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Old 03-16-2011, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,379,420 times
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I will driving from Virginia to Columbus next week, and according to Google maps, the way to get there is through i-70 through Pennsylvania. I found the following information about I-70 in Wikipedia:

"The 38 miles (61 km) of I-70 between Washington, Pennsylvania and New Stanton, Pennsylvania is a sub-standard section of the highway. This section of I-70 used to be Pennsylvania Route 71. It is characterized by sharp curves, limited sight distance, narrow shoulders, and lack of merge lanes at interchanges. Traffic on clover leaf ramps must weave in the right through lane of traffic due to the lack of a third lane for entering and exiting traffic. Other on and off ramps effectively function as RIRO, making for a nervewracking entrance if traffic is approaching. The speed limit on this stretch is 55 mph (90 km/h)"


I was wondering if anyone that drives this section of I-70 can share your experience. Is that accurate? Is it as "nervewracking" as described?

Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 4,197,433 times
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It's substandard, but it's not as bad as they make it out to be. You can check it out on Google Maps with Streetview.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:07 PM
 
4,272 posts, read 11,031,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesky View Post
I was wondering if anyone that drives this section of I-70 can share your experience. Is that accurate? Is it as "nervewracking" as described?
It is accurate. Nervewracking is in the eye of the beholder.

In addition, the I-70 section west of Breezewood (itself an interesting study in the enduring legacy of bureaucratic nonsense) to and through the Allegheny Tunnel on the PA Turnpike is often bothersome to out-staters, its curves and narrow median reflect 1940 construction of "America's First Superhighway" not current standards. The interchanges (because fewer of them, and all rebuilt) allow more merge room than the westernmost section of I-70 though.

I-68 is a much more modern road, although one does need to slow down for Cumberland and its tight curve staying in MD rather than obliterating Ridgeley, WV - and it's constant up-down-up-down vs. the more even profile of the PA Turnpike.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,848 posts, read 21,007,992 times
Reputation: 16517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesky View Post
I will driving from Virginia to Columbus next week, and according to Google maps, the way to get there is through i-70 through Pennsylvania. I found the following information about I-70 in Wikipedia:

"The 38 miles (61 km) of I-70 between Washington, Pennsylvania and New Stanton, Pennsylvania is a sub-standard section of the highway. This section of I-70 used to be Pennsylvania Route 71. It is characterized by sharp curves, limited sight distance, narrow shoulders, and lack of merge lanes at interchanges. Traffic on clover leaf ramps must weave in the right through lane of traffic due to the lack of a third lane for entering and exiting traffic. Other on and off ramps effectively function as RIRO, making for a nervewracking entrance if traffic is approaching. The speed limit on this stretch is 55 mph (90 km/h)"


I was wondering if anyone that drives this section of I-70 can share your experience. Is that accurate? Is it as "nervewracking" as described?

Thanks!
The median is tight, but if you keep right except to pass like you're supposed to, it shouldn't be a problem. Some of the on- and off-ramps are shorter than normal, but I've never feared for my safety on that segment of highway. It, along with the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Irwin and Carlisle, I-376 through Pittsburgh and I-76 in Philadelphia, are Pennsylvania's pre-Interstate Interstates.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 4,197,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
It is accurate. Nervewracking is in the eye of the beholder.

In addition, the I-70 section west of Breezewood (itself an interesting study in the enduring legacy of bureaucratic nonsense) to and through the Allegheny Tunnel on the PA Turnpike is often bothersome to out-staters, its curves and narrow median reflect 1940 construction of "America's First Superhighway" not current standards. The interchanges (because fewer of them, and all rebuilt) allow more merge room than the westernmost section of I-70 though.

I-68 is a much more modern road, although one does need to slow down for Cumberland and its tight curve staying in MD rather than obliterating Ridgeley, WV - and it's constant up-down-up-down vs. the more even profile of the PA Turnpike.
Yeah...the OP could do 68-79-70... that'd also avoid tolls.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,848 posts, read 21,007,992 times
Reputation: 16517
Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
...the I-70 section west of Breezewood (itself an interesting study in the enduring legacy of bureaucratic nonsense) to and through the Allegheny Tunnel on the PA Turnpike is often bothersome to out-staters, its curves and narrow median reflect 1940 construction of "America's First Superhighway" not current standards.
Once they decide what they're going to do with their Allegheny Mountain alignment, whether it be building a new set of tubes or a large mountain pass, the segment of the Turnpike between Allegheny Mountain and Breezewood will be totally reconstructed.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:15 PM
 
3,603 posts, read 5,649,478 times
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I drove that stretch eastbound when I first moved to PA 4 years ago. I don't remember it at all. That's not to say it's not hazardous. But I don't remember it at all, so therefore it doesn't stand out in my mind as a "nervewracking" experience. Perhaps I was blissfully ignorant. Always be vigilant when driving, watch for road hazards rather than playing with handheld devices, and drive at a safe speed.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
39,249 posts, read 69,735,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesky View Post
I was wondering if anyone that drives this section of I-70 can share your experience. Is that accurate? Is it as "nervewracking" as described?
All that and more! Fortunately, it's a short stretch. The acceleration and deceleration lanes for exits are short, short, short, and often are at the bottoms of hills. Whee. The road is skinny and curvy. The majority of the drivers () pay no heed to any of this, and zip around the drivers who do.

Stay in the left lane through Washington, Pa. (also, avoid the McDonald's on U.S. 40) The locals use I-70 as their main street, getting on one exit and getting off at the next, not bothering to get up to highway speed in the interim. And you've got I-79 merging and running concurrently with I-70 for a short stretch. Once you get west of Washington, however, and into West Virginia, it's smooth sailing.

On the other hand ... it's a pretty drive, and fascinating, because so much life is so close to the road, unlike modern highways. You'll see livestock grazing a few yards away from the road, small towns right up against and/or straddling the highway, quaint farmhouses, etc. In a few weeks, the spring trees will be budding, and the woods surrounding will be absolutely gorgeous.
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