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Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 118424 times)

sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #550 on: May 03, 2019, 06:36:13 PM »

(yes, I get the whole I-87 concept alone is out of the way for long-distance traffic

Let Beltway know that you agree with him now.
I've always known it's "out of the way". I've countered that though saying while mileage is longer, driving time will be roughly the same or 1 minute slower than US-58 due to a consistent 70 MPH as opposed to 60 MPH, and 35 - 55 MPH through urban areas, and more drivers would still prefer the interstate option due to the fact they'd likely be doing 75 to 80 MPH, which in that case would be faster by default.

After doing a lot of driving recently, I've noticed on US-58, people tend to keep their speed between 60 MPH - 65 MPH due to the fact that there's a lot of police traps on that road, whereas as soon as I hop on I-95 in Emporia or I-85 in South Hill, I'll get ran off the road if I'm not doing at least 75 MPH, and if you hop in the left lane to pass a truck doing 68 MPH, you get tailgated if you're not doing at least 80 MPH. If an interstate facility with design like I-95 or I-85 exists between Raleigh/I-95 South and Hampton Roads, people would likely continue to cruise 75 - 80 MPH all the way. I've heard the argument that you shouldn't base on speed-demons, though by this point, it's uncommon to see a car actually doing the speed limit, just about everybody does 5 over, and a significant do 10 over. So it is safe to say it would be the same on an interstate from the south to Hampton Roads.

Different story for trucks though obviously, distance is shorter on US-58, and speed isn't as big as factor, and barely can reach 75 MPH, and most don't do that to begin with. My comment goes towards passenger vehicles.

I'm not going to get into a 6-page argument though (and I hope Beltway will just ignore this comment and get back onto the subject of I-73), we've had pages and pages of those already, no need to repeat the same stuff.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 06:38:39 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #551 on: May 03, 2019, 10:02:36 PM »

(yes, I get the whole I-87 concept alone is out of the way for long-distance traffic
Let Beltway know that you agree with him now.
I've always known it's "out of the way". I've countered that though saying while mileage is longer, driving time will be roughly the same or 1 minute slower than US-58 due to a consistent 70 MPH as opposed to 60 MPH, and 35 - 55 MPH through urban areas, and more drivers would still prefer the interstate option due to the fact they'd likely be doing 75 to 80 MPH, which in that case would be faster by default.

We don't need to go thru all this junk again, do we?  HPC 13 is currently 20 minutes longer than US-58 and I-95, and I have carefully worked that out on a spreadsheet.  There is no way that you can predict what speed limits will be in effect in 2040 or 2045.  Or that no improvements will take place on the current route.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #552 on: May 03, 2019, 10:09:29 PM »

I-73 would run both north and south.  I-785 only runs south from Danville.
So what? Plenty areas only get interstate access in one direction. They should be lucky to have any interstates at all. Hampton Roads, one of the largest metros in Virginia, only has interstate access to the north and west. No connections to the south.

I thought that Interstate highways were the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Hampton Roads has one of the most expensive freeway networks in the world.

Either way, take US-58 Bypass westbound to meet an I-73 western alignment. It adds 2 additional miles or so for Danville traffic. Big deal.

More like 8 to 10 miles.

Danville's interests 40 miles away should not drive the location of the interstate.

No one says it should, just that Danville City and Pittsylvania County are among the stakeholders that were listed in the I-73 FEIS.  They should not be dismissed.

FYI, Danville is 25 miles from the I-73 approved route, and accessed by a 4-lane highway.
 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 10:25:51 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #553 on: May 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PM »

We don't need to go thru all this junk again, do we?
Clearly you ignored the last piece of my response.

"I'm not going to get into a 6-page argument though (and I hope Beltway will just ignore this comment and get back onto the subject of I-73), we've had pages and pages of those already, no need to repeat the same stuff."
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #554 on: May 03, 2019, 10:34:42 PM »

Hampton Roads has one of the most expensive freeway networks in the world.
I can agree. We have a great freeway network inside Hampton Roads. Want to go north or northwest? I-64 will take you. Want to go south or west? The freeway network (not counting the gap between I-664 and Suffolk Bypass, which being limited-access, 6-lanes, and cars flying at 70+ MPH, it sure feels like one, way more than US-58 west of Suffolk does) will take you west to Suffolk, then you have to leave the interstate / freeway network for 70 or 100 miles to reach I-95 or I-85.

