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Author Topic: I-69 Ohio River Bridge  (Read 255389 times)

edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #950 on: June 25, 2019, 03:42:29 PM »

It's not always about time/distance in setting new routes, its sometimes about capacity between endpoints.

It's not always about the most efficient route, sometimes its about adequate alternative routing, especially during national disasters.

It's not always about the economic route, its about the route that provide the most economic gain in areas where it doesn't exist.

This bridge may be <$1B in 2030, but what will the return to the region be in 2060?

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sparker

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #951 on: June 25, 2019, 04:41:58 PM »

I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but with Arkansas and Mississippi budgetary concerns, I don't know why (short of cancelling their proposals), why they don't simply use more of what they have and incorporate the current Greenville MS bridge of US-82 for the I-69 crossing and then Arkansas can shoot it across US-82 and then down US-425 to Louisiana and then LA can have it meet up with I-20 near Monroe and twin to Shreveport.  Arkansas would make out like a bandit since they wouldn't have to fund the Great River Bridge, and I-69 will incorporate some of the US-82 project that they want to do across the state.  Mississippi would have to pay a little more for upgrading US-61, but again, that bridge wouldn't have to be built, nor the approaches.

I can think of two reasons why the above won't happen: (1) the actual routing and the Great River Bridge are written into the HPC #18/I-69 definition, and thus into Title 23 of the U.S. Code; it would take an act of Congress to significantly change anything -- ARDOT can't do anything about it unilaterally.  (2) It would add additional miles within Mississippi -- which of the 3 states involved in this corridor segment is the most penniless when it comes to discretionary highway funds -- like has been stated previously, they "blew their wad", money-wise, with I-269 and the I-22 improvements.  The I-69 "spur" from I-55 west to US 61 was a somewhat sneaky way to get HPC 18-level (max Fed 80%) funding for a spur that essentially enhances access to the Tunica casinos.  The only other section functionally completed in MS is the US 61 Clarksdale bypass -- but no one's in any hurry to sign that as I-69 until some semblance of a connection north to Tunica is constructed. 

Actually, I thought of a 3rd reason why US 82 or a Monroe "shortcut" wouldn't be in the cards -- ARDOT has already spent federal funds on the initial phase of the Monticello bypass -- plus the AR 530 expressway from Monticello the Pine Bluff is part of the HPC 18/I-69 "family"; receiving funding from that legislation.  That north-south connector is arguably one of the reasons why AR agreed to the I-69 routing along US 278; their congressional delegation had lobbied for a "split" corridor with one branch heading up US 79 then back into MS more or less following US 49 across the river, and the other the Great River bridge route that still is on the books.  They got AR 530 added to the I-69 legislation as a "consolation prize" for not getting the longer route.  Now -- in a "Fictional" world, 530 could be extended south parallel to US 425 to US 82, tying in with the modified I-69 route described in the above post (keeping AR interests happy) -- but until the Great River bridge concept is deleted from the present code, that won't happen. 

The route modification described above has quite a bit of merit -- it just has too many ducks to get in line for it to be feasible -- and more than a few of those ducks are already lined up somewhere else!  It's more than likely that much of I-69's "new terrain" alignment was set in stone in order to provide as many localized projects along the corridor as possible; a multiplex from Shreveport to Monroe would have lessened that potential -- so the El Dorado/Monticello routing was finalized.  And to ARDOT, the I-69 corridor alignment indicated that they were paying attention to a long-neglected part of the state rather than simply favoring Little Rock or NWA!   
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silverback1065

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #952 on: June 25, 2019, 06:56:30 PM »

i-69 in mississippi and arkansas is a waste of time and money.
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inkyatari

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #953 on: June 26, 2019, 09:43:19 AM »

i-69 in mississippi and arkansas is a waste of time and money.

