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Old 01-17-2019, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,646 posts, read 16,679,494 times
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Quote:
The Georgia DOT now has all work either completed or under contract, except for
one segment of Interstate 20. All of this has been accomplished since 1978. The total
cost to date is $1.4 billion. When the project is finished in 1990, we will have
completely reconstructed 130 miles of urban freeway in 12 years, from start to finish.
Construction of the original system took nearly 20 years.
Atlanta, Freeway System Reconstruction
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:26 AM
 
5,771 posts, read 5,134,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
This is also an interesting line from the report that you linked to:
Quote:
The new plan called for adding additional lanes to the existing system and constructing a 100-mile rail transit system.
Hmmmm… During the 'Freeing-the-Freeways' reconstruction project of the 1980's, the 130 miles of freeway got expanded and reconstructed, but I wonder... What happened to the other 52 miles of the 100-mile rail transit system that was proposed in this Georgia Department of Transportation report?


Hmmmm…
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:06 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 538,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
LOL, there's a lot of irony in the title of the article that you linked to, "Tom Moreland Interchange Cures Atlanta Traffic Woes."

Also, the "booming metropolis of 2 million" that they referred to Atlanta as being in the 1980's is now a booming mega-metropolis of nearly 7 million people as of the late 2010's... Which probably explains why an interchange like Spaghetti Junction is seemingly so outdated more than 30 years after its completion.
With this in mind, I guess one should also account that Spaghetti Junction ALSO links two of the most populated counties in the state. Gwinnett (Pop over 1 million I believe) and Fulton (Pop around 800-900k) and given that it was probably designed when both counties had only a quarter if not less than that population, it definitely is over encumbered.

I can't really say its poorly designed. I think outdated would be more accurate given it's current demands versus when it was concieved.

I do agree with Sami regarding to ramp to Chamblee Tucker. It does seem odd but I believe it was cost efficiency that they were looking for in the placement of those ramps and the traffic they encountered seemed non threatening at that period.

If I were to re-design Spaghetti Junction, I would likely segregate traffic exiting to I-85 at the junction for Peachtree Industrial Blvd. I would also likely have the I-85 lanes far to the right, P.I.B lanes toward the center, and thru lanes I-285 and to Buford Hwy in the left. P.I.B would exit via a set of braided ramps underneath the I-85 carriage ramps. The same for Buford Hwy, and Chamblee Tucker. Another HUGE thing I would fix is that bottle neck after the ramp meets I-85 N where it merges into 1 lane a bit too early. That would take some creativity and possibly some concrete ugliness (by keeping the ramp in the air until after it crosses over Pleasantdale Rd.) But I think it is possible.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:32 PM
 
10,131 posts, read 7,125,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
With this in mind, I guess one should also account that Spaghetti Junction ALSO links two of the most populated counties in the state. Gwinnett (Pop over 1 million I believe) and Fulton (Pop around 800-900k) and given that it was probably designed when both counties had only a quarter if not less than that population, it definitely is over encumbered.
All the more reason we should stop relying on highways as the primary focus and a single point of failure.

We need to focus on developing alternatives.

Toll these major routes to fund them and divert other resources to developing alternatives.

We got to stop relying on political games to maintain infrastructure before it collapses.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:21 PM
bu2
 
9,218 posts, read 5,915,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
LOL, there's a lot of irony in the title of the article that you linked to, "Tom Moreland Interchange Cures Atlanta Traffic Woes."

Also, the "booming metropolis of 2 million" that they referred to Atlanta as being in the 1980's is now a booming mega-metropolis of nearly 7 million people as of the late 2010's... Which probably explains why an interchange like Spaghetti Junction is seemingly so outdated more than 30 years after its completion.
Yes. And Gwinnett has doubled in population. Most of the Atlanta growth has been on the northside.
Atlanta MSA population
1980 2.2 million
1990 2.9 million
2000 4.1 million
2010 5.3 million
2017 5.9 million

The problem is Atlanta rebuilt everything and then pretty much quit shortly after 1990. And the population has more than doubled. Until the last couple of years, Atlanta did virtually nothing on transit or roads after the completion of 400.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:24 PM
bu2
 
9,218 posts, read 5,915,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Interesting the article says Atlanta also took a break on construction from 1967 until 1978.

