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Author Topic: In preparation for I-27 extension, expect bypass and/or 4-lane upgrades...  (Read 4752 times)

SquonkHunter

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IIRC, the original Plains to Ports (aka I-27) corridor in the '70s was to run from Lubbock to Houston. Somewhere along the way it morphed into Lubbock to Laredo (?). Of course that was before NAFTA and its successor agreements. At the bare minimum the Lubbock to Roscoe section should be upgraded to full freeway status, I-27 or not. The US 287 corridor from Fort Worth to Amarillo would also be a prime candidate for full freeway upgrades. While nice, an Interstate designation is not essential IMHO. Just build it already.   
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sprjus4

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Since 1990 Texas has had a long range plan to develop a "trunk system" of 4 lane divided highways. One feature of the plan was building bypasses around towns or thru routes on existing alignments that would either be freeways or upgradeable to freeways. The US-277 project between Wichita Falls and Abilene is one example of this trunk highway concept. One nice aspect to this plan is the resulting hybrid freeway/expressway roads would have segments easier to upgrade to Interstate quality later if needed.

Some of the corridors we frequently mention, such as this topic of US-87 in relation to I-27, were included in the Phase 1 plan trunk system plan.

A 4-lane divided highway is certainly going to be safer and more efficient at moving traffic than a mere 2-lane road. However 4-lane divided highways still have plenty of conflict points from vehicles turning onto the highway from at-grade streets or driveways. The conflict points are enhanced when thru traffic is moving at speeds of 70mph or more.

I think US-87 through most of the Panhandle down to far South Texas needs to be Interstate quality. Amarillo, Lubbock, Big Spring, Midland-Odessa, San Angelo, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Laredo form a pretty valuable commercial traffic corridor -one that would be even better connected to the Front Range cities in Colorado.

Statements that suggest Texas is trying to be North Carolina by frivolously signing new Interstates is just ridiculous. Texas is a gigantic state and its existing Interstate quality routes are spaced much farther apart than many states farther East. Texas is also home to four of the biggest urban MSA's in the nation, with Austin & San Antonio effectively merging into one huge MSA. Texas is continuing to add population at a fast rate, some of which is being drawn from the West Coast and Northeast. All that adds up to Texas needing to beef up its highways in a big way. Not every "trunk route" in Texas is worthy of an Interstate upgrade. But there is at least half a dozen corridors in Texas definitely worthy of Interstate upgrades.

The biggest problem I have with the Texas trunk system is if you are a driver that is not familiar with the areas that have the bypasses (exacerbated by fatigue) you can easily fall into the trap of not knowing where the freeway ends and the expressway begins seeing how you have a 4-lane divided highway in both cases.  It can be quite problematic driving 70 mph and having limited access then suddenly you have a pickup with a trailer pulling into the road from a right angle.  The discrepancy in speed is deadly, and that's one of the biggest reasons why the interstate system exists.  I know lots of people on this forum say a 4-lane rural expressway is "good enough", but I find it to be very scary.  It looks, feels and smells like a freeway so it's easy to relax and feel safe when instead you should be on high alert. 

This system is one of the reasons I am so onboard to construct many miles of rural freeway in Texas.  Simply put, the current setup is dangerous.  I am not saying don't have bypasses, but it's never handled correctly.  A lot of time with small town bypasses in Texas, there is not an "END FREEWAY" assembly.  There are some in the state, but Texas does a very bad job of that crucial detail.  It should be one of three setups:

1. 4-lane expressway with town freeway bypasses, but very well marked where the freeway begins and ends and every crossover between freeway sections clearly marked.

2. Freeway bypasses with undivided highways outside the bypasses.  I hate that too, but it will keep people alert where the freeway ends/begins.

3. Make the whole thing a freeway which is the safest.

Rural non-freeways are usually sufficient in most cases.  The driver should be aware that driving conditions are constantly changing.  Those pretty red, white and blue signs do not need to dot the entire countryside.
Then why did we build the interstate highway system in the 1956 and 1968 additions?
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sparker

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IIRC, the original Plains to Ports (aka I-27) corridor in the '70s was to run from Lubbock to Houston. Somewhere along the way it morphed into Lubbock to Laredo (?). Of course that was before NAFTA and its successor agreements. At the bare minimum the Lubbock to Roscoe section should be upgraded to full freeway status, I-27 or not. The US 287 corridor from Fort Worth to Amarillo would also be a prime candidate for full freeway upgrades. While nice, an Interstate designation is not essential IMHO. Just build it already.   

