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Author Topic: What is the most substandard interstate?  (Read 11797 times)

silverback1065

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What is the most substandard interstate?
« on: August 10, 2017, 10:39:57 PM »

We've talked about crappy roadways before, but only segments.  What interstate, as a whole, is the most substandard?  One that comes to mind is i-287 in NYC.
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Flint1979

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 10:48:01 PM »

I-475 in Flint, Michigan. It's loaded with potholes throughout the entire stretch pretty much and has several S-curves.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 12:34:54 AM »

I-5 in downtown Seattle has an awful design and left exits.  I could go for the lay-up with I-70 in Breezewood...might as well say it before it gets too obvious of a pick.

amroad17

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 12:40:12 AM »

We've talked about crappy roadways before, but only segments.  What interstate, as a whole, is the most substandard?  One that comes to mind is i-287 in NYC.
Did you mean I-278 instead?
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 01:40:25 AM »

I-180 in Wyoming.

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silverback1065

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 07:19:07 AM »

We've talked about crappy roadways before, but only segments.  What interstate, as a whole, is the most substandard?  One that comes to mind is i-287 in NYC.
Did you mean I-278 instead?

yes my mistake
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CapeCodder

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 09:18:39 AM »

I-70 in most of MO. Every time it rains in some segments, there is ponding on the roadway.
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US 89

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 09:30:48 AM »

I-70 in most of MO. Every time it rains in some segments, there is ponding on the roadway.

That's just a poor design, not a substandard Interstate (and honestly, doesn't every road start ponding water if it rains enough?)
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Henry

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 09:38:20 AM »

I-5 in downtown Seattle has an awful design and left exits.  I could go for the lay-up with I-70 in Breezewood...might as well say it before it gets too obvious of a pick.
So for the first example, you could say that I-90/I-94 north of the Loop is similar, thanks to the rapid-fire section. As for the second one, I-78 in Jersey City also falls under that category, as it goes through five traffic signals between the end of the Turnpike branch and the Holland Tunnel.

As for a substandard Interstate pick of my own, I'll say I-83 in Baltimore. Lots of twists and turns, low speed limit (50), and only six lanes wide.
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Flint1979

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 10:10:37 AM »

Another is the curve where I-75 interchanges with itself in Detroit. South of Detroit, I-75 is known as the Fisher Freeway into downtown, on the NE corner of downtown it has a left exit for Gratiot Avenue and a right exit for I-375 and I-75. After this interchange I-75 changes from the Fisher Freeway to the Chrysler Freeway, this is all coming northbound. Coming southbound, it continues as the same freeway but switches from I-75 to I-375 with no freeway change at all, I-75 exits to the right with the Gratiot exit being on the left and merges into the Fisher Freeway part of I-75.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 10:12:57 AM »

I think I-70 in Pennsylvania between the West Virginia border and Washington is pretty infamous for its abhorrent roadway quality.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 10:21:46 AM »

I think I-70 in Pennsylvania between the West Virginia border and Washington is pretty infamous for its abhorrent roadway quality.
That part of I-70 is fine. It's Washington, PA to New Stanton that has issues.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 11:32:46 AM »

I-95 in most of North Carolina is awful - it needs to be widened and the interchange geometrics are often properly classified as badly out-dated.

Eligible for the PennDOT Hall of Shame:

Most of I-83 in Pennsylvania deserves to join I-70 from Washington (Pa.) to New Stanton. 

I-70 from Breezewood to the Maryland border.

I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from Valley Forge to the Walt Whitman Bridge over the Delaware River.

Much  of I-78 from I-81 to the beginning of DRJTBC jurisdiction near Easton.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 11:51:49 AM »

The eastern I-76 as a whole.  Starts with one of the weirdest interchanges ever, snakes through the business end of 2 successive trumpets, and encounters another weird POS getting onto the Ohio Turnpike at I-80.  And that's just Ohio!  On the PA Tpk., there's one of the narrowest medians in the whole system on the Pike; adding insult to injury is the reverse trumpet getting off the pike onto -- yes, ladies and germs, the Surekill!  One of PA's many "poster children" for Interstate substandard features, it combines narrow carriageways with a winding alignment and shorter-than-thou ramps.  After negotiating Philly and getting over the Delaware River, you hang a right and come upon a construction zone -- after which there's a long 6-lane rural straightaway that seems like the best part of the route -- but wait, I-76 ended back at that construction area, and you're on the ACE heading for Monopoly Town!  One less-than-optimal feature right after another spread out over three states; I'd classify that as substandard!
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Roadsguy

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 11:59:14 AM »

Much  of I-78 from I-81 to the beginning of DRJTBC jurisdiction near Easton.

78 isn't really that bad. Most of it is pretty straight, with full inner shoulders even (a consequence of the original US 22 surface expressway having been built with a narrow grass median). Aside from ramp merge/exit lanes being a bit short, it's really only substandard in short bits:

  • The Grimes exit (Exit 15)
  • Through PA 61 and across the Schuylkill River at Hamburg (no inner shoulder and few ramp merge/exit lanes at all).
  • Near Lenhartsville the inner shoulder briefly disappears for some reason, and the exit for the town itself is tight and substandard.
  • At Smithville there's a small S-turn with no inner shoulder.

Not to mention that around Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, it's a nice, modern bypass built in the late 80s. Fix those four things and really the entire thing west of Allentown could safely handle a 70 mph speed limit, maybe even 75.

