AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules to ensure post quality. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Austin, TX  (Read 48451 times)

thisdj78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Texas
  • Last Login: Today at 08:21:58 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #225 on: August 03, 2021, 08:01:56 AM »

^^^^

Regarding the dump of traffic onto I-10: one positive note is the current expansion of I-10 from 4 to 6 lanes between the SH71 split and Brookshire. I think the Columbus to Sealy segment is the next up to start, so it may be finished before SH71 becomes ďfree flowingĒ.

Iím in agreement that both 71/290 need to be upgraded no matter what, but in terms of what is more feasible for the near future (5-10 years), 71 has a significant head start.
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #226 on: August 03, 2021, 02:33:37 PM »

^^^^

Regarding the dump of traffic onto I-10: one positive note is the current expansion of I-10 from 4 to 6 lanes between the SH71 split and Brookshire. I think the Columbus to Sealy segment is the next up to start, so it may be finished before SH71 becomes ďfree flowingĒ.

Iím in agreement that both 71/290 need to be upgraded no matter what, but in terms of what is more feasible for the near future (5-10 years), 71 has a significant head start.

This is why I have been pushing the 71 corridor for so long in favor of the 290 corridor.  Besides the fact that if you are standing in downtown Austin and want to go to downtown Houston, the fastest way is always 71 to I-10 (again in the spirit of the original interstate plan, we are connecting Austin and Houston, not suburb to suburb), US-290 goes all the way from Houston To Austin, meaning the whole distance would need to be upgraded.  Now, granted some sections are upgraded, yes, but more of it is not upgraded than TX-71 is, and in some spots like through Elgin and Giddings, there is too much of everything along the right-of-way to simply upgrade on the spot.  Bypasses would have to be built, and many other sections would require a new terrain freeway.  TX-71 is a shorter distance to get to I-10, and all of it (after the currently proposed projects to add overpasses to eliminate the lights between Bastrop and Austin) can be upgraded on the spot with acquiring just strips of right-of-way.  I drove it Sunday and looking as I drive (I know that's not the best way to do it) not a lot of residences would need to be relocated.  Most would just lose some of their front yards.  It's a shorter distance with fewer obstacles which means a way cheaper project (and we all know DOTs love cheaper, particularly TxDOT).  The sell is WAY easier for SH-71 over US-290, and to top it all off, it makes Austin stay on the transcontinental route.  Upgrading US-290 will 100% isolate it to just that route.  Yes the trade off is it dumps extra traffic on I-10, but with the widening project happening now, I think I-10 will be more than suitable to handle the traffic upgrade.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3261
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:40 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #227 on: August 03, 2021, 03:44:23 PM »

Quote from: thisdj78
Iím in agreement that both 71/290 need to be upgraded no matter what, but in terms of what is more feasible for the near future (5-10 years), 71 has a significant head start.

Head start depends on where you're defining the starting point of the highway upgrades. Just like there is activity on TX-71 creeping from the TX-130 toll road toward Bastrop a lot of activity has already taken place on US-290 moving West Northwest out of Houston toward Austin.

The upgrade to US-290 between the monster interchange of I-10/I-610/US-290 and the Grand Parkway has been very extensive. It's at least 8 lanes to the Grand Parkway. US-290 was 6-laned out West of the Grand Parkway to Waller. The road is Interstate quality to the TX-6 turn-off at Hempstead. That's 1/3 of the way to Austin already. Other improvements are going on with US-290.

