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Author Topic: I-73 in VA  (Read 97384 times)

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #525 on: March 31, 2019, 07:09:32 PM »

Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #526 on: March 31, 2019, 07:13:58 PM »

Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(
Pretty much. The focus now is really from Roanoke to Myrtle Beach.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #527 on: April 01, 2019, 11:08:29 AM »

Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(

It never really had much of a life beyond a fantasy road in Virginia. While I-81 to I-77 may be a bit longer to reach West Virginia from Roanoke, it exists as an interstate. To upgrade/replace U.S. 460 from Blacksburg to somewhere along the four-lane almost-interstate section in West Virginia just wouldn't work. The main problem is terrain and some sensitive areas around and along the New River. Given the bigger needs for other projects, it will be a long, long time before this plan gets a glimmer of attention.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #528 on: April 01, 2019, 06:05:29 PM »

Is I-73 north of I-81 pretty much dead? X-(

It never really had much of a life beyond a fantasy road in Virginia. While I-81 to I-77 may be a bit longer to reach West Virginia from Roanoke, it exists as an interstate. To upgrade/replace U.S. 460 from Blacksburg to somewhere along the four-lane almost-interstate section in West Virginia just wouldn't work. The main problem is terrain and some sensitive areas around and along the New River. Given the bigger needs for other projects, it will be a long, long time before this plan gets a glimmer of attention.


And even after it intersects I-77 in WV, what are the chances of building out the section along US 52 northwest of there?  That particular set of projects, whether labeled the "King Coal" (a bit anachronistic by today's standards) or "Toilsa" parkways, has been promoted and subsequently reconfigured to the point where it is and likely will always be a series of spot improvements to a corridor becoming less and less significant as time passes, since the Great Lakes states marking the corridor's north & west termini have effectively washed their hands of the corridor.  Unless something else in that area crops up as an outlet (such as elevating the US 35 corridor to an Interstate) the concept of cutting maybe 5-10 miles off a Roanoke-Bluefield trip via an upgrade of US 460 is certainly not a cost-effective use of funds.  Planning for I-73 will cease at Roanoke for the time being.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #529 on: April 01, 2019, 06:31:35 PM »

At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.

So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.
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Beltway

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #530 on: April 01, 2019, 06:37:13 PM »

At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.  So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.

My CTB-related post from Feb. 19th said that FHWA identified the Martinsville Southern Connection project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process.

It has no connection to the approved route north of Martinsville, MSC is its own project.  If they select the red route or the green route, it would only add 1 or 2 miles to the previously approved corridor between N.C. and I-81.  Today's neo-Interstate highways cater more toward local interests and development, than as compared to the original Interstate system.  Adding 1 or 2 miles would not obviate using the approved route north of Martinsville, and the city and county already planned the new developments along that route.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #531 on: April 01, 2019, 07:40:44 PM »

At that point, "decision makers" will make the final decision on what gets built, either the previous I-73 alignment, or this new western alignment.  So technically, the eastern alternative isn't fully eliminated.
This is disingenuous. Once a western route is selected for this connector, the eastern alignment proposed for I-73 is dead. No one is going to build a second freeway around the other side of Martinsville.

My CTB-related post from Feb. 19th said that FHWA identified the Martinsville Southern Connection project as one that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process.

It has no connection to the approved route north of Martinsville, MSC is its own project.  If they select the red route or the green route, it would only add 1 or 2 miles to the previously approved corridor between N.C. and I-81.  Today's neo-Interstate highways cater more toward local interests and development, than as compared to the original Interstate system.  Adding 1 or 2 miles would not obviate using the approved route north of Martinsville, and the city and county already planned the new developments along that route.
From what I got out of the email from the project manager, this is a separate study to I-73. This plan could be scrapped in 5-10 years, and the 2012 approved I-73 alignment could still be constructed instead. It really depends on what it will cost, what will have the most benefits. Who knows, they could re-study I-73 north of Martinsville at a later date.

