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Started by roadman65, October 03, 2013, 08:59:18 AM

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Quote from: TheBox on December 30, 2023, 02:00:05 PM
Just how much would Laredo benefit from I-2 extension, I-27, and a complete I-69W?
I see I-2 sooner than the latter two in my lifetime

And which side of the extended I-27 does Lubbock and Amarillo benefit from more? North of Amarillo or South of Lubbock?

Laredo would benefit from extending I-2, but probably less than you'd think; most of the cross-border traffic isn't crossing at Laredo to get to the lower valley and vice-versa. At present the "inland" routes are quicker than dealing with the built-up area on US 83; when I lived in Laredo, unless for some reason you needed/wanted to avoid the CBP garitas, people headed to McAllen or Brownsville typically would take TX 359 to Hebbronville, and from there either TX 285 to US 281/I-69C or FM 1017. Extending I-2 west to Roma would probably nullify the time advantage to going inland. Extending further would be nice but non-essential.

On the other hand the trade advantages of I-27 and I-69W would be greater even though in terms of overall traffic they might not carry as much as an I-2 extension. Eagle Pass and Del Rio would probably also benefit from more direct access to Laredo if I-27 was routed close to the border.


Quote from: Bobby5280 on January 04, 2024, 12:20:41 AM
Quote from: splashflashTraffic counts north of Amarillo are higher than south to Lamisa, and more than double those potential I-27E or 27W branches south of Lamisa to either Midland or Big Spring.

QuoteBased on the TX DOT TPP District Traffic Web Viewer US-87/287 traffic between Amarillo and Dumas has AADT counts between 10,000 and 12,000. The AADT counts drop considerably both North and West of Dumas.

Traffic counts on US-87 South of Lubbock range from over 20K per day just South of the 289 loop down to less than 10K by the time US-87 reaches Atoka.

Tahoka?  Around 8,500 there but south of Lamesa US 87 (and potentially future I-27E) counts drop to 5,000.  TX-349 (potentially future I-27W) is slightly lower at 4,800 but picks up just north of Midland.

Quoteb]Here's an interesting thing[/b]. US-287 between Amarillo and Wichita Falls has similar AADT counts to I-27 outside the loops in Lubbock and Amarillo. Between Wichita Falls and Fort Worth the AADT counts on US-287 are considerably higher than I-27 (going above 20K AADT frequently and getting above 30K in places by the time US-287 passes Alvord).

The US 287 stretch south of Witchits Falls is crying out for investment.

Quote from: splashflashAlso, US 84 from Sweetwater to Lubbock, also has double the counts of those branches.

According to that map the AADT counts on US-84 Southwest of Lubbock range 20,000 to 17,000 to Slaton nearby. Then the counts drop closer to 10,000 per day the rest of the way to I-20.


I just don't understand why US-287 between Fort Worth and Amarillo hasn't received a lot more in the way of Interstate quality upgrades going clear back to the 1980's. Certainly the segment from Wichita Falls down to Fort Worth is justifiable to fully upgrade. And it's just beyond ridiculous how TX DOT has dragged its feet just on the segment from I-35W up to the TX-114 split. Just past I-35W the US-287 pavement is CRAP. The damned highway should have been Interstate quality from I-35W up to at least Decatur by now.


My observations about running an Interstate through Decatur:

South of U.S. 380 ( which needs a Stack ) is a long ramp that starts from U.S. 380 East to U.S. 287 South, and ends at Business U.S. 380 where it becomes a regular Frontage Road. This Ramp has several driveways, and many traffic uses it as if it was a Frontage Road, and said traffic does not enter U.S. 287. They simply stay on this lane. It would not be that difficult, nor unreasonable, to expand this ramp to be a Frontage Road by adding an additional lane, and separating it from U.S. 287 with a Jersey Barrier. If that happens, the Frontage Road would need to be accessed by extending it north of U.S. 380 not far from F.M. 2198.

Most buildings and structures would not be in the path of Frontage Roads / Stack Interchange in this area.

Any that ARE in the path, seem to be old, and falling apart any ways.

Converting U.S. 287 / U.S. 380 to be Six Lanes each is another complication that might require more space.

The Car Dealers CAN reconfigure their parking lots and their lighting, even without needing additional property.

There is currently no such ramp configuration on U.S. 287 North to U.S. 380 East. However, it could be constructed via Eminent Domain, with Minimal Obstacles in its path.

Drive Safely. :sombrero: Ride Safely. And Build More Roads, Rails, And Bridges. :coffee: ... Boulevards Wear Faster Than Interstates.


Hardly any of the properties in Decatur hugging close to the US-287 main lanes look good at all, particularly on the North side of town close to the US-380 interchange. They're all commercial properties. No residential homes. I don't think it would be controversial at all for TX DOT to buy out and clear those properties.

On the South side of town the car lots, tractor dealership and other businesses would see their parking lots "get a haircut." A couple or so buildings and billboard structures would have to be removed.