We lack southern interstate access, and are way larger than Danville. We're going to get southern interstate access in the future, but looking at how things are now, we only have northern and northwestern. They shouldn't be complaining because they have to drive an additional 10 miles to reach a western alignment. It's still the fastest route either way, there's no good roads through that area. At least they'll have freeway / interstate access both north and south no matter which route is selected. Once you reach the eastern tip of the US-58 bypass, you're on freeway from that point. On either alignment of I-73. We have to drive at least 70 miles (to I-95) and as high as 100 miles (to I-85) on surface road to even see a 70 MPH interstate highway when heading south or west.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 10:37:21 PM by sprjus4 »
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roadman65

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #555 on: May 03, 2019, 10:46:55 PM »

Hampton Roads has one of the most expensive freeway networks in the world.
I can agree. We have a great freeway network inside Hampton Roads. Want to go north or northwest? I-64 will take you. Want to go south or west? The freeway network (not counting the gap between I-664 and Suffolk Bypass, which being limited-access, 6-lanes, and cars flying at 70+ MPH, it sure feels like one, way more than US-58 west of Suffolk does) will take you west to Suffolk, then you have to leave the interstate / freeway network for 70 or 100 miles to reach I-95 or I-85.

We lack southern interstate access, and are way larger than Danville. We're going to get southern interstate access in the future, but looking at how things are now, we only have northern and northwestern. They shouldn't be complaining because they have to drive an additional 10 miles to reach a western alignment. It's still the fastest route either way, there's no good roads through that area. At least they'll have freeway / interstate access both north and south no matter which route is selected. Once you reach the eastern tip of the US-58 bypass, you're on freeway from that point. On either alignment of I-73. We have to drive at least 70 miles (to I-95) and as high as 100 miles (to I-85) on surface road to even see a 70 MPH interstate highway when heading south or west.
I-87 will do that when it gets done.  Even with VDOT not attempting to build there share in Chesapeake, you will eventually have a seemless connection to I-95 and points south and to I-40 for points west and southwest.  Its not far to the state line so its within reach of it when NCDOT gets this done among many other interstates they have in the works.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #556 on: May 03, 2019, 10:53:22 PM »

I-87 will do that when it gets done.  Even with VDOT not attempting to build there share in Chesapeake, you will eventually have a seemless connection to I-95 and points south and to I-40 for points west and southwest.  Its not far to the state line so its within reach of it when NCDOT gets this done among many other interstates they have in the works.
I agree, and I did mention that a future interstate is planned. I probably won't be living in this area when it's built, but I can tell you I'd sure use an I-87 to connect to I-95 or I-85 South if it did exist today. Even if it's 5 minutes slower, and 40 miles slower (referring to the I-85 connection, I-95 is only 15 miles slower, and no time difference), I'll still take it over US-58. I've taken I-81 to I-64 every time I go to Roanoke, despite it being 50 miles slower, and 5 minutes slower. It's far better then US-460 IMHO, and I'll continue taking it. Same thing with I-87. US-58 is nothing but speed trap after speed trap. I counted 16 police traps driving between Emporia and Suffolk last month. Nothing but Waze notification after another, and let me say this - having to hold the speed limit on that road after driving hundreds of miles on I-95 or I-85 at 75 - 80 MPH is certainly a task. I'd love to keep going that speed all the way until Hampton Roads.

I've spoken to other drivers in this area who would agree me. US-58 has a bad rep for a lot of people here in Hampton Roads, and would take another route any day, and with a 70 MPH speed limit, it'd easily sell.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 11:04:00 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #557 on: May 03, 2019, 11:27:18 PM »

We don't need to go thru all this junk again, do we?
Clearly you ignored the last piece of my response.
"I'm not going to get into a 6-page argument though (and I hope Beltway will just ignore this comment and get back onto the subject of I-73), we've had pages and pages of those already, no need to repeat the same stuff."

Yet you rehashed it in depth here.  And I responded.  And since then you have put up more rehashing posts.