But what we do know is that the 2012 alignment approved for I-73 isn't fully dead, it's just on the back burner right now.

I believe the whole intent of a southern connector leading out of Martinsville was to connect to North Carolina's I-73 since nothing is happening north of them for quite a long time.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #532 on: April 23, 2019, 10:33:03 PM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #533 on: April 23, 2019, 10:37:01 PM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?

Based on the future development patterns approved in the master plans by the counties and cities.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #534 on: April 23, 2019, 10:43:07 PM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?
Not quite. The Martinsville Southern Connector link between North Carolina and the US-220 bypass would be on the west side, all of the eastern alignments have been eliminated from further study.

What they do north of the Martinsville Bypass is another story, but for the link to NC, the western alignments are preferred.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #535 on: April 23, 2019, 11:52:58 PM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?
Not quite. The Martinsville Southern Connector link between North Carolina and the US-220 bypass would be on the west side, all of the eastern alignments have been eliminated from further study.
What they do north of the Martinsville Bypass is another story, but for the link to NC, the western alignments are preferred.

His comment "...rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville..." seemed to indicate that he was referring to the whole corridor NC--I-81, so that is what I replied to.

Depending on the MSC alternate, it could add only a mile or so to the approved eastern route north of Martinsville.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #536 on: April 24, 2019, 12:01:03 AM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?
Not quite. The Martinsville Southern Connector link between North Carolina and the US-220 bypass would be on the west side, all of the eastern alignments have been eliminated from further study.
What they do north of the Martinsville Bypass is another story, but for the link to NC, the western alignments are preferred.

His comment "...rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville..." seemed to indicate that he was referring to the whole corridor NC--I-81, so that is what I replied to.

Depending on the MSC alternate, it could add only a mile or so to the approved eastern route north of Martinsville.
The nice part about the current MSC western routing is it allows flexibility. Once it's completed, it will initially provide a "freeway bypass" of US-220 south of Martinsville, tying back into the current US-220 bypass / overall corridor to Roanoke. It will immediately have a use, and likely at least 10,000 AADT.

When a larger I-73 is constructed further north to Roanoke, they can either go with the current approved corridor, and do what you said in regards to routing it an additional mile back around, or if they want to later pursue instead a western corridor, that option will also be available. I'm not saying or recommending they should redo the existing preferred alignment of I-73 to Roanoke, but the option is certainly available with a western alternative as opposed to an eastern alternative which would A) have no good use upon being constructed for US-220 traffic until the remainder of I-73 is constructed, and B) would restrict I-73 to a guaranteed eastern alignment all the way to Roanoke, which no flexibility for changes.

The western MSC alternative meets right in the middle, and has room for changes.
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LM117

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #537 on: April 24, 2019, 07:50:50 AM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?

Based on the future development patterns approved in the master plans by the counties and cities.

I don’t know about the other counties and cities, but I seriously doubt Pittsylvania County and Danville care which route I-73 ends up following. There’s been no talk of I-73 here. The only future interstate local politicians here care about is I-785.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 07:55:39 AM by LM117 »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #538 on: April 24, 2019, 09:46:07 AM »

I see that VDOT would rather build a new freeway east of Martinsville rather than upgrade the existing US 220 bypass freeway.  Is there issues of local area opposition or is it just plain cheaper to build a new freeway completely?
Based on the future development patterns approved in the master plans by the counties and cities.
I don’t know about the other counties and cities, but I seriously doubt Pittsylvania County and Danville care which route I-73 ends up following. There’s been no talk of I-73 here. The only future interstate local politicians here care about is I-785.

What ever they are talking about now, this was in the FEIS of 2006, and this is from previous posts in this thread.

Basis for Selection of the ALC
The ALC was selected over other alternatives assessed in the DEIS because of the following advantages:
[other 8 snipped]
The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County.  Additionally just to the east of the study area Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.
. . . . .

