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Author Topic: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)  (Read 63712 times)

Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #800 on: October 10, 2018, 11:10:27 PM »

As of a document from April 2016 (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Route_58_with_Cover_Page.pdf), $1.4 billion was spent on U.S. Route 58 between 1989 - 2016, and another $500 million for projects proposed between FY 2017 - 2022. Like I stated before, I do agree with the need for safety improvements, but what I do disagree with is the money put into the project, close to $2 billion. For a route with such low traffic volumes, it is almost a waste. There's other important projects in the state that are fighting for that type of money, and cannot get it due to insufficient funding. Other roads w/ higher traffic volumes were built as toll roads in Richmond (VA 895), Hampton Roads (VA 168, US 17, Midtown Tunnel) that this money could've been used on.

That would be 43 years of expenditures, on over 500 miles of highway.  These 4-lane arterials are important long distance routes that have substantial large truck percentages, and while the traffic volumes may seem low compared to urban areas, nevertheless they have justifications for mobility and connectivity.  It would operate poorly as a 2-lane highway that passed thru towns and cities.

I use several Richmond toll roads regularly but the area also has a large system of toll-free Interstates and freeways, as does Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

US-58 was deemed an economically stagnant corridor when the project was initiated in the 1980s and that was part of the justification for the funding.
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Scott M. Savage
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froggie

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #801 on: October 11, 2018, 12:06:53 AM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Many states have adopted speed limits of 65 MPH (or higher going west) on arterial roads, West Virginia a nearby example.

Since you mention West Virginia, it should be noted that their arterials have far more rigorous access-control standards than Virginia's or North Carolina's.  Specifically, most (if not all) of their ARC corridor 4-lane upgrades prohibit private driveway access.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #802 on: October 11, 2018, 12:12:53 AM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Many states have adopted speed limits of 65 MPH (or higher going west) on arterial roads, West Virginia a nearby example.
Since you mention West Virginia, it should be noted that their arterials have far more rigorous access-control standards than Virginia's or North Carolina's.  Specifically, most (if not all) of their ARC corridor 4-lane upgrades prohibit private driveway access.

Limited access rights-of-way.  Virginia's 75 arterial bypasses total about 350 miles and the vast majority have limited access rights-of-way, and legislatively they are authorized for as high as 70 mph.
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RoadPelican

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #803 on: October 11, 2018, 11:57:47 AM »

I did some traveling in Alabama over the summer and US 280 from Columbus, GA to Opelika, AL is a 4 lane divided highway with no access control and the Speed Limit is 65 with plenty of driveways attached to it.  Even more impressive was the fact that the road still held a 65 MPH when there was no median!!!

Also, in heavy commercial zones in Opelika (near I-85) and thru Alexander City the speed limit only drops to 50-55.

Could higher speed limits on 4 lane (non-freeway) highway be the reason that Mazda/Toyota picked Alabama over NC for their new plant earlier this year?
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #804 on: October 11, 2018, 06:00:35 PM »

I did some traveling in Alabama over the summer and US 280 from Columbus, GA to Opelika, AL is a 4 lane divided highway with no access control and the Speed Limit is 65 with plenty of driveways attached to it.  Even more impressive was the fact that the road still held a 65 MPH when there was no median!!!

Also, in heavy commercial zones in Opelika (near I-85) and thru Alexander City the speed limit only drops to 50-55.

Could higher speed limits on 4 lane (non-freeway) highway be the reason that Mazda/Toyota picked Alabama over NC for their new plant earlier this year?
Quote from: sprjus4
Many states have adopted speed limits of 65 MPH (or higher going west) on arterial roads, West Virginia a nearby example.

Since you mention West Virginia, it should be noted that their arterials have far more rigorous access-control standards than Virginia's or North Carolina's.  Specifically, most (if not all) of their ARC corridor 4-lane upgrades prohibit private driveway access.

Access control or not, most of these roads can easily handle 65 MPH in a lot of places. Cheaper, safety upgrades could be done on other portions to bring them up to standards. As long as lane widths are 12 feet, it has a shoulder of at least 4-8 feet, curves that are not sharp, and sight visibility is clear, it could easily handle it. Many portions of the Virginia Arterial Highway Network is like this, or could easily be upgraded to this with low costs. Mobility would be increased with a 5-10 MPH speed increase, usage on these roads could increase slightly, and serve as viable alternate routes to the interstate.

Like RoadPelican mentioned, Alabama (along with a lot of other southern & western states) have speed limits up to 65 MPH on non-limited-access highways. Portions newer to the system (US 58 widened in the last 20-30 years, US 17 in Chesapeake (which is limited-access), and others) can definitely handle those speeds safely. I do not understand why Virginia (even North Carolina as well) have restrictions for these speeds. A lot of drivers (including trucks, especially on 58) do 65-70 MPH, and can easily handle the speed. Increasing it would meet the driving habits of most drivers, and allower a smoother flow with close speeds as opposed to 55-70 variations. Just because it doesn't meet standards to be "a limited access freeway" does not mean it cannot handle interstate speeds. U.S. Route 17, a limited-access 4-lane roadway (the north part is actually a freeway, while the southern portion is almost a freeway, but with just a few at grade intersections and no driveways) is posted at 55 MPH. It feels like you're doing 45 if you actually drive the speed limit. Most drivers do 60-65. U.S. Route 58 between Norfolk - Emporia, South Hill - Martinsville, and the newer widened portions feel like you're driving slower. There's a point between 65 and 70 MPH which is a comfortable speed for most drivers. Virginia Route 168, which IS a freeway, is posted at 55 MPH. It has grade-separations and interchanges, and again, most drivers do 60-65. I've actually been told by Chesapeake it's because "the design speeds of the ramps do not allow 60 MPH or higher". That one gave me a laugh. Look at any substandard 70 MPH freeway in the country, or hell, any non-limited-access highway posted at 65 MPH or higher where you physically have to come to a near stop to turn off.
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LM117

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #805 on: October 12, 2018, 12:11:10 AM »

Could higher speed limits on 4 lane (non-freeway) highway be the reason that Mazda/Toyota picked Alabama over NC for their new plant earlier this year?

I seriously doubt it. Incentives played a factor, as well as the fact that suppliers were already well-established in that region. NC never really stood a chance in that regard.
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