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Author Topic: I-69 Ohio River Bridge  (Read 220234 times)

WKDAVE

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #850 on: June 22, 2018, 10:03:16 AM »

I have not heard of any plans to toll the US 41 bridge(s) if a new-location alignment is built.


I-69 bridge tolls: Eyeing the cost and how they will be collected
Douglas White, The Gleaner Published 9:43 a.m. CT April 19, 2018 | Updated 1:50 p.m. CT April 23, 2018

HENDERSON - When the new I-69 bridge over the Ohio River is completed and open sometime around 2025, one thing is certain: it will cost you every time you go across.

Tolling is "for the financing that is going to have to be part of this project," said Mindy Peterson, spokeswoman for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing, or ORX, project team. "We don't see a situation where there would be enough dollars at the federal and state levels without financing part of this project."

And to pay for that financing, it has always been assumed that the project -- currently estimated to cost $1.4 billion overall -- will come with tolls.

But how will that work? And how much will it cost drivers? And will there be another bridge left across the river that isn't tolled?

Tolling on the new I-69 bridge between Henderson and Evansville will utilize sensors and high-speed cameras. (Photo: Furnished)
 ...

"Toll rates will not be decided by this project team. It just won't happen. Deciding the business rules of tolling will be up to a bi-state body," Peterson said Wednesday, during an I-69 project information session at The Gathering Place senior center in Henderson.

"So it will be officials from Kentucky and Indiana who get together and decide what bridges are going to be tolled. They are going to decide toll rates, and they will decide policy. And policy will be things like, are you going to offer a free transponder when folks open a pre-paid account? ... Are you going to have a frequent-user discounts."

...


"What we don't know right now is, if there's a remaining U.S. 41 bridge, would that bridge have to be tolled?" said Peterson.

"We can't answer that question right now. And this project team won't. It will be the bi-state body. But hypothetically, if that were to be a toll-free option, is that more palatable? Would that work for your lifestyle? Would that work for the trips you're making? At the community conversations that we've had where we've asked that question, a lot of hands have gone up and people have said, 'I can make that work. If it have a toll free option across the river, I can make that work in my life.' "

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WKDAVE

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #851 on: June 22, 2018, 10:06:14 AM »

There are really only 2 options...West 2 which is a 6-lane tolled I-69/US41 bridge getting rid of twin bridges and Central which is 4-lane tolled I-69 bridge and 2-lane tolled US 41 bridge. I know they haven't said that both bridges will be tolled but they have to in order to pay for the I-69 bridge. There are around 40,000 vehicles a day on twin bridges. If you keep the one bridge free, it will have at least 15,000-20,000 crossings a day, leaving the tolled I-69 bridge just 20,000-25,000 per day. No way you fund $1 billion bridge on 25,000 crossings. Louisville has 100,000 crossings to fund there $2.3 billion bridges.

The only problem with attempting to toll both crossings is the inter-state politics involved; there are quite a few commuters living in Henderson and nearby KY towns that commute to Evansville; they probably constitute a large percentage of the overall volume.  They would require some accommodation if a toll were in their pathway (passes, "freebie" transponders, etc.) that would effectively be non-revenue in nature (or, when administrative costs are figured in, possibly a money loser).  Thus it's more than likely -- and almost definitely if the central option is selected -- that the original US 41 bridge will remain free -- but it's also as likely that only one 2-lane span will remain -- so that any long-distance "shunpiking" will likely encounter congestion -- and be a one-time venture (particularly with commercial transport).  Those two lanes will be adequate for commutes, but not terribly efficient for much of anything else.  But if a single-crossing west alignment is selected (and tolled), then the commute compensation will likely have been absorbed into the long-term fiscal picture.

I agree as to the local politics, but that "local traffic" will be, based on the Clark Bridge in Louisville, over 15,000 vehicles/day. No way you can fund the I-69 bridge on the "leftover" traffic.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #852 on: June 22, 2018, 12:59:06 PM »

There are a few situations like this nationally where a local major arterial is in the line of a new national highway and the funding has to come from tolls to make the new bridge "viable" sooner.

