Raildude's dad

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About Raildude's dad

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    Grand Rapids MI
  1. 100th Street Bridge Smacking

    This happens a lot more than one would think. Look at the underside of other bridges. Lots of impact marks. Most are not as severe as what has happened at 100th St. It is a little lower than most but still any legal height load should be good to fit under. The first hits were 2 guys hauling shipping containers on regular flat bed trailers. There is a reason that there are hundreds of thousands of container chassis out there. The containers are too high on a regular trailer. They almost made it .One guy hit the south fascia beam the second hit the north fascia beam. The air ride suspensions raised up enough to snag the bridge. I remember a guy SB that didn't get off at 28th St on his way to MC Sporting Goods warehouse. The container hit the overpass, split open and spread Nike's all over the highway. The next "hit" was the plastic covering the top of a modular home. Not a true hit. The next one was some guy that had a piece of equipment that didn't measure his load .That happens more often but the news media typically doesn't report it unless it's a real traffic issue. Right now "100th St" is a hot new item. The guy that peeled off the top of his pallets again didn't measure his load , probably didn't even think about it. Used to be we could tell when Christmas trees started moving south by the trees along the road at the lower height overpasses on the freeway. I'm not on the road like I used to be so I can't tell you if it still happens. One thing thy could do quickly is mill off the 4-5 inches of asphalt on 131 under the bridge. A second thing is make their truck permit sysytem easier to use. I know from personal experience it takes a long time to to get thru the application on line. I'm guessing a lot don't bother to get an over height permit - any permit for that matter . An accurate measurement entered in would get those bridges flagged. Know your load / trailer height, read the signs and you won't hit anything. Over height , get a permit and MDOT will flag the problem ones. No excuse for anyone hitting them.
  2. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Wyoming was Wyoming Township until 1959 when it became the City of Wyoming
  3. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    And the rest of my post is why it hasn't been been rebuilt. We were in Florida a month ago (Largo) and over the past few years a 28th style road was rebuilt, 4 lanes each direction, rt and lt turn lanes, narrow boulevard in the middle. US 19 has been converted from a multi lane highway to a freeway. Gas prices were the same there as here.
  4. Day/Night Drone Footage of Downtown

    x2 The older i get, the less I like the cold. Otherwise I'm always glad to return to GR and proud to be from here.
  5. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    I really don't know where to start As for 131 design standards, the stretch thru Grand Rapids was built during 1956-57 time frame. The Interstate system was authorized by legislation in 1956. So US 131 was built using standards prior to the Interstate standards. This is a good explanation of how the standards for the Interstate system came about. Just substitute Michigan in place of Georgia and Detroit for Atlanta, the story is the same. http://www.dot.ga.gov/AboutGeorgia/CentennialHome/Documents/Historical Documents/HistoricalContextof GeorgiaInterstates.pdf As for the state of the highway system in Michigan, it's historically been skewed to Detroit. With the Dems in power, they favored the east side of the state. When the Repubs were in power, thy favored the east side, trying to gain dem votes. So the west side was always a bit short changed. You will never see any real new construction. Years ago there was a 7-8 Mile Road connector proposed between M-37 and US 131. The NIMBYS got the County Board to pass a resolution telling MDOT to drop it from their long range planning. It's been gone for years. Look at M-6. When I stated in the business in 1972, it was in "the plan". The first funds were authorized. The City of GR fought it every which way for years. It took 32 years until it was opened. The Environmental Impact regulations make it virtually impossible to build a new road of freeway magnitude on a new alignment. Wet land mitigation at a 2 or 3 to one ratio. The cost of right of way acquisition is staggering. Any residential property must be purchased at 125% of appraised market value plus any and all relocation expenses. If you can't find a another home of comparable value, they make you whole for the upgrade. Not saying it's wrong, it just gets very expensive. And then there are the NIMBYS and the NIABYS (Not in Anyone's backyard). We also have had a major funding shortfall for almost 20 years. I've posted before the bonding fiasco pushed thru by Engler and Granholm. There was the lost decade when MI was in a recession. The gas tax was the same cents/ gallon from 1997 to 2017. The cost of road construction / maintenance didn't remain at 1997 levels . So there's lots of catching up to do. The sad thing is there is so much anti tax sentiment. How do these folks think infrastructure gets paid for? Oh that's right. I forgot, "free" federal money. Enough ranting on a nice sunny Saturday. Time to go outside
  6. Suburban Projects

