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Author Topic: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?  (Read 34365 times)

sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #275 on: May 04, 2020, 09:41:31 PM »

May that Red River barge idea die the quiet death a hideous waste of money like that deserves.

What would such barges even carry?  There's nothing being produced in such quantity in the Texarkana region that it's in need of goddamn barges to move it.

About the only salient need for barge traffic at all is to move bulk cargo to either a central collection point along a waterway or an export location -- which is the reason for all the offloading facilities lining the Mississippi from Baton Rouge all the way down the river through New Orleans and into Plaquemine Parish.   Barges save about 30% over all-rail transport -- but the trick is to get the cargo to an appropriate waterway.  Grain accounts for most of the barge traffic for most of the Missouri/Mississippi watershed; the Mississippi River export traffic via LA is both milled flour (primarily from the Twin Cities) and unmilled grain; coming from the Missouri channel it's mostly of the unmilled variety bulk-loaded along that river (although below KC there is a small amount of flour traffic from the KC area).  And not all the river traffic is destined for export; there is more than a bit of intercity movement to downriver mills.

The problem is that barge movement is slow; most export contracts are prearranged and longer-term; the longer delivery schedules are calculated into those agreements.  Contrast that with the needs of domestic food and beverage processors (especially large regional corporate breweries), who depend upon timely and, in some cases, daily deliveries of these bulk cargoes.  For that, rail or truck is optimal.  Wheat and corn -- and in some cases barley and rye -- generally are transported by rail, with the processing facilities located along trackage.  Smaller-quantity grains (barley, specialty rices, etc.) generally are the parvenu of trucks (although rail hopper cars loaded with these are not unheard of, particularly with large commercial bakeries or those regional breweries).  While both TX and OK have significant grain production, that is located either in central TX or the TX Panhandle, or in the case of OK along the KS state line or along the western line shared with TX.  But most of the arable lands in those two states are already in production, and the transport system for that cargo is well-established.  It's highly unlikely that there would be enough additional production capacity out of OK and TX to warrant the expense of attempting to expand the grain barge system to the Red River; unlike the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, which bisect the grain-growing area, the Red River above Lake Texoma isn't of sufficient flow to support a dredged operation to bring the barges to that target area.  It would have to be brought in by rail or truck, which, cost-wise, would defeat the purposes of the economics of export grain, which pay less pound for pound than domestic processing.  In short, there's no compelling reason to bring a barge system inland as far as the cited plans projected; the math just isn't there.  Even an extension to Texarkana is speculative -- but perhaps hardwood lumber from the Ouachitas might be added to the mix to make such an extension feasible; white oak from that area is a demand item for overseas furniture producers (at least according to my Broken Bow relatives; my grandfather worked as a manager for Dierks' old Broken Bow plant, and my father briefly worked in their Valliant plant as a lumber grader before moving to California in the late '30's).  Bottom line -- I don't think that I-49 or any other bridge between Texarkana and Denison will need to be raised/replaced in the foreseeable future.         
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rte66man

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #276 on: May 05, 2020, 11:13:03 AM »

Maybe the idea is stuff could be brought by truck or rail to Texarkana and shipped down the Red on a barge? Or vice-versa?

In any case, the difficulty that you'd run into above Texarkana is that the river channel is entirely in Oklahoma, which would derive next to zero benefit from a navigable river channel. I don't think a port serving Durant would justify the trouble.

Don't let the city fathers hear about this. Maybe then they could actually justify the local industrial park :)
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #277 on: May 05, 2020, 12:30:13 PM »

May that Red River barge idea die the quiet death a hideous waste of money like that deserves.

What would such barges even carry?  There's nothing being produced in such quantity in the Texarkana region that it's in need of goddamn barges to move it.

About the only salient need for barge traffic at all is to move bulk cargo to either a central collection point along a waterway or an export location -- which is the reason for all the offloading facilities lining the Mississippi from Baton Rouge all the way down the river through New Orleans and into Plaquemine Parish.   Barges save about 30% over all-rail transport -- but the trick is to get the cargo to an appropriate waterway.  Grain accounts for most of the barge traffic for most of the Missouri/Mississippi watershed; the Mississippi River export traffic via LA is both milled flour (primarily from the Twin Cities) and unmilled grain; coming from the Missouri channel it's mostly of the unmilled variety bulk-loaded along that river (although below KC there is a small amount of flour traffic from the KC area).  And not all the river traffic is destined for export; there is more than a bit of intercity movement to downriver mills.

