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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 745961 times)

deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #125 on: May 08, 2011, 02:46:53 PM »

I don't think VDOT really cares about the shoulder being a different color to denote shoulder running only being allowed at certain times. On I-264 in Virginia Beach there are a few miles where the shoulder is open during rush hour (in order to maintain 4 general purpose lanes when HOV restrictions are in effect for the left lane) and the shoulder is the same concrete as the rest of the road. Admittedly, however, everyone treats it as a regular lane, even though it is separated from the main travel lanes by a solid line and every 1/4 mile or so is an overhead VMS saying whether it is open or closed.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #126 on: May 09, 2011, 06:23:29 PM »

I don't think VDOT really cares about the shoulder being a different color to denote shoulder running only being allowed at certain times. On I-264 in Virginia Beach there are a few miles where the shoulder is open during rush hour (in order to maintain 4 general purpose lanes when HOV restrictions are in effect for the left lane) and the shoulder is the same concrete as the rest of the road. Admittedly, however, everyone treats it as a regular lane, even though it is separated from the main travel lanes by a solid line and every 1/4 mile or so is an overhead VMS saying whether it is open or closed.

They may well have changed their tune on that since it was first put in place on I-66. I definitely remember them making a big deal when they opened it about how the shoulder lane was paved with asphalt to create a contrast with the other lanes that are concrete. The red "X"/green arrow signs are probably the more important designators on the whole, although of course there are always going to be schmucks who think they're entitled to ignore the "X."
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #127 on: May 10, 2011, 10:37:44 PM »

Trust me, everyone ignores it here. Though rather than use a red X / green arrow as you'd expect, the signs are just a regular old 3-line VMS with a white panel above that says "SHOULDER". The lane closed X is just on the bottom line of the VMS with "SHOULDER CLOSED" above it.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #128 on: June 24, 2011, 10:40:09 AM »

VDOT is proposing what will be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the state, at the I-64/US 15 interchange near Zion Crossroads.  Construction is expected in 2012.
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #129 on: June 25, 2011, 12:55:21 AM »

Not exactly surprised at this, there's been an explosion of development near Zion Crossroads over the past few years. I'm actually surprised this was not proposed earlier. I'm actually a little surprised they proposed a diverging diamond, though; I sort of expected them to propose a SPUI first, THEN suggest a DDI as an alternative.
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hbelkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #130 on: June 25, 2011, 09:53:11 AM »

VDOT is proposing what will be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the state, at the I-64/US 15 interchange near Zion Crossroads.  Construction is expected in 2012.

Not exactly surprised at this, there's been an explosion of development near Zion Crossroads over the past few years. I'm actually surprised this was not proposed earlier. I'm actually a little surprised they proposed a diverging diamond, though; I sort of expected them to propose a SPUI first, THEN suggest a DDI as an alternative.

Wow. I went through there nearly two years ago (exited I-64 eastbound to go north on US 15) and there wasn't much there at all. Certainly didn't see the need for any kind of renovations to that interchange when I was there.

SPUI -- wouldn't the name SPRI (single-point rural interchange) be more appropriate for that location?
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froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #131 on: June 25, 2011, 09:58:35 AM »

Given that the immediate area is urbanizing, no.

Will:  makes sense that they'd propose the DDI first instead of the SPUI.  SPUI would require replacing/expanding the existing bridges over 64...DDI doesn't.  That's a *HUGE* cost factor for limited additional benefit.  Since there's no space constraints at the interchange, there's no real need for the compactness of a SPUI.
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #132 on: June 25, 2011, 03:35:19 PM »

Wow. I went through there nearly two years ago (exited I-64 eastbound to go north on US 15) and there wasn't much there at all. Certainly didn't see the need for any kind of renovations to that interchange when I was there.

It surprised me too; I passed by the area late in 2007 and there wasn't much there yet. Since then, a Walmart Supercenter has opened and given rise to a fairly large shopping center for the middle of nowhere, and several fairly large subdivisions have gone up or are being planned (including one with a golf course). It's actually fairly comparable to Short Pump, which was virtually empty in 2000 but developed explosively once Walmart appeared in 2002 or so.

