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Author Topic: WA I-705  (Read 2567 times)

ErmineNotyours

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WA I-705
« on: June 04, 2018, 12:32:39 AM »

I first noticed road web sites about the time I had a daily commute into Tacoma, and read about the much disliked Interstate 705.  This was interesting, because I noticed on one of the overhead sign approaches on south I-5, one of the I-705 shields was missigned as state 705.  The freeway gets so little respect that even the state doesn't think it's a real Interstate.  I had to go back on a weekend and get this from a frontage road.  I only had a single-use camera with no zoom lens, and the morning light was not ideal, but the result is below.  Not long after I took this, the state noticed the error and covered it up with an Interstate shield that is an atypical design in this state for a TGS.  Google Street View

Sign blooper: I-705 signed as SR-705 by Arthur Allen, on Flickr

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.  A vestigial part of the north end of this freeway was built by the City of Tacoma, starting at Schuster Parkway and running under Murry Morgan bridge to one block south of the bridge.  There used to be a zig-zag drive up from the street some distance below the bridge to the bridge surface, but the top part was removed for this project, and the rest when the bridge was reconditioned.  The state turned part of Tacoma's project into I-705, but the very northern part is still Tacoma's.

1978 Washington State Highway Map and Guide detail showing Downtown Tacoma by Arthur Allen, on Flickr
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 12:49:10 AM by Bickendan »
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 02:10:24 AM »

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.

Based on this document, I think it's safe to say that Google Maps is wrong, and that the 705 does indeed end even with the 9th St on-ramp. This was a point of contention in a previous thread (I thought I-705 ended at Stadium, but others indicated this to be false), but no one brought up any evidence to conclusively show the 705 ending prior to Stadium Way. This is the first true evidence I've seen that proves I-705 ends earlier than expected.

As for field evidence...

In the last year or so, WSDOT removed the only "FREEWAY ENTRANCE" sign from the Stadium Way on-ramp, but one does remain on the "on-ramp" at the southbound Schuster Parkway/Pacific Ave split. So perhaps WSDOT is catching on to that first stretch not being part of the interstate (never mind official documents already showing this to be the case). The 60 mph speed limit signs and reassurance shield don't appear until after the 9th St on-ramp, so I guess there's been some hints all along. The drop to 40 just after the Murray Morgan Bridge should have been an indicator, but WSDOT does occasionally drop limits prior to freeway endings (512 WB at I-5, 101 "EB" at I-5) so I didn't consider this to be conclusive evidence. The other giveaway that WSDOT doesn't maintain the roadway after 9th is that a small resurfacing project a year ago ended right at the gore point, and historically, that gore area used to be where Tacoma's markings (narrower lane markings than WSDOT standard) gave way to Bott's Dots, the 705's standard lane marker (until recently).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 09:45:13 AM »

Incidentally I-705 fits in with the state numbering convention with it meeting WA 7 at it's southern terminus.  Doesn't the legislation for the route date back to the late 1970s?  I'm assuming the numbering convention of "705" was probably intentional.
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ErmineNotyours

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 10:39:35 AM »

Luckily it connects to a north-south highway with an odd number, which matches the requirement for a spur three-digit Interstate starting with an odd number.
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Alex

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 11:09:43 AM »

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.  A vestigial part of the north end of this freeway was built by the City of Tacoma, starting at Schuster Parkway and running under Murry Morgan bridge to one block south of the bridge.  There used to be a zig-zag drive up from the street some distance below the bridge to the bridge surface, but the top part was removed for this project, and the rest when the bridge was reconditioned.  The state turned part of Tacoma's project into I-705, but the very northern part is still Tacoma's.

Thanks for the clarification on this. I went ahead and updated the page for I-705 on interstate-guide and cited your post on the history of the north end.

thefraze_1020

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 12:07:08 PM »

Two points:

1.) I-705 is not numbered as a branch of SR 7 (although I can see why it seems that way). It is numbered in the conventional interstate way, an odd (spur) branch of I-5.

2.) The last word in what the actual terminus of the highway (according to WSDOT), can be found by viewing WSDOT's SRWeb. It is their in-house version of Google Street View, for all state routes.

Look at it here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/mapsdata/tools/srweb.htm

According to this, I-705 officially ends at milepost 1.50. Northbound, it is here: https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2542983,-122.4363112,3a,75y,342.83h,91.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9XbPVc4bjIiDZDoXt0VZqg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
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Bruce

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 08:20:30 PM »

Not long after I took this, the state noticed the error and covered it up with an Interstate shield that is an atypical design in this state for a TGS.  Google Street View

There's a similar shield on SR 518 eastbound approaching the airport exit:

Henry

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 09:21:32 AM »

Seeing that it's 1.5 miles long, it would be nothing more than just a glorified exit ramp.
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AMLNet49

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 02:31:08 PM »

According to this, I-705 officially ends at milepost 1.50. Northbound, it is here: https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2542983,-122.4363112,3a,75y,342.83h,91.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9XbPVc4bjIiDZDoXt0VZqg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

So it does pretty much go all the way to Schuster Pkwy after all. This is shy of the gore point between Stadium and Shuster, but it’s still well past where people were speculating it ends earlier n the thread (which is about halfway down the freeway)
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stevashe

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 11:17:26 PM »


1.) I-705 is not numbered as a branch of SR 7 (although I can see why it seems that way). It is numbered in the conventional interstate way, an odd (spur) branch of I-5.


