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Author Topic: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA  (Read 18529 times)

Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2012, 01:41:50 PM »

You know the section from Fogelsville to Hamburg should be redone.  It should be done like I-4 was done in Lakeland, FL.  New carrigeways were built for I-4 on both sides of the freeway and the old freeway was made a wider median for the new roadways.  I think, if I-78 was to be widened to six lanes here, it would pay to have it done this way.  Now I do not know how much blasting of rock would need to be as I am not too familiar with the topiary of the land here, as in Florida there is no bedrock and laying a bed down for freeway grading is simple.  Anyway, in a world where money was no object, then I would say build a new I-78 on both sides of the existing freeway and give I-78 the interstate type of median it deserves and make it more standard for higher speeds with new lanes and less curves.

West of Hamburg, what FDOT for I-275 in Tampa would work here.  That is the completely relocated the NB Lanes to the side of the former ones and left alone the SB Lanes.  I am not sure if a newer wider median has been placed in the old NB Lanes from US 92 (Dale Mabry) to Downtown Tampa or what they did, but just build a new WB I-78 from Exit 29 to Exit 8 and leave the EB as is.  Then the old WB lanes would become median and the former center shoulder would make a third eastbound lane.

I-81, of course, would need widening from I-78 to I-83 as you can't have I-78s three lanes narrow to two at another busy corridor joining in to add more traffic.

That should be the plan if something could be done.
That's silly. It's far cheaper to widen an existing roadway, even when it's on structure, than to built a completely new one.

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2012, 06:15:06 PM »

The I-4 and I-275 widenings in Tampa involved clearing an entire city block for the new lanes. But they got the RNC so it's all good. (No connection. Really.)
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2012, 06:53:56 PM »

That's silly. It's far cheaper to widen an existing roadway, even when it's on structure, than to built a completely new one.
Actually, from what I gather from UK schemes, it's only cheaper in terms of planning, as you don't have to do as much of it (ie take it to enquiry if little-to-no demolition, keep it inside existing highway boundaries, etc).

The traffic management of the roadworks for widening adds a large cost that negates the land costs - it's ends up about the same per-mile to build a new 4-lane freeway as to widening a 6-lane one to 8-lanes.

Likewise new-built rail schemes cost about the same as line-speed and signalling increases. We recently spent years upgrading our main Mainline Railway, when figures for building a parallel faster line (which was going to be entirely privately funded) were not that much more expensive than the figures for the upgrade (£8billion v £10billion for new line) and the timescales about the same (7 years ish) - the upgrades ended up costing £15billion and took over 10 years. An equivalent new build scheme in a different part of the country was done on-time and under budget. We now plan on building the new line anyway, though I'd imagine that we would have had to upgrade the old route even with the new line. Again, managing the pre-existing traffic was a major headache.
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Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2012, 09:37:32 PM »

That's silly. It's far cheaper to widen an existing roadway, even when it's on structure, than to built a completely new one.
Actually, from what I gather from UK schemes, it's only cheaper in terms of planning, as you don't have to do as much of it (ie take it to enquiry if little-to-no demolition, keep it inside existing highway boundaries, etc).

The traffic management of the roadworks for widening adds a large cost that negates the land costs - it's ends up about the same per-mile to build a new 4-lane freeway as to widening a 6-lane one to 8-lanes.
But we're not talking about a new 4-lane freeway. It's a lot cheaper to widen a 6-lane freeway to 8 lanes than to build a new 8-lane freeway and then demolish the old one.

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2012, 10:42:48 PM »

But we're not talking about a new 4-lane freeway. It's a lot cheaper to widen a 6-lane freeway to 8 lanes than to build a new 8-lane freeway and then demolish the old one.
Does this change if you're flattening out vertical curvature (as was done on I-4 between Tampa and Orlando)?
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2012, 08:37:20 PM »

But we're not talking about a new 4-lane freeway. It's a lot cheaper to widen a 6-lane freeway to 8 lanes than to build a new 8-lane freeway and then demolish the old one.
Does this change if you're flattening out vertical curvature (as was done on I-4 between Tampa and Orlando)?
That becomes more like a new road, because now you're digging up the old one in order to build a new one - plus more difficult traffic control to boot.

