Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lane Excuses

I've never understood why I-55 is three lanes for 30 miles north of Springfield and, what, 10 or 20 miles south of town, but going around the city it's just two lanes each way. There is more traffic and more entering and exiting the highway around Springfield than north or south of it. This sort of explains it but still seems odd to me.
“Our interchanges there are obsolete. As that traffic count continues to grow, you start exceeding capacity. Your interchanges get clogged up, then people start having accidents trying to get onto the interstate,” said Bill Frey, program development engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Frey also explained why the roughly six-mile section of I-55 between Sangamon Avenue and Interstate 72 was not six lanes when design work began for the U.S. Interstate 55 Bypass in the early 1960s.

“At that point, Springfield was a departure and destination community. Everybody was coming to Springfield and not going around Springfield,” said Fry.
Finally, they're going to look into adding an additional lane around Springfield. That's good news. (But 6.5 MILLION dollars to just study the idea?)

Perhaps Paul McCartney complained about the lane situation and now IDOT is taking notice.

1 comment:

JeromeProphet said...

Interesting. I guess from a local standpoint it may seem confusing, but if we look at the Interstate from a national standpoint then it makes sense - at least back when it was designed.