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Author Topic: I-35E widening project to begin  (Read 3937 times)

bassoon1986

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I-35E widening project to begin
« on: August 23, 2013, 12:11:50 PM »

from WFAA.com:
http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/denton/14-billion-project-to-improve-I-35E-to-begin-in-October-220394371.html?c=n&fb=y&can=n


TXDOT I-35E project overview:
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/projects/interstate-highways/ih-35e-from-ih-635-to-us-380


Project Timeline, map, and design for Lewisville Lake bridge:
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/dal/i35e/35e_project_tracker.pdf


Project Schematics:
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/projects/interstate-highways/ih-35e-from-ih-635-to-us-380/schematics-and-environmental-documents




29 miles of I-35E widening will begin in October from I-635 in Dallas north to US 380 in Denton. New Lewisville Lake bridge will be constructed in the first phase. Also HOV lanes extended north and 6 lanes of traffic will extend to US 380 (Finally!)

Looking at the schematics page, Denton's interchanges will be quite different. The Loop 288 interchange will be improved southbound as will the US 77/Dallas Drive merge beneath it. The cluster of exits near University of North Texas will have some on ramps taken out and longer off ramps to frontage roads. A few businesses will be lost by the looks of the map, such as the Exxon gas station on the corner of North Texas Blvd and the 35E frontage road. Also Bonnie Brae St and Oak St will have their own exits going northbound. I saw also that it will be difficult for drivers on campus to access 35W. There were no on ramps onto 35E northbound before the 35W exit from McCormick St or North Texas Blvd. I'm very glad I don't live in Denton now that construction will start soon, but I can't wait to see what it looks like during construction and after it is totally finished!
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 06:34:22 PM »

Glad too see this. My old boss at TxDOT always said we'd never see this in our lifetimes. Glad he's been proven wrong. The biggest problem in Denton is the lack of an easy way to get from SB US 77 to Loop 288/ Mall area. Hope this project address it.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 07:27:03 PM »

Project Schematics:
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/projects/interstate-highways/ih-35e-from-ih-635-to-us-380/schematics-and-environmental-documents

My understanding is that the schematics at the link are not what will be built in this phase. Those schematics are for a 4-2T-2T-4 configuration, and the configuration for the downsized project will be 4-2T-4 or 3-3T-3. The downsizing reduced the cost and kept the project mostly on the  existing right-of-way.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 05:37:22 PM »

The project website is up. Note that the cover photo differs significantly from the schematics, which show I-35E going over Garden Ridge.

http://www.35express.org/

Schematics
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/IH35E_SCHEM_M03_Valley_Ridge_to_Lewisville_Lake%203.pdf

It's also interesting that the contract has already been let, but the buildings at the Garden Ridge interchange that are in the way have not been bought out yet.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 10:48:51 PM »

Schematics
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/IH35E_SCHEM_M03_Valley_Ridge_to_Lewisville_Lake%203.pdf

Thanks for the update and the web site link. The web site is just a teaser right now, but the depiction at Lake Lewisville on the home page is interesting.

That schematic is dated October 2010 and I don't believe that the configuration shown in the schematic is being built in this phase.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 12:52:36 AM »

Quote
That schematic is dated October 2010 and I don't believe that the configuration shown in the schematic is being built in this phase.

My point is that the schematic is totally opposite when it comes to Garden Ridge interchange. Schematic shows I-35E going over GardenRidge, while the website shows Garden Ridge going over I-35E.

Other Items:
At Post Oak, the schematics show I-35E going over Post Oak, which is surprising considering the terrain.

At Belt Line: What I heard earlier was that Belt Line was going to be trenched under the railroads, but he schematics show something completely different. They show the frontage roads /Belt Line on the lower (ground) level, the railroads on the middle level (raised), and I-35E on top. The website text says that I-35E will be 20 ft higher than it currently is at this location.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 04:11:37 PM »

Near FM 407, they've staked out the new SB frontage rd, and they say they're starting work Monday.

