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Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 97439 times)

The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #475 on: January 24, 2019, 05:13:30 PM »

I believe the two corridors (though they meet at Roanoke), are too far apart to make much of a difference in traffic diversion. Also, what about the portion of Interstate 81 north of Roanoke? The nearest Interstate corridors are Interstate 95 to the east, and Interstates 77/79 to the west. The toll avoidance diversions would likely be on the nearby US Highways, such as US 11.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #476 on: January 24, 2019, 05:27:10 PM »

I believe the two corridors (though they meet at Roanoke), are too far apart to make much of a difference in traffic diversion. Also, what about the portion of Interstate 81 north of Roanoke? The nearest Interstate corridors are Interstate 95 to the east, and Interstates 77/79 to the west. The toll avoidance diversions would likely be on the nearby US Highways, such as US 11.
One thing to note is that some traffic heading between the north and south (I-95 direct) sneak over to the west to avoid Baltimore / D.C. then head back to I-95 via I-77. Two things here. One, that group of traffic might be motivated to just deal with I-95 and not pay $35 to avoid it, or at least that far out. At that rate, the HO/T lanes are cheaper and is way more direct than I-81. Secondly, the fact people do divert from I-95 to I-81 to avoid D.C. / Baltimore shows that some people will be willing to divert significant distances (50+ miles) to avoid high tolls, just like they do to avoid traffic.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #477 on: January 24, 2019, 06:16:56 PM »

One thing to note is that some traffic heading between the north and south (I-95 direct) sneak over to the west to avoid Baltimore / D.C. then head back to I-95 via I-77. Two things here. One, that group of traffic might be motivated to just deal with I-95 and not pay $35 to avoid it, or at least that far out. At that rate, the HO/T lanes are cheaper and is way more direct than I-81. Secondly, the fact people do divert from I-95 to I-81 to avoid D.C. / Baltimore shows that some people will be willing to divert significant distances (50+ miles) to avoid high tolls, just like they do to avoid traffic.

That would be $22 based on the proposed car toll of 7 cents per mile.  I tend to look at I-81 as a diagonal route and a "super bypass" of the northeast, and I-73 as a north-south route, and I am not sure there would be much overlap in the usership of the two.  I-81 has a core usership for inter-state trips in its own northeast-southwest corridor.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 07:33:24 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #478 on: January 25, 2019, 11:12:09 AM »

Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #479 on: January 25, 2019, 11:16:58 AM »

I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #480 on: January 25, 2019, 11:23:46 AM »

I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.
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Roadsguy

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #481 on: January 25, 2019, 11:32:15 AM »

I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.

I don't think I-73 should be signed north of the I-81/581 interchange until the Smart Road is extended, because I-73 is supposed to use that, not 460 from Christiansburg. If that's finished before the entire section from the NC state line to Roanoke is finished, though, I agree that I-73 should be signed from Roanoke to Blacksburg, if only to create a superficial pressure to connect it to NC's portion.

I hope that when they finally get around to completing the Smart Road, they widen its connection from eastbound 460 to two lanes. The unopened ramp appears to only be one lane, though the northbound connection is two.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:35:59 AM by Roadsguy »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #482 on: January 25, 2019, 11:42:13 AM »

I doubt that I-73 will ever be built northwest of I-81. Even if it was, it would end at Blacksburg/Christiansburg. There's absolutely no need to upgrade US 460 from there on to Princeton/Bluefield to an interstate, and West Virginia is doing its construction on US 52 as a surface route, not a freeway.
There's some need to, but agreed not for a while until West Virginia upgrades its part to freeway. Their part of US 52 will be surface, but limited-access with no driveway connections. It would be easy to upgrade. If upgraded in Virginia, US 460, unlike this section of I-73, would likely stay on existing alignment, though some areas are questionable.

I would like to see I-73 continue to get signed along I-81 and the Blacksburg / Christiansburg Bypass, but terminate for the time being north of there. Actually, a designation from Roanoke along the US 220 / I-581 freeway, I-81, and the US 460 bypass around Blacksburg/Christiansburg could be signed with I-73 shields today. It meets the requirements - all the routes meet interstate standards, and connect to an existing interstate (I-81). I don't know why Roanoke's I-581 is signed as "Future I-73". It should be signed as I-73, and have I-581 removed. It's eligible.

