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Author Topic: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest  (Read 2647 times)

thefraze_1020

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2018, 12:07:39 PM »

The Snoqualmie Valley will probably never be touched. Maybe some expansion on SR 203, but nothing near the scale of a full freeway. The soils are really poor, it's still productive farmland (and thus protected by various federal/state rules), and the political opposition will always be very high.

It would be far more practical to convert SR 203 and SR 9 into an expressway (the latter is already a four-lane, divided expressway in some areas), then build a connection around the southwest side of Monroe.

According to a Thomas Brothers atlas of King and Snohomish Counties from 1976, a freeway bypass was proposed around the north side of Monroe. It would've carried US 2, and split from the existing road somewhere in the vicinity of Freylands Blvd in the west, and returned to the existing road near the reptile zoo along US 2 east of town. The only portion of this bypass that has been constructed at all is the stub on SR 522 where it crosses US 2 and makes the curve down off the bridge to end at US 2. Had the bypass been built, SR 522 would've extended north to end at the bypass.

It's also interesting to note that when looking at satellite imagery of the area, there is a pathway of trees in the approximate area the bypass would'be been built. To me, this indicates that Washington State Department of Highways (later WSDOT) acquired the ROW back in the 1960's and it still has not been built on.

 https://www.google.com/maps/@47.8632674,-121.9818737,254m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
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jakeroot

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2018, 01:16:41 PM »

The US-2 Monroe Bypass is a very real thing. Those stub ramps were only built in 2011.

The same year, WSDOT released this PDF (via the RCW website) with information, including construction stages and the route:

http://leg.wa.gov/JTC/Documents/Studies/P3/August2_3Workshop/MonroeBypassSummary.pdf

Doesn't look to be a freeway at this point, though the roadway would be divided and "limited access". As far as I can tell, the bypass starts as far west as it does because Hwy 2 starts to drop down right after the 88th interchange. The whole bypass would be higher in elevation than the valley, so it needs to start going up pretty early on to avoid steep hills.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 01:19:24 PM by jakeroot »
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Bruce

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2018, 03:35:12 PM »

Speaking of the Ritzville-Pasco US 395 freeway -- south of there, after US 395 segues onto I-82 south of Kennewick -- there were plans originally fomented in the early '90's to extend I-82 southwest along OR 207 to US 26 (although some variations specified a more northerly alignment using an OR 206/19/218/293 routing through Condon and Antelope; the goal was to connect the northern section of US 395 (via I-82) and US 97 (somewhere between OR 293 and Redmond) and then take the freeway straight down US 97 into California.  Obviously whoever planned this alignment was looking at a map rather than what's on the ground; the area between I-84 and the Deschutes Valley is comprised of piles and piles of basalt rock formations with creeks and rivers cutting through them in narrow gorges -- not a particularly hospitable place to put an Interstate-grade freeway!  Eventually the plan was put on a back shelf at ODOT and essentially forgotten.

If in the distant future a freeway is planned for US 97, it'll probably just have to remain on or near that route all the way to I-84 and the Columbia River -- although north of Madras even that wouldn't be a picnic to construct -- that part of OR is not known for easy pathways anywhere!   

I've been looking around for newspaper clippings talking about that I-82 extension. There's a 1999 article in the Bend Bulletin I've been trying to track down, to no avail.

ODOT did publish the 2001 study on their website, at least.

sparker

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2018, 04:16:54 PM »

Thanks for digging up the '01 ODOT report.  Aside from its internal debunking of the "build it and they will come" concept, it looks like the overall attitude within the agency regarding prospects for construction of any iteration of the corridor was lukewarm at best (and that likely hasn't improved with time!).  Chances are US 97 will at some point be built up south of the Redmond/Bend area over the years as an expressway with some freeway sections near towns (the old "upper Midwest" idiom); in most spots there's plenty of room to do so (the ROW is about 200 feet wide south of Chemult) and the truck traffic (principally forest products) can be unexpectedly high seasonally.  North of Madras, building such a facility would be considerably more expensive due to the terrain -- and much of the 97 traffic diverts to the Willamette Valley via US 20/OR 22 or directly to PDX via US 26 (although the congestion factor from Mt. Hood to Sandy on the latter route seems to have increased over the years).  There's an obstacle to a south-from-Bend facility:  Klamath Lake to the south will be tough to push a multilane facility through; the road perches on the bluff overlooking the lakeshore, sharing the ROW with the UP/BNSF joint main line.  I wouldn't expect to see a completed expressway facility from Bend south to the CA state line for the next 30-40 years at best. 
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Henry