In the Fictional Highways section, I have a plan to truncate 69 to Memphis, but have I 57 extend from IL to Brownsville TX. That would require less construction, and be more economically feasible.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19151.0
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #954 on: June 26, 2019, 01:56:48 PM »

I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but with Arkansas and Mississippi budgetary concerns, I don't know why (short of cancelling their proposals), why they don't simply use more of what they have and incorporate the current Greenville MS bridge of US-82 for the I-69 crossing and then Arkansas can shoot it across US-82 and then down US-425 to Louisiana and then LA can have it meet up with I-20 near Monroe and twin to Shreveport.  Arkansas would make out like a bandit since they wouldn't have to fund the Great River Bridge, and I-69 will incorporate some of the US-82 project that they want to do across the state.  Mississippi would have to pay a little more for upgrading US-61, but again, that bridge wouldn't have to be built, nor the approaches.

I can think of two reasons why the above won't happen: (1) the actual routing and the Great River Bridge are written into the HPC #18/I-69 definition, and thus into Title 23 of the U.S. Code; it would take an act of Congress to significantly change anything -- ARDOT can't do anything about it unilaterally.  (2) It would add additional miles within Mississippi -- which of the 3 states involved in this corridor segment is the most penniless when it comes to discretionary highway funds -- like has been stated previously, they "blew their wad", money-wise, with I-269 and the I-22 improvements.  The I-69 "spur" from I-55 west to US 61 was a somewhat sneaky way to get HPC 18-level (max Fed 80%) funding for a spur that essentially enhances access to the Tunica casinos.  The only other section functionally completed in MS is the US 61 Clarksdale bypass -- but no one's in any hurry to sign that as I-69 until some semblance of a connection north to Tunica is constructed. 

Actually, I thought of a 3rd reason why US 82 or a Monroe "shortcut" wouldn't be in the cards -- ARDOT has already spent federal funds on the initial phase of the Monticello bypass -- plus the AR 530 expressway from Monticello the Pine Bluff is part of the HPC 18/I-69 "family"; receiving funding from that legislation.  That north-south connector is arguably one of the reasons why AR agreed to the I-69 routing along US 278; their congressional delegation had lobbied for a "split" corridor with one branch heading up US 79 then back into MS more or less following US 49 across the river, and the other the Great River bridge route that still is on the books.  They got AR 530 added to the I-69 legislation as a "consolation prize" for not getting the longer route.  Now -- in a "Fictional" world, 530 could be extended south parallel to US 425 to US 82, tying in with the modified I-69 route described in the above post (keeping AR interests happy) -- but until the Great River bridge concept is deleted from the present code, that won't happen. 

The route modification described above has quite a bit of merit -- it just has too many ducks to get in line for it to be feasible -- and more than a few of those ducks are already lined up somewhere else!  It's more than likely that much of I-69's "new terrain" alignment was set in stone in order to provide as many localized projects along the corridor as possible; a multiplex from Shreveport to Monroe would have lessened that potential -- so the El Dorado/Monticello routing was finalized.  And to ARDOT, the I-69 corridor alignment indicated that they were paying attention to a long-neglected part of the state rather than simply favoring Little Rock or NWA!   
I agree with every one of your assessments.  I am just always amazed at what "educated and elected planners" come up with, and avoid some common sense options.  I know local and regional politics come into play way too often, but how much money and time do we have to waste?  I-69 from Evansville to Indianapolis actually had a route agreed upon in the 90s, and then they had to go back to do the entire process over again, and the route is basically the same one that was originally mapped out.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #955 on: June 26, 2019, 05:16:09 PM »

............I know local and regional politics come into play way too often, but how much money and time do we have to waste?  I-69 from Evansville to Indianapolis actually had a route agreed upon in the 90s, and then they had to go back to do the entire process over again, and the route is basically the same one that was originally mapped out.

