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Author Topic: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476  (Read 13624 times)

route_82

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The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« on: September 30, 2012, 02:56:54 PM »

When I came across this at work I nearly lost it.  Looking through these plans had me so excited... and yet a little sad too that so much planned for this highway didn't get built or come to fruition.  It helps relieve congestion on I-76 as an alternate (albiet a long one) to the city via I-95, but it had so much potential.

Had this version of the highway gotten built I'm sure you'd still see peak congestion in certain places, but overall the highway would be much better off than it is today with the PA 3 choking point.

With the addition particularly of the 'Radnor Spur' included, that would have also alleviated congestion on I-76 between US 202 & I-476.  I assume US 422 would have ran on the 'Radnor Spur', although these plans don't specify that.
With this set up, many of the ramps would have been free flowing and not affected by traffic signals.  Therefore they may not have needed to implement the ramp meters.

The coolest part of this is seeing actual design elements for the Lansdowne Expressway. :)

Enjoy! and please share your thoughts.  :bigass:


--- Cover, with nice state name shield


--- Overall Philadelphia Metro Network


--- All proposed routes, including those of the 'Radnor Spur'


--- Reduced amount of alternatives, including spur


--- Final route selected


--- Artist representation of I-476 near Wayne


--- Artist representation of I-476 at I-76 in Conshohoken


--- Typical Structure


--- Description of Northern Terminus


--- MacDade & I-95 interchanges


--- Baltimore Pike interchange


--- US 1 - Media Bypass interchange


--- Sproul Road interchange


--- West Chester Pike (PA 3) & Lansdowne Expressway interchanges


--- Lansdowne Expressway interchange


--- Lancaster Ave (US 30) interchange & including ramps to 'Wayne Bypass'


--- Radnor Spur interchange (US 422?)


--- I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) interchange


--- Ridge Pike interchange


--- Germantown Pike & PA Turnpike interchange


--- Proposed direct connection interchange with PA Turnpike (After tolls would be eliminated)


--- Explanation of how direct connection could be built after tolls are eliminated


--- Final Cost.  :-D
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cpzilliacus

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 03:17:27 PM »

When I came across this at work I nearly lost it.  Looking through these plans had me so excited... and yet a little sad too that so much planned for this highway didn't get built or come to fruition.  It helps relieve congestion on I-76 as an alternate (albiet a long one) to the city via I-95, but it had so much potential.

Had this version of the highway gotten built I'm sure you'd still see peak congestion in certain places, but overall the highway would be much better off than it is today with the PA 3 choking point.

With the addition particularly of the 'Radnor Spur' included, that would have also alleviated congestion on I-76 between US 202 & I-476.  I assume US 422 would have ran on the 'Radnor Spur', although these plans don't specify that.
With this set up, many of the ramps would have been free flowing and not affected by traffic signals.  Therefore they may not have needed to implement the ramp meters.

The coolest part of this is seeing actual design elements for the Lansdowne Expressway. :)

Enjoy! and please share your thoughts.  :bigass:

The whole Blue Route process was examined as part of at least the  two most-recent environmental impact statements for Md. 200 (ICC), and some of its design elements (indirectly) made it to the ICC.  Of course, the ICC is tolled, and six lanes all the way from I-370 to I-95 (the uncompleted eastern segment from I-95 to U.S. 1 will only be four  lanes).
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 04:45:42 PM »

I saw this document in the early 1970s when I lived a few miles from the district 6-0 office.  The highway would have had 6 lanes (3 each way) throughout, and ample median width (IIRC 64 feet) for future 8-lane widening.  I agree that this design with its larger interchagnes would function well even today.

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 04:50:29 PM by Beltway »
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 05:16:04 PM »

I saw this document in the early 1970s when I lived a few miles from the district 6-0 office.  The highway would have had 6 lanes (3 each way) throughout, and ample median width (IIRC 64 feet) for future 8-lane widening.  I agree that this design with its larger interchagnes would function well even today.

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.

Right, though I can't imagine it would be convenient to go from the Blue Route I-476 to the Northeast Extension. :)
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2012, 05:29:06 PM »

I saw this document in the early 1970s when I lived a few miles from the district 6-0 office.  The highway would have had 6 lanes (3 each way) throughout, and ample median width (IIRC 64 feet) for future 8-lane widening.  I agree that this design with its larger interchagnes would function well even today.

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.

Right, though I can't imagine it would be convenient to go from the Blue Route I-476 to the Northeast Extension. :)

The connection would be there, but through single-lane low speed ramps.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 06:20:31 PM »

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.

I  wonder if the PTC bureaucracy wanted an additional breezewood (to add to  their already large collection) in Plymouth Meeting?
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 09:20:58 PM »

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.

