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Author Topic: PA Turnpike News  (Read 536612 times)

qguy

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #200 on: December 19, 2011, 08:51:21 AM »

An idea whose time has not yet come...
The 'green' Penn Pike to have electric vehicle charging at 17 service plazas

Given the current range of current electric vehicle and the recharging time, I doubt you'll see many people using this.

I agree, especially given how far it is between Pennsylvania Turnpike E-W mainline interchanges (heck, the range of at least some electric cars does not seem to allow travel between more than one or two interchanges).

And also given the time it takes to charge the vehicles with the Level II system that will be (at least initially) provided. (Twenty to thirty minutes for a charge from 20% to 80%.)
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rickmastfan67

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #201 on: December 19, 2011, 07:07:26 PM »

They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.

Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #202 on: December 20, 2011, 12:58:55 AM »

They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.

Come to Pennsylvania, where our turnpike interchanges are spaced just far enough for you to recharge your Chevy Volt at.
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rickmastfan67

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #203 on: December 20, 2011, 05:44:42 PM »

They might get some Chevy Volt drivers to use it, but that's all I see at this time.

Come to Pennsylvania, where our turnpike interchanges are spaced just far enough for you to recharge your Chevy Volt at.

Well, the only reason I mentioned the Volt is because they also have a Gas tank to allow them to go farther than say the Nissan Leaf.

cpzilliacus

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #204 on: December 26, 2011, 06:53:39 PM »

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #205 on: December 28, 2011, 11:35:12 AM »

Please do not forget the alignment of the Turnpike from Irwin to Harrisburg is over 70 years old.  It is America's first attempt to copy the German AUTOBAHN, which there was a collaboration between Germany and Pennsylvania Engineers.  We all know that the current alignment needs some tweaking but it will be done with Turnpike Money and Turnpike Engineers, not PennDOT money and not PennDOT Engineers. 

I can remember a few years ago that they where seriously talking about disbanding the Turnpike Comission, which is seperate from PennDOT, and letting the Districts themselves service the Turnpike needs that are placed in their District.  However there are some Districts that do not have any Turnpike Highways.  I think that the cost savings would be minimal since PennDOT would have to seperate the Turnpike Highways from the PennDOT Highways.   
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #206 on: December 28, 2011, 03:19:50 PM »

Please do not forget the alignment of the Turnpike from Irwin to Harrisburg is over 70 years old.  It is America's first attempt to copy the German AUTOBAHN, which there was a collaboration between Germany and Pennsylvania Engineers.  We all know that the current alignment needs some tweaking but it will be done with Turnpike Money and Turnpike Engineers, not PennDOT money and not PennDOT Engineers.  

I can remember a few years ago that they where seriously talking about disbanding the Turnpike Comission, which is seperate from PennDOT, and letting the Districts themselves service the Turnpike needs that are placed in their District.  However there are some Districts that do not have any Turnpike Highways.  I think that the cost savings would be minimal since PennDOT would have to seperate the Turnpike Highways from the PennDOT Highways.  

PennDOT's Interstate design standards and Interstate pavement maintenance standards far exceed those of the PTC, at least on the average.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #207 on: December 28, 2011, 06:07:40 PM »

Considering that most of the Interstate System of Pennsylvania was built after there were standards for Interstate construction, it isn't surprising.  While the original Turnpike and Northeast Extension are antiquated by contemporary standards, the Turnpike extensions are built to modern limited-access standards.
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #208 on: December 28, 2011, 08:58:36 PM »

Considering that most of the Interstate System of Pennsylvania was built after there were standards for Interstate construction, it isn't surprising.  While the original Turnpike and Northeast Extension are antiquated by contemporary standards, the Turnpike extensions are built to modern limited-access standards.

It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #209 on: December 29, 2011, 02:29:52 PM »

I'll grant that it hasn't necessarily been "long-since", but the PTC has been improving the mainline for over a decade now.  And the stretches they've done are pretty good. 
And in the last couple of years they've decided to 6-lane the sections they've been completely rebuilding.

The recently completed Irwin to New Stanton section is now a very nice drive. 
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #210 on: December 29, 2011, 03:16:58 PM »

I'll grant that it hasn't necessarily been "long-since", but the PTC has been improving the mainline for over a decade now.  And the stretches they've done are pretty good. 
And in the last couple of years they've decided to 6-lane the sections they've been completely rebuilding.