13 years has elapsed, and discussion about I-73 has declined in general, but the Comprehensive Plans of those localities probably have not changed much since then.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #539 on: May 02, 2019, 05:06:47 PM »

https://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local/a-western-i--route-just-makes-more-sense-mayor/article_ae98c1ca-c7e7-5e16-8e96-d8355b8651ee.html

Quote
A western I-73 route ‘just makes more sense,’ mayor says
The proposed Interstate 73 corridor has a chance to be moved to the west of Martinsville, but it most certainly would not be moved to the east.

That was addressed in a recent report by The Interstate 73 Coalition, which also talked about an upcoming improvement to the U.S. 220/220 bypass intersection.

Robert J. Catron, who along with John Stirrup is a co-executive director of The Interstate 73 Coalition, gave presentations Tuesday about potential roadwork to the Henry County Board of Supervisors and Martinsville City Council.

“When the information for I-73 first surfaced over a decade ago, there was a route which went to the right [if looking at a map],” Martinsville Mayor Kathy Lawson wrote in an email. That route would have been to the east of U.S. 220.

“There was a group of folks who wanted an alternative route which the city never endorsed,” Lawson stated. “From the information I’ve received at … West Piedmont Planning District Commission meetings, the map to connect to the existing [Route] 58 bypass from the VA/NC line makes sense to use the proposed route that’s to the left of existing [Highway] 220. It does appear from the information previously provided that the route to the left would be easier terrain to navigate.”

During the City Council meeting, Lawson said the western route “just makes more sense because it’s not going through wetlands. It’s not going through a cemetery.”

Lawson added in the email that she doesn’t count on ever seeing the construction of I-73 during her lifetime, but she feels that the connector road from the state line to the existing U.S. 58 would benefit the area.

A new interstate “is going to be years down the road,” Catron said during the City Council meeting. However, “fixing 220 and making it a passable road that’s good for commerce is doable.”

A proposed safety improvement to the U.S. 220/220 bypass would be to get rid of left turns, which created the main causes of wrecks, Catron said during both presentations. Additionally, a left turn lane to facilitate U-turns would be added.

Twelve angle collisions have happened at that intersection, according to an analysis covering 2012-15. They all involved vehicles turning from the side streets or going straight through the intersection.

Those roadway improvements would be thanks to funding recently granted by the General Assembly, the report stated.

“Passage of the governor’s transportation amendments to HB 2718 and SB 1716 is the break we have been waiting for; we finally have a financial path to rebuild U.S. Route 220 and transform it into I-73,” the presentation package states.

According to a news release from the governor provided by Stirrup and Catron, yearly funding includes $151 million for I-81, $40 million for I-95, $28 million for I-64, $20 million to NVTA and $43 million reserved for investments in other interstates.

 Southern Corridor
“This is real. It’s a real game-changer,” Catron said at the supervisors’ board meeting. “Before, we were looking for much more difficult ways to find money for the Salem District for Route 220.

The funding will come through a program called Smart Scale, which separates funding for primary and secondary routes from the funding for major interstates. Now the smaller highways and routes will not have to compete with major projects for funding, he said.

That $43 million for “other interstates” could be used to extend I-581 south, and perhaps the funding could be used for another environmental impact study, which would be needed for I-73, they stated in their presentation to the Henry County board of supervisors.

Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill, expressed support for some of the new funding for the Salem District to fund the Martinsville Southern Connector, they said. The Southern Connector would be the link from the U.S. 58 bypass south to U.S. 220 to the North Carolina line.

The Virginia Department of Transportation started the Environmental Impact Statement in February 2018 to evaluate possible improvements along the U.S. 220 corridor between the U.S. 58 bypass and the state line. (That analysis is separate from the I-73 study done in 2006).

A focus of the study will be a possible limited access road on a new location or improvements to U.S. 220. The study is looking at possible impacts to social, economic and the natural environment.

