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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 10:32 PM
ttownfeen ttownfeen is offline
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Plans for moving forward for the Eastern Bypass around Tuscaloosa. Of course, this being ALDOT, the pace is, as the T-News describes it, glacial. Always, environmentalists are all up in a tizzy.

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/908149875

Here's a map I made of the proposed route. It's a rough estimate.

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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2009, 3:41 AM
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This could be pretty promising if Alabama would get its head out of the sand...



Quote:
Could Amtrak be on track to return to Montgomery?
By Jill Nolin • August 16, 2009

The 21,100-mile web of Amtrak rails run to more than 500 destinations in 46 states -- and the Montgomery area would like to be one them.

Local and state officials can imagine Montgomery being a link in that web, making it possible for riders to get on a train downtown and arrive in New York within 24 hours.

And they are doing more than just imagining it. They're trying to bring the romance of the train back to the Capital City. They are laying the groundwork for what they hope will lead to a return of Amtrak service on a line that from 1989 to 1995 connected Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham.

Those who are working on bringing back the train route, which was once known as the Gulf Breeze line, believe it would be a boost for Alabama tourism if the city linked to a grid that stretches all over country.

"It would be just another tool in our toolbox," Mayor Todd Strange said of the economic impact of passenger rail service in Montgomery. "You can get here by water. You can get here by bus. You can get here by air. You can get here by car. You can get here by train. You just put in another way for people to get to Montgomery."

The line would also provide an alternative form of transportation for locals -- and one that advocates for the train's return believe will be more attractive in an age where the general public skeptically waits for gas prices to increase.

While freight trains continue to frequent the tracks through Montgomery, the likes of a passenger train will not be seen here for some time. The state must first complete a rail plan, and then a ridership study would have to be done to determine whether it would be feasible to offer the service here.

Amtrak has shown an interest in bringing back passenger rail service to the Mobile-to-Birmingham route. But the company will not look into it further until the state of Alabama finishes its homework.

"We'll help you get there. We'll operate the trains for you. But Alabama has to take the first step toward where you want to be and how you want to get there," said Todd Stennis, director of Government Affairs-South for Amtrak.

Stennis visited Montgomery this week to brief local officials on Amtrak's interest in increasing passenger rail service in the Southeast region, which Stennis said was currently under served.

Today, Amtrak does run one route in Alabama. The Crescent, which used to connect to the Gulf Breeze, connects directly to Atlanta and New Orleans.

[...]
click here to read the entire article from the Montgomery Advertiser.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2009, 12:20 AM
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Some updates on road construction.

MORGAN COUNTY

Bridge resurfacing near Lacon is finished. Also, resurfacing of potholes on the roadway of I 65 is complete, and work zone has been dissolved.

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY

CAMPUS

McCorvey drive is shut down for some reason. I'm assuming they're either repaving or tarring the surface in order to repaint the striping to make it make more sense and improve traffic flow.

Park of the Burke parking lot has been shut down, I'm assuming for re striping. It might also be for the Foster renovation, but I'm not completely sure.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2009, 1:30 AM
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A few updates:

Birmingham

I-65 widening north of downtown is almost complete. It appears that they just have some resurfacing to finish and some barriers to construct.

I-20/59 lighting is progressing and is in process at Malfunction Junction.

Barrels north of the widening on 65 is due to a resurfacing project on that stretch of the interstate. Widening of that portion of the highway should begin soon in order to make way for the new interchange.

Decatur

Bridge resurfacing north of the Lacon/Vinemont exit is complete.

US 31 is going to be reconstructed at the portion where it travels up Lacon Mountain. This is due to sliding of the roadway because of the recent heavy rainfall.

Tuscaloosa

I-20/59 resurfacing east of Tuscaloosa is complete. It seems like they're just taking their sweet time removing the barrels and stuff.

Also, a new cloverleaf ramp at the I-20/59-Buttermilk Road exit is being constructed. Leading from Buttermilk Road northbound to I-20/59 Westbound.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:32 AM
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Also of note in the Huntsville/Decatur area:

The new I-65 interchange with Browns Ferry Road has been open for a few weeks now.