What's odd is that they have installed work zone signage for this small portion of the project, but not the whole project like is normally done.

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rte66man

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 08:57:54 AM »

Near FM 407, they've staked out the new SB frontage rd, and they say they're starting work Monday.

What's odd is that they have installed work zone signage for this small portion of the project, but not the whole project like is normally done.

Ugh!  Gonna have to look into using 35W to 114 as a detour this winter.  Any other suggestions?
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bassoon1986

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 10:07:47 AM »

Near FM 407, they've staked out the new SB frontage rd, and they say they're starting work Monday.

What's odd is that they have installed work zone signage for this small portion of the project, but not the whole project like is normally done.

Ugh!  Gonna have to look into using 35W to 114 as a detour this winter.  Any other suggestions?

Where are you coming from and going to, specifically?
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Road Hog

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 09:24:05 PM »

Glad too see this. My old boss at TxDOT always said we'd never see this in our lifetimes. Glad he's been proven wrong. The biggest problem in Denton is the lack of an easy way to get from SB US 77 to Loop 288/ Mall area. Hope this project address it.

You're taking your life into your own hands cutting across from the left entrance to the right exit in a very short distance.

I think you can bypass that by cutting through the Bank of America lot to the mall.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 04:19:41 PM »

New PDF with project info posted;
http://www.35express.org/35Express_Update_Oct2013.pdf

the PDF describes what will be done in Phase 1. I don't like what I see. While there will be major improvements, especially to the northern portion, the southern portion will not really improve.

Notes:
No new mainlanes in southern segment
No replacement of Corporate interchange. The current cloverleaf is a gridlocked clusterf***. Traffic on cloverleaf ramps cannot get out onto NB frontage rd due to heavy traffic.
Belt Line interchange looks interesting. However, on Beltline,  it looks like it would be a steep climb to go from ground level at Broadway to going over the BNSF Madill Sub. (esp since RR's require a high clearance)
Southern segment HOV lanes to convert to Managed lanes. I guess making them both go the direction of heaviest traffic will help a little, but not much.
Much needed reconfiguration of the US 77/ San Jacinto/ LOOP 288 area not included.
Doesn't mention any frontage road replacement in Denton. The ones between LP 288 and Mayhill are very narrow and unsafe.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 12:02:25 PM »

Near FM 407, they've staked out the new SB frontage rd, and they say they're starting work Monday.

What's odd is that they have installed work zone signage for this small portion of the project, but not the whole project like is normally done.

Ugh!  Gonna have to look into using 35W to 114 as a detour this winter.  Any other suggestions?

Where are you coming from and going to, specifically?


OKC to Dallas
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 07:08:28 PM »

Stopped by the public info office today.

They said:
The section that is concrete now will remain concrete (Corinth)
The rest will remain asphalt.
Work done in phase 1 will put mainlanes in final configuration.
Frontage roads in some areas will be relocated outward as needed in phase 1

A newspaper article this morning said that the construction will really get going after Christmas.

This is very strange for Texas that they are doing such a huge project without ripping everything out and converting to concrete. This should at least save a lot of money and speed up construction.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2014, 10:46:53 PM »

The official web site is now in its complete configuration (it was preliminary until recently) and project schematics are posted.
http://www.35express.org/index.php

However, the schematics dated 1/11/2013 have a major inconsistency with other information on the web site, and that makes me think that the schematics are not up-to-date.

* Schematics 2 and 12 show the Belt Line road intersection. The schematics show Belt Line Road and the IH-35E frontage roads being sunk below ground level with IH-35 generally on the same elevation as now. But the web site says "Belt Line Road will be elevated to the current height of I-35E, and I-35E will be raised approximately 25 feet above its current elevation."

* Schematics 1 and 2 show a minimum for four regular traffic lanes in each direction between IH 635 and the Bush Turnpike. I recall seeing information that there would be only three regular lanes each way, and the description for the south section on the web site does not mention added capacity.

