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Author Topic: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX  (Read 672 times)

Brian556

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Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« on: July 27, 2017, 10:40:21 AM »

The southbound side thru Lewisville is done, so you can now experience the final product, and its really crummy.

Problems:
1. The lanes are to narrow.
2. The lanes shift abruptly outward to accommodate express lane entrances/exits.
3. Express lane exits very close to right side mainlane exits. Basically, they expect drivers exiting the express lanes to cross four main lanes in appx 1000 ft or less. I don't understand for the life of me how they can get away with something this stupid.
4. No left shoulder

The design is lousy, and is going to lead to I-35E continuing to have an above average accident rate even after completion.

Also, during construction, conditions have been absolutely atrocious. Just yesterday, on the northbound side, where paving has yet to be completed, I found that they had milled off the top layer, and huge chunks of the layer below that had also popped out, leaning it incredibly rough, and they had traffic running on those conditions. Not only that, my car was continuously being peppered by sand and gravel that had not been properly swept up from the milling.

The accident rate during this project has been extremely high. Somebody needs to do an investigation of this, and changes to freeway work zone practice need to be implemented. Its like they don't give a rat's a**.

I have not seen TxDOT inspectors on this project like you typically see on all others. Hmmmm...

The news in Orlando reports that there ahs not been an increase in accidents on I-4 during construction, and that road has traditionally had a very high accident rate to begin with. What are they doing differently?

This has to have been the most unsafe work zone ever, and all for a piss poor final product.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 03:14:15 PM »

That's disappointing. I have been looking forward to experiencing the final project for this project.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 03:24:28 PM »

I drove through that area on Tuesday. :-o

I made the mistake of going that direction, after taking the wrong entrance ramp to I-635. My girlfriend and I had just watched the movie Dunkirk (projected in IMAX 15-perf 70mm film) at the Cinemark theater at LBJ & Webb Chapel and were fixing to head back home or at least find some place to eat dinner. The very first on-ramp for I-635 just West of the intersection at Webb Chapel doesn't actually enter I-635. That's despite TWO I-635 West sign posts pointing to that on-ramp. The on-ramp is really an entrance to the I-35E Express lanes. Once you're on that ramp you can't get to I-635. Thank goodness my PikePass works on NTTA roads. I wound up going North toward Denton to pick up US-380 to Decatur. Boy, was that a mistake!

The I-35E Northbound lanes are in terrible shape for most of the way from Dallas all the way to Denton. There were places where one left lane was built up with a thick asphalt layer while the other lanes were rough and cratered. Hardly any lane markings were visible. To make matters worse we were driving on this stretch of road around 7:00pm with the low sun beating at our faces, making the lanes even harder to distinguish. I'm a pretty confident driver (and thank God we took my pickup truck rather than her sedan), but there were times where I was seriously worried I was going to get side-swiped by other drivers.

And, yes, the lanes are too damned narrow! You really feel how tight the lanes are designed with the sudden lane shifts.

I didn't know the big "express" plan for this road was reversible toll/HOV lanes. I was really disappointed to see that. If TX DOT was going to go cheap by building only one reversible set of express lanes (rather than a set of express lanes for each direction) then why did they have to shrink the lanes down from normal 12' widths to what seems like 10' or less?

We wound up having dinner at Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Denton. I felt like I needed a couple beers, but had to stick with the soft drinks since i was driving.

My truck is due for an oil change, but after that adventure on I-35E I'm going to get the wheel alignment checked. I bought a lifetime warranty alignment with the last set of tires I bought. I guess the extra money spent might be worth it now.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 03:28:42 PM by Bobby5280 »
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 09:17:37 PM »

I drove northbound from IH 635 to SH 121 around July 4 and was also disappointed with the near-final product. The pavement was a hodgepodge of different applications and generally poor quality overall. I was thinking that due the to poor quality, surely a final overlay must be planned. Aside from the poor pavement quality, geometrics did not meet modern standards.

