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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 755249 times)

csw

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4550 on: September 28, 2019, 10:26:17 PM »

Anyone know what the construction on US 220 north of Covington is? I couldn't decide if it looked like they were 4-laning it or not. If it is 4-laning, I don't get it - there was a stretch in Bath Co. where I didn't see another vehicle for a solid 7-8 minutes. Maybe it's to serve the resort areas.

How far north of Covington?

Thinking about it again, it was actually the section between Eagle Rock and Iron Gate. So south of I-64.

sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4551 on: September 28, 2019, 10:28:51 PM »

Thinking about it again, it was actually the section between Eagle Rock and Iron Gate. So south of I-64.

Route 220 (Botetourt Road) Safety Improvement Project
Quote
The primary purpose of this project is to enhance safety along the 10-mile section of Route 220 (Botetourt Road) between Iron Gate and the James River Bridge near Eagle Rock by:

• improving vertical and horizontal alignment
• widening shoulders, lanes and center lane width
• improving intersections
• adding turn lanes
• providing additional passing opportunities
• providing centerline and edge-line rumble strips
• providing raised centerline pavement markers

This project will improve this section of Route 220 as a two-lane road and is intended to reduce the severity and number of crashes.

Benefits
This project will improve a portion of Route 220 as a two-lane road and is intended to reduce the severity and number of crashes between Iron Gate and the James River Bridge near Eagle Rock by improving alignment, widening shoulders, lanes and center lane width, improving intersections, adding turn lanes and passing opportunities and providing centerline and edge-line rumble stripsand raised centerline pavement markers.

The current roadway has one 10-11 foot travel lane and a ~1 foot paved shoulder in each direction. Once complete, the roadway will have one 12 foot travel lane and 4 foot (8 foot in certain areas) paved shoulder in each direction.

This is a type of project appropriate for a roadway that does not warrant 4-lanes, but warrants safety improvements. Though granted, a lot of the 4-lane highways across the state have narrow roadways as well, and safety improvements such as a 12 foot lane + 4 foot shoulder widening could / is needed on certain stretches. That, plus the significant number of up-and-down hills on a lot of 4-lane highways in Virginia that ideally need to be leveled.

I will say though, to truly improve Virginia's existing 4-lane system to meet modern standards, it would cost billions of dollars, so it would likely never happen, but at least a few corridors should be evaluated.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 10:35:39 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4552 on: September 28, 2019, 11:34:16 PM »

This is a type of project appropriate for a roadway that does not warrant 4-lanes, but warrants safety improvements.
As part of the original Arterial Highway System, it does warrant 4 lanes, and about 15 years ago there was a 4-laning project planned, including reconstructing the existing roadway, but the cost estimate rose high enough that they decided to just rebuild the existing roadway, and leave the parallel roadway for a future project.  This will be a big improvement, a modern 2-lane highway with ample passing zones.

It would really get interesting deciding how to build 4 lanes thru or around Iron Gate.

I will say though, to truly improve Virginia's existing 4-lane system to meet modern standards, it would cost billions of dollars, so it would likely never happen, but at least a few corridors should be evaluated.
No way it would cost that much.  As part of this spreadsheet that I am building, I am identifying all the bypasses and relocations, my general estimate now is that is 28% of the about 1,850-miles of 4-lane mileage and that is built to modern standards.  About 1/3 of the remainder is generally modern, another 1/3 is what I would call 1950s standards for the original roadway, another 1/3 is what I would call 1930s standards for the original roadway and that would mean trench widening where it is less than 24 feet of roadway plus the building of full shoulders.

I haven't decided exactly what the final product will look like, but it might identify segments according to the 4 types above.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4553 on: September 28, 2019, 11:42:07 PM »

As part of the original Arterial Highway System, it does warrant 4 lanes, and about 15 years ago there was a 4-laning project planned, including reconstructing the existing roadway, but the cost estimate rose high enough that they decided to just rebuild the existing roadway, and leave the parallel roadway for a future project.  This will be a big improvement, a modern 2-lane highway with ample passing zones.
Under the original system, I could see it being 4-lanes, but with today's money situation, a modernized 2-lane roadway with passing lanes can adequately carry the 5,000 AADT for years to come.