"due to the fact that there's a lot of police traps on that road" - I have driven that route numerous times over the years.  You once made a comment that someone who lives in Richmond would rarely if ever have any need to use that segment of US-58, implying that my comments should be dismissed.

Are you aware that many people in this hobby drive long distances just to drive on roads, and that it doesn't matter if they don't have a "need" to use that segment of highway?

With the 5 recent highway projects in Greensville County and Emporia for the last several years, I have gone there every couple months to view the projects, it is only an hour from where I live.  I look at highways like US-58 when I am down there, check for resurfacing projects, etc.  I rarely see any police presence on US-58.

And how the heck can you predict what that route will look like and function in 2040 or 2045, Mr. Advocacy I-87?

I predict that Vanity I-87 if built will never come within 15 minutes more than the current route.
 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 11:31:36 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #558 on: May 03, 2019, 11:48:38 PM »

"due to the fact that there's a lot of police traps on that road" - I have driven that route numerous times over the years.  You once made a comment that someone who lives in Richmond would rarely if ever have any need to use that segment of US-58, implying that my comments should be dismissed.

With the 5 recent highway projects in Greensville County and Emporia for the last several years, I have gone there every couple months to view the projects, it is only an hour from where I live.  I look at highways like US-58 when I am down there, check for resurfacing projects, etc.  I rarely see any police presence on US-58.
Look, I'm not even going to bother arguing this fact with you about the police presence. I've already got my point out there, and it's clear to me you are dead set on your observations, so there's really no point for this back and forth.

And how the heck can you predict what that route will look like and function in 2040 or 2045, Mr. Advocacy I-87?
Ahh... more name calling... I have at least 5 titles I think now for being some sort of business official or advocate in NC just because I support construction on an interstate highway from Hampton Roads to communities in NC, to I-95 South and Raleigh despite additional mileage (and yet same travel times) since your best friends over at VDOT have made no effort to make that direct route you keep promoting into any form of a freeway. In fact, VDOT really hasn't pushed any new freeway proposal in decades (even the needed ones) except I-73, and the one they have (the forum we're on) has not gone anywhere. The other corridors that actually needs upgrades just get band-aid fixes and no real long-term improvements. In fact, US-58 recently had a study completed that evaluated where R-CUTS could be located, and how a diverging diamond with I-95 could be built in Emporia. Nothing even mentioned about studying interstate upgrades. So NCDOT tries to step in (a state that's been building hundreds of miles of freeways in the past 2 decades), enhance access to communities on the eastern portion of the state which lacks any interstate access, and link two major metros in the process, and providing a freeway option for long distance traffic, and because I support them, anything I say in support of the route, I'm wrong.

Maybe if VDOT announced upgrades, or at least a study to upgrade US-58 to I-95 and I-85 to interstate standards, I'd have less support for I-87. But as of now, I've seen nothing but occasional talks here and there, and a whole bunch of band-aid improvements planned. NCDOT is actually making an effort and I'll support it 100%.

I'd predict I-87 will be completed before any long-distance interstate concept is applied to US-58 between Suffolk and I-95 / I-85. We see how well VDOT has been doing with I-73.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 11:56:00 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #559 on: May 04, 2019, 12:12:04 AM »

Maybe if VDOT announced upgrades, or at least a study to upgrade US-58 to I-95 and I-85 to interstate standards, I'd have less support for I-87. But as of now, I've seen nothing but occasional talks here and there, and a whole bunch of band-aid improvements planned. NCDOT is actually making an effort and I'll support it 100%.

Distance and time.  A super-arterial for putative economic development snaking thru various towns won't replace it.  We have been thru this before.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #560 on: May 04, 2019, 12:30:44 AM »

Distance and time.  A super-arterial for putative economic development snaking thru various towns won't replace it.  We have been thru this before.
I've run the numbers carefully a while back.

I've done a routing between Downtown Norfolk and US-64 just west of I-95 and compared the current routing via I-95 and US-58 using the existing speed limits for each segment, and an I-87 routing with a consistent 70 MPH speed limit in NC, and 60 MPH in Virginia.

US-58 is 2 hours 12 minutes, and I-87 would be 2 hours 16 minutes.

Since you mention so heavily that the speed limits will change on US-58, I've also ran different scenarios.

