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Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 97437 times)

Alps

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #375 on: April 25, 2018, 11:33:54 PM »

You're obsessed.  You live over 2,500 miles away and you just can't help yourself.
Drop it.

Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #376 on: April 26, 2018, 12:02:17 AM »

You're obsessed.  You live over 2,500 miles away and you just can't help yourself.
Drop it.

Gladly ... if he does so also.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #377 on: April 26, 2018, 12:38:38 AM »

OK, fine -- we'll just have to agree to disagree.  Period, end of conversation.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #378 on: April 26, 2018, 11:42:30 AM »

I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #379 on: April 26, 2018, 01:16:41 PM »

I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

Depends on who is defining it.  I don't know of an official definition, but the Wikipedia article includes Martinsville and Henry County.

"Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth.  Located within the broader region of western Virginia, Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or at its greatest expanse, as far east as Blacksburg and Roanoke.  Another geographic categorization of the region places it as those counties within the Tennessee River watershed.  Regardless of how borders are drawn, Southwest Virginia differs from the rest of the commonwealth in that its culture is more closely associated with Appalachia than the other regions of Virginia."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Virginia
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #380 on: April 26, 2018, 02:35:23 PM »

I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

Depends on who is defining it.  I don't know of an official definition, but the Wikipedia article includes Martinsville and Henry County.

"Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth.  Located within the broader region of western Virginia, Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or at its greatest expanse, as far east as Blacksburg and Roanoke.  Another geographic categorization of the region places it as those counties within the Tennessee River watershed.  Regardless of how borders are drawn, Southwest Virginia differs from the rest of the commonwealth in that its culture is more closely associated with Appalachia than the other regions of Virginia."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Virginia


It doesn't help that different state agencies define regions differently. The Department of Health considers Martinsville to be part of Southwest Virginia, but the Department of Education does not (VDOE has seven regions rather than just five, though). Still other state agencies have it in "Western Virginia" or "Southside Virginia".
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hbelkins

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #381 on: April 26, 2018, 02:46:55 PM »

Stuart is marginally in southwest Virginia. Hillsville is a little closer to SWVA. Independence is 75 percent in SWVA. Volney and Damascus definitely are.

Abingdon, Bristol, Gate City, Duffield, Jonesville, Rose Hill and Ewing are so far southwest that they are southeast.  :bigass:

Geographically, Blacksburg/Christiansburg and Roanoke may be closer to southwest Virginia than they are any other portion of the state, but I don't tend to think of them as being particularly southwestern -- even though Blacksburg isn't that far from Bluefield, which definitely IS in SWVA.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #382 on: April 26, 2018, 05:22:02 PM »

All a matter of definition, and I don't know of an official definition that is recognized by everyone.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #383 on: April 27, 2018, 01:59:35 PM »

All a matter of definition, and I don't know of an official definition that is recognized by everyone.

My own (admittedly informal and very arbitrary) definition is that everything south of U.S. 60 and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway is Southwest Virginia.  Another suggestion is that only the parts of the Commonwealth where the rivers drain toward the Mississippi River (west of the Eastern Continental Divide) should be considered Southwest Virginia.

The excellent Virginia Places site has varied definitions here.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 02:11:16 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #384 on: April 27, 2018, 03:34:29 PM »

My own (admittedly informal and very arbitrary) definition is that everything south of U.S. 60 and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway is Southwest Virginia.  Another suggestion is that only the parts of the Commonwealth where the rivers drain toward the Mississippi River (west of the Eastern Continental Divide) should be considered Southwest Virginia.

The counties that straddle the Blue Ridge Mountains ridgeline logically get included.
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Thing 342

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #385 on: May 03, 2018, 05:39:54 PM »

The functional definition I use for SWVA is the region where water drains into the Ohio/Mississippi basin as opposed to the Chesapeake / Atlantic. This puts the dividing line at roughly MM 130 on I-81, including most of Giles, Montgomery, Floyd and Carroll counties and excluding most of Roanoke, Franklin, and Patrick counties. However, I often tend to fudge this a bit to include Roanoke, as it tends to be somewhat of a hub for the region.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #386 on: May 03, 2018, 06:29:10 PM »

I'm still laughing over the concept that Martinsville is considered to be in southwestern Virginia.