In the near term TX DOT will do more things like convert undivided sections of US-290 to divided, like what is going on between Elgin and Giddings. New bypasses for Giddings and Elgin would be in order, along with more improvements to the bypass in Brenham. Around 2025 TX DOT plans to re-model the US-290/TX-36 interchange; a couple of the concepts show continuous flow for the US-290 main lanes thru the interchange.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Besides the fact that if you are standing in downtown Austin and want to go to downtown Houston, the fastest way is always 71 to I-10

Lots of people traveling between the Houston and Austin metros do not go downtown to downtown at all. Even if TX-71 is brought up fully to Interstate standards most of drivers currently using US-290 will keep on using it. It's way the hell out of the way for someone in Tomball or The Woodlands going to Round Rock to drive clear down to I-10 just to go West to Austin. They're going to stick with US-290. TX-71 is a shorter route for someone going from central Austin to spots like Katy, Sugarland, Pasadena or other places farther South of I-10.
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #228 on: August 03, 2021, 04:08:49 PM »

Lots of people traveling between the Houston and Austin metros do not go downtown to downtown at all. Even if TX-71 is brought up fully to Interstate standards most of drivers currently using US-290 will keep on using it. It's way the hell out of the way for someone in Tomball or The Woodlands going to Round Rock to drive clear down to I-10 just to go West to Austin. They're going to stick with US-290. TX-71 is a shorter route for someone going from central Austin to spots like Katy, Sugarland, Pasadena or other places farther South of I-10.

I know lots of people do.  That's why I qualified it as downtown to downtown to stick with the original intent of the interstate highway system.  Ben White misses downtown by 3-4 miles, I know not exactly downtown, but better situated than the US-290 northern outlet. 

I am not saying I wouldn't want to see US-290 upgraded.  I just think the easier sell is SH-71 because of that sales pitch. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 05:27:00 PM by ethanhopkin14 »
Logged

thisdj78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Texas
  • Last Login: Today at 08:21:58 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #229 on: August 03, 2021, 05:23:29 PM »

Quote from: thisdj78
Iím in agreement that both 71/290 need to be upgraded no matter what, but in terms of what is more feasible for the near future (5-10 years), 71 has a significant head start.

Head start depends on where you're defining the starting point of the highway upgrades. Just like there is activity on TX-71 creeping from the TX-130 toll road toward Bastrop a lot of activity has already taken place on US-290 moving West Northwest out of Houston toward Austin.


Yes but that was just an upgrade of existing limited access segments on 290. Thereís been no new activity to eliminate at grade intersections west of Hempstead in the last 10 years. I donít know of any projects in the near future along those lines either (except maybe the 36 intersection you mentioned). The only upgrades in that regard have been the new 290 toll between Austin and Manor. Other than that, itís just been the conversion of undivided to divided.

In the last 10 years there has been a lot of activity on SH71, for example east of Bastrop to eliminate stop at grade intersections and now the current construction of overpasses between 130 and Bastrop.

So Iím simply looking at the amount of work it would take for each corridor to be mostly limited access:

290 = between 19-20 stop lights left and no near term projects on the books to eliminate them

SH 71 = between 4-5 stop lights left and construction happening as we speak to eliminate them.
Logged

armadillo speedbump

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 88
  • Location: texas
  • Last Login: September 27, 2022, 01:03:22 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #230 on: August 04, 2021, 03:22:58 AM »

Once the upgrade of 71 to an expressway from Austin to Columbus is finished, it would be far more economically beneficial to similarly convert 290 Austin-Hempstead and 6 Waco-south of Hearne to expressways, instead of wasting money on further upgrading 71 to interstate standards. 

6 just needs bypasses of Hearne and Calvert.  Off the top of my head 290 mostly just needs a Giddings bypass, Elgin upgrades/bypass, and an overpass in Chappell Hill, after the tollway projects Austin-Elgin are finished.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the price tag for that was in the ballpark of just the 71 upgrade to freeway standards from expressway.

We really need a federal Expressways designation and network plan, to give them similar status to interstates.  Because most of the time expressways are good enough for demand and far more cost effective.  Less emphasis on interstates would let limited construction money go further and benefit more people, with a greater economic impact.

Though Texas' frontage road requirements are a big part of the problem here.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 03:35:02 AM by armadillo speedbump »
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #231 on: August 04, 2021, 10:15:29 AM »

Once the upgrade of 71 to an expressway from Austin to Columbus is finished, it would be far more economically beneficial to similarly convert 290 Austin-Hempstead and 6 Waco-south of Hearne to expressways, instead of wasting money on further upgrading 71 to interstate standards. 