My take is the same as always. No serious traveler or trucking firm is going to get off a major multi-lane, multi-state highway to avoid a toll unless the toll is exceptionally regressive.

Toll the bridge and leave the US41 bridge in place to serve local traffic only.

Once I-69 is completed between Indy and Memphis it will get plenty of traffic to cover its costs.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #853 on: June 22, 2018, 01:50:06 PM »

Kentucky could always ban trucks on the US 41 bridge, since it lies entirely within the Bluegrass State.
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vdeane

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #854 on: June 22, 2018, 02:11:35 PM »

I'm generally more accepting of tolls for major bridges/tunnels as long as they are fair and the toll isn't paying for something else than other types of tolls since they are so much more expensive than other infrastructure.
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WKDAVE

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #855 on: June 22, 2018, 04:45:09 PM »

There are a few situations like this nationally where a local major arterial is in the line of a new national highway and the funding has to come from tolls to make the new bridge "viable" sooner.

My take is the same as always. No serious traveler or trucking firm is going to get off a major multi-lane, multi-state highway to avoid a toll unless the toll is exceptionally regressive.

Toll the bridge and leave the US41 bridge in place to serve local traffic only.

Once I-69 is completed between Indy and Memphis it will get plenty of traffic to cover its costs.



Currently there are around 12,000 "through" vehicles (I-69 ADT south of Henderson) and 27,000 "local" vehicles on twin bridges (39,000 ADT).  Louisville Bridges was a $2.3 billion project with about 100,000 currently paying tolls. This project is estimated at $0.8 billion. If it is 1/3 the cost you need 1/3 the traffic or 33,000 paying vehicles.  The current way from Memphis to Indy per Google Maps is using I-55, I-57, and I-70. I-57 in far Southern Illinois has 12,000 ADT. If every vehicle on that stretch was Memphis to Indy and everyone re-routed to I-69 you still wouldn't have the traffic over the bridge to pay off tolls. (FYI Memphis to Indy via the above or I-69 will be the same mileage...464 miles each so I'm not sure there will be much of a traffic change). The previous financial plan for I-69 bridge projects 2030 traffic at 57,000 ADT. If the locals kept using the free US 41 bridge at current rate of 27,000 ADT there still would not be enough paid traffic to pay for I-69 bridge.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 04:51:57 PM by WKDAVE »
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #856 on: June 23, 2018, 11:44:19 AM »

There are a few situations like this nationally where a local major arterial is in the line of a new national highway and the funding has to come from tolls to make the new bridge "viable" sooner.

My take is the same as always. No serious traveler or trucking firm is going to get off a major multi-lane, multi-state highway to avoid a toll unless the toll is exceptionally regressive.

Toll the bridge and leave the US41 bridge in place to serve local traffic only.

Once I-69 is completed between Indy and Memphis it will get plenty of traffic to cover its costs.



Currently there are around 12,000 "through" vehicles (I-69 ADT south of Henderson) and 27,000 "local" vehicles on twin bridges (39,000 ADT).  Louisville Bridges was a $2.3 billion project with about 100,000 currently paying tolls. This project is estimated at $0.8 billion. If it is 1/3 the cost you need 1/3 the traffic or 33,000 paying vehicles.  The current way from Memphis to Indy per Google Maps is using I-55, I-57, and I-70. I-57 in far Southern Illinois has 12,000 ADT. If every vehicle on that stretch was Memphis to Indy and everyone re-routed to I-69 you still wouldn't have the traffic over the bridge to pay off tolls. (FYI Memphis to Indy via the above or I-69 will be the same mileage...464 miles each so I'm not sure there will be much of a traffic change). The previous financial plan for I-69 bridge projects 2030 traffic at 57,000 ADT. If the locals kept using the free US 41 bridge at current rate of 27,000 ADT there still would not be enough paid traffic to pay for I-69 bridge.

This assumes the tolls will cover the entire cost of the effort.

Unless Kentucky has a specifc ban against doing it, you can use public funds to cover a percentage of the cost and only do toll based revenue bonds on what is left.

Several states use this with their tolled express lanes. The surrounding infrastructure was already paid for with public funds but the incremental additions were covered via toll revenue.

