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Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 97236 times)

Strider

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2013, 10:42:27 PM »

NE2, Come and drive on US 220 from NC state line to Roanoke and you will find out why.
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NE2

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 10:55:05 PM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2013, 04:58:01 AM »

Quote
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.

You really don't understand how VDOT and the CTB work, do you?
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Strider

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2013, 11:20:07 AM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2013, 11:22:43 AM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.

I've only driven the route once, but even then I didn't notice what traffic lights there were as a problem.

Don't know why that when there is a perfectly good four-lane route that moves traffic reasonably well (*cough* US 31 in Indiana) that people insist on converting it to a full freeway and slapping an Interstate shield on it.
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NE2

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2013, 11:40:06 AM »

sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks)
Let's specifically look at the part south of Rocky Mount (north of there a new alignment may be justifiable). I see one light at each end of the Rocky Mount-Martinsville stretch and nothing in between. Several lights just south of Martinsville can easily be handled with local improvements. Any sharp curves, horizontal or vertical, can be fixed much more easily than VDOT's plan to build a new alignment.
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CanesFan27

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2013, 01:39:32 PM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?

That was the design standards of VDOT when they dualized a lot of their arterial routes.  The curves, dips, etc of US 220 on that stretch is the original road.

http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Arterial_Virginia.html

SPUI,

Conversion of US 220 to Interstate standards would not be easy as building two new lanes on either side of the road and converting the other to a frontage like road.

The problem with the current US 220 from Roanoke to Martinsville is that r/o/w purchases, construction or retrofit of new bridges, realignments, grade corrections to build the existing highway to Interstate standards would be also very expensive - and in various sections it would be like building a completely new alignment. 

Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
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CanesFan27

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2013, 01:41:26 PM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.

I've only driven the route once, but even then I didn't notice what traffic lights there were as a problem.

Don't know why that when there is a perfectly good four-lane route that moves traffic reasonably well (*cough* US 31 in Indiana) that people insist on converting it to a full freeway and slapping an Interstate shield on it.

It's the Interstate Highway System
Quote
That's so great to hear! By 2030, we should be able to drive from Roanoke to Greensboro nonstop, if not all the way to Myrtle Beach.

You really don't understand how VDOT and the CTB work, do you?

Especially when Grzrd and even the lobbyist in the article state that there is no guarantee of it being in the six year plan.
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NE2

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2013, 01:55:01 PM »

Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.
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agentsteel53

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2013, 02:06:55 PM »

Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

certainly not every road needs to be a signed interstate.

it's fine to have a road be designated an interstate for the purposes of funding allocation... but it can be signed as US-220 without any driver being inconvenienced.  poor US-220 has received, along various segments, three of the least useful interstate designations in the system today. 
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CanesFan27

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2013, 02:12:42 PM »

Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

certainly not every road needs to be a signed interstate.

it's fine to have a road be designated an interstate for the purposes of funding allocation... but it can be signed as US-220 without any driver being inconvenienced.  poor US-220 has received, along various segments, three of the least useful interstate designations in the system today. 

Which is an altogether different argument than the Anti I-73 folks in South Central VA are making.  They just don't want the freeway along the Roanoke to
Those that are against the highway do point out to a US 220 upgrades where needed and not make it an Interstate or just leaving it the same altogether.  That's a separate discussion in it's own right.
This. Not every road needs to be an Interstate.

However, that's not the reason why those against I-73 in South Central Virginia are against it.  They don't want a new freeway between Roanoke and Martinsville period - regardless of designation.
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NE2

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2013, 02:33:15 PM »

Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...
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agentsteel53

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2013, 03:13:50 PM »

Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...

what else could it be, if they still want to get federal funding?  I'm asking because I honestly have no idea what the various sources are.  there's Appalachian Development which comes to mind - anything else?
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NE2

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2013, 03:46:38 PM »

Interstates get no special funding anymore. There may be special funding for the I-73/74 Corridor, but it's definitely not tied to Interstate standards in West Virginia is any indication. The most prominent 'special system' is the National Highway System (basically the old Federal Aid Primary with some changes).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2013, 04:02:23 PM »

I assume the answer is traffic lights. So bypass those areas. There's no need to build a new highway in the rural segments.





sharp curves, hilly roads, business nearly everywhere on every side of the road (except for Martinsville Bypass) stoplights, 35 mph curve (dangerous for trucks) Sometimes I wonder if it is the mountains and/or hills that US 220 goes through is the reason for the highway's design?