The problem is that barge movement is slow; most export contracts are prearranged and longer-term; the longer delivery schedules are calculated into those agreements.  Contrast that with the needs of domestic food and beverage processors (especially large regional corporate breweries), who depend upon timely and, in some cases, daily deliveries of these bulk cargoes.  For that, rail or truck is optimal.  Wheat and corn -- and in some cases barley and rye -- generally are transported by rail, with the processing facilities located along trackage.  Smaller-quantity grains (barley, specialty rices, etc.) generally are the parvenu of trucks (although rail hopper cars loaded with these are not unheard of, particularly with large commercial bakeries or those regional breweries).  While both TX and OK have significant grain production, that is located either in central TX or the TX Panhandle, or in the case of OK along the KS state line or along the western line shared with TX.  But most of the arable lands in those two states are already in production, and the transport system for that cargo is well-established.  It's highly unlikely that there would be enough additional production capacity out of OK and TX to warrant the expense of attempting to expand the grain barge system to the Red River; unlike the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, which bisect the grain-growing area, the Red River above Lake Texoma isn't of sufficient flow to support a dredged operation to bring the barges to that target area.  It would have to be brought in by rail or truck, which, cost-wise, would defeat the purposes of the economics of export grain, which pay less pound for pound than domestic processing.  In short, there's no compelling reason to bring a barge system inland as far as the cited plans projected; the math just isn't there.  Even an extension to Texarkana is speculative -- but perhaps hardwood lumber from the Ouachitas might be added to the mix to make such an extension feasible; white oak from that area is a demand item for overseas furniture producers (at least according to my Broken Bow relatives; my grandfather worked as a manager for Dierks' old Broken Bow plant, and my father briefly worked in their Valliant plant as a lumber grader before moving to California in the late '30's).  Bottom line -- I don't think that I-49 or any other bridge between Texarkana and Denison will need to be raised/replaced in the foreseeable future.       

Hardwood timber in OK /AR?  The vast majority of the harvestable timber in either one today is plantation planted pine. What little hardwood  there is very slow growth stuff. (Think 100 years from seedling to harvest. )  All of the old growth hardwood was cut before WWII and what replaced it was either planted pine or scrubby hardwood regrowth.  Even 50 miles further south, the hardwood regrowth to harvest is 35 years or so.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #278 on: May 05, 2020, 12:52:07 PM »

Maybe the idea is stuff could be brought by truck or rail to Texarkana and shipped down the Red on a barge? Or vice-versa?

In any case, the difficulty that you'd run into above Texarkana is that the river channel is entirely in Oklahoma, which would derive next to zero benefit from a navigable river channel. I don't think a port serving Durant would justify the trouble.

Don't let the city fathers hear about this. Maybe then they could actually justify the local industrial park :)

The part from the Index north of Texarkana to the OK state line is likewise all Arkansas.     

Texas has ZERO access to the river except some places where the river route has changed and on lake Texoma. US 71 sits at the corner of the land border and the river north of Texarkana.

Myself, I simply do not see the sensibility for making the Red Navigable farther North.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #279 on: May 05, 2020, 02:31:54 PM »

Hardwood timber in OK /AR?  The vast majority of the harvestable timber in either one today is plantation planted pine. What little hardwood  there is very slow growth stuff. (Think 100 years from seedling to harvest. )  All of the old growth hardwood was cut before WWII and what replaced it was either planted pine or scrubby hardwood regrowth.  Even 50 miles further south, the hardwood regrowth to harvest is 35 years or so.

According to my McCurtain County relatives it's true that most of the hardwood within a 25-mile radius of Broken Bow or Idabel was harvested clean by the 1970's -- but they're still hauling wood in from north on the flanks of Blue Mountain up on US 259 -- not in the quantities seen 40-50 years ago, but still enough to make the operation profitable.  But Weyerhaeuser, who bought out Dierks, the old regional lumber "kings", back in the '60's, has centralized their hardwood operation (again, concentrating on white oak, which is apparently their most profitable wood variety) with extensive plantation operations between Dierks (gee, I wonder where the town name came from!) and Murfreesboro, AR (they've owned or leased that land for about a century).  Having dealt with oak suppliers in my own business (loudspeakers), I've been told that while it's true that there's a "waiting time" from planting to harvest -- actually calculated at about 28 years for California red oak and a bit more for the harder white variety -- Weyerhaeuser, being one of the "800-pound-gorillas" of the industry, has the resources and the available acreage to keep a rotating supply source, where successive plots are harvested and replanted on about a 2-3 year cycle, and for the next cycle moving on to another mature plot for harvest, repeating the process. 