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2012, 10:39:08 PM »

But we're not talking about a new 4-lane freeway. It's a lot cheaper to widen a 6-lane freeway to 8 lanes than to build a new 8-lane freeway and then demolish the old one.
Does this change if you're flattening out vertical curvature (as was done on I-4 between Tampa and Orlando)?
That becomes more like a new road, because now you're digging up the old one in order to build a new one - plus more difficult traffic control to boot.
This will cause even more problems on I-81 from exit 66 to exit 89 where the bridges will not support the 6 or 8 lanes going towards I-78, but exit 70 (I-83) will require a rebuild if Penndot decides to widen 23 miles of I-81 from Harrisburg to Jonestown.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2012, 11:00:02 PM »

I did base my opinion on when I drove my box truck through that area, sometimes with 10,000 pounds on it.  I usually went about 55-60 mph through there and cars did pass me.  If I was in a car, I would probably go 65 also--hopefully not getting stopped for speeding.
I wouldn't worry about PA troopers on I-78.  I've only ever seen them near it's terminus at I-81 and near the NJ border.  Both instances were only once each, and I've driven both directions end-to-end at least 50 times.  Also both areas are 65 mph zones.  Cops have no where to sit in the 55 zones.
Keep in mind PA state police also Hide out by exit 67 and exit 71 since these are high traffic zones before exit 75 (last exit in Pennsylvania), and I've seen one hide by the PA-33 s to I-78 ramp and PA-412
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2012, 06:59:46 PM »

I did base my opinion on when I drove my box truck through that area, sometimes with 10,000 pounds on it.  I usually went about 55-60 mph through there and cars did pass me.  If I was in a car, I would probably go 65 also--hopefully not getting stopped for speeding.
I wouldn't worry about PA troopers on I-78.  I've only ever seen them near it's terminus at I-81 and near the NJ border.  Both instances were only once each, and I've driven both directions end-to-end at least 50 times.  Also both areas are 65 mph zones.  Cops have no where to sit in the 55 zones.
Keep in mind PA state police also Hide out by exit 67 and exit 71 since these are high traffic zones before exit 75 (last exit in Pennsylvania), and I've seen one hide by the PA-33 s to I-78 ramp and PA-412

You're fine driving up to 10 over the limit.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2012, 10:01:12 PM »

I did base my opinion on when I drove my box truck through that area, sometimes with 10,000 pounds on it.  I usually went about 55-60 mph through there and cars did pass me.  If I was in a car, I would probably go 65 also--hopefully not getting stopped for speeding.
I wouldn't worry about PA troopers on I-78.  I've only ever seen them near it's terminus at I-81 and near the NJ border.  Both instances were only once each, and I've driven both directions end-to-end at least 50 times.  Also both areas are 65 mph zones.  Cops have no where to sit in the 55 zones.
Keep in mind PA state police also Hide out by exit 67 and exit 71 since these are high traffic zones before exit 75 (last exit in Pennsylvania), and I've seen one hide by the PA-33 s to I-78 ramp and PA-412

You're fine driving up to 10 over the limit.
You are right about this but on US-22 from 25th street up to PA-611 PA state police seem to pull over drivers who are speeding 10 over the limit because they are approaching the cemetary curve too fast this section has a speed limit between 45 to 25 mph.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2016, 03:59:40 PM »

I-81 is planned to be widened to three lanes in each direction from I-83 to Linglestown (Exits 70-72) in case someone did not know already starting later this year.  I noticed that no one ever added that in here.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2016, 08:14:43 PM »

That's one exit. Unambitious PennDOT is unambitious.

I suspect the idea here is that having a third lane extend a couple extra miles instead of both lanes from 83 quickly ending might smooth the merge up.


Although realistically if I had to make a list of "four lane interstates that badly need to be six laned", that section of I-81 is not high on it, so... eh.
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Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2016, 08:34:51 PM »

That's one exit. Unambitious PennDOT is unambitious.