Parkway overpasses at Whitesburg and Weatherly Road should be open before January. The only work that's left is a few more layers of asphalt, some curb work, and signage.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 2:42 PM
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I think it would be nice if US280 in Birmingham would model after Huntsville's Memorial Parkway with it's service roads in order to cut down on the long crazy back ups during rush hour. You could either elevate the service roads above 280 like the one highway in San Antonio and Austin with ramps exits or elevate the center. I'm all for using service roads to separate local traffic from express. I hear there was a proposal for this before.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 3:04 PM
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But Texas cities are so ugly with their freeways.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Memorial Parkway is ugly too. Blah.
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 6:39 PM
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Yea... Memorial Parkway is a pavement field that stretches for miles.... that's pretty much all it is.
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 9:28 PM
ttownfeen ttownfeen is offline
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Tuscaloosa attorney to run for House seat

Quote:
If elected, [Poole] said he would concentrate on 'transportation infrastructure' because 'we haven't received our fair share of transportation dollars in West Alabama for a number of years now.

'We have had targeted projects,' Poole said. 'But we have had very little in the way of new roads and those new roads open new areas for development and create new jobs ... and generate economic opportunity.'
I agree with his sentiment. I hope this can become an issue in the various local house and senate elections that are coming up next year.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2009, 2:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasTexan View Post
But Texas cities are so ugly with their freeways.
yeah, but it's one of the few states that paint their tall ugly ramps and have stars on them that light up at night. Have you seen the nation's highest flyover ramps where US75 and I-635 meet north of Dallas. They don't look all that bad. Now if all states can start painting and putting on crazy designs then it wouldn't have to be so plain ugly. I think Australia have experimented with different forms of art work on their freeways to make it more interesting. Don't get me wrong there are some areas of Dallas with really ugly plain outdated ramps showing their age (ie. I-30, US80, I-20 at I-635 and I-20 at I-35E just to name a few).
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2009, 6:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy McDowell View Post
I think it would be nice if US280 in Birmingham would model after Huntsville's Memorial Parkway with it's service roads in order to cut down on the long crazy back ups during rush hour. You could either elevate the service roads above 280 like the one highway in San Antonio and Austin with ramps exits or elevate the center. I'm all for using service roads to separate local traffic from express. I hear there was a proposal for this before.
Perhaps, but it's not a system without disadvantages. The reason Memorial Parkway has its setup is that Huntsville, a city that until recently was primarily oriented north-to-south, has no north-south interstate. Memorial Parkway's current form is a compromise between a high-mobility freeway and a high-accessibility arterial road. Parts of it are woefully outdated close to downtown with tight ramps and blind elevation changes. It's an inadequate design that can't readily be changed for the second-busiest highway in the state (only I-65 near downtown Birmingham has higher traffic counts).

US-280 in Birmingham would probably benefit most from having better traffic-signal synchronization and a few key overpasses at major intersections, but not the whole road.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2009, 3:12 AM
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US 82 Btwn Tuscaloosa and Mississippi

On my way to Starkville yesterday for the Alabama/Miss State game I got a chance to see how the widening project is going. So far, they've got a divided road most of the way to Gordo. Both sides aren't in use, but they've got most of the construction done, seems like they've just got some paving left to do most of the way.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2009, 5:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabadrock View Post
US 82 Btwn Tuscaloosa and Mississippi

On my way to Starkville yesterday for the Alabama/Miss State game I got a chance to see how the widening project is going. So far, they've got a divided road most of the way to Gordo. Both sides aren't in use, but they've got most of the construction done, seems like they've just got some paving left to do most of the way.
They have to replace all the bridges on the old carriageway (the new carriageway is being used for both directions for now) on the 3 mile stretch over the Sipsey River valley.

There is no funding to widen US 82 from the Tuscaloosa county line to Reform at this time.

U.S. 82 widening project to end in 2010
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2009, 5:29 PM
ttownfeen ttownfeen is offline
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Blasting on Interstate 20 where it goes through the "mountains" started today. The blasting is necessary because there is no room for the planned widening to six lanes.