The prevailing thought is that if a long-distance corridor like US 287 were to be reconstructed as a full freeway, it may as well be designated as an Interstate -- which over the past 65 years has "morphed" into a brand name (think Kleenex when referring to tissue paper) that carries considerable weight with parties, often based overseas, that are looking to locate distribution sites for their products.  The criteria they generally employ cites rail and Interstate access as boxes to be ticked off during the selection process (some have even gone so far as to parse out Interstate trunks/1-2di's as preferable).  So while the physical characteristics for Interstates are more specific -- shoulder width, bridge clearance, etc.), following those these days with facilities that would be built "from scratch" and/or on new terrain alignment would entail relatively minimal cost differences when considered within the scope of building a new freeway in general. 

I was unaware of a Houston-Lubbock proposal, Interstate or otherwise, outside the overreaching multimodal proposals of the 2000's; but if one was proffered at some point, it sounds like a combination of the I-14 concept in the "Triangle" combined with an Abilene-Temple corridor concept -- and US 84 northwest of there as the last leg.  And it's probably a correct analysis that increased cross-border traffic centered on Laredo prompted the pivot southward starting with the legislation of the initial HPC #38 routing back in 1995.  That being said, there was a 1970-initiated corridor covering that same US 84 leg southeast of Lubbock.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 05:54:26 PM by sparker »
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TheBox

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sparker

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Some news, that probably doesn't change much
https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/top-news/san-angelo-mayor-and-tom-green-county-judge-on-i-27-ports-to-plains-committee/

Well, that adds two likely San Angelo "boosters" to the advisory committee.  As the city that'll likely receive more in the way of benefits than any other on the corridor, it's a way to increase the chances of (a) reasonably timely development and (b) that development being Interstate grade -- or close to it -- in the initial stages rather than a protracted multi-phase approach.  Also, that increases the chances that both the Big Spring/east and Midland/west legs of the split corridor north of San Angelo will be included in those initial stages, since both areas have a vested interest as evidenced by their "I-14-to-M/O" push, the westernmost leg of which would be subsumed by the P2P efforts.   
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armadillo speedbump

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At the bare minimum the Lubbock to Roscoe section should be upgraded to full freeway status, I-27 or not.

That's unnecessary.  It is already is a mostly free flowing 4-lane divided, with overpasses at most significant intersections.  All that is needed is a Post bypass, 2 miles of freeway upgrade & interchange in SE Lubbock connecting to 289, and maybe overpasses in Hermleigh and Roscoe/608. 

Expressways are sufficient for rural west Texas.  After that, any time savings from the hundreds of millions to upgrade to full freeway (with a ton of wasteful frontage roads) could be counted on the fingers of 1 hand.  There aren't massive numbers of traffic accidents to reduce.  Future truck growth still wouldn't come close to justifying the expensive upgrades to a freeway.

What is needed is for Congress to create a national Expressways program and funding, equivalent to the Interstate program.  Then it could be used for the economic development arguments and designations where businesses previously required Interstate accessibility.
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armadillo speedbump

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Some news, that probably doesn't change much
https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/top-news/san-angelo-mayor-and-tom-green-county-judge-on-i-27-ports-to-plains-committee/

Well, that adds two likely San Angelo "boosters" to the advisory committee.  As the city that'll likely receive more in the way of benefits than any other on the corridor, it's a way to increase the chances of (a) reasonably timely development and (b) that development being Interstate grade -- or close to it -- in the initial stages rather than a protracted multi-phase approach.  Also, that increases the chances that both the Big Spring/east and Midland/west legs of the split corridor north of San Angelo will be included in those initial stages, since both areas have a vested interest as evidenced by their "I-14-to-M/O" push, the westernmost leg of which would be subsumed by the P2P efforts.

Hopefully those mostly boondoggle interstate moneywasters aren't started for decades.  Lubbock to S.A./Austin/Killeen only need improvements, not billions in freeway upgrades.

Add a couple of overpasses on the far south outskirts of Lubbock, Tahoka and Lamesa bypasses, and either a few overpasses in Midland or a bypass connector to 250.  349/176 interchange is sufficient for demand.  Interchange improvements and an overpass or two on 158 leaving Midland.  Bypasses of Garden City, Sterling City, San Angelo, Eden, and Menard (the Big Spring segments are already upgraded enough), and upgrade to expressway the remaining 2-lane segments between Eden and Junction.  Eventually upgrade to expressway Eden-Lampasas, Menard-Horseshoe Bay, and Junction-Mason.

