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Author Topic: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)  (Read 68512 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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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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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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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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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #806 on: November 21, 2018, 04:22:25 PM »

I think I may have an answer to why there has been no new overhead signage put up for I-87 from I-40 to Rolesville Road. I was perusing the RFP for the I-40 widening design-build contract and in the signing section it is noted that the contractor for that project is responsible for putting up most of the I-87 the signs. From page 305:

"The Design-Build Team shall install all I-87 off-site signing located outside jurisdictional resources prior to, or concurrent with, beginning construction on I-5111 or I-4739. All signing work along the I-87 corridor within a jurisdictional resource shall be (1) included in the DesignBuild Team’s permit application for the I-5111 / I-4739 / U-6093 project; and (2) shall not be installed prior to issuance of the environmental permits. (Reference the Environmental Permits
Scope of Work found elsewhere in this RFP).

The Design-Build Team shall design, fabricate and install multi-lane crossroad signing, as shown
in Figures 2D-11, 2D-13 and 2D-14 of the MUTCD, for the following I-87 interchanges:
• Poole Road
• New Hope Road
• Hodge Road
• Smithfield Road
• Wendell Falls Parkway
• US 64 Business / Wendell Boulevard
• Rolesville Road

The Design-Build Team shall (also) design, fabricate and install mile markers at 1/2-mile intervals
along both sides of the I-87 corridor....
The completion of the work required for Intermediate Contract Time #16 shall be defined as having all the I-87 off-site signing located outside jurisdictional resources installed.

The Completion Date for ICT #16 shall ... not be later than July 31, 2019."

So the signing should be up by the middle of next year, if not sooner. The signage on I-40 itself will need to be changed due to new ramp locations, this is why that interchange is not mentioned. Don't know about the I-440 / I-87 exit signing, but I assume that those signs will go up around the same time.

If one is interesting in reading the RFP:
https://connect.ncdot.gov/letting/Design%20Build%20Program/I-5111%20and%20I-4739/I-5111%20I-4739%20U-6093%20Final%20RFP%20with%20Addendum%20No%201%20wdisclaimer.pdf
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 03:17:04 PM by bob7374 »
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #807 on: November 25, 2018, 06:36:26 PM »

The feasibility study is finally completed for US 17. It is expected to cost between $849.7 - $945.2 million to upgrade all 79 miles to a controlled-access interstate.

Currently, 40 miles of US 17 are fully funded to be upgraded, or is already a freeway, and 39 miles are currently not freeway / not funded.

Prioritization should be focused on getting funding to upgrade the non-freeway segments to interstate standards, then finally going back and funding upgrades the existing freeways.

Here's the study - https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/us-17-feasibility-study/Documents/us-17-final-draft-study.pdf
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #808 on: November 25, 2018, 08:14:36 PM »

The feasibility study is finally completed for US 17. It is expected to cost between $849.7 - $945.2 million to upgrade all 79 miles to a controlled-access interstate.

I don't believe that figure, that is a very low-balled figure for that kind of road construction.
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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #809 on: November 25, 2018, 08:21:06 PM »

^^ Unless NCDOT has gone through and paved them since I left Norfolk, much of that existing freeway mileage lacks Interstate-standard paved shoulders.  Like the E-City bypass, for example.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #810 on: November 25, 2018, 09:57:38 PM »

Much of the mileage is nonlimited-access highway.  Not at all easy to upgrade to a freeway.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #811 on: November 27, 2018, 06:00:55 PM »

^^ Unless NCDOT has gone through and paved them since I left Norfolk, much of that existing freeway mileage lacks Interstate-standard paved shoulders.  Like the E-City bypass, for example.
The freeway bypasses currently do not have shoulders, however those are planned to be added with resurfacing projects in the next 10 years since they are graded to have them.

Much of the mileage is nonlimited-access highway.  Not at all easy to upgrade to a freeway.
Out of the 79 miles, only 31 miles are non-limited-access, and only 13 miles would be upgraded. The rest would be bypassed on new-location segments, costing approx. $450 million.