The Federal Highway Administration and other state and federal agencies are involved.

The project is in part of a 60-mile study area from the North Carolina line to Route 419 in Roanoke.

A few big things discussed in this article
- A western route is favored for I-73 over an eastern one by local officials as opposed to the outdated eastern one in the 13 year old EIS.
- A new EIS is needed for I-73, which would likely focus on a western routing if that's indeed the current wishes. The current EIS is 13 years old, and a new one would need to be completed again.
- The connector roadway would tie into a western I-73, and would use the existing western US-220 bypass. It would need widened shoulders, but other than that meets interstate standards. A lot cheaper than new construction.

I've been saying all this for the past few months, yet some on this forum were still stuck on the idea that they definitely still want an eastern routing. This contradicts that idea however.

Another interesting thing is they mentioned "Extending I-581 South". So not only are they trying to construct this connector road for a western I-73, they are looking at going from the top down too, and probably meeting in the middle somewhere.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #540 on: May 02, 2019, 09:43:44 PM »

- A western route is favored for I-73 over an eastern one by local officials as opposed to the outdated eastern one in the 13 year old EIS.
- A new EIS is needed for I-73, which would likely focus on a western routing if that's indeed the current wishes. The current EIS is 13 years old, and a new one would need to be completed again.

They would first begin an FEIS Reevaluation and see where that led, and that could possibly be a Supplemental FEIS.  Doing a whole new DEIS, public hearings, FEIS and ROD would be a long and complex process.

The current project was one that FHWA identified that would meet the One Federal Decision (OFD) Executive Order, August 2018.  One of the first uses of that process, and a small scale streamlined process.

What local officials other than the current mayor of Martinsville?  There are local officials in the 4 counties and 4 cities that need to be considered.
 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 09:49:05 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #541 on: May 02, 2019, 10:57:17 PM »

They would first begin an FEIS Reevaluation and see where that led, and that could possibly be a Supplemental FEIS.  Doing a whole new DEIS, public hearings, FEIS and ROD would be a long and complex process.
The Interstate 73 Coalition stated that a new EIS would be needed for I-73, not a reevaluation. A new EIS would likely evaluate western options, which could end up being less costly.

"That $43 million for “other interstates” could be used to extend I-581 south, and perhaps the funding could be used for another environmental impact study, which would be needed for I-73, they stated in their presentation to the Henry County board of supervisors."

What local officials other than the current mayor of Martinsville?  There are local officials in the 4 counties and 4 cities that need to be considered.
Nothing has been stated officially recently, but of course the ones on the east side will want an eastern alignment and the ones on the west side will want that western alignment. The same thing happened in the 50s and 60s with Charlottesville vs. Lynchburg with I-64. One will get chosen, one will get scrapped.

Last year, two members of the CTB who have represented in the nearby area have also preferred a western alignment (please don't mind the mentions of your most-hated, "baloney", "vanity", Interstate 87) -
Quote
A few weeks ago, an obscure government committee in charge of numbering roads met in Des Moines, Iowa, and made 28 decisions. One of those was that the new interstate highway proposed to run from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Chesapeake, Virginia, would be called Interstate 87.

If you’re detail-oriented, you might ask: Wait, isn’t there already an I-87 in New York? (Yes, yes there is). If you’re big picture-focused, you might ask: Whoa, a new interstate?

We’ll go with the big picture here – because if you’re talking about building interstate highways you definitely need a long time horizon.

We’ll also ask another question, closer to home: Whatever happened to the proposed interstate that some wanted build here, between Roanoke and Greensboro, North Carolina – the mythical Interstate 73?

Two answers: Nothing, and lots of things.

The “nothing” part is easier to talk about – the road is estimated to cost $4 billion and there’s no money available for it. Some context: The Virginia Department of Transportation’s entire budget for fiscal year is $5.29 billion – construction alone eats up $1.9 billion of that. Feel free to do your own math.

