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Author Topic: I-49 Coming to Missouri  (Read 293689 times)

US71

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #175 on: March 23, 2012, 10:01:29 AM »

(This just in from MoDOT)

Two New Overhead Highway Signs
Going Up on I-44 and Route 71 in Joplin
 

Jasper County -- Two new trusses and large highway signs will be put at the I-44/Route 71-South interchange in Joplin on Thursday, March 29, and the installation will slow traffic temporarily on the two highways, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.

The new trusses and signs will be installed:

* Over the eastbound lanes of I-44 just west of Route 71 at Mile Marker 11.

* Over northbound lanes of Route 71 between Jasper County Route FF and I-44.

The signs and trusses replace those that were blown down during the May 22, 2011, EF5 tornado that devastated parts of Joplin.

The signs attached to the trusses over the highways will include new I-49 shields. However, the shields will remain covered until MoDOT receives federal approval, anticipated later this year, to convert Route 71 to Interstate 49 between Pineville and Kansas City.

Traffic Impacts

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will slow traffic while contractor workers, using a large crane and other equipment, will lift each sign truss assembly into place and bolt it to a concrete footing.

Here's the timeline for Thursday, March 29:

* At about 9:30 a.m., eastbound I-44 traffic will be slowed beginning at the Range Line Road interchange at Mile Marker 8. Traffic also may have to be stopped briefly.

* At about Noon, northbound Route 71 traffic will be slowed beginning north of Newton County Route V. Traffic also may have to be stopped briefly.

Drivers are urged to be alert, watch for work zone signs and expect slow-moving traffic on both eastbound I-44 and northbound Route 71 during the installation process.
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US71

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #176 on: April 01, 2012, 10:16:56 AM »

We now know I-44 West will be Exit 39 along I-49



This the only Exit Number that has been posted so far.  Contrary to what the Press Releases said, the 49 shields are NOT covered up: they are simply missing at this time, as witnessed by this sign along EB 44:


There are still no mileposts south of I-44, though there are survey flags. However, there are plenty of mileposts north of I-44
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M86

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #177 on: April 02, 2012, 02:24:03 AM »

Great pics!  Missouri uses some intricate sign bridges...
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #178 on: April 02, 2012, 02:37:54 AM »

What is fascinating with that first pic is how the "through" route (to MO 249) is marked as "Exit 39B" while the single lane off-ramp that will carry US 71/Future I-49 isn't numbered at all.

I assume that the plan is to continue I-49 along existing MO 249 when it is finally upgraded to full freeway standards (and the MO249/MO 171 gap is filled properly?  Or, will I-49 be permanently routed along I-44 and US 71 North? If the latter is the case, then that 71/44/249 interchange will need some flyovers and at least one double-lane ramp.

Anthony 
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #179 on: April 02, 2012, 12:10:07 PM »

Great pics!  Missouri uses some intricate sign bridges...

They're just a shorter version of Oklahoma's pre-monotube trusses, but with single instead of double vertical support poles. I consider the box gantry design that Kansas/Arkansas/New York use to be more intricate than that.
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US71

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #180 on: April 02, 2012, 07:10:29 PM »

What is fascinating with that first pic is how the "through" route (to MO 249) is marked as "Exit 39B" while the single lane off-ramp that will carry US 71/Future I-49 isn't numbered at all.

I assume that the plan is to continue I-49 along existing MO 249 when it is finally upgraded to full freeway standards (and the MO249/MO 171 gap is filled properly?  Or, will I-49 be permanently routed along I-44 and US 71 North? If the latter is the case, then that 71/44/249 interchange will need some flyovers and at least one double-lane ramp.

Anthony 

I think someday 49 will follow MO 249. If not, the Carthage/Diamond exit will also need some serious work.