In response to the first question, a reasonable answer to both time & money issues is as much as is necessary to satisfy political realities -- and in the case of planned freeway corridors, more pertaining to local considerations than national, although the latter come into play when year-to-year federal outlays are being proffered and deliberated.  Ever since the last of the available chargeable mileage was completed in the '90's, all major projects receiving significant federal funding have basically been political creatures (for better or worse -- too often the latter!).  But in today's divisive political (and economic) scene, there is absolutely no suggestion or even hint that the top-down but highly vetted approach utilized with the original '56 Interstate authorizing legislation and its batch of chargeable additions in '68 will be reinstated or replicated.  Since that method's demise back in the Nixon administration ('73) -- specifically enacted to inhibit/truncate systemic origination from D.C. -- planning efforts have been "kicked downstairs", so to speak -- coming from local communities, MPO's, and occasionally the states themselves (e.g., recent NC efforts).  With that many actors involved in the various regional projects, it's inevitable that politics will play an outsized role in the process -- whether to speed up progress on a particular corridor or to attempt to "shape" it to accommodate any number of alternate sets of needs or priorities.   All one can wish for in such circumstances is that some sense of realism creeps into the ongoing process, and that a viable corridor with decent utility will emerge from the cauldron.  So far we've been pleasantly surprised by how some of these have turned out (I-22, what's been done so far with I-49) but OTOH have been frustrated or annoyed with others (the I-73/74 "camel" -- e.g. a "horse designed by a committee", and much of the I-69 overall project).  In the case of the Indiana routing, it seems that the "wild card" was always Bloomington, interests from which apparently and initially expressed a preference that I-69 give them a wide berth, but eventually other voices prevailed (maybe students, parents, and sympathetic legislators wanting to ensure that I-69 funding provided a safer route between Bloomington and Indy) -- with the results being that the more direct Evansville-Indy alternate routes along IN 57 and 67 were discarded.  But there was precedent in IN for such considerations -- i.e. the Anderson/Muncie "bulge" on the original northern I-69 segment that departed from the direct Fort Wayne path up IN 37.  Like most places, IN seems to have a "love/hate" relationship with their Interstate corridors that has played out as it has in the planning process.       
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ukfan758

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #956 on: July 04, 2019, 12:25:58 AM »

i-69 in mississippi and arkansas is a waste of time and money.

In the Fictional Highways section, I have a plan to truncate 69 to Memphis, but have I 57 extend from IL to Brownsville TX. That would require less construction, and be more economically feasible.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19151.0

I would route 69 all the way to Texarkana and then have a concurrency with I-30 to Little Rock and I-40 to Memphis. Arkansas would need to widen both interstates to facilitate this but it should be far cheaper than trying to build a freeway through the middle of nowhere with new river crossings and it would also improve capacity and safety on both I-30 and 40.
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Interstates Traveled:
20(AL)24(KY-TN)26(NC-SC)30(AR-TX)40(NC-AR)41(IL-WI)43(WI)45(TX)59(AL)64(KY)65(IN-AL)69(KY-TX)71(KY-OH)70(OH)75(OH-TN)80(IL-IN)85(AL)90(IN-IL)94(IN-WI).
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SteveG1988

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #957 on: July 04, 2019, 07:46:12 PM »

I mean i appreciate that they are saving the 1932 bridge over the newer one... but it is just a weird choice that may bite them in the butt later on as maintence costs increase.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #958 on: July 05, 2019, 11:24:08 PM »

I mean i appreciate that they are saving the 1932 bridge over the newer one... but it is just a weird choice that may bite them in the butt later on as maintence costs increase.

I found that to be a bit odd as well, but they're probably thinking the 1932 bridge has a lot more historical value than the parallel span built in the '50s. If the 1932 bridge is listed in the National Register of Historical places, that would be a huge factor in that decision, but I don't know whether or not the 1932 bridge is list in the NHRP.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #959 on: July 06, 2019, 03:03:09 PM »

I mean i appreciate that they are saving the 1932 bridge over the newer one... but it is just a weird choice that may bite them in the butt later on as maintence costs increase.

I found that to be a bit odd as well, but they're probably thinking the 1932 bridge has a lot more historical value than the parallel span built in the '50s. If the 1932 bridge is listed in the National Register of Historical places, that would be a huge factor in that decision, but I don't know whether or not the 1932 bridge is list in the NHRP.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the 1966 bridge having the brittle steel in it, like other bridges of its age. I seem to remember reading that it does. At any rate, the older one has held up fairly well.
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SteveG1988

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #960 on: July 06, 2019, 04:36:05 PM »

I mean i appreciate that they are saving the 1932 bridge over the newer one... but it is just a weird choice that may bite them in the butt later on as maintence costs increase.