6 just needs bypasses of Hearne and Calvert.  Off the top of my head 290 mostly just needs a Giddings bypass, Elgin upgrades/bypass, and an overpass in Chappell Hill, after the tollway projects Austin-Elgin are finished.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the price tag for that was in the ballpark of just the 71 upgrade to freeway standards from expressway.

We really need a federal Expressways designation and network plan, to give them similar status to interstates.  Because most of the time expressways are good enough for demand and far more cost effective.  Less emphasis on interstates would let limited construction money go further and benefit more people, with a greater economic impact.

Though Texas' frontage road requirements are a big part of the problem here.

Sorry, but I will always disagree that expressways are "good enough".  I was driving SH-71 Sunday night, I saw a wreck at a crossover and twice had people pull out in front of me from side streets when I am going 75 mph.  Expressways are misleading.  They look and feel like a freeway, but you have sneaky driveways and side roads that jump at you.  I would say they are more dangerous, although they are divided so you don't have to worry about someone driving in the opposite direction, changing the radio station, crossing the double yellow and killing you instantly.  At least on an undivided highway, you know for a fact it's not a freeway and you don't get sucked into the expressway's seductive trance. 
Logged

thisdj78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Texas
  • Last Login: Today at 08:21:58 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #232 on: August 04, 2021, 11:33:52 AM »

Once the upgrade of 71 to an expressway from Austin to Columbus is finished, it would be far more economically beneficial to similarly convert 290 Austin-Hempstead and 6 Waco-south of Hearne to expressways, instead of wasting money on further upgrading 71 to interstate standards. 

6 just needs bypasses of Hearne and Calvert.  Off the top of my head 290 mostly just needs a Giddings bypass, Elgin upgrades/bypass, and an overpass in Chappell Hill, after the tollway projects Austin-Elgin are finished.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the price tag for that was in the ballpark of just the 71 upgrade to freeway standards from expressway.

We really need a federal Expressways designation and network plan, to give them similar status to interstates.  Because most of the time expressways are good enough for demand and far more cost effective.  Less emphasis on interstates would let limited construction money go further and benefit more people, with a greater economic impact.

Though Texas' frontage road requirements are a big part of the problem here.

Iím not as concerned about the interstate designation/standards. Iím purely looking at which corridor should be prioritized for conversion to a free-flowing expressway, the obvious answer is the corridor that is the farthest ahead in terms of existing status today and projects in currently progress, which is SH71.

Sure, 290 ďjust needsĒ bypasses in a handful of towns but those will require ROW acquisitions. That isnít the case with 71Öany bypasses needed have already been built.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3261
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:40 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #233 on: August 07, 2021, 12:18:24 AM »

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I would say they are more dangerous, although they are divided so you don't have to worry about someone driving in the opposite direction,

I've personally had multiple experiences encountering wrong way drivers on US-287 between Wichita Falls and Fort Worth. And those experiences happened at night. Pretty freaking scary.

It's actually not all that difficult for someone to have a brain-fart and hang a left turn into the on-coming lanes of a widely divided highway, especially if there is a bunch of trees growing in a freeway-sized median.

One of the things that scares me about divided expressways: poorly placed intersections and driveways. Expressways aren't required to have Interstate-quality grading. They can be more hilly. A driver can be cresting over the top of a rise at full highway speed and immediately encounter an intersection on the other side of a hill. It can be pretty bad if someone is pulling out onto the highway. It's even worse when it's a pickup hauling a trailer (common around here). They'll bolt across both lanes just to make the turn leaving oncoming traffic with nowhere to go.
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #234 on: August 07, 2021, 12:52:33 PM »

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I would say they are more dangerous, although they are divided so you don't have to worry about someone driving in the opposite direction,

I've personally had multiple experiences encountering wrong way drivers on US-287 between Wichita Falls and Fort Worth. And those experiences happened at night. Pretty freaking scary.

It's actually not all that difficult for someone to have a brain-fart and hang a left turn into the on-coming lanes of a widely divided highway, especially if there is a bunch of trees growing in a freeway-sized median.

