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Author Topic: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?  (Read 66633 times)

froggie

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #150 on: December 17, 2015, 07:57:39 AM »

Same day that Bob Chase's group made a similar comment.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #151 on: December 18, 2015, 10:24:47 AM »

Same day that Bob Chase's group made a similar comment.

Bob has (at least partly) retired from his position at NVTA. 

On many regional-scale issues, Bob Chase has been a voice of sanity (especially the air quality hysteria around 2000), and contrary to what his detractors claim in forums like GGW, has been supportive of transit, including Metrorail. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 07:31:42 PM by cpzilliacus »
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froggie

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #152 on: December 18, 2015, 10:31:10 AM »

However, the quantity of lip service he has paid to transit pales in comparison to his support of roads.  Especially roads that just don't have a chance to be built anymore...namely, the ongoing "Techway" proposal.  Even if you factor out the NIMBYs and NPS and factor in environmental remediation, that route would simply be too expensive and require far too much already-developed right-of-way to make it a viable project.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #153 on: December 18, 2015, 10:39:31 AM »

However, the quantity of lip service he has paid to transit pales in comparison to his support of roads.  Especially roads that just don't have a chance to be built anymore...namely, the ongoing "Techway" proposal.  Even if you factor out the NIMBYs and NPS and factor in environmental remediation, that route would simply be too expensive and require far too much already-developed right-of-way to make it a viable project.

The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

I have said it before, but it is appropriate to repeat that I reject out of hand all claims that this would be a "threat" to the Ag Preserve.  If the many Ag preserve activists do not want any land use impacts (which has not happened at most Interstate interchanges in Montgomery County anyway due to the county's planning and zoning powers), then they do not need any interchanges where it crosses the preserve. 

For this reason, Md. 200 has no interchanges across the Upper Rock Creek watershed, not even at Md. 115 (which would ordinarily have an interchange per MDTA practice, but only has ramps for emergency vehicles).
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #154 on: December 18, 2015, 12:19:23 PM »

If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #155 on: December 18, 2015, 12:47:37 PM »

If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.

A bridge (or lack of a bridge) will not prevent that.  Nor relocation of jobs, always from Maryland to Virginia. 

But what Montgomery County badly needs is better ground access to Dulles Airport.  More than one member of the Montgomery County Council has said that people can take the Red Line to downtown D.C. and then the Silver Line to Dulles (once it is complete).  That's a non-solution for Montgomery County, and not an "alternative" to new highway crossings of the Potomac River.
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froggie

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #156 on: December 18, 2015, 08:58:25 PM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus
The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

Only if you route such a roadway entirely within the Ag Preserve.  Given that most supporters desire tying it into I-370, your assertion would not hold true.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #157 on: December 18, 2015, 11:15:04 PM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus
The right-of-way on the Maryland side of the river, thanks to the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, is readily (and cheaply, because most of the development rights have been transferred to areas like the East County) available. 

Only if you route such a roadway entirely within the Ag Preserve.  Given that most supporters desire tying it into I-370, your assertion would not hold true.

I-370 runs where it does because of an intent that the road continue to the Potomac River and across to Northern Virginia.

But I am not especially concerned about that.  I am much more interested in a connection from the I-270 corridor that is downstream of White's Ferry and upstream of Great Falls.  Beyond that, I am indifferent. 
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1995hoo

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #158 on: December 19, 2015, 08:28:13 AM »

If the area is anything politically like it was when I lived there in 1985, I can see MD having an even bigger fear of flight from Rockville/Gaithersburg to lower tax Ashburn/Leesburg.  I know I would have moved.

A bridge (or lack of a bridge) will not prevent that.  Nor relocation of jobs, always from Maryland to Virginia. 

But what Montgomery County badly needs is better ground access to Dulles Airport.  More than one member of the Montgomery County Council has said that people can take the Red Line to downtown D.C. and then the Silver Line to Dulles (once it is complete).  That's a non-solution for Montgomery County, and not an "alternative" to new highway crossings of the Potomac River.

Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.
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oscar

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #159 on: December 19, 2015, 08:41:03 AM »

Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.

That goes as far as refusing to point highway travelers on Maryland's Interstates toward Dulles, while providing abundant signage for BWI.