Again, we'd be much better off creating a designation that equates Expressways to Interstates.  Save a lot of money from waste.
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sparker

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Some news, that probably doesn't change much
https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/top-news/san-angelo-mayor-and-tom-green-county-judge-on-i-27-ports-to-plains-committee/

Well, that adds two likely San Angelo "boosters" to the advisory committee.  As the city that'll likely receive more in the way of benefits than any other on the corridor, it's a way to increase the chances of (a) reasonably timely development and (b) that development being Interstate grade -- or close to it -- in the initial stages rather than a protracted multi-phase approach.  Also, that increases the chances that both the Big Spring/east and Midland/west legs of the split corridor north of San Angelo will be included in those initial stages, since both areas have a vested interest as evidenced by their "I-14-to-M/O" push, the westernmost leg of which would be subsumed by the P2P efforts.

Hopefully those mostly boondoggle interstate moneywasters aren't started for decades.  Lubbock to S.A./Austin/Killeen only need improvements, not billions in freeway upgrades.

Add a couple of overpasses on the far south outskirts of Lubbock, Tahoka and Lamesa bypasses, and either a few overpasses in Midland or a bypass connector to 250.  349/176 interchange is sufficient for demand.  Interchange improvements and an overpass or two on 158 leaving Midland.  Bypasses of Garden City, Sterling City, San Angelo, Eden, and Menard (the Big Spring segments are already upgraded enough), and upgrade to expressway the remaining 2-lane segments between Eden and Junction.  Eventually upgrade to expressway Eden-Lampasas, Menard-Horseshoe Bay, and Junction-Mason.

Again, we'd be much better off creating a designation that equates Expressways to Interstates.  Save a lot of money from waste.

Wow!  For someone who wants to save bucks, that's a pretty long laundry list of improvements!  This sounds more like a "midwest expressway" format (like the Avenue of the Saints in MO/IA) -- but that's not the aim of the local backers, who are pushing for a full-fledged Interstate corridor.  A further indication regarding that position has come out of Amarillo:
https://www.myhighplains.com/news/local-news/i-27-advisory-committee-to-work-with-txdot-on-expanding-ports-to-plains-corridor/
One proclamation from the above source came from Amarillo city manager Jared Miller about the west side of Loop 335 being the pathway for the I-27 extension north from that city; something previously hinted at via plans for a direct connector to the SW corner of the loop from I-27 south of the current junction.  What will happen to current I-27 north to I-40 has yet TBD (3di?, reversion to US 60/87?).  Guess that will remain unresolved until loop development actually takes place.






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ethanhopkin14

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Some news, that probably doesn't change much
https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/top-news/san-angelo-mayor-and-tom-green-county-judge-on-i-27-ports-to-plains-committee/

Well, that adds two likely San Angelo "boosters" to the advisory committee.  As the city that'll likely receive more in the way of benefits than any other on the corridor, it's a way to increase the chances of (a) reasonably timely development and (b) that development being Interstate grade -- or close to it -- in the initial stages rather than a protracted multi-phase approach.  Also, that increases the chances that both the Big Spring/east and Midland/west legs of the split corridor north of San Angelo will be included in those initial stages, since both areas have a vested interest as evidenced by their "I-14-to-M/O" push, the westernmost leg of which would be subsumed by the P2P efforts.

Hopefully those mostly boondoggle interstate moneywasters aren't started for decades.  Lubbock to S.A./Austin/Killeen only need improvements, not billions in freeway upgrades.

Add a couple of overpasses on the far south outskirts of Lubbock, Tahoka and Lamesa bypasses, and either a few overpasses in Midland or a bypass connector to 250.  349/176 interchange is sufficient for demand.  Interchange improvements and an overpass or two on 158 leaving Midland.  Bypasses of Garden City, Sterling City, San Angelo, Eden, and Menard (the Big Spring segments are already upgraded enough), and upgrade to expressway the remaining 2-lane segments between Eden and Junction.  Eventually upgrade to expressway Eden-Lampasas, Menard-Horseshoe Bay, and Junction-Mason.

Again, we'd be much better off creating a designation that equates Expressways to Interstates.  Save a lot of money from waste.

Wow!  For someone who wants to save bucks, that's a pretty long laundry list of improvements!  This sounds more like a "midwest expressway" format (like the Avenue of the Saints in MO/IA) -- but that's not the aim of the local backers, who are pushing for a full-fledged Interstate corridor.  A further indication regarding that position has come out of Amarillo:
https://www.myhighplains.com/news/local-news/i-27-advisory-committee-to-work-with-txdot-on-expanding-ports-to-plains-corridor/
One proclamation from the above source came from Amarillo city manager Jared Miller about the west side of Loop 335 being the pathway for the I-27 extension north from that city; something previously hinted at via plans for a direct connector to the SW corner of the loop from I-27 south of the current junction.  What will happen to current I-27 north to I-40 has yet TBD (3di?, reversion to US 60/87?).  Guess that will remain unresolved until loop development actually takes place.

