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Author Topic: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road  (Read 3235 times)

Thomas77

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Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« on: April 18, 2021, 08:34:40 PM »

Why is US 33 northbound in Ohio (Past Columbus and Maryville) a 4 lane road? Even if it has the traffic of most 2 lane highways.
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Bitmapped

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 09:09:43 AM »

Why is US 33 northbound in Ohio (Past Columbus and Maryville) a 4 lane road? Even if it has the traffic of most 2 lane highways.

Because it is a major cross-state corridor and has traffic counts out to Bellefontaine that justify four lanes.
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Flint1979

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 09:35:05 AM »

It's not four lanes in the northbound direction it's two lanes in each direction and it's like that because it's a major route.
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JREwing78

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2021, 09:40:39 PM »

I'm honestly a little surprised that they haven't 4-laned the section between Huntsville and Wapakoneta. A cursory glance at traffic counts indicates that a route that was a more direct connection between the two existing 4-lane sections, even if it started as a section of Super-2, would pull enough traffic to be worthwhile. It might also pull an appreciable amount of Fort Wayne-bound traffic off of US-23 and US-30, especially if they convinced InDOT to upgrade their section of US-33.
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 12:04:19 AM »

Why is US 33 northbound in Ohio (Past Columbus and Maryville) a 4 lane road? Even if it has the traffic of most 2 lane highways.

One word; Honda.
Ohio connected the Bellefountaine & Marysville Bypasses in the late 80s for a Honda manufacturing plant, located between the two towns.

As for JREwing78's comment about extending the 4 lane section of US 33, from Huntsville to Wapakoneta. ODOT did have that on their wishlist back in the 60s and early 70s (before Honda & Scotts showed up), but I believe the delicate nature of Indian Lake has caused ODOT to forget about it.
And by delicate, I don't mean just ecological. ODOT had to rebuild US 33, along the south shore of Indian Lake back in the mid 90s due to flooding.

("unsecure" photo I took of US 33 near Indian Lake, 20 years ago)
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SkyPesos

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 12:19:46 AM »

Sometimes, I still wonder how US 33 became a freeway earlier than US 23. US 33 from Marysville to Bellefontaine could be fine as an expressway despite Honda's presence in Marysville. Meanwhile, US 23, which carries long-distance traffic from Columbus-Michigan between Columbus (or Delaware) and OH 15, and Columbus-Southeastern states between Columbus and Chillicothe, still have at-grade signalized intersections, lack of bypasses for some of the towns, and both ways to get from Delaware to I-270 (US 23 or US 36/I-71) are lined with traffic signals for a good stretch.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 10:53:49 AM »

I feel like that's why Columbus and Toledo have such poor cultural exchange. Especially as compared to how strong the cultural exchange is between Columbus and almost all of the rest of the state.
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Flint1979

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 11:27:00 AM »

Everytime I go to Ohio I'm basically in the Toledo area when I enter the state but after that I often opt for I-75 SB, never get on the Turnpike although I do have the Turnpike clinched. If I'm heading east I opt for OH-2 most of the time. I almost never get on US-23 after Perrysburg and when I have gone to Columbus I take I-75 to OH-15 to US-23. I remember back in the 90's when I was still traveling with my parents we had directions and this was before gps systems they told us to take OH-199 and we never could figure out how to get to it since there was no exit for it off either 75 or 475.
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TempoNick

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2021, 01:16:48 AM »

I used to drive between Columbus and Fort Wayne quite frequently and in my opinion, it's worthless to spend any effort four-lane-ing US 33 any further than it is. That jog to the west I-75 takes at Findlay makes US 33 useless going to Columbus except if you're coming from Fort Wayne (or Chicago). If it were up to me, I would take it up to US 30 (probably at I-75) and then you can use US 30 into Fort Wayne. That's not ideal since you kind of have to go backwards, to the east, but it's probably the most complete way into Fort Wayne and it makes use of a pretty good road into Fort Wayne. That jog I-75 takes to the west ruins the utility of any route into Columbus south of Findlay.

FWIW, I used to take US 33 to Ohio 117 to I-75. Then exit Bluelick Road, go west to Ohio 65 and then to US 30.

But really, it makes more sense to spend that money to complete freeway-ing US 23 where it already connects to US 30. That would be an okay way into Fort Wayne and beyond.
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seicer

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2021, 08:34:13 PM »

To answer the question as to why US Route 23 has lagged behind: it was four-laned much earlier than most. Portsmouth was a major steel industrial center and a bustling city (not so much for either counts), and Chillicothe was a major paper industrial center. The current four-lane is sufficient for the most part but it's early designs leave much to be desired as traffic counts increase closer to Columbus you get.