I don't believe that figure, that is a very low-balled figure for that kind of road construction.
49 miles of the 79 are currently non-freeway facilities. 18 miles of that, however, have limited-access (no driveways). That leaves 31 miles that needs to be built on new location or upgraded w/ frontage roads. It is proposed that 18 miles will be built on new location, costing about $450 million (using $25 mil per mile) Another $400-425 million would upgrade 31 miles (18 limited-access, 13 w/ driveways) to freeway, by constructing frontage roads/interchanges (the non-limited-access sections to be upgraded do not have many businesses/homes on them). The rest would add shoulders to existing freeways, which will be done with resurfacing projects in the next 10 years.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #812 on: November 28, 2018, 10:47:48 AM »

^^ Unless NCDOT has gone through and paved them since I left Norfolk, much of that existing freeway mileage lacks Interstate-standard paved shoulders.  Like the E-City bypass, for example.
The freeway bypasses currently do not have shoulders, however those are planned to be added with resurfacing projects in the next 10 years since they are graded to have them.

That will take quite more than a resurfacing project.  Typical shoulder design for Interstate highway is 6 inches of aggregate base and 6 inches of asphalt pavement above.  10-foot right shoulder and 4-foot left shoulder.  That is a STIP project(s).

Out of the 79 miles, only 31 miles are non-limited-access, and only 13 miles would be upgraded. The rest would be bypassed on new-location segments, costing approx. $450 million.
49 miles of the 79 are currently non-freeway facilities. 18 miles of that, however, have limited-access (no driveways). That leaves 31 miles that needs to be built on new location or upgraded w/ frontage roads. It is proposed that 18 miles will be built on new location, costing about $450 million (using $25 mil per mile) Another $400-425 million would upgrade 31 miles (18 limited-access, 13 w/ driveways) to freeway, by constructing frontage roads/interchanges (the non-limited-access sections to be upgraded do not have many businesses/homes on them). The rest would add shoulders to existing freeways, which will be done with resurfacing projects in the next 10 years.

There are two major river bridges.  Probably at least $25 to $30 million per mile -average- for the 49 miles of non-freeway, up to $1.5 billion.  Certain short segments could be much higher (think $430 million for 5 miles of Dominion Blvd. in Chesapeake).

The shoulder upgrades on the freeways will probably add another $150 to $200 million.   
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 10:51:07 AM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #813 on: November 28, 2018, 05:58:02 PM »

That will take quite more than a resurfacing project.  Typical shoulder design for Interstate highway is 6 inches of aggregate base and 6 inches of asphalt pavement above.  10-foot right shoulder and 4-foot left shoulder.  That is a STIP project(s).
North Carolina has done a method of paving over shoulders with resurfacing projects in the past, one example is along I-73, and also planned on the U.S. 70 freeways for Future I-42. All the highways already have the grading and strength requirements for a full 10 foot shoulder, it just simply lacks the pavement. The highways also have a 4 foot paved left shoulder, along with 4 feet of pavement on the right side.

There are two major river bridges.  Probably at least $25 to $30 million per mile -average- for the 49 miles of non-freeway, up to $1.5 billion.  Certain short segments could be much higher (think $430 million for 5 miles of Dominion Blvd. in Chesapeake).

The shoulder upgrades on the freeways will probably add another $150 to $200 million.
The two long bridges have already been determined they will not be replaced (at least in this round of projects), those sections will be exempt from meeting interstate standards. All of them currently have 12 foot lanes, and 4 feet of shoulder. Dominion Blvd cost $345 million and it upgraded almost 4 miles of roadway to a controlled-access freeway, built 3 urban interchanges, and constructed two 95 foot bridges over the Elizabeth River. The bridges cost the most, the remainder upgrades cost at most $100-125 million. Rural upgrades cost way less. It's also important to note it's in an urban environment, and was only a 2 lane road. Right of way costs and higher construction costs helped to increase the price. The dead Southeastern Parkway project now has an estimate of almost $5 billion because of the heavy wetland impacts, and urban environment.