If the bypasses were brought up to 70 MPH, and the rural segments to 65 MPH, US-58 would be down to 2 hours 6 minutes. If simply the bypasses were brought up to 70 MPH and rural segments stayed 60 MPH, it would be 2 hours 9 minutes.

If I-87 was 65 MPH within Virginia for southern 10 miles, and 70 MPH in NC, that would be 2 hours 14 minutes, and if it was 70 MPH in Virginia, it would be 2 hours 13 minutes.

It's been discussed in the past, and almost passed, and since we're talking the future here, it could happen again - speed limit increase to 75 MPH on rural NC highways.

If theoretically I-87 was 75 MPH in NC and as low as 60 MPH in Virginia, it would be 2 hours 9 minutes. If you did 75 MPH in NC, and 65 MPH for the southern 10 miles in Virginia, it's 2 hours 6 minutes. At 70 MPH in Virginia, it's 2 hours 5 minutes.



To sum it up - using existing speed limits on US-58 and 70 MPH on NC I-87, and 60 MPH on VA I-87, there would be a mere 4 minute travel difference. Using my scenarios above, the farthest US-58 could get from I-87 would be 10 minutes and that'd be if all of US-58 was increased to 65 MPH and 70 MPH. And that'd be unlikely, because if 15 miles of US-58 between I-664 and west end of Suffolk BVP is increased to 70 MPH, then likely I-87 in Chesapeake would be increased to 70 MPH as well, which would bring that difference back to 7 minutes.

So, you're right about the fact we won't know. Could be anywhere from no difference, a 1 or 2 minute difference, to a 10 minute difference depending on what happens. But to say that I-87 will be 20 to 30 minutes slower then US-58, as you have in the past, is an extreme exaggeration.

Another thing we keep forgetting about I-87 it seems - it wouldn't only be intended for I-95 bound traffic. A significant amount of truck traffic from Hampton Roads uses US-17 as is, and either has destinations along the corridor, or further down US-17 beyond where I-87 would split off, which leads to metros such as New Bern, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. All of that traffic would see 10-15 minutes travel time cut off of the trip, and almost 100 miles of the route upgraded to interstate standards. And for that traffic flow, US-17 is the most direct route. That could spur new businesses along the trucking corridor, and provide opportunities these towns have never had, now that they'd be on an interstate highway corridor. Yes, you'll say "there's already a four-lane arterial highway serving them". Here's something - a lot of businesses will not locate or consider a location if it's not within 10 miles of an interstate highway. And that's a fact no matter how you slice it. It's not simply about "connecting Hampton Roads and Raleigh".
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #561 on: May 04, 2019, 12:42:18 AM »

To sum it up - using existing speed limits on US-58 and 70 MPH on NC I-87, and 60 MPH on VA I-87, there would be a mere 4 minute travel difference.

Forget it.  You agreed a couple months ago that predicting speed limits in 2040 or 2045 is just not a logical or predictable exercise.

I am getting 134 miles / 129 minutes versus 154 miles / 149 minutes today.  You have 20 miles and 20 minutes to climb over, and the miles aren't going to change.

I don't get this thing about planning a new Interstate route over a 20 to 25 year buildout, which could become 30 years.  The entire original Interstate system had a 13 year buildout plan at the beginning (1956-1969), and that quickly declined to about 10 years (1961-1971) and the push to completion for 41,000 miles was always in that attempt span, even though with inflation and increasing environmental standards to took a lot longer.  It's absurd.
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 12:46:02 AM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #562 on: May 04, 2019, 12:45:38 AM »

I don't get this thing about planning a new Interstate route over a 20 to 25 year buildout, which could become 30 years.  The entire original Interstate system had a 13 year buildout plan at the beginning (1956-1969), and that quickly declined to about 10 years (1961-1971) and the push to completion for 41,000 miles was always in that attempt span, even though with inflation and increasing environmental standards to took a lot longer.  It's absurd.
If you think that's bad, Florida is proposing to construct over 300 miles of rural interstate-standard toll road and have it open by 2030. They haven't even gone through any NEPA processes yet. Construction would start in 2022 under the plan.

