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Author Topic: ICC Intercounty Connector  (Read 248196 times)

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #225 on: February 10, 2012, 03:34:48 PM »

The to-be-built eastern end of the easternmost section, at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) will be a non-Interstate-standard at-grade signalized intersection.

lots of interstates end at traffic lights.  I didn't think this would be a problem.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #226 on: February 10, 2012, 03:39:14 PM »

Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #227 on: February 10, 2012, 03:48:06 PM »

The to-be-built eastern end of the easternmost section, at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) will be a non-Interstate-standard at-grade signalized intersection.

lots of interstates end at traffic lights.  I didn't think this would be a problem.
It isn't, especially because any Interstate designation would likely end at I-95 (like I-370 ends at I-270).
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #228 on: February 12, 2012, 10:17:11 PM »

Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
I think some of the curvature is not to 70 MPH design speed, but a 60 MPH design speed is plenty. I'd be curious - is it the superelevation, some of the bridge clearances, the shoulder width, length of accel/decel lanes? Something even more minute invisible to the naked eye?

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #229 on: February 13, 2012, 06:24:24 AM »

Deadly virus hits turtles, tadpoles in Montgomery County

Quote
Maryland biologists study­ing box turtles rescued from the bulldozers on the Intercounty Connector construction site have made a grisly find: An alarming number of the tiny turtles later died, and biologists say their demise appears to be unrelated to the highway.

Quote
Worse yet, the cause of their death — an animal disease called ranavirus taking root across the United States — also is believed to have killed nearly every tadpole and young salamander in the study area in Montgomery County’s North Branch Stream Valley Park since spring 2010.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #230 on: February 13, 2012, 06:37:53 AM »

Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
I think some of the curvature is not to 70 MPH design speed, but a 60 MPH design speed is plenty. I'd be curious - is it the superelevation, some of the bridge clearances, the shoulder width, length of accel/decel lanes? Something even more minute invisible to the naked eye?

Curvature (most of which is a direct consequence of federal environmental regulators demanding deviation from the original master-planned route, which dates to the 1950's and 1960's - to reduce impacts on waterways) could be a reason. 

Maryland DOT policy requires any bridge over a public road with a height of less than 16 feet to be posted - there are no such bridges over Md. 200.

Shoulder widths seem to be at least 12 feet.

Acceleration and deceleration lanes also seem to be fine, though some of them have rather sharp curves, especially at the U.S. 29 and I-95 interchanges.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #231 on: February 15, 2012, 09:08:58 AM »

WJLA-TV (ABC7): Maryland considers ICC speed increase

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State lawmakers who represent Montgomery County are asking the Maryland Transportation Authority to increase the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector—from 55 to 65 miles per hour.

Quote
The MDTA says it is considering a study of the proposal, but it's unclear when such a study would happen.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #233 on: February 15, 2012, 01:45:54 PM »

From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:55:15 PM by froggie »
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #234 on: February 15, 2012, 07:47:24 PM »

From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.


To be fair, the word "idiocy" is in the link, which describes TRN perfectly.

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #235 on: February 15, 2012, 08:11:12 PM »

Quote
Also what gives you people at MdTA and SHA the idea that you know so much better than the motorists driving the road, what is safe?
I suppose this is a good example of TRN's views. If you think you know more about designing roads than the people who do it for a living, you'll be at home there.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #236 on: February 16, 2012, 09:53:26 AM »

From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.


To be fair, the word "idiocy" is in the link, which describes TRN perfectly.

It's an opinion piece, which you are free to disagree with. 

Note that the MdTA did disagree with what he wrote, they told him so, and he published what they said.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #237 on: February 16, 2012, 10:31:38 AM »

I'm confused.  Could you emphasize your points a little?
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #238 on: February 16, 2012, 12:44:54 PM »

More from WTOP: Maryland considers a faster ICC

Quote
But some facts need to be examined before any decision is made, transportation officials say.

Quote
"It is important to note that the ICC is a Maryland route and was not constructed to interstate standards like I-95 for example," says Maryland Transportation Authority Director of Communications Kelly Melhem.