Note there is no 39A. Some us are thinking if it will be 32nd St/Route FF.
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intelati49

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #181 on: April 03, 2012, 07:21:44 PM »



Yep.  :D

lamsalfl

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #182 on: April 03, 2012, 11:45:22 PM »

Odd for a Louisiana roadgeek to see I-49 in another state!  It's kinda like it's my state's road!  But, I'm glad this is getting extended north into other states.  LA only stands to gain from the extension.
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bassoon1986

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #183 on: April 04, 2012, 11:17:51 AM »

Odd for a Louisiana roadgeek to see I-49 in another state!  It's kinda like it's my state's road!  But, I'm glad this is getting extended north into other states.  LA only stands to gain from the extension.

I know! I see that picture with I-49 milemarker 47 and I think I'm somewhere near Marksville or Bunkie!
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #184 on: April 07, 2012, 09:45:31 AM »

Odd for a Louisiana roadgeek to see I-49 in another state!  It's kinda like it's my state's road!  But, I'm glad this is getting extended north into other states.  LA only stands to gain from the extension.

I know! I see that picture with I-49 milemarker 47 and I think I'm somewhere near Marksville or Bunkie!

Well, at least you're getting more of I-49, instead of having an only-in-Texas one like I-45 or I-27.
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #185 on: April 29, 2012, 08:15:02 AM »

Odd for a Louisiana roadgeek to see I-49 in another state!  It's kinda like it's my state's road!  But, I'm glad this is getting extended north into other states.  LA only stands to gain from the extension.

I know! I see that picture with I-49 milemarker 47 and I think I'm somewhere near Marksville or Bunkie!

Well, at least you're getting more of I-49, instead of having an only-in-Texas one like I-45 or I-27.
We still got I-12! I'm still confused on exit tabs and mile markers, since they will have to be replaced once 49 is extended to New Orleans. But we would be lost if the first exit on 49 was Exit 110

Grzrd

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #186 on: May 11, 2012, 01:59:45 PM »

This opinion piece calculates the average cost of an I-49 sign to be $2,868.85:

Quote
In February this year, MoDOT’s Southwest District announced a project to install 1,220 new Interstate 49 signs beginning along U.S. 71 between Pineville and Interstate 435 on the south edge of Kansas City. These signs would be covered or turned away from view until MoDOT receives final approval from the Federal Highway Administration for the I-49 designation (horse, barn?). The prime contractor is a company from Indianapolis and its low bid was $3.5 million for this signing project.
MoDOT calls many of the signs “emergency reference markers.” We call them mileage markers. From Harrisonville to Grandview, MoDOT has placed them every two-tenths of a mile on both sides of the road. If you do the math and divide $3.5 million dollars by the 1,220 signs, MoDOT paid on average $2,868.85 for each sign. Just think about having an accident in the middle of Grandview. You’ll be able to see one of the $2,868.85 mileage markers and be able to say exactly where you are when you call 911.

Not everyone is happy about I-49 coming to Missouri.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 02:02:41 PM by Grzrd »
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kharvey10

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #187 on: May 11, 2012, 02:34:45 PM »

and MoDOT isn't even trying to hide some of the signs.  It wasn't the case on I-64 back 25 years ago - there were places where the signs weren't even installed many years after that approval, and there is at least two interchanges that still got missing signs (not on the mainline but on MO 141 near MoDOT district headquarters out of all places).
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #188 on: May 11, 2012, 05:49:33 PM »

I think the arithmetic is flawed.  Enhanced location reference markers cost nowhere near $3,000 each.  Contractors bid on signing contracts by the square foot of sign panel, sometimes subdivided according to substrate type (depending on how the state DOT defines signing-related bid items), and the bulk of the cost of I-49 signing comes from the large sign panels.  If the sign sheeting in use costs $40 per square foot, for example, an average-sized 8' x 10' sign panel costs $3200 in sheeting alone.  In contradistinction, the cost I have heard for a typical milepost is around $300 all in (both panel and post--installation is not usually broken out separately; the contractor is expected to factor installation costs into the unit price he quotes for the bid item that corresponds to the thing being installed).  An enhanced location reference marker would cost more because of the larger sign panel area, but not that much more--say $400 or $500 as an upper bound?