That was the design standards of VDOT when they dualized a lot of their arterial routes.  The curves, dips, etc of US 220 on that stretch is the original road.

http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Arterial_Virginia.html

This is absolutely correct.

Examples of such "dualized" highways can be seen on many parts of Virginia's (usually) rural (sometimes) suburban arterial highway network.

Fairly long sections of U.S. 17 between Newport News and Port Royal are like this.  In Northern Virginia, such treatment can be found long Va. 7 and Va. 236.
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agentsteel53

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2013, 04:11:18 PM »

Interstates get no special funding anymore. There may be special funding for the I-73/74 Corridor, but it's definitely not tied to Interstate standards in West Virginia is any indication. The most prominent 'special system' is the National Highway System (basically the old Federal Aid Primary with some changes).

got it.  now if only NHS put up little signs to mark the ends of their projects.

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Grzrd

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2013, 11:58:44 AM »

Interstates get no special funding anymore.

The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships has included I-73 as one of ten projects in the “2013 Virginia PPTA Project Pipeline." (pages 12-13/16 of pdf) :

Quote
6. I-73 Corridor (VDOT; Southwest Virginia):
a. VDOT identified the purpose and need for the I-73 Corridor to include improving safe movement of people and goods in the US Route 220 corridor, enhancing system linkage and intermodal connections, and providing for the economic growth, economic vitality and maintenance of existing economic competitiveness in southwest Virginia. The alignment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and Federal Highway Administration also improves access to existing and developing industrial areas and enhances economic development in the City of Martinsville and Henry County.
b. High-Level Screening Report to be initiated to evaluate the potential for procurement of the I-73 Corridor via the PPTA or other alternative delivery methods.
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Strider

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2013, 02:03:12 AM »

I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

US 220 could be improved.. however it is going to be even more expensive than just a new alignment.. plus there's obvious safety issues out there.


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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2013, 07:34:01 AM »

Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2013, 03:40:17 PM »

Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.

Though there are times when an improved highway is desired precisely because  it may "induce" more traffic to use it (and visit the area).

Case in point in Maryland - I-68 (f/k/a U.S. 48 for those scoring at home).

No less of an authority than the former head of planning at MDOT/SHA told me that "induced" traffic was a major reason that then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer and others pushed so hard for the (always) substandard sections of U.S. 40 west of Hancock to be upgraded to full freeway (and I concede that the old elevated section of what is now signed as I-68 through Cumberland does not meet anybody's idea of a modern freeway).

One could probably make the  case that at least some of the other segments of the Appalachian Development Highway System were funded for design and construction to induce more traffic.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2013, 11:53:39 AM »

Quote
I am sure I-73 will be built anyways. Martinsville is famous for its speedway and it needs to be connected to a interstate system. Roanoke has I-81, however Roanoke needs to be connected by another interstate, not only I-81. (all of them for economic reasons. one way or other, people who are against it.. are going to realize that its a necessary factor.

Replaced "needs"/"necessary" with "desired" and you're correct.  It's not needed.  It's desired.


The argument Strider is making for Interstate 73 would be a lot stronger if it was made from a Supply Chain/Logistics slant.  Martinsville Speedway has two major events and does nothing to make a case for the interstate.

The manufacturing operations in Martinsville and Rocky Mount (look at how Henry County moved the alignment closer to an existing or is it planned Business Park) would certainly benefit from an Interstate standard highway.