This is true, but normally I-105 would be used since it's the only spur 3di of I-5 in the state, which leads me to think the choice of 7 for the initial digit had something to do with proximity to WA-7 (and I think the point was that it coincidentally lines up with the state route numbering anyway).

In any case, it's the only instance of I-705, so at least it serves the purpose of making sure all the 3di possibilities for I-5 are used at least once! Now if only we could get I-305 signed...  :hmmm:
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 12:25:14 AM »

In any case, it's the only instance of I-705, so at least it serves the purpose of making sure all the 3di possibilities for I-5 are used at least once! Now if only we could get I-305 signed...  :hmmm:

I don't think the 905 is signed, or even legally a thing yet.
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X99

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 11:09:13 AM »

Seeing that it's 1.5 miles long, it would be nothing more than just a glorified exit ramp.
It sounds like you've never heard of I-190 in Rapid City. The southbound North Street on-ramp merges onto 190 and immediately becomes a right turn lane for the route's southern terminus.
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stevashe

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 12:35:57 AM »


I don't think the 905 is signed, or even legally a thing yet.

Gah, I knew I forgot another wrinkle! At least it's supposedly being added and signed in the future; not holding my breath that it'll be anytime soon, though.
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2020, 02:27:28 AM »


I don't think the 905 is signed, or even legally a thing yet.

Gah, I knew I forgot another wrinkle! At least it's supposedly being added and signed in the future; not holding my breath that it'll be anytime soon, though.

Well, in your defence, all variations of "-05" either exist or have been proposed, and the 705 is a party of one in that regard.
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TheStranger

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 02:53:17 AM »

I might have asked it before, but curious: at the south end of the freeway (the segment that is WA 7) at 38th Street, Google Maps shows some mainline carriageway stubs.  What were the original plans for extending the freeway south of 38th?


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Bruce

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2020, 03:01:06 AM »

I might have asked it before, but curious: at the south end of the freeway (the segment that is WA 7) at 38th Street, Google Maps shows some mainline carriageway stubs.  What were the original plans for extending the freeway south of 38th?

It would have generally followed the railroad to SR 512.

jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 03:04:12 AM »

I might have asked it before, but curious: at the south end of the freeway (the segment that is WA 7) at 38th Street, Google Maps shows some mainline carriageway stubs.  What were the original plans for extending the freeway south of 38th?

The plans were to follow the railway up the hill (as Bruce says), but then eventually split off towards 512 (interchange here, state still owns the land) and then continue south to the Roy Y. Pretty sure the plan was to move WA-7 to the new alignment. Maybe they would have called it the Mountain Freeway, as WA-7 south of the Roy Y is called Mountain Highway.





The second article was published on 08 Oct 1950
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 03:12:43 AM by jakeroot »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2020, 06:52:10 PM »

If the SR 7 spur south of Interstate 5 had been built further, say to SR 512, is it possible it might have been signed as an extension of Interstate 705? I assume SR 7 would have gone further south, but was killed due to local opposition.
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AMLNet49

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2020, 05:53:52 PM »

In any case, it's the only instance of I-705, so at least it serves the purpose of making sure all the 3di possibilities for I-5 are used at least once! Now if only we could get I-305 signed...  :hmmm:

I don't think the 905 is signed, or even legally a thing yet.

Well I-905 does have signage on I-5 but it was later covered up, oddly it was covered up before the freeway portion of 905 was finished and then not uncovered, so that would indicate that it’s still officially off the books, but we can consider the interstate number as active at this point. After all, 905 has more legit claim as an interstate than “faux-interstates” like the southern end of I-15 just a few miles to the north of 905.
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2020, 08:48:55 PM »

If the SR 7 spur south of Interstate 5 had been built further, say to SR 512, is it possible it might have been signed as an extension of Interstate 705? I assume SR 7 would have gone further south, but was killed due to local opposition.

Good question. I guess I would want to know if Pacific Ave would keep it's SR-7 designation if that route became an interstate. Tacoma doesn't particularly love their stretch of SR-7 being controlled by the state, and would appreciate SR-7 being removed from the highway system, at least up to the 512.

Up until the late 80s, the only stretch of freeway in that area was SR-7 between I-5 and 38th; the 705 wasn't completed until 1988, after considerable funding negotiation.

Note that, as seen at the bottom of this image (1968.02.18), the original ramps simply fed into the city grid...

(photo source)

The Route 7 Freeway would have been state-funded (likely the reason for its demise), so it wouldn't normally have been up for an Interstate designation. WA isn't really big on Interstates (5 + 205, 405, 705; 82 & 182; 90) to begin with, so I doubt they would have applied for any sort of interstate designation unless the federal government helped pay for it.

EDIT: added citation.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 01:58:47 AM by jakeroot »
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kwellada

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 05:13:49 PM »

I can see my house in that photo!
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2020, 01:56:06 AM »

I can see my house in that photo!

Well, in case you were wondering how much the landscape of the area either has or hasn't changed!
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