As for I-87 costs, only the new segments would cost $25-30 million per mile. The upgraded segments will be closer to $15-20 million per mile. The funded upgrade of US 17 between Virginia and Elizabeth City are capped at $180 million for 13 miles. About $13 million per mile in that case. I do agree that overall it would be at $1 billion, but I wouldn't assume higher than that. Still, with all of the freeway construction NCDOT has funded, and the heavy interest in the project down there, it will eventually all get built. Chesapeake could submit to Smart Scale or fund themselves interchanges along 17, a couple frontage roads, and request VDOT and AASHTO to sign it as I-87 to connect it to I-64. Chesapeake has heavy interest in the project, as they're actively trying to get business down that corridor, and is currently failing. Having it as a major interstate to the south would definitely help get that business. Sure, trucks to I-95 / I-85 may not use it as much, but US 17 would become a larger route, as the first 80-90 miles would be at 70 MPH, speeding trucks down that way. NCDOT is also widening more 2-lane portions south of where US 17 would split off to a 4-lane divided highway.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #814 on: November 28, 2018, 06:10:49 PM »

The NC US-17 shoulder unpaved areas appear to be grass with no aggregate base.  Like I said, for Interstate highway, 6 inches of aggregate base and 6 inches of asphalt pavement above.   Virginia has been installing full shoulders on some of its 4-lane rural highways in maintenance resurfacing projects, but that is a much thinner design than Interstate, considerably lower AADTs and large truck percentages.  I would consider the installation of an Interstate shoulder where there is now grass, would need a STIP project, not something that would be done in a maintenance resurfacing project.

Rural construction for excavation, grading, pavement, bridges and drainage, really isn't much less costwise than that of urban for those items.  Those costs cited sound like 2018 costs, and on the low end or maybe even bare bones estimates.  They should inflation factor them out to the years when they will plausibly be built.  Exempting major bridges from meeting Interstate standards doesn't sound like a proper way to build an Interstate highway., or could be a way to knock $300-500 million off of the estimates.

Southern Chesapeake in the area along the rural parts of US-17 is nearly all gigantic farms, I don't think they have any interest in selling it for other businesses.  The Dismal Swamp Canal is a hard western limit on any development to the west of US-17.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 06:18:34 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #815 on: November 28, 2018, 06:26:48 PM »

The NC US-17 shoulder unpaved areas appear to be grass with no aggregate base.  Like I said, for Interstate highway, 6 inches of aggregate base and 6 inches of asphalt pavement above.   Virginia has been paving full shoulders on some of its 4-lane rural highways in maintenance resurfacing projects, but that is a much thinner design than Interstate.  I would consider the installation of an Interstate shoulder where there is now grass, would need a STIP project, not something that would be done in a maintenance resurfacing project.

Rural construction for excavation, grading, pavement, bridges and drainage, really isn't much less costwise than that of urban for those items.  Those costs cited sound like 2018 costs, and on the low end or maybe even bare bones estimates.  They should inflate them out to the years when they will plausibly be built.  Exempting major bridges from meeting Interstate standards doesn't sound like a proper way to build an Interstate highway., or could be a way to knock $300-500 million off of the estimates.
I do agree it does not look shoulder ready, however they've paved over shoulders that look similar on sections of what is now Interstate 73, and it will soon be paved over on U.S. 70 freeway sections to make way for Interstate 42 in Mid-Eastern North Carolina. As for the bridges, there is no need to replace perfectly fine bridges just to have shoulders. For about 20 years, I-64 on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel did not have shoulders, and certain bridges on I-95, I-85, I-64, and other interstates in Virginia lack shoulders. One example are the ones finally being replaced now in Emporia on I-95, also I-85 over Lake Gaston. I've seen others all over the state, and also all over the country. The bridges on Future Interstate 87 may be replaced one day, but now they're doing fine. Adding hundreds of millions just have shoulders is completely unreasonable. The other non-standard smaller bridges will be replaced though, as they are way cheaper to replace.