I'm afraid we'll be stuck with this substandard product for a while (maybe 20+ years) until the ultimate 4-2-2-4 plan with expanded right-of-way is built. But when there's just not enough money to meet needs, then this is the result. I think political leaders decided that the  "on the cheap" expansion was better than nothing. Personally, I would have preferred to take the $1.5 billion that was spent and built short sections to the ultimate plan with high standards, mainly from the Bush Turnpike northward (as far as the money would have reached).

Bobby5280

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 02:04:44 AM »

This expansion seems like a whole lot of money wasted. As rapidly as this part of the DFW area is growing I can't really see them getting by with this arrangement for 20+ years. To me it seems like they'll be having to rip it up and expand well past a 4-2-2-4 plan. I think the traffic levels in this area easily rival those of Katy Freeway on Houston's west side and we all know the kind of mammoth expansion that occurred on I-10 in that area. So, yeah, I agree 100% they should have spent that $1.5 billion expanding what they could have I-35E the right way instead of doing this stupid narrow-lane nonsense. Just from the accidents and resulting traffic jams set to occur TX DOT will be forced to address this design flaw much sooner than later.

In the future, I intend to stick with TX-114 and I-635 to enter Dallas coming from Oklahoma and US-287. If I have to take an alternative I may use TX-183 and I-820 farther South. I-35E is a mess!
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Brian556

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 02:09:05 PM »

Quotes From Bobby 5280:
Quote
I drove through that area on Tuesday. :-o

I made the mistake of going that direction, after taking the wrong entrance ramp to I-635. My girlfriend and I had just watched the movie Dunkirk (projected in IMAX 15-perf 70mm film) at the Cinemark theater at LBJ & Webb Chapel and were fixing to head back home or at least find some place to eat dinner. The very first on-ramp for I-635 just West of the intersection at Webb Chapel doesn't actually enter I-635. That's despite TWO I-635 West sign posts pointing to that on-ramp. The on-ramp is really an entrance to the I-35E Express lanes. Once you're on that ramp you can't get to I-635. Thank goodness my PikePass works on NTTA roads. I wound up going North toward Denton to pick up US-380 to Decatur. Boy, was that a mistake!

The I-35E Northbound lanes are in terrible shape for most of the way from Dallas all the way to Denton. There were places where one left lane was built up with a thick asphalt layer while the other lanes were rough and cratered. Hardly any lane markings were visible. To make matters worse we were driving on this stretch of road around 7:00pm with the low sun beating at our faces, making the lanes even harder to distinguish. I'm a pretty confident driver (and thank God we took my pickup truck rather than her sedan), but there were times where I was seriously worried I was going to get side-swiped by other drivers.

And, yes, the lanes are too damned narrow! You really feel how tight the lanes are designed with the sudden lane shifts.

I didn't know the big "express" plan for this road was reversible toll/HOV lanes. I was really disappointed to see that. If TX DOT was going to go cheap by building only one reversible set of express lanes (rather than a set of express lanes for each direction) then why did they have to shrink the lanes down from normal 12' widths to what seems like 10' or less?

We wound up having dinner at Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Denton. I felt like I needed a couple beers, but had to stick with the soft drinks since i was driving.

My truck is due for an oil change, but after that adventure on I-35E I'm going to get the wheel alignment checked. I bought a lifetime warranty alignment with the last set of tires I bought. I guess the extra money spent might be worth it now.

Quote
This expansion seems like a whole lot of money wasted. As rapidly as this part of the DFW area is growing I can't really see them getting by with this arrangement for 20+ years. To me it seems like they'll be having to rip it up and expand well past a 4-2-2-4 plan. I think the traffic levels in this area easily rival those of Katy Freeway on Houston's west side and we all know the kind of mammoth expansion that occurred on I-10 in that area. So, yeah, I agree 100% they should have spent that $1.5 billion expanding what they could have I-35E the right way instead of doing this stupid narrow-lane nonsense. Just from the accidents and resulting traffic jams set to occur TX DOT will be forced to address this design flaw much sooner than later.

In the future, I intend to stick with TX-114 and I-635 to enter Dallas coming from Oklahoma and US-287. If I have to take an alternative I may use TX-183 and I-820 farther South. I-35E is a mess!

Dickey's BBQ is the worst BBQ ever in my opinion. It is surprisingly hard to find good BBQ in this area.