Knowing Texas it would be downgraded to US 87.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 01:30:11 PM by ethanhopkin14 »
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Bobby5280

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Quote from: Scott5114
Or at the very least, it gives some options. Now if you extend I-27 to Denver, then extend the proposed US-412 interstate out to Boise City...build some bypasses on US-270 northwest of OKC, and now you're talking...

That's still a really huge "L" shape between Woodward and Kit Carson. A diagonal route direct from OKC to Denver would be far better for those two major metro areas, not to mention provide a far more direct gateway from the Front Range to the Southeast US.

Currently there isn't even so much as a very basic 2 lane road connecting Denver diagonally down to the South. I guarantee if the existing Southeast diagonal starting on I-70 East of Denver going down to Limon and continuing as US-287 to Kit Carson was continued to Fort Supply/Woodward, OK there would be a lot of traffic using it. Even if it was just a 2 lane road.

The highway system across much of that huge area of the high plains is a NSEW grid that would benefit a very limited amount of long distance traffic. There are some diagonal routes in that area, such as US-54 & US-56, but those routes are all geared to the old model of moving traffic from the Northeast US down toward California. There are no diagonals at all going Southeast to Northwest. The only exception is US-64/87 in Northern New Mexico, but that is pretty far out of the way for something like traffic going thru OKC heading up to Denver.

The US-412 Interstate proposal is really only going to benefit Oklahoma in terms of a Tulsa to NW Arkansas connector. I could see the Cimarron Turnpike extended from I-35 over to Enid and then maybe Woodward.

Quote from: SquonkHunter
IIRC, the original Plains to Ports (aka I-27) corridor in the '70s was to run from Lubbock to Houston. Somewhere along the way it morphed into Lubbock to Laredo (?).

There has never been any Lubbock to Houston proposal of the Ports to Plains Corridor. Given the location of Lubbock, the most direct paths from Lubbock down to Houston go thru the DFW metro via one of two corridors: US-82 to Seymour to pick up TX-114 or US-84 down to Roscoe to pick up I-20. Either route goes into DFW where the traffic would pick up I-45. Any other route combinations are going to be more complicated. Lubbock is not enough of a major destination to gain a 460+ mile long freeway route direct to Houston.

Quote from: sparker
The prevailing thought is that if a long-distance corridor like US 287 were to be reconstructed as a full freeway, it may as well be designated as an Interstate -- which over the past 65 years has "morphed" into a brand name (think Kleenex when referring to tissue paper) that carries considerable weight with parties, often based overseas, that are looking to locate distribution sites for their products.  The criteria they generally employ cites rail and Interstate access as boxes to be ticked off during the selection process (some have even gone so far as to parse out Interstate trunks/1-2di's as preferable).  So while the physical characteristics for Interstates are more specific -- shoulder width, bridge clearance, etc.), following those these days with facilities that would be built "from scratch" and/or on new terrain alignment would entail relatively minimal cost differences when considered within the scope of building a new freeway in general.

In the case of US-287, a LOT of motorists would benefit by that road being upgraded 100% to Interstate quality from Amarillo down thru DFW to I-45. There are numerous speed zones along the way and plenty of opportunity to get tickets from Texas DPS. Lots of trucks are on that route in general. Traffic gets particularly worse when you get close to Decatur and on into Fort Worth.

Distribution centers are a big and growing business in the Central US. Amazon is already expanding the huge facility they opened in Oklahoma City. Smaller cities with lower costs of living and business can be especially attractive if they're near a road/rail intersection of significance. Wichita Falls could see a boost in business if US-287 was upgraded to Interstate quality.

Quote from: armadillo speedbump
That's unnecessary.  It is already is a mostly free flowing 4-lane divided, with overpasses at most significant intersections.  All that is needed is a Post bypass, 2 miles of freeway upgrade & interchange in SE Lubbock connecting to 289, and maybe overpasses in Hermleigh and Roscoe/608.

US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Quote from: armadillo speedbump
Expressways are sufficient for rural west Texas.

That depends on the location and the big picture purpose of the route. The Ports to Plains Corridor isn't about making it easier for local traffic in small West Texas towns to get around. It's about connecting far more significant destinations (metro Denver, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, San Angelo, Laredo), just like any other long distance Interstate that crosses through desolate stretches. The leg of US-287 between Amarillo and DFW is more regional in nature: keeping up with the virus-like growth of the DFW metroplex and the increasing demands it will place on the regional highway network.