 :-D When I lived in Portsmouth, we thought anything west of I-85 was SWVA
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VTGoose

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #387 on: May 07, 2018, 10:26:26 AM »

The functional definition I use for SWVA is the region where water drains into the Ohio/Mississippi basin as opposed to the Chesapeake / Atlantic. This puts the dividing line at roughly MM 130 on I-81, including most of Giles, Montgomery, Floyd and Carroll counties and excluding most of Roanoke, Franklin, and Patrick counties. However, I often tend to fudge this a bit to include Roanoke, as it tends to be somewhat of a hub for the region.

When talking politics (especially the view from Richmond), Southwest Virginia starts at Roanoke and goes west from there. Botetourt County may or may not be included depending on the topic, same for Bedford County (which typically more identifies with the Lynchburg region -- although the Smith Mountain Lake area is a toss-up) and Franklin County. The Martinsville area is more Piedmont than SWVA. Geographers, sociologists, geologists, and others who define regions have other definitions, so context is important when deciding what town/city/county is in SWVA.

Bruce, definitely in Southwest Virginia in Blacksburg
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #388 on: September 02, 2018, 06:42:32 PM »

I'm surprised there's not some discussion in this forum of the Martinsville Southern Connector project. This could be the opening piece of I-73 in Virginia. I-73 in NC was built similarly, one short piece at a time.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #389 on: September 02, 2018, 09:22:41 PM »

I'm surprised there's not some discussion in this forum of the Martinsville Southern Connector project. This could be the opening piece of I-73 in Virginia. I-73 in NC was built similarly, one short piece at a time.

It has been discussed elsewhere, here is a copy of what I posted --

It is being studied in a separate EIS to be completed in 2021
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/martinsville_southern_connector_study.asp

The Martinsville Southern Connector study will focus on a potential limited access road on a new location and/or will look at potential new improvements to Route 220.

The area for study generally covers Route 220 between Route 58 and the North Carolina state line.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #391 on: September 04, 2018, 10:41:21 AM »

The area for study generally covers Route 220 between Route 58 and the North Carolina state line.

U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

In a recent trip there, I think I saw at least three "Future I-73" signs.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 10:44:03 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #392 on: September 04, 2018, 11:18:27 AM »

U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.   What would be 'tough' would be if it was still 2 lanes like much of it was in N.C. not too long ago.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #393 on: September 04, 2018, 11:55:35 AM »

Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.   What would be 'tough' would be if it was still 2 lanes like much of it was in N.C. not too long ago.

Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 

Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #394 on: September 04, 2018, 12:25:01 PM »

Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 
Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).

The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #395 on: September 04, 2018, 12:32:38 PM »

I believe VDOT is doing a study in finding ways to improve US 220 between Martinsville and Roanoke. I remembered seeing it on their website the other day. I don't know how farther they are in this part:

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/route_220_preservation_and_improvement_plan.asp

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #396 on: September 04, 2018, 03:02:26 PM »

U.S. 220 north of U.S. 58, most of the way to the southern terminus of I-581, is a tough ride because of the relatively high speeds and numerous sharp curves.

Nearly all of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph. . . . 
. . . by competent drivers. The section between Clearbrook and Boones Mill is almost as bad as I-81 with its "wreck of the day" that ties up traffic. One tractor trailer wipe-out shuts down the road for several hours -- and like parts of I-81, there is no good alternative route for those who need to get on down the road.