One of the things that scares me about divided expressways: poorly placed intersections and driveways. Expressways aren't required to have Interstate-quality grading. They can be more hilly. A driver can be cresting over the top of a rise at full highway speed and immediately encounter an intersection on the other side of a hill. It can be pretty bad if someone is pulling out onto the highway. It's even worse when it's a pickup hauling a trailer (common around here). They'll bolt across both lanes just to make the turn leaving oncoming traffic with nowhere to go.

That has happened to me a lot.  The pickup makes it to the median break to turn left, but the trailer is still sticking out IN THE FAST LANE.  Yes no problem with that at all. 

The blind hills and blind driveways are an issue as well.  This is why I am so adamant about there being a freeway between Houston and Austin.  To keep all these issues from happening.  I know a free ways doesn't keep all accidents from happening, but if you can eliminate the ones that occur because of cross traffic, left hand turns across traffic, poor sightlines, hidden driveways sharper curves and blind hills then I say lets do it.  In all it's a shorter proposal than I-14 or I-69.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3261
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:40 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #235 on: August 07, 2021, 07:44:15 PM »

With Interstate highways it's very easy to get into a sort of relaxed mindset when speeding down the highway at 70-80mph. Everyone is used to Interstate highways not having at-grade intersections, driveways or improvised dirt road merges making contact with the main lanes. I'm not in the same head-space when driving on a standard 4-lane divided expressway as I am on an Interstate. And I'm really watching out for trouble whenever I'm on a rural 2 lane road. I'm doing more to anticipate traffic hazards.

This is why I have such a problem with the dozens of at-grade intersections, driveways and dirt road entries onto I-10 in West Texas. Same for I-40 near the NM border in the TX Panhandle. Those intersections aren't used very often. But when they are used it can be a very hazardous situation since the farmer or rancher may be in a truck hauling a trailer.

Austin and Houston are two giant-sized metros only a couple hundred miles apart. It only makes logical sense for the two cities to be connected by at least one Interstate quality corridor (if not two).

The only thing I consider positive about I-14 is how it might help move traffic in the far North exhurbs of Houston, such as directly linking College Station to Huntsville (not that dopey "W" shaped crap often drawn on the proposal maps).
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #236 on: August 07, 2021, 07:51:25 PM »

(not that dopey "W" shaped crap often drawn on the proposal maps).
That ďdopey ĎWí shaped crap often drawn on the proposal mapsĒ is a reflection of the existing US-190 corridor.

Itís not what is proposed for I-14. The proposal for Interstate 14 is a straight, direct line, using the existing US-190 merely as a baseline.
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #237 on: August 07, 2021, 07:54:37 PM »

Two corridors currently link Austin and Houston. Realistically, one ought to be at least be improved to expressway / free flowing standards. SH-71 is nearly at this stage. US-290 ought to see improvements with a few more town bypasses in the coming years / decades.

If thereís a desire for a limited access corridor, itís going to be one route. Thereís not going to be two. The traffic volumes combined for both routes is around 30,000 AADT. Thatís plenty adequate on one route. I-10 has around 40,000 AADT between San Antonio and Houston and itís one corridor. Not two. Itís mostly adequate, and is being expanded to 6 lanes throughout. Thereís zero need for two interstate highways.
Logged

thisdj78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Texas
  • Last Login: Today at 08:21:58 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #238 on: August 08, 2021, 01:53:37 AM »

Two corridors currently link Austin and Houston. Realistically, one ought to be at least be improved to expressway / free flowing standards. SH-71 is nearly at this stage. US-290 ought to see improvements with a few more town bypasses in the coming years / decades.

If thereís a desire for a limited access corridor, itís going to be one route. Thereís not going to be two. The traffic volumes combined for both routes is around 30,000 AADT. Thatís plenty adequate on one route. I-10 has around 40,000 AADT between San Antonio and Houston and itís one corridor. Not two. Itís mostly adequate, and is being expanded to 6 lanes throughout. Thereís zero need for two interstate highways.