But it's unlikely much of that would even be considered for barge traffic -- the company, and Dierks before it, has their own railroad running from Valliant, OK, where it services their mill and also interchanges traffic with BNSF there, east through Broken Bow to De Queen, where product is switched to their long-time partner Kansas City Southern.  The railroad -- the Texas, Oklahoma, and Eastern, is registered as a common carrier (it also serves the Tyson plant in Broken Bow), even though 80% of its carloads are Weyerhaeuser input or output.  The line exends east to Dierks and then turns southeast to Hope, AR, where it services yet another mill and interchanges traffic with UP.  But most of the raw lumber and finished wood product from the mills goes to De Queen and is transferred to KCS which moves it to KC or Shreveport for wider distribution (or even export via Port Arthur, TX).  This arrangement has been in place for as long as Dierks and its successor have been harvesting lumber from the Ouachita Mountains; the chances that it'll change to barge for the marginal cost difference  -- as well as the disruption of its existing distribution chain -- are vanishingly slim.   
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MikieTimT

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #280 on: May 06, 2020, 10:19:43 AM »

Well, Louisiana got on board with the Red River navigation study as well with some of their own money, but they are approaching it as much from a flood control perspective as much as additional river traffic through their ports.  And the last study found that there was a favorable cost to benefit ratio unlike the last time it was studied, so the Corps of Engineers getting funding for a complete analysis is the next step.  Still unlikely to happen anytime in the next 20 years, but moving forward nonetheless.

https://bossierpress.com/parish-commits-to-study-about-red-river-flooding-navigability-into-arkansas/
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #281 on: May 06, 2020, 04:20:55 PM »

Well, Louisiana got on board with the Red River navigation study as well with some of their own money, but they are approaching it as much from a flood control perspective as much as additional river traffic through their ports.  And the last study found that there was a favorable cost to benefit ratio unlike the last time it was studied, so the Corps of Engineers getting funding for a complete analysis is the next step.  Still unlikely to happen anytime in the next 20 years, but moving forward nonetheless.

https://bossierpress.com/parish-commits-to-study-about-red-river-flooding-navigability-into-arkansas/

Sounds like this study is limited to projects within AR, so the concept west from there toward Texoma appears to be at best shelved for the present -- which is good news for (a) rational folks everywhere and (b) TX and OK, which won't be faced with the prospect of having to reconstruct the bridges along that waterway. 
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #282 on: May 07, 2020, 12:16:10 AM »



that highway over the Y City "summit"

Foran Gap.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #283 on: May 07, 2020, 12:28:42 AM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #284 on: May 07, 2020, 12:39:10 AM »

US 59 was originally supposed to follow AR41 to DeQueen but temporarily routed through Texarkana because there was a bridge at Texarkana.  It initially followed the current TX8 from Linden to  Boston (New Boston) then followed US82 to Texarkana. Later it was shortened to skip New Boston and followed US67 directly to Texarkana. When Wright Patman Lake was built, it was redirected along SH47 from Linden to Atlanta to Texarkana (by then the District TXDOT office was in Atlanta).

As to I-49 in Oklahoma,  It would still be a fit to follow US59 to US271 then back to Ft Smith. That said, OK has as little money as Arkansas especially for Southeast Oklahoma.  This is the place where JFK came to open US259 where no real road had existed before. 

A good route for I49 would have been Texarkana to roughly Foreman AR to Idabel then roughly follow US259 to US59 Near Paige OK then to 271. (The distance would be little different than the proposed moutain route through Arkansas

It looks like I49 will stay entirely in Arkansas and probably will take 25 years or more to complete. I really don't see it taking any less anywhere else.