I'd the same about US-58, a significant amount of it could realistically be a modernized 2-lane roadway with passing lanes, or a continuous 3-lane road with an alternating center passing lane.

Personally, I think the hundreds of millions invested into it has been a waste in some regard, especially in the areas with very low traffic counts. Again, a modernized 3-lane road with an alternating center passing lane could have reasonably worked, and likely a lot cheaper. I agree, ideally 4-lanes is nice, and it's what they're doing, but it wasn't necessarily needed.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4554 on: September 28, 2019, 11:57:47 PM »

The one major corridor I could see is VA-3 on the Northern Neck.  That was proposed for 4-laneing in the 1980s between Culpeper and White Stone.  The sections between US-29 at Culpeper and US-301 were 4-laned.  Between US-301 and White Stone several short segments were 4-laned.  The rest should be 4-laned IMO.
The corridor between US-301 and White Stone is 70 miles long, with about 16 miles already four-lane. That leaves 54 miles of two-lane roadway that would mostly be dualized, plus at least 5, possibly more, densely developed areas / towns that would need to be constructed on new location.

Could see it under Virginia's original arterial system, though it's questionable if it'd be a priority in today's funding world. The corridor has mostly 2,000 - 5,000 AADT in rural areas (with some areas having 2,000 AADT in the middle of the corridor, it indicates there's very little long-distance traffic), with up to 8,000 AADT near & in between a couple of the towns / developed areas. Assuming $20 million per mile, around $1.1 billion.

Some other corridors that come to mind that could've / should've been 4-laned are US-258 between Smithfield to Franklin and VA-10 between Smithfield to Suffolk.

VA-10 (between US-258 to US-58 Bypass)
- 13 miles long total
- 4-lane: 7 miles
- 2-lane: 6 miles
- AADT: 12,000 south of Smithfield on 2-lane segments

US-258 (between VA-10 to US-258 Business / US-58 Business)
- 31 miles long
- 4-lane: 2 miles
- 2-lane: 29 miles
- AADT: 3,000 - 5,000 AADT west of Smithfield on 2-lane segments; 10,000 outside Smithfield, 19,000 on Smithfield Bypass

A study was completed in ~1994 that evaluated widening US-258 between Smithfield and Franklin to 4-lanes, which mostly involved retaining the existing roadway and constructing a parallel roadway, and featured a bypass of Windsor to the north with a partial cloverleaf interchange at US-460.

I'm not aware of any study that has been conducted on VA-10 to close the "gap" between the 4-lane segments. Reasonably, the 6-mile stretch could be partially dualized, though some of it may need new location, and definitely a new location bypass of Chuckatuck.

My thoughts - US-258 to Franklin would be ideal, but like I've mentioned before, with today's funding system, probably unlikely ever to be a priority. As for VA-10, it's definitely needed, with the growing traffic between the two cities, all the development occurring in Suffolk and in southern Smithfield, and also the fact the corridor (VA-10 & US-58) acts as a "bypass" of the congested US-17 segment when linking to areas south of I-264.

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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4555 on: September 29, 2019, 12:28:45 AM »

I'd the same about US-58, a significant amount of it could realistically be a modernized 2-lane roadway with passing lanes, or a continuous 3-lane road with an alternating center passing lane.
Given the sheer length of US-58 across the whole southern tier, and all the cities and towns that it serves, and the amount of long-distance truck traffic, IMO all of it warrants 4 lanes, at least east of I-77 and west of I-81.

Some other corridors that come to mind that could've / should've been 4-laned are US-258 between Smithfield to Franklin and VA-10 between Smithfield to Suffolk.
VDH&T had a 1975-1985 Needs Study, and VA-10/VA-32 between Benns Church and the Suffolk Bypass was formally proposed for 4-lane upgrading.  As can be seen only about half of it has been 4-laned.

