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sashyenka Apr 26, 2011 4:33 AM

Anecdotally, as someone who drives the stretch from Wadsworth/287 in Broomfield on 36 all the way into Boulder (at Baseline) nearly each day, I find it amusing/terrifying each morning to see how the grooves in each lane grow both deeper and continue to creep further along the highway. That road hasn't been paved in decades other than in very small patches where they've added an exit here and there.

Cirrus Apr 26, 2011 1:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5255030)
There's a difference between repaving and routine maintenance. This is unusually bad.

The worse it gets the more expensive it is to fix.

http://beyonddc.com/nonweb/forSSP/66tip.png

That's $70 million to repave less than 6 miles of interstate. And by the sounds of it, 36 is in worse shape than I-66.

I mean, you could be right. Maybe CDOT is intentionally waiting until 36 gets all torn up for RTD work anyway. My point is just that repaving an interstate-grade highway isn't something you can just go out and do. It's a major project.

bunt_q Apr 26, 2011 2:10 PM

True true. Odd that these projects would be measured just by miles of interstate. If not total SY of pavement surface area, at least lane-miles. How many lanes is that 5,6 mile segment, any idea?

Cirrus Apr 26, 2011 2:59 PM

3 lanes in each direction, with shoulders that open to traffic at peak periods, increasing to 4 lanes each way. I don't know if they're repaving the shoulders or not.

Wizened Variations Apr 26, 2011 3:08 PM

Transportation Demand relative to Money
 
The irony of changing long term transportation patterns is that government jurisdictions have difficulty tearing down what infrastructure there is, because so many people use it as it is.

Parts of I-25 have over 200,000 vehicle passages per day. Likewise I-70, the Boulder Turnpike, and I-225 have very large traffic volumes.

Consequently, both for political and practical reasons, in Denver (and in other US and arterial dominated foreign cities), the highest priority is basic road service maintanence on high usage roads. This includes snow removal, signage upkeep, lighting, and, surface repair.

The costs of maintanence for road maintanence (and construction) is following the same escalating cost curve that public transportation maintanence (and construction) is facing. As the total basket of available funding continues to drop in real dollars, the political competition for money between the two naturally will continue to increase.

Adding mode usage and the politics that usage implies, highway maintanence- including resurfacing- will have highest priority for the the transportation dollar in the foreseeable future.

Lastly, the vast proportion of the highway grid is public property which insulates DOTs across America from property speculation, while isolating these organizations from the political expression of popular will. Usage is perceived as free by the users, and, the right to this perception of freedom is very entrenched in the American psyche.

So based upon these axioms, we can assume that the LAST part of the transportation equation that will be seriously cut back will be highway maintanence. This will be true even if the current economic decline continues until our per capital income is 50% or even 25% of what it is in 2011.

Of course the condition of the secondary streets and the condition of major infrastructural pieces that cannot be repaired with a 4-6" layer of asphalt will become hellish.

A last stick in the mud

In real dollars, the federal and state gasoline tax has been dropping for many years. As real costs continue to rise at a fast (and likely accelerating) rate, the gap between desired funding and real needs will continue to widen. IMO to fill the gap now would require an additional $.50 tax for both diesel and gasoline, and, that is in our current eroding dollars. Also, IMO, this tax will be among the last taxes that will be increased, so the US can look forward to highways decaying even more rapidly than now.

ski82 Apr 26, 2011 9:53 PM

DIA drops plan for Calatrava bridge
 
DIA drops plan for Calatrava bridge

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_17932492


From Denver Post. Bummer, but probably not feasable to build in this environment anyway. With the relatively low cost of the bridge they are going to build, hopefully we can put this bridge on the "maybe someday" shelf.

The Dirt Apr 26, 2011 10:08 PM

Put the saved funds into the terminal, I say!

glowrock Apr 26, 2011 10:12 PM

Beat me to it, ski82. The Dirt, they're not going to put funds in the terminal, they'll probably get set aside for some sort of low-level maintenance fund for the next decade or so... :(

Next thing you know, the entire project will be scrapped, and the hotel will end up being an Econo Lodge, the train terminal being a few plastic tarps...

Aaron (Glowrock)

bunt_q Apr 26, 2011 10:25 PM

Jeez, I put that in the DIA thread.

EngiNerd Apr 26, 2011 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5255000)
Or if your tires don't line up perfectly then it's constantly pulling you toward the center concrete barrier.

The problem with that highway, is that the ruts are not caused from the roadway surface wearing out, it is because of the awful clay soils in that area.
Think of it like pushing your fist into a muddy clay soil when you were a kid, and the sides of the soil bulge up around your fist, that is what is happening along that highway.

Hwy 36 will take a big rework of the road base for it to not happen again, which will escalate the price of repair substantially.

The Dirt Apr 26, 2011 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EngiNerd (Post 5256355)
The problem with that highway, is that the ruts are not caused from the roadway surface wearing out, it is because of the awful clay soils in that area.
Think of it like pushing your fist into a muddy clay soil when you were a kid, and the sides of the soil bulge up around your fist, that is what is happening along that highway.