Other observations

* All four direct-connector ramps will be built on the north side of the SH 121/Sam Rayburn tollway interchange. The from SRT EB to IH 35 NB which will be very long, starting at Lake Vista Drive and going more than halfway to Round Grove road.

* The Dickerson Parkway construction seems strange and unnecessary. It dead-ends into the Bush Turnpike frontage road just west of the new overcrossing. Maybe this is intended to make the land suitable for real estate development.

* There is very little right-of-way acquisition except at Belt Line Road, on the north side of the 121/SRT interchange and at Lake Lewisville.

* The collector-distributor section between Bush Turnpike and the Sam Rayburn Turnpike will be squeezed into the existing right-of-way

* All the cross section views show 11-foot-wide lanes. This is a disturbing trend on many new TxDOT projects, including US 290 in Houston. I'm guessing FHWA must be approving the narrow lanes. Does anyone know if FHWA encourages 11-foot-wide lanes now?

* Only one new bridge, at FM 407/Lake Park Road, has the width specified in the original design (which was 4-2T-2T-4)

« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:24:55 PM by MaxConcrete »
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txstateends

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 02:24:44 AM »


* All the cross section views show 11-foot-wide lanes. This is a disturbing trend on many new TxDOT projects, including US 290 in Houston. I'm guessing FHWA must be approving the narrow lanes. Does anyone know if FHWA encourages 11-foot-wide lanes now?


How wide have they been?  12 feet?
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 12:32:09 PM »

11 foot lanes? That Sucks! Semi's can't even stay In their own lane with 12-foot lanes.

As for right of way acquisition, there is way more than what you say. They have already demolished some buildings around Business 121. Many houses are slated for removal between Business 121 and FM 1171. They are also taking the front portion of many commercial properties.

As for the number of lanes south of George Bush Turnpike, In Phase 1, they will convert the HOV lanes to Managed, but leave the number of free lanes at 3 each direction. Later, in Phase 2, they will add more free lanes on the southern segment.

As for the Belt Line Rd interchange, there is/was a graphic on the website showing the frontage roads going over the railroads. It's not where you'd expect it, it is a background decorative image on another page. It does looks like they were originally going to sink Belt Line Rd under the railroads, but changed their mind. This really needs to be done. Trains on the BNSF Madill Sub frequently stop across Belt Line Rd.
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2014, 01:17:02 PM »

* All the cross section views show 11-foot-wide lanes. This is a disturbing trend on many new TxDOT projects, including US 290 in Houston. I'm guessing FHWA must be approving the narrow lanes. Does anyone know if FHWA encourages 11-foot-wide lanes now?

The current (2011) edition of the AASHTO Green Book says that 12 ft is still the preferred unit lane width on high-volume, high-speed roadways, but notes that 11 ft "may be appropriate" "in urban areas" "where . . . right-of-way, or existing development become stringent controls on lane widths."

The evidence for the advantage of 12 ft unit lane width over 11 ft is mixed.  Ezra Hauer, a road safety expert who has published a number of working papers on the Web which synthesize the results of various safety studies, has suggested that the fractional unit lane width that corresponds to minimum crash incidence is actually somewhat closer to 11 ft than 12 ft.  Historically, in various jurisdictions, the decision to choose 12 ft rather than 11 ft as the preferred standard has come down to designer discretion or ministerial fiat, the usual motivation being to cut the risk that highway design standards will be overtaken by changes in approved dimensions of trucks and other heavy vehicles.  This is how the decision played out in Britain in 1953, when the then Minister of Transport ordered the adoption of a 12 ft unit lane width for motorways when a weak preponderance of evidence suggested that the existing unit lane width of 11 ft (a national standard since 1938) was still appropriate.

