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Author Topic: Rural highway upgrade standards  (Read 2333 times)

sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2019, 10:22:01 PM »

Seems a lot easier to use routes that don't routinely have these problems.
You're right - I-77 to I-74 to I-85 to US-58 is a good alternative that doesn't have much in the way of these issues - and Google & Waze route that way when issues are present along I-81 that are known when approaching the I-77 split.

But overall, I'll still stick with I-64 to I-81. Personal preference. If I see a wreck ahead before reaching I-77, then I'll consider taking the next best routing that Google & Waze route me down - I-77 to I-74 to I-85 to US-58, or if it's a minor incident with good alternatives, I'll get off and go around it and just stick with I-81 and I-64.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2019, 11:09:42 PM »

Seems a lot easier to use routes that don't routinely have these problems.
You're right - I-77 to I-74 to I-85 to US-58 is a good alternative that doesn't have much in the way of these issues - and Google & Waze route that way when issues are present along I-81 that are known when approaching the I-77 split.

But what if those issues are such that they are a couple hours down the road and will be cleared up soon?

Given that US-58 still has 19 miles of 1940s era 2-lane highway thru the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would not expect that to be a recommended route for rural arterial traffic (other than between Stuart and Norfolk) before that is complete.  But I have been aware of that since the beginning of this topic.
 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 11:26:04 PM by Beltway »
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2019, 07:55:55 PM »

Given that US-58 still has 19 miles of 1940s era 2-lane highway thru the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would not expect that to be a recommended route for rural arterial traffic (other than between Stuart and Norfolk) before that is complete.  But I have been aware of that since the beginning of this topic.
Currently, there's 20 miles of existing two-lane roadway, and Google indicates on both segments combined, takes 26 minutes to drive.

Once that is 4-lanes, the drive time will be reduced to 20 minutes, a savings of 6 minutes.

As of now, I-77 to I-74 to I-85 to US-58 is 6 minutes faster than US-58 all the way across. When the four-lane is completed, the travel times will be the same.

However, I-74 around Winston-Salem is now fully under construction and set to be completed in phases between 2020-2022. When that is completed, that will shave 4 miles off the existing trip, and about 7 minutes off of it due to 65 mph speed limits over 55 mph urban highway, plus the shorter route.

The completion of I-74 would still make the North Carolina routing 7 minutes faster than a completed US-58. And when I-74 is completed, and US-58 still is not, it will be 13 minutes faster.

Google and Waze don't change their routing based on "four-lanes". Just as it does today, Google and Waze will likely not display US-58 as an alternative, but rather the North Carolina routing as it currently does for someone heading between Wytheville and South Hill or Norfolk trying to avoid I-81.

I'm not against the four-lane widening of US-58, it will provide a needed corridor across Southern Virginia for freight movement and anybody who needs the most direct routing and is mileage strict. But I-77 to I-74 to I-85 will still compete with that road between Hillsville and South Hill and will provide faster travel times in the end, along with an interstate highway corridor that bypasses the major metropolitan areas. US-58 will likely be preferred for freight, and passenger vehicles using a GPS will be routed via I-77, I-74, and I-85, and that will be the preferred corridor for that traffic load. But of course, the best route over those two is simply I-81 to I-64 when no major incidents have occurred, and is the most familiar and well-known corridor for Hampton Roads traffic over US-58 and the North Carolina routing. Most people aren't familiar with US-58 beyond I-85 here in Hampton Roads, and quite frankly, I-85 in North Carolina is more familiar than US-58 west of South Hill.

Note - That 6 minute shave off US-58 is assuming the entire highway is posted 60 mph. If it's 55 mph, probably only about 4-5 minutes shaved.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 08:02:13 PM by sprjus4 »
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2019, 09:37:16 PM »

Let's not forget the bigger picture either... someone on I-81 in Southwest VA long-distance likely came from the southern terminus from I-40.

If there was an incident on I-81, they could simply take I-40 all the way to I-85 to US-58. In fact, that's only 6 minutes slower than I-81 to I-64.