Honestly, those traffic numbers you pulled ARE low. But low ADT's have never stopped certain roads to be built.

I cant say I-69 has defense capabilities in mind. The whole route was predicated on getting the NAFTA bill passed in states that would feel the impact the most.

But I am familiar with the economic requirements in that MSA. An Ohio River bridge that provides better N/S routing for commerce, whereas today its very E/W, would be a very strategic accomplishment even if the the leg to Memphis isnt done for another 10-15 years.



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ilpt4u

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #857 on: July 01, 2018, 10:33:37 PM »

I wonder if a new Terre Haute Northeastern Bypass (to tie into the new IN 641 Bypass leg) or a Western Terre Haute Bypass, in addition to a US 41 to IL 394 connector and/or the Illiana would change traffic counts on an Evansville Bridge

Sure, the US 41 Corridor already handles some of the Chicago-Nashville traffic, but if it were closer to Freeway standard, especially thru Indiana, I bet it would get more of that traffic (possibly a way down the road I-41 designation?). Bypassing Terre Haute and a better connection to the Chicago Freeway network at the Northern end would help
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:53:19 PM by ilpt4u »
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thefro

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #858 on: July 02, 2018, 11:05:12 AM »

I wonder if a new Terre Haute Northeastern Bypass (to tie into the new IN 641 Bypass leg) or a Western Terre Haute Byoass, in addition to a US 41 to IL 394 connector and/or the Illiana would change traffic conts on an Evansville Bridge

Sure, the US 41 Corridor already handles some of the Chicago-Nashville traffic, but if it were closer to Freeway standard, especially thru Indiana, I bet it would get more of that traffic (possibly a way down the road I-41 designation?). Bypassing Terre Haute and a better connection to the Chicago Freeway network at the Northern end would help

Would that and the new I-69 bridge being open shave 20-30 minutes off travel time from Chicago to Nashville on the US-41/SR 63/I-69/I-24 route?  It's obviously a shorter route but right now 65 is faster.

I guess you could argue that some of money going towards making I-65 3 lanes could/should go to upgrading that route and diverting some semi traffic to go through Evansville.
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Life in Paradise

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #859 on: July 02, 2018, 12:14:27 PM »

One other option is I-57 to I-24.  There is quite a lot of traffic using that option too.  The advantage to that route is that you don't have potential tie ups in Indianapolis or Louisville.  US 41 would alleviate both routes somewhat.
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Captain Jack

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #860 on: July 02, 2018, 01:24:57 PM »

I wonder if a new Terre Haute Northeastern Bypass (to tie into the new IN 641 Bypass leg) or a Western Terre Haute Byoass, in addition to a US 41 to IL 394 connector and/or the Illiana would change traffic conts on an Evansville Bridge

Sure, the US 41 Corridor already handles some of the Chicago-Nashville traffic, but if it were closer to Freeway standard, especially thru Indiana, I bet it would get more of that traffic (possibly a way down the road I-41 designation?). Bypassing Terre Haute and a better connection to the Chicago Freeway network at the Northern end would help

Would that and the new I-69 bridge being open shave 20-30 minutes off travel time from Chicago to Nashville on the US-41/SR 63/I-69/I-24 route?  It's obviously a shorter route but right now 65 is faster.

I guess you could argue that some of money going towards making I-65 3 lanes could/should go to upgrading that route and diverting some semi traffic to go through Evansville.

I drove from Chicago to Evansville yesterday. If you get IL-394 over to 41 somewhere south of St. John, this route would be a viable route to Nashville. Considering how long IN-641 took, I wouldn't expect anything around Terre Haute to get done in our lifetimes. With that said, even with Terre Haute, I think the shorter distance, and potential traffic in Indy and Louisville would balance things out.

The first step is what INDOT should have done 40 years ago, switch US 41 and SR 63. It is absolutely ridiculous that this has never been done, and a source of constant confusion.
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ilpt4u

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #861 on: July 02, 2018, 09:51:43 PM »

At a minimum, IN 63 should be renumbered as an (even)41. But probably should just simply be US 41, agreed

How about KY dump the whole I-169 designation for the Pennyrile Pkwy south of the Western KY Pkwy, in exchange for I-41. Be bold, KY!