Other than for a couple miles south of the Smithfield Bypass, I can't see any need for more than 2 lanes on US-258.
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csw

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4556 on: September 29, 2019, 10:39:38 AM »

Ok cool. There was a small section towards the northern end that looked like it was finished - with rumble strips, new paint, wider shoulders, etc.

sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4557 on: September 29, 2019, 02:17:58 PM »

Other than for a couple miles south of the Smithfield Bypass, I can't see any need for more than 2 lanes on US-258.
I mentioned it mostly because VDOT completed a study on the entire corridor in ~1994, including a Windsor northern bypass and some new location segment splitting off outside of Smithfield, connecting to the Fairway Drive Interchange on the Smithfield Bypass.

The entire US-258 segment of the Smithfield Bypass warrants 4-lanes - having an AADT of around 20,000. The freeway is built on a 4-lane right-of-way, and the Fairway Drive interchange built in the 90s also accommodates this.

A project to dualize the bypass would require 2.5 miles of two-lane carriageway constructed on existing right-of-way with at least one 1,800 ft bridge constructed over the Cypress Creek, and potentially another 800 ft bridge constructed over wetlands just east of the Fairway Drive interchange.

It'd likely cost around $65 million, using $26 million per mile.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4558 on: September 29, 2019, 08:14:23 PM »

The entire US-258 segment of the Smithfield Bypass warrants 4-lanes - having an AADT of around 20,000. The freeway is built on a 4-lane right-of-way, and the Fairway Drive interchange built in the 90s also accommodates this.
I was thinking of the portions of US-258 that are on single routing when I made my comments.

After all, US-258 overlaps US-17 across the James River Bridge and that is already 4 lanes, along with the segments between the bridge and Smithfield Bypass.

I would agree with dualizing the US-258 portion of the Smithfield Bypass.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4559 on: September 30, 2019, 05:10:02 PM »

Reconfigure project at Indian River, Kempsville roads causing problems for drivers
Quote
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A major upgrade to an intersection in Virginia Beach is causing problems for drivers.

Public Works crews are months into a project to reconfigure the crossing of Indian River and Kempsville Roads.

Many drivers told 13News Now they hate this new intersection. They said the road is more complicated and confusing.

“I’ve seen people run the light and smash cars. I’ve seen road rage and people yelling at other people. Every day is something new,” explained Courtney Lachance.

The City of Virginia Beach said the improvements are supposed to make the crossing of Indian River and Kempsville Roads safer and quicker for drivers, but some said it’s creating the opposite!

“I think there’s a lot of confusion on how it used to be and how it is now,” Lachance explained.

City leaders sais this area is considered the busiest intersection in Virginia Beach. They said once the new traffic pattern is completed, it will help ease driver’s commute. The improvements are supposed to be innovative.

Carmen Ridgway said, “It’s going to make it a lot easier and it already has. Once they finish everything, the no left turn and that kind of thing, it’s going to make that flow so much quicker and so much easier.”

The project is expected to be completed by March. City leaders said it will take time for drivers to get used to the new configuration.
The intersection has been partially completed (the CFI portion from Kempsville to Indian River isn't completed, though the Michigan Left from Indian River to Kempsville is), and like many drivers have said, it's become more of a headache IMO than the old intersection, especially at rush hour. And traffic during right onto Kempsville Rd in either direction has to yield to traffic and gets no dedicated signal like in the past. That's caused significant backups and requires every car to go one by one, and the positioning of the lane "merge" is overall poorly done. And lastly, all of the U-Turns and future CFI on Kempsville that's not completed are all only -one- lane as opposed to the previous two - which again - cuts the capacity of that lane in half resulting in more backups. The person who designed this must've been some roadgeek having fun by combining all these innovative intersections and utilizing poor design features such as single lane and yield signs as opposed to double lane and properly timed signals. Poor, poor design overall, and the increased congestion shows it.

VDOT considered constructing an urban interchange here, with Indian River free-flowing and Kempsville Rd with the traffic signals, though instead went with this "innovative" intersection. IMO, it would have been well worth the additional $30 million for an interchange in the long-term. Traffic would flow much smoother here, and give the main corridor between I-64 and the Princess Anne section of Virginia Beach (Indian River Rd to Farrel Pkwy to Princess Anne Rd) a free-flowing movement and drastically improved traffic compared to this.