Another example, MW Manufacturing (Windows) is located in Rocky Mount and would see a reduction in travel times as a result of a better standard highway.   The direct access vs a connection via US 220 to the Interstate System is what Martinsville and Rocky Mount is looking for and that's why they are pushing it.

Roanoke would benefit more for possible distribution sites as it would be at the intersection of two interstates.  It would allow companies to have quicker access South to Greensboro and into North Carolina - Quicker access into Southern West Virginia and Charleston in addition to the points NE & SW on 81.

But saying that because Martinsville has a race track that it's famous and they need the highway for it - holds no weight and is laughable.
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Strider

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2013, 01:48:11 PM »

It may be laughable.. and its sad that they (the speedway) do nothing to make a case for the interstate. Or maybe they don't have to since the manufacturing operations in both towns know the importance of the interstate connection and is making a case for it.

But that's not the argument I am making. I'm just pointing out that traffic wise there needs to be a connection to the interstate for speedway goers.

Other than that, you just pointed all the valid facts, CanesFan27.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2013, 05:52:39 PM »

I would think that Martinsville is close enough to both Roanoke and Greensboro that it would continue to survive. It's no farther from Louisville, Cincinnati or Lexington than Kentucky Speedway, and they gave Kentucky a date despite its proximity to Indianapolis.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2013, 07:31:02 PM »

FWIW, a Native American reservation that shares some boundaries with my farm is in talks to build a NASCAR facility along I-8 63 miles east of San Diego
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2013, 11:13:14 AM »

Not every road needs to be Interstate standard...
The argument Strider is making for Interstate 73 would be a lot stronger if it was made from a Supply Chain/Logistics slant .... Roanoke would benefit more for possible distribution sites as it would be at the intersection of two interstates.  It would allow companies to have quicker access South to Greensboro and into North Carolina - Quicker access into Southern West Virginia and Charleston in addition to the points NE & SW on 81 ....

This article discusses $8 million of improvements made to US 220 during the past eight years.  The article briefly mentions I-73, but does not address arguments promoting Interstate standard construction  through the corridor.  VDOT does not even consider the work a "significant upgrade".  At any rate, the article includes some traffic counts, etc.:

Quote
At a cost of nearly $8 million, U.S. 220 south of Roanoke has message boards, more turn lanes and fewer dangerous crossovers after an eight-year improvement push designed to keep traffic moving as safely as possible, highway officials said .... this ain’t no I-73 ....Having accepted that it’s laden with deficiencies, state officials have been advancing plans for a new multibillion-dollar, north-south interstate in the same general area to be designated the Virginia leg of Interstate 73 .... The 1950s-era highway has undergone a series of retrofits to try to accommodate today’s heavy, high-speed traffic moving over the 50-some miles between Roanoke and Martinsville. VDOT does not consider the work a makeover or even a significant upgrade of the road, a path some residents have said they wish the state would take in lieu of building I-73. Instead, VDOT has limited the work to what could be accomplished without buying additional land .... 

Jason Bond, a spokesman for VDOT, gave a progress report on the retrofitting process.

At a total cost of $7.85 million, electronic message boards are up in three locations along the highway. Turn lanes were added or lengthened at 13 of 18 locations identified as needing a turn pocket in 2005. Three sites identified in 2005 as needing a fix are unimproved.
Meanwhile, 14 of 22 median breaks deemed unsafe have been closed. Crossovers judged as questionable in 2005 are still open at four locations, Bond said. The construction of Clearbrook’s Walmart addressed two turn lane issues and four crossover locations.

In addition, crews have upgraded 37,825 feet of guardrail, removed trees and fixed objects, installed new pavement markers, added a turn lane and traffic light at Morehead Avenue in Ridgeway, and pegged two places in Henry County for a correction of an overly steep bank, one of which was completed and one of which could start later this year.

As for additional fixes, none are in the pipeline at the moment, according to VDOT.

Also from the article:

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