I don't think I-73 should be signed north of the I-81/581 interchange until the Smart Road is extended, because I-73 is supposed to use that, not 460 from Christiansburg. If that's finished before the entire section from the NC state line to Roanoke is finished, though, I agree that I-73 should be signed from Roanoke to Blacksburg, if only to create a superficial pressure to connect it to NC's portion.

I hope that when they finally get around to completing the Smart Road, they widen its connection from eastbound 460 to two lanes. The unopened ramp appears to only be one lane, though the northbound connection is two.
I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

I-73 should be posted on the existing bypass IMHO.
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Strider

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #483 on: January 25, 2019, 12:01:05 PM »

Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.


Yeah, I heard the same thing. I was at the meeting and it was said (from most citizens) that they prefer the western route.
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VTGoose

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #484 on: January 25, 2019, 02:25:28 PM »


I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

Agreed. There are bigger problems that need to be solved instead of messing up the Smart Road. It makes no sense to extend the road just to get to I-81 and sit in traffic backed up by the wreck-of-the-day event. Even with one of the goofy plans put forward it makes no sense -- someone suggested when the Smart Road was extended, that it be opened only at certain times to avoid totally disrupting its use for research, with westbound traffic in the morning and eastbound traffic in the afternoon for commuters and before and after Virginia Tech football games.

 
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #485 on: January 25, 2019, 02:45:50 PM »


I hope they completely cancel the Smart Road extension. It's a complete waste of money. They want to spend $200+ million on a freeway that - get this - parallels another freeway. It wouldn't "save mileage" or "time" heading from Blacksburg to I-81 north, maybe 5 miles and 2-4 minutes, which does not justify spending the amount of money that's required. The existing U.S. 460 freeway & connections to I-81 they built in 2002 are perfectly adequate, and until the existing bypass becomes inadequate, I don't see it happening.

Agreed. There are bigger problems that need to be solved instead of messing up the Smart Road. It makes no sense to extend the road just to get to I-81 and sit in traffic backed up by the wreck-of-the-day event. Even with one of the goofy plans put forward it makes no sense -- someone suggested when the Smart Road was extended, that it be opened only at certain times to avoid totally disrupting its use for research, with westbound traffic in the morning and eastbound traffic in the afternoon for commuters and before and after Virginia Tech football games.
Here's an idea - leave it to research. Let the existing bypass do what it was built for back in 2002.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #486 on: January 25, 2019, 03:26:45 PM »

Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.

Source?
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #487 on: January 25, 2019, 04:33:58 PM »

Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.

Source?
https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local/in-a-long-road-to-a-fix-residents-weigh-in/article_c13b0c21-2155-5f1d-8106-e453e6f924f0.html

The few people talked to mentioned they favor the western route, the eastern route was not once mentioned. Also, Strider mentioned he went up to the meeting, and that he heard a lot of people favoring the western route over the eastern.

It's simple. The eastern route does not connect anywhere, while the western route ties into U.S. 220 and provides a full freeway into North Carolina that has a purpose. It seems many citizens in the area feel this way to. How many times do I have to say it, an eastern route makes logically no sense or has any bearing to it whatsoever. A western route however would bypass the dangerous and substandard U.S. 220 with a modern freeway that would serve thru-traffic adequately.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #488 on: January 25, 2019, 05:06:35 PM »

Nothing is official now, but from the public hearing a couple nights ago about the Martinsville Southern Connector, it seems that a lot more people prefer the western route over the eastern route.
Source?
https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local/in-a-long-road-to-a-fix-residents-weigh-in/article_c13b0c21-2155-5f1d-8106-e453e6f924f0.html
The few people talked to mentioned they favor the western route, the eastern route was not once mentioned. Also, Strider mentioned he went up to the meeting, and that he heard a lot of people favoring the western route over the eastern.

The article mentions 2 people out of 36 that attended.  Also that 775 comments were submitted to VDOT's website.  Let's see what those comments say before deciding what is the consensus.

It's simple. The eastern route does not connect anywhere, while the western route ties into U.S. 220 and provides a full freeway into North Carolina that has a purpose. It seems many citizens in the area feel this way to. How many times do I have to say it, an eastern route makes logically no sense or has any bearing to it whatsoever. A western route however would bypass the dangerous and substandard U.S. 220 with a modern freeway that would serve thru-traffic adequately.