I'm guessing VDOT is working on the reasonably safe assumption that this growth will continue to the point that an improved interchange will be needed within the next few years.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 03:36:53 PM by WillWeaverRVA »
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mtantillo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #133 on: June 25, 2011, 06:45:56 PM »

The issue that concerns me about the switch from concrete to asphalt is the use of the shoulder as a traffic lane at certain times of day on that road. When they first started doing that back in the 1990s, VDOT made a big deal about how the "shoulder lane" would be a different color from the other lanes and would also have the red "X"/green arrow signals. The different color was considered important in light of prior negative experience on I-95 between the Beltway and Woodbridge, where the shoulder had been used as a lane but was denoted simply by a solid line (instead of dashed) and a bunch of signs. An older man suffered a breakdown during the hours when the shoulder was not to be used as a lane, so he stopped on the shoulder and promptly got pancaked by a tractor-trailer using that "lane" illegally. When the shoulder lane thing began on I-66, there was much fuss made about how the different-colored surface would help call drivers' attention to the special status of that lane. (While lots of people use it illegally, especially between the Beltway and Nutley or vice-versa, the violation rate does seem a lot lower than it was on I-95.)

Recently, I had a long discussion over whether or not the different color pavement on I-66 was considered a "traffic control device".  The conclusion we came to is that, in and of itself, the different color shoulder is not a traffic control device, however everyone acknowledged that the different color pavement is an excellent way to emphasize the traffic control devices that do exist (the arrow/X's, the  solid white line, and the white regulatory signs). 

I do know that VDOT is well aware of the existence of colored asphalts, which could theoretically be used to differentiate from plain black asphalt. :)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 06:47:50 PM by mtantillo »
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hbelkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #134 on: June 25, 2011, 11:50:34 PM »

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mtantillo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #135 on: June 26, 2011, 01:31:04 AM »

http://maps.google.com/?ll=37.977492,-78.20961&spn=0.037888,0.077076&t=h&z=14

What's the draw here? Proximity to Charlottesville?

Yes, HB.  C-ville and Albemarle County are both very "Progressive" jurisdictions, with all sorts of grand plans to preserve open space, have smart growth, etc.  This in turn drives up the cost of real estate, and limits the amount of housing that can be constructed at reasonable prices within easy commuting distance of C-ville.  Thus, you see the adjacent counties cashing in by allowing the development that Albemarle County residents do not want.  So you have areas like Zions X-Roads, Lake Monticello, Ruckersville, which are booming with new development.  Ruckersville always seemed to be the preferable place to be, but as more and more gets built on 29 north of Charlottesville, the commute gets worse and worse.  At the very least, its an annoying drive, with a lot of signals, whereas Zions X-Roads is a straight shot out on I-64.  Additionally, from Zions X-Roads, you have the ability to commute to jobs in the western fringes of Richmond, while living out in the country. 
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froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #136 on: June 26, 2011, 10:17:36 PM »

The catch being that the cost of the commute winds up being much higher, not just in time, but in monetary cost.

Nevermind that, if they continue to allow development, it won't remain "out in the country" for long.  Heck, it wasn't all that long ago that eastern Loudoun County was "out in the country"...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:19:28 PM by froggie »
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #137 on: July 06, 2011, 11:58:28 AM »

http://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/dp-nws-virginia-secondary-roads-wire-20110706,0,6312192.story

Thoughts? This pops up every once and a while but nothing is usually done.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #138 on: July 10, 2011, 11:08:36 PM »

Quick question: Is the independent city of Chesapeake still referred to as being in Norfolk County, or what? The reason that I ask is because I heard someone refer to it as such, recently.


Be well,

Bryant
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #139 on: July 10, 2011, 11:35:44 PM »

No, it's just that - independent.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #140 on: July 11, 2011, 06:56:50 AM »

Hasn't since 1963.
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Bryant5493

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #141 on: July 11, 2011, 07:49:57 AM »

Thank y'all -- that's what I thought.


Be well,

Bryant
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #142 on: August 05, 2011, 10:43:38 AM »

I drove out to Fairfax on Wednesday and I discovered that the left lane of the Inner Loop in Springfield has already been restriped in advance of the HOT project and the new ramps from Shirley Highway* opening. The first picture is as you go up the hill after passing under I-395 prior to the point where the existing ramps join on the right (they're on the other side of that wall). The new express lane ramps will join the road at this point. (It's initially what I guess you could call a "double double white line" where the two middle lines later come together and vanish, leaving a single double white line....if all that makes any sense! The lines come together roughly opposite that SUV that's in my lane some distance ahead.)

The second picture is as you come off the overpass above Backlick Road. The new striping shown in the second picture continues up to just before the overpass above Heming Avenue at the point where the lanes shift left and are marked with solid lines. At present, the lane to my left here continues as the left lane of the Beltway; eventually it will become an HOT lane (I don't know whether it will split into two HOT lanes or whether the road will be configured some other way).