The recently completed Irwin to New Stanton section is now a very nice drive. 

As is the new Susquehanna River bridge and approches.  Problem is over 80% of the length of the original turnpike (E-W and NE) is still in its original design.
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Scott M. Kozel
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #211 on: December 29, 2011, 08:51:25 PM »

It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

It is easier to build new than try to rebuild what already exists.

The now decade-long rehabilitation[/widening] of the original 50s expressway, rebuilding from the ground up rather than the resurfacing jobs that were the mainstay of PTC maintenance, is making for a much-improved ride.  The Turnpike Commission planned "Super Turnpike" concept for the original Carlisle-to-Irwin section featuring 2/2/2/2 car/truck/truck/car ROW complete with holographic signage.  Yes, what is currently happening is not a complete rebuild to full and true Interstate standards, but something is better than nothing.  As the saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers."
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #212 on: December 29, 2011, 09:01:46 PM »

It -is- surprising ... toll-funded highway segments opened between 1940 and 1959 could and should have long-since been improved to at least 1970 Interstate standards.

It is easier to build new than try to rebuild what already exists.

The now decade-long rehabilitation[/widening] of the original 50s expressway, rebuilding from the ground up rather than the resurfacing jobs that were the mainstay of PTC maintenance, is making for a much-improved ride.  The Turnpike Commission planned "Super Turnpike" concept for the original Carlisle-to-Irwin section featuring 2/2/2/2 car/truck/truck/car ROW complete with holographic signage.  Yes, what is currently happening is not a complete rebuild to full and true Interstate standards, but something is better than nothing.  As the saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers."

The Turnpike has a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, wider where cuts and fills and interchanges necessitate.  In most places there is space for an Interstate cross-section with six 12-foot lanes, inside and outside 12-foot shoulders, and a 40-foot median.  In mountainous terrain a 22-foot median (10-foot shouders and 2-foot concrete median barrier) will suffice.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 09:07:41 PM by Beltway »
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surferdude

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #213 on: December 30, 2011, 11:12:02 AM »

Some sad news there will be hike price for tolls, but if you have EZ-Pass the rate will not change.  So get your EZ-Pass!!!!!

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20111230/NEWS01/111230005/Pa-turnpike-cash-tolls-going-up-again?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #214 on: December 30, 2011, 06:45:38 PM »

The Turnpike has a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, wider where cuts and fills and interchanges necessitate.  In most places there is space for an Interstate cross-section with six 12-foot lanes, inside and outside 12-foot shoulders, and a 40-foot median.  In mountainous terrain a 22-foot median (10-foot shouders and 2-foot concrete median barrier) will suffice.

I would have liked them to have added a lane in both directions as part of the rebuilding project, especially within the 70 multiplex.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #215 on: December 30, 2011, 10:55:47 PM »

I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's
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Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #216 on: December 30, 2011, 11:49:39 PM »

I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's

No ... that was part of the section opened in 1940, long before I-70 was planned.
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Scott M. Kozel
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #217 on: December 31, 2011, 03:05:21 PM »

I was wondering:  Did they at least grade for an extra lane between the 70's

The section from New Stanton to Donegal was six-laned when it was rebuilt, with the outer lanes serving primarily as truck climbing/descending lanes due to the Turnpike beginning to enter the Appalachians at that point.  From Donegal to east of the Allegheny Tunnel westbound approach, the third lane alternates from side-to-side depending on the hills where it has been rebuilt, but grading wasn't performed to allow easy construction of addition lanes.

Outside the 70 multiplex, such around Pittsburgh, provisions have been made for a six lane Turnpike.  The soon-to-be-completed Irwin to New Stanton section will be six lanes and the new Allegheny River Bridge and approaches are six lanes, with the outer lanes currently serving as an Exit 48 lane drop going westbound and an Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza lane drop going eastbound.  The new Susquehanna River Bridge south of Harrisburg is also a six lane span.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #218 on: December 31, 2011, 03:48:33 PM »

Between the Blue Mtn and Carlisle exits, they are currently widening to 6 lanes, and there is a 6-lane section open.  It's a little funny that out of nowhere, there is a 3rd lane in each direction, and then later that lane ends.  They are also straighening the eastbound exit of the Blue Mtn tunnel. I drove that way over Thanksgiving and I could see the grading.  AND, the Blue Mtn interchange is being reconstructed also.  The ramp will now go over the mainline on a new bridge, instead of going under.

