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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 853610 times)

mtantillo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #150 on: August 08, 2011, 09:50:32 AM »

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

HB, the lines are not painted.  They are formed from inlaid pre-formed plastic tape.  You cannot remove the stuff.  You cannot paint over it (according to the manufacturer's specs).  It is designed to stay down and in place for the entire life of the pavement.  On 99% of the interstate miles, this is fine.  On the 1% where the lane configuration changes, they have to grind it up to get it out. 
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #151 on: August 08, 2011, 10:23:14 AM »

The tape can be very noticeable if you're driving a front-wheel drive vehicle and you stop facing up a hill at a red light in the rain. The wheel hop can be pretty bad if you don't leave yourself a little room to get moving before you hit the line.


Here's a video capture of the gantries froggie mentioned earlier. This one is on the Inner Loop and you can see the corresponding one on the Outer Loop up above. Interesting-looking assembly because they look a little bit like open-road tolling gantries, but I was under the impression that the HOT facility was not to begin until just west of the Robinson Terminal a bit further up the road from here, so perhaps these are for signs. But having two gantries so close together strongly suggests they're for something other than signage.

BTW, the resurfaced part of the road, as of Friday afternoon at least, began just past the end of that jersey wall on the left where the two lanes coming from the new ramp join the road.

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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 #152 on: August 08, 2011, 01:24:38 PM »

The tape can be very noticeable if you're driving a front-wheel drive vehicle and you stop facing up a hill at a red light in the rain. The wheel hop can be pretty bad if you don't leave yourself a little room to get moving before you hit the line.

Thats actually different material...thermoplastic. 

Paint is...paint. 

Thermoplastic is definitely raised (you can feel it as you drive over it). 

Tape is not raised, and it looks like it has a "waffle pattern" in it.  Some engineers call it waffle tape. 

All pavement markings on Virginia Interstates should be "Wet night reflective tape" (Type B, Class VI tape). 
All stop bars are generally thermoplastic (tape is expensive and would not be cost effective to use for such a wide non-longitudinal marking such as a stop bar). 

Here are VDOT's Road and Bridge Specifications: http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/const/2007SpecBook.pdf
Pavement Marking Material is discussed in the sections that begin on Page 261 and Page 698.  The table of marking material types is on Page 700. 
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J N Winkler

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #153 on: August 08, 2011, 01:39:07 PM »

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?

Aside from the reasons Mike mentioned, the MUTCD does not allow covering of inapplicable pavement markings with black paint.  Some other countries (like Britain) do, and you can see the reason why the MUTCD insists on total removal when the black paint wears off and you can see the white underneath.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #154 on: August 09, 2011, 10:17:15 AM »

The HOT project has this overhead view of the Beltway through Tysons posted on their online photo gallery (link to the gallery is below the photo). The original Tysons Corner Center is at the bottom left (the part where Woodies used to be). The first overpass north of there, the one rising out of the Beltway, will be an exit ramp connecting the bridge between Tysons I and II to the HOT lanes. The concrete overpass is the Dulles Metrorail trackway.




http://www.vahotlanes.com/beltway/gallery/view.php?id=24
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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 #155 on: August 09, 2011, 12:20:01 PM »

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?

Aside from the reasons Mike mentioned, the MUTCD does not allow covering of inapplicable pavement markings with black paint.  Some other countries (like Britain) do, and you can see the reason why the MUTCD insists on total removal when the black paint wears off and you can see the white underneath.

And it is especially discouraged to use black paint to wipe out markings on concrete pavement.  I know that was shown in one of the FHWA MUTCD training presentations as a "big no-no".
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #156 on: August 12, 2011, 09:47:20 PM »

If you have a temporary lane shift in place for a day (emergency repairs, let's say), you would use black masking tape over the existing lines and then apply temporary stripes. The life of the special pavement tape is on the order of weeks, not months, so it's not really intended for long-term applications. If you need to restripe anyway at the end of the project, grind em up now.

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New express lane ramp signs (Re: Virginia)
« Reply #157 on: September 02, 2011, 05:13:29 PM »

The first of the signs for the new ramps connecting the Beltway to the Shirley Highway express lanes is in place, though covered with plastic. It went up sometime since Wednesday morning, as we used the Beltway there en route to Woodbridge just before noon on Wednesday and neither the gantry nor the sign had been hoisted yet. I spotted it this morning from the overpass on the on-ramp from Van Dorn and turned on the video camera on my mobile phone to capture an image.