Here's an aerial view of what the completed "innovative" intersection will look like -
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 05:15:45 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4560 on: September 30, 2019, 08:55:15 PM »

VDOT considered constructing an urban interchange here, with Indian River free-flowing and Kempsville Rd with the traffic signals, though instead went with this "innovative" intersection. IMO, it would have been well worth the additional $30 million for an interchange in the long-term.
It might have been a lot more than that, if the Rio Road / US-29 interchange in Albemarle County is any guide.  It was built for local access reasons energized by the local RE/T groups, not for any real improvement to the US-29 corridor.

Arterial urban interchanges are largely a design of the past (NVA saw at least a dozen built 1950s-1980s), as they tend to be expensive and complex to build, and if one road is elevated they consume expensive urban right-of-way, and other than the obvious improvement to one major intersection they don't improve much else.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4561 on: October 01, 2019, 06:28:23 AM »

I see they are also signing VA 407 through here, 19 years after it was decommissioned in Virginia Beach...
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4562 on: October 01, 2019, 04:25:51 PM »

The intersection has been partially completed (the CFI portion from Kempsville to Indian River isn't completed, though the Michigan Left from Indian River to Kempsville is), and like many drivers have said, it's become more of a headache IMO than the old intersection, especially at rush hour. And traffic during right onto Kempsville Rd in either direction has to yield to traffic and gets no dedicated signal like in the past. That's caused significant backups and requires every car to go one by one, and the positioning of the lane "merge" is overall poorly done. And lastly, all of the U-Turns and future CFI on Kempsville that's not completed are all only -one- lane as opposed to the previous two - which again - cuts the capacity of that lane in half resulting in more backups. The person who designed this must've been some roadgeek having fun by combining all these innovative intersections and utilizing poor design features such as single lane and yield signs as opposed to double lane and properly timed signals. Poor, poor design overall, and the increased congestion shows it.

VDOT considered constructing an urban interchange here, with Indian River free-flowing and Kempsville Rd with the traffic signals, though instead went with this "innovative" intersection. IMO, it would have been well worth the additional $30 million for an interchange in the long-term. Traffic would flow much smoother here, and give the main corridor between I-64 and the Princess Anne section of Virginia Beach (Indian River Rd to Farrel Pkwy to Princess Anne Rd) a free-flowing movement and drastically improved traffic compared to this.

Agree that an interchange would have been better for the long-term.

Also agree that the single-lanes for the "left turns" are problematic.  That said, having dual-left turn lanes would have A) required more right-of-way with the related impacts (with the possible exception of southbound Kempsville to eastbound Indian River), and B) having two lanes on the U-turn ramps would have been problematic for trucks, buses, and larger vehicles.

Quote from: Beltway
It might have been a lot more than that, if the Rio Road / US-29 interchange in Albemarle County is any guide.  It was built for local access reasons energized by the local RE/T groups, not for any real improvement to the US-29 corridor.

You keep saying this over and over, but one less traffic signal on 29 still helps through traffic.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4563 on: October 01, 2019, 07:39:45 PM »

and B) having two lanes on the U-turn ramps would have been problematic for trucks, buses, and larger vehicles.
Hasn't stopped North Carolina - https://www.google.com/maps/@35.6605426,-78.8476939,114m/data=!3m1!1e3

Dual left turn U-Turns isn't unheard of, and hasn't had much in the way of issues.

And the CFI movement that's still under construction from Kempsville Rd to Indian River Rd is also only going to be single-lane, but they had no problem at Military Hwy & Northampton Blvd where they installed the same CFI design intersection, but with double lanes.

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.8745351,-76.2106193,447m/data=!3m1!1e3

That intersection, on the other hand, has been a major improvement. It also expanded Military Hwy from 4 to 8 lanes.