$3.5 million is not that much for a signing contract of this size (approximately 100 sheets worth of designable signs, nearly all of them large panel signs).  Presumably a fairly high proportion of these signs replace existing ones which either were or were near to becoming life-expired.  Signing contracts which replace small guide signs (generally aluminum sheet signs only, like enhanced location reference markers) tend to be much cheaper, around $100,000 or so.
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Revive 755

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #189 on: May 11, 2012, 05:54:14 PM »

This opinion piece calculates the average cost of an I-49 sign to be $2,868.85:

Defective article, as I don't think it is distinguishing between I-49 shields, new guide signs, and the mile markers.  As for the markers being a waste of money, it would serve the author right to break down or be in a crash on a stretch of highway in Missouri that does not have any readily available reference markers.  Those markers make it much easier to report potholes anyway.

What was the safety record of the at grade intersections anyway?
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apeman33

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #190 on: May 12, 2012, 03:01:38 AM »

I'm a (sports) journalist. And that's a hack job. It's an opinion piece, so he's not obligated to get quotes but he ought to use some facts or at least use the ones he has in the proper way. Based on the fact that the byline includes "Submitted to the Examiner," he's probably not a real journalist. And the tone of the piece comes across to me more as an angry letter to the editor than any sort of journalism. The only valid points are Missouri's struggles with funding and Arkansas' inability to upgrade its portion of U.S. 71. Fine, those are fair points. But if he actually believes that the 2/10th-mile markers cost almost $2,900 each, then he's not qualified to write that article. If he knows darn well that's not likely but isn't going to be bothered to look up the facts, then he's manipulating his readers and that's unethical.
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apeman33

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #191 on: May 12, 2012, 03:03:22 AM »

This opinion piece calculates the average cost of an I-49 sign to be $2,868.85:

Defective article, as I don't think it is distinguishing between I-49 shields, new guide signs, and the mile markers.  As for the markers being a waste of money, it would serve the author right to break down or be in a crash on a stretch of highway in Missouri that does not have any readily available reference markers.  Those markers make it much easier to report potholes anyway.

What was the safety record of the at grade intersections anyway?

I can't imagine the south junction of 71 and MO-52 was very safe. Turn off 71, deal with a one-lane bridge right off the bat.
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oscar

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #192 on: May 12, 2012, 08:13:30 AM »

I think the arithmetic is flawed.  Enhanced location reference markers cost nowhere near $3,000 each.  Contractors bid on signing contracts by the square foot of sign panel, sometimes subdivided according to substrate type (depending on how the state DOT defines signing-related bid items), and the bulk of the cost of I-49 signing comes from the large sign panels.  If the sign sheeting in use costs $40 per square foot, for example, an average-sized 8' x 10' sign panel costs $3200 in sheeting alone.  In contradistinction, the cost I have heard for a typical milepost is around $300 all in (both panel and post--installation is not usually broken out separately; the contractor is expected to factor installation costs into the unit price he quotes for the bid item that corresponds to the thing being installed).  An enhanced location reference marker would cost more because of the larger sign panel area, but not that much more--say $400 or $500 as an upper bound?

$3.5 million is not that much for a signing contract of this size (approximately 100 sheets worth of designable signs, nearly all of them large panel signs).  Presumably a fairly high proportion of these signs replace existing ones which either were or were near to becoming life-expired.  Signing contracts which replace small guide signs (generally aluminum sheet signs only, like enhanced location reference markers) tend to be much cheaper, around $100,000 or so.

The press release cited in the opinion piece notes that the $3.5 million cost covers more than just the reference markers.  That seems to be where the arithmetic goes astray.