US 59 was originally supposed to follow AR41 to DeQueen but temporarily routed through Texarkana because there was a bridge at Texarkana.  It initially followed the current TX8 from Linden to  Boston (New Boston) then followed US82 to Texarkana. Later it was shortened to skip New Boston and followed US67 directly to Texarkana. When Wright Patman Lake was built, it was redirected along SH47 from Linden to Atlanta to Texarkana (by then the District TXDOT office was in Atlanta).
Do you have a source for this information? I grew up on US 59 in Arkansas and I have never heard of it being routed along Highway 41. The only thing that has anything to do with another routing for US 59 that I have seen is an old document from ODOT's predecessor saying that in the future, US 59 could be rerouted to follow what was then OK 103 and OK 21 from Page through Idabel into Texas. Nothing ever came of it. I have seen thousands of maps of this part of the world and have never seen anything about US 59 being routed along AR 41, or anything about a Temporary US 59 designation. Arkansas showed temporary US routes at the time, such as Temporary US 70 through Lockesburg and Nashville.
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US71

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #285 on: May 08, 2020, 08:21:59 PM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #286 on: May 09, 2020, 01:26:30 PM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

I would swear I had seen something that said INITIALLY (1931?) US-59 had initially followed SH 8 to Boston / New Boston; the county seat then followed 82 to Texarkana. I cannot find that. So seemingly it ended at Maud and had a break from Maud to Page OK.

https://www.txdot.gov/tpp/hwy/us/us0059.htm

03/01/1935 - Maud 40, Jefferson 18, Marshall 28, Carthage 28, Center 24, San Augustine 51, Jasper 21, Kibbyville 19, Buna 15, Silsbee 20, Beaumont 19, Port Arthur.  (It is understood that the location of US 59 between Page, Oklahoma, and Maud, Texas, as given in this description, is temporary awaiting a more direct route between these points so that it will not be necessary to have US 59 and US 71 traverse the same territory, which will greatly shorten the distance for US 59 between these points.)

Look over the web link, it has more.  Note 59 Originally went to Port Arthur not Laredo.  The 1939 reroute is the first Minute order on the TXDOT site that takes it to Texarkana and actually doesn't leave it hanging in Maud.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #287 on: May 09, 2020, 02:10:20 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.

The terrain from Ft Smith to Mena isn't any better.  It would be a push either way as far as mountains go.

It wouldn't go from Waldron to Page. It would skip Waldron. Basically 271 to 59 then back to Mena.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 02:58:02 PM by bwana39 »
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #288 on: May 09, 2020, 02:35:49 PM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

"Modern" TX 8 was "OLD"  TX 8. US-59 from Linden to Maud was the once and future SH-8

I used to live in Panola County next door to a woman born in the late 1910's .  She called US-59 "Highway 8" to her death.  While SH-8 was truncated at first at Corley then at Linden it had originally been signed all the way to Silsbee.

http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/old-highway-maps/1936-official-north-texas-high.jpg
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #289 on: May 09, 2020, 04:15:53 PM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

"Modern" TX 8 was "OLD"  TX 8. US-59 from Linden to Maud was the once and future SH-8

I used to live in Panola County next door to a woman born in the late 1910's .  She called US-59 "Highway 8" to her death.  While SH-8 was truncated at first at Corley then at Linden it had originally been signed all the way to Silsbee.

http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/old-highway-maps/1936-official-north-texas-high.jpg

There's not a significant difference, mileage-wise, from Linden to Texarkana via either the TX 8/US 67 route via Maud and the current US 59 through Atlanta.   My guess is that at some point political pressure from Atlanta interests was able to get the US highway rerouted through that city, at which point Linden>Maud reverted to a state-signed route.  Not surprising; Atlanta is the largest single town between Marshall and Texarkana, and it's situated along the main old Missouri Pacific (now part of UP) line from St. Louis to Texas.   And by doing so, it essentially sealed the fate of US 59 as a multiplex with US 71 north of Texarkana, leaving the TX 8/AR 41 alternative out of the mix. 
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #290 on: May 09, 2020, 04:44:37 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.
The terrain from Ft Smith to Mena isn't any better.  It would be a push either way as far as mountains go.

Page and Waldron are (roughly) between Fort Smith and Mena. There are two huge mountains in the way (Black Fork Mountain and Fourche Mountain) and the current US 71-270 routing and future I-49 routing through Foran Gap is the path of least resistance. If it went directly from Waldron to Page, it would have to cut through the western end of Black Fork Mountain.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #291 on: May 09, 2020, 05:17:22 PM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

I would swear I had seen something that said INITIALLY (1931?) US-59 had initially followed SH 8 to Boston / New Boston; the county seat then followed 82 to Texarkana. I cannot find that. So seemingly it ended at Maud and had a break from Maud to Page OK.

I was really confused by this because Maud, OK also has a Highway 59. That one is a state highway.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #292 on: May 09, 2020, 09:38:43 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.
The terrain from Ft Smith to Mena isn't any better.  It would be a push either way as far as mountains go.