Don't know how the whole sign will look, but this looks like a major improvement over most of the signage for that HOV facility that's currently in place simply because of the addition of the I-95 shield. I assume the variable-message bottom portion will be used to advise whether the express lanes are pointed north or south.

BTW, when I went through there today I was headed out to the Fair Oaks area for a business meeting and I also went through the I-66 interchange. The new signs there are a huge improvement over the old ones because they reflect some level of consistent thought instead of being a mishmash of what was thrown up over the years. The signs for the portion inside the Beltway, in particular, are much clearer than the old signs in terms of advertising the HOV restriction (though I notice they now omit the "No Trucks" banner). I haven't taken any pictures there because driving solo it's simply too dangerous and difficult to work the mobile phone camera and the manual transmission in the traffic near that interchange.

I also see on WTOP's website that Exit 49C, the annoying left-hand ramp from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66, is to close sometime near the end of this month. Good riddance! I will be very amused to listen to the howls of rage from all the people who use that ramp and who have no idea about its impending demise. Exit 49A, the loop-around ramp on the right side, is being widened to two lanes to accommodate the increased traffic, though currently only one lane is open.

Here's the picture of the new HOV sign:

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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 #158 on: September 05, 2011, 09:57:45 PM »

Heh, I actually wasn't expecting those signs to have an I-95 shield in them.  It is a nice change, and one that makes sense because you can access every interchange on I-95 that you would access after taking the left exit (not 644, because that is accessed directly from the Beltway).  The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that. 

I'll be glad to see that left exit to I-66 go too.  What surprises me is the sheer number of people that complain about people entering at US 50 and cutting across all lanes to go onto I-66.  Not because many people feel the need to cut across that many lanes (this is DC, land of rude drivers, afterall), but because there are a lot of people using the Beltway just to go one exit.  Given the horrible traffic, if you are on US 50, it would likely be faster most of the time to get onto I-66 at Nutley or 123. 
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #159 on: September 06, 2011, 07:47:21 AM »

Quote
The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that.

For now.  But there's the planned HOV ramp at Mark Center.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #160 on: September 06, 2011, 09:28:52 AM »

Heh, I actually wasn't expecting those signs to have an I-95 shield in them.  It is a nice change, and one that makes sense because you can access every interchange on I-95 that you would access after taking the left exit (not 644, because that is accessed directly from the Beltway).  The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that.  

Actually, from looking at the construction, I believe you will indeed be able to access 644 from that HOV ramp, though in the westbound direction only, as there is currently an exit from the southbound HOV to westbound 644 (with no turn permitted off 644 until you've passed under the Amherst Avenue overpass). The HOV ramp connecting the south-of-the-Beltway part of the reversible facility to the Beltway will exit on the right (heading north) and enter on the left (heading south) to the north of the existing 644 entrance/exit, so that sort of access will be feasible. It raises the question of whether the "Bob's" slug line in Springfield might someday evolve to serve Tysons Corner as well as the existing destinations at the Pentagon and downtown.

Of course, I don't really know WHY you'd want to use the HOV ramp to make this maneuver unless there were a crash or something.

I definitely DO foresee people using the HOV ramp in order to get from the Beltway to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway—or vice versa—without having to loop around on surface streets through Springfield.


Edited to add: BTW, I suppose there might be an I-395 shield on that sign in the area covered up by the plastic between the white banner on top (which I'm guessing says "Restricted Lanes") and the I-95 shield visible in the picture. There might not be one. Guess we'll find out when the ramp opens, which is still some ways off based on how it looked when I passed through there Saturday afternoon.


Quote
I'll be glad to see that left exit to I-66 go too.  What surprises me is the sheer number of people that complain about people entering at US 50 and cutting across all lanes to go onto I-66.  Not because many people feel the need to cut across that many lanes (this is DC, land of rude drivers, afterall), but because there are a lot of people using the Beltway just to go one exit.  Given the horrible traffic, if you are on US 50, it would likely be faster most of the time to get onto I-66 at Nutley or 123.  

I saw your comment on WTOP and didn't respond because I was reading it on my phone. I think for a lot of people the option you cite has never occurred to them or they just assume it would take too long. People can be funny about these things. When I was in college I worked downtown two summers and rode in with my father. During the first of those summers, I-66 was HOV-3, and during the second it was HOV-2. I suggested we use I-66 and he said the Beltway was too backed up. They live fairly close to Woodson High School in Fairfax and I suggested we go west to Pickett Road, then up to Nutley Street to enter I-66 there. My father thought it was crazy talk because it involved going "the wrong way" for about a mile and a half (west on 236 to Pickett, i.e., away from downtown), but when he gave in and we tried it, we made it downtown in half the time it took us when we used Columbia Pike or I-395. The faster travel when we were MOVING on the HOV portion made up for the slower trip through the lights and the short detour to the west.

