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Author Topic: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes  (Read 2241 times)

signalman

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Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:26:04 AM »

I decided to start a counter topic to the new and popular thread of rural freeways that need 6 lanes.  Granted, there will probably be less examples of this and most are pretty obvious, but let's give it a shot. 

I'll start by nominating I-95 north of Bangor, ME.

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 07:59:28 AM »

Most of Northern New England, period.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 08:32:39 AM »

Granted, there will probably be less examples of this and most are pretty obvious, but let's give it a shot. 

Actually, I would think in terms of total mileage, there would be more examples for this thread. At least, it's easier to paint with a broader brush (by submitting entire states, etc.). Of course, saying "never" as opposed to "not now" helps trim it down some.

My first submission: I-29, I-90, and I-94 through the Dakotas.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 08:32:59 AM »

- U.S. 17 freeway bypasses at Windsor, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Warrenton
- U.S. 58 freeway bypasses at Franklin, Courtland, Clarksville, Danville, Martinsville, Meadows of Dan, Hillsville
- U.S. 29 freeway bypasses at Chatham, Gretna, Altavista, Lynchburg-Amherst.
       ^^ All examples above between 7,000 - 20,000 AADT ^^

- U.S. 74 between I-95 and Wilmington (the freeway segments). About 14,000 AADT.

Okay, I guess using freeway bypasses isn't that fair. That should be a rule - only freeways that link to an interstate highway, and interstate highways themselves. So here's some I can think of -

- I-795 between I-95 and Goldsboro. About 20,000 AADT

- I-73/74 between Asheboro and Rockingham. 9,000 - 16,000 AADT

- The newer U.S. 64 freeway built in the late 90s, early 2000s, in North Carolina between Princeville and Williamston. Traffic counts of 8,000 - 13,000 AADT. Granted, I-87 in the future could bring more traffic, but nothing to warrant widenings. On the opposite though, portions of U.S. 64 (I-87) between Rocky Mount and Raleigh definitely will need 6 lanes in the future, but that's a different topic.

- U.S. 421 freeway between I-77 and Wilkesboro. 14,000 - 18,000 AADT.

- VA-895 between I-95 and I-295. 8,000 - 17,000 AADT.

- I-64 between West Virginia and I-81. 8,000 - 20,000 AADT.

- VA-168 between Hillcrest Pkwy and Gallbush Rd in Chesapeake, Virginia. Currently a toll road, it carries 10,000 VPD. However, if tolls are removed, this might be a different story because the shunpiking route (a rural 2 lane road) carries 20,000+ VPD. The cities 2050 plan (though it will be tolled until 2051?) shows 6 lanes on this segment.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 08:35:42 AM by sprjus4 »
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GaryV

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 08:34:26 AM »

I-75 in the UP
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signalman

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 08:55:02 AM »

Nearly all interstate mileage in Wyoming would qualify too.

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 09:01:37 AM »

CT 11
I-180 (IL)
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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 09:14:21 AM »

It’s not a true “freeway” even though West Virginia calls it one, but the first road that came to mind when I saw the subject line is Corridor H.
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stwoodbury

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2019, 09:20:50 AM »

I-15 from Ogden, UT to Alberta.


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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 09:40:17 AM »

- VA-895 between I-95 and I-295.

The James River Bridge is already wider than that, with 6 thru lanes between the I-95 southerly ramps and the toll plaza.  The westerly portion of the bridge is painted for 4 lanes but is wide enough for 6 lanes.

Originally it was to be 6 lanes all the way to Laburnum Avenue, but that was trimmed to save costs.  I can see a future need for 6 lanes between I-95 and Laburnum Avenue.

8,000 - 17,000 AADT.

I thought the 16,000 AADT was for the whole route.  I see that VDOT's AADT book shows the 7,700 figure between Laburnum Avenue and I-295.  I question that as on the highway it looks like it would be closer to the figure for west of Laburnum Avenue.

- I-64 between West Virginia and I-81. 8,000 - 20,000 AADT.

That is one of the first ones I thought of.