It's going to take many years (or even decades) for the P2P Corridor to get fully built out into something like an Interstate. But the continuing migration of population in the US to places like Texas and Colorado will increase the urgency to fully build out that corridor. The very least thing that should be happening now is getting freeway loops/bypasses completed in various cities along the way and then working to secure right of way for future expansion. Much of US-287 in between Fort Worth and Amarillo would be easy to upgrade, particularly the Wichita Falls to Fort Worth stretch because much of the freeway ROW has been preserved for decades.
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sparker

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Lubbock is not enough of a major destination to gain a 460+ mile long freeway route direct to Houston.

Tell that to the San Angelo-based I-14 boosters; their city has only 60% of Lubbock's population count.  It's all local politics amplified to higher volumes; making enough waves and having the right folks as allies counts for a lot, especially in TX.

Quote
US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

Quote
It's going to take many years (or even decades) for the P2P Corridor to get fully built out into something like an Interstate. But the continuing migration of population in the US to places like Texas and Colorado will increase the urgency to fully build out that corridor. The very least thing that should be happening now is getting freeway loops/bypasses completed in various cities along the way and then working to secure right of way for future expansion. Much of US-287 in between Fort Worth and Amarillo would be easy to upgrade, particularly the Wichita Falls to Fort Worth stretch because much of the freeway ROW has been preserved for decades.

It is likely that the initial development of P2P will resemble the "midwest expressway" format, since the more costly segments around towns and requiring more in the way of interchanges and/or structures would be developed first as a hedge against construction inflation; elevating the interim segments to I-standard would follow.  Property values along the P2P will of course lag behind those in the major TX metro regions and even along the I-35 corridor; that will make such locations as San Angelo, Lubbock, and Amarillo quite attractive as distribution centers due to lower initial development costs.  That's probably one of the driving forces behind the P2P/I-27 proposal:  give the developers the Interstate access they desire -- or at least have definitive plans to do so with a reasonable timetable attached -- and they will come to mid-sized cities with an available labor force. 

As far as the US 287 corridor is concerned, there's a lot to do, particularly west of Vernon.  Functional speed traps like Chillicothe, Quanah, and Childress may piss & moan about being bypassed (particularly their lineup of sub-par motels!); they see the through-town truck traffic as something of a semi-precious-metal goose laying the occasional monetary egg.  I-development along that route would likely trigger something of a Darwinian response -- the operations that are at least on solid fiscal ground would relocate to the bypass; the more marginal ones would wither on the old (business) route.  But any protests emanating from those smaller venues would likely resemble Monty Python's Black Knight ("None Shall Pass"), ending up without a leg to stand upon!  But like with Austin-to-Houston farther south, there's no formal plans afoot to upgrade US 287; it's not on any "back burner" -- it's completely off the stove, at least for the time being.  Maybe down the line if the P2P starts funneling DFW originating/bound traffic at Amarillo someone will take notice.   

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ethanhopkin14

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Quote
US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

I-20N!
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OCGuy81

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I don't think an expansion north and south of the current I-27 is too bad of an idea. As someone mentioned here earlier, Texas has some large cities, a fast growing population, and a connection to the NW would be beneficial, especially as Colorado and a lot of the other mountain west states are quickly growing as well.
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sparker

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Quote
US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

I-20N!

Unless it's a split that reunites later (e.g. I-35E/W or the planned I-27E/W) or a terminal split (the I-69 "trident"), I'd just as soon not use a suffixed designation; that's what put the kibosh on suffixes back in the late '70's.  Plenty of unused even 2di numbers; may as well pick the most appropriate one. 
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sprjus4

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I-70N and I-70S were terminal splits, but I-70S got changed. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if that stayed.
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Bobby5280

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Quote from: sparker
Tell that to the San Angelo-based I-14 boosters; their city has only 60% of Lubbock's population count.  It's all local politics amplified to higher volumes; making enough waves and having the right folks as allies counts for a lot, especially in TX.

Um, it's one thing for interests in San Angelo to want a freeway quality connection to Killeen, or Midland. It's another very extremely different thing for someone to want Lubbock, a city of 250,000 way out in the NW part of Texas to have its own personalized, direct Interstate route to Houston. A direct route from Lubbock to Houston is only laughably ridiculous. Honestly, I find it hard to believe any actual serious proposal exists for such a thing. The only legit outlets for Lubbock to Houston go through DFW via US-84 to I-20 or US-82 & TX-114. The US-84 route is obviously the easiest one to upgrade if needed. It's already a 4-lane divided route with plenty of available ROW along much of the way. US-82/TX-114 would take quite a bit more work.