Bitmapped

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2021, 11:29:58 AM »

To answer the question as to why US Route 23 has lagged behind: it was four-laned much earlier than most. Portsmouth was a major steel industrial center and a bustling city (not so much for either counts), and Chillicothe was a major paper industrial center. The current four-lane is sufficient for the most part but it's early designs leave much to be desired as traffic counts increase closer to Columbus you get.
US 23 south of Columbus is pretty similar to other early 4-lane projects in Ohio, like US 20 west of Norwalk, US 40 west of Columbus, and now-SR 25 near Bowling Green. The main difference is the other routes were functionally replaced by nearby Interstates and US 23 hasn't been. The parts that go through towns could use bypasses, but the rural parts of US 23 work pretty well as-is.
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seicer

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2021, 05:40:24 PM »

I was curious as to when US Route 23 was dualized south of Columbus:

South of Columbus: 1955
Closer to Circleville including the bypass: 1957
South of Circleville: 1956
Closer to Chillicothe: 1957
South of Chillicothe: 1954, 1949
South of Waverly: 1953 (mostly on a c. 1939 alignment)
Atomic Plant bridge: 1953
Closer to Portsmouth: 1953

I wasn't aware that pretty much all of the highway was built at around the same time period. I wonder if it was timed with the construction and opening of the atomic plant (1952-56).

--

Looking at newspaper articles, Ohio voters approved a $500 million bond issue for highway improvements in 1954. One of the priorities included serving the national defense (among other rationales). Much of the US 23 widening projects for 1955 was listed as a high priority. Another article had dedication ceremonies attended by atomic plant officials for the segments in their vicinity.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 05:46:20 PM by seicer »
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SkyPesos

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2021, 09:27:11 PM »

I didn't know US 23 south of Columbus was 4 laned that early. Probably explains why its section in Circleville is lined with businesses even though it "bypasses" the city and has an interchange with US 22. Also for Columbus-Charleston, WV (and points beyond like the Carolinas), an upgraded US 23 between Chillicothe and I-270 would help, along with the last 4 lane segment of US 35 that WV is currently finishing, though it seems like that Google Maps suggest using US 33 over US 23/35, and that it's 3 minutes faster.
South of Chillicothe, I doubt that it'll get upgrade to a full freeway, considering that I-73 in Ohio is pretty much dead now, and US 35 past Chillicothe already makes a good connector to I-77 and the Carolinas.
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seicer

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2021, 09:30:23 PM »

Once the US Route 35 freeway is completed in Ohio, it will be a superior route over US Route 33 which has modern two-lane segments in the vicinity of Athens and Pomeroy (although capable of being expanded to four lanes).

The only plans I know for US Route 23 include the South Bloomfield bypass (access-controlled freeway) to the east. I was looking through ODOT's site for planning projects and found none.

GCrites80s

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2021, 09:25:51 PM »

I was curious as to when US Route 23 was dualized south of Columbus:

South of Columbus: 1955
Closer to Circleville including the bypass: 1957
South of Circleville: 1956
Closer to Chillicothe: 1957
South of Chillicothe: 1954, 1949
South of Waverly: 1953 (mostly on a c. 1939 alignment)
Atomic Plant bridge: 1953
Closer to Portsmouth: 1953

I wasn't aware that pretty much all of the highway was built at around the same time period. I wonder if it was timed with the construction and opening of the atomic plant (1952-56).

--

Looking at newspaper articles, Ohio voters approved a $500 million bond issue for highway improvements in 1954. One of the priorities included serving the national defense (among other rationales). Much of the US 23 widening projects for 1955 was listed as a high priority. Another article had dedication ceremonies attended by atomic plant officials for the segments in their vicinity.

Yeah all of it starting at where 270 is now on the South Side of Columbus was pretty much done at once except for the Chillicothe bypass ('60, '70s?). No major changes either except some widening in Waverly around Y2K and a very minor widening on the north side of Portsmouth (in front of the Stag Bar) around the same time. It was weird to me when I asked my dad about it and he was like "All at once. Started on it in '53. Done in 1955." He didn't go to Portsmouth much though. Even up until the '80s people we lumping Portsmouth into Columbus like it was almost part of the metro; it was weird. I guess because it wasn't a full on hellscape until then and Columbus wasn't nearly as nice yet? lol
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seicer

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2021, 10:20:45 PM »

The Chillicothe bypass was added in 1971-72 (originally built for US 35 in 1968 with provisions for US 23). The Waverly reconstruction happened in 1999-00 and is still in excellent condition (unlike too many new concrete roads that have deteriorated faster).