We can add all of I-68, other than perhaps about 5 miles in Cumberland.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 10:38:35 AM »

I-70 in Utah
I-180 in Illinois
I-91 in Vermont
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pdx-wanderer

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 10:54:59 AM »

These came to mind:

I-80 from Fernley NV to around UT 36.
I-84 from Baker City to Ontario OR.
I-82 south of the Tri Cities.
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stwoodbury

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2019, 11:11:14 AM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

Once you clear Snoqualmie Pass and the I-82 junction at Ellensburg while heading East the traffic drops off considerably until Ritzville where 395 joins 90 along with more heavy the local Spokane-CDA traffic. But once you pass Coeur d’ Alene, the traffic again drops off considerably and stays low until it rejoins 94 at Tomah.

There are a few areas where a third truck lane might be justified in the Idaho Panhandle or in Western Montana because of steep grades (i.e Lookout Pass, Homestake Pass, etc) but that would about be it and even this is debatable since the volume of trucks on this corridor is less than on other East-West interstates like 80 or 40.


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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2019, 11:19:29 AM »

I-15 from Ogden, UT to Alberta.

It’s already six lanes from Ogden to Brigham City. I can easily see six lanes being required in the future between Brigham City and the 15/84 split at Tremonton, as well as within Idaho Falls (maybe Pocatello and Great Falls too).
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2019, 11:24:00 AM »

The James River Bridge is already wider than that, with 6 thru lanes between the I-95 southerly ramps and the toll plaza.  The westerly portion of the bridge is painted for 4 lanes but is wide enough for 6 lanes.

Originally it was to be 6 lanes all the way to Laburnum Avenue, but that was trimmed to save costs.  I can see a future need for 6 lanes between I-95 and Laburnum Avenue.
Until traffic figures reach closer to 30-35,000 AADT, the current 4 lane would be adequate.

I thought the 16,000 AADT was for the whole route.  I see that VDOT's AADT book shows the 7,700 figure between Laburnum Avenue and I-295.  I question that as on the highway it looks like it would be closer to the figure for west of Laburnum Avenue.
I feel like there's a calculation issue with those numbers. 10,000 AADT entering at Laburnum seems like a stretch, it's not like that area is heavily developed (yet). It most likely is around 10 - 16,000 AADT for the entire stretch, some of the numbers coming from Laburnum, but not 10,000. I feel like it would have more usage though if the tolls weren't $4.30 for 8 miles, little much.

That is one of the first ones I thought of.

We can add all of I-68, other than perhaps about 5 miles in Cumberland.
I honestly thought I-64 was lightly traveled from West Virginia all the way to Richmond, but was surprised to learn up to 40,000 AADT use I-64 between I-81 and Richmond. Currently doesn't need widening, though in the long-term it may. Some segments that could work soon - VA-288 to U.S 522, U.S. 15 to U.S. 250 (west of Charlottesville), and Afton Mountain to I-81. Over 40,000 AADT, and Afton Mountain because climbing lanes are needed.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 11:28:27 AM »

It’s not a true “freeway” even though West Virginia calls it one, but the first road that came to mind when I saw the subject line is Corridor H.
IMHO, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky should build these new "Corridors" to interstate standards, or at least build the ramps at certain interchanges to meet standards. I see a lot of narrow ramps on these new roads. At-grade intersections work until the point all of these relocations of roads are all connected (whenever that happens) and actually create a major thru-traffic route, in which being set up as an interstate-grade road is very beneficial.
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MikieTimT

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2019, 11:43:37 AM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

Once you clear Snoqualmie Pass and the I-82 junction at Ellensburg while heading East the traffic drops off considerably until Ritzville where 395 joins 90 along with more heavy the local Spokane-CDA traffic. But once you pass Coeur d’ Alene, the traffic again drops off considerably and stays low until it rejoins 94 at Tomah.