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"An engineering study following state and federal guidelines would need to be completed to examine the geometric design, actual operations and safety history of the roadway (before any increase would be made)."

Does the ICC have an Interstate route number?  No! 

Was it designed to Maryland/AASHTO/FHWA standards for a high-speed freeway?  Yes!  As best as I can tell, the ICC is at least as well designed as other (relatively new) segments of Interstates in Maryland (examples including the Capital Beltway approach to the Wilson Bridge; most of I-97; I-68 between U.S. 220 (on the east side of Cumberland) and Hancock; and the reconstructed portion of I-95 between the Baltimore City/Baltimore County line on the northeast side and Md. 43 at White Marsh).

Should it have a higher posted speed limit?  Yes! 

In a perfect world, it would be posted at least 65 MPH, perhaps using New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs.   
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #239 on: February 16, 2012, 07:20:24 PM »

The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #240 on: February 17, 2012, 12:29:00 AM »

The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #241 on: February 17, 2012, 03:13:05 AM »

I wish we could get hold of the actual as-built construction plans and analyze the curve data sheets.  But:

*  Aside from a misconceived and therefore short-lived "Plans Online" experiment eight years ago, MdSHA has never put construction plans online; and

*  The ICC is a design-build so construction plans were not made available before bidding.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #242 on: February 17, 2012, 08:41:06 AM »

The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]?  

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 09:26:39 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #243 on: February 17, 2012, 03:50:17 PM »

The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
And that would obviously affect the design speed and the speed limits.

Quote
Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]? 

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #244 on: February 17, 2012, 04:49:08 PM »

The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
And that would obviously affect the design speed and the speed limits.

Quote
Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]? 

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.

Do you have the as-built drawings for any of those segments of highway?

I-270 is one of Maryland's oldest freeway (originally U.S. 240, then I-70S, now I-270), with plenty of steep grades and sharp (for an Interstate) curves.  Between Md. 121 at Clarksburg and Md. 85, it is little changed since it was opened to traffic in the 1950's.

That segment of I-70 is about 15 years newer than I-270, yet it has some pretty sharp curves and a steep descent eastbound, in particular between the crest of South Mountain and Md. 17. 

Yet these are all posted at 65 MPH, even though they carry (at least for now) significantly higher percentages of commercial vehicles than Md. 200 does. 
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #245 on: February 18, 2012, 01:01:01 AM »

Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.

Do you have the as-built drawings for any of those segments of highway?

I-270 is one of Maryland's oldest freeway (originally U.S. 240, then I-70S, now I-270), with plenty of steep grades and sharp (for an Interstate) curves.  Between Md. 121 at Clarksburg and Md. 85, it is little changed since it was opened to traffic in the 1950's.

That segment of I-70 is about 15 years newer than I-270, yet it has some pretty sharp curves and a steep descent eastbound, in particular between the crest of South Mountain and Md. 17.

Yet these are all posted at 65 MPH, even though they carry (at least for now) significantly higher percentages of commercial vehicles than Md. 200 does. 

If MD-200 was posted for 65 mph, probably 1/3 of the length is curves that would have to be posted at 55 or even 50 in some cases.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #246 on: February 18, 2012, 07:31:08 AM »

Some of the curves already are posted at 50.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #247 on: February 18, 2012, 02:12:01 PM »

Some of the curves already are posted at 50.

Those are advisory plates, not the actual speed limit, which remains 55.

Having driven the ICC many times (from I-370 to I-95 and back) recently, those curves (at least when the pavement is dry) are perfectly safe at between 55 and 60 MPH. 
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #248 on: February 18, 2012, 06:47:45 PM »

It's been my experience that you can safely traverse a curve at 10 mph above the advisory speed, at least in any vehicle I've ever owned (which includes a Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup and a 4WD Chevy S-10 Blazer.)
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #249 on: February 18, 2012, 08:56:37 PM »

It's been my experience that you can safely traverse a curve at 10 mph above the advisory speed, at least in any vehicle I've ever owned (which includes a Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup and a 4WD Chevy S-10 Blazer.)

The first car I owned was a '77 Granada and I was shocked when I found I had to heed the advisory speeds in that thing.
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