With growth on the Fort Worth side of DFW propelling to the North and Northwest it's obvious TX DOT will have to do some big upgrade work in Decatur. They can't keep kicking the can down the road. Not only does US-287 need to be a freeway thru Decatur, it probably needs to be in a 3x3 configuration and then maybe drop to 2x2 lanes North of town. I've seen some freeway designs drawn up for that area, including a freeway segment for US-287 on the North side of Decatur. If they can get those projects done then further freeway upgrade work going farther Northwest will be comparatively easy.

North of Decatur where Business US-81 merges into US-287 the highway has plenty of ROW space for continuous frontage roads and freeway main lanes all the way up to Alvord. From there, an upgraded freeway would tie into the existing freeway segment bypassing Bowie. 

Really, Decatur is the biggest obstacle in the way of a potential Interstate from Wichita Falls to Fort Worth.

Quote from: In_CorrectThere is currently no such ramp configuration on U.S. 287 North to U.S. 380 East.

Technically, there is a ramp movement for that. There are at-grade intersections allowing left turns across the main lanes of US-380. Definitely NOT an optimal situation.

US-380 crossing thru the Decatur area is its own mess. There is a lot of at-grade intersections and driveways connecting to the main lanes. Over the long term I really believe the US-380 corridor from Decatur to Denton and McKinney to Greenville will have to be turned into an Interstate-class corridor the whole way. It's not just to function as a regional North bypass of the DFW metro, but also as a major East-West corridor to the booming population expanding North of the DFW metro. US-82 will have to be given similar considerations.


Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe


People drive that fast in the DFW area already.


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Some sort of 'innovative interchange' is planned to replace the US 281 / SH 71 cloverleaf near Marble Falls (west of Austin).

A public meeting is scheduled for March 28:

Proposed improvements

* Replacing the current cloverleaf interchange with an innovative interchange
* Adding elevated structures to improve mobility through the interchange
* Adding frontage roads to separate high-speed through traffic from local traffic
* Adding shared-use paths to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians

The estimated construction cost is $ 203 million, which seems like a large amount of money for a rural interchange. The addition of frontage roads suggest they're going to upgrade it to a freeway-style interchange.

A screenshot of the current interchange:


They say "innovative interchange," but what exactly would that mean? A $203 million price tag is indeed pretty high for what could end up being something like a diverging diamond interchange.

I certainly would not expect TX DOT to build a directional stack interchange in such a rural location, and $203 million isn't nearly enough for such a thing. With an estimated 2029 time line for construction to begin $203 million will buy only so much at that time. The TX-71 corridor thru Austin and the hill country West of the metro will see ever higher traffic counts as population growth continues to boom in that region. It would be smart for TX DOT to build a freeway to freeway style interchange at this location. I think a cloverleaf interchange with collector-distributor roads would do just fine. They might be able to get away with building one or two directional fly-over ramps.


Quote from: MaxConcrete on November 02, 2023, 08:06:43 PM
Quote from: Plutonic Panda on October 05, 2023, 10:09:05 AM
Billions in road upgrades coming to the Permian basin area:

Bids were opened today to rebuild and expand a 5 mile section of I-20 between Odessa and Midland to 3x3. The limits are from just west of Loop 338 (east side of Odessa) eastward 5 miles, to a point about 1.5 miles west of FM 1788.

County:   ECTOR   Let Date:   11/02/23
Type:   WIDEN ROAD - ADD LANES   Seq No:   3201
Time:   0 X   Project ID:   F 2022(634)
Highway:   IH 20   Contract #:   11233201
Length:   10.402   CCSJ:   0005-13-064
From:   EAST OF JBS PARKWAY   Check:   $100,000
To:   MIDLAND COUNTY LINE   Misc Cost:   
Estimate   $284,174,507.74   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $260,876,639.92   -8.20%   SUNDT CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 2   $272,817,245.95   -4.00%   JAMES CONSTRUCTION GROUP, LLC
Bidder 3   $299,992,051.72   +5.57%   WEBBER, LLC
Bidder 4   $338,646,883.57   +19.17%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 5   $346,826,743.95   +22.05%   FNF CONSTRUCTION, INC.

On Wednesday bids were opened for the next section, which is 5.3 miles located south of the Midland airport (from county road 1300 to county road 1250).

County:   MIDLAND   Let Date:   03/06/24
Type:   WIDEN ROAD - ADD LANES   Seq No:   3201
Time:   0 X   Project ID:   C 5-14-94
Highway:   IH 20   Contract #:   03243201
Length:   5.372   CCSJ:   0005-14-094
From:   EAST OF CR 1300   Check:   $100,000
To:   EAST OF CR 1250   Misc Cost:   
Estimate   $202,736,699.14   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $186,258,258.44   -8.13%   SUNDT CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 2   $193,859,220.00   -4.38%   JAMES CONSTRUCTION GROUP, LLC
Bidder 3   $195,973,810.87   -3.34%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.


