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Author Topic: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA  (Read 18232 times)

billpa

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2017, 01:15:12 PM »

As construction winds down for winter, I-81 to be three lanes near Harrisburg

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/11/as_construction_winds_down_for.html#incart_river_mobile_home

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74/171FAN

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2017, 04:56:46 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.

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?

The answer to your first question is yes.  The former right lane of I-81 SB becomes the left lane through the I-83 interchange so you would not have to shift lanes from that lane.
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froggie

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2017, 06:53:06 PM »

That's a heavy enough traffic split that I don't see it being that huge of a deal.
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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #53 on: November 03, 2017, 08:37:28 AM »

I usually travel I-81 between I-76 and I-84. Itís TERRIBLE between I-83 and I-78, usually takes us 30-40 minutes just to get between the two, only to go 19 miles. Past I-78, itís fine.
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Strider

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #54 on: November 03, 2017, 12:05:40 PM »

I usually travel I-81 between I-76 and I-84. Itís TERRIBLE between I-83 and I-78, usually takes us 30-40 minutes just to get between the two, only to go 19 miles. Past I-78, itís fine.


I agree. I-81 between I-83 and I-78 is usually TERRIBLE every time I travel between these interstates. I-81 needs to be 6 lanes between these two.
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Beltway

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2017, 01:46:19 PM »

I usually travel I-81 between I-76 and I-84. Itís TERRIBLE between I-83 and I-78, usually takes us 30-40 minutes just to get between the two, only to go 19 miles. Past I-78, itís fine.
I agree. I-81 between I-83 and I-78 is usually TERRIBLE every time I travel between these interstates. I-81 needs to be 6 lanes between these two.

Only during typical weekday morning and afternoon metropolitan peak commuting hours?
Or at what other times as well?
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jemacedo9

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2017, 02:31:56 PM »

I usually travel I-81 between I-76 and I-84. It’s TERRIBLE between I-83 and I-78, usually takes us 30-40 minutes just to get between the two, only to go 19 miles. Past I-78, it’s fine.
I agree. I-81 between I-83 and I-78 is usually TERRIBLE every time I travel between these interstates. I-81 needs to be 6 lanes between these two.

Only during typical weekday morning and afternoon metropolitan peak commuting hours?
Or at what other times as well?

It is slow midday weekdays and weekend days...just a lot of volume, including a lot of trucks. It definitely could be 6 lanes from I-83 to I-78. I think that I-81 south of PA 581 through/past Carlisle is pretty heavy also.
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signalman

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2017, 02:34:12 PM »

I've only experienced congestion on this section once and it was raining, so I chalked it up to the weather.  I don't think I've ever driven that section in the peak direction during commuting hours, and I'd most certainly avoid doing so if at all possible.  If I ever passed through on a weekend, it was either early in the morning or after dark.  I guess I've been lucky overall.  Although, I do know that if PennDOT deemed it necessary to be 6 lanes then it's been needed for a long time  :sombrero:

briantroutman

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2017, 02:37:25 PM »

I lived in Harrisburg for a couple of years around 2005, and I donít recall the stretch of I-81 between I-83 and I-78 to be the major (all caps and bold type) traffic trouble spot that people are claiming it to be. As I recall, traffic would slow to a crawl in the vicinity of the I-81/I-83 interchange, and while traffic was typically heavy up through the Linglestown Road interchange (PA 39), it was generally flowing at or near posted speeds, even during rush hours. If there was an incident, however, traffic would start to mount very quickly. North of Linglestown Road up through the I-78 split was almost always a fast ride.

Scanning through Google Mapsí typical traffic, I see only one major trouble area. Southbound I-81 tends to back upóboth during the morning and afternoon peaksóbetween Linglestown Road and I-83. The worst day and time appears to be Friday at 4:30 p.m., when traffic starts to slow approaching PA 39 and is at nearly a standstill between that interchange and the Linglestown/Paxtonia exit. But once you get beyond the merge area from I-83 NB to I-81 NB, I canít find a corresponding backup northbound on any day at any time. And both directions are green from Grantville to I-78 on all times, all days of the week.

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jemacedo9

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2017, 04:18:52 PM »

I should have clarified slow: in this case, hard to maintain 55/65 for that entire stretch. it's a lot of speeding up to 65 and then slowing down for pockets of truck traffic. The volumes are high enough that 45/50 seems to be the general speed.  So...may be that Google maps shows green; but I wouldn't call it free-flowing either. 
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Roadsguy

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2017, 08:06:54 PM »

It should be six lanes out to 78, but you could make a case for 8 between 83 and 39 (and 22/322 to 83).
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froggie

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #61 on: November 05, 2017, 08:05:07 AM »

^^ If it's going at least 45, then by most standard definitions it's "free flow".  Drivers may not agree (clearly you don't), but 45 MPH is a general speed threshold for whether congestion is occurring or not.

