gman430

I-85/I-385 widening proposed

110 posts in this topic

Saw this article on the Greenville News earlier today and thought it would be a good time to start a new thread to discuss this potential massive project: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs....NEWS01/80924021 I'm glad the state is thinking about adding tolls and/or HOV lanes to help pay for it. Unlike the Southern Connector, tolls would work on these two interstates. What are your guys thoughts?

Edited by citylife

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What are your guys thoughts?

I saw that article earlier. I have two thoughts:

1) They should have scraped up the money somehow and widened I-85 to 8 lanes the last time.

2) I'm so glad I don't commute to Greenville every day any more - the first widening nearly drove me insane.

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Saw this article on the Greenville News earlier today and thought it would be a good time to start a new thread to discuss this potential massive project: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs....NEWS01/80924021 I'm glad the state is thinking about adding tolls and/or HOV lanes to help pay for it. Unlike the Southern Connector, tolls would work on these two interstates. What are your guys thoughts?

I'd rather see 85 through the Greenville / Spartanburg area divided into express lanes / through traffic lanes and local lanes. Keep express lanes and local lanes divided by concrete median. Express lanes would only allow exits at 2 to 3 major points through the metro.

HOV lanes would be better than what we currently have, however, HOV lanes depend on the smarts of the drivers and enforcement by ticketing of non authorized vehicles. For what it is worth, Atlanta's HOV lanes don't really seem to do the job. Slow drivers get in the HOV and go 45 miles an hour.....pick-up trucks pulling trailers with no tail lights will get in the HOV.....single drivers weave in and out of the HOV's......I see little, if any enforcement of HOV rules in Atlanta. West Coast cities on the other hand seem to have HOV down to a science....you can get in the HOV's in LA, San Fran or Seattle and "haul a**". Not to be negative about the citizens of South Carolina, but I fear HOV drivers here would be as bad, or worse than Atlanta, with little to no enforcement.

HOT lanes....like this idea. Paying a toll to use HOV may possibly keep the lanes free of the types of drivers decribed above.

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I like the idea of having express lanes. I am not so sure that HOV lanes are a good solution. I already see almost no enforcement of really annoying and wreckless driving behaviors (tailgating, driving under the posted speed limit in the left lane, refusing to stay right except to pass, lane changes with no signal, etc) on I-85. I don't think the area police agencies are going to add officers just to patrol I-85, even if HOV lanes were added.

Edited by Adam_5

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It sounds like more of the same to me. The article says it was proposed about 10 years ago but there was no money. I understand that, but there is still no money, yet it has to be done. I bet it would have only cost half as much if it had been done 10 years ago. SO this would take a 2 year study, then all the other stuff, then construction. So it could well be another 8-10 years before it actually happens. I have news for them, but 8 lanes will not be enough for 2016 or 2018 traffic demands. 8 lanes were needed 5 years ago on some stretches, so this would just catch us up on some stretches, and probably still be too little on others. Then we will see the same article written again in about 2020. We are always a lane behind, or just trying to catch up. Why not go ahead and make a real long range plan? I do not think the HOV or HOT lanes will work here at all for a long time, especially not if those are the only lanes added. Perhaps the DOT could actually try to get us ahead a little, add 2 lanes each way, making one a regualr lane to actually relieve traffic some, while using the second as a HOV or HOT. This would give our area a little bit of training time in learning to use these lanes before the next lane crunch. Imagine all the commuters sitting in traffic in 2018 looking over at the fresh new lane of traffic with a few cars, shaking their heads and thinking, "Why didn't they just make it a regular lane, I thought the idea of adding lanes was to help alleviate what I'm doing (sitting in traffic)."

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It sounds like more of the same to me. The article says it was proposed about 10 years ago but there was no money. I understand that, but there is still no money, yet it has to be done. I bet it would have only cost half as much if it had been done 10 years ago. SO this would take a 2 year study, then all the other stuff, then construction. So it could well be another 8-10 years before it actually happens. I have news for them, but 8 lanes will not be enough for 2016 or 2018 traffic demands. 8 lanes were needed 5 years ago on some stretches, so this would just catch us up on some stretches, and probably still be too little on others. Then we will see the same article written again in about 2020. We are always a lane behind, or just trying to catch up. Why not go ahead and make a real long range plan? I do not think the HOV or HOT lanes will work here at all for a long time, especially not if those are the only lanes added. Perhaps the DOT could actually try to get us ahead a little, add 2 lanes each way, making one a regualr lane to actually relieve traffic some, while using the second as a HOV or HOT. This would give our area a little bit of training time in learning to use these lanes before the next lane crunch. Imagine all the commuters sitting in traffic in 2018 looking over at the fresh new lane of traffic with a few cars, shaking their heads and thinking, "Why didn't they just make it a regular lane, I thought the idea of adding lanes was to help alleviate what I'm doing (sitting in traffic)."