Now that's absurd.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #563 on: May 04, 2019, 12:50:00 AM »

I don't get this thing about planning a new Interstate route over a 20 to 25 year buildout, which could become 30 years.  The entire original Interstate system had a 13 year buildout plan at the beginning (1956-1969), and that quickly declined to about 10 years (1961-1971) and the push to completion for 41,000 miles was always in that attempt span, even though with inflation and increasing environmental standards to took a lot longer.  It's absurd.
If you think that's bad, Florida is proposing to construct over 300 miles of rural interstate-standard toll road and have it open by 2030. They haven't even gone through any NEPA processes yet. Construction would start in 2022 under the plan.  Now that's absurd.

Sounds like the Trans-Texas Corridors proposal.  Never did build one.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #564 on: May 04, 2019, 12:59:11 AM »

I don't get this thing about planning a new Interstate route over a 20 to 25 year buildout, which could become 30 years.  The entire original Interstate system had a 13 year buildout plan at the beginning (1956-1969), and that quickly declined to about 10 years (1961-1971) and the push to completion for 41,000 miles was always in that attempt span, even though with inflation and increasing environmental standards to took a lot longer.  It's absurd.
If you think that's bad, Florida is proposing to construct over 300 miles of rural interstate-standard toll road and have it open by 2030. They haven't even gone through any NEPA processes yet. Construction would start in 2022 under the plan.  Now that's absurd.

Sounds like the Trans-Texas Corridors proposal.  Never did build one.
A bit different - that was estimated at almost $200 billion. The current proposal would cost an estimated $10 - 20 billion roughly for 320 - 340 miles of rural freeway, and be toll financed. Similar to the Trans-Texas Corridors concept though, it would be toll highway that run the same path of I-75 just 20 to 25 miles paralleling it, bypassing developed areas. The Suncoast Parkway currently runs roughly 40 miles out of Tampa, and is a 70 MPH toll interstate-standard highway, running roughly 25 miles away from I-75, but the same path generally. That would be extended 130 miles or so north to Georgia under this proposal, following it's close 20-25 mile buffer with I-75.

There's a forum on here for those proposals - https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24937.0

Trans-Texas Corridor - https://siteselection.com/ssinsider/snapshot/sf020218.htm
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 01:02:15 AM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #565 on: May 04, 2019, 01:13:49 AM »

A bit different - that was estimated at almost $200 billion. The current proposal would cost an estimated $10 - 20 billion roughly for 320 - 340 miles of rural freeway, and be toll financed. Similar to the Trans-Texas Corridors concept though, it would be toll highway that run the same path of I-75 just 20 to 25 miles paralleling it, bypassing developed areas. The Suncoast Parkway currently runs roughly 40 miles out of Tampa, and is a 70 MPH toll interstate-standard highway, running roughly 25 miles away from I-75, but the same path generally. That would be extended 130 miles or so north to Georgia under this proposal, following it's close 20-25 mile buffer with I-75.

Sounds like fictional highways.  They have been having a hard enough time getting funding to extend the Suncoast Parkway 12 miles from its current end.  The highway near Naples would have about 20 miles of Everglades impacts.

They have been having a tough time completing the Orlando loop (Wekiva Parkway segment) due to high environmental impacts.  Florida has lots of wetlands and streams and rivers.
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 01:17:13 AM by Beltway »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #566 on: May 04, 2019, 01:41:11 AM »

Sounds like fictional highways.  They have been having a hard enough time getting funding to extend the Suncoast Parkway 12 miles from its current end.  The highway near Naples would have about 20 miles of Everglades impacts.
Agreed it sounds fictional, though it's actually going to be studied and considered. I can't see it being built for decades though, if ever.

They have been having a tough time completing the Orlando loop (Wekiva Parkway segment) due to high environmental impacts.  Florida has lots of wetlands and streams and rivers.
It's getting done though. Per Google Maps, it looks like they're mostly upgrading / building on the same general corridor as FL-46.



I will say this overall - Florida sure does love it's toll roads  :spin:
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #567 on: May 04, 2019, 05:02:25 AM »

This has been interesting and fun seeing an I-895 and an I-87 avatar go back and forth on two different boards!

Anyway, it is going to be quite a long time before either I-73 or I-87 will be posted in Virginia.  North Carolina is very gung ho on building/upgrading highways to Interstate status whereas Virginia is more like "if we have the funding for it, we will do it, maybe".