The “lots of things” answer, though, takes us on a deep dive – both through the inner workings of government, the shadowy world of private citizens influencing public policy, and history itself.

The origins of I-73 date back to 1979, when Bluefield, West Virginia, businessman K.A Ammar founded a group to widen U.S. 52 between the coalfields and Huntington, West Virginia – and its port for coal barges. Ten years later, in 1989, Bluefield State College engineering professor John Sage learned that there was talk of adding more interstate highways. He and Ammar got together and proposed one.

West Virginia was represented at the time by Sen. Robert Byrd, a master of orchestrating federal spending. In 1991, Congress passed a massive transportation bill. Most people focused on the requirement mandating air bags. Tucked deep in the bill, however, was a new interstate corridor from Michigan to South Carolina – the future I-73.

Some states had no interest in the road and nothing ever happened, though. In Virginia, however, there was great interest in certain business and political circles – and in 2001, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted to build the segment from Roanoke to the North Carolina line. “Construction is at least six years away,” we reported at the time. Silly us.

Let’s stop here and explain the economic rationale for the road and no, it’s not in hopes that somebody gets rich. We can’t speak for the entire interstate, but the interest in the Roanoke-Greensboro leg is a lot easier to justify.

There is no such thing as a “state economy.” Instead there are a series of regional economies – and the Roanoke Valley could benefit from better roads connecting us to Greensboro and its multiple interstates. The situation is seen more clearly from economically-distressed Martinsville – which very much feels the need for better road connections with Roanoke and Interstate 81 to the north, and Greensboro to the south.

If you’re not on an interstate highway, your community’s economic options are limited. That’s why much of the political push for Interstate 73 has come out of Martinsville and Henry County, and why it remains a livelier topic there than it does in the Roanoke Valley.

While there’s no immediate prospect for getting $4 billion to build the entire road, Congress in 2005 did appropriate $8.5 million to begin preliminary engineering work specifically around Martinsville. Eleven years later, that money has yet to be spent. There’s now a provision in federal law that allows such “orphan earmarks” to be “repurposed” for something else nearby.

There’s a deadline coming up in September – which explains why a business group in Martinsville is pushing to have the money spent instead on a road connecting the Patriot Centre industrial park with U.S. 57 and U.S. 58.

Ronald “Skip” Ressel Jr., president of the I-73 Committee of Martinsville and Henry County, told Henry County supervisors in May: “The time has come to give up on this dream.” Take the money and build the Patriot Centre connector road, instead.

Not so fast, say two of the people who will actually have a say in whether and how that money is spent. They are former Del. William Fralin and former Roanoke City Council member Court Rosen, both members of the gubernatorially-appointed Commonwealth Transportation Board.

They remain committed to I-73. Indeed, in business and political circles in the Roanoke Valley lately, there’s been renewed talk about what can be done to figure out how to find funding for the road. Meanwhile, state Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, has been at the center of legislative efforts to find a funding source.

Fralin’s and Rosen’s preference is to change I-73’s route around Martinsville from east to west so that it uses part of the existing interstate-quality bypass, thereby cutting the costs and eliminating some environmental issues that might make it hard to get an actual construction permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which issues such things.

They’d also like to use that $8.5 million for engineering work on the section from Martinsville to the North Carolina line – so that at least something gets done. “We fully understand the economic straits that Martinsville-Henry County is in,” Fralin says. “That’s the prime motivation here for me.”

On paper, I-73 is much further ahead than I-87. A corridor has been selected, environmental studies have been done – there’s just no money to build it, and no final permit issued. Fralin says the only way I-73 will happen will be piece by piece, over many years.

I-87 has the advantage of more political heft behind it – and a lower cost (a “mere” $1 billion). That road also has a potential funding source. The transportation bill that then-Gov. Bob McDonnell pushed through allowed Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia to raise their own taxes for local transportation projects. That’s not enough to pay for the whole thing, but does allow Hampton Roads to shave off some of the cost from the “ask” it makes to the state, whenever that comes.