Are there any proposed bypass or grade separation projects for 290 on the books? Specifically  between Manor and Hempstead (aside from the 36 interchange in Brenham)?
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #239 on: August 08, 2021, 02:01:46 AM »

^ Not that Iím aware, but if any improvements are aimed for US-290, that should be the next priority, IMO.
Logged

thisdj78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Texas
  • Last Login: Today at 08:21:58 AM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #240 on: August 08, 2021, 08:50:20 AM »

^ Not that Iím aware, but if any improvements are aimed for US-290, that should be the next priority, IMO.

I did some digging and found that they chose a Concept for the 36 interchange, looks like an alignment shift just to the south of the current section:

https://kwhi.com/2020/12/17/brenham-city-council-selects-preferred-concept-for-highway-290-36-improvements/

Thereís expansion slated for the segment between Chappel Hill and Hempstead but it wonít start until the above project is done (well after 2026):

https://kwhi.com/2020/06/25/txdot-to-hold-public-meeting-on-highway-290-improvements-in-washington-waller-counties/
Logged

MaxConcrete

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 897
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Last Login: October 02, 2022, 11:23:31 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #241 on: August 08, 2021, 09:44:23 AM »

I did some digging and found that they chose a Concept for the 36 interchange, looks like an alignment shift just to the south of the current section:

https://kwhi.com/2020/12/17/brenham-city-council-selects-preferred-concept-for-highway-290-36-improvements/

According to that report, Brenham city council endorsed concept B, but I don't see anything on the project site to indicate TxDOT has selected a preferred alternative.
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/bryan/us290-brenham.html
However, it is likely that TxDOT will accede to local desire.

Concept B is a a freeway connection at the existing interchange with only around 4 building displacements. However, the highway remains an urban highway (not a freeway) to the west, and there are a lot of commercial properties along the highway. According to the report, Brenham is asking for an overpass at Berlin Road, which is 1.5 miles to the west, but I don't think that would convert the non-freeway section since conversion would require right-of-way.
https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/get-involved/bry/us290-brenham/111920-revised-concept-b-central-direct-connect.pdf

Options D and E extend the freeway west of Berlin road. From the mobility perspective, option E is the best.
https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/get-involved/bry/us290-brenham/111920-concept-d-northern-connection.pdf
https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/get-involved/bry/us290-brenham/111920-concept-e-southern-connection.pdf

« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 10:19:45 AM by MaxConcrete »
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3261
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:40 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #242 on: August 08, 2021, 01:47:51 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Itís not what is proposed for I-14. The proposal for Interstate 14 is a straight, direct line, using the existing US-190 merely as a baseline.

We'll see about that. Based on recently built Interstates (such as I-69 in Southern Indiana) and some other super highways, I wouldn't hold my breath. As long as towns like Hearne and Madisonville keep being mentioned in the I-14 corridor proposals the route will indeed have a "W" shape going through the Texas Triangle. I-14 needs to go direct from Cameron to College Station, cutting out Hearne. And it needs to go direct from College Station to Huntsville, cutting out that stupid dog-leg up to Madsionville (and then a needless multiplex with I-45).

Quote from: sprjus4
If thereís a desire for a limited access corridor, itís going to be one route. Thereís not going to be two. The traffic volumes combined for both routes is around 30,000 AADT.

As it stands there probably won't be either, not for a long time. Planners in the Austin region appear to be placing a priority on improving TX-71 going East out of the metro. Meanwhile it's very clear planners for the Houston region are prioritizing US-290, improving it going West out of the metro.

And while we're talking about AADT figures, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to come up with decent AADT figures on any point of the proposed I-14 corridor to justify building it. Even with lawmakers throwing around lip-service in favor of I-14, unfunded mandates are nothing new. I wouldn't expect much happening with I-14 outside of the Killeen-Fort Hood area any time soon.
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #243 on: August 08, 2021, 02:11:33 PM »

^ Youíre missing a major point. US-290 and SH-71 are already four lane divided highways with some form of town bypasses in areas. Theyíre also fairly direct routes.

