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I-35 in Southern Oklahoma

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Plutonic Panda:
I figured it’s time for a thread to discuss the widening of I-35 from OKC metro to the Texas state line. Though there aren’t any funded plans for an entire widening, it’s on the horizon with the first part beginning in Thackerville:

--- Quote ---Members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted to award a more than $11 million contract to widen I-35 to six lanes between US-77 North (mm 1) and Rogers Rd./Winstar Blvd. (mm 3) just north of the Texas state line near Thackerville. Two lanes of I-35 will remain open in each direction during construction, which is expected to take about six months to complete. This segment of I-35 carries 40,000 vehicles per day, on average.
--- End quote ---

There are a couple other widenings planned in the 8yr plan around Thackerville and from the Canadian river to Goldsby.

Road Hog:
Sounds like they're doing it on the cheap – just adding an inside lane, depending on the median width. Unlike the Texas side of the river, which needs a complete rebuild.

To be fair, a bunch of the I-35 upgrade in Texas between DFW and Austin had a lot of really old bridges and ramps that were badly outdated in design. Add to that the traffic levels on that stretch, situated between 2 of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation. That portion of I-35 needed a complete re-build. Does the portion of I-35 around Thackerville need the same treatment?

I'm a little surprised the portion of I-35 ODOT is set to widen doesn't have traffic counts significantly higher than 40,000 vpd. If ODOT only plans to add a third lane on the inner left of each roadway the work could end up being an interim solution. The Grayson County Tollway (an extension of the Dallas North Tollway) is proposed to dovetail into US-75 on the North side of Denison. That, and the general population growth in that region, could make it necessary do far more substantial upgrades to the US-75 Red River bridge crossing and that segment of I-35 going by the casinos in Thackerville. That could mean better ramps, a new concrete road bed or even more lanes (4 in each direction rather than 3).

Plutonic Panda:
4 in each direction would be highly preferable to 3 but I am not sure if I see ODOT doing that. I do think they will eight lane I-35 to MM 1 though.

Of course, the real reason this project is being done is because the Chickasaws are throwing money in on it. Note that it ends at Exit 3, which leads straight up to the entrance to their casino. So far, the Choctaws haven't pitched in any money for US-75, so any upgrades there have to wait in line.


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