Page and Waldron are (roughly) between Fort Smith and Mena. There are two huge mountains in the way (Black Fork Mountain and Fourche Mountain) and the current US 71-270 routing and future I-49 routing through Foran Gap is the path of least resistance. If it went directly from Waldron to Page, it would have to cut through the western end of Black Fork Mountain.

While promoted as an alternative by McCurtain County interests (disclosure: my cousin was on that committee), US 259 never really made it into the serious mix (topology issues).  What did emerge as an alternate in the early '90's once the first high priority corridor (literally; it is HPC #1) was established with KC and Shreveport as the endpoints was a "detour" into OK.  It would have either used the I-540 freeway through Fort Smith -- or the southern approach to a new bridge more or less where the planned Arkansas River crossing is located would have turned west near US 71 -- and continued into OK, following US 271 and AR 112 via Pocola, and then US 59 from Poteau southward, following it back into AR east of Page -- and then southward after the US 71 merge as per current plans.  The rationale was simple -- avoidance of the gradients on each side of Foran Gap, and maintaining a steady near-1% "ruling" gradient by essentially following the Kansas City Southern main line via Poteau and Heavener, which re-enters AR alongside US 59/270 (railroads are famous for pre-selecting the path of least resistance/grades).  Mileage-wise, about 8% more than via a direct US 71 alignment, but construction would be decidedly easier.   Of course, eventually this detour was discarded when OK declined to commit funds to the project, claiming limited benefits to the state save a few bucks from travel-oriented tax revenues.  So the corridor choices were winnowed down to all-AR options -- and the project is where it is today.  Even over a quarter-century ago, OK could not be counted on to actively participate in such ventures.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #293 on: May 10, 2020, 11:05:13 AM »

In the Texarkana area,  59 originally followed US 67 to (modern) TX 8. Loop 14 in Texarkana was US 59 at one time, as well before it was extended down State Line Road/ US 71 to the 67/82 junction

I would swear I had seen something that said INITIALLY (1931?) US-59 had initially followed SH 8 to Boston / New Boston; the county seat then followed 82 to Texarkana. I cannot find that. So seemingly it ended at Maud and had a break from Maud to Page OK.



I was really confused by this because Maud, OK also has a Highway 59. That one is a state highway.

Maud Texas  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Maud,+TX+75567/@33.3266602,-94.3493472,14.5z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x863435b00c22e1fd:0xe05adcb475f8d70!8m2!3d33.3329014!4d-94.3426964

I didn't know there was a Maud OK. My bad.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 11:12:08 AM by bwana39 »
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #294 on: May 10, 2020, 02:50:19 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.

Waldron to Page?   (I-49)

It would have continued along US-59 from Page to Poteau, the followed US-271 to Ft Smith.

Like it has been said several times. There is zero support outside the mostly rural areas the route would have followed to build this or any larger capacity road through Eastern Oklahoma. The upgrades to US-70 across far southern Oklahoma is a surprise.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #295 on: May 10, 2020, 04:32:17 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.

Waldron to Page?   (I-49)

It would have continued along US-59 from Page to Poteau, the followed US-271 to Ft Smith.

Like it has been said several times. There is zero support outside the mostly rural areas the route would have followed to build this or any larger capacity road through Eastern Oklahoma. The upgrades to US-70 across far southern Oklahoma is a surprise.

The US 70 upgrades are hardly comprehensive; the most prominent of those being the Madill-Ardmore reroute, dating from the '80's, and the Durant bypass freeway.  Everything else, including the Idabel bypass, an expressway, has been done as "spot" fixes -- and the Idabel project dates from the mid-90's -- hardly indicative of a continuing set of upgrades.  OK projects tend to be done when local interests raise a clamor about (a) being previously ignored when ODOT distributes projects or (b) that they're necessary to attract or provoke expansion of commercial facilities.  In SE OK, this means Weyerhaeuser (lumber products) or Tyson (food processing).  When one or another of those lodge "concerns" with town or county officials, that's quickly passed on to OKC.  And -- even though the process may seem glacial at times -- things eventually get done.  US 70 has been getting "twinned" west of Idabel a mile or two at a time for the last decade, largely to placate the Tyson managers at their Broken Bow facility on US 70/259 south of town.  Eventually it'll be 4-lane divided all the way to Hugo, so Tyson trucks can head north on the INT or south on US 271 toward Dallas a few minutes quicker than now. 