I was just scouring Portsmouth the other day for aerials and was surprised at how much its rebounding. The district west of downtown is seeing a -lot- of new redevelopment aided in part by state historic tax credits and nearly all of the abandoned buildings are now occupied or under renovations. There is even a new build in there. A new hotel next to that Holiday Inn but no work has been done on it in about a year (COVID killed it most likely). And downtown has some nice rehabs with lofts and coffee shops replacing some previously abandoned buildings.

Still. It's a rough city. Shawnee State is the savior since the area has lost -all- of its heavy industry, including the Atomic plant. (The shoe string plant on Scioto Avenue does not count.)

GCrites80s

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2021, 11:34:25 PM »

^Yeah Boneyfiddle (Portsmouth's 2nd downtown) is seeing the most investment these days. Portsmouth's definite bottom was probably about 6-7 years ago. Something a lot of people don't know about SSU is that it had a nasty bottom around the same time where it dropped down to about 3200 students from its late 2000s peak at 5000. That bottom was lower than it was in the late '90s when it was making a lot of effort to increase enrollment and attract non-commuter students. I imagine that the city's condition coupled with new attitudes about how good the networking is at any given school was behind the enrollment decline. It used to be "just get a degree and everything will be fine" but now things are much more focused on job networks which is a disadvantage for the entire region outside of healthcare. I don't know if there is a lot more emphasis on international students at the school now -- very few students were international as compared to many U.S. schools when I attended there in the late '90s/early 2000s outside of short-term exchange and a few soccer players.
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seicer

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2021, 09:06:44 AM »

International students pay full rate too :^) I did notice they closed off 3rd Street in front of SSU which was really needed since practically all of their (cheap-looking) dormitories are on the north side of the street. It wasn't -that- long ago that 2nd Street once crossed through campus, too. I think that SSU should really petition to get the 2nd and Chillicothe reconfigured to be more of a connector to Boneyfiddle. It really doesn't have a direct pedestrian connection.

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2021, 03:50:21 PM »


US 23 south of Columbus is pretty similar to other early 4-lane projects in Ohio, like US 20 west of Norwalk, US 40 west of Columbus, and now-SR 25 near Bowling Green. The main difference is the other routes were functionally replaced by nearby Interstates and US 23 hasn't been. The parts that go through towns could use bypasses, but the rural parts of US 23 work pretty well as-is.

I don't know that I agree when it comes to the north half of US 23. Sometimes it gets a little too congested and too much is going on with people trying to maneuver through the at grade intersections. Add a little rain and fatigue and night time, and bad things can happen. Maybe the traffic counts don't justify it, but what I've seen at peak times I think enough traffic goes through there to justify freewaying the entire thing from Findlay to Delaware.

Once you get past Delaware, you have another problem, but at least it should be freeway to there.

The other thing I wonder about. Ohio does a pretty good job with their new freeway designs. They do a decent job engineering them but I wonder if over engineering is why these projects get delayed. If you look at what Texas does, they just build through the existing right away and use a lot of frontage roads off to the side of whatever they freeway. That seems like a far more cost-effective way to get a freeway done, even if it isn't as safe and well engineered as we do things in Ohio.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2021, 04:48:07 PM »

International students pay full rate too :^) I did notice they closed off 3rd Street in front of SSU which was really needed since practically all of their (cheap-looking) dormitories are on the north side of the street. It wasn't -that- long ago that 2nd Street once crossed through campus, too. I think that SSU should really petition to get the 2nd and Chillicothe reconfigured to be more of a connector to Boneyfiddle. It really doesn't have a direct pedestrian connection.

It was a while back that they closed off 3rd Street -- maybe 10 years ago? But yeah if 2nd and Chillicothe is still all slip ramps and islands it doesn't need to be since the other bridge opened on the West Side 40 years ago and cut the volume way down.
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skluth

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2021, 07:57:51 PM »

I don't know if it still is, but I thought it was a great route to take shunpiking in 1987 driving from Green Bay to Lancaster Co PA after graduating college. I took US 30 across Indiana and Ohio to just past I-75, then zigzagged down to US 33 to Columbus. Some of it was on unmarked local roads which freaked out my then-partner because these roads weren't in the Rand McNally and it was well before smart phones.

I do think a four-lane connection from US 33 to either I-75 or US 30 would be a great improvement for Ohio drivers. Fixing the Breezewood at Beaverdam would also be good.
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hbelkins

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2021, 08:11:24 PM »

Once the US Route 35 freeway is completed in Ohio, it will be a superior route over US Route 33 which has modern two-lane segments in the vicinity of Athens and Pomeroy (although capable of being expanded to four lanes).

US 33 is signed for Columbus on I-77, bypassing Pomeroy and Athens and other cities/towns along the route. IIRC it's on supplemental signage with the primary signage being just for Ravenswood.

