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US-87 between Amarillo, TX and Raton, NM

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any idea if this will become a full freeway?  They're upgrading a bunch of it.  Between Clayton and Capulin it is four-lanes divided, and several sections between Capulin and Raton are four-lane undivided.  I have not driven past Clayton on US-87 so I dunno what it's like in Texas but that is the way the Plains to Gulf corridor goes...

Traffic volumes in New Mexico are only around 2,000 - 3,500 AADT. I think a four-lane, divided highway would be nice, but I think a full freeway is far-fetched.

yeah, it is pretty abandoned, but so is I-70 in Utah!  :-D

J N Winkler:
I think the upgrade NW of Clayton (US 87 was still just two lanes when I last drove it, less than ten years ago) is a result of Governor Johnson's rural four-laning program.  US 285 between Roswell and Santa Fé, US 70 between Roswell and Portales, and US 54 between the Texas state line and Alamogordo are other examples of corridors which are now four lanes (four lanes divided in all of these cases) but carry so little traffic they would have functioned efficiently with two-lane roads for many years to come.  I am actually kind of sorry they widened US 70 between Portales and Roswell, to be honest, because I used to make that drive fairly often and liked the feel of the two-lane ribbon feeding under my wheels as the winter sun dropped toward the horizon; with another carriageway in the distance that atmosphere is now gone.

In Texas, US 87 is a freeway for some distance north of downtown Amarillo.  I think it has been built in various phases because the geometry improves noticeably the further north you get from downtown.  The freeway peters out a little north of Loop 335 and I am not aware of any plans for its further extension, or indeed any upgrades to US 87 between Amarillo and the New Mexico state line.  If Texas wants to widen the existing two-lane portions of this corridor to four lanes divided, it would arguably make sense to build a beeline (on new location) to Hartley since the present routing via Dumas is rather indirect.

Well, US-287 is the major trucking route between Denver and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. There's no saying how much traffic takes alternate routes (I70 to I-135 to I-35, or I-25 to US-87 to US-287 etc).

The problem with US-87 is that it takes you to I-25 right south of Raton Pass. While US-287 is mostly flat farm land to Limon and I-70.

With all the work US-287 has, it's obvious Colorado has no interest in upgrading it to freeway, or even four-lane standards. Get stuck behind a 62 mph truck on that road and you'll be begging for it to be four-laned.



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