But these "eked out" projects are about all that can be anticipated for the foreseeable future; the lack of impetus from ODOT or their OKC handlers is something that can't be readily overcome; local initiative can only go so far.  And that local initiative seems to be more adept at forming "roadblocks" to projects (e.g. Muskogee and the abortive bypass plan, or Atoka or Stringtown re maintaining the status quo) than promoting them -- the OK state mechanism has never needed much of a reason to not spend money!     
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #296 on: May 10, 2020, 05:16:39 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.

Waldron to Page?   (I-49)

It would have continued along US-59 from Page to Poteau, the followed US-271 to Ft Smith.

Like it has been said several times. There is zero support outside the mostly rural areas the route would have followed to build this or any larger capacity road through Eastern Oklahoma. The upgrades to US-70 across far southern Oklahoma is a surprise.

The US 70 upgrades are hardly comprehensive; the most prominent of those being the Madill-Ardmore reroute, dating from the '80's, and the Durant bypass freeway.  Everything else, including the Idabel bypass, an expressway, has been done as "spot" fixes -- and the Idabel project dates from the mid-90's -- hardly indicative of a continuing set of upgrades.  OK projects tend to be done when local interests raise a clamor about (a) being previously ignored when ODOT distributes projects or (b) that they're necessary to attract or provoke expansion of commercial facilities.  In SE OK, this means Weyerhaeuser (lumber products) or Tyson (food processing).  When one or another of those lodge "concerns" with town or county officials, that's quickly passed on to OKC.  And -- even though the process may seem glacial at times -- things eventually get done.  US 70 has been getting "twinned" west of Idabel a mile or two at a time for the last decade, largely to placate the Tyson managers at their Broken Bow facility on US 70/259 south of town.  Eventually it'll be 4-lane divided all the way to Hugo, so Tyson trucks can head north on the INT or south on US 271 toward Dallas a few minutes quicker than now. 

But these "eked out" projects are about all that can be anticipated for the foreseeable future; the lack of impetus from ODOT or their OKC handlers is something that can't be readily overcome; local initiative can only go so far.  And that local initiative seems to be more adept at forming "roadblocks" to projects (e.g. Muskogee and the abortive bypass plan, or Atoka or Stringtown re maintaining the status quo) than promoting them -- the OK state mechanism has never needed much of a reason to not spend money!   

I agree with you, but at the same time, it is surprising that they have twinned US-70 and Replaced bridges.  The North Idabel bypass is a key example of knee jerks. US 70 had been realigned arount the east and south of Idabel in the eighties. The north bypass missed a couple of traffic signals and little else.   The twinning from the Arkansas state line to past Hugo is more and faster that I remember seeing anything done in McCurtain and Chocktaw counties.  There is  twinning west of Hugo on US-70 being done, particularly the Durant bypass.

Even absent the places where it has been improved to 2x2 the general condition of the roadway east of US75 is like night and day from a decade ago.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 05:24:24 PM by bwana39 »
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Let's build what we need as economically as possible.

rte66man

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #297 on: May 10, 2020, 07:23:02 PM »

I-49 was once going to follow US 259? How would it have gotten from Waldron to Page? The terrain is very rugged in that part of the country.

Waldron to Page?   (I-49)

It would have continued along US-59 from Page to Poteau, the followed US-271 to Ft Smith.

Like it has been said several times. There is zero support outside the mostly rural areas the route would have followed to build this or any larger capacity road through Eastern Oklahoma. The upgrades to US-70 across far southern Oklahoma is a surprise.

The US 70 upgrades are hardly comprehensive; the most prominent of those being the Madill-Ardmore reroute, dating from the '80's, and the Durant bypass freeway.  Everything else, including the Idabel bypass, an expressway, has been done as "spot" fixes -- and the Idabel project dates from the mid-90's -- hardly indicative of a continuing set of upgrades. 

Believe it or not, there is a comprehensive plan to 4 lane US70 from Ardmore to Idabel.  Back in the 90's when the ROADS bonds were passed, many of the rural areas got guarantees from ODOT for their projects. Without those, the bonds wouldn't have passed. Similar deals were cut for US183 from Clinton to Frederick, OK6 from Altus to Elk City,  US59 from Sallisaw to Poteau, and others that don't come readily to mind. I know because I worked for the Legislature back then.  None of the commitments had a deadline, hence the glacial pace. 

The next major US70 projects are the Madill bypass and replacement of the Roosevelt Bridge across the Washita arm of Lake Texoma.
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