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Author Topic: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes  (Read 15355 times)

Ian

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2019, 10:33:48 PM »

An example from Maine that comes to mind is the stretch of I-295 from the Falmouth Spur (exit 11) to the US 1 connector (exit 28) in Brunswick. This segment has progressively gotten more congested over the years, especially through the summer months. You could also argue that it should be six lanes further north to ME 196 (exit 31) in Topsham.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2019, 10:55:50 PM »

In South Carolina, I-95 between I-26 and the Georgia state line is well-known to need widening. I'm not motivated enough to look up the traffic counts. While the other four-lane portions need widening too, the heavy traffic and resulting congestion seem noticeably worse south of I-26.
You may or may not recall that I did an analysis of I-95 in the Carolinas and south of Petersburg a couple years ago.  Widening is very warranted from the Georgia line up to US 17/Exit 33 and again near I-26, but from Yemassee to north of Walterboro less so.

My response to that was "does it need more lanes at least 20 weekends (Fri thru Sun), including major holidays, per year"?   They tend to have very high peaks on some weekends, while having many weekdays with light traffic.  Mere AADTs are averaged over 365 days and don't reflect the needs of rural Interstate highways, in this regard, IMHO.  That would be my criteria for 6 lane widening.

Current needs in my region based on that, for widening to no less than 6 lanes --
-- I-81, the entire distance between TN I-40 and PA I-78
-- I-64, the entire distance between VA I-295 and Williamsburg 6-lane widening projects
-- I-95, the entire distance between Georgia and VA I-295
-- I-83, the entire distance between Towson MD and Harrisburg
-- I-270, the entire distance between Frederick MD and Gaithersburg

Granted that is about 20 billion dollars, but I have answered the question of the OP for my region!   :clap:
Also I-95 from I-295 (northern end) to Washington needs to be a minimum of 8 lanes. AADT is between 100,000 (southern end) - 200,000 (northern end), and that's just 365 day averages. Way higher during peak travel times. Consistently stop and go traveling that stretch, and consistently stopped north of Fredericksburg. I know someone who commutes this entire stretch weekly, and says it is a nightmare.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2019, 11:10:12 PM »

I'll nominate I-80 west of Salt Lake City, specifically between UT 36 and UT 201. Really, an auxiliary lane between those two exits would be enough, but the whole thing narrows to four lanes here. AADT on this section is 42,000.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2019, 11:37:51 PM »

Also I-95 from I-295 (northern end) to Washington needs to be a minimum of 8 lanes. AADT is between 100,000 (southern end) - 200,000 (northern end), and that's just 365 day averages. Way higher during peak travel times.

Agreed, as I have detailed in the past.  I just addressed the topic of six-laning in this thread.

Interestingly, these originally 4-lane sections of VA I-95 were widened to six lanes or more --
-- I-85 to Maury Street in Richmond, 22 miles, 1974-78
-- Ashland to Triangle, 58 miles, 1980-87
-- Shirley Highway VA-350 rebuilt to Interstate standards, 17 miles, 1965-75

Segments in the above corridor that were originally built with six lanes --
-- Maury Street to Ashland, 19 miles
-- Triangle to Woodbridge, 13 miles
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 02:37:37 AM by Beltway »
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2019, 01:34:05 AM »

Georgia (all AADT values cited are from 2017)

I-16
I-75 to US 80: AADT 47k+, but this is an urban area, so might not qualify
(US 80 to US 280: no widening needed)
US 280 to Pooler Pkwy: AADT 35k-40k
Pooler Pkwy to I-95: AADT ~58k
I-95 to I-516: AADT ~67k
(East of I-516: urban and/or 6+ lanes)

Should likely be widened for a bit west of the Savannah area out to around US 280.

Note that GDOT has existing plans in the STIP for widening I-16 to 6+ lanes through exit 2 in Macon (with a C/D setup) and from I-95 to I-516.

Quote
I-20
AL state line to US 27: AADT 37k-42k
US 27 to GA 61/101: AADT ~50k

This is particularly glaring now ALDOT finally removed the cones (which were in place for months while they chased down punch list items) and opened all six lanes between AL 46 and the state line. Extending into AL, the four-lane section remaining west of Talledega Speedway is becoming a serious bottleneck.