Hwy 36 will take a big rework of the road base for it to not happen again, which will escalate the price of repair substantially.

That must be why half the outdoor portion of Flatirons Mall had to be demolished. The topography of that area would have been really cool for some kind of Italian-style town with narrow alleys, and windy roads, but alas, this is Colorado, so we got a mall.

bunt_q Apr 26, 2011 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EngiNerd (Post 5256355)
The problem with that highway, is that the ruts are not caused from the roadway surface wearing out, it is because of the awful clay soils in that area.
Think of it like pushing your fist into a muddy clay soil when you were a kid, and the sides of the soil bulge up around your fist, that is what is happening along that highway.

Hwy 36 will take a big rework of the road base for it to not happen again, which will escalate the price of repair substantially.

My roommate in college (who was with Kiewit at the time) was working on some of those office buildings they were doing in that area (for L3 at the time, maybe?), along 120th Ave/Hwy 128, I believe. I remember they lime treated the hell out of those soils, for exactly the opposite problem.

dmintz Apr 26, 2011 11:50 PM

draft plan of denver moves has been posted- http://denvermoves.org/denver-moves-...-january-2011/

It seems rather unambitious compared to what other cities are doing these days with bike infrastructure.

EngiNerd Apr 27, 2011 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5256371)
My roommate in college (who was with Kiewit at the time) was working on some of those office buildings they were doing in that area (for L3 at the time, maybe?), along 120th Ave/Hwy 128, I believe. I remember they lime treated the hell out of those soils, for exactly the opposite problem.

Actually you lime treat soils for exactly the same problem, expansive clay soils. Rock Creek is one of the worst areas in the front range for expansive soils, the Flatirons Mall has had a TON of problems because of it.

The clays are highly plastic, and tend to deform under load if not properly compacted. That is what is happening along Hwy 36, they are deforming. Its all related. Lime treatment can lower the plasticity of the clay soils, and even helps strengthen them over time.

Wizened Variations Apr 27, 2011 3:12 PM

These occurrences of thick bentonitic volcanic ash deposits in metropolitan Denver have been known for a century, yet too often building sites have not been adequately mapped by developers. All that one has to do is set up a grid of 25-50 meter spacing and drill wells with a trunk mounted water well drill rig and look at the cuttings.

The Flatirons Malls problem could have been drastically reduced just by going to the CU's or the Colorado School of Mines geology/geological engineering department and having a nice long chat.

This, to me, is a symptom of much of the poor planning common in Denver since the late '50s. In this case, the poor planning relates to becoming entranced with site location at the expense of doing simple geological homework.

(I will not mention deliberate malice of forethought...because most of us know about that...)

This would have resulted in a 99%+ savings on the expense due to future remediation.

Oh well.

SnyderBock Apr 27, 2011 8:44 PM

Who cares.

Wizened Variations May 2, 2011 3:09 AM

Who cares?
 
Too Few of Us....

Outside of this communitee which stretches across a few websites, most people in Denver have not read the handwriting on the wall.

"And the band played on..."

Everything around us is changing in front of our eyes- not in technological sense as much as in an economic and geopolitical sense.

We really are going to need FasTracks- no matter what the compromise could have been- because WE ARE REALLY GOING TO NEED IT!

That's the big Joke. We really, no BS, are going to become poorer, people!

So those that had advocated open an highspeed, efficient, and theoretical…steel rail system are going to use the build out largely designed by property developing interests. However, had the property developing interests not been involved no System would ever have been built. And yet, had the transportation engineers and theoreticians not been involved, nothing but a short, Phoenix, AZ, like light rail system (running down Broadway and up Lincoln would have been running by 2015 (Bunt Q's line makes more sense now)) equipped with really shiny cool looking streetcars..

SnyderBock May 2, 2011 7:30 AM

Our passenger trains are going to collapse into sink holes from volcanic ash layers below? I can't seem to follow your train of thought. Are you complaining about the location of a planned TOD, because it's built on volcanic ash?

bcp May 2, 2011 3:31 PM

i'm really starting to think that RTD may not know what they are doing when it comes to urban transit stations...i participated in many of the meetings / committees for the 38th / Blake street station...they seem to listen WAY too much to people that are concerned with anti-urban sentiment.

what started as a dense urban station plan has turned into:

- auto oriented street changes
- an overly sensitve concern for exsiting low-density neighbors rather than recognizing its dense urban potential
- a focus on parking lots
- a goal / expectation that it will be used by commuters who DRIVE there and park rather than an urban TOD

if RTD is strapped for cash, sell the land surrounding the station and developers would be happy to step up

SnyderBock May 2, 2011 9:38 PM

maybe one day, the parking lots around new rail stations, will be redeveloped into medium-high density mixed-use projects. I agree though, RTD's stations all tend to be "suburban." They seem to push the first ring of TOD out farther away from the station. I think conservatives passing state laws, have had something to do with this.


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