You are right, those entrance ramp signs are wrong, and that's ridiculous, and needs to be reported to TxDOT.
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9134351,-96.8739164,3a,18.9y,246.97h,89.81t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sqz0g1ymIfoWynyzSPeWiHQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dqz0g1ymIfoWynyzSPeWiHQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D330.99573%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

It is a waste of money to half ass something and go back and redo it later. A lot of money wasted on concrete walls for both the toll lanes, and between the freeway and frontage roads that will be torn out.

Quote from MaxConcrete:
Quote
drove northbound from IH 635 to SH 121 around July 4 and was also disappointed with the near-final product. The pavement was a hodgepodge of different applications and generally poor quality overall. I was thinking that due the to poor quality, surely a final overlay must be planned. Aside from the poor pavement quality, geometrics did not meet modern standards.

I'm afraid we'll be stuck with this substandard product for a while (maybe 20+ years) until the ultimate 4-2-2-4 plan with expanded right-of-way is built. But when there's just not enough money to meet needs, then this is the result. I think political leaders decided that the  "on the cheap" expansion was better than nothing. Personally, I would have preferred to take the $1.5 billion that was spent and built short sections to the ultimate plan with high standards, mainly from the Bush Turnpike northward (as far as the money would have reached).

I never understood why they waited to do the whole thing at once. The Corinth-South Denton section was by far the worst, and should have been done as soon as enough money became available.

There are boatloads of wealthy people moving to the Dallas/ Ft Worth area, and they are the cause of the congestion. There is no good reason for the government to not collect enough money from them to fix the problem they are creating.

I think new residents should have to pay an income-based road impact fee.
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Brian556

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 02:55:25 PM »

And, today, I noticed that they slapped a toll on a free road to free road ramp, the one from SH 121 SB to I-35E NB. Totally ridiculous. Also, the signage is horrible, and does not tell you how to get to the I-35E frontage road, which I was wanting to do anyway, to access a business.
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DJStephens

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 11:25:13 PM »

Boatloads of wealthy people?  So the answer is to tax them at a higher rate to build regressive designed highways?   Maybe a good number of these "wealthy" new residents are the ones creating jobs, and businesses, for working class individuals.   Or are they leeches??   
Abbott does need to be schooled on txdot waste, and mis spending.   How many hundreds of millions, or is it billions, spent on clearview, and architectural waste, state wide, instead of maintaining design standards, and planning for future traffic loads.   
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In_Correct

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 12:18:53 AM »

If they are creating jobs, then they are probably eligible for a tax reduction. Lol.
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sparker

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 02:38:24 AM »

Dickey's BBQ is the worst BBQ ever in my opinion.

While not the absolute worst (I'm in CA, so there's plenty of faux BBQ around), Dickey's is far from even good.  There's several Dickey's out here (I've eaten at 2 -- just to satisfy myself that it wasn't just the single outlet that was lacking) -- and they seem to do an adequate business due to their locations right next to major malls/theater complexes.  But I'm certainly not going back for thirds!  Out here, the best (IMHO) local chain is Smoking Pig -- best brisket I've had west of El Paso (you can get lean, fatty, or a mix of both). 

Interesting how this thread suddenly turned into a discussion of supply-side socioeconomics!  I'm surprised not to see the dreaded purple mod warning treatise applied here.
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Brian556

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wxfree

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 07:43:52 PM »

The managed lanes are wider.  That's an interesting idea, paying to drive on a non-substandard road.  It's one way to increase business.
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Brian556

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Re: Problems with I-35Express Project Denton-Dallas TX
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 12:11:11 PM »

I was driving on it the other day, and a truck in front of me just couldn't stay within the 11ft lane. So, yes, 11ft lanes are unsafe, and it is a shame that the Federal Highway Administration would approve them.

On a positive note, its amazing how much traffic has been removed from FM 2499 due to the completion of this project. It had been severely congested at evening rush in front of my workplace, but now, even at 5:30 PM, traffic is light and free flowing.

I need to check Google Maps during rush hours and see just how good traffic on I-35E is flowing.

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