I  wonder if the PTC bureaucracy wanted an additional breezewood (to add to  their already large collection) in Plymouth Meeting?

I'll give PTC credit that they completed the direct connection in 1992, one year after the rest of I-476 was completed.  That means that final design had been completed no later than 1989, and that construction started no later than 1989 (most likely).  That is certainly timely enough progress, IMHO.

I'll also give PTC credit that before 1984 when I-476 was still being contested and seemed unlikely to be built, they would have seen the direct connection as useless, not having anything to connect to.  So the PennDOT project was the driver, not the PTC project.

I still find it curious (and did back in the 1970s when I saw the document) that PennDOT showed the planned design as connecting to the local Plymouth Meeting turnpike interchange, with the direct connection being a future design.  It is as if PennDOT was unsure whether PTC could build their portion in a timely manner.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 09:31:11 PM by Beltway »
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 09:49:33 PM »

Actually that document would have been published in the 1960s, as it says Pennsylvania Department Highways.

"The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was created from the former Department of Highways by Act 120 approved by the legislature on May 6, 1970."

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/pdKids.nsf/HistoryofPennDOT?OpenForm
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Henry

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 11:16:25 AM »

Very well-put presentation on the construction of I-476! My favorite part was the artist renditions of the interchanges.
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 04:31:46 PM »

Actually that document would have been published in the 1960s, as it says Pennsylvania Department Highways.

"The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was created from the former Department of Highways by Act 120 approved by the legislature on May 6, 1970."

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/pdKids.nsf/HistoryofPennDOT?OpenForm

The date of this presentation is 1965.

Very well-put presentation on the construction of I-476! My favorite part was the artist renditions of the interchanges.

Thanks! :)
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2012, 04:40:47 PM »

Notice the northern terminal where it curves sharply into the existing turnpike interchange at Plymouth Meeting, with dashed lines showing the future direct connection to the Turnpike.  At that point the PTC had not agreed on a final design for the direct connection interchange, and PennDOT figured that it was far enough into the future that they would need to connect I-476 to the local interchange for many years into the future.

I  wonder if the PTC bureaucracy wanted an additional breezewood (to add to  their already large collection) in Plymouth Meeting?

I'll give PTC credit that they completed the direct connection in 1992, one year after the rest of I-476 was completed.  That means that final design had been completed no later than 1989, and that construction started no later than 1989 (most likely).  That is certainly timely enough progress, IMHO.

I'll also give PTC credit that before 1984 when I-476 was still being contested and seemed unlikely to be built, they would have seen the direct connection as useless, not having anything to connect to.  So the PennDOT project was the driver, not the PTC project.

I still find it curious (and did back in the 1970s when I saw the document) that PennDOT showed the planned design as connecting to the local Plymouth Meeting turnpike interchange, with the direct connection being a future design.  It is as if PennDOT was unsure whether PTC could build their portion in a timely manner.

Not to mention that the old interchange ramps would likely be discarded.  It may have seemed like a waste.  Certainly that sharp curve at the end would have warning signs, but can you imagine the backups on weekends of travelers going to the Poconos? :)  The curve looks worse than Conshohoken.

The other part that gets me is the I-76 interchange.  They changed alot of the movements.  Plus the ramps went to a redirected Matsonford Rd, instead of Moorehead Rd.

The one that really burns me though is the Media Bypass US 1 interchange.  Their original design is so much better than what they actually made.  The existing double diamond (volleyball) interchange is an absolute mess.  The traffic lights are terrible, and the ramps are really undercapacity.  There's no free flow between any movement, you have to stop at least once.  Not to mention the ramp meters.
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Roadsguy

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 08:36:56 AM »

Do they even use the ramp meters anymore? For now at least?

Moral of the story: Clear-- I mean, Volleyballs are dumb.
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PHLBOS

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 12:13:57 PM »

Do they even use the ramp meters anymore? For now at least?
I've recently seen them in use at Exit 3 (Baltimore Pike) and Exit 5 (US 1) during rush hours.
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Roadsguy

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 02:12:21 PM »

Do they even use the ramp meters anymore? For now at least?
I've recently seen them in use at Exit 3 (Baltimore Pike) and Exit 5 (US 1) during rush hours.

I didn't notice that it says on PA Highways that they were reactivated in 2009. :P
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MASTERNC

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 11:37:15 PM »

Nearly all of the ramp meters have been activated, including the ones north of I-76.  However, the meter from US 30 to I-476 North has oddly not been reactivated after it was turned off a few years ago.  I'm not sure if it is because of the short length upstream or downstream (both of which are rather short).
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 04:32:12 PM »

I wonder why they didn't think more of trying to link the I-476 with whatever bridge they planned to span in Chester (Alternative A on the plans shows they did partly consider it).  At the time of these plans Commodore Barry hadn't been built yet.  It would have made sense to connect the two, and furthermore, I wonder why they didn't think to make I-476 into I-495 instead and connect it to the segment in Delaware?  That would have provided a nice bypass of Chester's I-95 squeeze.