Will we be driving on I-87 before we’re driving on I-73?

Danville will always have it's access to I-73 no matter what alignment is built. The closest I-73 would get would be at the US-58 interchange which a freeway from there to a western I-73 alignment already exists.

The only reason I favor a western route is more is because the mostly interstate-standard freeway already exists, and the pavement can be reconstructed & shoulders widened from 4 feet to 10 feet, and boom, I-73. Not to mention, the MSC is designed for a western alignment, closer in, and swinging back to the east would just add more mileage and more construction needed. Here's there's no need for miles of costly new construction.

Let's just be honest - a western alignment seems to be the more favorable option, per the MSC western alignment chosen, support from at least 3 local officials, and likely what will get chosen in the future. Everything seems to be pointing towards it, at least now. Things were different in the past, and they've changed since.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #542 on: May 02, 2019, 11:46:13 PM »

They would first begin an FEIS Reevaluation and see where that led, and that could possibly be a Supplemental FEIS.  Doing a whole new DEIS, public hearings, FEIS and ROD would be a long and complex process.
The Interstate 73 Coalition stated that a new EIS would be needed for I-73, not a reevaluation. A new EIS would likely evaluate western options, which could end up being less costly.
"That $43 million for “other interstates” could be used to extend I-581 south, and perhaps the funding could be used for another environmental impact study, which would be needed for I-73, they stated in their presentation to the Henry County board of supervisors."

"Another environmental impact study" doesn't necessarily mean a whole new process from the beginning, it could mean a FEIS Reevaluation or an Supplemental FEIS.  That will be for VDOT and FHWA to decide.

Keep in mind that the DEIS and FEIS and ROD are posted on VDOT's I-73 website.  Nothing there about them being no longer in effect.

It might be better spent to extend I-581 south, actually the US-220 freeway about 2 miles south, a very beneficial project.

Fralin’s and Rosen’s preference is to change I-73’s route around Martinsville from east to west so that it uses part of the existing interstate-quality bypass, thereby cutting the costs and eliminating some environmental issues that might make it hard to get an actual construction permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which issues such things.

Unless they are highway engineers or environmental specialists (and I don't believe they are), then they need to leave that analysis to those who are. 

The only reason I favor a western route is more is because the mostly interstate-standard freeway already exists, and the pavement can be reconstructed & shoulders widened from 4 feet to 10 feet, and boom, I-73. Not to mention, the MSC is designed for a western alignment, closer in, and swinging back to the east would just add more mileage and more construction needed. Here's there's no need for miles of costly new construction.

It may save a mile depending on where it ties in.  I don't understand this thing about gaining maybe 2 miles of net freeway to route it to the west. 

I have posted the FEIS quotes several times, the analysis of the natural environmental impacts showed a substantial net reduction in impacts for the entire adopted route as compared to western alternates.  That was the result of a full NEPA process and the natural environmental impacts aren't going to have changed significantly since that was completed.
 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 11:49:26 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #543 on: May 03, 2019, 12:21:04 AM »

It might be better spent to extend I-581 south, actually the US-220 freeway about 2 miles south, a very beneficial project.
Agreed though a very expensive project nonetheless to upgrade that stretch of US-220. There's large hills & mountains on either side acting as physical barriers, not to mention all of the businesses & residential properties along the corridor. You'd need to squeeze in a 120 foot footprint to have 3 lanes in each direction with 10 foot inner & outer shoulders and a jersey barrier. Then likely a continuous two-way frontage on the north / east side. Then at least 2 or 3 interchanges would be needed, though I don't have any ideas where they would be located specifically.

Probably $250 million (almost $90 million per mile) or so for that 3.5 miles of US-220 upgrade from where the freeway ends to where I-73 would split off, if you consider R/W, utility, and high construction costs.