You keep saying this over and over, but one less traffic signal on 29 still helps through traffic.
I agree, but the money that was dumped into the "intersection improvements", construction of two urban interchanges & 3 lane widening was initially supposed to be allocated to a freeway bypass of the entire area, which what have been a much better use of such a large amount of money, and for the same cost. The benefits are also far greater with a bypass as opposed to intersection improvements. Speed limit is still 45 mph, thru and local traffic is still mixed, and there's still traffic signals. All of those would have been eliminated with a bypass, for the same cost.

The difference with this particular intersection, Indian River & Kempsville, is that A) no bypass is going to get built, so that will always be the main corridor, and B) it ties into a limited-access segment of Ferrel Pkwy just east of there, which is a partial freeway in one area, and if there was a real desire to, that entire stretch of Ferrel Pkwy could be converted into a freeway mostly within the existing right of way - but that would likely never happen.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 07:42:21 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4564 on: October 01, 2019, 07:59:27 PM »

I-64 West (cardinal direction - east) between Exit 296 (US-17 / US-17 Business) and Exit 291 (I-464 / VA-168 / US-17) will be closed between Saturday, October 5 at 11 p.m. to Sunday, October 6 at 6 a.m. to allow crews to shift the lane markings onto new pavement in the median prior to the High Rise Bridge approach.

Quote
As construction of the new High Rise Bridge advances, motorists can expect a traffic shift on I-64 westbound (towards Virginia Beach) near the base of the High Rise Bridge beginning the first weekend in October (pending weather or unforeseen circumstances).

Both lanes of westbound (towards Virginia Beach) traffic on I-64 between the foot of the High Rise Bridge and the Great Bridge Boulevard overpass will be shifted towards the median onto new pavement. This new road alignment and traffic pattern will allow crews to work adjacently to the roadway on the construction of the new high rise bridge.

To prepare for this upcoming traffic shift, westbound (towards Virginia Beach) traffic will be temporarily detoured beginning at 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 5 to 6 a.m. on Sunday, October 6 with assistance from Virginia State Police and Chesapeake City Police.

Motorists traveling westbound on I-64 will be detoured at Exit 296 (US-17/ George Washington Highway) and continue on the following detour:
* Left on George Washington Highway (US-17 North)
* Right on S. Military Highway (US 460)
* Cross the Gilmerton Bridge
* Exit right to 464 S
* Exit 1A to 64 W (towards Virginia Beach)
* Continue on 64 W

Additional single lane closures will be utilized during off-peak hours to complete this traffic shift.

Motorists should follow roadway detour signage and expect delays or take alternate routes. As always, motorists are encouraged to slow down and pay careful attention while driving through the construction zone.

Eastbound traffic (towards Suffolk) will not be detoured.

http://www.64highrise.org/news_and_traffic_alerts/lane_closures.asp
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4565 on: October 01, 2019, 10:18:46 PM »

You keep saying this over and over, but one less traffic signal on 29 still helps through traffic.
I agree, but the money that was dumped into the "intersection improvements", construction of two urban interchanges & 3 lane widening was initially supposed to be allocated to a freeway bypass of the entire area, which what have been a much better use of such a large amount of money, and for the same cost. The benefits are also far greater with a bypass as opposed to intersection improvements. Speed limit is still 45 mph, thru and local traffic is still mixed, and there's still traffic signals. All of those would have been eliminated with a bypass, for the same cost.
The US-29 6-lane widening project was north of the northern bypass terminal, so that project was valuable either way.

The "Route 29 Solutions" projects built in lieu of the bypass, was a very selfish scheme, much more intended to provide a good circulator system for locals, than to benefit thru traffic.  The total cost was about the same for each, about $200 million.  The completed Berkmar Drive Extension provides a north-south local collector just to the west of US-29, and the completed Hillsdale Drive Extension provides a north-south local collector just to the east of US-29.  The Rio Road interchange with US-29 provides a convenient Rio Road east-west connector between the two roads above, and overpass over US-29.

The Rio Road interchange actually eliminated one major signalized intersection and two minor signalized intersections, at least moved the signals off of the US-29 mainline.

Nevertheless, there are still 5 major multi-phase signalized intersections on the segment of US-29 that would have been bypassed, so the benefits to thru traffic (basically anything that the 8 miles of bypass would have served), of the "Route 29 Solutions" projects, was minimal.
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LM117

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4566 on: October 02, 2019, 06:08:53 PM »

Some news from my neck of the woods.