Quote from: sparker
Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

It's more of a North-South route, IMHO. Given the importance of the Ports to Plains Corridor, the US-84 scenario would open the option of having three suffixed legs of I-27. "I-27E" could take up the US-84 portion from Lubbock to Roscoe. Mainline I-27 (or "I-27C") could continue South thru Big Spring. "I-27W" could connect to Midland-Odessa and rejoin "I-27C" as I-27 on the way to San Angelo.

Quote
As far as the US 287 corridor is concerned, there's a lot to do, particularly west of Vernon.  Functional speed traps like Chillicothe, Quanah, and Childress may piss & moan about being bypassed (particularly their lineup of sub-par motels!); they see the through-town truck traffic as something of a semi-precious-metal goose laying the occasional monetary egg.

US-287 immediately West of I-44 in Wichita Falls gets into odd territory. There are at-grade driveways polluting the highway only about a mile West of that intersection. Nevertheless, it's a problem that can be solved by extending frontage roads.

Chillicothe and Quanah are not exactly desired places for people to relocate. Even with some short-term pain of existing businesses along existing US-287 being bypassed I think the towns people overall would prefer an upgraded US-287 to Interstate standards to do more to put those small towns on the map. Otherwise they'll continue to dry out.

Childress is a big enough town to do just fine with an Interstate quality bypass bowing out just to the North of town. I'm sure there is at least some people in Childress who would prefer all the heavy trucks go around town rather than down the middle of Avenue F.

I think Memphis, TX is a slightly more complicated situation than Childress. The tributaries on the edges of the town work against a freeway bypass being built very close to the existing US-287 route. Plus there's the local municipal airport on the NE side of town. It is geometrically possible to build a new freeway along existing US-287 thru Memphis, mostly as an elevated highway, likely straddling the BNSF rail line. But that would be a pretty expensive thing to build. An at-grade bypass going East or West of Memphis would be less expensive.

Clarendon would need a freeway bypass. No question about that. It's just a matter of whether to build it around the North or South sides of town. The same goes for Claude. US-287 is flanked by frontage roads in Washburn, so that's an EASY upgrade.

Quote from: sprjus4
I-70N and I-70S were terminal splits, but I-70S got changed. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if that stayed.

In the case of Baltimore and Washington, DC the I-70N and I-70S routes seemed 100% legit. IIRC the I-76 route signed into Denver was previously I-80S, which I think sucked. But I-76 seems like a stretch for that short a route as well. However, there are other 2 digit routes that are shorter. So I-76 seems alright. I have no problem at all with I-80N from Utah to Portland being re-signed as a separate I-84 from the one in the Northeast. If any I-84 needs to be reduced to a 2-digit route the one the Northeast would be tagged due to being far shorter in length.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 12:45:21 AM by Bobby5280 »
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sparker

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It's more of a North-South route, IMHO. Given the importance of the Ports to Plains Corridor, the US-84 scenario would open the option of having three suffixed legs of I-27. "I-27E" could take up the US-84 portion from Lubbock to Roscoe. Mainline I-27 (or "I-27C") could continue South thru Big Spring. "I-27W" could connect to Midland-Odessa and rejoin "I-27C" as I-27 on the way to San Angelo.

I-27C?........oh gawd, no!  Pardon the detour into fictional, but a I-28 could be extended NW over US 84 to I-40 at some point (Santa Rosa or even Tucumcari) as a nice little shunt between I-40 and I-20 -- especially if US 287 were to fail to get traction.  Barring that -- if an odd number were to be selected Roscoe-Lubbock,  I-31's ready, willing, and able! 
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Childress is a big enough town to do just fine with an Interstate quality bypass bowing out just to the North of town. I'm sure there is at least some people in Childress who would prefer all the heavy trucks go around town rather than down the middle of Avenue F.

One of the rattiest shithole motels I ever stayed at as a kid was in Childress; we were trying to make Amarillo but my mom got cranky (not atypical) and wanted to stop sooner.  Big mistake -- literally a "roach motel"!

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If any I-84 needs to be reduced to a 2-digit route the one the Northeast would be tagged due to being far shorter in length.

I think you were meaning a 3-digit route as a reductionist move.  IMO, no change is needed; they're 7 states apart via I-80, and functionally on opposite coasts.  No harm, no foul!
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SkyPesos

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I-70N and I-70S were terminal splits, but I-70S got changed. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if that stayed.
That's the one terminal split I like, as DC and Baltimore are in the same CSA, and both are large cities. It's not like I-80 splitting into a San Francisco and Portland branch; those two cities are more than 500 miles apart and have no business being suffixes.
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Traveled 2di: 4, 5, 10, 20, 24, 26, 29, 35, 39, 40, 44, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95
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My Fictional Highways Thread

ethanhopkin14

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Quote
US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

I-20N!