Tho I don’t think that IN would really care that much, and still wouldn’t be in a big hurry to at least make improvements to the US 41 corridor, if not an eventual Freeway/Interstate designation

I was more just thinking that if the Evansville/Henderson I-69 bridge were to be tolled, its traffic counts should go up, if the US 41 corridor can be a competitive N-S route for Chicago<->Nashville traffic, in addition to the Memphis<->Indy route
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:57:55 PM by ilpt4u »
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hbelkins

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #862 on: July 03, 2018, 09:40:10 AM »


How about KY dump the whole I-169 designation for the Pennyrile Pkwy south of the Western KY Pkwy, in exchange for I-41. Be bold, KY!

No. Just no. This is even shorter than the existing I-41, which also should be a 3di.
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Captain Jack

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #863 on: July 04, 2018, 11:50:03 AM »


How about KY dump the whole I-169 designation for the Pennyrile Pkwy south of the Western KY Pkwy, in exchange for I-41. Be bold, KY!

No. Just no. This is even shorter than the existing I-41, which also should be a 3di.

Agreed. If this ever got off the ground, I would favor a I-61 or 63 designation from Nashville to Chicago. IMO, this should have been I-65, and stretched from Green Bay to Mobile. Even if you go with the actual Louisville routing, I never understood why I-65 terminated in Gary, instead of continuing as the north-south route from Chicago to Green Bay.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #864 on: July 04, 2018, 05:47:41 PM »


How about KY dump the whole I-169 designation for the Pennyrile Pkwy south of the Western KY Pkwy, in exchange for I-41. Be bold, KY!

No. Just no. This is even shorter than the existing I-41, which also should be a 3di.

Agreed. If this ever got off the ground, I would favor a I-61 or 63 designation from Nashville to Chicago. IMO, this should have been I-65, and stretched from Green Bay to Mobile. Even if you go with the actual Louisville routing, I never understood why I-65 terminated in Gary, instead of continuing as the north-south route from Chicago to Green Bay.

Wisconsin had always preferred N-S Interstate designations in the 50's range; when the 1968 batch of additions were added, the original AASHO plan was to (a) truncate I-94 at Milwaukee (b) extend I-57 up previous I-94 and on over what's now I-43 to Green Bay, and (c) to renumber I-94 between Chicago and Port Huron (via Detroit) as I-92; that designation would also have replaced I-294 around Chicago (can't have 294 w/o 94!).  Of course Chicago interests, particularly Mayor Daley, raised holy hell about the plan to renumber longstanding Chicago arteries, so the present situation was instituted.  WIDOT chose I-43 because it was easier to renumber old WI 43 because it was a short route south of Milwaukee (47 or 49, more logical designations back in '68-69, would have required renumbering long and well-established state routes -- and the selection was in WIDOT's hands -- thus "43").  Since the Green Bay extension wasn't in the works during the initial route finalization in the late '50's, the thought of extending I-65 around the west side of Lake Michigan wasn't even in the back of anyone's mind.   Of course decades later when the Interstate conversion of US 41 in WI was being planned, the original choice for designation was an extension of I-55 -- but IL put the kibosh on that in short order.  Chicago and environs have for the longest time displayed a preference for retaining their route numbers "as is" even in the face of regional convolution -- and they've also displayed the political clout to get their way.
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mrsman

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #865 on: July 05, 2018, 03:19:58 PM »


How about KY dump the whole I-169 designation for the Pennyrile Pkwy south of the Western KY Pkwy, in exchange for I-41. Be bold, KY!

No. Just no. This is even shorter than the existing I-41, which also should be a 3di.

Agreed. If this ever got off the ground, I would favor a I-61 or 63 designation from Nashville to Chicago. IMO, this should have been I-65, and stretched from Green Bay to Mobile. Even if you go with the actual Louisville routing, I never understood why I-65 terminated in Gary, instead of continuing as the north-south route from Chicago to Green Bay.