You repeat various stuff over and over again.  The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #489 on: January 25, 2019, 05:18:15 PM »

The article mentions 2 people out of 36 that attended.  Also that 775 comments were submitted to VDOT's website.  Let's see what those comments say before deciding what is the consensus.
Those 775 comments are from the initial hearings a few months back - about the U.S. 220 corridor overall. This wave of comments that started Wednesday is strictly about the freeway alignments under consideration. Why would anybody support the eastern alignment logically though? The western alignment has more basis and could easily be justified and supported. For all the people are aware, the eastern alignment sends them to U.S. 58 east and dumps them off. A western alignment takes them up the new freeway, up the U.S. 220 Bypass and on their way up U.S. 220.

You repeat various stuff over and over again.  The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
Key word - if. Looking at a standpoint now, the western alignment makes the most sense. By the time any construction starts, a whole new EIS, study process, etc. would be needed for the entire corridor. If a western alternative is chosen now because it would best service U.S. 220, that future EIS could study a way to then upgrade the Martinsville Bypass and tie back into the original ALC corridor north of there. Things can change you know, especially over decades. When costs rise, and it becomes apparently obvious that this sort of alignment is cheaper, it could change.

Plus, these alternatives in the Martinsville Southern Connector are completely different alignments than the original ALC. If they were so determined to sticking to that, there would be one alternative that is the exact same as that, but there's not. Also, if they wanted to stick to the ALC, the western alternatives wouldn't even be considered. It just goes to show there can be changes made.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 05:25:49 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #490 on: January 25, 2019, 11:54:20 PM »

The eastern MSC doesn't connect to anything north of US-58, but obviously would if extended to US-220 north of the county line.  Millions of dollars of studies, public hearings, DEIS, FEIS and ROD went into the ALC.  A western MSC would be useless in tying into the rest of the ALC.
Key word - if. Looking at a standpoint now, the western alignment makes the most sense. By the time any construction starts, a whole new EIS, study process, etc. would be needed for the entire corridor. If a western alternative is chosen now because it would best service U.S. 220, that future EIS could study a way to then upgrade the Martinsville Bypass and tie back into the original ALC corridor north of there. Things can change you know, especially over decades. When costs rise, and it becomes apparently obvious that this sort of alignment is cheaper, it could change.

What empirical evidence exists that would support a western alignment being cheaper or making "more sense"?  A full NEPA process was conducted over a period of years that said the opposite, and a FEIS Reevaluation should be all that is needed to update the FEIS.

Again, the 4 southern municipalities (2 counties and 2 cities) strongly support the eastern route.  Unless they can be convinced to change their official positions, that will not change.  They will not support a western MSC.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #491 on: January 26, 2019, 10:36:52 PM »

A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #492 on: January 27, 2019, 09:32:23 AM »

A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
Exactly. It would tie into existing freeway that would be easy to upgrade, and if they built the MSC this way, it could have immediate use, and North Carolina could begin upgrading their segments. If we built an eastern MSC, a new freeway north of the U.S. 58 Bypass would also have to be constructed to tie back into U.S. 220 12 miles north until it could be used, or at least get any numbers above 3,000 AADT.

The concept worked when there was the assumption all 70 miles would be built at once, or over large segments, but the way it's planned now, the western route would make the most sense, no matter how some want to put it.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #493 on: January 27, 2019, 05:01:26 PM »

A western route would seem to make more sense to me, connecting in to the existing freeway and requiring less new construction.
Exactly. It would tie into existing freeway that would be easy to upgrade, and if they built the MSC this way, it could have immediate use, and North Carolina could begin upgrading their segments. If we built an eastern MSC, a new freeway north of the U.S. 58 Bypass would also have to be constructed to tie back into U.S. 220 12 miles north until it could be used, or at least get any numbers above 3,000 AADT.
The concept worked when there was the assumption all 70 miles would be built at once, or over large segments, but the way it's planned now, the western route would make the most sense, no matter how some want to put it.

For the umpteenth time, the eastern route is the route as approved by the full NEPA EIS/location study process, and that chosen by the municipalities, the CTB and FHWA.  Just because some roadgeeks think something else, won't change anything unless there is a major revisiting by those parties and a new NEPA study.  A western MSC would be useless for the chosen alternative, and an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.