Unless it's a split that reunites later (e.g. I-35E/W or the planned I-27E/W) or a terminal split (the I-69 "trident"), I'd just as soon not use a suffixed designation; that's what put the kibosh on suffixes back in the late '70's.  Plenty of unused even 2di numbers; may as well pick the most appropriate one.

I was stirring the pot with the suffixed route.  I don't want to see anymore suffixed routes.
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Avalanchez71

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Quote
US-84 between Lubbock and I-20/Roscoe is probably sufficient in its current form: 4-lane divided highway with a couple limited access segments.

Nevertheless, that segment invariably shows up on maps indicating heavily-trafficked commercial routes; while not on any promotional groups' radar at present, if those trends continue it's likely to attract attention as a potential Interstate corridor (I-28, anyone?)

I-20N!

Unless it's a split that reunites later (e.g. I-35E/W or the planned I-27E/W) or a terminal split (the I-69 "trident"), I'd just as soon not use a suffixed designation; that's what put the kibosh on suffixes back in the late '70's.  Plenty of unused even 2di numbers; may as well pick the most appropriate one.

I was stirring the pot with the suffixed route.  I don't want to see anymore suffixed routes.

Suffixed routes add character and flair.  They are memorable.  It gives someone the false sense of security in having a major highway running through their backyard.
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Bobby5280

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Quote from: sparker
I-27C?........oh gawd, no!  Pardon the detour into fictional, but a I-28 could be extended NW over US 84 to I-40 at some point (Santa Rosa or even Tucumcari) as a nice little shunt between I-40 and I-20 -- especially if US 287 were to fail to get traction.  Barring that -- if an odd number were to be selected Roscoe-Lubbock, I-31's ready, willing, and able!

I-28 would be a work-able designation in the unlikely event that US-84 was upgraded to Interstate quality from Santa Rosa (I-40) thru Lubbock and down to Roscoe (I-20). I think it would be difficult enough as it is just to get the Lubbock to Roscoe segment upgraded.

I think US-287 between Fort Worth and Amarillo is a more worthy possible future Interstate corridor. Amarillo is a decent hub city for highways and a major one for freight rail. Wichita Falls is a decent sized city halfway between Amarillo and Fort Worth, not to mention the current terminus for I-44.

Growth both North and Northwest of Fort Worth will increase demands for US-287 in that area to be upgraded to Interstate quality. Currently the road really needs to be fully upgraded from the I-35W split up thru Decatur, including a freeway upgrade in Decatur itself. TX DOT needs to get on the stick about ROW preservation between Decatur and Alvord. There is a lot of driveways emptying out onto that busy road. The current ROW looks barely wide enough to squeeze in frontage roads and 2x2 freeway main lanes butted up against each other, separated by only a Jersey barrier.

Quote from: sparker
One of the rattiest shithole motels I ever stayed at as a kid was in Childress; we were trying to make Amarillo but my mom got cranky (not atypical) and wanted to stop sooner.  Big mistake -- literally a "roach motel"!

Motels everywhere have been going downhill. I can point to a few here in Lawton to avoid. It's funny how some motels will change brands every few years. So many of the operations are run on the cheap and with a great deal of maintenance deferred. Some motels rely heavily on illegal migrant labor because what American-born person in his right mind would want to take a $#!+ job for $#!+ pay (cash under the table) in a no-tell motel?

Quote from: sparker
I think you were meaning a 3-digit route as a reductionist move.  IMO, no change is needed; they're 7 states apart via I-80, and functionally on opposite coasts.  No harm, no foul!

Yeah, that's what I meant. The Eastern I-84 is the older, original I-84 route. But it is significantly shorter than its Western counterpart. Some people are purists and can't stand two instances of a 2-digit route in the Interstate system that aren't connected. I don't mind it. That's one reason why I believe US-290 between Houston and Austin should be upgraded into a 2nd instance of I-12. And then TX-71 can be upgraded to "I-10N" (runs away laughing).
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ethanhopkin14

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Quote from: sparker
I-27C?........oh gawd, no!  Pardon the detour into fictional, but a I-28 could be extended NW over US 84 to I-40 at some point (Santa Rosa or even Tucumcari) as a nice little shunt between I-40 and I-20 -- especially if US 287 were to fail to get traction.  Barring that -- if an odd number were to be selected Roscoe-Lubbock, I-31's ready, willing, and able!

I-28 would be a work-able designation in the unlikely event that US-84 was upgraded to Interstate quality from Santa Rosa (I-40) thru Lubbock and down to Roscoe (I-20). I think it would be difficult enough as it is just to get the Lubbock to Roscoe segment upgraded.