I suspect the idea here is that having a third lane extend a couple extra miles instead of both lanes from 83 quickly ending might smooth the merge up.


Although realistically if I had to make a list of "four lane interstates that badly need to be six laned", that section of I-81 is not high on it, so... eh.
In PA, 81 between 78 and 83 does get quite crowded. Of course, that said, 78 across the Delaware River would have to be a higher priority. They're starting to address 80 through Stroudsburg but need to get the widening back to 380.

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2016, 08:40:18 PM »

That's one exit. Unambitious PennDOT is unambitious.

I suspect the idea here is that having a third lane extend a couple extra miles instead of both lanes from 83 quickly ending might smooth the merge up.


Although realistically if I had to make a list of "four lane interstates that badly need to be six laned", that section of I-81 is not high on it, so... eh.

For the record, this is also a precursor to the I-83 widening to six lanes (plus auxiliary lanes) from south of Union Deposit Road to I-81, currently planned to start in 2018 (though the replacement of overpasses is slated to begin later this year).

I do wonder how badly I-83 in York needs to be six-laned on that list though now that it is on the table.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 08:45:56 PM by 74/171FAN »
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2016, 01:41:11 PM »

That's one exit. Unambitious PennDOT is unambitious.

I suspect the idea here is that having a third lane extend a couple extra miles instead of both lanes from 83 quickly ending might smooth the merge up.


Although realistically if I had to make a list of "four lane interstates that badly need to be six laned", that section of I-81 is not high on it, so... eh.

For the record, this is also a precursor to the I-83 widening to six lanes (plus auxiliary lanes) from south of Union Deposit Road to I-81, currently planned to start in 2018 (though the replacement of overpasses is slated to begin later this year).

I do wonder how badly I-83 in York needs to be six-laned on that list though now that it is on the table.
It needs it from Mt Rose AVE to Emigsville badly, this is on the drawing board, just not sure when it will actually happen.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2016, 04:07:45 PM »

I-81 is planned to be widened to three lanes in each direction from I-83 to Linglestown (Exits 70-72) in case someone did not know already starting later this year.  I noticed that no one ever added that in here.

This project has started as of this week.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2016, 05:26:21 PM »

I-81 is planned to be widened to three lanes in each direction from I-83 to Linglestown (Exits 70-72) in case someone did not know already starting later this year.  I noticed that no one ever added that in here.

This project has started as of this week.

At least it sounds like there is no one-lane cattle chute work zone each way contemplated unlike I-81 passing Ravine, Schuylkill County. Pennsylvania (roughly MP 104 to MP 96).
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 05:34:24 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2016, 06:47:56 PM »

At least it sounds like there is no one-lane cattle chute work zone each way contemplated unlike I-81 passing Ravine, Schuylkill County. Pennsylvania (roughly MP 104 to MP 96).

From what I heard, the real problem with that work zone is that the cars and other vehicles consistently get held up behind the trucks. (especially when headed uphill, also of course any accident could close one direction completely)  I do not believe that District 5 realized how much of a problem that would be.

On the other hand, there are no good alternatives in that area either.  (though maybe local traffic has used PA 443 and PA 125 more than usual)



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cpzilliacus

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2016, 11:50:40 AM »

At least it sounds like there is no one-lane cattle chute work zone each way contemplated unlike I-81 passing Ravine, Schuylkill County. Pennsylvania (roughly MP 104 to MP 96).

From what I heard, the real problem with that work zone is that the cars and other vehicles consistently get held up behind the trucks. (especially when headed uphill, also of course any accident could close one direction completely)  I do not believe that District 5 realized how much of a problem that would be.

On the other hand, there are no good alternatives in that area either.  (though maybe local traffic has used PA 443 and PA 125 more than usual)

Agreed regarding northbound traffic.  It looked to me like there were long queues of traffic backed up behind the northbound tractor-trailer combinations.

I drove it southbound (on the left lane of the northbound side) in the dark.  Very unpleasant, even though that side is indeed mostly downhill.

