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Breezewood, 'A Pennsylvania Highway Town at the Junction of Politics and Policy '

I’ve driven through this dump late at night when I just wanted to get home, an hour away. It was one of the most Twilight-Zone experiences, leaving the freeway to meander through the most-crowded strip-mall in the US. I stopped once to orient myself, but it got worse in the Anonymous Diner with the waitress with the impossibly-colored hair and stiff polyester dress. I’d have felt sorry for her if I hadn’t felt so bad myself.

I stopped for the night in that town, sometime back in the early '70s. Apparently the town hasn’t gotten any prettier, or any less congested, than it was back in those days,

Things like this are all over the country. The one in PA is probably the worse one I’ve ever heard of.

We have a small interstate political issue in NH. We have a mall in Nashua NH right on the border. There’s and entrance to go North or South on Rt3 right from the mall. And an exit from the North bound for the mall. But no South bound exit. Instead you have to get off at exit 1 (about a mile north of the mall) and crawl your way down past strip-mall after strip-mall to get to the Pheasant Lane Mall. The businesses in those strip-malls lobbied extremely hard to ensure there’s no south bound exit on Rt3. Doesn’t matter if traffic is a NIGHTMARE - especially during Christmas season. It’s not unheard of to take a good 45 minutes to travel that 1 mile during on a Saturday during Christmas Season to get to the Mall.

Can’t you drive past the mall, across the Massachusetts line, get off at the next exit, get on going north? Clearly that mall was built to sell to us flatlanders who pay sales taxes.

And, liquor is cheaper in California. Who knew?

When you match problems like this with the problems the gov’t seems to have anyway, yeah, I can see some practical problems with coming up w/any infrastructure plan soon. No harm trying tho.

Alternate title:

Since Obama’s Building Splurge Ignored This Obvious Trouble Spot For Eight Years,…


The real reason they didn’t put an off ramp there (Nashua) is that many people would have lost their homes.

Why don’t you drive on to the MA 113 exit at Tyngsborough and then come back on Middlesex?

There are four places in the US where Interstate highways are not complete to Interstate standards. Breezewood is the worst one. It is that way because a congressman owns a business there that benefits from traffic going through the town. The two parts of the highway cross each other at an overpass south of Breezewood. It would be simple to add connections bypassing Breezewood.

I-95 is not complete through New Jersey because environmentalists blocked completion of the highway. You have to use I-295 and I-195 to make the connection. They are now constructing an interchange at Newportville PA to connect I-95 to I-276 to complete I-95.

I-78 follows surface streets in Newport NJ to enter the Holland Tunnel to New York City.

I-90 crosses the Chicago Skyway, which has no divider strip and does not conform to Interstate Highway Standards in other ways.

Yeah, I’ve driven the Skyway many times and it was always littered with crashed vehicles.


There is no such place as "Newport, NJ."
Perhaps you are referring to Jersey City, NJ.
There is a condo development (and an adjoining shopping mall) within Jersey City that are both named “Newport”, and they are located about 1/4 mile from the route to the Holland Tunnel, but “Newport” is not a census-designated place, and it is definitely not a municipality.

In any event, after I-78 traverses most of the State of NJ as a non-toll road, it joins-up with the Hudson County Extension of the NJ Turnpike (a toll road), and the stretch of I-78 from Newark-Liberty Airport to…almost…the entrance to the Holland Tunnel is actually the turnpike’s Hudson County Extension. This part of the turnpike ends a few blocks from the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, so technically it does traverse surface streets before you come to the tollbooths for the tunnel, but the distance is…maybe…3/4 of a mile.

In a state that is as built-up and as congested as NJ is, there really wouldn’t be any practicable way to build another East-West Highway from Newark-Liberty Airport to The Holland Tunnel.


This might clarify the matter for you:

There was a design in place that would not have displaced any homes.

They should either not sign those surface streets and the tunnel as I-78, or convert those streets to Interstate standards.

Google Maps shows it as Newport NJ. Otherwise, I would have used Jersey City.

I am looking at Nashua on Google Maps. Bearing in mind that the collector-distributor road system would have to be extended, I don’t see any room for a ramp without tearing down most of the buildings on the east side of Brook Village Road. Either that, or the traffic on the ramp would have to go through the intersection at exit 1.

Those ramps were not put there to service one shopping center. They were put there by Massachusetts to handle US 3 traffic when the freeway to the south was built, but the freeway to the north (built by NH) was not yet built. That was the end-of-freeway interchange. It was left there to provide for a missing movement at the next major interchange to the north.

Clearly, you have no familiarity with the area, which makes your suggestions unrealistic. Because of the congested, urban nature of the area, those surface streets contain 4 heavily-trafficked intersections where north-south traffic crosses the route to The Holland Tunnel. That necessitates a traffic light at each of those intersections. How in the world could you “convert those streets to Interstate standards” when that relatively short stretch is traversed by 4 intersections, each with a traffic light?

Before you suggest that a flyover should be constructed, you should be aware that the funding for that type of project simply does not exist, nor is there space to construct one.

highway department is trying really hard to remove all entering/exiting from the 4 lane highway which runs from my former home town to Minneapolis. a route of 80miles. about midway there was a truckstop that is about 100 ft from highway. they removed exit/entrance which was controlled by a stoplight intersection. they put in a nice overpass exit about 1 mile south. truckstop is closed now. i talked to highway engineer and asked why they could not have left exit lane on right shoulder to allow exit traffic into truckstop at least? they said traffic studies showed that people slowing to exit highway cause issues with folks who decide to not exit. engineer also said 90% of accidents were caused by cross traffic thru stoplight. and almost none were caused by folks entering and exiting roadway. so, they could have left an exit/entrance at spot and removed the crosstraffic median but no.

Then they should sign it as ending just before those traffic lights and not include the tunnel in I-78.