Blasting to begin along I-20 in St. Clair County

After this project is completed, I-20 will be six lanes east from Birmingham all the way to Logan Martin Lake.

Last edited by ttownfeen; Nov 17, 2009 at 2:54 AM.
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2009, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttownfeen View Post
Blasting on Interstate 20 where go through the "mountains" started today. The blasting is necessary because there is no room for the planned widening to six lanes.

Blasting to begin along I-20 in St. Clair County

After this project is completed, I-20 will be six lanes east from Birmingham all the way to Logan Martin Lake.
They'd better raise the speed limit between Leeds and Pell City back to 70. That 55mph limit is a joke, and the wrecks only started occurring because moving the lanes toward the median barrier meant reducing sight distances. It's just another case of ALDOT being stupid as usual.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2009, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
They'd better raise the speed limit between Leeds and Pell City back to 70. That 55mph limit is a joke, and the wrecks only started occurring because moving the lanes toward the median barrier meant reducing sight distances. It's just another case of ALDOT being stupid as usual.
Don't bet on that 55 mph going up anytime soon. I wouldn't complain, nothing is worse than the speed limit changes that have been going on between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for the past 4 to 5 years. There has been a 55 mph speed zone for at least 5 or 6 miles each year that I've been at Alabama. It really makes it hard to get anywhere at a reasonable time.
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 2:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
US-280 in Birmingham would probably benefit most from having better traffic-signal synchronization and a few key overpasses at major intersections, but not the whole road.
As we were discussing this earlier a coincidence just occurred.


Breaking news!! update about the US 280 corridor project..some of it is going to become elevated. Get ready to break out some change because it's going have tolls. (remind you of another city east of here..400) Don't hold your breath but they say the project will be done in 3 years.

source: http://www.cbs42.com/mostpopular/sto...pIjm1tp2A.cspx (news clip showing the rendering)

Riley's Plan for Highway 280

If you've traveled Highway 280 during rush hours, you recognize the heavy slow traffic.

"The traffic on 280 is really bad. It has been for years," says Kristy Matthews.

"On the way to work today, I was just at a dead halt," says George Waits.

Today Governor Bob Riley unveiled a new plan to fix 280 by adding four toll lanes.

From Double Oak Mountain to and over I-459, the new lanes would be on an elevated road.

From I-459 to the Red Mountain Expressway, the road would be widened to add the four lanes, making a ten lane road at grade.

According to Riley, there would be no toll booths. Rather, drivers would use electronic passes.

"The idea of a toll road is probably one of the better ones I have heard of. As far as expanding, there's just not a whole lot of room," says Matthews.

"The idea of expanding lanes would be great," says Waits.

Only the new four lanes would require tolls. Nevertheless, many drivers aren't thrilled about the idea of paying to travel 280.

"As a college student I'm not really looking for another reason to take out a loan," says Waits.

"I don't think they should charge the people who live in those counties who would benefit from the roads every day," says Jack Cardinal.

Cardinal is the manager of Fox and Hound Pub and Grille. He's afraid the tolls would hurt 280 businesses.

"People are going to think twice about getting off if they have to pay a toll to get on and another toll to get off."

Because of potential noise and an unflattering look, a couple of years ago the elevated highway idea was shot down by Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia residents. Tonight Riley is hoping that residents who use the road, such as Kristy Matthews, will embrace this new solution.

"It's definitely past time to make a change and improve the conditions even if just a little bit on 280," says Matthews.

If the proposal moves forward, Governor Riley says the expansion would be completed in three years.
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 2:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
US-280 in Birmingham would probably benefit most from having better traffic-signal synchronization and a few key overpasses at major intersections, but not the whole road.
I was speaking with a traffic engineer recently about US-280...you know the last time ALDOT or the MPO had the the signals synchronized? Over 7 years ago.....things have changed a lot during a 7 year period along 280. I think adjusting the timing would drastically improve some the back-ups and delays.
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  #40  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 2:54 PM
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Sample rendering of the proposed elevated section of US 280...who likes this?

Source: http://www.elevatedhighway.blogspot.com/
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