IH 35E is an Interstate, so it is governed by Interstate design standards, which call for a minimum unit lane width of 12 ft and override Green Book standards.  My guess is that TxDOT applied to FHWA for design exceptions to allow IH 35E to be expanded with 11 ft lanes, and these were granted on the basis that the safety impact of the 1 ft reduction in unit lane width was minimal.  Of course I would prefer an unit lane width of 12 ft, but in FHWA's position I would find it difficult to justify refusing an application from TxDOT to use 11 ft lanes.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 01:24:22 PM »

Looking at he newly-posted schematics, I can't figure out why right-of-way lines are shown on residential streets near I-35E/US 77:

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/dal/i35e/rfp/row_middle_segment/ih35e_north_row_sht2_20130806.pdf

The aerial photography is kinda old. Notice the DCTA station is not yet present, and that there are stored rail cars on the tracks around Lake Park Rd. These rail cars were placed in storage in 2008, but I can't remember when they were removed.

Also, in this area, right-of-way lines are shown on the side of the tracks away from I-35E. Again, can't figure that one out either.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/dal/i35e/rfp/row_middle_segment/ih35e_middle_row_sht3_20130806.pdf

Concerning the Garden Ridge interchange- a graphic on the website shows/showed it going over I-35E, but the schematic shows it going under.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 01:31:18 PM by Brian556 »
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2014, 12:00:53 AM »

They are widening the bridge at Mayhill/State School Rd instead of replacing it. This is despite the fact that the intersection is already very congested, and more lanes are needed.

On top of that, FM 2499 will connect to I-35E at this intersection in about 3 years, adding even more traffic.

My guess is that they'll end up replacing the bridges within about 3-7 years after widening then, meaning that the money spent to widen them will have been a waste.

Totally ridiculous.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2014, 07:27:54 PM »

They are widening the bridge at Mayhill/State School Rd instead of replacing it. This is despite the fact that the intersection is already very congested, and more lanes are needed.

On top of that, FM 2499 will connect to I-35E at this intersection in about 3 years, adding even more traffic.

My guess is that they'll end up replacing the bridges within about 3-7 years after widening then, meaning that the money spent to widen them will have been a waste.

Totally ridiculous.

Cut corners now, pay 3 times as much later.  TxDOT sounds like ODOT
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2014, 04:59:29 PM »

The new Lake Lewisville bridge is the part of the project moving forward most quickly. However, they are still working on the approaches to the bridge, not on the actual water crossing yet. I took these photos today


This view looks northbound with footings for the new southbound bridge, which will be very wide to accommodate four main lanes, two toll lanes and the southbound frontage roads.


Another view looking toward the lake.


The southbound lanes will remain on a long elevated structure south of the lake, continuing past Garden Ridge road.



These buildings just north of Garden Ridge road have an appointment with the bulldozer in the near future.


FM 407 is the only intersection where the bridge structure will be built to its ultimate width. Here we can see how wide it will be, with the west retaining wall following those drain pipe.


This view looks south on the north side of the lake. There's not much work underway here yet. The new structure will be built in the area ahead.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2014, 09:31:38 PM »

Thanks for the photos. I am headed to Dallas from OKC in a few weeks.  While I usually take 35E from Denton, should I consider taking 35W to 114?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2014, 10:57:56 PM »

While I usually take 35E from Denton, should I consider taking 35W to 114?

There's no reason to take an alternate route at this time. The 35E main lanes are not yet being affected by the construction. As the photos show, work is in the new right-of-way alongside the freeway. But I can speak for today only, not for the situation in a few weeks.
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Brian556

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2014, 07:31:34 PM »

Nice pics, MaxConcrete.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35E widening project to begin
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2014, 07:49:14 PM »

While I usually take 35E from Denton, should I consider taking 35W to 114?

There's no reason to take an alternate route at this time. The 35E main lanes are not yet being affected by the construction. As the photos show, work is in the new right-of-way alongside the freeway. But I can speak for today only, not for the situation in a few weeks.

Leaving Wednesday.  Is the traffic situation still OK for the main lanes?
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