My sister almost missed her flight from Dulles back to California as a result, continuing down I-95 from Howard County to Alexandria, rather than taking the shortcut on I-495 through Bethesda.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #160 on: December 19, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »

It's hard to string a highway from Dulles to at least Gaithersburg and south of there. There's so many national parks along the Potomac there it's pretty much impossible unless both VA and MD lose their temper.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #161 on: December 19, 2015, 10:10:58 AM »

I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.
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1995hoo

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #162 on: December 19, 2015, 12:09:58 PM »

I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

They identified that as the most pressing need. Given how that tunnel affects such a large portion of the Metrorail system (in a negative way), it's hard to argue with that conclusion—it severely reduces available capacity on three of the system's six lines. But "most pressing need" doesn't necessarily equate to "top goal" when you factor in all the other considerations, including (but not necessarily limited to) funding and inter-jurisdictional cooperation. Building the second Metrorail tunnel is not a small matter because the goal would be to tie it into a longer underground line running somewhere across DC; one proposal I've seen involves a line somewhere in the O or P street corridor eventually connecting through Union Station. I believe the figure I saw quoted was somewhere in the $25 billion range.

In other words, there's potentially a difference between what project would deliver the most relief and what project is the most "buildable."

The other thing to remember about Virginia is that the single-term governorship provision in the state constitution makes for fickle priorities at times. It wouldn't be terribly unusual for McAuliffe to trumpet the idea of a new Metrorail tunnel only for the next governor's administration to decide something else is more important.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #163 on: December 19, 2015, 08:04:07 PM »

I admit that I'm somewhat ignorant of public opinions regarding a new MD/VA crossing (aside from NIMBY opposition from wealthy property owners) but one thing that I've always wondered why it was never originally planned for was to extend VA 28 into MD in the first place, whether via a bridge or tunnel (whether as part of an outer beltway or otherwise). Maybe instead of (the extremely unlikely scenario of) connecting to the ICC, it could go northwest towards the US 15 super two north of Point of Rocks.  Just my (probably batshit insane) $0.02
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #164 on: December 19, 2015, 08:45:17 PM »

I admit that I'm somewhat ignorant of public opinions regarding a new MD/VA crossing (aside from NIMBY opposition from wealthy property owners) but one thing that I've always wondered why it was never originally planned for was to extend VA 28 into MD in the first place, whether via a bridge or tunnel (whether as part of an outer beltway or otherwise). Maybe instead of (the extremely unlikely scenario of) connecting to the ICC, it could go northwest towards the US 15 super two north of Point of Rocks.  Just my (probably batshit insane) $0.02

IIRC the idea through the 1960's was that what is Fairfax County Parkway was to be the outer loop freeway crossing the Potamac to become what is now 370 (maybe Montrose Parkway) but that was all killed decades ago.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #165 on: December 20, 2015, 10:41:03 AM »

Dulles Airport is part of what makes it a hard sell at the state level. The Powers That Be in Annapolis have this idea that making the trip to Dulles miserable will cause Montgomery residents to use BWI more.

I agree.

But like it or not, BWI does not beat Dulles when it comes to flights to the Pacific coast and especially overseas service.

Dulles beats BWI hands-down in such service, and that is important to employers, which means it should be important to Maryland  generally and Montgomery County in particular.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #166 on: December 20, 2015, 10:49:11 AM »

I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

That may be a high priority of some elected officials representing some local governments in Northern Virginia.

As for the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I do not believe that is correct. 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 11:02:18 AM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #167 on: December 20, 2015, 10:54:14 AM »

It's hard to string a highway from Dulles to at least Gaithersburg and south of there. There's so many national parks along the Potomac there it's pretty much impossible unless both VA and MD lose their temper.

There is a national park that runs parallel to the entire Maryland shoreline of the Potomac River from the District of Columbia to Cumberland, Allegany County.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #168 on: December 20, 2015, 11:01:25 AM »

I thought Virginia's top goal was a second set of Rosslyn tubes. My guess is they'll only consider a second span after a second Rosslyn tunnel is built.

They identified that as the most pressing need. Given how that tunnel affects such a large portion of the Metrorail system (in a negative way), it's hard to argue with that conclusion—it severely reduces available capacity on three of the system's six lines. But "most pressing need" doesn't necessarily equate to "top goal" when you factor in all the other considerations, including (but not necessarily limited to) funding and inter-jurisdictional cooperation. Building the second Metrorail tunnel is not a small matter because the goal would be to tie it into a longer underground line running somewhere across DC; one proposal I've seen involves a line somewhere in the O or P street corridor eventually connecting through Union Station. I believe the figure I saw quoted was somewhere in the $25 billion range.

I hope the groups promoting this (in Virginia and D.C.) do not assume that Maryland is going to help to fund the construction of any of this, for I  believe that to be highly unlikely.

In other words, there's potentially a difference between what project would deliver the most relief and what project is the most "buildable."