The 'innovative interchange design' at US 281 / SH 71 south of Marble Falls will be a turbine interchange:

Plutonic Panda

How many turbine interchange exist in Texas? I know there's one in Amarillo.

J N Winkler

Quote from: Plutonic Panda on April 06, 2024, 05:19:39 PMHow many turbine interchange exist in Texas? I know there's one in Amarillo.

That is the only one that currently exists in the state, though US 69/SH 73 in Port Arthur is in the process of becoming the second.
"It is necessary to spend a hundred lire now to save a thousand lire later."--Piero Puricelli, explaining the need for a first-class road system to Benito Mussolini


The full preview of the public meeting is here:

That page includes the schematics for the turbine interchange and the associated frontage road connections.

Looks like the frontage roads for SH 71 are allowed to pass underneath and around the turbine ramps, but the connections with the US 281 frontage roads are indirect through grade separated crossovers and traditional "Texas U-turn" movements, with both main roadways fully access controlled through the interchange.

It's as if TXDOT is planning for ultimate freeway upgrades to both corridors.


Have they decided on the turbine interchange design? The web page shows four different design alternatives, with the turbine interchange being alternative #1. The #2 and #3 options are less costly (and less good). Alternative #4 is a five level directional stack; that's not going to happen in such a rural area.

Any of the four design options would preserve enough right of way for a proper freeway to freeway interchange. But Texas has quite a few incomplete freeway to freeway interchanges that have remained incomplete for decades. If they chose alternatives #2 or #3 for the TX-71/US-281 interchange those configurations might stay put for a long time.

I like the turbine design. It's almost as effective as a directional stack interchange but doesn't have to cost nearly as much.

Quote from: Anthony_JKIt's as if TXDOT is planning for ultimate freeway upgrades to both corridors.

Bee Cave is quite an obstacle for the TX-71 corridor. It's certainly possible to have freeway spurs leading into Bee Cave from the West via US-281 and from the East via US-290. But pushing a freeway thru Bee Cave itself would probably be very difficult.

I think US-281 could emerge as an important relief corridor for I-35.


I believe I have some very bad news regarding U.S. 287 In Decatur: It seems they intend to install TRAFFIC LIGHT added to it ?!
Drive Safely. :sombrero: Ride Safely. And Build More Roads, Rails, And Bridges. :coffee: ... Boulevards Wear Faster Than Interstates.


Where would they add a traffic light on US-287? Currently the intersection at Old Chico Road is the only spot on US-287 in Decatur that has a traffic signal, but it's a flashing yellow for thru traffic. The left turn movements in that intersection might be removed with the proposed project to realign FM-1810 and Business US-81 to a new freeway exit on US-287:

The Roll Plot #1 PDF shows a schematic. It lists the crossover at Old Chico Road as a feature to be removed and possibly barrier separated. It's disappointing the proposed frontage roads near the new Business US-81 exit will run only a short length and leave all those driveways near the Old Chico Road intersection intact. It could all be due to funding limitations. So far TX DOT is approaching the US-287 Decatur situation in a piece-meal way, hitting one intersection at a time. Ultimately they're going to have to upgrade all of US-287 thru Decatur to Interstate standards. The road is getting too damned busy for it to continue having all sorts of driveways and side streets connecting directly with the US-287 main lanes.


Just found this incredible new retrospective from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram of today's I-30 in the Metroplex, but specifically recapping the era that it was the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike! Tons of vintage pics (including a really cool painted US 80 shield, see below).
Chris Sampang


Quote from: In_Correct on April 12, 2024, 05:54:39 PMI believe I have some very bad news regarding U.S. 287 In Decatur: It seems they intend to install TRAFFIC LIGHT added to it ?!

They are adding a traffic light on US-380 at the US-287 interchange. I haven't heard of them adding a traffic light on the actual US-287 though


Quote from: BJ59 on April 14, 2024, 06:06:43 PM
Quote from: In_Correct on April 12, 2024, 05:54:39 PMI believe I have some very bad news regarding U.S. 287 In Decatur: It seems they intend to install TRAFFIC LIGHT added to it ?!

They are adding a traffic light on US-380 at the US-287 interchange. I haven't heard of them adding a traffic light on the actual US-287 though

Okay so that must be the construction sign message I saw at a glance.
Drive Safely. :sombrero: Ride Safely. And Build More Roads, Rails, And Bridges. :coffee: ... Boulevards Wear Faster Than Interstates.



-- US 175 --


Quote from: monty on April 18, 2024, 04:07:57 PMIH 27 improvements from Canyon to Amarillo announced.

I guess so. Most of the Amarillo to Canyon segment has become urban.

It seems to me it would have been better allocated on US-287 from I-40 to Claude....
Let's build what we need as economically as possible.

Road Hog

I don't know what the advantage is of a turbine as opposed to a 4-level stack. You need lots more real estate for it and more piers to install since piers aren't being shared. It's "innovative" and "looks purty" but that's about it.

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