I, personally, would like to see I-73 completed in Virginia.  It would make the trip from Roanoke to Greensboro less of a pain (and vice versa).  It doesn't need to go any further than the I-81, Exit 143 interchange.  No going southwest to the Smart Road, no going into WV.  If Ohio and Michigan ever decided to revive a dead issue, I could see a northern I-73 there.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #568 on: May 04, 2019, 05:49:00 AM »

Danville's interests 40 miles away should not drive the location of the interstate.

No one says it should, just that Danville City and Pittsylvania County are among the stakeholders that were listed in the I-73 FEIS.  They should not be dismissed.

FYI, Danville is 25 miles from the I-73 approved route, and accessed by a 4-lane highway.

Given that the FEIS is over a decade old, I wouldn’t put much stake in it anymore where Danville is concerned. Very few here actually believe I-73 will ever get built, which is why the focus is on I-785/US-29.

On a brief off-topic note, I found it ironic that I-73’s biggest booster, state Sen. Bill Stanley, recently gave a sermon about how a proposed casino in Danville would give the city a bad image and that the city didn’t need those kind of jobs. Problem with his argument is that Danville already has a bad image (deservedly so), and this area needs all the jobs it can get. He’s a damn idiot.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #569 on: May 04, 2019, 08:50:52 AM »

This has been interesting and fun seeing an I-895 and an I-87 avatar go back and forth on two different boards!

VA-895 is ready for Interstate route designation.  Just apply the signs.

VA-288 is ready for Interstate route designation.  Just apply the signs.

Anyway, it is going to be quite a long time before either I-73 or I-87 will be posted in Virginia.  North Carolina is very gung ho on building/upgrading highways to Interstate status whereas Virginia is more like "if we have the funding for it, we will do it, maybe".

As I have pointed out before, the US-220 corridor was largely a 2-lane highway in N.C. when they started building freeway segments, and had a 2-lane segment just north of Greensboro until last year.

US-220 N.C. to I-81 was built out to 4 lanes with town and city bypasses in the 1970s.

A very different "needs regime" when considering what to do with an arterial corridor that is largely 2 lanes as compared to one that is already 4 lanes with town and city bypasses.
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 09:00:16 AM by Beltway »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #570 on: May 04, 2019, 02:26:44 PM »

As I have pointed out before, the US-220 corridor was largely a 2-lane highway in N.C. when they started building freeway segments, and had a 2-lane segment just north of Greensboro until last year.

US-220 N.C. to I-81 was built out to 4 lanes with town and city bypasses in the 1970s.

A very different "needs regime" when considering what to do with an arterial corridor that is largely 2 lanes as compared to one that is already 4 lanes with town and city bypasses.
It's not simply them just paralleling two-lane roads. Though I will say, Virginia has had the practice of simply widening two-lane corridors to four-lanes with town bypasses, where in a lot of instances, NC has simply chosen to relocate the entire roadway as a limited-access facility or freeway. Granted, they still will do four-lane widening, especially if no towns are involved. US-158 is being widened to 4-lanes east of Elizabeth City soon, US-13 and another section of US-158 was recently four-laned, US-17 south of the US-64 / US-17 split is being widened to four-lanes soon, and other examples.

But, they are also upgrading US-117 a four-lane highway (mainly limited-access as is) with town bypasses to interstate standards (Future I-795), US-70, a four-lane highway with town bypasses to interstate standards (Future I-42), and plan to eventually upgrade US-17 between Virginia and Williamston, a four-lane highway with town bypasses to interstate standards (Future I-87). They've been constructing interchanges over the past two decades along long stretches of limited-access, at-grade US 74 between I-95 and Wilmington, which gets about 13,000 AADT (similar to US-17 in Chesapeake).After a few more underway projects are completed, the whole road will almost be a freeway. They've been increasing speed limits from 60 MPH to 70 MPH when new freeway segments are completed when interchanges / overpasses are completed. It's apart of Future I-74.

I-87 isn't a standalone example. Just like all of these other roads, it will eventually get done. If VDOT decides to construct interchanges on US-17 to extend I-87 to I-64, then they can. If they don't, 80 miles of 70 MPH freeway will still exist from the NC line to Williamston along US-17, which will connect to the 70 MPH US-64 which is existing 70 MPH freeway to west of Raleigh.