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2018, 10:08:44 AM »

Speaking of the Ritzville-Pasco US 395 freeway -- south of there, after US 395 segues onto I-82 south of Kennewick -- there were plans originally fomented in the early '90's to extend I-82 southwest along OR 207 to US 26 (although some variations specified a more northerly alignment using an OR 206/19/218/293 routing through Condon and Antelope; the goal was to connect the northern section of US 395 (via I-82) and US 97 (somewhere between OR 293 and Redmond) and then take the freeway straight down US 97 into California.  Obviously whoever planned this alignment was looking at a map rather than what's on the ground; the area between I-84 and the Deschutes Valley is comprised of piles and piles of basalt rock formations with creeks and rivers cutting through them in narrow gorges -- not a particularly hospitable place to put an Interstate-grade freeway!  Eventually the plan was put on a back shelf at ODOT and essentially forgotten.

If in the distant future a freeway is planned for US 97, it'll probably just have to remain on or near that route all the way to I-84 and the Columbia River -- although north of Madras even that wouldn't be a picnic to construct -- that part of OR is not known for easy pathways anywhere!   
That I-82 routing would make no sense at all! If anything, they should've assigned it I-7 or I-9, especially when you factor in the potential upgrades to CA 99 between Mettler (a small town south of Bakersfield) and Stockton/Sacramento.
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sparker

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2018, 12:14:48 PM »

Speaking of the Ritzville-Pasco US 395 freeway -- south of there, after US 395 segues onto I-82 south of Kennewick -- there were plans originally fomented in the early '90's to extend I-82 southwest along OR 207 to US 26 (although some variations specified a more northerly alignment using an OR 206/19/218/293 routing through Condon and Antelope; the goal was to connect the northern section of US 395 (via I-82) and US 97 (somewhere between OR 293 and Redmond) and then take the freeway straight down US 97 into California.  Obviously whoever planned this alignment was looking at a map rather than what's on the ground; the area between I-84 and the Deschutes Valley is comprised of piles and piles of basalt rock formations with creeks and rivers cutting through them in narrow gorges -- not a particularly hospitable place to put an Interstate-grade freeway!  Eventually the plan was put on a back shelf at ODOT and essentially forgotten.

If in the distant future a freeway is planned for US 97, it'll probably just have to remain on or near that route all the way to I-84 and the Columbia River -- although north of Madras even that wouldn't be a picnic to construct -- that part of OR is not known for easy pathways anywhere!   
That I-82 routing would make no sense at all! If anything, they should've assigned it I-7 or I-9, especially when you factor in the potential upgrades to CA 99 between Mettler (a small town south of Bakersfield) and Stockton/Sacramento.

The chances are that any reference to a basically N-S route in OR would have become a designated extension of I-82 were always slight; the 84/82 junction near Hinkle was simply a "launch site" for the corridor.  It probably would have been one of the single-digit odd numbers, and likely extended up US 395 to I-90 at Ritzville, WA.  But in the ensuing years since the report was released, interest has certainly waned (perhaps not so much in the Bend/Redmond area) in such a project.  If the central Oregon area's population increases significantly down the line, the concept might well be revisited; otherwise, expect spot improvements to US 97 and other highways connecting it to the more populated regions to the west. 
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Bickendan

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2018, 05:45:23 PM »

I don't see anything happening until the Big One flattens the western part of the state. And even then, money will be focused on Seattle, then Portland.
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Bruce

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2018, 03:15:38 AM »

Another map of the Portland freeway system, as envisioned in 1961:

Bickendan

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2018, 09:17:36 PM »

Laurelhurst Freeway was first pushed out from 39th to 52nd/50th, then south from Lake Oswego through Stafford and Willamette and east out to 95th (as it currently exists).
Mt Hood was pushed slightly north to Ivon St until 50th Ave, then south to Powell before it was cancelled.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2018, 03:54:24 PM »