I think a lot of people have the same mindset as my father did: It's "out of the way," or it has "too many lights," or they just don't know that there are ways available other than taking the highway. (You know, it's funny, that's the OPPOSITE of the mindset I saw among classmates at Duke who lived along University Drive down near South Square Mall. They ALWAYS took NC-751 and they complained when it was closed after Hurricane Fran and they "had to take 15-501.") Sometimes the seemingly longer way 'round is faster due to fewer lights, or less traffic, or other factors—for example, if you're at Fair Oaks Mall and you want to get to Alexandria, it can be faster to take Shirley Gate to Braddock to the Beltway than it is to take I-66 or VA-236 (236 can be slow due to a lot more lights and passing through the heart of Fairfax City with a 25-mph speed limit).

I've always felt that if you live in the DC area, especially Northern Virginia, it behooves you to know multiple ways to get everywhere, but a lot of people don't. I suppose that should be fine with me because it leaves my alternate routes a bit clearer.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 09:40:41 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 #161 on: September 07, 2011, 10:16:46 AM »

Congratulations, fellow Fairfaxer.  You got mentioned by Dr. Gridlock this morning about the Inner Loop-to-66 West ramp closure.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #162 on: September 07, 2011, 09:30:56 PM »

Congratulations, fellow Fairfaxer.  You got mentioned by Dr. Gridlock this morning about the Inner Loop-to-66 West ramp closure.


Hey, thanks for the link. Power just came back on at 21:17 after being out since 10:30 or so, so I hadn't seen this earlier today.
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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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Old "HOV" sign (Re: Virginia)
« Reply #163 on: September 08, 2011, 12:21:46 PM »

I found this old photo of northbound Shirley Highway (then I-95, now I-395) between Edsall Road and the Turkeycock ramp. I wonder why they used the term "Pool Cars" instead of "Carpools." The term "HOV" didn't appear in Northern Virginia until shortly before I-66 opened inside the Beltway in December 1982.

The HOV signs on that road all used to be the white-on-black color scheme shown here. I seem to recall the signs changing to green sometime in the late 1980s. The old scheme reminds me of how the signs on Route 401 through Toronto use different colors for the collector lanes and the express lanes.

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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 #164 on: September 08, 2011, 01:02:06 PM »

Wow, neat!!  I especially like that divider line.

I think the term HOV was just beginning to be used around the time I-66 opened.  That is why there were so many educational signs explaining that HOV-2 = High Occupancy Vehicle - 2 or more persons when the term first started to come into widespread use. 

Now, its been so ingrained into everyone's head what HOV means, and the term has been almost universally applied across the country, there really isn't as much of a need for the educational signs.  They are still posted in most locations as a reminder though.

As with anything, my advice is, "if you don't know what HOV means, you probably would be safe by not using those lanes."  But I still pity the poor soul from far away that doesn't realize that all of I-66 is HOV-only during rush hour, and is forced off onto the Beltway after obediently following the signs, and then has no idea how to get the rest of the way into DC. 
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Re: Old "HOV" sign (Re: Virginia)
« Reply #165 on: September 08, 2011, 01:08:30 PM »

that's an interesting sign for two reasons.

1) 11pm to 11am is an odd set of hours to enforce.  I can see this covering the morning rush, but what about, say, 11pm to 5-6am?  why have a carpool lane then?

2) four-occupant vehicles?  gosh, who has three friends in the same car at the same time?  hmm, probably the same teens joyriding around between 11pm and 5-6am...
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #166 on: September 08, 2011, 01:27:33 PM »

that's an interesting sign for two reasons.

1) 11pm to 11am is an odd set of hours to enforce.  I can see this covering the morning rush, but what about, say, 11pm to 5-6am?  why have a carpool lane then?

2) four-occupant vehicles?  gosh, who has three friends in the same car at the same time?  hmm, probably the same teens joyriding around between 11pm and 5-6am...

As to point #1, the HOV carriageway on that road is reversible. The road is a triple-carriageway setup. This picture is on the inbound side (heading towards DC) where the peak traffic occurs in the morning. When this picture was taken, they'd close all the entrances at around 11 AM, starting in the south and working north to the Pentagon. Then they'd turn around and open the southbound entrances, starting at the Pentagon and working south to Springfield (which is where the HOV facility ended until the early 1990s). They'd reverse it again at night to be ready for the morning traffic. The general operation is still the same in this respect, although the hours have changed. I've often left Washington Capitals games and hit I-395 at 10:00 PM and the HOV facility is already closed to reverse the direction, but the hours have been tweaked since last season ended.