And it mentions the "major flaw in the original system," combining 75 and 85.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:25 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 538,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
All the more reason we should stop relying on highways as the primary focus and a single point of failure.

We need to focus on developing alternatives.

Toll these major routes to fund them and divert other resources to developing alternatives.

We got to stop relying on political games to maintain infrastructure before it collapses.
My question is why GDOT is so under funded. Is the state and city truly hurting for money? Or are we seeing mismanagement somewhere? In the current economy and population I personally have a difficult time believing that the amount of tax payers we have is insufficient in covering one Interchange.

Although I definitely do agree we need transit and it definitely needs to be a focus. My question is... if our taxes are indeed being mismanaged, who's to say the same won't happen to our tolls? (This has technically occurred on GA-400 on a few accounts)
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:39 PM
 
10,131 posts, read 7,125,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
My question is why GDOT is so under funded. Is the state and city truly hurting for money? Or are we seeing mismanagement somewhere? In the current economy and population I personally have a difficult time believing that the amount of tax payers we have is insufficient in covering one Interchange.

Although I definitely do agree we need transit and it definitely needs to be a focus. My question is... if our taxes are indeed being mismanaged, who's to say the same won't happen to our tolls? (This has technically occurred on GA-400 on a few accounts)
"Mismanagement" is not really the major issue. We simply do not collect enough money to cover roads.

Roads are expensive. Our road network in most the US are over extended and underfunded. The highway trust fund is on the verge of bankruptcy.

As US metros have sprawled out, the miles of infrastructure to be covered per taxpayer has grown and reached unsustainable levels.

There is not the political will (nor does it make sense) to raise taxes enough to pay for our road network.

Sooner or later we will have to shift towards more user-based funding or scale back our over extended infrastructure (really some combination of both).
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:55 PM
 
5,771 posts, read 5,134,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
With this in mind, I guess one should also account that Spaghetti Junction ALSO links two of the most populated counties in the state. Gwinnett (Pop over 1 million I believe) and Fulton (Pop around 800-900k) and given that it was probably designed when both counties had only a quarter if not less than that population, it definitely is over encumbered.
That is a really good point that Spaghetti Junction serves as a link between the two most-populated counties in the state of Georgia in Gwinnett and Fulton counties.

Though, for the record, the official census estimate of Gwinnett County's population as of 2017 was 920,260, while the official census estimate of Fulton County's population as of 2017 was 1,041,023.

Fulton County officially has the larger population at this time, but Gwinnett County has been projected to pass Fulton County in population sometime within the next 10-15 years or so if current population growth trends continue.

It also should be mentioned that Fulton and Gwinnett counties are definitely not the only jurisdictions that generate traffic through and have an impact on the interchange.

The I-85/I-285 Northeast Tom Moreland Interchange (a.k.a. "Spaghetti Junction") is one of the busiest freeway interchanges in the nation, with much traffic in and on the interchange also being generated by motorists in other major metro Atlanta region counties like Cobb (755,754 residents in 2017) as well as from a county like DeKalb (753,253 pop. in 2017) where the famous/infamous interchange is located.

DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton and Cobb counties most likely are the four heaviest contributors of traffic to the interchange, by far. But traffic comes through the interchange from as far away as Hall County (GA), Tennessee, Kentucky, the Midwest, Florida, the Gulf Coast states, the Carolinas, and the Northeast.

Local commuter traffic obviously most likely makes up the largest amount of traffic that travels through the interchange, but longer-distance traffic (including long-distance travelers and truck traffic traveling to and through the area to other parts of the country) also makes up a noticeable chunk of the amount of traffic that travels through Spaghetti Junction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
I can't really say its poorly designed. I think outdated would be more accurate given it's current demands versus when it was concieved.
That is an excellent point. When Spaghetti Junction was completed in 1987, and for about the first decade or so of the interchange's existence, Spaghetti Junction was widely considered by many to be an engineering marvel that facilitated exponentially better movement of heavy traffic through the area than when the I-85/I-285 Northeast junction was served by a simple cloverleaf interchange.