    Photo's photo's photo's !!!!!!!!!!!!!! No good w/o out photos
  7. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    Here's the link to the commercial truck plate fees for MI. 160,000 lbs $3471 for a year http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gvw_19180_7.pdf This explains the Federal Excise tax on trucks and tires http://www.ngvamerica.org/pdfs/FETRepeal-Replace07-31-13.pdf The 700 lbs per inch is used on rubber tired heavy equipment like loaders and motor scrapers. If they weigh more 700 lbs per inch on the 4 tires, they must be loaded on a truck and trailer with a lot of axles. In my day job, I'm responsible for reviewing and approving (or denying) the over weight and oversize permit issued by my employer. It's an interesting part of my job.
  8. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    No pushing dirt, that was a big pile of chips from chipping the trees. It was gone tonight. There are 2 piles of stumps pushed up. The first construction contract will be let later this year if all goes well. MDOT had the Road Commission do the tree removal this time of year to avoid the bat habitat removal restrictions during prime construction season. The contractor can start the dirt work immediately because the trees are gone.
  9. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    Both magnesium and sodium chloride are equally as bad pending on the conditions. https://www.codot.gov/programs/research/pdfs/2002/magautocor.pdf Mag costs twice as much, not as avail as sodium which comes by the boatload from Goderich ON to Muskegon. Yup, 1972 BSCE Michigan Tech. 46 years with the Road Commission Not quite, 700 lbs per inch on a set of 11R22.5 (common truck tire size) duals on an axle would be 11x4 x700 = 30,800 lbs. A tandem axle on the tractor is limited to 16,000 per axle. A 5 axle tractor trailer is limited to 16,000 each on the trailer tandem. If you have 3 axles between 9 feet and 3'6" apart, it's 13,000 per axle. if you can get your axles 9' apart or more, you can scale 18,000 per axle (that's more common configuration in Canada). The 13,000 lb axle maximum on the Michigan Specials - 8 axle trailers actually calculate out to equal or less loading that the 16,000 and 18,000 lb axles. Check out the registration fees on a 154,000 plate. Add in the Federal excise tax, state and federal fuel tax, excise tax on tires, they are paying plenty.
  10. Suburban Projects

    The traffic count on Crahen is 9100 vehicles/ day, East Paris north of 28th 19,000/ day. Plus, they have not applied for a permit to complete the drive. An intensive car traffic use could change what's required Multi-family PUD
  11. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    The last increase has helped and the Gov push right now for more funds this year will help. But getting plans and all the environmental permitting takes time to get to the shovel stage.
  12. Suburban Projects

    And where would you suggest the driveway(s) be located? Most people don't slam on their brakes to make a right turn, turn signals? It's not like you won't see the building because it's hidden by trees.
  13. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    The road was built in 1972 using continuous reinforced concrete pavement as a new and improved process. It's been problematic for about 45 years. It needs the concrete pavement pulled out and replaced with conventional concrete or HMA. Yes MDOT has put band-aids on this for years. In their defense, Engler's Build MI 1,2.& 3 bonding programs and Granholm's Jobs Today bond program gambled in increased growth in population and the the Act 51 gas and weight tax funds. The lost decade did just the opposite so MDOT ended up using the existing levels of funding (or less) to pay back bonds.
  14. Highway and Road Construction Updates

    Soil borings, no utilities there
  15. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    I'm pretty sure that any municipality's readiness to serve (connection) fee is based on the cost of the infrastructure in place. I'm not familiar with Jamestown's particulars but cost of newer infrastructure (water-mains, hydrants, booster pumps, water towers etc) spread over a small base of customers raises the connection fees. The fees must cover the costs. As more customers add on, the fees can lower.