US-190 may have less volumes, but given itís merely a 2 lane route, goes through towns, and follows a jagged route, thereís more demand to improve it to at least a straighter, limited access alignment even if only 2 lanes with alternating passing lanes.
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #244 on: August 09, 2021, 02:03:44 PM »

I keep banging this drum because I find it to be embarrassing that two cities of such high population do not have a direct freeway between them.  Not a "good enough" free flowing expressway.  Two cities of their size need a freeway with no at-grade intersections or crossover, no blind hills and blind curves.  To top it all off, it's a short distance for considering a rural freeway. 
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #245 on: August 09, 2021, 02:08:41 PM »

^ You mention blind hills and curves. Wouldnít it be a significant safety improvement to address those areas in particular first?

I understand a freeway is the long term goal, but itís not going to immediately happen. Thereís no long range plans officially for such, thereís no projects programmed to improve any section of roadway to full interstate standards, etc. And quite frankly, the traffic volumes on either route are less than, for example, long sections of I-69 that are currently seeing full upgrades. So the priority is certainly lower.

Having two four lane expressways vs. just one expressway has cut down on the need for freeway upgrades.
Logged

texaskdog

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3445
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Kyle, TX
  • Last Login: Today at 03:33:47 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #246 on: August 09, 2021, 02:15:18 PM »

had i designed the system i could put a small loop freeway around every downtown/city and made the connections go out from there
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1882
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: October 01, 2022, 06:51:45 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #247 on: August 09, 2021, 05:07:20 PM »

^ You mention blind hills and curves. Wouldnít it be a significant safety improvement to address those areas in particular first?

I understand a freeway is the long term goal, but itís not going to immediately happen. Thereís no long range plans officially for such, thereís no projects programmed to improve any section of roadway to full interstate standards, etc. And quite frankly, the traffic volumes on either route are less than, for example, long sections of I-69 that are currently seeing full upgrades. So the priority is certainly lower.

Having two four lane expressways vs. just one expressway has cut down on the need for freeway upgrades.

I didn't say I wanted it tomorrow.  The 50 year plan is fine, just like I-69.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3261
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:40 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #248 on: August 10, 2021, 01:27:03 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
US-190 may have less volumes, but given itís merely a 2 lane route, goes through towns, and follows a jagged route, thereís more demand to improve it to at least a straighter, limited access alignment even if only 2 lanes with alternating passing lanes.

More demand from WHO?  I-14 touches zero major population centers on its entire proposed route from Texas to Georgia.

All the silly spurs going willy nilly off here and there look like an illustration in desperation, only showing how far away the corridor runs from various destinations.

Is there really enough traffic moving between Killeen, College Station and Huntsville to justify building an Interstate highway? If AADT counts were really up there TX DOT would have already 4-laned a lot more of US-190 than just the overlap with TX-6 going through the College Station area. Nationally, the only portion of the entire proposed I-14 route that directly serves major cross-country traffic arterials is the Meridian to Montgomery segment that fills the East-West gap between I-20 and the end of I-85. The rest of I-14 is out in the boonies, hop-skipping from one small city or town to the next.

I've already been over how pointless this Interstate is to serving military needs. But I'm mentioning that factor again since linking military bases has been a selling point for this pork. The lawmakers promoting this crap either don't know or are ignoring how military logistics works in the 21st century.

When it actually comes to getting things funded and construction started, I-14 is going to have a tough time competing with corridor interests going to/thru much larger cities. Even parts of the I-14 setup that overlap with things like the Ports to Plains Corridor, such as the Midland to San Angelo leg, are going to serious challenges at making any progress.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 01:44:13 PM by Bobby5280 »
Logged

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7665
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:37:18 PM
Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #249 on: August 10, 2021, 01:32:15 PM »

^ That stretch of US-190 has volumes that are only slightly less than the US-290 or SH-71 figures. Thereís certainly demand on that corridor to at least something more than a jagged 2 lane road.

Certainly more demand that upgrading US-290 all the way to middle of nowhere I-10 with 900 AADT.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.