I-73 would be built in segments of independent utility (SIU), meaning that any one constructed will have value and usability by itself.

You -might- use 2 more miles of existing freeway by going west, but that is not what the process decided to do.  I don't know why you keep harping on this... let it go.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 05:05:16 PM by Beltway »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #494 on: January 27, 2019, 06:01:50 PM »

Just because some roadgeeks think something else.
I think it's a stretch to use the term "roadgeeks". Are you considering those few people mentioned in the article I cited a few posts up "roadgeeks"? They seem like ordinary people to me. There's likely more people who feel a western alignment would be the best, which is why they are also evaluating western corridors.

I-73 would be built in segments of independent utility (SIU), meaning that any one constructed will have value and usability by itself.
Exactly, not an eastern segment.

an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.
If it needs to wait, then why is this the first segment VDOT is studying? And why are they even considering a western corridor at all? If they truly wanted an eastern route, the only options on the table would be different eastern alignments. Instead, there's 4 eastern (which I should mention none of which even follow the ALC), 4 western, and even one that would upgrade the existing to freeway (though that's a stretch). It appears to me they are re-evaluating the entire thing.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #495 on: January 27, 2019, 06:16:46 PM »

Just because some roadgeeks think something else.
I think it's a stretch to use the term "roadgeeks". Are you considering those few people mentioned in the article I cited a few posts up "roadgeeks"? They seem like ordinary people to me. There's likely more people who feel a western alignment would be the best, which is why they are also evaluating western corridors.

No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
 
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an eastern MSC would probably not be an SIU, so it would need to wait.
If it needs to wait, then why is this the first segment VDOT is studying? And why are they even considering a western corridor at all? If they truly wanted an eastern route, the only options on the table would be different eastern alignments. Instead, there's 4 eastern (which I should mention none of which even follow the ALC), 4 western, and even one that would upgrade the existing to freeway (though that's a stretch). It appears to me they are re-evaluating the entire thing.

NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #496 on: January 27, 2019, 06:36:27 PM »

Keep in mind that this was one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, even though I'm sure it took all of 15 seconds to be eliminated.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #497 on: January 27, 2019, 07:20:50 PM »

No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
That's what they're doing here... they're doing a new NEPA EIS / location study. That's what this is. If they wanted / were going to build what was previously planned, they would simply re-evaluate the older study. But instead, they're doing a whole new one.
 
NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
Correct, and they could've drawn up 8 different eastern alignments. That could've been the project - I-73 Phase 1, eastern alignment. A study to see where exactly to the east it should go. Nobody said they had to look at the western alternatives at all, however they did.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #498 on: January 27, 2019, 07:21:14 PM »

Keep in mind that this was one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, even though I'm sure it took all of 15 seconds to be eliminated.
That looks feasible. In 1960.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #499 on: January 27, 2019, 11:10:07 PM »

No problem, if they were using engineering and not just their 'feelings'.  It will take some serious engineering if you want to overrule the results of the completed NEPA EIS/location study process and the municipalities and CTB and FHWA.
That's what they're doing here... they're doing a new NEPA EIS / location study. That's what this is. If they wanted / were going to build what was previously planned, they would simply re-evaluate the older study. But instead, they're doing a whole new one.

"The Martinsville Connector Study is a first step toward identifying future improvements to the Route 220 corridor within its study limits.  It is a separate analysis than the EIS for the I-73 corridor that was completed in November 2006."

They are not planning on replacing the 2006 EIS study, this study is only for the segment south of the Martinsville Bypass, that is what is meant by "within its study limits".

NEPA requires a range of alternatives, even those which may be infeasible.
Correct, and they could've drawn up 8 different eastern alignments. That could've been the project - I-73 Phase 1, eastern alignment. A study to see where exactly to the east it should go. Nobody said they had to look at the western alternatives at all, however they did.

Doesn't necessarily mean that the others are more than study filler.  I have seen many EISs and some of the alignments are quite infeasible, like the one posted by Roadsguy about one of the alternatives considered for the I-76/295 direct connection in NJ, quite illustrative on my point!

There are western alignments that are not far from US-220 and they obviously could be tied into the ALC.  One of them even follows the existing US-220 closely and may be a freeway upgrade of that.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:13:23 PM by Beltway »
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