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Old 10-11-2016, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,580 posts, read 1,708,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
Ive never heard of Jasper considered as suburbia but fine. They were using 78 just fine to get here. However the increased truck traffic from Memphis because of Birmingham's status as a transit hub overloaded the route and made it dangerous. So 22 became a necessity.

This Cecil Ashburn Rd doesnt have that status.
I've driven I-22 between Hamilton, AL and Tupelo, MS many times, and there's hardly any traffic at all on it. I don't know what it's like between Hamilton and B'ham, but it's probably close to the same.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:47 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 2,091,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmrisko View Post
Just like 72 should be 3 lanes, at least past CLR. They also need frontage roads, similar to the Beltline in Decatur.
Yeah, 72 is a mess. But some of that would be helped if capshaw was 4 lane.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,787 posts, read 13,361,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDawg View Post
I've driven I-22 between Hamilton, AL and Tupelo, MS many times, and there's hardly any traffic at all on it. I don't know what it's like between Hamilton and B'ham, but it's probably close to the same.
It isn't a reasonable conclusion to assume that the same patterns and volume would exist on the end closer to Birmingham. The old route still exists by way of 78 & 5 & 278 & 178. So people don't have to use it if they don't want to...but the through trucks will, interstate travelers do. So basically what has happened is all the overwhelming traffic that was forced down a 2 lane highway with crosstraffic and a hundred stoplights is now split between a 6 lane interstate and a highway. It would have been very disheartening to spend all that time, effort and money and end up with a new interstate that can just barely handle current traffic patterns and as stated, the old route hasn't completely evaporated. The section you are talking about is fairly rural. And I am very familiar with what 78 was like before 22 as I grew up on the west side of Birmingham and I have relatives in Memphis and made the trip several times during the construction. The interstate was vastly needed. Once 22's exits start to develop, more of that casual short range town to town traffic may migrate over to it.

Last edited by Tourian; 10-11-2016 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,580 posts, read 1,708,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
It isn't a reasonable conclusion to assume that the same patterns and volume would exist on the end closer to Birmingham. The old route still exists by way of 78 & 5 & 278 & 178. So people don't have to use it if they don't want to...but the through trucks will, interstate travelers do. So basically what has happened is all the overwhelming traffic that was forced down a 2 lane highway with crosstraffic and a hundred stoplights is now split between a 6 lane interstate and a highway. It would have been very disheartening to spend all that time, effort and money and end up with a new interstate that can just barely handle current traffic patterns and as stated, the old route hasn't completely evaporated. The section you are talking about is fairly rural. And I am very familiar with what 78 was like before 22 as I grew up on the west side of Birmingham and I have relatives in Memphis and made the trip several times during the construction. The interstate was vastly needed. Once 22's exits start to develop, more of that casual short range town to town traffic may migrate over to it.
Well of course traffic is going to get heavier when you get nearer Birmingham. It's like that when you approach any sizable town.

You were just saying how critical I-22 is for truck traffic from Birmingham to Memphis, and I was pointing out that there's very little traffic at all on that stretch, whether it be truck or passenger vehicle.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDawg View Post
Well of course traffic is going to get heavier when you get nearer Birmingham. It's like that when you approach any sizable town.

You were just saying how critical I-22 is for truck traffic from Birmingham to Memphis, and I was pointing out that there's very little traffic at all on that stretch, whether it be truck or passenger vehicle.

Then we'll just have to conclude that your assessment of 22 traffic being very little must mean that Cecil Ashburn traffic is infinitesimal, because it didn't draw the attention of ALDOT, TDOT and MDOT and the US Federal Government going back to the 1950s.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
3,580 posts, read 1,708,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
Then we'll just have to conclude that your assessment of 22 traffic being very little must mean that Cecil Ashburn traffic is infinitesimal, because it didn't draw the attention of ALDOT, TDOT and MDOT and the US Federal Government going back to the 1950s.
The correct conclusion would be that I've only driven on Cecil Ashburn two or three times since it was built. I think the current issues is not so much the volume of traffic, but the safety aspect of a mountainous section of roadway that's 4-lane divided that narrows to two lanes, and it's only a couple miles long. And of course, most drive too fast for the conditions.

Corridor X, or what has now become I-22, presumably was conceived in the 1950s when Birmingham was by far the largest city and metro in the state. It's now about the same size as it was then, while Huntsville has gone from 15,000 to near 200,000 and Madison County to over 350,000 ... with basically the same roadway layout with a few improvements.

Much of B'ham's traffic is thru traffic because interstate highways converge there. And that's with good reason ... as I mentioned, it was the center of the state at the time. Times have changed though.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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Lol. Ok i see what the problem is now. You think Birmingham metro hasnt grown since the 50s and now believe Huntsville is the driving economic force in Alabama. Wrong on both.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:35 PM
 
162 posts, read 153,026 times
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I expect I-22 will get as much traffic as I-59, which is not much in comparison to the heavy hitters (I-20 and I-65). It was a really quiet interstate before it got connected. You drive this beautiful empty highway in the middle of nowhere and say "so this is where my tax dollars go!" I'm sure Fedex or some other Memphis business appreciates the contribution, though.

Just glad they finally finished the interchange. But they've been keeping the I-65 speed limit at 60 going north. I watched someone get the blue light special last month when they zipped by me at about 75 just north of Birmingham.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
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I appreciate the irony of a couple people that claim they utilize it regularly that insist it is "empty" and a waste of tax payer dollars. Sigh, if only they had built the ATL-HSV-MEM highway instead. That one wouldve been gridlock from day one.

It is still ludicrous to compare an interstate to an in town surface road. HSV cant even blame another town on this one as the road and the development it feeds are all inside the city...or the majority of it it appears. It isnt like the usual squabbles that come up when city A doesnt want to fix/expand/build a road for suburb B's drivers. But that is what annexation for the sake of annexation causes. Services get spread too thin. Huntsville is physically the largest city but it only causes problems like this if you dont have the means to provide adequate infrastructure. Waiting around and crying for help from the government because of a self inflicted problem is not a good look.

Last edited by Tourian; 10-12-2016 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:59 PM
 
162 posts, read 153,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
I appreciate the irony of a couple people that claim they utilize it regularly that insist it is "empty" and a waste of tax payer dollars. Sigh, if only they had built the ATL-HSV-MEM highway instead. That one wouldve been gridlock from day one.
Dang, if only I'd have looked in the mirror, I could have proven that I-22 isn't empty! Maybe next time I'm out there.

But seriously, since the Internet hates facts, I thought I'd go find the average daily traffic figures for the interstates feeding in/out of Birmingham. I picked cities 30-40 miles out, to minimize the effects of Birmingham local traffic.
  • I-65 north, near Colony: 40-45K vehicles per day
  • I-65 south, near Calera: 35-40K vehicles per day
  • I-20 east, near Riverside: 40-45K vehicles per day
  • I-20 west, near Woodstock: 50-55K vehicles per day
  • I-59 near Springville: 20-25K vehicles per day
  • I-22 near Jasper: 15-20K vehicles per day
Now, this is 2015 traffic and I'm sure I-22 will get busier once people know it's out there. It took Huntsville a while to fill up I-565 with what occasionally looks like traffic (50-55K vehicles per day near the airport, but that's mostly local traffic). I-22 could someday rival I-59, which was my earlier guesstimate.

On a side note, wow, a lot of people drive between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

And who's collecting all this traffic data? What a waste of taxpayer dollars! Just kidding, I like statistics.
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