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Author Topic: 50th anniversary of the Capital Beltway opening  (Read 17744 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: 50th anniversary of the Capital Beltway opening
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2015, 02:44:58 PM »

This thread seemed to be the most logical place to post this...

I noticed some early film footage of present-day I-270 at the Capital Beltway split in this FHWA video from the late ’80s. The film clip is concerned with traction on wet pavement, and apparently the original surfaces of the Capital Beltway and I-270 were quite poor in this regard.

Based on the cars and the signage, the film would appear to have been taken a few years after the Beltway’s completion.

Skip to about 29:30: https://archive.org/details/gov.dot.fhwa.ttp.vh-48e 

The first part of film starting at about 29:30 was at the place where (present-day) southbound I-270  divides (GSV here and here), with the left fork going toward Rockledge Drive and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road), and the right fork toward Democracy Boulevard.  This was pre-Interstate design, originally built as U.S. 240 (Washington National Pike), opened in the late 1950's, with the film from the late 1960's, when the freeway was signed I-70S (what is signed as I-270 there is now designated as "secret" I-270Y and signed southbound as I-270 Spur).

The second location (with the VW and Chrysler spinning out) was not far away, from the "roller coaster" part of I-495 (Capital Beltway) through Rock Creek Park (which was Interstate design, open to traffic in 1964), the two spinouts being on the Inner Loop between today's Md. 355 (Rockville Pike) and Md. 185 (Connecticut Avenue) (GSV here).  It had a posted speed limit of 50 MPH back then, which was generally ignored.

Both of these freeway segments were paved with flexible (asphalt) pavement that was notoriously slippery when it got wet (most of the rest of I-495 in Maryland was originally paved with portland cement-based concrete).  It took several repaving jobs and quite a few years to come up with a wearing course that was better when it got wet.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 03:50:47 PM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: 50th anniversary of the Capital Beltway opening
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2015, 03:50:22 PM »

Nice find! Thanks for posting that.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: 50th anniversary of the Capital Beltway opening
« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2015, 04:00:45 PM »

Nice find! Thanks for posting that.

Agreed.  I remember the signage and the not-so-great design of U.S. 240/I-70S/I-270, which can still be seen (in part) at the interchanges at Md. 109 in Montgomery County and at Md. 80 and Md. 85 in Frederick County.
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davewiecking

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Re: 50th anniversary of the Capital Beltway opening
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2015, 08:15:50 PM »

I'm trying to ignore that those were real people driving those vehicles, but I've got to wonder how long the "professional cameramen" stood there waiting for those spinouts (at least one of which was captured from 2 different angles).
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