My biggest complaint is that PennDOT does not widen overpasses to allow the "wrong-way" side to have more than a gnat's eyelash worth of room over the bridges, especially challenging for larger commercial vehicles. And if PennDOT (or PTC) wants to use cattle chute work zones, it really ought to budget for at least one (ideally two) freeway service patrol trucks to be on-duty 24/7 to deal with the inevitable problems, and be able to contact state police when needed.
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Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2016, 12:07:21 PM »

At least it sounds like there is no one-lane cattle chute work zone each way contemplated unlike I-81 passing Ravine, Schuylkill County. Pennsylvania (roughly MP 104 to MP 96).

From what I heard, the real problem with that work zone is that the cars and other vehicles consistently get held up behind the trucks. (especially when headed uphill, also of course any accident could close one direction completely)  I do not believe that District 5 realized how much of a problem that would be.

On the other hand, there are no good alternatives in that area either.  (though maybe local traffic has used PA 443 and PA 125 more than usual)

Agreed regarding northbound traffic.  It looked to me like there were long queues of traffic backed up behind the northbound tractor-trailer combinations.

I drove it southbound (on the left lane of the northbound side) in the dark.  Very unpleasant, even though that side is indeed mostly downhill.

My biggest complaint is that PennDOT does not widen overpasses to allow the "wrong-way" side to have more than a gnat's eyelash worth of room over the bridges, especially challenging for larger commercial vehicles. And if PennDOT (or PTC) wants to use cattle chute work zones, it really ought to budget for at least one (ideally two) freeway service patrol trucks to be on-duty 24/7 to deal with the inevitable problems, and be able to contact state police when needed.
I don't see how you widen overpasses, unless you mean just shifting the barrier over a foot or two. It is very expensive to do any structural work.

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2016, 02:06:41 PM »

I don't see how you widen overpasses, unless you mean just shifting the barrier over a foot or two. It is very expensive to do any structural work.

I concede the expense (having never designed a bridge or bridge deck replacement due to lack of technical expertise),  probably into seven figures even for a "simple" bridge widening (though Maryland has frequently widened bridges as part of a deck replacement or bridge replacement project, even when the adjacent sections of road are not being widened).

Of course, in my fantasy world, there would be no cattle chute work zones at all. 

But because the  bridges usually have right-hand shoulders in the  "right" direction (and if they don't, I presume FHWA requires those to be added), it certainly seems they could follow your advice and "bulge" the barrier over at underpasses to give the wrong way side a little more room, which PennDOT does not seem to do.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 02:08:57 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2017, 05:11:38 PM »

I don't see how you widen overpasses, unless you mean just shifting the barrier over a foot or two. It is very expensive to do any structural work.

Sometimes another issue can be clearance on the roadway below.  For drainage reasons, there might be a gradual downward slant on both sides (with the middle being slightly raised) - Widening it a few feet on either side would have to continue that slope (even if VERY gradual).  I don't know how often this might be a problem, but I remember reading, some years ago, that being a reason they couldn't just widen the Freedom Rd. overpass over the PTC in Cranberry (which they're just going to replace with a complete wider structure in a couple of years - with a little higher clearance I would guess)
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2017, 06:01:34 PM »

I-81 SB was three lanes from Exits 72-70 when I drove it Sunday.  The third lane comes from the merge of the ramp from Exit 72 onto the interstate south of the interchange.  The ramps from Mountain Rd onto I-81 SB merge together now before that ramp merges onto I-81 SB.

NB still has work that needs to be done but a third lane makes it most of the way to Exit 72 now.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2017, 07:28:36 AM »

I-81 SB was three lanes from Exits 72-70 when I drove it Sunday.  The third lane comes from the merge of the ramp from Exit 72 onto the interstate south of the interchange.  The ramps from Mountain Rd onto I-81 SB merge together now before that ramp merges onto I-81 SB.

NB still has work that needs to be done but a third lane makes it most of the way to Exit 72 now.

So does the former left lane of I-81 SB now become an exit only lane for I-83?  On I-81 SB, is there now a lane shift required for both lanes to continue on I-81 SB after I-83?
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