Wisconsin had always preferred N-S Interstate designations in the 50's range; when the 1968 batch of additions were added, the original AASHO plan was to (a) truncate I-94 at Milwaukee (b) extend I-57 up previous I-94 and on over what's now I-43 to Green Bay, and (c) to renumber I-94 between Chicago and Port Huron (via Detroit) as I-92; that designation would also have replaced I-294 around Chicago (can't have 294 w/o 94!).  Of course Chicago interests, particularly Mayor Daley, raised holy hell about the plan to renumber longstanding Chicago arteries, so the present situation was instituted.  WIDOT chose I-43 because it was easier to renumber old WI 43 because it was a short route south of Milwaukee (47 or 49, more logical designations back in '68-69, would have required renumbering long and well-established state routes -- and the selection was in WIDOT's hands -- thus "43").  Since the Green Bay extension wasn't in the works during the initial route finalization in the late '50's, the thought of extending I-65 around the west side of Lake Michigan wasn't even in the back of anyone's mind.   Of course decades later when the Interstate conversion of US 41 in WI was being planned, the original choice for designation was an extension of I-55 -- but IL put the kibosh on that in short order.  Chicago and environs have for the longest time displayed a preference for retaining their route numbers "as is" even in the face of regional convolution -- and they've also displayed the political clout to get their way.

Totally agreed with regard to your comments on Chicago.  IMO, this position harms Chicago too as it makes driving around Chicago more difficult.  If you know that you want to get to the north suburbs, you should take a northbound freeway, right?  But in Chicago that means that you take the westbound I-94.  Ridiculous.

To have a N-S interstate from Green Bay and Milwaukee, continuting into Metro Chicago along the Edens Expy, multiplexing with I-90 in the loop and then becoming either I-55 or I-57 or I-65 for trips further south would be ideal.  Heck, it would be fine if I-55 or 57 or 65 were made as an additional routing along with I-94 for that stretch.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #866 on: July 10, 2018, 01:03:55 PM »

I wonder if a new Terre Haute Northeastern Bypass (to tie into the new IN 641 Bypass leg) or a Western Terre Haute Byoass, in addition to a US 41 to IL 394 connector and/or the Illiana would change traffic conts on an Evansville Bridge

Sure, the US 41 Corridor already handles some of the Chicago-Nashville traffic, but if it were closer to Freeway standard, especially thru Indiana, I bet it would get more of that traffic (possibly a way down the road I-41 designation?). Bypassing Terre Haute and a better connection to the Chicago Freeway network at the Northern end would help

Would that and the new I-69 bridge being open shave 20-30 minutes off travel time from Chicago to Nashville on the US-41/SR 63/I-69/I-24 route?  It's obviously a shorter route but right now 65 is faster.

I guess you could argue that some of money going towards making I-65 3 lanes could/should go to upgrading that route and diverting some semi traffic to go through Evansville.

I drove from Chicago to Evansville yesterday. If you get IL-394 over to 41 somewhere south of St. John, this route would be a viable route to Nashville. Considering how long IN-641 took, I wouldn't expect anything around Terre Haute to get done in our lifetimes. With that said, even with Terre Haute, I think the shorter distance, and potential traffic in Indy and Louisville would balance things out.

The first step is what INDOT should have done 40 years ago, switch US 41 and SR 63. It is absolutely ridiculous that this has never been done, and a source of constant confusion.

I have driven a similar route from Evansville to the Western Chicago burbs. It wasn't for toll avoidance on 294 and 88.  It was about travel times and traffic loads.

I would get off US41 north of Kentland and jog west into Illinois. Take I-57 north to Peotone Road and then take that to I-55 around Wilmington. Basically a route the Illiana Expressway would take.

It worked for many years but two things began to kill it. Congestion through Terre Haute started to get bad in the early 1990's and Wilmington started developing south in Will County around 2001.

Senseless traffic lights started appearing and travel times began to grow again.  I finally gave it up around 2010.

I don't travel the Indy/Memphis route. I have driven IN-37 from Indy to Evansville many times and when I-69 is done I anticipate using it for that.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #867 on: July 10, 2018, 04:18:57 PM »

Totally agreed with regard to your comments on Chicago.  IMO, this position harms Chicago too as it makes driving around Chicago more difficult.  If you know that you want to get to the north suburbs, you should take a northbound freeway, right?  But in Chicago that means that you take the westbound I-94.  Ridiculous.