There are a few areas where a third truck lane might be justified in the Idaho Panhandle or in Western Montana because of steep grades (i.e Lookout Pass, Homestake Pass, etc) but that would about be it and even this is debatable since the volume of trucks on this corridor is less than on other East-West interstates like 80 or 40.


iPad

Between Missoula, MT and Coeur d'Alene, ID on I-90 is my absolute favorite stretch of rural interstate, particularly around Wallace, ID.  I could see retiring there in 20 years or so, assuming I live that long.  If you can't drive it, you should Google Street View that area of I-90.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2019, 11:49:30 AM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

Once you clear Snoqualmie Pass and the I-82 junction at Ellensburg while heading East the traffic drops off considerably until Ritzville where 395 joins 90 along with more heavy the local Spokane-CDA traffic. But once you pass Coeur d’ Alene, the traffic again drops off considerably and stays low until it rejoins 94 at Tomah.

There are a few areas where a third truck lane might be justified in the Idaho Panhandle or in Western Montana because of steep grades (i.e Lookout Pass, Homestake Pass, etc) but that would about be it and even this is debatable since the volume of trucks on this corridor is less than on other East-West interstates like 80 or 40.


iPad

Between Missoula, MT and Coeur d'Alene, ID on I-90 is my absolute favorite stretch of rural interstate, particularly around Wallace, ID.  I could see retiring there in 20 years or so, assuming I live that long.  If you can't drive it, you should Google Street View that area of I-90.
Never been there or seen it before, but it looks real nice on Street View. I would love a daily commute like that, nice and peaceful, and scenic views.
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stwoodbury

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2019, 11:53:09 AM »

It’s not a true “freeway” even though West Virginia calls it one, but the first road that came to mind when I saw the subject line is Corridor H.
IMHO, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky should build these new "Corridors" to interstate standards, or at least build the ramps at certain interchanges to meet standards. I see a lot of narrow ramps on these new roads. At-grade intersections work until the point all of these relocations of roads are all connected (whenever that happens) and actually create a major thru-traffic route, in which being set up as an interstate-grade road is very beneficial.
US 340, our local divided highway between Charles Town and Harpers Ferry, is also called a “freeway” despite the numerous traffic lights along that stretch.


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Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2019, 11:55:58 AM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

Once you clear Snoqualmie Pass and the I-82 junction at Ellensburg while heading East the traffic drops off considerably until Ritzville where 395 joins 90 along with more heavy the local Spokane-CDA traffic. But once you pass Coeur d’ Alene, the traffic again drops off considerably and stays low until it rejoins 94 at Tomah.

There are a few areas where a third truck lane might be justified in the Idaho Panhandle or in Western Montana because of steep grades (i.e Lookout Pass, Homestake Pass, etc) but that would about be it and even this is debatable since the volume of trucks on this corridor is less than on other East-West interstates like 80 or 40.


iPad

Between Missoula, MT and Coeur d'Alene, ID on I-90 is my absolute favorite stretch of rural interstate, particularly around Wallace, ID.  I could see retiring there in 20 years or so, assuming I live that long.  If you can't drive it, you should Google Street View that area of I-90.
Never been there or seen it before, but it looks real nice on Street View. I would love a daily commute like that, nice and peaceful, and scenic views.
I was just in Spokane and North Idaho for Christmas and loved driving along I-90, US 95, and ID/MT 200 because of the relatively polite driving and low traffic volumes compared to where I currently live on the Western fringe of the DC area.


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Revive 755

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2019, 12:04:13 PM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

I wouldn't go with 'never' for I-90 around Sioux Falls - Google shows that city having a growing population.
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stwoodbury

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2019, 12:12:26 PM »

I would add I-90 between Ellensburg, WA and Tomah, WI - where it rejoins I-94, except the segment around Spokane; i.e. between Ritzville, WA and Coeur d’Alene (CDA), ID.

Aside from the Spokane-CDA area, I-90 from the Cascades to Wisconsin is a long stretch of virtually no cities aside from rather smallish places like Missoula, Billings, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

I wouldn't go with 'never' for I-90 around Sioux Falls - Google shows that city having a growing population.


I agree.That along with Billings and Missoula generate substantial local traffic for a few miles at least and have the potential to grow in the future.