Can you imagine if that had happened?  And then it was extended up the NE Extension.  It would have reigned supreme in 3di mileage length. :)
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Roadsguy

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 05:29:31 PM »

Already does, but then it'd be harder to beat if they went with your idea.
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 05:31:51 PM »

I wonder why they didn't think more of trying to link the I-476 with whatever bridge they planned to span in Chester (Alternative A on the plans shows they did partly consider it).  At the time of these plans Commodore Barry hadn't been built yet.  It would have made sense to connect the two, and furthermore, I wonder why they didn't think to make I-476 into I-495 instead and connect it to the segment in Delaware?  That would have provided a nice bypass of Chester's I-95 squeeze.

Can you imagine if that had happened?  And then it was extended up the NE Extension.  It would have reigned supreme in 3di mileage length. :)

The southern terminus is OK, IMHO, because they could have made I-95 wide enough on the 'overlap' between the beltway that includes I-476 and the Commodore Barry Bridge.  Given that CBB opened in 1974, its planning most likely went back 10 years or more.

However, even in the 1970s I questioned the use of 476 and 276 for what was mainly a SE PA bypass of I-95, that an I-x95 could be used at least to an interchange with I-95 in Bucks County.
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Scott M. Savage
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 07:24:34 PM »

I wonder why they didn't think more of trying to link the I-476 with whatever bridge they planned to span in Chester (Alternative A on the plans shows they did partly consider it).  At the time of these plans Commodore Barry hadn't been built yet.  It would have made sense to connect the two, and furthermore, I wonder why they didn't think to make I-476 into I-495 instead and connect it to the segment in Delaware?  That would have provided a nice bypass of Chester's I-95 squeeze.

Can you imagine if that had happened?  And then it was extended up the NE Extension.  It would have reigned supreme in 3di mileage length. :)

The southern terminus is OK, IMHO, because they could have made I-95 wide enough on the 'overlap' between the beltway that includes I-476 and the Commodore Barry Bridge.  Given that CBB opened in 1974, its planning most likely went back 10 years or more.

However, even in the 1970s I questioned the use of 476 and 276 for what was mainly a SE PA bypass of I-95, that an I-x95 could be used at least to an interchange with I-95 in Bucks County.


Well, technically it should have been I-495.  It ends at I-95, and the original design didn't actually end at I-276... though sort of technically.
It actually crossed I-76.

Aren't spurs supposed to be named for the ones they end at, rather than intersect?  Unless it's a full beltway like I-495 or I-695 in MD.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 10:07:55 PM by Steve »
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 09:32:48 PM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 09:35:09 PM by Beltway »
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Scott M. Savage
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 11:44:34 PM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.

That would have meant the Turnpike I-276 would have only run from Valley Forge to Plymouth Meeting though.
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 06:26:10 AM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.

That would have meant the Turnpike I-276 would have only run from Valley Forge to Plymouth Meeting though.

I see no problem with that ...
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route_82

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 03:54:35 PM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.

That would have meant the Turnpike I-276 would have only run from Valley Forge to Plymouth Meeting though.

I see no problem with that ...

So I-495 ends at I-95 in Bensalem... then what about the rest of the Turnpike into NJ?
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Beltway

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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 05:48:04 PM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.

That would have meant the Turnpike I-276 would have only run from Valley Forge to Plymouth Meeting though.

I see no problem with that ...

So I-495 ends at I-95 in Bensalem... then what about the rest of the Turnpike into NJ?

It doesn't need an Interstate route number, IMHO.  Just like most of the NJTP.
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Re: The Proposed "Blue Route" I-476
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2012, 10:43:06 AM »

A partial beltway could be I-e95 ('e' being even number).

So the "Blue Route", and the Turnpike between Plymouth Meeting and I-95, could be an I-e95.   A SE PA I-95 bypass, terminating at I-95 at each terminus.

That would have meant the Turnpike I-276 would have only run from Valley Forge to Plymouth Meeting though.

I see no problem with that ...

So I-495 ends at I-95 in Bensalem... then what about the rest of the Turnpike into NJ?

It doesn't need an Interstate route number, IMHO.  Just like most of the NJTP.
The PA Turnpike east of Bensalem is slated to be I-95 once the 95-Turnpike interchange is completed.  Had I-476 & I-276 been designated as I-495... maybe Penn and NJDOT could assign what's slated to be a westerly extension of I-195 as I-495 as well  :bigass:; especially since the original I-495 in North Jersey was downgraded to NJ 495 decades ago.
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