Also, nowadays the HOV restriction doesn't apply at all times like it did back then. Today, if you enter at the ramp to which that sign shown above applies, the HOV hours are 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and at all other times when the lanes are heading inbound all traffic can use the facility. (There is one area at the southern end where trucks are prohibited because they have to go through a weigh station reached from the outer carriageways). The southbound restriction applies from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. The lanes are closed to all traffic in both directions at around noon and midnight to reverse the direction.

As to question #2 about HOV-4, originally when I-66 inside the Beltway opened it was also HOV-4. I-66 changed to HOV-3 within a year because nobody used it. I-395 remained HOV-4 until sometime in the 1990s and I-66 became HOV-2 around 1995. The HOV-4 actually didn't pose a huge problem because Shirley Highway has long been the site of very successful "slug lines," or what Caltrans calls "casual carpooling," where at various commuter car parks and other locations people wanting rides to the Pentagon or DC queue up and people wanting passengers so they can use the HOV lanes pull up and call out their destinations. Riders with the same destination get in and away they go. It works very well in large part BECAUSE of the HOV-3 (and earlier HOV-4) restriction—many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger. Slugging has never taken off on the HOV-2 roads in the DC area and I'm sure this reason is part of it.

I recall some of the slugging community protesting the relaxed HOV-3 restriction when it was changed; some of them even printed up bumper stickers saying "Restore HOV-4."



Regarding mtantillo's point about the term "HOV" being ubiquitous nowadays, it definitely is, but if there's anywhere that probably ought to have some explanatory signs, the DC area may be it simply because of the number of foreign tourists we get who probably don't know that term. New York would be another except I don't believe they have HOV lanes between Kennedy Airport and the city.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 01:33:04 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.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #167 on: September 08, 2011, 02:07:46 PM »

many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger.

this reminds me of the joke about Your Favorite Ethnic Person being stopped by security, attempting to board the plane with a bomb.  "why, it makes me feel safer.  what's the probability of there being two bombs on the same flight???"
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #168 on: September 08, 2011, 03:23:17 PM »

many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger.

this reminds me of the joke about Your Favorite Ethnic Person being stopped by security, attempting to board the plane with a bomb.  "why, it makes me feel safer.  what's the probability of there being two bombs on the same flight???"

Maybe, but on the other hand, I understand why women, in particular, would be wary of getting in a car alone with a strange man.
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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.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #169 on: September 08, 2011, 07:08:22 PM »

Regarding mtantillo's point about the term "HOV" being ubiquitous nowadays, it definitely is, but if there's anywhere that probably ought to have some explanatory signs, the DC area may be it simply because of the number of foreign tourists we get who probably don't know that term. New York would be another except I don't believe they have HOV lanes between Kennedy Airport and the city.

The only bona-fide highway HOV lanes in New York State are on the LIE from the Nassau/Queens line out to Route 112 in Coram (about 40 miles long).  They are buffer separated, HOV-2 both directions/both rush hours, open to all at other times.  There is a bus lane in each direction of the Staten Island Expressway between Todt Hill Road and the Verrazano that is open to HOV-2 only during rush hour in the peak direction. 

The only HOV lane a rider from JFK to Manhattan would encounter are the temporary zipper lanes on the LIE (from the BQE to the Midtown Tunnel) or the BQE (from 92nd Street to the Battery Tunnel), which are HOV-3 / Must Have E-ZPass. 

I like VDOT's educational signs, and I would expect to see them stay, where it is convenient to post them, but I think the need to post them at EVERY entrance to a road with an HOV lane is overkill at this point (especially since if you are first encountering an HOV lane after entering from a local road, you likely live here). 
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #170 on: September 16, 2011, 12:15:52 PM »

....

I also see on WTOP's website that Exit 49C, the annoying left-hand ramp from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66, is to close sometime near the end of this month. Good riddance! I will be very amused to listen to the howls of rage from all the people who use that ramp and who have no idea about its impending demise. Exit 49A, the loop-around ramp on the right side, is being widened to two lanes to accommodate the increased traffic, though currently only one lane is open.

....

Dr. Gridlock reports today in his blog that the above-referenced closing of the left-hand exit is scheduled for next Saturday, September 24:

Quote
Beltway exit to close

The Capital Beltway inner loop’s left lane exit (49C) to westbound Interstate 66 in Virginia is scheduled to close permanently on Sept. 24 as construction continues on the high-occupancy toll lanes project.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has placed signs to warn drivers about this, but watch for some additional traffic congestion at the I-66 interchange immediately after the closing.

