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South Wakeman Corridor/Tdot Overview

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South Wakeman Corridor Project

The purpose of this project is to construct a new limited-access freeway alignment on the south banks of the Cascadia River, running through the Cascadia Gorge, in order to better link up this area, including the City of Wakeman, to the surrounding parts of the region. The southern alignment was deemed to be a more cost-effective option, due to the fact the route would only have to cross the Bruford River, rather than a large stretch of both the Cascadia and Bruford Rivers at their convergence, just northeast of Wakeman. Wakeman is also expected to expand to the south, so a southern alignment will better accomodate future growth, though there is an option for the construction of an eventual north-south spur route on the west edge of the city.

This is the west edge of the Bruford River where the new freeway will cross. Shown here is the eastern terminus of Highway 24 (Wakeman Boulevard) at the existing Highway 28, which has a two-lane crossing of the Bruford River. The new freeway's crossing of the Bruford will follow the same general alignment. (Looking east)


This is the east edge of the Bruford crossing, where Highway 28 meets with Highway 289. (looking north)


Construction begins on the approach to the new bridge, on the west end. (both facing east) As you'll see in the second pic, Highway 24 will also be re-routed slightly. Eventually, an interchange will be built here.




And now for a little overview of how TDOT handles a couple of rather important tasks. The first of these is route numbering. The TDOT system has some similarity to the systems used for the US Highway and Interstate system, but also draws upon the Oregon highway numbering system and has some unique elements of its own.

There are three classes of highways under TDOT jurisdiction.

The first of these is Primary Routes. The Primary Routes are effectively the major freeways running through the region. These routes always use single-digit numbers, with the north-south routes carrying odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) and the east-west routes carrying even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8 ). The odd numbers increase from west to east, and the even numbers increase from north to south.

Primary Route Shield


The second of these is the Secondary Route System. These routes always carry double-digit numbers, with again, the NS routes carrying odd numbers and EW routes carrying even numbers. These routes vary in the standards at which they are built--some are freeway-grade routes, up to the standards of the Primary Routes (sometimes called "Sesquitary" routes, after the Latin sesqui, for 1.5), or are partially freeway-grade, though some are also 2-lane routes and some are routed down surface streets.

Secondary Route Shield


The third of these is the Tertiary Route System. Tertiary routes carry three-digit numbers. They are similar in their condition to Secondary Routes, but are, by and large, relatively short routes. The first two digits are assigned by the county in which the route "starts" (based on the southern or western terminus), and the second by the direction.

A few County Codes are as follows:

Palmer County (Wakeman): 28X

Emerson County (Argentum): 34X

Delos County (Los Endos): 40X

Tertiary Route Shield


The new South Wakeman Corridor freeway, once it is completed through the Cascadia River Gorge, will carry a route number of 2. You may have noticed on some of my previous maps, that Highway 4 in Argentum is routed down some surface streets . . . that's actually a temporary routing roughly following the eventual freeway route. I'll be showing a few updates in Argentum in relatively short order (possibly next update, in fact).

Another thing which TDOT controls region-wide is the setting of speed limits, something very similar to the Oregon Department of Transportation's Speed Zoning Program.

TDOT engineers from the Traffic Management Division (based in Los Endos), usually in cooperation with local city and county authorities, set speed limits on all public roadways. TDOT, unlike ODOT, does not specify "statutory" speed limits, in which a certain type of road has a default, unsigned speed limit (i.e. 25mph for residential streets), which are overriden by Speed Zone Orders. Instead, the Speed Zone Orders are the rule rather than the exception, though a city or county "blanket" limit may apply in certain situations, merely because of the sheer amount of work signing every little side street would entail.

A sample of a TDOT Speed Zone Order is shown below, for Argentum Boulevard--complete with some legalese, too.


That's it for Update 40--hope you enjoyed it, and I'll be back with more construction next time! And we're approaching the big #600 . . . looks like someone will be getting "on the map" shortly . . .

-Alex (Tarkus)

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