(Behind paywall)

https://www.godanriver.com/news/local/council-paves-way-for-danville-road-improvements-with-million-from/article_00b96f41-3172-5472-9af4-4c3f3114199f.html

Quote
Danville City Council adopted four ordinances Tuesday night to appropriate nearly $2.8 million from the Virginia Department of Transportation for road improvement projects in the city.

Projects include upgrades on Wilson Street from Bridge Street to Lynn Street and improvements to the intersection at Riverside Drive and Audubon Drive.

Danville City Engineer Brian Dunevant told the Danville Register & Bee the projects had nothing to do with any damage from Tropical Storm Michael in October 2018.

"They're just routine," he said.

Other projects include reconstruction on Riverside Drive from Arnett Boulevard to Locust Lane and work on other sections in the city:

-Main Street from Chambers Street to Ridge Street;

-Memorial Drive southbound from Central Boulevard to Cahill Court;

-Central Boulevard southbound from Falwell Court to Holt Garrison Parkway;

-South Boston Road eastbound from 300 feet west of the entrance ramp from U.S. 29 southbound/Danville Expressway to the entrance ramp from U.S. 29 northbound/Danville Expressway;

-South Boston Road westbound from the beginning of the median at South Boston Road to 150 feet west from the northbound U.S. 29/Danville Expressway ramp.

-Trade Street Trail Advance to Commerce Street; and

-Arnett Boulevard sidewalks.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4568 on: October 05, 2019, 10:56:54 AM »

As part of the construction work on SR 28 NB in the vicinity of SR 267, overhead signs are being replaced. The previous signs were a mix of all-Clearview (including positive contrast, all-caps, and numerals), compliant Clearview, and all-FWHA. The replacement signs are exclusively FWHA. Legends have remained the same, although spacing is generally better and more consistent. Numerals on shields are consistently series B for 3-digit VA routes and series D for 2dUS (that is, US 50).

One thing I find interesting is that on the replacements for the VA 606 East signs, the "Old Ox Road" text is now the same size as the "Herndon" destination text. I think this is a bad design decision - I find the replacement signs more difficult to parse at a glance. Unlike the MUTCD authors, I'm a huge fan of having street/highway names shown in this style where it's appropriate - but I think that name should be shown in a reduced size (like the old signs) to keep it visually distinct.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4569 on: October 05, 2019, 11:07:48 AM »

The replacement signs are exclusively FWHA.
That's a shock - normally VDOT is in love with Clearview. Not complaining though, the standard FHWA font is a lot nicer appearance wise. Our neighbor to the south still uses it consistently and has not made the switch.

One thing I find interesting is that on the replacements for the VA 606 East signs, the "Old Ox Road" text is now the same size as the "Herndon" destination text. I think this is a bad design decision - I find the replacement signs more difficult to parse at a glance. Unlike the MUTCD authors, I'm a huge fan of having street/highway names shown in this style where it's appropriate - but I think that name should be shown in a reduced size (like the old signs) to keep it visually distinct.
Something similar happened here in Chesapeake. 3 miles of Dominion Blvd was upgraded from a 2-lane road to a 4-lane freeway with 3 urban interchanges built. At the VA-165 / Cedar Rd / Moses Grandy Trl interchange, the new signs were initially installed with "Moses Grandy Trl" in large font in proper position, along with a VA-165 shield and "Cedar Rd" in small text next to the shield. By the time the freeway was fully completed though, they decided to enlarge the "Cedar Rd" text to large font as well (due to the fact that Cedar Rd is a much busier and main thoroughfare as opposed to Moses Grandy Trl, and people complained about its signage) while retaining the location next to the shield. You can't see the small font on any Street View images, but between October 2016 and May 2018, when the sign was initially uncovered, it had the small font. You can see though where the covered over the small font and placed the larger font quite clearly.

