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Author Topic: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?  (Read 8347 times)

roadman

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2016, 10:49:46 AM »

Before the widening project, the freeway section of US 3 in Massachusetts between Burlington and Tyngsborough had a thick tree-lined median.
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bzakharin

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2016, 01:02:08 PM »

I always thought that thick tree-filled medians were in places where the road was built one carriageway at a time instead of clearing the entire ROW. I have no proof for this one way or the other, though.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2016, 01:25:52 AM »

I always thought that thick tree-filled medians were in places where the road was built one carriageway at a time instead of clearing the entire ROW. I have no proof for this one way or the other, though.

Definitely not the case on I-95 from Caroline County  in the south most of the way to Prince William County in the north (though some of the median in Stafford and Prince William Counties has been taken for the reversible HOV/Toll lanes).
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noelbotevera

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2016, 01:39:37 AM »

I think it's to prevent glare. I've noticed that while driving on I-70 at night with the tree lined sections, not a lot of glare comes through the trees (which means that you could theoretically use high beams).

My only problem is with not being able to see signs for businesses or seeing cool crap. It sucks when i can't see Kings Dominion from I-95, Intimidator 305 would look cool from there.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2016, 06:24:49 AM »

It sucks when i can't see Kings Dominion from I-95, Intimidator 305 would look cool from there.

Don't worry...half the lights are broken anyway!!!
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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2016, 08:41:30 AM »

Quote
I think it's to prevent glare.

That may be part of it, but many of these wider tree medians are the result of topography.
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SP Cook

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2016, 10:35:13 AM »


Don't worry...half the lights are broken anyway!!!

OT.  Really?  I have only been there once, but I used to go to its sister parks in Cincinnati and Charlotte, under the old managements (first Taft than Paramount) all the time, and found the upkeep and cleanliness to be very good.  Close to Disney level.  A great contrast to parks owned by Six Flags, which, IMHO, are generally dirty and in disrepair. 

Have not been since Cedar Fair took over, but would be sad to hear they are letting the places go.

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jeffandnicole

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2016, 09:24:16 PM »


Don't worry...half the lights are broken anyway!!!

OT.  Really?  I have only been there once, but I used to go to its sister parks in Cincinnati and Charlotte, under the old managements (first Taft than Paramount) all the time, and found the upkeep and cleanliness to be very good.  Close to Disney level.  A great contrast to parks owned by Six Flags, which, IMHO, are generally dirty and in disrepair. 

Have not been since Cedar Fair took over, but would be sad to hear they are letting the places go.



For what seemed like many years when we would drive down overnight in the way to Florida, their main sign visible from 95 always had several lighting issues.  It's been about 9 months since our last trip though!
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plain

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2016, 11:30:25 PM »

While other states may also have wide tree-lined segments on certain highways, Virginia is still pretty rare in at least one aspect: it has one of the only beltways that has such a median...
Much of VA 288 between VA 145 (Chester Rd.) and Commonwealth Pkwy just south of US 360 has this median, along with much of I-295 between the James River and I-64 west of Richmond (Exit 53).

The only other belt I know of is I-275 Cincinnati, which has brief segments of tree lined median in two locations.


There are some off interstate non freeway roads with trees in the median.  US 301 through Fort AP Hill for one and that is in VA.
Yep. You can also add a lot of US 60 east of Richmond between VA 249 and VA 30, as well as much of US 460 between Blackstone and Petersburg.

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2016, 07:02:54 AM »

Much of VA 288 between VA 145 (Chester Rd.) and Commonwealth Centre Pkwy just south of US 360 has this median, along with much of I-295 between the James River and I-64 west of Richmond (Exit 53).

I-295 also has a brief section of a tree-median between VA 36 (Exit 9) and the Appomattox River.  (more specifically the SR 645 (River Rd) overpass).

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NJRoadfan

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2016, 09:19:22 AM »

I-287 in NJ has it in sections as well.
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plain

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2016, 10:36:36 PM »

Much of VA 288 between VA 145 (Chester Rd.) and Commonwealth Centre Pkwy just south of US 360 has this median, along with much of I-295 between the James River and I-64 west of Richmond (Exit 53).

I-295 also has a brief section of a tree-median between VA 36 (Exit 9) and the Appomattox River.  (more specifically the SR 645 (River Rd) overpass).

Yes. Forgot about that. And I completely forgot about another beltway, which also happens to be in Virginia ... the Hampton Roads Beltway has tree-lined median in three spots (though briefly):

- I-64 between Exits 296 (US 17 North) and 299 (I-264 and I-664)
- I-664 between Exits 9 (US 17 and VA 164) and south of 10 (Pughsville Rd), and again between Exits 13 (US 13/58/460) and 15 (I-64 and I-264)

Also another non interstate to add to the list... US 13/58/460 between I-664 and the Suffolk Bypass. The Bypass itself also has it for a mile or so west of the split for the Business routes and again at the interchange with US 460 West/460 Business East
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 10:47:34 PM by plain »
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Tom958

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2016, 09:44:48 PM »

The technical term for these widely-separated roadways is "bifurcated highway." When they were first built in VA (around 1970 more or less) they were thought to be a great advance in safety.