Southern Chesapeake in the area along the rural parts of US-17 is nearly all gigantic farms, I don't think they have any interesting in selling for other businesses.
The huge farm tract between Ballahack Rd and the North Carolina border is planned to become a major megasite. City Council is voting on that decision to begin a study next month, which will most likely pass. An interchange has also been discussed at that location for the megasite, or at Ballahack Rd. Also, the Grassfield area south of the Cedar Road interchange, stretching all the way down to Business 17, is planned to become a huge development with businesses, apartments, condos, industry, etc., a second "Greenbrier". It was studied in a 300+ page "Dominion Blvd Corridor Study" a couple years ago, and the consideration of a US 17 interstate was mentioned several times. They've already started construction of many homes down in that area, and are continuing. It may not be successful now, but if Chesapeake gets its wish of I-87, it will surely get somewhere.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #816 on: November 28, 2018, 08:55:34 PM »

I do agree it does not look shoulder ready, however they've paved over shoulders that look similar on sections of what is now Interstate 73, and it will soon be paved over on U.S. 70 freeway sections to make way for Interstate 42 in Mid-Eastern North Carolina. As for the bridges, there is no need to replace perfectly fine bridges just to have shoulders. For about 20 years, I-64 on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel did not have shoulders, and certain bridges on I-95, I-85, I-64, and other interstates in Virginia lack shoulders. One example are the ones finally being replaced now in Emporia on I-95, also I-85 over Lake Gaston. I've seen others all over the state, and also all over the country. The bridges on Future Interstate 87 may be replaced one day, but now they're doing fine. Adding hundreds of millions just have shoulders is completely unreasonable. The other non-standard smaller bridges will be replaced though, as they are way cheaper to replace.

I would have to see what was done on those other highways, but based on my own VDOT road design experience this would be a lot more than just maintenance resurfacing, that is just delivering trucks of asphalt to the site and running a paving machine.  The grass shoulders would need major earth grading with a motorgrader, placement of aggregate base and grading of that, and then at least two lifts of asphalt placed on top of that; that over many miles is a major project that belongs in the STIP.

The original HRBT spans were built pre-Interstate era and did not have full shoulders, and the shoulders were added in the 1990s as you note.  The parallel HRBT spans were built with full shoulders and that opened in 1976.

I am aware of the other bridges you mentioned, and they were of the very early Interstate era in design, like pre-1965, and the Emporia Bypass was the first segment completed in 1959.  Any such Interstate bridge built after 1980 certainly has full shoulders, the biggest examples in Virginia would be the I-295 James River Bridge and the I-664 trestles.

The bridges don't necessarily have to be replaced, they can be widened; in any event if they don't include that in these estimates, then important structures are not being upgraded to current Interstate highway standards.

The 2+ miles of US-17 over wetlands near Williamston looks like it needs to be upgraded to meet current Interstate highway standards.  The embankment looks like it needs to be at least 70 feet wider, and that is nearly impossible in today's environmental standards, so that means that they would need to build a 2+ mile long bridge over the wetlands for an Interstate standard highway.

The huge farm tract between Ballahack Rd and the North Carolina border is planned to become a major megasite. City Council is voting on that decision to begin a study next month, which will most likely pass. An interchange has also been discussed at that location for the megasite, or at Ballahack Rd. Also, the Grassfield area south of the Cedar Road interchange, stretching all the way down to Business 17, is planned to become a huge development with businesses, apartments, condos, industry, etc., a second "Greenbrier". It was studied in a 300+ page "Dominion Blvd Corridor Study" a couple years ago, and the consideration of a US 17 interstate was mentioned several times. They've already started construction of many homes down in that area, and are continuing. It may not be successful now, but if Chesapeake gets its wish of I-87, it will surely get somewhere.

It is controversial, with considerable opposition due to sprawl and environmental issues, and the sale has not yet occurred --
https://wtkr.com/2017/02/20/chesapeake-residents-voicing-concerns-over-citys-vision-for-mega-site-on-farmland/
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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #817 on: November 28, 2018, 09:30:34 PM »

The 2+ miles of US-17 over wetlands near Williamston looks like it needs to be upgraded to meet current Interstate highway standards.  The embankment looks like it needs to be at least 70 feet wider, and that is nearly impossible in today's environmental standards, so that means that they would need to build a 2+ mile long bridge over the wetlands for an Interstate standard highway.
The designs shown from the feasibility study indicate that this section would simply be widened to include full 12 foot lanes and 10 foot shoulders, and replace every bridge with slightly longer and higher bridges. (https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/us-17-feasibility-study/Documents/us-17-segment-2.pdf). The study estimates this section would only cost under $70 million to complete. Just curious, what requirement is there that the embankment would have to be wider? An interstate cross section traversing those wetlands with controlled-access right of way and 70 MPH speed limits seems to work fine.