I wonder if West Virginia will change signage on I-64 at US 35 once the four-lane is done? It's signed for Pt. Pleasant, and I can see Jackson, Chillicothe, Dayton, and even Columbus ("but US 35 doesn't go to Columbus!!!") being used as supplementals.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2021, 08:56:35 PM »

Does WV like putting Columbus on things? Jackson I can see but it seems like they prefer putting the nearest towns on signs.
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SkyPesos

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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2021, 09:08:19 PM »

I ranted about control cities for Ohio's non-interstate 4 lanes a while ago in another thread, but for US 35 WB from I-64, my main option would be Chillicothe, although Dayton could be listed on distance signs.
Currently, it seems like that Ohio likes to use every county seat as controls on US route and State route freeways. Every county seat is good for 2 lane roads, but for expressways and freeways, I think they should be treated to just a level below the standards as 2di interstates. Here's my opinions on more spaced out control cities that are more useful for long-distance drivers

OH 161/16: Columbus, Newark, Coshocton
- First of all, remove Columbus as a WB control city on the OH 16 split from the freeway and give it to the freeway continuation. No one is going to use the 2 lane OH 16 over the freeway to Columbus from Granville; it's not even one of the route options on Google Maps.
- With Columbus used on the freeway, New Albany could be removed or signed as a secondary.
- East of Newark, the only real option is Coshocton.
- This ties into my fictional idea to swap 161 and 16 west of Granville, to keep a single route number and exit number sequence on the whole freeway section. Because 161 ends west of 16, currently, the mileposts and exit numbers drop down from where 161 ends and 16 continues the freeway, causing some duplicated exit numbers on the freeway. Two of the digits are the same, so white-out should be adequate for turning 161 signage to 16  :-D

US 23/OH 15: Portsmouth, Chillicothe, Columbus, (Delaware), (Marion), (Findlay), Toledo
- For the section south of I-270, Bye Circleville, Bye Piketon
- I placed Delaware in parenthesis as I think it's better than Toledo for NB 23 at the I-270 interchange. It's a busy 4 lane arterial between Columbus and Delaware, and traffic to Toledo also have the option to use I-71 then switch to US 36 and US 23 at Delaware. For SB, Delaware isn't necessary.
- Marion could be used too for its size, and home to an Ohio State regional campus, but it's close to Delaware, and not on any major junctions.
- Findlay could be added in for NB, as it's where OH 15 meets I-75 and is a sizable city. I chose to not include it though.

US 24: Ft Wayne, Toledo
- For a US route that's really important for long distance travel (part of the shortcut for I-69 between Ft Wayne and Pt Huron), it really shouldn't have any in-state control cities west of Toledo. So goodbye Defiance and Napoleon.

US 30: Ft Wayne, Lima, Mansfield, Canton
- Ft Wayne, Mansfield and Canton are no-brainers
- Lima isn't on US 30, but it's the only sizable city between Ft Wayne and Mansfield and is close to the junction with I-75, so I chose it.
- East of Canton, it's no longer a freeway or expressway

OH 32: Cincinnati, Athens, Parkersburg
- The almost 200 mile distance between Cincinnati and Athens may be a bit long, but there's not really any good options between them on OH 32. If Corridor D used US 50 instead of OH 32, Chillicothe would be perfect. But that's not the case. Also, Cincinnati is signed WB as a control city in Athens.

US 33: Columbus, Athens
- I have no idea what to do with the freeway portion northwest of Columbus, as it ends in Bellefontaine, but Marysville is a larger city. Could keep both, but it would be inconsistent to the rest of what I want to do here. Fort Wayne is another option, but it's a bit far as it's mostly 2 lane to there.
- Between Columbus and Athens, those two cities should be the primary controls. So bye Lancaster and Logan.
- Southeast of Athens, it's a 2 lane

US 35: Dayton, Chillicothe, Charleston
- Dayton is obvious
- Chillicothe is where US 35 meets US 23, and a people on US 35 WB heading to cities like Columbus or Detroit would turn north onto US 23 here.
- US 35 doesn't physically reach Charleston, but it's close enough and is the next point for long distance traffic, as there isn't any other major point in the middle.
Unrelated note, but TIL that WV uses Freeway Entrance signs and downward pointing arrows like what California does. Interesting...
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Re: Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2021, 10:41:53 PM »


US 33 is signed for Columbus on I-77, bypassing Pomeroy and Athens and other cities/towns along the route. IIRC it's on supplemental signage with the primary signage being just for Ravenswood.


A completed US 33 was always intended as the primary Charleston-Columbus route. They made great pains to say this when it was finally completed.
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