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I-75
No existing 4-lane rural sections

However there's a case for 8 lanes, particularly southbound, between the Sardis Church exit and the Centerville/Warner Robins exit (GA 247 connector). Southbound there's a long incline between Sardis Church and the Byron exit that regularly ends up with the right two lanes filled with trucks, RVs, etc. trying to rat race each other and inevitably dropping speed, since many aren't patient enough to follow the ones that are only able to climb at 45-55 mph, so they clog up the middle lane doing 55-60 (and slowing down). (Widening to 8 lanes is in the long term MPO plan for 2035 or so, but it's already a mess now from about 4-8 pm daily.)

The inclined area at the I-75/475 south merge near Hartley Bridge Road is also very poorly engineered; you have I-75 traffic trying to cut over to the slow lanes in the right, truckers trying to move leftward into the middle lane (which corresponds to the fast lane of I-475 feeding into the merge) so they don't have to merge three miles up the road, while almost nobody uses the right-hand lane, and like the incline up to Byron it just shows up unexpected surrounded by miles of flat to downhill terrain. So even though there are 5 lanes there it functions terribly.

Frankly GDOT should try their segregated truck lanes idea southbound here before building it out northbound from I-475 to GA 155 to see if it will actually fix any of the truck congestion problems on I-75. Even sticking some jersey barriers in and moving the merge point to the peak of the incline so trucks stay in the right lane up the incline would probably make a big operational difference - there's enough room for an extra travel lane while retaining the full shoulder on the existing pavement, which would be enough space for a jersey barrier to be added between I-75 and I-475 traffic.

Really what they should have done in retrospect is a deeper cutting through the hill here to reduce the southbound incline when they rebuilt the interchange over a decade ago.

Quote
I-475
North of US 41: AADT ~40k
(South of US 41: already 6+ lanes)

The short 4-lane section at the north end isn't too bad and also isn't very long, so no real need to worry about it.

This section, while short, gets backed up northbound fairly frequently during peak travel periods (which on I-475 aren't really rush hours, but periods like Spring Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.).
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2019, 01:49:31 AM »

More of a suburban example that came to mind tonight: OR 213 between Redland Rd and Beavercreek Rd. Additionally, an interchange with Redland would be needed.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2019, 07:12:13 AM »

Also I-95 from I-295 (northern end) to Washington needs to be a minimum of 8 lanes. AADT is between 100,000 (southern end) - 200,000 (northern end), and that's just 365 day averages. Way higher during peak travel times.

Agreed, as I have detailed in the past.  I just addressed the topic of six-laning in this thread.

Interestingly, these originally 4-lane sections of VA I-95 were widened to six lanes or more --
-- I-85 to Maury Street in Richmond, 22 miles, 1974-78
-- Ashland to Triangle, 58 miles, 1980-87
-- Shirley Highway VA-350 rebuilt to Interstate standards, 17 miles, 1965-75

Segments in the above corridor that were originally built with six lanes --
-- Maury Street to Ashland, 19 miles
-- Triangle to Woodbridge, 13 miles
I bet 1974 - 1987 were some rough years driving 95 during constant construction. Did they phase the widening over the course of those 8 years, or was it all done in one build? At least the stretch between DC - Richmond is 6 lanes, I couldn't imagine it still 4. They need to widen in phases for 8 lanes, starting north heading south. Similar to the I-64 Peninsula Widening.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2019, 08:48:57 AM »

Interestingly, these originally 4-lane sections of VA I-95 were widened to six lanes or more --
-- I-85 to Maury Street in Richmond, 22 miles, 1974-78
-- Ashland to Triangle, 58 miles, 1980-87
-- Shirley Highway VA-350 rebuilt to Interstate standards, 17 miles, 1965-75
Segments in the above corridor that were originally built with six lanes --
-- Maury Street to Ashland, 19 miles
-- Triangle to Woodbridge, 13 miles
I bet 1974 - 1987 were some rough years driving 95 during constant construction. Did they phase the widening over the course of those 8 years, or was it all done in one build? At least the stretch between DC - Richmond is 6 lanes, I couldn't imagine it still 4. They need to widen in phases for 8 lanes, starting north heading south. Similar to the I-64 Peninsula Widening.

The contracts for widening the 22 miles of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike were awarded over a 12-month period.  As seen above RPT was complete before Ashland to Triangle was started.

Ashland to Triangle contracts were awarded over a 4-year period due to funding limitations.   The first 4 were widely separated along the corridor due to fears (or so was some scuttlebutt) that FHWA might try to truncate the project to 20 or 30 miles if the contracts were let in sequence starting from one end.  I would have to think about it but I recall one was near Doswell, one near Thornburg, one near Falmouth and one near Quantico, none tying into a pre-existing 6-lane section.