There are also some other bad curves, both horizontal and vertical, that require a drop from that 50 to 60 mph speed to remain on the road. Good luck to VDOT in finding some reasonable solutions to fix this road.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #397 on: September 04, 2018, 06:41:25 PM »

. . . by competent drivers. The section between Clearbrook and Boones Mill is almost as bad as I-81 with its "wreck of the day" that ties up traffic. One tractor trailer wipe-out shuts down the road for several hours -- and like parts of I-81, there is no good alternative route for those who need to get on down the road.
There are also some other bad curves, both horizontal and vertical, that require a drop from that 50 to 60 mph speed to remain on the road. Good luck to VDOT in finding some reasonable solutions to fix this road.

Crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains between Tanglewood and Boones Mill does complicate the highway.  Problem curves could at minimum be improved to ensure 12 foot lanes, 10 foot paved shoulders, and a third climbing lane on major grades.  That would provide more safety and drivability even on tight curves.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 06:43:45 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #398 on: January 17, 2019, 07:36:27 PM »

New information for the Martinsville Southern Connector study was released about a week ago. This includes 9 freeway alternatives, and 2 non-freeway alternatives.

No price estimates are given, though I'd say about $150-200 million for this segment.

The proposed typical sections for the new, approx. 6 mile freeway include two 12 foot travel lanes in each direction, 12 foot outer shoulders, and 4 foot inner shoulders, divided by a 60 foot grassy median. It would be built to full interstate standards. Upgraded segments of existing U.S. 220 would include the same typical section section. A barrier would separate the freeway lanes from the frontage road in an upgraded alignment. There would be no grassy separation between the freeway lanes and frontage lanes under this current concept. The frontage road section would include two 11 foot travel lanes, and 4 foot shoulders.



For the proposed alternatives, 9 different freeway alternatives were considered, and the two standard no-build and TSM alternatives.

There's 4 western alternatives, 4 eastern alternatives, and an alternative to upgrade the existing roadway to interstate standards.



-------------------------------------------------------
IMHO, I believe that Option 4A if slightly modified would be the best option. This proposal seems to have this as a discontinuous road at U.S. 58 / U.S. 220 Bypass. By that, I mean the road would likely terminate at a three-way interchange. If this roadway had continuity onto U.S. 220 North / U.S. 58 West Bypass, it would allow I-73 to be brought up the new connector and seamlessly tie into the existing bypass. It would likely cost slightly more to construct this segment than the eastern due to terrain, however in the long run, it utilizes a good 9 miles of the current freeway around the western side, and the existing bypass could be incorporated into I-73. Building an eastern alignment would be a mistake, almost nobody would use it en route on U.S. 220 until the rest of the I-73 freeway is built, which then again this would likely not be built either for years. But it would have more justification for building a western alignment than eastern. A western alignment also provides a phasing constructing of I-73, not all at once. This is the approach that needs to be used for the rest of the corridor, junctions with U.S. 220 at least a few different times.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #399 on: January 17, 2019, 07:41:32 PM »

Some of the curves in the corridor have suggested speeds as low as 40 MPH, presumably set that way by VDOT and 9% truck traffic (according to 2017 published VDOT counts).  That, combined with at-grade signals, is not a good thing. 
Compare and contrast with rural divided four-lane highways in Virginia like VA-7, U.S. 17, U.S. 29, U.S. 360, U.S. 460, U.S. 58 (and I am familiar with two-lane undivided sections of several of these).

The vast majority of it is easily drivable at 50 to 60 mph.  About 30% of the length is on limited access right-of-way between N.C. and I-81.  Those few curves could be rebuilt to larger radii.
Again, the whole anti-new interstate rhetoric. If it was a useless project, then nobody would be studying it, or considering it. If there's heavy interest in it, then clearly there's a reason. U.S. 220 is a major trucking corridor, and has serious safety issues. It's not your highway through the farm fields that's 60-65 MPH, wide lanes, sweeping curves, etc. It's a narrow roadway, 55 MPH, and has some sharp curves, bad accidents, and serious safety concerns. It's not an "adequate four-lane arterial highway".
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