To have a N-S interstate from Green Bay and Milwaukee, continuting into Metro Chicago along the Edens Expy, multiplexing with I-90 in the loop and then becoming either I-55 or I-57 or I-65 for trips further south would be ideal.  Heck, it would be fine if I-55 or 57 or 65 were made as an additional routing along with I-94 for that stretch.

In retrospect, it seems that maintaining I-94 as a second major E-W route through Chicagoland has always been a local priority -- something of a matter of local pride and seeming prestige to have multiple servers like that!  Besides, I-94 directly connects to Chicago's nearest rivals in regional civic pride/sports/economic activity:  Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Detroit -- (with I-41/43, pretty much all of NFC North!).  It seems to be all about psychological familiarity and the maintenance of such -- to Chicago, I-94 is the way to get to other areas with similar circumstances but often (at least in the case of Detroit) not coping as well, giving Chicago(land) the ability to either gloat a bit or think "there but for the grace of God..........".  It's been around for about 60 years now; for Chicago, I-94's iconic -- it even gets a shout-out in the film "Doctor Detroit".  Any notion to alter/truncate it, despite its convoluted routing, will likely be viewed as an affront or insult to many locals in and around the city. 
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edwaleni

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #868 on: July 11, 2018, 08:26:36 AM »

Totally agreed with regard to your comments on Chicago.  IMO, this position harms Chicago too as it makes driving around Chicago more difficult.  If you know that you want to get to the north suburbs, you should take a northbound freeway, right?  But in Chicago that means that you take the westbound I-94.  Ridiculous.

To have a N-S interstate from Green Bay and Milwaukee, continuting into Metro Chicago along the Edens Expy, multiplexing with I-90 in the loop and then becoming either I-55 or I-57 or I-65 for trips further south would be ideal.  Heck, it would be fine if I-55 or 57 or 65 were made as an additional routing along with I-94 for that stretch.

In retrospect, it seems that maintaining I-94 as a second major E-W route through Chicagoland has always been a local priority -- something of a matter of local pride and seeming prestige to have multiple servers like that!  Besides, I-94 directly connects to Chicago's nearest rivals in regional civic pride/sports/economic activity:  Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Detroit -- (with I-41/43, pretty much all of NFC North!).  It seems to be all about psychological familiarity and the maintenance of such -- to Chicago, I-94 is the way to get to other areas with similar circumstances but often (at least in the case of Detroit) not coping as well, giving Chicago(land) the ability to either gloat a bit or think "there but for the grace of God..........".  It's been around for about 60 years now; for Chicago, I-94's iconic -- it even gets a shout-out in the film "Doctor Detroit".  Any notion to alter/truncate it, despite its convoluted routing, will likely be viewed as an affront or insult to many locals in and around the city.

I seriously doubt it is a pride issue.

The renumbering of the Ike from 90 to 290 went off with none of the issues described by anyone above. No mayoral noise, no public outcry,

I-94 has been and was always planned as the northernmost arterial in the US originally to connect southern Canada via Detroit ( now Sarnia) to points west of the Great Lakes.

Since it was never planned as a transcon but as a collection of various routes (Detroit-Chicago) (Chicago-Twin Cities) the numbering scheme was for clarity over distance, not due to political interference.

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mgk920

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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #869 on: July 11, 2018, 09:52:00 AM »

Totally agreed with regard to your comments on Chicago.  IMO, this position harms Chicago too as it makes driving around Chicago more difficult.  If you know that you want to get to the north suburbs, you should take a northbound freeway, right?  But in Chicago that means that you take the westbound I-94.  Ridiculous.

To have a N-S interstate from Green Bay and Milwaukee, continuting into Metro Chicago along the Edens Expy, multiplexing with I-90 in the loop and then becoming either I-55 or I-57 or I-65 for trips further south would be ideal.  Heck, it would be fine if I-55 or 57 or 65 were made as an additional routing along with I-94 for that stretch.