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.7315615,-76.2992368,3a,37.5y,222.67h,88.13t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbdd_89WF-wh5amQXrIHdzA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4570 on: October 05, 2019, 04:38:09 PM »

If you see a new VDOT-posted sign in the old typeface, it most likely indicates the contract under which that sign was posted was signed during the period when the FHWA revoked the IA. I believe VDOT standards now call for Clearview, though with stricter adherence to the FHWA’s guidelines than we saw in the past.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4571 on: October 05, 2019, 04:50:42 PM »

I believe VDOT standards now call for Clearview
:no:

It's a shame the state is changing from a good font to a poor font. I'm just glad North Carolina hasn't switched yet. The signage quality overall looks far more decent with standard as opposed to Clearview IMO.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4572 on: October 05, 2019, 07:49:21 PM »

King George slows down process to get input on speed increase
Quote
The plan to raise the speed limit on sections of certain roads in King George County is going the way of a traffic circle: round and round.

First, a number of county residents asked members of the Board of Supervisors to increase the speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph on sections of State Route 3 and U.S 301 with divided highways, non-limited access and multiple lanes. Supervisors asked their representatives in the General Assembly to change the state code, which they did last year.

The change in legislation also affected four-lane routes on U.S. 17 and State Route 207.

The Virginia Department of Transportation had to do an engineering study and analyze accident reports and traffic data for the affected areas, then present information to each locality’s Board of Supervisors. VDOT representatives asked county officials to pass a resolution supporting the speed-limit increase.

Caroline County did just that, and the posted speed limit has changed along two sections of Route 207 and one stretch of U.S. 301. Speeds also went up on U.S. 17 in Gloucester County and Route 3 in Richmond County.

Stafford County voted for its speed limit to stay at 55 mph along Route 3 between Ferry Farm and the King George border and on U.S. 17 between Fauquier County and Poplar Road.

On Tuesday, VDOT officials presented their findings to the King George board, hoping to resolve the matter there. VDOT Administrator Stephen McKeever noted the majority of traffic already is traveling 60 mph and that the crash rate in the affected areas is less than district and state averages.

He also pointed out that local law enforcement and State Police supported the speed increase.

King George Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Bueche wasn’t ready to put the pedal to the metal on the plan. He wondered if residents should get a chance to have their say-so, even as Supervisor Ruby Brabo pointed out later that the county had asked for the increase because residents requested it.

Supervisor Richard Granger asked McKeever if it would affect VDOT’s timetable if the King George board delayed matters to hold a public hearing.

“It’s entirely up to you,” McKeever told the supervisors.

Supervisor Cathy Binder said she had concerns about the impact on U.S. 301, because her daughter and other children board buses on the road. She’s seen vehicles try to cut around buses already and is concerned about what could happen if “they’re going faster before they realize they have to stop.”

Bueche acknowledged that raising the legal limit to 60 mph “means we’ll probably be looking at speed limits exceeding 70 mph.” He wanted those affected to have a chance to voice their opinions.

The Board of Supervisors plans a public hearing on the speed issue at its next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in the board room of the Revercomb Administration Center.
I think that if the state determines it's appropriate to increase the speed limit on a route like this, they should be able to do so. The local level shouldn't get to oppose it when it's already been determined 60 mph is appropriate.

I couldn't even imagine if for instance the state-wide limit was raised to 65 mph. It would take decades to properly increase all the routes with all this mess that has to happen, and half the localities wouldn't even approve of it for their own "safety" reasons despite studies indicating otherwise.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 08:04:13 PM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4573 on: October 10, 2019, 03:39:00 PM »

Either or.  Bottom line is they need the additional depth below the water bottom for boring.
I don't recall that being cited as an issue on the Thimble Shoal Tunnel project, but they may have different soils there.
In any event, that could be a tradeoff in the decision between immersed tube and bored tunnel methods.  Immersed tube method needs much higher amounts of excavation and such excavation involves the ground surface with its environmental impacts, while the bored tunnel method does not disrupt the ground surface.
If a bored tunnel needs to go deeper, then that would make the tunnel longer unless the approach grades were made steeper. 
Attended our ASHE (American Society of Highway Engineers) bi-monthly technical meeting today.   