Unfortunately, that's what having the lowest state gas tax in the nation will get you. I support raising the state gas tax 2-3 cents myself. That would pay for the infrastructure needed and the general public wouldn't even notice the increase due to the fluctuations in gas prices that occur all the time. If I had to choose between HOT and HOV lane, it would definitely be HOT. I've been on HOV lanes in Atlanta and either cars in front of you are going to slow or the ones behind you are tailgating you. There's no enforcement either. The only way I would support a HOV lane is if it is enforced properly and does its job. The DOT says it will cost $400 million for this project. I would love to see how much a light rail line along I-85 would cost. I doubt it would cost much more if any than this widening project. Heck, it might even be cheaper. Too bad our DOT isn't smart enough to look into mass transit.

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Here's a chart that shows each state's gas tax rates. Alaska is the lowest, but then again they don't have any roads. ;)

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I knew this project was coming for awhile.

I have rarely used HOV lanes, but find them personally useful. I dislike where you can only enter and exit them at some points when you need to get to a specific exit. I just want my party to get to the right destination without getting into the traffic.

Most of 85 from Exit 34 (US 29 South) in Anderson County through Exit 80 (Gossett Road) in Spartanburg County have been arranged for its eventual widening to eight lanes. Same for 385 to six lanes from Exit 26 (Harrison Bridge Road) to downtown.

The capstone of the project is the 85/385 interchange. Its current state is thirty years outdated and its close proximity to Woodruff Road adds much danger. I preferr to see a rebuilt interchange as a complete four level stack, five level to include some access to Woodruff Road, or circular FL 9A/202 interchange in Jacksonville, FL.

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The capstone of the project is the 85/385 interchange. Its current state is thirty years outdated and its close proximity to Woodruff Road adds much danger. I preferr to see a rebuilt interchange as a complete four level stack, five level to include some access to Woodruff Road, or circular FL 9A/202 interchange in Jacksonville, FL.

Our very own "Spaghetti Junction"? :lol:

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Someone at DOT must have their head up their ass. All you have to do is look at the Pelham & 85 DOT cam every morning at 8 and evening at 5 to see that we need 8 lanes right now. If they do this study and then go with 8 lanes someone should loose their job.

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Agreed, but I would be shocked if they went for anything more than 8. Our DOT just doesn't think far enough ahead. And there was an article that came out in the last year or two that talked about how traffic is expected to double on 85 by 2030. That would actually require 12 lanes. But we will not see anything like that. :wacko:

I also have a question for anyone in the know. How long will such a study take? It seems like with traffic counts (that they already keep), development patterns around 85, and population and job growth trends would already show them most of what they need to know. How much else is there to study?

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The biggest thing to 'study' is the COST, not the traffic demand.

Supposedly, 85 can't be widened beyond 8 lanes without a HUGE increase in costs, because going beyond that width would require buildings to actually be purchased and demolished (as opposed to just losing yard frontage).

That's why we need to start working on a rail alternative.

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The biggest thing to 'study' is the COST, not the traffic demand.

Supposedly, 85 can't be widened beyond 8 lanes without a HUGE increase in costs, because going beyond that width would require buildings to actually be purchased and demolished (as opposed to just losing yard frontage).

That's why we need to start working on a rail alternative.

This may sound like a silly argument but what is the long term philosophy of roads anyway? Where do u stop before they all merge together? I know that would never happen but their has to be a stopping place before the whole concept of road widening is impractical. Is 12 lanes the limit? I love the freedom to have and drive a car and am totally opposed to being "made" to take other forms of transportation because of some government edict but then again you get to a point where things are just totally impractical. Both tired based vehicles like cars and truck require a smooth surface and rail of course requires a rail infastructure both of which are expensive. Wish we had more options for low flying or hover craft. i.e. Luke's landspeeder.