You know I-87 wouldn't be the first interstate just to dump onto a four-lane highway at the state line. I-26 was extended from Asheville, NC to Kingsport, TN in the 90s and early 2000s. It terminates at US-23 at the Virginia state line. There's a 4-mile gap between the state line and a 10 mile limited-access US-23 relocation in Virginia. Virginia has never had plans to fill the gap and extend the limited-access portion to the TN line, and upgrade the limited-access stretch to freeway standards, and it works fine as is. You transition to 65 MPH freeway when you enter Tennessee, simple. It'd be the same with transitioning to 70 MPH freeway when you enter North Carolina.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 02:33:00 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #571 on: May 04, 2019, 03:28:06 PM »

As I have pointed out before, the US-220 corridor was largely a 2-lane highway in N.C. when they started building freeway segments, and had a 2-lane segment just north of Greensboro until last year.
US-220 N.C. to I-81 was built out to 4 lanes with town and city bypasses in the 1970s.
A very different "needs regime" when considering what to do with an arterial corridor that is largely 2 lanes as compared to one that is already 4 lanes with town and city bypasses.
It's not simply them just paralleling two-lane roads. Though I will say, Virginia has had the practice of simply widening two-lane corridors to four-lanes with town bypasses, where in a lot of instances, NC has simply chosen to relocate the entire roadway as a limited-access facility or freeway. Granted, they still will do four-lane widening, especially if no towns are involved. US-158 is being widened to 4-lanes east of Elizabeth City soon, US-13 and another section of US-158 was recently four-laned, US-17 south of the US-64 / US-17 split is being widened to four-lanes soon, and other examples.

Virginia was one of the first states to build a statewide system of intra-state highways, 4-lane rural highways to supplement the Interstate system.  The Arterial Highway System starting in 1964 which included about 300 miles already built by that point.  Four lanes with town and city bypasses.

Just like with supplemental Interstate highway routes, N.C. was far behind many other states in this regard.  Long portions of highways like US-220, US-64, US-74 and US-17 were 2 lanes and many places passing thru towns.  By the 1990s they started building projects to bypass those segments with freeways.  In the case of US-64 and US-17 there are still major portions that are 2 lanes.

This not to criticize N.C. because they have made a lot of progress since then, but just to keep things in context and perspective.  It is a lot more of a no-brainer in the 1990s and later to completely bypass a 2-lane rural arterial highway, whereas if you already have a 4-lane arterial with town and city bypasses (like VA US-220) it costs just as much to bypass it but with a much smaller resultant incremental improvement.  Yes, there are some substandard features on US-220 N.C. to I-81, but it is at least a 4-lane divided highway and about 30% of the length on relocations built in the modern era (1960s+).
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #572 on: May 04, 2019, 04:08:23 PM »

Just like with supplemental Interstate highway routes, N.C. was far behind many other states in this regard.  Long portions of highways like US-220, US-64, US-74 and US-17 were 2 lanes and many places passing thru towns.  By the 1990s they started building projects to bypass those segments with freeways.  In the case of US-64 and US-17 there are still major portions that are 2 lanes.

This not to criticize N.C. because they have made a lot of progress since then, but just to keep things in context and perspective.  It is a lot more of a no-brainer in the 1990s and later to completely bypass a 2-lane rural arterial highway, whereas if you already have a 4-lane arterial with town and city bypasses (like VA US-220) it costs just as much to bypass it but with a much smaller resultant incremental improvement.  Yes, there are some substandard features on US-220 N.C. to I-81, but it is at least a 4-lane divided highway and about 30% of the length on relocations built in the modern era (1960s+).
More like the 70s and 80s.