Maintenance of traffic on the projects was good and while those sections were busy there was not nearly the traffic that there is today.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 08:51:01 AM by Beltway »
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2019, 12:24:03 PM »

I-91 from US 202 to at least MA 116, if not MA 2.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2019, 12:35:46 PM »

^ Up to Northampton, certainly.  I've never had a problem north of there, though.  Nor does it meet the OP's original criteria of 30K daily traffic north of Deerfield.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2019, 04:51:39 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2019, 04:59:50 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities

I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2019, 05:02:57 PM »

One that hasn't been mentioned yet is the rural parts of Interstate 26 in South Carolina. It would be very helpful to have I-26 at a minimum of six lanes throughout the whole state. Also, I believe I-26 is still four lanes in North Carolina southeast of Asheville, and it would probably not hurt to widen that as well.


I-65 all the way thru Indiana.
Hey, while we are at it, let's widen all of I-70 through Indiana!!
Not sure if that is needed yet, but the entire I-65 north of Indianapolis certainly does.

Yeah, the Chicago-Indianapolis corridor looks like a great candidate for six lanes.
2018 volumes on the four-lane stretch (although I'm not sure exactly where the lane-drop is) are generally between 38K and 46K. Comparable to the Thruway, but probably with more truck traffic.

As a general rule, I am surprised at the lack of six-lane corridors heading into/out of the Chicago area.

Yes indeed. Interstate 65 from Chicagoland to Nashville is a major trucking corridor. Kentucky has already widened much of I-65 to six lanes, and it would be extremely helpful to widen all the rest of I-65 between Nashville and Chicagoland to a minimum of six lanes.

This stuff really is expensive, but sucky traffic and a love for new road projects (that are good) can really make you hope for this stuff.  :-D
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2019, 05:17:13 PM »

Interestingly, these originally 4-lane sections of VA I-95 were widened to six lanes or more --
-- I-85 to Maury Street in Richmond, 22 miles, 1974-78
-- Ashland to Triangle, 58 miles, 1980-87
-- Shirley Highway VA-350 rebuilt to Interstate standards, 17 miles, 1965-75
Segments in the above corridor that were originally built with six lanes --
-- Maury Street to Ashland, 19 miles
-- Triangle to Woodbridge, 13 miles
I bet 1974 - 1987 were some rough years driving 95 during constant construction. Did they phase the widening over the course of those 8 years, or was it all done in one build? At least the stretch between DC - Richmond is 6 lanes, I couldn't imagine it still 4. They need to widen in phases for 8 lanes, starting north heading south. Similar to the I-64 Peninsula Widening.

The contracts for widening the 22 miles of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike were awarded over a 12-month period.  As seen above RPT was complete before Ashland to Triangle was started.

Ashland to Triangle contracts were awarded over a 4-year period due to funding limitations.   The first 4 were widely separated along the corridor due to fears (or so was some scuttlebutt) that FHWA might try to truncate the project to 20 or 30 miles if the contracts were let in sequence starting from one end.  I would have to think about it but I recall one was near Doswell, one near Thornburg, one near Falmouth and one near Quantico, none tying into a pre-existing 6-lane section.

Maintenance of traffic on the projects was good and while those sections were busy there was not nearly the traffic that there is today.
Assumed they widened to the inside as much as possible, though some sections still have very wide medians, almost like they widened to the outside. I guess it was just originally extremely wide. Also, was there a point where it was a work-zone in one area, opened up to a newly built six lane section, then back down to 4 lanes? Or did they open the new lanes in a sequential way from north-south or south-north so it would be continuous? Similar to how I-64 is being down now, it's going south-north (I wouldn't really count the I-295 area project because those will for the time be auxiliary lanes from Exit 205 to Exit 200)

Just curious on some of this stuff, it's interesting to know, and there's never good info online. Your website has been extremely useful for other projects like these & new highways from anywhere before the early 2000s. What made you stop posting new stuff?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 05:19:34 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2019, 06:17:21 PM »

Ashland to Triangle contracts were awarded over a 4-year period due to funding limitations.   The first 4 were widely separated along the corridor due to fears (or so was some scuttlebutt) that FHWA might try to truncate the project to 20 or 30 miles if the contracts were let in sequence starting from one end.  I would have to think about it but I recall one was near Doswell, one near Thornburg, one near Falmouth and one near Quantico, none tying into a pre-existing 6-lane section.
Maintenance of traffic on the projects was good and while those sections were busy there was not nearly the traffic that there is today.
Assumed they widened to the inside as much as possible, though some sections still have very wide medians, almost like they widened to the outside. I guess it was just originally extremely wide. Also, was there a point where it was a work-zone in one area, opened up to a newly built six lane section, then back down to 4 lanes? Or did they open the new lanes in a sequential way from north-south or south-north so it would be continuous? Similar to how I-64 is being down now, it's going south-north (I wouldn't really count the I-295 area project because those will for the time be auxiliary lanes from Exit 205 to Exit 200)