Would it be nice to have 6 lanes up to the 78 split?  Sure.  Is it warranted because of congestion?  Based on comments in this thread plus my own observations, I'd say no.
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Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2017, 11:11:12 AM »

^^ If it's going at least 45, then by most standard definitions it's "free flow".  Drivers may not agree (clearly you don't), but 45 MPH is a general speed threshold for whether congestion is occurring or not.

Would it be nice to have 6 lanes up to the 78 split?  Sure.  Is it warranted because of congestion?  Based on comments in this thread plus my own observations, I'd say no.

45 mph is not the "threshold for congestion." About 5 mph below the speed limit is when operations are noticeably degraded. That would roughly correspond to the LOS D/E threshold. Even if you still have traffic moving at that point, you warrant an additional lane. In my experience, I-81 clearly warrants another lane.

froggie

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #63 on: November 05, 2017, 12:40:18 PM »

Get out of New Jersey and check out what some other DOTs consider, Steve...for example, 45 is MnDOT's standard threshold for gauging hours of congestion in the Twin Cities.

I may have erred in saying "most standard definitions", but MnDOT isn't the only place I've seen 45 referenced.  There are also plenty of other measures of congestion besides LOS.
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Alps

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #64 on: November 05, 2017, 02:51:14 PM »

Get out of New Jersey and check out what some other DOTs consider, Steve...for example, 45 is MnDOT's standard threshold for gauging hours of congestion in the Twin Cities.

I may have erred in saying "most standard definitions", but MnDOT isn't the only place I've seen 45 referenced.  There are also plenty of other measures of congestion besides LOS.

I'm just going by the Highway Capacity Manual and standard traffic engineering practice, as well as my professional observations. Sorry, but I have to pull that card at some point. Also, what you might tolerate in an urban setting is different from semi-rural such as 81.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2017, 07:55:06 PM »

^^ If it's going at least 45, then by most standard definitions it's "free flow".  Drivers may not agree (clearly you don't), but 45 MPH is a general speed threshold for whether congestion is occurring or not.

Would it be nice to have 6 lanes up to the 78 split?  Sure.  Is it warranted because of congestion?  Based on comments in this thread plus my own observations, I'd say no.

45 mph is not the "threshold for congestion." About 5 mph below the speed limit is when operations are noticeably degraded. That would roughly correspond to the LOS D/E threshold. Even if you still have traffic moving at that point, you warrant an additional lane. In my experience, I-81 clearly warrants another lane.

I strongly concur.  45 MPH on a road with a posted limit of 55 MPH or better (I don't remember what the limits are on I-78 westbound approaching I-81 or on I-81 southbound approaching I-83 are) is not a good thing, and I think it likely that that LOS D/E tends to lead to crashes. 
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Beltway

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #66 on: November 05, 2017, 08:28:17 PM »

^^ If it's going at least 45, then by most standard definitions it's "free flow".  Drivers may not agree (clearly you don't), but 45 MPH is a general speed threshold for whether congestion is occurring or not.
Would it be nice to have 6 lanes up to the 78 split?  Sure.  Is it warranted because of congestion?  Based on comments in this thread plus my own observations, I'd say no.
45 mph is not the "threshold for congestion." About 5 mph below the speed limit is when operations are noticeably degraded. That would roughly correspond to the LOS D/E threshold. Even if you still have traffic moving at that point, you warrant an additional lane. In my experience, I-81 clearly warrants another lane.
I strongly concur.  45 MPH on a road with a posted limit of 55 MPH or better (I don't remember what the limits are on I-78 westbound approaching I-81 or on I-81 southbound approaching I-83 are) is not a good thing, and I think it likely that that LOS D/E tends to lead to crashes. 

Like Steve said, what you might tolerate in an urban setting is different from semi-rural such as 81.  Some these discussions about rural Interstate congestion compare it to what might be tolerated on an urban freeway, and I would make the same distinction, for example while 70,000 AADT may be tolerable on a 4-lane urban freeway, even 45,000 AADT would be problematic on say a 50-mile section of 4-lane rural Interstate highway and the kind of rolling backups might happen in peak hours on a long section of highway.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Widening I-81 from I-83 to I-78 in PA
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2017, 04:46:43 PM »

As construction winds down for winter, I-81 to be three lanes near Harrisburg

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/11/as_construction_winds_down_for.html#incart_river_mobile_home

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Both directions of I-81 are now three lanes from I-83 to Mountain Rd (Exits 70-72) as of Monday.

Before Monday, it was three lanes up to the exit to Exit 72A but the third lane ended about 1/4-1/2 mile before. 
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