In retrospect, it seems that maintaining I-94 as a second major E-W route through Chicagoland has always been a local priority -- something of a matter of local pride and seeming prestige to have multiple servers like that!  Besides, I-94 directly connects to Chicago's nearest rivals in regional civic pride/sports/economic activity:  Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Detroit -- (with I-41/43, pretty much all of NFC North!).  It seems to be all about psychological familiarity and the maintenance of such -- to Chicago, I-94 is the way to get to other areas with similar circumstances but often (at least in the case of Detroit) not coping as well, giving Chicago(land) the ability to either gloat a bit or think "there but for the grace of God..........".  It's been around for about 60 years now; for Chicago, I-94's iconic -- it even gets a shout-out in the film "Doctor Detroit".  Any notion to alter/truncate it, despite its convoluted routing, will likely be viewed as an affront or insult to many locals in and around the city.

I seriously doubt it is a pride issue.

The renumbering of the Ike from 90 to 290 went off with none of the issues described by anyone above. No mayoral noise, no public outcry,

I-94 has been and was always planned as the northernmost arterial in the US originally to connect southern Canada via Detroit ( now Sarnia) to points west of the Great Lakes.

Since it was never planned as a transcon but as a collection of various routes (Detroit-Chicago) (Chicago-Twin Cities) the numbering scheme was for clarity over distance, not due to political interference.

Interestingly (and this is a bit of a tangent), whenever Big Rig Steve has had a load that is to pass through both Billings, MT and Tomah, WI, he has always used I-94 instead of I-90 between them - it's the shorter and faster route.

Mike
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #870 on: July 11, 2018, 10:22:57 AM »

Totally agreed with regard to your comments on Chicago.  IMO, this position harms Chicago too as it makes driving around Chicago more difficult.  If you know that you want to get to the north suburbs, you should take a northbound freeway, right?  But in Chicago that means that you take the westbound I-94.  Ridiculous.

To have a N-S interstate from Green Bay and Milwaukee, continuting into Metro Chicago along the Edens Expy, multiplexing with I-90 in the loop and then becoming either I-55 or I-57 or I-65 for trips further south would be ideal.  Heck, it would be fine if I-55 or 57 or 65 were made as an additional routing along with I-94 for that stretch.

In retrospect, it seems that maintaining I-94 as a second major E-W route through Chicagoland has always been a local priority -- something of a matter of local pride and seeming prestige to have multiple servers like that!  Besides, I-94 directly connects to Chicago's nearest rivals in regional civic pride/sports/economic activity:  Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Detroit -- (with I-41/43, pretty much all of NFC North!).  It seems to be all about psychological familiarity and the maintenance of such -- to Chicago, I-94 is the way to get to other areas with similar circumstances but often (at least in the case of Detroit) not coping as well, giving Chicago(land) the ability to either gloat a bit or think "there but for the grace of God..........".  It's been around for about 60 years now; for Chicago, I-94's iconic -- it even gets a shout-out in the film "Doctor Detroit".  Any notion to alter/truncate it, despite its convoluted routing, will likely be viewed as an affront or insult to many locals in and around the city.

I seriously doubt it is a pride issue.

The renumbering of the Ike from 90 to 290 went off with none of the issues described by anyone above. No mayoral noise, no public outcry,

I-94 has been and was always planned as the northernmost arterial in the US originally to connect southern Canada via Detroit ( now Sarnia) to points west of the Great Lakes.

Since it was never planned as a transcon but as a collection of various routes (Detroit-Chicago) (Chicago-Twin Cities) the numbering scheme was for clarity over distance, not due to political interference.

Interestingly (and this is a bit of a tangent), whenever Big Rig Steve has had a load that is to pass through both Billings, MT and Tomah, WI, he has always used I-94 instead of I-90 between them - it's the shorter and faster route.