US-70 - 20 miles of US-70 was relocated as a limited-access, at-grade in the late 70s, while an additional 17 miles was completed in the 80s.
US-264 - 16 miles was relocated as afreeway between the US-64 freeway and near I-95 by the late 70s.
US-64 - 38 miles was relocated as freeway between Knightdale and Rocky Mount in the late 70s. 20 miles of freeway between Rocky Mount and Tarboro was completed in the 80s.
US-17 - 13 miles was widened to 4-lanes and relocated in some areas between Virginia and Elizabeth City in the early 80s.
US-220 - 20 miles was relocated between south of Asheboro and Level Cross as a freeway in the 60s and 70s. The remainder 12 miles to Greensboro as a freeway was completed in the early 80s. 12 miles was relocated near Virginia in the 60s. A 15 mile portion near Biscoe was relocated as a freeway in the 70s.
US-1 - 9 mile was relocated as a freeway around Henderson in the 50s. 50 miles was relocated as a freeway from north of Raleigh down to Sanford. A majority of US-1 was widened in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
US-421 - 30 miles was relocated as a limited-access, at-grade between Greensboro and Siler City in the 70s & early 90s. Another 30 miles between Winston-Salem and Wilkesboro was relocated in parts (it's been since completed fully) as a freeway in the 60s.
US-29 - 25 miles was relocated as a freeway between Danville, VA and south of Reidsville in the 70s and early 80s.
US-52 - 53 miles was relocated as a freeway between Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and early 90s.

Granted, there's been newer relocations (a lot of the 30-50 mile stretches I've mentioned above have been expanded to 60-80+ miles) as freeways / limited-access, at-grade as well, such as long stretches of US-17, US-70, US-64, US-421, US-220, US-1, etc, but they've been doing full relocations as opposed to 4-laning w/ bypasses since the 70s and 80s, and some in the 60s. Virginia simply chosen another option - widening instead of relocation. There's pros and cons to this. The pros are that it's cheaper. No-brainer. Also, a lot more has been completed earlier than NC, but they are finally catching up. The cons are while that a good majority of Virginia highways are 4-lanes, they still have substandard features, especially when the original roadway was retained, which a good majority of Virginia's arterial system used the original roadway and paralleled it. It's important to note though, that NC still will parallel & dual-lane existing highways as well. It's not all relocations. It's just relocation is used a lot more than in Virginia (some stretches of US-58, US-460, US-17, etc. and others have indeed had 10+ mile relocations)

Here's a question - if it's a no-brainer since the 90s to relocate highways rather than widen, then why was all of US-58 simply widened? I get there's not a lot of traffic volumes, but long-stretches were completed as a four-lane freeway across the southern part of the state, I could see a lot more traffic using at as a short cut to I-64 & I-81 if it had 70 MPH speed limits.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #573 on: May 04, 2019, 04:33:38 PM »

Granted, there's been newer relocations (a lot of the 30-50 mile stretches I've mentioned above have been expanded to 60-80+ miles) as freeways / limited-access, at-grade as well, such as long stretches of US-17, US-70, US-64, US-421, US-220, US-1, etc, but they've been doing full relocations as opposed to 4-laning w/ bypasses since the 70s and 80s, and some in the 60s.

They are still about 20 years behind.  The long sections of 2 lanes on US-17 and US-64.  US-220 north of Greensboro finally completed last year.  There is a delay cost for trying to go all-freeway.

Virginia simply chosen another option - widening instead of relocation.

Come on, how long have you been in these discussions.  I don't have the exact figure, but Virginia's intra-state 4-lane highways have at least 450 miles in 78 town and city bypasses on full relocation, about 27% of the mileage.  System is a combination of widening projects and relocation projects.

Here's a question - if it's a no-brainer since the 90s to relocate highways rather than widen, then why was all of US-58 simply widened? I get there's not a lot of traffic volumes, but long-stretches were completed as a four-lane freeway across the southern part of the state, I could see a lot more traffic using at as a short cut to I-64 & I-81 if it had 70 MPH speed limits.

You got it, the traffic volumes are low, some places down to around 5,000 AADT.  A long-distance corridor with 10+% large truck volumes.  14 town and city bypasses with about 75 miles total that were relocated (not "all simply widened").

I would have to run some computations, but I question whether much long distance traffic would be diverted from I-64/I-81 and US-460/I-81.  Basing on distance and routing.
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 04:50:29 PM by Beltway »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #574 on: May 04, 2019, 06:11:19 PM »

I feel like building an interstate to connect two places should make things faster than the existing route, not maintain approximately the same travel time while adding on additional mileage for taking an indirect route.
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