That's more direct then I-77 to I-74 to I-85 and makes more logical sense as they are just following I-40 all the way to I-85.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2019, 09:51:53 PM »

Given that US-58 still has 19 miles of 1940s era 2-lane highway thru the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would not expect that to be a recommended route for rural arterial traffic (other than between Stuart and Norfolk) before that is complete.  But I have been aware of that since the beginning of this topic.
Currently, there's 20 miles of existing two-lane roadway, and Google indicates on both segments combined, takes 26 minutes to drive.
Once that is 4-lanes, the drive time will be reduced to 20 minutes, a savings of 6 minutes.
If trucks were allowed the current time would be much worse, with those steep grades.  As it is the design of those 19 miles is such that only about 4,000 VPD are willing to use the highway. 

A completed 4-lane highway could carry 10,000 to 15,000 VPD easily, although it may take awhile to break 10,000.  But it is hard to tell, the current design is so low and mountainous that it suppresses traffic, and a completed highway may attract a lot more than the conventional wisdom.  And of course it will be able to be a major trucking route.

However, I-74 around Winston-Salem
Who cares about Winston-Salem??? 

Nothing really wrong with the place, but it is just another boring N.C. Piedmont city no river and no mountains.   I have no desire to go there.

The Google Maps first alternate for I-64 and I-81 between Norfolk and Wytheville is
US-460 between Bowers Hill and Roanoke.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2019, 10:00:07 PM »

Who cares about Winston-Salem???
As a US-58 relocation and widening to 4-lanes through the Blue Ridge Mountains would shave off 4-6 minutes the current US-58 routing and be equal to the North Carolina routing, the I-74 completion will shave 7 minutes off that routing, making it again 6-7 minutes faster as it is now to US-58.

The Google Maps first alternate for I-64 and I-81 between Norfolk and Wytheville is
US-460 between Bowers Hill and Roanoke.
And the third one is I-77, I-74, I-85, US-58. Not seeing US-58 all the way across. US-58 will remove 4-6 minutes of travel time when widened, and the North Carolina route will remove 7 minutes of travel time when I-74 is completed. The North Carolina routing will still be faster, and remain competitive with the I-74 completion, and actually a little faster (7-8 minutes faster to US-58 than the current 3-5 minutes today). That's why Winston-Salem is relevant here.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2019, 10:17:50 PM »

As a US-58 relocation and widening to 4-lanes through the Blue Ridge Mountains would shave off 4-6 minutes the current US-58 routing and be equal to the North Carolina routing, the I-74 completion will shave 7 minutes off that routing, making it again 6-7 minutes faster as it is now to US-58.

Those number of minutes is "down in the noise"  in relevance on a 5 1/2 hour trip. 

Then you have 30 less miles on US-58.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2019, 10:19:46 PM »

Then you have 30 less miles on US-58.
Those number of miles is "down in the noise"  in relevance on a 350 mile trip - especially for a passenger vehicle. Don't go off on a tangent about truck mileage - I get it.
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RoadMaster09

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2019, 10:25:19 PM »

I know some states are willing to upgrade corridors of importance to 4 lanes even with 2,000 AADT in spots, but in the case of US 58, the terrain might be a limiting factor?

Then again, every state is different. I personally hate Super-2 corridors - they have a tendency to try to increase speed without increasing the separation (risk of head-on collisions), and they don't increase capacity too much either.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2019, 10:27:31 PM »

Then you have 30 less miles on US-58.
Those number of miles is "down in the noise"  in relevance on a 350 mile trip - especially for a passenger vehicle. Don't go off on a tangent about truck mileage - I get it.

Not at all, no need to drive 30 extra miles which is an absolute figure, compared to a time estimate from an app which is only an estimate.

SUV that gets 12 to 15 mpg, less if heavily loaded.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2019, 10:34:41 PM »

Not at all, no need to drive 30 extra miles which is an absolute figure, compared to a time estimate from an app which is only an estimate.
I'd rather drive at interstate speeds (65-70 mph) than 55-60 mph the entire way.

SUV that gets 12 to 15 mpg, less if heavily loaded.
Closer to 20 mpg, might want to check that.

$2.50 average per gallon, so in the end you pay $2.50 - $3.50 more. That's a wash on a long distance trip when filling up at the gas pump 400-500 miles, $30+ in fuel.
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Beltway

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2019, 10:39:57 PM »

30 extra miles for Murphy to intervene … not worth it.
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sprjus4

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Re: Rural highway upgrade standards
« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2019, 10:41:43 PM »

30 extra miles for Murphy to intervene … not worth it.
Your call. You seem to be the one who's mileage strict here.

I'll take my roads, you take your roads.
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