Highway crossings upstream of D.C. do not involve the District of Columbia (and it is reasonable to assume that D.C. will not help to pay for same).  More Metrorail crossings of the River between Arlington County, Virginia and D.C. do not involve Maryland (and it is also reasonable to assume that Maryland will not help to pay for it).   The common governmental entity in both is the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The other thing to remember about Virginia is that the single-term governorship provision in the state constitution makes for fickle priorities at times. It wouldn't be terribly unusual for McAuliffe to trumpet the idea of a new Metrorail tunnel only for the next governor's administration to decide something else is more important.

Agreed.  But even with Maryland's system, which allows someone to serve two terms in the office of governor, that is frequently not enough to get through the planning process and advertise a project for construction bids.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #169 on: July 10, 2017, 11:23:38 PM »

Washington Post: Planners to weigh 2nd Potomac River crossing from Montgomery — again

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A second Potomac River bridge connecting Montgomery County and Northern Virginia — an idea that has been studied and debated since the 1950s — is again drawing both interest and criticism, as elected officials and transportation planners search for ways to ease the region’s notoriously heavy traffic.

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Next week the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, the body that helps set transportation priorities for the metropolitan area, will consider listing the bridge project for further analysis.

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“This is my number one for the region,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer (R), a member of the regional planning board. He served on a task force that winnowed more than 80 potential road and transit projects down to 10 for the full board to consider at its July 19 meeting.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #170 on: July 11, 2017, 10:06:45 AM »

A new Potomac River Crossing between the Beltway and US-15 will never happen period. However if Maryland really does want to "fix what is broken instead", then I see no reason why Maryland state officials won't at least entertain the idea of letting a private company such as Transburban, who I assume would be more then willing to pick up the enormous cost, extend the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia across a widened American Legion Bridge and possibly further up I-270.

This is part A of the solution, part B would be building a new four lane US-15 crossing from directly north of the Valero, across the eastern edge of Heaters island, east of Point of Rocks, and finally hooking back up with regular US-15 right before the power-lines cross(mentioned earlier in the thread and IMO a great idea). US-15 would also be widened north to US-340 and south all the way to Leesburg(via a bypass of Lucketts). Now I know NIMBYs in Loudoun absolutely hate the very thought of US-15 being widened north of Leesburg let alone anywhere north of Haymarket, but reality is reality and now Loudoun is considering updating their county-wide transportation plan to allow a four lane US-15 at least up to Montresor Road.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #171 on: July 11, 2017, 02:52:30 PM »

Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.

Furthermore, it's been said in some circles that the existing Legion Bridge is no longer expandable.  A new/replacement bridge would need to be built, which will only add to the cost/timing.

Quote
let alone anywhere north of Haymarket,

If this were the case, VDOT would not have been successful in widening 15 between 66 and 234 earlier this decade...
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #172 on: July 11, 2017, 04:02:49 PM »

Transurban wouldn't do it by themselves...they didn't even fund the existing Beltway HO/T lanes fully by themselves...several hundred million dollars for the HO/T lane project came from VDOT.

Furthermore, it's been said in some circles that the existing Legion Bridge is no longer expandable.  A new/replacement bridge would need to be built, which will only add to the cost/timing.

(1) More to the point, I do not think the Maryland General Assembly is interested in allowing the state to do a deal with any private company for operation of public  highways, especially since the state has MDTA, which operates much like a private company while still being accountable to its elected officials and citizens of the state more than Transurban (or any  of its competitors) could be.

(2) At least one of the six structures that make up the American Legion Bridge needs total replacement (not just a deck replacement).

Quote
let alone anywhere north of Haymarket,

If this were the case, VDOT would not have been successful in widening 15 between 66 and 234 earlier this decade...

Agree. 

FWIW, that project was funded mostly or entirely by developer dollars, and the divided part runs a short distance north of VA-234.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #173 on: July 11, 2017, 06:41:39 PM »

(2) At least one of the six structures that make up the American Legion Bridge needs total replacement (not just a deck replacement).
Now that's reassuring. Which one of the structures I drove across in the past few hours is the problem? (Actually, I was only on 4 of the 6) 2 of the smaller bridges have integral ramps as part of the Clara Barton Pkwy interchange, which would complicate any widening project.

(Edited to fix end quote tag)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 08:30:55 PM by davewiecking »
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #174 on: July 11, 2017, 07:21:24 PM »

Now that's reassuring. Which one of the structures I drove across in the past few hours is the problem? (Actually, I was only on 4 of the 6) 2 of the smaller bridges have integral ramps as part of the Clara Barton Pkwy interchange, which would complicate any widening project.

From this document are these words on physical page 8:

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[Montgomery] I-495 Loads over 80,000 lbs on I-495 (O/L) at Mac Arthur Blvd into Virginia must use the far left lane due to fatigue cracking on structure.

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