Mike
Although not the highest-numbered east-west route (I-96 between Muskegon and Detroit is the winner here), I-94 does take the northernmost route through a good chunk of the country. I'm glad that the easternmost portion was numbered to that instead of I-92, because the road as a whole does a very good job of connecting the Great Lakes' largest cities with one continuous route.
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Re: I-69 Ohio River Bridge
« Reply #871 on: Today at 12:03:05 AM »

I-69 bridge Central Alternative tweaked to improve U.S. 41 access

https://www.courierpress.com/story/news/2018/06/18/69-bridge-route-alternatives-tweaked/711446002/



EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Interstate 69 bridge route preferred by most elected officials in Evansville and Henderson has been tweaked to address some community concerns, the I-69 Ohio River Crossing Group announced on Monday.

Businesses along the much-traveled U.S. 41 commercial strip in Henderson have often said that Central Alternative 1 — one of three routes still being considered — would cause them a substantial loss in traffic.

Central Alternative 1 route swerves around Henderson to the east, while the other two remaining route alternatives follow the existing U.S. 41 path.

The bridge project team visited nearly 100 businesses along U.S. 41 in Henderson, and many said they feared lost customers.

The route modification is slight, but bridge project officials believe it will make a positive difference for those businesses. 

"Previously, if you were coming up existing U.S. 41 or I-69 from the south, you followed the alignment to an interchange and you had to basically get off the interstate and come back (to U.S. 41) on a roadway that tied back in. It was essentially a mile in distance," said Dan Prevost, the I-69 bridge project's lead environmental.

"What this changed alignment does is provide a direct connection, straight to U.S. 41, coming northbound. You no longer have to do this circuitous route to get to these businesses," Prevost said.

Central Alternative 1 is the least costly of the three routes being considered for I-69 across the Ohio River, at nearly $1.5 billion. It would involve only four residence relocations.

Henderson County Judge-Executive Brad Schneider, a supporter of Central Alternative 1, endorsed the route modification.

"We very much appreciate the team listening to input and making a change based on that input," Schneider said "The initial route did not seem very conducive to traffic reaching the strip, either northbound or southbound. This makes it much easier for traffic to exit onto the U.S. 41 corridor, and utilize those businesses, if in fact Central Alternative 1 is chosen."

The project team on Monday said the other two routes — West Alternative 1 and West Alternative 2 — have undergone minor changes. A retaining wall has been added on both West routes to avoid impact to a small cemetery within the Merrill Place development.

On the West Alternative 2 route, the intersection of Elm Street and Watson Lane in Henderson has been tweaked to improve safety and access.

West Alternative 1 is projected to cost $1.8 billion, and the West Alternative 2 estimate is $1.68 billion. West Alternative 1 would result in 242 residence relocations and 27 business relocations. West Alternative 2 would requiring relocating 96 homes and 64 businesses.

I-69 BridgeLink, a coalition of government officials and business leaders in Evansville and Henderson, has endorsed Central Alternative 1, with hope that at least one of the existing U.S. 41 twin bridges will remain in use, allowing travelers two points to cross the river.

A preferred alternative is to be identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in the fall. After that statement is released, there will be public hearings in Evansville and Henderson.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision are expected by fall 2019. The date of construction depends on funding availability.
About those tolls ...

Bridge project officials say I-69 will be tolled, no matter what alternative is selected, and tolling U.S. 41 might be necessary if West Alternative 1 or Central Alternative 1 is selected.

A bi-state body will be created to establish toll policy.

The project team said it is evaluating tolling scenarios, including how tolls might impact traffic, and estimating what revenue they would bring. Any tolling mechanism would be electronic, with no stopping or slowing of traffic.

In Louisville, where a new Ohio River crossing to Indiana recently opened, toll rates range from $2 to $12 per crossing. Passenger vehicles with a prepaid account are $2, and a passenger vehicle without a prepaid account is $4. The higher rates are for commercial traffic.

The days of building large bridge projects without tolls in the United States are over, according to I-69 project officials.

"The funding environment has changed somewhat over the last 20 years," Prevost said. "It used to be that the federal government funded the majority of projects like this at a very substantial percentage, 50 percent or more. And that primarily came from the federal gas tax. But that gas tax hasn't been raised in more than 25 years. As a result, what you have is the effect of inflation on those gas tax revenues.

"At the same time, the costs of construction are outpacing the more broad inflation rates. ... You've got these two factors working against you."
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