I found that to be a bit odd as well, but they're probably thinking the 1932 bridge has a lot more historical value than the parallel span built in the '50s. If the 1932 bridge is listed in the National Register of Historical places, that would be a huge factor in that decision, but I don't know whether or not the 1932 bridge is list in the NHRP.

They are saying it has more historical value and that the only reason the 1960s one has any value is due to the proximity of the 1932 one.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #961 on: July 06, 2019, 08:17:08 PM »


I wonder if it has anything to do with the 1966 bridge having the brittle steel in it, like other bridges of its age. I seem to remember reading that it does. At any rate, the older one has held up fairly well.

Does the 1932 bridge had been retrofitted for standing against an earthquake since the New Madrid fault and the Wabash valley seismic zone are not far from Evansville and Henderson?
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rte66man

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #962 on: July 07, 2019, 08:41:24 PM »

i-69 in mississippi and arkansas is a waste of time and money.

In the Fictional Highways section, I have a plan to truncate 69 to Memphis, but have I 57 extend from IL to Brownsville TX. That would require less construction, and be more economically feasible.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19151.0

I would route 69 all the way to Texarkana and then have a concurrency with I-30 to Little Rock and I-40 to Memphis. Arkansas would need to widen both interstates to facilitate this but it should be far cheaper than trying to build a freeway through the middle of nowhere with new river crossings and it would also improve capacity and safety on both I-30 and 40.

You are trying to be rational and, as we all know, there is no rationality when it comes to routing Interstate highways in our time.  As Tip O'Neill was noted for saying, "All politics is local". Highway routing is about as local as it gets these days.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #963 on: October 24, 2019, 01:37:08 AM »

It's been quite some time since anything has been published in the media on the I-69 bridge across the Ohio River, and the I-69 ORX website hasn't been updated since February.  Anyone happen to know if KYTC and INDOT are still making forward progress toward completing the environmental studies and securing funding for construction, or was the activity we saw within the last couple of years just another false start for the bridge?
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #964 on: October 24, 2019, 11:55:01 AM »

It's been quite some time since anything has been published in the media on the I-69 bridge across the Ohio River, and the I-69 ORX website hasn't been updated since February.  Anyone happen to know if KYTC and INDOT are still making forward progress toward completing the environmental studies and securing funding for construction, or was the activity we saw within the last couple of years just another false start for the bridge?

Lack of funds makes for slow going.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #965 on: October 24, 2019, 04:47:42 PM »

Not positive, but I think there may be some enabling legislation in the works for next year's Kentucky General Assembly session for bi-state work. KYTC is still paying C2 Strategic for PR on this project.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #966 on: October 25, 2019, 03:28:01 PM »

Not positive, but I think there may be some enabling legislation in the works for next year's Kentucky General Assembly session for bi-state work. KYTC is still paying C2 Strategic for PR on this project.

That would make sense.  Indiana already has money to pay for their portion of the bridge (mainly the northern approach and a new interchange to tie into the existing I-69; not to mention that Indiana is footing the bill for the current round of environmental studies.  That would place the onus on Kentucky to come up with the funds to build the bridge itself and the southern approach.

Has there been any discussion on what design of bridge it will be (girder/floorbeam, truss, cable-stay, etc.)?
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #967 on: October 28, 2019, 10:10:57 PM »

Not positive, but I think there may be some enabling legislation in the works for next year's Kentucky General Assembly session for bi-state work. KYTC is still paying C2 Strategic for PR on this project.

That would make sense.  Indiana already has money to pay for their portion of the bridge (mainly the northern approach and a new interchange to tie into the existing I-69; not to mention that Indiana is footing the bill for the current round of environmental studies.  That would place the onus on Kentucky to come up with the funds to build the bridge itself and the southern approach.

Has there been any discussion on what design of bridge it will be (girder/floorbeam, truss, cable-stay, etc.)?

Since DOT's like to work from templates to keep the costs down, I suspect it will be what they are using throughout the country right now. Concrete towers with a cable stayed deck. The new Tappan Zee used a new tower design, but the technology is roughly the same. I would assume KDOT would use a similar design to the Lewis & Clark Bridge upstream. Boring, yes, cheap, yes.
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