It is controversial, with considerable opposition due to sprawl and environmental issues, and the sale has not yet occurred --
https://wtkr.com/2017/02/20/chesapeake-residents-voicing-concerns-over-citys-vision-for-mega-site-on-farmland/
Many citizens in the city (myself included) are opposed to the project, there's even a petition out with over 700 signatures. However, the City Council has a habit of receiving lots of opposition on development projects, ignoring it, and still approving it. Planning Commission here voted unanimously in favor to study it (despite lots of opposition), and City Council next month will most likely vote to pursue a full study. Also, the Grassfield area development is also located off U.S. 17 in more northern location and that is also an area the future interstate would bring growth too. Slowly but surely, the development will creep south if this whole megasite does not work out and Chesapeake gets its wish of an Interstate 87.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #818 on: November 28, 2018, 09:45:51 PM »

The designs shown from the feasibility study indicate that this section would simply be widened to include full 12 foot lanes and 10 foot shoulders, and replace every bridge with slightly longer and higher bridges. (https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/us-17-feasibility-study/Documents/us-17-segment-2.pdf). The study estimates this section would only cost under $70 million to complete. Just curious, what requirement is there that the embankment would have to be wider? An interstate cross section traversing those wetlands with controlled-access right of way and 70 MPH speed limits seems to work fine.

How much higher does the roadway need to be to prevent flooding?  Raise it 3 or 4 feet and that will have a big impact on the width of the embankment.  Part of the crossing only has about 25 foot median.  The side slopes seem steep enough that they could be subject to erosion if not made flatter.

Many citizens in the city (myself included) are opposed to the project, there's even a petition out with over 700 signatures. However, the City Council has a habit of receiving lots of opposition on development projects, ignoring it, and still approving it. Planning Commission here voted unanimously in favor to study it (despite lots of opposition), and City Council next month will most likely vote to pursue a full study. Also, the Grassfield area development is also located off U.S. 17 in more northern location and that is also an area the future interstate would bring growth too. Slowly but surely, the development will creep south if this whole megasite does not work out and Chesapeake gets its wish of an Interstate 87.

Chesapeake is a big area and bigger in size than VA Beach.  I question the need to significantly develop the southern half and maybe they need a Green Line like they have in VA Beach.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #819 on: November 29, 2018, 12:34:52 PM »

Did you say that the VA I-85 bridges over the lake at MP 3 are being widened for full shoulders?

I haven't been down there recently and I don't see that project on the VDOT projects site.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #820 on: December 01, 2018, 01:36:21 PM »

How much higher does the roadway need to be to prevent flooding?  Raise it 3 or 4 feet and that will have a big impact on the width of the embankment.  Part of the crossing only has about 25 foot median.  The side slopes seem steep enough that they could be subject to erosion if not made flatter.
I don't know information regarding raising the road, that would be something figured out later on when and if an upgrade project ever goes forward. I'm sure that will be looked at. As for the small median, guard rail can be placed in the median to secure it. The Emporia Bypass on I-95 is similar to this, lined with guard rail due to a small median.

Chesapeake is a big area and bigger in size than VA Beach.  I question the need to significantly develop the southern half and maybe they need a Green Line like they have in VA Beach.
I definitely agree that the southern half doesn't need to be developed. But the city is persistent to wanting to allow it. There is currently a line between "suburban" and "rural", but this project would obviously defy it. Another concern among many citizens is that North Carolina residents would benefit from it more than Virginia residents because it's right on the state line. It's cheaper to live in North Carolina and work in Virginia than actually living & working in Virginia.

The Grassfield and "Dominion Blvd Corridor Study" areas fall into "Suburban", that's where the city wants apartments, condos, industry, workplaces, etc.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #821 on: December 01, 2018, 01:43:25 PM »

How much higher does the roadway need to be to prevent flooding?  Raise it 3 or 4 feet and that will have a big impact on the width of the embankment.  Part of the crossing only has about 25 foot median.  The side slopes seem steep enough that they could be subject to erosion if not made flatter.
I don't know information regarding raising the road, that would be something figured out later on when and if an upgrade project ever goes forward. I'm sure that will be looked at. As for the small median, guard rail can be placed in the median to secure it. The Emporia Bypass on I-95 is similar to this, lined with guard rail due to a small median.

