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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 728352 times)

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4275 on: July 16, 2019, 03:13:05 PM »

Memories of the past ...

Yeah I remember this like it was yesterday. It was even worse at night, especially NB. There were times where they briefly closed the road altogether in order to move equipment or sections of the bridge into place. It was just long enough to create a backup all the way back to Bells Rd and sometimes further. VDOT warned of an hour delay on DMS's and they weren't kidding.
I found a pic online a couple years back of the first (1976) BGS for VA 195, I'm gonna try and dig it up.
This was a fascinating project to watch.  There were a variety of vantage points where one could stand within about 150 feet of the bridge and watch the sawing, removal and replacement operations for the prefabricated sections of bridge deck, and there were a number of nights where I went there for several hours to watch the construction.  Driving through there was also a good way to pass the construction zones and to get a glimpse of the construction operations, and I did that many times also, at least after the heavy traffic periods so that I was not adding to the backup.

http://www.roadstothefuture.com/I95_JRB_Restoration.html

Since bridge volume was about 4,800 vehicles per hour at 7:00 PM when the closure started, motorists were advised to consider alternate routes, since 2 lanes could not handle that much traffic.  I-95 traffic backed up for a couple miles at times during the early evenings.  Volumes dropped steadily and at 10:00 PM it was down to about 3,000 vehicles per hour, and traffic usually flowed freely from then until all lanes reopened at 6:00 AM, albeit traffic moved slowly at about 40 mph.  The AADT (annual average daily traffic) on the bridge at the time of the project was over 110,000 with 9% large trucks.  Construction did not occur on weekends, holidays, or during bad weather.

During construction nights, it was necessary to stop all traffic for up to 10 minutes at a time, about twice a night, so that the large caterpillar-like vehicle with rubber treads, could carry the new bridge span sections across the highway to the bridge work site.  State troopers would stop the traffic during these times.


The official signed alternate routes included segments of I-295, VA-288, VA-76, I-195, and US-1/US-301.
I've always said VDOT has some interesting techniques, in this case basically doing a variation of what they did with the Coleman Bridge.



Here's the pic I mentioned (actually there's 2).

The first pic is the original BGS (on the right in the photo). The exit number is inside the BGS, typical of the RPT at the time.

The 2nd pic is also the original, but the exit number had been covered or removed on the BGS and added on a separate tab instead. I believe this pic was taken in the early 1980's.




SM-S820L

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NJRoadfan

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4276 on: July 17, 2019, 06:13:11 PM »

The old sign is very NJ Turnpike-esque. Wonder if the RPT copied their sign designs.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4277 on: July 17, 2019, 11:14:48 PM »

The old sign is very NJ Turnpike-esque. Wonder if the RPT copied their sign designs.

That could be the case as the NJTP was innovative in several ways... but then again how many BGS's on turnpikes actually had a separate exit tab before the 1970's?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4278 on: July 17, 2019, 11:16:46 PM »

The old sign is very NJ Turnpike-esque. Wonder if the RPT copied their sign designs.

Closer to the end of tolling on  the RPT in 1992, the signs were much more like what VDOT has installed on its other urban freeways around the Commonwealth.
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OracleUsr

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4279 on: July 17, 2019, 11:49:55 PM »

I remember those type signs at the VA 10 interchange in Chester (formerly Exits 6W-E), when I was coming back from Baltimore in 1990.
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4280 on: July 18, 2019, 09:59:47 AM »

The old sign is very NJ Turnpike-esque. Wonder if the RPT copied their sign designs.

Closer to the end of tolling on  the RPT in 1992, the signs were much more like what VDOT has installed on its other urban freeways around the Commonwealth.

Indeed, a lot of those signs are still up, with mileage-based exit numbers patched over the original RPT exit numbers (Exit 75 on I-95 northbound briefly became Exit 11 a few years ago when a storm blew off the "75" patch).
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