I-83 and I-70 really are bad, though. I didn't realize just how substandard 70 south of Breezewood was until taking a look at it on the map.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 01:07:37 PM »

Any interstate within the borders of NYC, I-895 being the absolute worst
I-395 in Maryland

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 01:11:29 PM »

I-91 between CT 3 and CT 15
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 03:01:47 PM »

Much  of I-78 from I-81 to the beginning of DRJTBC jurisdiction near Easton.
78 isn't really that bad. Most of it is pretty straight, with full inner shoulders even (a consequence of the original US 22 surface expressway having been built with a narrow grass median). Aside from ramp merge/exit lanes being a bit short, it's really only substandard in short bits:
  • The Grimes exit (Exit 15)
  • Through PA 61 and across the Schuylkill River at Hamburg (no inner shoulder and few ramp merge/exit lanes at all).
  • Near Lenhartsville the inner shoulder briefly disappears for some reason, and the exit for the town itself is tight and substandard.
  • At Smithville there's a small S-turn with no inner shoulder.
Not to mention that around Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, it's a nice, modern bypass built in the late 80s. Fix those four things and really the entire thing west of Allentown could safely handle a 70 mph speed limit, maybe even 75.
I-83 and I-70 really are bad, though. I didn't realize just how substandard 70 south of Breezewood was until taking a look at it on the map.

What is so bad about I-70 south of Breezewood?  While it is a rather early Interstate-era design, it has a decent width grass median, independent roadways where it passes over a mountain, some curves that are less than 70 mph design but still negotiable at 60 mph, decently rehabbed pavement and bridges.  The only significant negative is narrow clear roadsides of about 10 to 15 feet, but the shoulders are full width and are well maintained and the guardrail is well maintained, and storm sewer drainage has been installed in places where fill slopes are only 10 to 12 feet from the pavement.  The speed limit could be more like 60 or 65, but the 55 limit is not the fault of the highway.

In sum it has some substandard features, but is a well maintained and well rehabbed highway.

I would agree that I-78 is reasonably ok overall.  The section with the narrow 20 foot grass median was upgraded and now has a concrete median barrier and what look like 9 foot paved shoulders.  Storm sewer drainage has been installed in places where fill slopes are only 10 to 12 feet from the pavement.  As mentioned the ABE bypass is a modern Interstate highway.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 03:10:11 PM by Beltway »
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Brandon

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 03:40:31 PM »

I-95 in most of North Carolina is awful - it needs to be widened and the interchange geometrics are often properly classified as badly out-dated.

Eligible for the PennDOT Hall of Shame:

Most of I-83 in Pennsylvania deserves to join I-70 from Washington (Pa.) to New Stanton. 

I-70 from Breezewood to the Maryland border.

I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from Valley Forge to the Walt Whitman Bridge over the Delaware River.

Much  of I-78 from I-81 to the beginning of DRJTBC jurisdiction near Easton.

I think you just summed up the majorly substandard interstates right there, with PennDOT responsible for most of them.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 03:45:31 PM »

What is so bad about I-70 south of Breezewood? 

Another issue is many of the exit/entrance ramps as well.... some are glorified RIRO's.

I also think some of the overpass clearances are less than desired (Which seems to have been a PennDOT standard in the middle of the state.  US-22 from Ebensburg <-> Holidaysburg have overpasses low enough that they rebuilt the concrete on the freeway cause just putting asphalt over top would raise the highway too much as well)

But I agree that this stretch of I-70 isn't anywhere near the same ballpark-of-awful as the Washington-New Stanton stretch.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 04:14:35 PM »

I-95 in most of North Carolina is awful - it needs to be widened and the interchange geometrics are often properly classified as badly out-dated.


Really it needs to be six lanes, amazing how much it really clears up in South Carolina.

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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 04:26:26 PM »

If you are including Interstates as a whole, from coast-to-coast, then my vote would be for I-70. East to west you have:

The Breezewood missing link.
The Western PA segment with substandard interchanges.
The Downtown Kansas City Segment (rerouting onto I-470 would quickly eliminate this issue).
The Eastern Denver Viaduct to I-270 segment (although work is starting shortly)
And various segments of I-70 in Western Colorado with no left shoulders, and limited right shoulders due to lack of ROW in the mountains & canyons.

...just to name a few areas.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 04:30:21 PM »

I say I-66, it is a tight, narrow, and awfully congested mess. Along with it's inefficient interchanges and tight curves.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 05:11:46 PM »

I-95 in Connecticut, especially between New Haven and New London. Most of this section is still only 2 lanes in each direction as it was when it was originally built as the Connecticut Turnpike. Most of this section predates the interstate highway system and was not built to the same specifications (very narrow, short exits and on-ramps) and is way undersized for the amount of traffic in this corridor. Summer traffic in Connecticut is always hell on this interstate.
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Re: What is the most substandard interstate?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 05:28:30 PM »

I agree with I-278.  It and the Schuylkill are probably, if not the worst, at least in the top 5 out of all the interstates that don't have traffic lights (I-180, Breezewood).

"Honorable" mention for I-99 (PA segment), which won't intersect with another interstate for a very long time, if ever.

I-475 in Flint, Michigan. It's loaded with potholes throughout the entire stretch pretty much and has several S-curves.
The curves don't look that bad on street view, and potholes are a maintenance issue, not a substandard design (or are you insinuating that the potholes were placed there by MDOT before the road even opened?).  Strikes me as a typical interstate with old concrete.

What is so bad about I-70 south of Breezewood? 

Another issue is many of the exit/entrance ramps as well.... some are glorified RIRO's.

I also think some of the overpass clearances are less than desired (Which seems to have been a PennDOT standard in the middle of the state.  US-22 from Ebensburg <-> Holidaysburg have overpasses low enough that they rebuilt the concrete on the freeway cause just putting asphalt over top would raise the highway too much as well)

But I agree that this stretch of I-70 isn't anywhere near the same ballpark-of-awful as the Washington-New Stanton stretch.
Also curbs on some of the shoulders.  Yes, curbs.
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