I think US-287 between Fort Worth and Amarillo is a more worthy possible future Interstate corridor. Amarillo is a decent hub city for highways and a major one for freight rail. Wichita Falls is a decent sized city halfway between Amarillo and Fort Worth, not to mention the current terminus for I-44.

Growth both North and Northwest of Fort Worth will increase demands for US-287 in that area to be upgraded to Interstate quality. Currently the road really needs to be fully upgraded from the I-35W split up thru Decatur, including a freeway upgrade in Decatur itself. TX DOT needs to get on the stick about ROW preservation between Decatur and Alvord. There is a lot of driveways emptying out onto that busy road. The current ROW looks barely wide enough to squeeze in frontage roads and 2x2 freeway main lanes butted up against each other, separated by only a Jersey barrier.

I have said for years, the US-287 corridor through Amarillo-Wichita Falls-Ft. Worth should be I-32.  I have said that it should be extended past Ft. Worth through Midlothian and Waxahachie terminating in Ennis at I-45, giving the Houston route a true I-45E and I-45W split and connecting Ft. Worth and Houston more directly. 

I-34 would be the US-82 corridor from I-30 in New Boston, skipping the Metroplex and terminating at I-32 east of Wichita Falls.  All these interstates would hopefully move the terminus of US-81 to Bowie!
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sprjus4

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The US-290 corridor is too close to the existing I-12 to be a “western” I-12.
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sparker

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The US-290 corridor is too close to the existing I-12 to be a “western” I-12.

Yeah, it's a bit awkward; adjoining states and all!  If either TX 71 or US 290 is ever slated for Interstate development -- and that corridor extends west back to I-10 (as it should, given the massive population increase in that metro area), a "10N/10S" split a la DFW and I-35 would be appropriate.  Ironically, neither route would be a picnic regarding traversing either city during peak times (pick your poison!).  Nothing against San Antonio, but personally I'd almost always opt for "I-10N" just to snag some Franklin's brisket en route!     
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Bobby5280

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Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I have said for years, the US-287 corridor through Amarillo-Wichita Falls-Ft. Worth should be I-32. I have said that it should be extended past Ft. Worth through Midlothian and Waxahachie terminating in Ennis at I-45, giving the Houston route a true I-45E and I-45W split and connecting Ft. Worth and Houston more directly.

It looks very likely US-287 will be 100% Interstate quality from the I-45 split in Ennis up to the TX-114 split in Rhome to the NW of Fort Worth within the next several years. But there has to be a focused push to get US-287 upgraded up to Decatur and farther Northwest.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I-34 would be the US-82 corridor from I-30 in New Boston, skipping the Metroplex and terminating at I-32 east of Wichita Falls.  All these interstates would hopefully move the terminus of US-81 to Bowie!

US-82 between Henrietta and New Boston is definitely a possible future freeway corridor. Parts of it between Sherman and Paris are already limited access Super-2. Sherman has a freeway quality segment (and volleyball interchange with US-69/75). Unfortunately, just like the US-380 corridor to the South, TX DOT is falling way behind on being able to preserve any ability to upgrade the US-82 corridor. Lots of development is sprouting close to road.

As metro DFW continues to grow and push development closer to the Red River and Lake Texoma region the US-82 corridor will see its traffic burden increase dramatically. There are major attractions within the region. Lake Texoma is a big draw. There are two major casinos on the other side of the Red River.

Quote from: sprjus4
The US-290 corridor is too close to the existing I-12 to be a “western” I-12.

If that corridor was to be fully upgraded to Interstate standards and signed as an Interstate there really wouldn't be any other practical choice than I-12. Otherwise it just stays as a fully Interstate quality US-290.

Quote from: sparker
Yeah, it's a bit awkward; adjoining states and all!  If either TX 71 or US 290 is ever slated for Interstate development -- and that corridor extends west back to I-10 (as it should, given the massive population increase in that metro area), a "10N/10S" split a la DFW and I-35 would be appropriate.

The Austin metro (over 2 million people) is certainly big enough to be worthy of its own East-West Interstate quality corridor. That includes having a Western outlet going thru Johnson City and Fredericksburg out West to I-10. Obviously that means upgrading US-290. As fast as the Austin-San Antonio region is growing attention will have to be paid to more than just the US-290 and TX-71 corridors. San Marcos to Luling could be a short, regional super highway corridor. Same goes for New Braunfels to Seguin. And that corridor could go the other direction from New Braunfels westward to Boerne.

Renaming existing I-10 thru San Antonio as I-10S could be potentially pretty disruptive. There are all sorts of consequences to local businesses and other interests with a highway name change.
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