But even if making the markers is cheap, installing all of them (including figuring out the right locations, setting up temporary work zones, etc.) every 0.2 mile might make the markers part of the project a large fraction of the $3.5 million.
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #193 on: May 12, 2012, 01:14:12 PM »

But even if making the markers is cheap, installing all of them (including figuring out the right locations, setting up temporary work zones, etc.) every 0.2 mile might make the markers part of the project a large fraction of the $3.5 million.

In fact, it is not.  We do not have to guess at any of this because MoDOT makes bid results and bid tabulations available online.

The article is actually misleading in another respect--it says that MoDOT "announced" the signing job in February 2012.  In fact MoDOT advertised the contract for a letting date of October 21, 2011, under call number G01 (contract number 111021-G01):

http://www.modot.gov/business/contractor_resources/bid_opening_info/postBid.shtml?lettingDate=10%2F21%2F2011

(Unfortunately I cannot link to the PDF files directly because of the way these pages are coded.)

G01 is broken into two separate jobs, J4P1989D and J7P0825, each with its own plans set.  (The first digit is a district identifier that corresponds to one of the MoDOT districts as they existed before the 2011 reorganization.  "0" means pre-2011 District 10.)  The bid tabulations are broken down separately for each job.  The 1220 emergency reference markers the article cites (not even an accurate figure) is broken down into 166 for J4P1989D and 1176 for J7P0825, for a total of 1342.  MoDOT has an all-inclusive bid item for emergency reference markers (i.e., whatever the contractor bids for one unit of "emergency reference marker" is supposed to cover all the associated costs to the contractor of fabrication and installation, plus a certain element of profit for the contractor).

The low bid for 111021-G01 included unit bids of $243.68 under J4P1989D and $234.18 under J7P0825 for "emergency reference marker," for a total cost of $315,849.56 out of the $3.5 million low bid.

Bottom line:

*  Emergency reference markers comprise less than one-tenth of the contract value.

*  The article overstates the total cost of the emergency reference markers by factors of more than ten for both the District 4 and District 7 components of the contract.

The article is, in short, unmitigated twaddle.  I think Scott is correct in attributing authorship to a non-journalist.  My own guess is an angry anti-tax conservative.  Since the Examiner is an Independence/Blue Springs/Grain Valley suburban paper and rural and suburban papers in general tend to lean conservative, the article was probably an easy pitch to the Examiner's editors, who should nevertheless have fact-checked it more aggressively.

(I do have some experience writing newspaper opinion pieces since I was an opinion columnist for the KSU Collegian for a couple of semesters when I was doing my undergraduate degrees.  I know from personal experience that if I quoted facts in one of my opinion pieces, and my editor subsequently received a letter pointing out that these facts were wrong, I would be called into my editor's office to explain where I had sourced my facts and what checks I had done to ensure that they were correct.)
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kphoger

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #194 on: May 12, 2012, 01:23:51 PM »

So, are you going to send that in to the Examiner?  'Cause that would be awesome.
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #195 on: May 12, 2012, 02:52:37 PM »

Kphoger--I have followed up on your suggestion and sent a letter to the editor via email.  If they publish it, I will link to it here; if they do not publish it after a suitable interval (say one or two weeks), I will post it here.  I think it is more probable than not that they will not publish it because they have a 300-word limit (the letter I sent had about 325 words in total) and the principal burden of my letter is really a correction, although I added language to try to justify the I-49 upgrade from first principles (AADT above 10,000 VPD, small added cost of upgrades because long lengths of US 71 were already freeway, etc.).  The strapline I went with was something like "I-49 not only is affordable to Missouri, but is also a good buy."
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #196 on: May 12, 2012, 08:22:37 PM »

Kphoger--I have followed up on your suggestion and sent a letter to the editor via email.  If they publish it, I will link to it here; if they do not publish it after a suitable interval (say one or two weeks), I will post it here.  I think it is more probable than not that they will not publish it because they have a 300-word limit (the letter I sent had about 325 words in total) and the principal burden of my letter is really a correction, although I added language to try to justify the I-49 upgrade from first principles (AADT above 10,000 VPD, small added cost of upgrades because long lengths of US 71 were already freeway, etc.).  The strapline I went with was something like "I-49 not only is affordable to Missouri, but is also a good buy."