I have a public hearing brochure, about 65% of the length had outside widening, to preserve the wide median where they already had wide right-of-way.  I don't recall the exact opening sequence, but none of the first short segments had the new lane opened until continuous openings could be accomplished from one of the two 6- to 4-lane pre-existing transitions.  I would say that all the openings were in the 1984-87 range.  Back then 58 miles could be widened for $160 million!

The wide clear roadsides were built in these projects.  The original highway had much narrower clear roadsides.

Just curious on some of this stuff, it's interesting to know, and there's never good info online. Your website has been extremely useful for other projects like these & new highways from anywhere before the early 2000s. What made you stop posting new stuff?

Changes in life activities and priorities.  I hadn't really envisioned not continuing the rapid pace of new articles.  In the last few years I did complete the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project article, and a major addition to the article about the Midtown Tunnel corridor with the material about the parallel tunnel project and MLK Freeway Extension.  But I am definitely going to keep the websites online in the future.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2019, 07:55:53 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.

Why such a short segment?

I would actually give Quad Cities to I-380 a higher priority, given that I-80 and I-88 already run roughly parallel between Chicagoland and Iowa. Essentially I-88 serves Chicagoland traffic bound for Iowa, while I-80 serves thru-traffic bound for (or coming from) Indiana and points east. I can't see either of them being too congested, though I haven't looked up the volumes.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 07:59:34 PM by webny99 »
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2019, 09:18:37 PM »

One that hasn't been mentioned yet is the rural parts of Interstate 26 in South Carolina. It would be very helpful to have I-26 at a minimum of six lanes throughout the whole state. Also, I believe I-26 is still four lanes in North Carolina southeast of Asheville, and it would probably not hurt to widen that as well.

Wow, I didnt realize what kind of volumes I-26 carries through much of SC! A widening would certainly be warranted from Charleston, across I-95, and all the way up to Columbia. Volumes are above 40K on most segments and even sustained above 50K between Orangeburg and Columbia. Heading northwest on I-26, from Columbia to the I-385 split, could also use widening, with volumes generally above 35K.

Beyond I-385, up to the NC state line, a widening doesn't seem to be needed: volumes are only in the mid to high 20K's except for a few segments near Spartanburg.

Quote
Yes indeed. Interstate 65 from Chicagoland to Nashville is a major trucking corridor. Kentucky has already widened much of I-65 to six lanes, and it would be extremely helpful to widen all the rest of I-65 between Nashville and Chicagoland to a minimum of six lanes.

Agreed! Much of the remaining widening would fall to Indiana, which has plenty of 2dis, but unfortunately doesn't seem to be doing too many six-laning projects.  :-/

As far as Kentucky, they seem to have good things going on with I-65 and I-75. It would be great if they continue to spread the joy and widen I-64 between Louisville and Lexington!
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2019, 09:38:14 PM »

I want to study all of Pennsylvania in more detail at some point, but for now just the most obvious ones:

*I-80 from I-380 to the NJ line
(Desparately needed. Volumes are sustained over 50K and even top 70K on some segments!)

*I-78 from I-81 to the NJ line
*I-81 from I-83 to I-78

(Together, these widenings would create a continuous six-lane corridor from Harrisburg to NYC - sorely needed given the incredible volume of trucks using both I-78 and I-81!)
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2019, 11:05:27 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.

Why such a short segment?

I would actually give Quad Cities to I-380 a higher priority, given that I-80 and I-88 already run roughly parallel between Chicagoland and Iowa. Essentially I-88 serves Chicagoland traffic bound for Iowa, while I-80 serves thru-traffic bound for (or coming from) Indiana and points east. I can't see either of them being too congested, though I haven't looked up the volumes.

To get to the Quad Cities, I-88 is the better choice only for those on the north side of town.  Where I'm at, I-80 is more direct and doesn't have tolls.  Traffic drops once I get west of Morris, but there are still times where I will be stuck behind a truck trying to pass another truck, so I wouldn't be against a lane expansion.  I'm seeing traffic counts over 30,000 on IDOT's site everywhere east of I-39.  Ideally, I'd say six from I-39 to Minooka; eight from Minooka to the IN border.  And fix that lousy connection to I-294 on I-80's eastbound mainline.