One of the project managers of HRBT Expansion gave a detailed presentation about the project.  I will post the presentation PPT when it is available.

I asked 2 questions in the Q&A part.

Yorktown Layer -- the name of a geographical strata that underlies much of the H.R. area that is of ideal composition for tunnel boring.  That is why the tunnels will be 50 feet deeper, to go under the soils that are of poor composition for a bored tunnel.  The existing tunnels (for those who don't know) are of the immersed tube construction method (*) whereby a trench is dredged that is backfilled with aggregate and quality soils around the new tube.

So making the tunnels longer and deeper will result in easier construction and lower overall costs.

Widening to 4 lanes each way with peak hour part-time shoulders between Settlers Landing Road and I-664 -- he was not aware of this proposal, and it is not part of his project.

(*)  I toured the Midtown Tunnel project in 2015 and in the video presentation part of the tour one of the public relations people said they don't like the term "sunken tube" because of the image of a ship sinking (but not IMO).  That is the term that used when I created my website articles 20 years ago about the bridge-tunnels in the area, so I may have been part of what makes them stress the term "immersed".   :-/
 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 03:45:21 PM by Beltway »
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Jmiles32

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #4574 on: October 10, 2019, 11:16:11 PM »

Finally got an update on the ongoing I-95 Corridor Improvement Study/Plan
https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/vdot-unveils-potential-fixes-for-congestion-on-i/article_69e6b88f-ca85-5054-961c-9f4a0a6fe255.html
http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/projects/corridor/i-95_operational_and_freeway_improvement_strategies.pdf
Quote
Potential solutions to improve travel time and safety on Interstate 95 were unveiled this week during a public meeting at James Monroe High School and the best options may surprise some commuters.

The plan favors a variety of approaches, such as increased transit or ride-sharing opportunities and interchange improvements, over simply building more lanes on I–95, Virginia Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Nick Donohue told a crowd of about 30 Wednesday evening.

The study tackles problems on the 179 miles of I–95 in the state, primarily congestion and crashes. The study’s first phase pinpointed problem areas, while the current second phase is focused on potential solutions.

Donohue gave a presentation Wednesday covering I–95 traffic data and modeling gathered as part of the study, and highlighted a couple of surprises.

One traffic model studied the long-term impacts of adding lanes to a 52-mile stretch of I–95 from North Stafford to Northern Virginia. Adding one lane would cost $12.5 billion, but showed little improvement. Adding two or three lanes showed improvements, but not enough to justify the costs.

Quote
The study also will focus on potentially improving interchanges and road infrastructure in areas around those exits. Such improvements could help when I–95 closes down and detoured traffic floods roads around interchanges.

Donohue highlighted one potential project the study could promote that would add a lane to increase southbound I–95 capacity beyond the crossing projects in an effort to help avoid choke point problems.

Another potential project—hardening I–95 shoulders to allow peak-period usage for traffic—caught the attention of some residents at the meeting. It wasn’t the traffic impact of the plan that drew responses, but the limitations tied to the electronically tolled express lanes.

The state’s I–95 express lanes contract with Transurban precludes the state from making improvements that would impact the toll lanes without compensating the express lanes operator.

The study’s plan would use the shoulders in the opposite direction of peak express lanes usage as a way to avoid the payments.

A couple of key things here. The first is the shocking cost of $12.5 BILLION for adding one lane from North Stafford (Not even Fredricksburg) to NOVA (I assume at least to the Springfield interchange). That's got to be directly affected by the compensation event so I guess VDOT went ahead and finally figured out what it would be, or at least what Transurban would want. Secondly, I am not surprised that hardened sholders seem to be preferred alternative as that both avoids a compensation event and seems to at least somewhat satisfy the public. Interested to see what specific interchange improvements VDOT puts on the table as at least in IMO besides the Occoquan bottleneck (still more related to the lane drop than the actual interchange), its the PW Parkway one (Exit 158) causing the most delays. Finally, I am glad additional lanes are being considered at the southern end of the Rappahannock River Crossing Project as I got to speak with Deputy Secretary Donohue about my chokepoint concerns there at one of the initial study meetings. 
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