The 6-lane widening of the first 11 miles of the NE Extension is under construction, and wider overpasses are being constructed on the Mile 320-326 section (approaching the Valley Forge Interchange).
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Mr_Northside

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #219 on: December 31, 2011, 03:58:48 PM »

It seems as though at some point in the last 5 years (after a chunk of sections between New Stanton & the base of the Allegheny Ridge have already been completely rebuilt), the PTC decided if they're gonna rebuild from the ground up, to just go ahead and 6 lane.

Some of the overpass replacements between the Allegheny Tunnels and Breezewood that were in progress last August appear to be designed to accommodate a future 6-lane rebuild.

In addition to Irwin to New Stanton (which has been completed for about a month and a half - it's nice), and the Allegheny River Bridge, it's being rebuilt-widened to 6 lanes between the Warrendale plaza and about a mile-and-a-half west of the Rt. 8 interchange.  It's also been in the papers that 6-laning between PA-8 & PA-28 is on the docket in a couple of years.  (They should be starting to replace overpasses fairly soon to accommodate it).  A 6-lane Beaver River Bridge is also on the agenda at some point. (I do believe all this stuff is on the PTC website somewhere)

Irwin to Monroeville and Monroeville to PA-28 might be a bit farther off in the future, as both of those sections have fairly major structures that probably have some life left in them...  (I recall them getting major work in the late 80's / early 90's, I think....), Over PA-993 & a railroad in a valley about a mile west of the Irwin IC; and one spanning a valley and some roads about halfway between US-22 & PA-28.
I'm guessing a similar structure about a mile west of PA-8 is the reason they're not 6-laning that stretch the whole way between the Warrendale Plaza and the Butler Valley Interchange.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 04:05:02 PM by Mr_Northside »
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Mr_Northside

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #220 on: December 31, 2011, 04:03:00 PM »

Also, somewhat unrelated to the recent "conversation", but PTC related....
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Facebook page has some pictures of the rebuild of the trail bridge over the Turnpike at the Somerset/Westmoreland County line:

https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail
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billpa

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #221 on: January 01, 2012, 03:16:36 PM »

Also, somewhat unrelated to the recent "conversation", but PTC related....
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Facebook page has some pictures of the rebuild of the trail bridge over the Turnpike at the Somerset/Westmoreland County line:

https://www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandshikingtrail

That's really nice looking.  The large lettering naming the trail is a very nice touch.
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Duke87

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #222 on: January 02, 2012, 07:05:05 PM »

The tough question regarding six-laning is, what of the tunnels? Can't easily bypass the remaining ones. Simple inelegant solution would be to just have the road narrow to four lanes for the tunnels, but then you turn them into bottlenecks again. Could always bore a third (and fourth?) tube, I suppose.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #223 on: January 02, 2012, 10:33:07 PM »

The tough question regarding six-laning is, what of the tunnels? Can't easily bypass the remaining ones. Simple inelegant solution would be to just have the road narrow to four lanes for the tunnels, but then you turn them into bottlenecks again. Could always bore a third (and fourth?) tube, I suppose.

I would imagine a bypass, if possible.  Many of the former Turnpike tunnels have been bypassed and they have been toying on and off with bypassing the Allegheny Tunnel.
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qguy

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #224 on: January 02, 2012, 11:30:30 PM »

I would imagine a bypass, if possible.  Many of the former Turnpike tunnels have been bypassed and they have been toying on and off with bypassing the Allegheny Tunnel.

I hope not. One of the "selling points" of the Turnpike originally was that the tunnels allowed the highway to be maintained a low elevation which resulted in much better winter driving conditions than was seen on the existing US 30 (the previous E-W route across PA) where it crossed some of the mountain ridges. Today, the worst conditions on the entire system—icy surface, fog, bad visibility from you-name-it—are found on the bypass of the Sideling Hill and Rays Hill Tunnels, east of Breezewood. There are times when that stretch has the only reduced visibility on the entire Turnpike, and not just in the winter.

Ironically, all of the proposed bypass alignments of the Allegheny Tunnel would see the actual roadway at a lower elevation than the roadway through the current tunnel.

But achieving the same thing for the other tunnels (Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Lehigh) would be either be extremely difficult (to the point of being not feasible) or impossible.
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