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Author Topic: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?  (Read 66597 times)

Jmiles32

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #175 on: July 11, 2017, 07:39:08 PM »

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...

I'm aware of that. By Haymarket I meant the US-15/VA-234 intersection because nobody ever calls that area "Woolsey". Most locals, including myself, basically refer to anything north of the railroad tracks, west of Catharpin Road, and still in Prince William County, as Haymarket.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 07:47:28 PM by Jmiles32 »
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Jmiles32

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #176 on: July 11, 2017, 08:02:37 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.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.
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Beltway

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #177 on: July 11, 2017, 08:54:44 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.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.

They would need to conduct a full NEPA EIS/location study process first to the point of having an FHWA approved Final EIS and Record of Decision.  That took about 8 years for the I-495 HOT Lanes project between I-95 and VA-193, which is about what it takes.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #178 on: July 11, 2017, 10:26:32 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.
Agreed that a consortium of private companies would likely have to undertake rebuilding the American Legion Bridge. If only the private companies pay for it, then likely the whole thing would be tolled. If VDOT and MDOT end up contributing to the project, then the main lanes should continue to be free while the private companies can toll the express lanes/widened part.

They would need to conduct a full NEPA EIS/location study process first to the point of having an FHWA approved Final EIS and Record of Decision.  That took about 8 years for the I-495 HOT Lanes project between I-95 and VA-193, which is about what it takes.

I seriously doubt that the Maryland General Assembly would give its consent to a Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) type of deal to have a private-sector firm be awarded a long-term concession for any highway project in  the state (the Maryland Department of Transportation had awarded a PPTA-type concession agreement to a consortium for the Purple Line light rail project, but that may not happen at all at this point, given legal challenges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia).

There is no analog to Virginia's PPTA in Maryland, so I believe that's a non-starter.  Now Virginia might make a deal with Transurban to extend its toll lanes concession up  to the Virginia side of the American Legion Bridge, but I believe that is as far as Transurban will get.  Anything from the first expansion joint on the Virginia side north is up to Maryland.

Agree that a NEPA process will take (at a minimum) three to four years, and likely several more than that.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 10:29:12 PM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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davewiecking

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #180 on: July 11, 2017, 11:26:37 PM »

I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #181 on: July 12, 2017, 01:02:21 AM »

I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.
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davewiecking

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #182 on: July 12, 2017, 07:24:05 AM »

I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.

I've used the extra shoulder lane on occasion (probably not as a freebie, but as a continuation of the Express lanes), but AFAIK the decision to convert the shoulder was made after the express lanes had been operational for awhile, and that VDOT managed the work.
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Beltway

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #183 on: July 12, 2017, 12:48:34 PM »

I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?
All that happened was a fifth lane was added on the left side of the Inner Loop (northbound) side of I-495 from the merge point north of VA-267 to about  halfway between VA-193 and the George  Washington Memorial Parkway. Not really part of the  Transurban lanes, since that lane is open for anyone to use.
I've used the extra shoulder lane on occasion (probably not as a freebie, but as a continuation of the Express lanes), but AFAIK the decision to convert the shoulder was made after the express lanes had been operational for awhile, and that VDOT managed the work.

The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #184 on: July 12, 2017, 01:28:24 PM »

The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.

Did not solve the problem, which is inadequate capacity at the bridge itself.

For quite a few years, Maryland and Montgomery County elected officials have cast about for "alternatives" to a widening of the American Legion Bridge, including re-striping of the lanes on the bridge to add more capacity (unworkable and unsafe); an extension of the proposed Purple Line light rail from downtown Bethesda  to Tysons Corner (would face intense and well-funded NIMBY-type opposition on the Montgomery County side and probably on the Fairfax County side too); and well-worn talk about Montgomery County's land use plans and how they places an emphasis on transit ridership generally and Metro ridership in particular (the people that live in Montgomery County and work in Fairfax County or Loudoun County presumably did not get the memo).
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Beltway

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #185 on: July 12, 2017, 03:29:32 PM »

The left lane was extended 1.7 miles.  I find it to be a definitely helpful extended transition from the end of HOT lanes to the general purpose lanes.
Did not solve the problem, which is inadequate capacity at the bridge itself.
For quite a few years, Maryland and Montgomery County elected officials have cast about for "alternatives" to a widening of the American Legion Bridge, including re-striping of the lanes on the bridge to add more capacity (unworkable and unsafe); an extension of the proposed Purple Line light rail from downtown Bethesda  to Tysons Corner (would face intense and well-funded NIMBY-type opposition on the Montgomery County side and probably on the Fairfax County side too); and well-worn talk about Montgomery County's land use plans and how they places an emphasis on transit ridership generally and Metro ridership in particular (the people that live in Montgomery County and work in Fairfax County or Loudoun County presumably did not get the memo).