When I initially saw this I was rather taken aback because the HOT lanes aren't supposed to open until sometime late next year. I suppose perhaps it's something to do with the new Beltway-to-Shirley Highway ramps—maybe they'll open prior to the HOT lanes. (The big loop-around ramp connecting traffic going to and from the south doesn't look anywhere near ready, though, as can be seen in the third picture below, which of course was taken prior to the other two.)

Incidentally, on Wednesday there was almost nobody in the left lane through there. When I went through again yesterday afternoon more people were using it. I wonder if the striping might cause some people to think that lane is going to end or some such.

The pictures are all screen captures from a video taken on my iPhone when it was clipped to the passenger-side sun visor.

*I sometimes use the name "Shirley Highway" because it sounds less awkward to me than "I-95/I-395."














Incidentally, that last picture shows pretty clearly why the southbound I-95 flyover ramp had to be elevated so much higher than than the northbound flyover in order to provide clearance for the express lane ramp.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 10:46:14 AM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #143 on: August 05, 2011, 11:19:21 AM »

Though your photos don't show it, the overhead gantries for the HO/T lanes on the Inner Loop were installed about a month or so ago.  They'd be located just before the location of your first photo.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #144 on: August 05, 2011, 12:45:20 PM »

Though your photos don't show it, the overhead gantries for the HO/T lanes on the Inner Loop were installed about a month or so ago.  They'd be located just before the location of your first photo.


I can upload a shot of those later today if anyone likes, as they appear in the video as well. There are similar gantries on the Outer Loop coming from Fairfax as you approach the new express lane ramps, but I don't have any pictures of those.

BTW, I've been watching the new signage on the Beltway as it goes up. The signs on the Inner Loop at I-66 are much improved and make the HOV info clearer, although I think they neglected to post "No Trucks" in any prominent fashion.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 12:48:11 PM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mtantillo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #145 on: August 05, 2011, 12:59:37 PM »

I wonder if the pavement on that portion of the Beltway is the final, permanent layer of pavement? If so, there might be an explanation for the striping. 

The type of pavement marking material used by VDOT on all interstates (and many other roadways) is called "B-6 Tape" (Type B, Class VI Tape, or "Wet Night Reflective Tape", according to VDOT Road and Bridge Specifications).  This stuff is the most reflective material out there (or so says 3M), and to install it, the construction workers will press it into the pavement just after it is poured while it is still soft.  This is why, when you see a re-paved interstate in Virginia, the final pavement markings are always there with the top layer (and you don't have "unmarked pavement ahead" for weeks). 

If they just repaved that section of the Beltway, it would make sense that they put the final, permanent markings in now rather than trying to retrofit B-6 tape into existing pavement (which is difficult if not near impossible) later in.  Though I wonder why they re-paved it now?  Typically, in most states on major projects, they will pave up to the second-to-last layer as each phase is completed, and then when the entire project is completed, they'll go back and pave the entire thing with the final layer, including the final markings. I guess maybe the HOT lanes are complicated by the fact that some of the structures (the induction loops and the flex tube plastic pole "barrier") will need to go on top of the final layer of pavement, so they need to get that pavement down as soon as they can? 
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #146 on: August 05, 2011, 02:18:22 PM »

The part after Backlick absolutely hasn't been repaved. Quite frankly I wasn't paying attention to that aspect when I was going up the hill. I'm meeting someone this afternoon who owes me some money and I'll be in that general direction, so if I have the chance I'll make another pass. But getting the money is way more important!!!

I'm going to save your explanation to send to my father, as he always grumbles about how when Virginia shifts the lanes, the old lines leave behind ruts that cause a sensation similar to torque steer. 
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #147 on: August 05, 2011, 03:58:27 PM »

OK, this is why you never say absolutely: it's now been repaved from the gantry froggie mentioned as far as the overpass at Heming. They did it last night—the guy who owed me the check was in Fredericksburg and got stuck in the traffic. There is one lane not yet repaved. I swung through on the way out earlier. MUCH better surface than the minefield that was there before.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mtantillo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #148 on: August 07, 2011, 11:22:09 PM »

I'm going to save your explanation to send to my father, as he always grumbles about how when Virginia shifts the lanes, the old lines leave behind ruts that cause a sensation similar to torque steer. 

Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves. 
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hbelkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #149 on: August 08, 2011, 12:33:30 AM »

Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves. 

When painted lines are reconfigured, why do they grind them up? Why not cover them with black paint?
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