Why doesn't the map include Interstate 505? Is it because that freeway would have been too short?
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Bickendan

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2018, 06:51:04 PM »

Planning and routing hadn't been nailed down, I think.
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2018, 07:54:49 PM »

That would explain why 217 isn't on there either.
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Bruce

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2018, 03:06:29 AM »

The Boise State University Library once had an online exhibit profiling a 1960 plan to build I-80N through downtown Boise, rather than the current bypass. Here's the online archived version, which is a short but interesting read.

compdude787

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2018, 05:40:14 PM »

Interesting map. Seems like what actually happened was a compromise between those two options, with I-84 being on the bypass route and I-184 entering Downtown from the west.

sparker

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2018, 01:40:01 AM »

With the illustrated presence of trumpet-type interchanges at both ends of the south bypass, it appears that at one time there may have been plans for an in-city I-80N trunk with a 3di (possibly a I-280 iteration) designation for that bypass.  Any archived information out there that discusses that possibility? 
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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2018, 04:51:42 PM »

The Boise State University Library once had an online exhibit profiling a 1960 plan to build I-80N through downtown Boise, rather than the current bypass. Here's the online archived version, which is a short but interesting read.



Huh, interesting that the only listed downside of the river route was that it was expensive. No, running a freeway right between downtown and the river has no other downsides, sure :pan: The Greenbelt area is one of the highlights of the city, would be weird to see how what Boise would be like if we got that option instead.

I do think what we ended up with, a bypass for through traffic and a spur into (but not through) downtown from the west was the best option. That was kind of necessary, since there's no direct surface street routing from the current location of the Flying Wye into downtown. Whereas from the east, for one you have multiple direct routes that aren't too crowded (compared to streets like Fairview or Overland) like Broadway, Vista, and Federal Way, and also there's not much development to the east (well, past Micron) so less need for a freeway.

I wonder if we got the full loop, if there would be a lot more suburbia to the east, who knows. It's certainly a bit odd that suburbia extends for 20-30 miles west of Boise, but ends at the east end of Boise city limits. Guess it's mostly geography related.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 04:53:47 PM by doorknob60 »
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TEG24601

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2018, 05:47:45 PM »

The US-2 Monroe Bypass is a very real thing. Those stub ramps were only built in 2011.

The same year, WSDOT released this PDF (via the RCW website) with information, including construction stages and the route:

http://leg.wa.gov/JTC/Documents/Studies/P3/August2_3Workshop/MonroeBypassSummary.pdf

Doesn't look to be a freeway at this point, though the roadway would be divided and "limited access". As far as I can tell, the bypass starts as far west as it does because Hwy 2 starts to drop down right after the 88th interchange. The whole bypass would be higher in elevation than the valley, so it needs to start going up pretty early on to avoid steep hills.



I got lost behind the Evergreen State Fair Ground last year, and it looks as though grading is in the works for the US 2 Bypass, and with the traffic levels on 2, it might be quite useful, but there are other major safety issues with that road, that need to be addressed, and in my mind are a higher priority at this time.
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Revive 755

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2018, 06:22:57 PM »

The Boise State University Library once had an online exhibit profiling a 1960 plan to build I-80N through downtown Boise, rather than the current bypass. Here's the online archived version, which is a short but interesting read.

Can't tell for sure, but it almost looks like part of the River Route was built as I-184.
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jakeroot

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2018, 08:18:35 PM »

The US-2 Monroe Bypass is a very real thing. Those stub ramps were only built in 2011.

The same year, WSDOT released this PDF (via the RCW website) with information, including construction stages and the route:

http://leg.wa.gov/JTC/Documents/Studies/P3/August2_3Workshop/MonroeBypassSummary.pdf

Doesn't look to be a freeway at this point, though the roadway would be divided and "limited access". As far as I can tell, the bypass starts as far west as it does because Hwy 2 starts to drop down right after the 88th interchange. The whole bypass would be higher in elevation than the valley, so it needs to start going up pretty early on to avoid steep hills.