Extending the current 12 lane design to I-270 would be a massive improvement.  That would include upgrading the VA-267 interchange which was only partly upgraded in the HOT Lanes project, likely because it was unknown as to what design a northerly extension would have (either 5 lanes each way or 6 lanes each way, the latter would call for a major upgrade of the VA-267 interchange).
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Mapmikey

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #186 on: July 14, 2017, 01:10:02 PM »

I could swear that shortly after Transurban started work on the 495 express lanes, I read (or heard on WTOP)  that they and VA had agreed to extend the work further north of the Dulles Toll Road, under the guise of the usual "the equipment is already onsite" line of reasoning. But nothing happened, and about a year ago I poked thru various online archives unsuccessfully trying to find any record of such. Does anyone else have any recollection of this?

I also remember something along these lines but all I can find is the 2007 decision to not extend the HOT lanes all the way to VA 193 as was originally intended.

See pdf pg. 15 at http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Northern_Virginia/asset_upload_file307_72985.pdf which also details changes that were made in the design at several other interchanges...

My vague recollection at the time of construction is that Fluor offered to go ahead and extend them anyway and was turned down by VDOT...
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #187 on: July 18, 2017, 03:50:05 PM »

WTOP Radio: Montgomery Co. Council passes resolution opposing 2nd Potomac bridge

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Tuesday’s vote on a resolution amounts to a statement by the nine council members, but it is not tied to any legislation and is not legally binding.

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Councilmember Craig Rice, who previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates, said his position has not changed since coming to the council “There is not any benefit for the upcounty for having a second Potomac River crossing.”

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Mark Elrich, an at-large council member running for county executive, said building a new bridge would not be a “game changer” and agreed with Rice that a new crossing would do little for Maryland. “It would be a bridge that would wind up being built by Maryland, and the most immediate beneficiaries would not be in Maryland, they would be in Virginia.”
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #188 on: November 12, 2019, 08:41:18 PM »

Washington Post: Maryland and Virginia to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge, governors say

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Maryland and Virginia will partner to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge in a ­billion-dollar project to relieve congestion at the Washington region’s worst traffic bottleneck, the states’ governors announced Tuesday.

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In an unusual example of interstate cooperation, Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project even though most of the bridge — like the Potomac River flowing beneath it — belongs to Maryland.

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The plan marks a breakthrough in a years-long impasse over widening the bridge on the northwestern stretch of the Capital Beltway. In the past, Maryland has said it didn’t have enough money for the undertaking, and Virginia said the bridge was its neighbor’s responsibility.

WTOP Radio: Maryland and Virginia agree on plan to rebuild American Legion Bridge, expand Beltway tolling

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Maryland and Virginia have reached a significant funding agreement on a plan to speed up clogged commutes by renovating and expanding the Capital Beltway’s American Legion Bridge.

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The plan calls for the bridge, which connects he Northern Virginia suburbs to Montgomery County, to be widened with room for toll lanes extending across the Potomac, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.
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sprjus4

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #189 on: November 12, 2019, 08:54:45 PM »

Quote
Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project

Quote
Maryland has said it didn’t have enough money for the undertaking, and Virginia said the bridge was its neighbor’s responsibility.

Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

Quote
In this case, both states said, toll payers, rather than taxpayers, will foot the entire bill.
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Jmiles32

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #190 on: November 12, 2019, 09:28:07 PM »

So glad this project is finally happening. I also don't care who pays for it as long as the damn thing gets done. One question I do have however is will the auxiliary lane that currently runs in both directions on the bridge be kept? I keep reading news articles that say the new bridge will have 4 GP lanes and 2 express lanes without mention of the auxiliary lanes. Surely they wouldn't get rid of them to save costs right?
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sprjus4

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #191 on: November 12, 2019, 09:38:00 PM »

So glad this project is finally happening. I also don't care who pays for it as long as the damn thing gets done. One question I do have however is will the auxiliary lane that currently runs in both directions on the bridge be kept? I keep reading news articles that say the new bridge will have 4 GP lanes and 2 express lanes without mention of the auxiliary lanes. Surely they wouldn't get rid of them to save costs right?
VDOT's study of the I-495 Northern Extension called for a conceptual American Legion Bridge consisting of either 1 or 2 HO/T / Toll lanes each way (depending on what alternative Maryland chooses), 4 GP lanes each way, and 1 GP auxiliary lane each way, plus full left and right shoulders.

https://www.495northernextension.org/documents/pim052019/i-495_i-270_vdot_display_ards_2019_final.pdf
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cpzilliacus

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #192 on: November 12, 2019, 10:30:08 PM »

Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with the "free" lanes in this area.  One of the six bridges that carries the Beltway through here (Outer Loop [Maryland to Virginia], the first of the three) has superstructure that is in particularly poor condition.  Presumably the repairs to the "free" lanes will be tax-funded by the highway users of Maryland and Virginia.  When the Transurban 495Express lanes were built, VDOT kicked in a lot of money to make repairs to the "free" I-495 lanes, and the same will happen here.
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sprjus4

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #193 on: November 12, 2019, 10:55:18 PM »