I-49 in Missouri is a good value because most of it is already there.  In Arkansas between I-30 and I-40 it is going to be far, far more expensive to build it.  If Arkansas had gotten their act together and started building a new US 71 in the '70s (besides the Fayetteville bypass, which was originally a 2 lane highway with at grades) they wouldn't have to spend so much money building it.  But AHTD has never been accused of being progressive.
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #197 on: May 14, 2012, 11:24:21 PM »

Kphoger--I have followed up on your suggestion and sent a letter to the editor via email.  If they publish it, I will link to it here; if they do not publish it after a suitable interval (say one or two weeks), I will post it here.  I think it is more probable than not that they will not publish it because they have a 300-word limit (the letter I sent had about 325 words in total) and the principal burden of my letter is really a correction, although I added language to try to justify the I-49 upgrade from first principles (AADT above 10,000 VPD, small added cost of upgrades because long lengths of US 71 were already freeway, etc.).  The strapline I went with was something like "I-49 not only is affordable to Missouri, but is also a good buy."
The editorial seems to be typical of small-town newspaper policy (not dissimilar to the press local to me) in that it takes MoDOT to task for - actually building highways. I'm less taken aback by the criticism of improving U.S. 71 to interstate status, since the state is probably getting a little ahead of the actual need here, notwithstanding any federal funding currently available for the work. I was rather very surprised by the "I-70 is just fine between Kansas City and St. Louis" opinion, which stood in opposition to both expenditure of public funding and the use of tolling to improve what is, to all reports, a very truck-clogged interstate highway. I missed the explanation of how elves would do the work of improving the road at no cost to either taxpayers or users of the highway via tolls.
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #198 on: May 14, 2012, 11:54:26 PM »

I was rather very surprised by the "I-70 is just fine between Kansas City and St. Louis" opinion, which stood in opposition to both expenditure of public funding and the use of tolling to improve what is, to all reports, a very truck-clogged interstate highway. I missed the explanation of how elves would do the work of improving the road at no cost to either taxpayers or users of the highway via tolls.

I think the writer's point was rather that I-70 does not need to be widened at all, and that he would (and thinks the rest of us should) be prepared to accept anything up to, but not including, routine stop-and-go traffic on a rural freeway.  In a word:  mean-mindedness.

FWIW, I did a quick comparison of traffic volumes on I-70 and US 71 (future I-49), using MoDOT traffic volume maps.  (These are not stratified by vehicle type; I appreciate the high truck percentage on I-70 does make a difference.)  In rural areas I-70 is generally around 30,000-40,000 VPD with isolated counts of sub-20,000 VPD, while US 71 is generally 10,000-20,000 VPD with one isolated count of 9,911 VPD (as near to 10,000 VPD as makes no difference), higher counts in the rural areas near Joplin, and counts well above 20,000 in far southern Missouri near the planned Bella Vista Bypass.  US 71 does operate at a significantly better LOS than I-70, but the added cost of upgrading US 71 to Interstate is probably one to two orders of magnitude less than the cost of expanding I-70 to the extent that would be required to obtain the same LOS as US 71.

I have many unpleasant memories of I-70 in Missouri and I have been following the I-70 widening saga since the FEIS was published around 2002.  I-70 is a nuisance that needs to be taken care of.  However, the sheer cost of the proposed expansion does tend to overwhelm arguments that smallish local diseconomies should be tolerated in favor of uniform provision.
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Re: I-49 Coming to Missouri
« Reply #199 on: May 15, 2012, 05:11:43 PM »

Im exited about Interstate 49 being signed in Mo.
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