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My thoughts- widening is needed regardless of rail alternatives, but NO TOLLS because tolls are a high-hassle, high-cost method of tax collection. I have spent many years living in metro NYC and having a trip interrupted by toll boths, requiring slowing down, waiting in a long line sometimes, etc. results in additional pollution, wasted time, wasted gas, etc. I'd rather have the gas tax slightly increased or would prefer to just cut government spending in other areas and have highway spending come from general revenues.

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The biggest thing to 'study' is the COST, not the traffic demand.

Supposedly, 85 can't be widened beyond 8 lanes without a HUGE increase in costs, because going beyond that width would require buildings to actually be purchased and demolished (as opposed to just losing yard frontage).

That's why we need to start working on a rail alternative.

Seems like I have heard that about the 8 lanes before, but I thought it had more to do with the air quality standards, that the feds would'nt help pay for more than 8.

As for the cost study, this seems strange to me. Quite frankly the the most cost effective way is to do it soon. It seems like waiting for a 1 or 2 year study would be a huge waste of money. Wouldn't the cost go up by like 5% per year, at least? Over 2 years that would come up to about 40 MM for a 400MM $ project. So then it's up to 440MM and you haven't even started yet.

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I'm not sure I would want to see more than 8 lanes around here. 8 is enough. I'm kind of like comedian Steven Wright. I'm scared of widths. :lol:

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because going beyond that width would require buildings to actually be purchased and demolished

Not to mention the bridges.

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Wish we had more options for low flying or hover craft. i.e. Luke's landspeeder.

We do. Didn't you see the Swiss guy fly over the English channel last week with a personal jetpack strapped to his back??!!! ;) Maybe it was only top story on CNN International. Anyway - forget widening. Free jetpacks for everyone! It would sure help us out in Bangkok. I see what America's traffic future looks like without substantial planning... it's bad. Very, very bad. :(

Edited by interestedexpat

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I hope that SCDOT would see that any widening past 8 lanes is just absurd. There is a point of diminishing returns with widening of roads. Eventually you need to look at alternate service- be it in the form of improving other roads or transit or some kind. Just look at Atlanta and what good its done for them. Its still congested. Eventually you have to look at curing the disease rather than treating the symptoms (fixing land use and growth patterns).

HOV lanes are appropriate in certain cases. IMO they would be more useful on 385 than on 85. There is much more congestion there and for a longer distance. Plus 85's congestion is partially impacted by the truck traffic which can't use the inside lane anyway. Going all toll is not an option, but they could conceivably build another toll road elsewhere (somehow I don't see this happening :lol: ). Anyway, HOT lanes are a very viable option. Many metros are looking at this, and I'm glad that SCDOT is at least leaning in the direction of HOV lanes for the big 3.

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I would actually like to see them make I-85 entirely a toll road (at least the South Carolina portion). I know it's mostly anti-Southern to create such a massive toll road, but the benefits of doing this far outweigh the negatives at this point:

-it would more than pay for the improvements needed to I-85 (widening, resurfacing); otherwise we might never see the money made available for these changes

-it would remove the "I have to pay a toll" excuse people currently use for not using the Southern Connector (which would indirectly cause people to use it more and thus spur development)

-it would bring a lot of money into our state from people passing through

I fear that only having one toll lane on I-85 would result in very low usage, even if it were an HOV or "fast lane." Tolls only work when you don't give people another option. For upstate residents, the toll booths would not slow them down because there would be a couple of lanes on the left side for E-Z Pass holders. It would obviously require a monthly payment to have one, but I would certainly be willing to pay for one if it meant a wider interstate and more improvements to our upstate roads.

Edited by Greenville

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I support tolling all interstates in principle, but I am fairly certain that federal laws don't allow existing interstates to be converted to toll roads.

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I support tolling all interstates in principle, but I am fairly certain that federal laws don't allow existing interstates to be converted to toll roads.

Are you sure about that because this says different: http://www.scnow.com/scp/news/i_73/article...1_15_0007/3702/ Any interstate can be converted to a toll road with federal approval.

Edited by citylife

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Interesting. In that case, lets get 85 on the list.

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Thanks to the many complaints to the DOT, I-385 is going to get resurfaced this summer between Fairview and Woodruff Roads. You can read the article here: http://www.foxcarolina.com/automotive/18896552/detail.html

:yahoo: Best news I've heard in weeks. This stretch of 385 has become hazardous to drive due to the size of the potholes.

However, your attached article shows what total idiots the SC-DOT is. This comment from a DOT employee has me rolling on the floor:

"It

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