I got lost behind the Evergreen State Fair Ground last year, and it looks as though grading is in the works for the US 2 Bypass, and with the traffic levels on 2, it might be quite useful, but there are other major safety issues with that road, that need to be addressed, and in my mind are a higher priority at this time.

I would guess that WSDOT plans to build the bypass in order to reduce traffic levels on the current roadway. By reducing the amount of vehicles traveling straight through Monroe, they could narrow that roadway, and introduce measures to improve safety, without compromising traffic flow.

So, while the DOT could improve the current roadway, traffic will continue to be an issue, as will safety. So, the best option right now is to start planning on a bypass.
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TEG24601

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2018, 11:49:12 AM »

The US-2 Monroe Bypass is a very real thing. Those stub ramps were only built in 2011.

The same year, WSDOT released this PDF (via the RCW website) with information, including construction stages and the route:

http://leg.wa.gov/JTC/Documents/Studies/P3/August2_3Workshop/MonroeBypassSummary.pdf

Doesn't look to be a freeway at this point, though the roadway would be divided and "limited access". As far as I can tell, the bypass starts as far west as it does because Hwy 2 starts to drop down right after the 88th interchange. The whole bypass would be higher in elevation than the valley, so it needs to start going up pretty early on to avoid steep hills.



I got lost behind the Evergreen State Fair Ground last year, and it looks as though grading is in the works for the US 2 Bypass, and with the traffic levels on 2, it might be quite useful, but there are other major safety issues with that road, that need to be addressed, and in my mind are a higher priority at this time.

I would guess that WSDOT plans to build the bypass in order to reduce traffic levels on the current roadway. By reducing the amount of vehicles traveling straight through Monroe, they could narrow that roadway, and introduce measures to improve safety, without compromising traffic flow.

So, while the DOT could improve the current roadway, traffic will continue to be an issue, as will safety. So, the best option right now is to start planning on a bypass.


Agreed.  The safety concerns I was mentioning though were between Monroe and Stevens Pass.


One does have to take into account how slow WSDOT usually operates. I have a Thomas Guide from the late 70s or early 80s that shows the SR 525 connection between Mukilteo Speedway and the former Super-2 between 99 and Alderwood, and that wasn't built until 1999-2001.  However, one of those same Thomas Guides shows the US 2 bypass of Monroe, and the extension of both 522 and 202 to the new bypass in them.
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They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

jakeroot

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #45 on: July 28, 2018, 04:36:31 PM »

The safety concerns I was mentioning though were between Monroe and Stevens Pass.

Oh.

One does have to take into account how slow WSDOT usually operates. I have a Thomas Guide from the late 70s or early 80s that shows the SR 525 connection between Mukilteo Speedway and the former Super-2 between 99 and Alderwood, and that wasn't built until 1999-2001.  However, one of those same Thomas Guides shows the US 2 bypass of Monroe, and the extension of both 522 and 202 to the new bypass in them.

Yeah, WSDOT does seem to study things to death before they build them. Which ensures that the final product is always top-notch, but it's almost like it's top notch for the decade in which it was designed -- generally, at least one or two back.

A big issue that WSDOT faces, on a near constant basis these days, is having a ton of maintenance to do (much of our freeways are nearing the end of their pavement's life span), plus exploding land and labor costs. Phoenix, in comparison, has none of those issues (hence why they are always working on capacity improvements).
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Bruce

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2018, 02:26:16 AM »

It should be noted that up to 70 percent of the post-2015 gas tax revenue goes into paying off debt for previous projects, so that eats into the maintenance budget. And we're spending the precious remainder on vanity projects like the North Spokane Corridor when cheaper and more effective fixes could be implemented.

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2018, 08:09:38 PM »

From an old 1966 article in the Seattle Times, annotated with my notes:

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2018, 06:42:46 PM »

Surprised nobody has mentioned I-305 the once planned spur into Salem OR.
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Bruce

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Re: Roads that Could Have Been in the Northwest
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2018, 08:09:26 PM »

Surprised nobody has mentioned I-305 the once planned spur into Salem OR.

I think it's well-known enough to regulars on this subforum.

Interestingly, ODOT has recently been pushing for a new crossing of the Willamette in downtown Salem, which roughly follows where I-305 would have crossed the river (under some plans).

Only took 50 years to bring it up again.



 


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