But Atlanta's explosive metropolitan and regional population growth soon swamped the road with more traffic than even the redesigned interchange was designed to handle. After Atlanta's berth as host of the 1996 Olympics (and the explosive population growth spurt it generated in the late 1990's), traffic slowdowns through the interchange became more and more frequent during the time period from after the end of the '96 Olympics until the start of the economic slowdown in 2007-2008 before picking back up again coming out of the Great Recession in the early-mid 2010's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
I do agree with Sami regarding to ramp to Chamblee Tucker. It does seem odd but I believe it was cost efficiency that they were looking for in the placement of those ramps and the traffic they encountered seemed non threatening at that period.
Cost efficiency more than likely played a role in the placement of ramps between I-285 and Chamblee Tucker Road.

But another really huge factor in the placement of the ramps between I-285 and Chamblee Tucker Road (as it most likely was for the entire Spaghetti Junction interchange as well as for ramps to and from other nearby roads like Buford Highway and Northcrest and Pleasantdale roads) most likely also was the very limited amount of right-of-way that the roadway engineers had to work with while redesigning the I-85/I-285 interchange in what was already a very heavily developed area when the redesign of the I-85/I-285 Northeast junction started in the late 1970's.

Acquiring land that either is already developed, or is planned to be developed can get very expensive and very messy politically, particularly when it comes to both existing residences and (especially) high-dollar tax revenue-generating commercial property... The type of high-dollar tax revenue-generating commercial property that closely and tightly surrounds the I-85/I-285 Northeast interchange, and the type of high-dollar tax revenue-generating commercial property that the local governments of the City of Doraville and DeKalb County most assuredly do not want to be disrupted or eliminated by the expansion of the freeway system because of the money that those commercial properties generate for those governing bodies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
If I were to re-design Spaghetti Junction, I would likely segregate traffic exiting to I-85 at the junction for Peachtree Industrial Blvd. I would also likely have the I-85 lanes far to the right, P.I.B lanes toward the center, and thru lanes I-285 and to Buford Hwy in the left. P.I.B would exit via a set of braided ramps underneath the I-85 carriage ramps. The same for Buford Hwy, and Chamblee Tucker. Another HUGE thing I would fix is that bottle neck after the ramp meets I-85 N where it merges into 1 lane a bit too early. That would take some creativity and possibly some concrete ugliness (by keeping the ramp in the air until after it crosses over Pleasantdale Rd.) But I think it is possible.
Those are really good ideas for changing traffic patterns to better handle traffic movements along Interstates 285 and 85.

But just keep in mind the significant right-of-way constraints that would have to be taken into account if and when the I-285 and I-85 right-of-ways were to be redesigned.

The areas around the interchange and along the I-285 and I-85 right-of-ways is so heavily-developed that any further expansion of roadway infrastructure along those corridors most likely would be completely out of the question.

Any improvements, upgrades and expansions to the Spaghetti Junction interchanges and the I-285 and I-85 corridors that lead into it probably would most assuredly have to be done within the already limited and constrained existing right-of-ways of that interchange and those roadways.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:07 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 538,406 times
Reputation: 1047
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
"Mismanagement" is not really the major issue. We simply do not collect enough money to cover roads.

Roads are expensive. Our road network in most the US are over extended and underfunded. The highway trust fund is on the verge of bankruptcy.

As US metros have sprawled out, the miles of infrastructure to be covered per taxpayer has grown and reached unsustainable levels.

There is not the political will (nor does it make sense) to raise taxes enough to pay for our road network.

Sooner or later we will have to shift towards more user-based funding or scale back our over extended infrastructure (really some combination of both).
I don't know about that. Georgia's DOT funding is pretty low in comparison to most of the country. Yes I don't doubt that road infrastructure across the nation is suffering, but Georgia's is abnormally low. I believe at 2 Billion Annually. Illinois for example I believe is at 4 Billion Annually and while even they have trouble keeping up with their road infrastructure, you can imagine it's all the more difficult with half the budget and almost as many roads. I would say if GADOT had a $4 Billion annual fund we may have seen improvements in interchanges like I-20 / I-285 E/W, I-285 and US78 and so forth by this point. So I'm questioning if Georgia is really giving GA DOT all it can or if GA DOT is of lesser priority to the state.
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