I meant to say Sioux Falls as opposed to Sioux City, by the way, which is not on 90.


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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2019, 12:34:54 PM »

It’s not a true “freeway” even though West Virginia calls it one, but the first road that came to mind when I saw the subject line is Corridor H.
IMHO, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky should build these new "Corridors" to interstate standards, or at least build the ramps at certain interchanges to meet standards. I see a lot of narrow ramps on these new roads. At-grade intersections work until the point all of these relocations of roads are all connected (whenever that happens) and actually create a major thru-traffic route, in which being set up as an interstate-grade road is very beneficial.
US 340, our local divided highway between Charles Town and Harpers Ferry, is also called a “freeway” despite the numerous traffic lights along that stretch.
Odd. It has limited-access, in regards to there's no private driveways on it, but not freeway standards. Maryland's portion is definitely a freeway though.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2019, 12:47:47 PM »

I thought the 16,000 AADT was for the whole route [895].  I see that VDOT's AADT book shows the 7,700 figure between Laburnum Avenue and I-295.  I question that as on the highway it looks like it would be closer to the figure for west of Laburnum Avenue.
I feel like there's a calculation issue with those numbers. 10,000 AADT entering at Laburnum seems like a stretch, it's not like that area is heavily developed (yet). It most likely is around 10 - 16,000 AADT for the entire stretch, some of the numbers coming from Laburnum, but not 10,000. I feel like it would have more usage though if the tolls weren't $4.30 for 8 miles, little much.

The high toll is a function of the cost to build which included an expensive high-level bridge over the river, and the 92% private funding.  Still is a very useful highway, and I use it when going to east of town.

The segment between Laburnum and Airport Drive was not tabulated in those AADT figures.  The Airport Drive connection doesn't carry much traffic, but some of it would be to and from there.

I honestly thought I-64 was lightly traveled from West Virginia all the way to Richmond, but was surprised to learn up to 40,000 AADT use I-64 between I-81 and Richmond. Currently doesn't need widening, though in the long-term it may. Some segments that could work soon - VA-288 to U.S 522, U.S. 15 to U.S. 250 (west of Charlottesville), and Afton Mountain to I-81. Over 40,000 AADT, and Afton Mountain because climbing lanes are needed.

The segment between Charlottesville and Waynesboro, and perhaps to I-81, is getting in 6-lane territory.  Other than a few miles east of Charlottesville and a few miles west of VA-288, while I-64 is fairly busy it is nowhere near needing 6 lanes, IMO.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 12:50:34 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Rural Freeways That Will Never Need 6 Lanes
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2019, 01:15:07 PM »

The high toll is a function of the cost to build which included an expensive high-level bridge over the river, and the 92% private funding.  Still is a very useful highway, and I use it when going to east of town.

The segment between Laburnum and Airport Drive was not tabulated in those AADT figures.  The Airport Drive connection doesn't carry much traffic, but some of it would be to and from there.
Agreed it is a good (and needed) connection, but there's likely traffic that shunpikes it via VA-10 (traffic volumes increase to 50,000 AADT exclusively between I-95 and I-295), and if the toll were lowered to a more reasonable rate, more traffic would likely use it, offsetting the lower toll with more traffic. Yes, using it one time isn't a big deal, and I would pay the toll too, but for a daily commuter, that toll one way would hurt. Every other toll in Richmond is under $1.00 and way more reasonable than VA-895, and honestly most other toll roads in Virginia.

The segment between Charlottesville and Waynesboro, and perhaps to I-81, is getting in 6-lane territory.  Other than a few miles east of Charlottesville and a few miles west of VA-288, while I-64 is fairly busy it is nowhere near needing 6 lanes, IMO.
Agreed, but the most prioritized (even now) would be Afton Mountain, and lack of climbing lanes. That's estimated to cost $51.4 million for 8 miles (that's $6 million per mile, which makes no sense). Last weekend, got stuck behind two trucks, one in the right lane doing 25 MPH, and the left lane doing 30 MPH. The speed limit is 65 MPH.
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