Bifurcate means "to divide or fork into two branches." Not that I'm in any way an arbiter of road-related terminology, but I use the term bifurcation to refer to a temporary increase, for aesthetic or engineering reasons, in the width of a median that's otherwise of a typical, lesser width. In most cases, the standard width was sixty feet or thereabouts (64 in my own state) during the heyday of Interstate construction. I think that every state has them, though policies toward how long, wide, frequent and degree to which the alignments of the two carriageways differ seem to vary between various states.

But what the OP is referring to, I think, is the adoption of a standard median width that's very large, 90 to 150 feet, enough to allow for the preexisting forests to be undisturbed by construction (even if the trees end up being cut down for whatever reason!). Virginia is one of several states that did this. Another is Tennessee, which... I'm fascinated with I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville, so I did some checking on Google Earth and found that:

Headed northwest from the bottom of the Monteagle grade, the highway was built in 1963 or so. The median is 60 feet for the first several miles, but then goes to 100. The newest sections, c. 1968 or so, have a standard width of 120 feet. Through Manchester and Murfreesboro and one pass through a ridge the median drops back to sixty feet, but within the 100 and 120-foot parts are further bifurcations of up to 200 feet! There's a significant section of ninety-foot median as well, where there's a good bit of lateral slope across the right-of-way.

When forming my opinions as to the awesomeness of the various state highway systems, apparent policy toward median width and bifurcations is definitely a factor.  Regardless of their actual merit, wide medians are luxurious, and that impresses me. Variety counts for a lot with me, too, and that's one of the things I like best about Tennessee compared to any other state I know reasonably well.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 05:38:28 AM by Tom958 »
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D-Dey65

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2017, 12:00:17 AM »

There are some off interstate non freeway roads with trees in the median.  US 301 through Fort AP Hill for one and that is in VA.

US 19 & 98 from Lebanon Station to Chiefland in Florida has (or had) a tree lined median.

US 13 from Princess Anne, MD to Fruitland, MD has a tree lined center.
US 50 from Salisbury, MD to US 113 just west of Ocean City.

Anyway, headlight glare is the main reason, and to give you that feeling of being on a Parkway.

Also I-287 in Northern NJ has stretches near Bedminster and in Bridgewater there is a section from US 202/206 to US 22 that has it wide. 

I-78 has it between I-287 and the Watchung Reservation in Berkley Heights.


Hey, let's not forget Southern State Parkway west of Belmont Lake State Park. NY 27 used to have them west of the Carmans River Bridges because of it's proximity to South Haven County Park, but those trees have been dying out over recent years.

Also, if Florida's Turnpike Enterprise ever builds the Suncoast Parkway to Red Level, like they should be doing, they should have the same thing between Citrus County Road 495 and it's northern terminus at US 19/98.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 12:02:32 AM by D-Dey65 »
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Beltway

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2017, 12:37:05 AM »

Why do I-85, most of I-64, and I-95 in Virginia(although because of the HOT lanes only the stretch from Fredericksburg to Richmond) all have thick tree medians in the middle of the road that stretch miles? Were those interstates purposely built like that for some reason? It seems to be very unique.

40 to 50 years of tree growth.  Most of those medians when built had relatively few trees, or if they had a lot of trees were small trees.  Those little oak and maple saplings will grow to 70 to 100 feet high after 40 years.


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cpzilliacus

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2017, 07:36:53 AM »

40 to 50 years of tree growth.  Most of those medians when built had relatively few trees, or if they had a lot of trees were small trees.  Those little oak and maple saplings will grow to 70 to 100 feet high after 40 years.

I-95 in Prince William County roughly south of present-day VA-294 (Prince William Parkway) had a median that had heavy tree growth even when it was new in the 1960's, because VDH did not clear the median of tree growth.
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Beltway

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Re: Whats with thick tree medians on VA Interstates?
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2017, 01:00:42 PM »

40 to 50 years of tree growth.  Most of those medians when built had relatively few trees, or if they had a lot of trees were small trees.  Those little oak and maple saplings will grow to 70 to 100 feet high after 40 years.

I-95 in Prince William County roughly south of present-day VA-294 (Prince William Parkway) had a median that had heavy tree growth even when it was new in the 1960's, because VDH did not clear the median of tree growth.

That had an extremely wide median mostly over 400 feet wide, and in such situations the trees in the median were usually left untouched.

In many of the narrower treed medians VDOT employed what they termed Selected Tree Thinning  whereby they removed 1/2 to 2/3 of the trees uniformly throughout the median area.

I witnessed this as a Highway Construction Inspector when I-95 was built in Sussex County 1977-1982.
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