The I-95 Emporia Bypass is a 1959 design.  Design standards from 1975 onward would specify a much wider median.

Chesapeake is a big area and bigger in size than VA Beach.  I question the need to significantly develop the southern half and maybe they need a Green Line like they have in VA Beach.
I definitely agree that the southern half doesn't need to be developed. But the city is persistent to wanting to allow it. There is currently a line between "suburban" and "rural", but this project would obviously defy it. Another concern among many citizens is that North Carolina residents would benefit from it more than Virginia residents because it's right on the state line. It's cheaper to live in North Carolina and work in Virginia than actually living & working in Virginia.
The Grassfield and "Dominion Blvd Corridor Study" areas fall into "Suburban", that's where the city wants apartments, condos, industry, workplaces, etc.

It is also south of the Northwest River.  The city needs to listen to its residents on this matter, IMHO.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #822 on: December 01, 2018, 04:19:53 PM »

The I-95 Emporia Bypass is a 1959 design.  Design standards from 1975 onward would specify a much wider median.
I know, but so weren't these older roads. A road that was upgraded to an interstate later on can have a smaller median with proper median protections. Parts of the U.S. 64 freeway around Nashville, NC off of I-95 have a 34 ft median, and lined with guardrail. That stretch will soon be apart of I-87. In Kentucky, a few of the pre-existing parkways are being signed as I-69 and they have a consistent 34 ft median, currently with no guardrail or barrier in place. New location interstates however have to comply with having a large median size, but many older freeways / roadways can be incorporated with no issues.

It is also south of the Northwest River.  The city needs to listen to its residents on this matter, IMHO.
Completely agree with you, the farm tract itself is surrounded by many wetland areas, including the Dismal Swamp. It needs to be preserved. I'm hoping that they do come through and vote against it, however based on the situation and the people we have on council, I wouldn't expect much listening to citizens and residents. Hopefully some environmental protection will find a way to fight it.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #823 on: December 01, 2018, 05:54:21 PM »

The I-95 Emporia Bypass is a 1959 design.  Design standards from 1975 onward would specify a much wider median.
I know, but so weren't these older roads. A road that was upgraded to an interstate later on can have a smaller median with proper median protections. Parts of the U.S. 64 freeway around Nashville, NC off of I-95 have a 34 ft median, and lined with guardrail. That stretch will soon be apart of I-87. In Kentucky, a few of the pre-existing parkways are being signed as I-69 and they have a consistent 34 ft median, currently with no guardrail or barrier in place. New location interstates however have to comply with having a large median size, but many older freeways / roadways can be incorporated with no issues.

Only with FHWA design exceptions and that is often controversial among highway engineers, and even then it is only done rarely.  Mountainous terrain is another matter, cross sections can be narrower and design speeds can be as low as 50 mph in some cases.

Any newly designated Interstate highway should meet standards, and in a non-mountainous area if they can't or won't provide at least a 40 foot median then perhaps they need to reconsider that route proposal.  Sounds like NCDOT is compromising in at least three criteria to get the estimate down to what they announced.

It is also south of the Northwest River.  The city needs to listen to its residents on this matter, IMHO.
Completely agree with you, the farm tract itself is surrounded by many wetland areas, including the Dismal Swamp. It needs to be preserved. I'm hoping that they do come through and vote against it, however based on the situation and the people we have on council, I wouldn't expect much listening to citizens and residents. Hopefully some environmental protection will find a way to fight it.

This is pretty sad if what you are saying is what in fact that the city council is planning on doing.  They IMO need to be voted out ASAP and recalled if there is a mechanism for that.
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Re: Interstate 87 (NC-VA)
« Reply #824 on: December 01, 2018, 08:53:38 PM »

Quote from: Beltway
and in a non-mountainous area if they can't or won't provide at least a 40 foot median then perhaps they need to reconsider that route proposal.

They can always go with a 22ft median and pave the inside shoulders plus Jersey barrier.  That would meet I-standards.
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