All inner loop drivers heading to westbound I-66 will then use the right-side ramp, exit 49A, which is being widened to accommodate the extra traffic.

As with most changes in traffic patterns, it will take drivers at least a few weeks to get used to the alteration, despite the use of highway signs as reminders. Drivers who forget about the closing won’t have time or space to move across the inner loop to reach the right-side exit.

Sounds like next weekend will be a very good time to avoid the Inner Loop through there.


EDITED: He just revised it to say that VDOT may postpone it a little longer because "the contractor needs more time to prepare," but it's still scheduled for "around the end of September." I hope that means "October 1," as that date falls on a Saturday this year. I tend to think making a change of this magnitude might best be implemented on a weekend to start. It's going to cause problems during the week either way, of course.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 02:51:02 PM by 1995hoo »
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #171 on: September 26, 2011, 12:46:37 PM »

....

Here's the picture of the new HOV sign:



Today I got to see what this sign looks like underneath the cover. There is another sign, already attached to a sign bridge, sitting on the right side of the Beltway just to the west of the ramp connecting to Van Dorn Street. It's essentially waiting to be hoisted into place and it's not covered. There's a paved area between the Van Dorn ramp and the Inner Loop that's marked for "Authorized Vehicles Only." I drove in there to get a look at the sign. Wasn't able to take a picture because there was a cop there (I got out of my car to look at my tires and when he asked what was wrong, I told him I thought I might have a low tire—the car HAD been pulling slightly while I was on the Beltway, so I was telling him the truth). But I did get a look at the sign and here's a fuller description:

Top exit tab in yellow says "Left Exit" as on the sign shown above.

Then there is a white band, diamond on the left, that says "Restricted Lanes," just like most of the current signs for the Shirley Highway HOV facility.

Beneath that is a green band with TWO relatively small shields: I-395 on top and I-95 directly beneath it (you can see the I-95 shield in the sign shown above). These have open spaces next to them. I couldn't tell what's supposed to go into those spaces, but I assume there will be some sort of VMS units to give a compass point.

Then there's the VMS portion as in the sign shown above. I presume this will give the HOV information and perhaps a control city.

Then at the bottom there's a yellow bar giving the distance to the ramp, as shown above.

Strikes me as a well-done sign, assuming the VMS part operates properly and is used in an intelligible way. My big gripe about the "off–Shirley Highway" signs for that HOV facility has always been that nowhere do any of the signs give the route number (consider the BGSs on the Franconia–Springfield Parkway, some of which use "Restricted Lanes"—with no shield—almost as if it were a control city). These signs address that issue in a very clear fashion.


Edited to add: Passed it again this afternoon on my way downtown for the Caps game and it's now been covered. I notice there's some work activity just north of Edsall on I-395 that suggests the express lanes will receive a new gantry, which of course makes perfect sense for the new exit.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 05:24:06 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.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #172 on: September 27, 2011, 05:46:58 PM »

Dr. Gridlock reports on his blog that Beltway Exit 49C (the left-hand exit from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66) will close this Friday, although he didn't say when on Friday.

I suggest everyone avoid the Beltway through that area this Friday and possibly this weekend as well. While there ought to be less traffic over the weekend, there's a risk that reduced traffic might actually increase the danger there because it will make it easier for people to try to make high-speed moves across all four lanes to the right-hand exit.
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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 #173 on: September 27, 2011, 06:36:04 PM »

In looking for a good diagram of the I-66 closure to send to a relative, I stumbled across this overhead picture of the Springfield Interchange taken last month. Good image of what the new ramps will do. It underscores one thing I've wondered for a while, though, and I'm wondering if one of you guys might know the answer (Mike seems pretty knowledgeable about this particular project). Look in the lower left quadrant of the interchange. There's what looks sort of like a ramp paved with especially dark asphalt that splits off the Outer Loop just after that route crosses over I-395; the ramp in question then passes under the southbound I-95 flyover and is joined by the ramp coming out of the I-395 HOV facility.

My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.

Just in case it's unclear to anyone, in the picture I-395 to and from DC is to the right, the Beltway to and from the Wilson Bridge is to the bottom, the Beltway to and from Tysons is to the top, and I-95 to and from Richmond is out of the picture to the left.

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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.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #174 on: September 27, 2011, 07:12:05 PM »

My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.
That's what's shown here:

There will be a companion ramp to the right, merging into the inner loop near the sign gantry in the photo.
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