Unless they are highway engineers or environmental specialists (and I don't believe they are), then they need to leave that analysis to those who are.
That aside, it's nonetheless support from two other local officials of a western routing.



Bottom line is at this point, we don't know what option will get selected. The eastern routing has been the "official" routing, though there's been more support coming out recently for a western routing instead, and I'd expect more later on down the line as the MSC continues to develop, especially now that it's being done on the western side not the eastern. We'll have to see what happens in the next 5 - 10 years. It'd be interesting to see how they plan on tying the MSC into the US-58 / US-220 bypass. Will the left lanes have continuity onto the western bypass, indicating that being the routing for I-73, or will the left lanes flow directly onto the US-58 eastern bypass, and you have to exit right to use the western bypass?
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #544 on: May 03, 2019, 01:19:40 AM »

Unless they are highway engineers or environmental specialists (and I don't believe they are), then they need to leave that analysis to those who are.
That aside, it's nonetheless support from two other local officials of a western routing.

Based primarily on environmental impact opinions that are the opposite of what was documented in the FEIS.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #545 on: May 03, 2019, 12:38:19 PM »


Danville will always have it's access to I-73 no matter what alignment is built. The closest I-73 would get would be at the US-58 interchange which a freeway from there to a western I-73 alignment already exists.

What's Danville's interest in this? Are they looking for better access to I-81? They're already going to get an interstate, thanks to NC's love of the red white & blue shield-shaped marker, when I-785 is extended there.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #546 on: May 03, 2019, 01:33:19 PM »

What's Danville's interest in this? Are they looking for better access to I-81? They're already going to get an interstate, thanks to NC's love of the red white & blue shield-shaped marker, when I-785 is extended there.

Quoted before from the selection summary in the FEIS --

• The ALC was consistent with the economic development goals of Martinsville and Henry County.   Additionally just to the east of the study area Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville strongly supported the ALC due to the proximity of the ALC to their communities and the perceived economic benefit associated with an interstate facility within 30 to 45 minutes of the majority of their population base.
. . . . .

I-73 would run both north and south.  I-785 only runs south from Danville.
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #547 on: May 03, 2019, 02:12:54 PM »


Danville will always have it's access to I-73 no matter what alignment is built. The closest I-73 would get would be at the US-58 interchange which a freeway from there to a western I-73 alignment already exists.

What's Danville's interest in this? Are they looking for better access to I-81? They're already going to get an interstate, thanks to NC's love of the red white & blue shield-shaped marker, when I-785 is extended there.

Very little these days. Nobody here is talking about I-73, given it’s slim chance of actually being built. They’re focused on I-785, and by that I mean they’re waiting for NC to finish it to the state line since there’s little chance VDOT will upgrade the substandard parts of the Danville Expressway. NCDOT’s latest draft STIP calls for funding the upgrades for US-29 between the Greensboro Urban Loop and the existing freeway just south of Reidsville. Once that is done, I-785 will be complete in NC. I doubt I-785 will ever cross the state line.

That said, I don’t think I-785 will do much (if anything) to help Danville. Danville has way bigger problems that go beyond lack of interstate access.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 02:17:33 PM by LM117 »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #548 on: May 03, 2019, 04:39:41 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.

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.

Danville's interests 40 miles away should not drive the location of the interstate. This is like Currituck County in NC crying for I-87 to take a right angle to swing through their county to then follow VA-168 to I-64. An out of place alignment (yes, I get the whole I-87 concept alone is out of the way for long-distance traffic, but connecting from E-City to Norfolk per se, US-17 is the direct route) just to serve Currituck County's interests. If I-73 followed a western alignment to the western bypass, then swung east to take a out of the way swing around just to get 5 miles closer to Danville, then back, it's the same thing. I just couldn't see either happening.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 04:42:02 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-73 in VA
« Reply #549 on: May 03, 2019, 05:51:49 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.
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