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New Mexico

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kwellada:

--- Quote from: Bobby5280 on August 08, 2023, 01:50:34 PM ---And just what the hell are they trying to do on I-25 going up Raton Pass? All traffic has been shifted to the Northbound lanes. I could spot some work going on with a couple of bridges, but it doesn't look like they're doing anything to improve the rest of the highway while those lanes are shut down. It seems like a whole lot of disruption for what looks like a patch job.

--- End quote ---

I'm potentially going to be taking Raton Pass over Labor Day as part of a leisurely road trip. Was traffic backed up or miserable on your trip, or manageable? I have the option of doing a little backtracking after visiting the Capulin Volcano Natl. Monument to take two lane highways into Colorado if Raton Pass is a pain right now.

Bobby5280:
The traffic flow was alright. It wasn't bumper to bumper or anything like that. But I didn't drive through there on a holiday weekend; traffic could be a good bit heavier Labor Day weekend. I imagine the time of day going over the pass would matter too.

Sykotyk:

--- Quote from: DJStephens on August 19, 2023, 11:27:17 AM ---was at Raton Pass last summer.   One of the two carriageways leading up to the pass on the NM side was heavily potholed.  There is severe winter weather in that pass area.  Ironically, the highway geometry was better on the NM side, of the pass, than the CO side.  The CO side, heading downhill to the north, was narrow, with a center barrier wall and tight interchanges.
And certain "powers that be" want to make this a dedicated PTP corridor for heavy freight?  What are they smoking?  Do they understand the terrain and the weather?   The conditions and obsolescence that exist?

--- End quote ---

This was the part that always bugged me.

From Wichita Falls to Denver, Colorado, the suggested route is US287 to Amarillo, to Raton Pass via FM1061 and US385 to US87 and I-25 north along the front range through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and into Denver from the south.

It's 653 total miles, and includes several passes or steep hills (Raton Pass, as well as between CS and Denver near I believe Castle Rock?).

If you take US287 to Amarillo, follow the TX-LP335, back to US287 and follow that through Boise City, Oklahoma and the towns of Colorado such as Springfield, Lamar, Eads, Kit Carson, Hugo, etc... it's only 645 miles. And not one mountain pass. Sure, I-70 has a slight hill somewhere east of Bennett.

But here's the stoppages on the US287 route from I-40 and north:

Getting off I-40, and getting off Lp-335 are both signaled. The entire town of Dumas. The 4-way stop at Stratford. Lights going through Lamar. That's it. Eads and Kit Carson both drive straight through. Springfield doesn't have a light as far as I can remember. I thought at US160 there may have been a stop sign, but google maps doesn't show one.

Now here's the kicker. NM charges a Weight Distance Permit for large trucks, per mile. Why would any truck traverse New Mexico, and one major mountain pass, and all that traffic through the front range cities. To drive 8 miles further. Just because more of it is freeway? US287 even one lane for long stretches is far more open. And not putting money into making that stretch safer, the way Oklahoma did with Boise City is just poor planning.

Eads, Kit Carson, and Springfield need bypasses of at least 2 or 4 lane. No interchanges needed. Lamar needs a freeway bypass around the west side of town probably to tie straight into the US50/US287 interchange. Dumas, in Texas, desperately needs a bypass along with something for Cactus. If traffic dictates and Oklahoma improves the road, revisiting the intersection in Stratford could be done as well. But for now, US54/US287 is a major junction now that probably would need a C shaped bypass to allow both through routes a direct shot around town.

Keeping the two-lane for long stretches of open Colorado landscape isn't a huge issue. Four-laning as expressways would be great. But, not necessary. Fixing the towns first would go a long way to making things safer.

Bobby5280:

--- Quote from: Skyotyk ---From Wichita Falls to Denver, Colorado, the suggested route is US287 to Amarillo, to Raton Pass via FM1061 and US385 to US87 and I-25 north along the front range through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and into Denver from the south.
--- End quote ---

I don't think the short cut using FM-1061 from the NW corner of Amarillo to US-385 in Tascosa is worth all that much versus taking US-287 up to Dumas and US-87 across to Hartley. FM-1061 is a narrow 2-lane road with no shoulders. It goes over some irregular terrain. A fair amount of semi trucks use it. Those conditions scare me a bit.

And then there's the matter of Dumas having the last cheap gasoline. I usually top off my tank there before driving the rest of the way to Colorado Springs. Farther Northwest it usually gets quite a bit more pricey. Sometimes Dalhart's fuel prices might be okay. Of course I might start altering plans a bit once the Amarillo location of Buc-ee's opens sometime in 2024.


--- Quote from: Skyotyk ---If you take US287 to Amarillo, follow the TX-LP335, back to US287 and follow that through Boise City, Oklahoma and the towns of Colorado such as Springfield, Lamar, Eads, Kit Carson, Hugo, etc... it's only 645 miles. And not one mountain pass. Sure, I-70 has a slight hill somewhere east of Bennett.
--- End quote ---

My route from Lawton to Colorado Springs is shorter going by way of Raton Pass. I don't like taking US-287 North of Dumas thru Boise City into SE Colorado. The route can stink really bad due to all the feed lots and meat processing facilities North of Dumas. I really don't like that 2-lane road going across the OK/CO border. It's dangerous. Great for head-on collision with a semi.

I don't like driving on 2-lane roads for long distances. During the day it can be easy to get stuck behind a slow poke, especially if the terrain is uneven, blocking visibility of on-coming traffic. We all know the various night time hazards.

If the Ports to Plains Corridor is going to be built into Colorado it ought to be built right. And that means a minimum of a 4-lane divided highway with at-grade intersections. Preferably it would be Interstate quality. If they build Super-2 bypasses around towns they ought to be built in a manner where they can be upgraded to full Interstate quality in phases. Enough ROW has to be bought and reserved up front.

kphoger:

--- Quote from: Sykotyk on September 19, 2023, 07:19:20 PM ---Springfield doesn't have a light as far as I can remember. I thought at US160 there may have been a stop sign, but google maps doesn't show one.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, that surprised me too.  I expected it to be a four-way stop, but nope.


--- Quote from: Sykotyk on September 19, 2023, 07:19:20 PM ---Why would any truck traverse New Mexico, and one major mountain pass, and all that traffic through the front range cities. To drive 8 miles further. Just because more of it is freeway?

--- End quote ---

Yes, because more of it is freeway.


--- Quote from: Sykotyk on September 19, 2023, 07:19:20 PM ---US287 even one lane for long stretches is far more open.

--- End quote ---

A local might know that, but not a dispatcher in another state telling the driver which route to take.

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