups even back then.  It needed 6 lanes back then.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:51:50 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2019, 05:23:36 PM »



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

The plans are indeed out there.

I don't know if Springfield, IL counts as rural, however.

I would six lane I-80 from IL 71 to US 6

One would hope that any plans for widening I-55 through Springfield would include an upgrade of the north/east I-55/72 interchange beyond the existing tight cloverleaf -- at least with a flyover for WB I-72 traffic!
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2019, 08:30:14 PM »

[
- I-43 (I-41/894 to WI 163)

Mike
Do you mean WI 83?  :hmmm: WI 163 was decommissioned 20 years ago.

I was just going off of the top of my head, thinking about the interchange for Big Bend - WI 164.

 :-P

Mike
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2019, 08:33:32 PM »



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

The plans are indeed out there.

I don't know if Springfield, IL counts as rural, however.
Debatable. What is Fact, are the rural sections both north and south of Springfield are already 6 lane. Crazy to choke it down around/in town, especially with a multiplex with I-72

IDOT has 6 laned I-55/I-74/US 51 around Bloomington/Normal, I-57/I-70 around Effingham, and I-57/I-64 around Mt Vernon. I-74 has a running C/D lane around Champaign/Urbana, in addition to the 4 thru lanes. I-55/I-72 needs the 6 lane treatment too
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2019, 08:37:04 PM »



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

The plans are indeed out there.

I don't know if Springfield, IL counts as rural, however.
Debatable. What is Fact, are the rural sections both north and south of Springfield are already 6 lane. Crazy to choke it down around/in town, especially with a multiplex with I-72

IDOT has 6 laned I-55/I-74/US 51 around Bloomington/Normal, I-57/I-70 around Effingham, and I-57/I-64 around Mt Vernon. I-74 has a running C/D lane around Champaign/Urbana, in addition to the 4 thru lanes. I-55/I-72 needs the 6 lane treatment too

Also a complete re-engineering of its interchanges, especially at I-72 east.

 :nod:

Mike
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