Virginia isn't paying anything. Transurban will be paying for it. It appears Transurban is now funding 90% of highway expansion projects in Northern Virginia, and each and every highway will eventually feature toll lanes in the entire Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland region. Imagine VDOT trying to fund this using tax dollars  :-D

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with the "free" lanes in this area.  One of the six bridges that carries the Beltway through here (Outer Loop [Maryland to Virginia], the first of the three) has superstructure that is in particularly poor condition.  Presumably the repairs to the "free" lanes will be tax-funded by the highway users of Maryland and Virginia.  When the Transurban 495Express lanes were built, VDOT kicked in a lot of money to make repairs to the "free" I-495 lanes, and the same will happen here.
The American Legion Bridge is being 100% replaced with two parallel structures that will each carry 7 lanes, 14 lanes in total. 4 GP, 1 auxiliary GP, and 2 HO/T lanes each way, along with all other bridges in the area. The project is 100% toll dollar / Transurban funded. They said zero tax dollars, and I agree, unless they want to add some general purpose lanes.
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Beltway

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #194 on: November 12, 2019, 11:42:58 PM »

The American Legion Bridge is being 100% replaced with two parallel structures that will each carry 7 lanes, 14 lanes in total. 4 GP, 1 auxiliary GP, and 2 HO/T lanes each way, along with all other bridges in the area. The project is 100% toll dollar / Transurban funded. They said zero tax dollars, and I agree, unless they want to add some general purpose lanes.
There is no project yet, it hasn't even had a NEPA EIS/location study completed.  The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.

If it is like I-495 between I-95 and VA-193, that was a $1.9 billion project that had about $400 million tax revenue funded.  A total rebuild to 11 miles of highway, major upgrades of the I-66 and I-95/I-395 interchanges, retention of 4 toll-free GP lanes each way, provision of 2 new HOT lanes each way.

So if the remainder of I-495 to the ALB is built like that, we will have the same type of facility and at least 20% tax funding and no change to having 4 toll-free GP lanes each way.

Hopefully Maryland will agree to a similar 12-lane facility.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #195 on: November 13, 2019, 08:22:00 AM »

Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.

Actually, it did to a degree:

Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.

Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
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Beltway

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #196 on: November 13, 2019, 09:41:06 AM »

Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.
Actually, it did to a degree:
Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.
Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
I was responding to an assertion of where the funds would come from, as in percentages by tax funding, bond funding, private sector funding, etc.

The data above only says "Maryland" and "Virginia" with none of the finer details.  Each state will be responsible for building a funding package with the above elements.  Sources have not yet been determined, and probably won't be until there is a completed NEPA process and design plans are approaching readiness to award.

Now that Maryland has PPP legislation they may also utilize that source (as they are on the Purple Line).

My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #197 on: November 13, 2019, 10:40:58 AM »

Quote from: Beltway
The governor's news release said nothing about funding details.
Actually, it did to a degree:
Quote from: From the Press Release
Maryland will cover 79 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the southbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from MD-190/River Road to the George Washington Parkway.
Virginia will cover 21 percent of the General Purpose Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, 50 percent of the Express Lanes on the new American Legion Bridge, and 100 percent of the northbound Express Lanes and General Purpose Lanes from the George Washington Parkway to MD-190/River Road.
I was responding to an assertion of where the funds would come from, as in percentages by tax funding, bond funding, private sector funding, etc.

The data above only says "Maryland" and "Virginia" with none of the finer details.  Each state will be responsible for building a funding package with the above elements.  Sources have not yet been determined, and probably won't be until there is a completed NEPA process and design plans are approaching readiness to award.

Now that Maryland has PPP legislation they may also utilize that source (as they are on the Purple Line).

My complaints about Maryland not adding capacity for a Washington Bypass may be partly resolved.  While this won't impact I-95 traffic that wants to bypass Washington, it would be a major improvement for the bypass segment of VA I-95/I-495/MD I-270/I-70 and US-15 to PA.

If Maryland can manage to straighten out some of their 495 stretch between 95 and 270, that may help them reduce capacity on its own.  Being that the road was built that way decades ago, probably to weave around areas they couldn't impact, even adding a lane or two in that stretch may help some, but those curves are going to be a huge burden to overcome.
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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #198 on: November 13, 2019, 02:20:24 PM »

Almost no chance of that segment being straightened due to Rock Creek Park (and the creek itself), residential areas on both sides of it, and the Mormon Temple.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New crossings of the Potomac River between Md. and Va.?
« Reply #199 on: November 13, 2019, 03:39:38 PM »

Almost no chance of that segment being straightened due to Rock Creek Park (and the creek itself), residential areas on both sides of it, and the Mormon Temple.

Exactly.  There really aren't many examples out there where 6 curvy lanes in one direction exists.  Curves, especially as sharp as what exists on that portion of the beltway now, prevents traffic from maintaining a crisp, steady flow, and will always work at reducing speeds, causing congestion.
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