I agree with I-65 mentioned earlier; no other rural freeway has me seeking ways to avoid it like this one.  I'll take US 52 instead.  It's much more peaceful.

I-57 between Chicagoland and Kankakee could use an extra lane each way; the road also has traffic counts over 30,000, meaning over 20 vehicles per minute.  Personally, I'd like to see six lanes all the down to Champaign, but I don't think there's enough traffic to justify it.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2019, 08:50:38 AM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.

Why such a short segment?

I would actually give Quad Cities to I-380 a higher priority, given that I-80 and I-88 already run roughly parallel between Chicagoland and Iowa. Essentially I-88 serves Chicagoland traffic bound for Iowa, while I-80 serves thru-traffic bound for (or coming from) Indiana and points east. I can't see either of them being too congested, though I haven't looked up the volumes.

That stretch in particular because of the increased traffic around LaSalle / Peru, and through Ottawa, and for Starved Rock traffic during summer weekends.  Ideally I'd like I-80 six laned through all of Illinois, but I think this would be an easier sell.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2019, 01:30:16 PM »

Interstate 180 in Illinois

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2019, 01:32:21 PM »

Iowa thinks 80 across the state though they finally decided it did not need to be done that urgently so maybe between Iowa City and 280.
Missouri same thing with 70 though its condition is worse or was because MO is out of road money.

80 between Altoona and Newton is nightmarish. Also 35 between Ankeny and Ames is long overdue, I think it's actually happening.
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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2019, 02:17:13 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.

Why such a short segment?

I would actually give Quad Cities to I-380 a higher priority, given that I-80 and I-88 already run roughly parallel between Chicagoland and Iowa. Essentially I-88 serves Chicagoland traffic bound for Iowa, while I-80 serves thru-traffic bound for (or coming from) Indiana and points east. I can't see either of them being too congested, though I haven't looked up the volumes.

That stretch in particular because of the increased traffic around LaSalle / Peru, and through Ottawa, and for Starved Rock traffic during summer weekends.  Ideally I'd like I-80 six laned through all of Illinois, but I think this would be an easier sell.
what about widening the tolled parts of I-88 to at least 6 lanes?
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ET21

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2019, 02:48:25 PM »

If not mentioned: I-80 from Joliet to the Quad Cities
I mentioned from Ottawa to Spring Valley.

Why such a short segment?

I would actually give Quad Cities to I-380 a higher priority, given that I-80 and I-88 already run roughly parallel between Chicagoland and Iowa. Essentially I-88 serves Chicagoland traffic bound for Iowa, while I-80 serves thru-traffic bound for (or coming from) Indiana and points east. I can't see either of them being too congested, though I haven't looked up the volumes.

That stretch in particular because of the increased traffic around LaSalle / Peru, and through Ottawa, and for Starved Rock traffic during summer weekends.  Ideally I'd like I-80 six laned through all of Illinois, but I think this would be an easier sell.
what about widening the tolled parts of I-88 to at least 6 lanes?

Traffic dies off fast west of the Sugar Grove exit and even more after I-39. Maybe a three lane might be necessary out to IL-47 once the interchange is completed, but I can't see anything past that. If you really wanted to stretch it, maybe out to DeKalb
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"Show where your going, without forgetting where your from"

Clinched:
IL: I-88, I-180, I-190, I-290, I-294, I-355, IL-390
IN: I-80, I-94
SD: I-190
WI: I-90, I-94
MI: I-94, I-196
MN: I-90

Paulinator66

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  • I-557 - Connecting I-55 and I-57 thru Vandalia, IL

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Re: Rural Freeways That Need Six Lanes
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2019, 04:00:38 PM »

Also, I-55 in/around Springfield, where the ridiculous 4 lane segment exists between 6 lane segments both north and south of town. No idea if IDOT has plans on that one

Agreed!  I live in Spfld and no one knows why it was built this way.  Not even the the local IDOT engineers.  But they do have plans to widen it to 6 lanes all through town and even 8 lanes with a collector/distributor road for a couple of miles where traffic is heaviest.  http://i55springfield.com/site/

Actually, I drive from Spfld to St Louis frequently and I can say with confidence that I-55 needs six lanes from Litchfield all the way down.  The whole stretch from the St Louis area to Bloomington is antiquated and needs a complete tearout and rebuild.  Bridges and overpasses too. . .but, then, this is Illinois.  We never seem to have money.
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