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Author Topic: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?  (Read 50855 times)

txstateends

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #75 on: August 11, 2018, 07:23:26 PM »

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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #76 on: August 12, 2018, 01:02:41 AM »

Plans for an 'interstate-compatible' US 75 in Sherman
http://www.kten.com/story/37104409/plans-for-an-interstate-compatible-us-75-in-sherman

Milestone in U.S. 75 upgrade timeline
http://www.kten.com/story/38835774/milestone-in-us-75-upgrade-timeline

Looks like a local politico (Sherman city councilperson Shawn Teamann) up in that neck of the woods needs a bit of a refresher course in federal funding disbursement:  "If they can bring that up to interstate standards, we become eligible for federal funding.".  US 75 is already a NHS highway; it's eligible for up to 80% federal matching funds as is; improving clearances, shoulders, and lines of sight won't add anything to that -- and neither would formally getting it designated as an Interstate.  And, of course eligibility doesn't come with any guarantee; the project, if submitted, is in the hopper with all the rest. 

Also, it looks like the US 75/82 interchange will be some variant of a volleyball with frontage roads on both highways serving as the connectors (with U-turns between the frontages in place of direct left turns).  While that might work reasonably well to alleviate backups within the core of the interchange, it may be problematic for commercial traffic unless the curvature radius of the U's is sufficient to accommodate tractor-trailers (saw several mounting the curb on the I-10 U-turns in El Paso over the years). 
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #77 on: August 13, 2018, 11:35:35 AM »

I thought that US-75 was already up to Interstate-quality freeway standards from Dallas to the Red River. What features on that segment of highway are not up to snuff? Design-wise it looks no different than other freeways in the DFW area bearing Interstate markers.

Regarding the US-75/US-82 interchange in Sherman, it is already a "volleyball" connected only by frontage roads along both highways. The US-75 component already has Texas-style U-turns ahead of the signal-controlled intersections.

The interchange really should be upgraded to a stack interchange with direct-connect flyover ramps. But there is a big question whether or not businesses sitting on the four corners of the interchange would have to be cleared to make room for the ramps. Three of the businesses are convenience stores with big fuel canopies. The NE corner has a Verizon Wireless store. Could the ramps actually span over the tops of these existing businesses? The TX-114/TX-121 interchange in Grapevine has one long ramp that goes over some business parking lots (but not directly over the tops of the buildings). For obvious reasons that long ramp has high fencing along the portions going over the parking lots.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #78 on: August 13, 2018, 12:25:22 PM »

I thought that US-75 was already up to Interstate-quality freeway standards from Dallas to the Red River. What features on that segment of highway are not up to snuff? Design-wise it looks no different than other freeways in the DFW area bearing Interstate markers.

Regarding the US-75/US-82 interchange in Sherman, it is already a "volleyball" connected only by frontage roads along both highways. The US-75 component already has Texas-style U-turns ahead of the signal-controlled intersections.

The interchange really should be upgraded to a stack interchange with direct-connect flyover ramps. But there is a big question whether or not businesses sitting on the four corners of the interchange would have to be cleared to make room for the ramps. Three of the businesses are convenience stores with big fuel canopies. The NE corner has a Verizon Wireless store. Could the ramps actually span over the tops of these existing businesses? The TX-114/TX-121 interchange in Grapevine has one long ramp that goes over some business parking lots (but not directly over the tops of the buildings). For obvious reasons that long ramp has high fencing along the portions going over the parking lots.

From what the article states, the volleyball configuration will be retained, but it appears the goal is to eliminate left turns at the intersections of the US 75 and US 82 frontage roads by placing U-turn facilities outside the interchange "box" for this purpose:  for example, traffic NB on 75 intending to turn WB on 82 would get off on their frontage road, take a right turn at the US 82 EB frontage road, make a U-turn on an newly constructed bridge over US 82 that would put them on the WB frontage road, and from there segue onto WB 82.  It's a bit convoluted, but apparently backups within the volleyball "box" have reached the critical point.  Obviously, this is an interim plan; but like with the I-35/US 190 volleyball in Temple, development at the intersection is problematic for upgrade to a "stack" with flyovers.  Now the Sherman situation doesn't seem as dire as Temple due to the fact the facilities arrayed along the frontage roads are quite a bit more spread out than those in Temple; still, some removal of businesses would be necessary -- and it looks like TXDOT isn't ready to do that right now.

Unless there are some underheight overcrossings along the route, it seems the main non-Interstate-standard issue for US 75 is the lack of inner shoulders north of US 82; that appears to be something that can readily be remedied.  But one thing the article failed to cite is any push to actually designate an Interstate over US 75 (ostensibly a I-45 extension); the project seems to be to simply raise US 75 standards to match Interstate criteria.  Although there is precedent for I-designations that simply extend to the state line and stop there pending action from the adjacent state (it looks like NC will have a few of those in the near term), in this case the only rationale to so designate US 75 in TX would be to utilize it as an "end run" around the I-345 teardown efforts in Dallas.  Otherwise, such a designation over a recognized existing highway would be pointless -- unless the goal was to blatantly "knock on OK's door" with I-45 in an effort to provoke OK into actively following suit and proceeding with their segment.  Now -- whether that's an effective tactic remains to be seen;  NC's actions, particularly with I-73 & I-87, haven't reached that point yet -- so it's too early to come to any conclusions in that venue.   
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #79 on: August 13, 2018, 12:54:21 PM »

I thought that US-75 was already up to Interstate-quality freeway standards from Dallas to the Red River. What features on that segment of highway are not up to snuff? Design-wise it looks no different than other freeways in the DFW area bearing Interstate markers.

Regarding the US-75/US-82 interchange in Sherman, it is already a "volleyball" connected only by frontage roads along both highways. The US-75 component already has Texas-style U-turns ahead of the signal-controlled intersections.

The interchange really should be upgraded to a stack interchange with direct-connect flyover ramps. But there is a big question whether or not businesses sitting on the four corners of the interchange would have to be cleared to make room for the ramps. Three of the businesses are convenience stores with big fuel canopies. The NE corner has a Verizon Wireless store. Could the ramps actually span over the tops of these existing businesses? The TX-114/TX-121 interchange in Grapevine has one long ramp that goes over some business parking lots (but not directly over the tops of the buildings). For obvious reasons that long ramp has high fencing along the portions going over the parking lots.

From what the article states, the volleyball configuration will be retained, but it appears the goal is to eliminate left turns at the intersections of the US 75 and US 82 frontage roads by placing U-turn facilities outside the interchange "box" for this purpose:  for example, traffic NB on 75 intending to turn WB on 82 would get off on their frontage road, take a right turn at the US 82 EB frontage road, make a U-turn on an newly constructed bridge over US 82 that would put them on the WB frontage road, and from there segue onto WB 82.  It's a bit convoluted, but apparently backups within the volleyball "box" have reached the critical point.  Obviously, this is an interim plan; but like with the I-35/US 190 volleyball in Temple, development at the intersection is problematic for upgrade to a "stack" with flyovers.  Now the Sherman situation doesn't seem as dire as Temple due to the fact the facilities arrayed along the frontage roads are quite a bit more spread out than those in Temple; still, some removal of businesses would be necessary -- and it looks like TXDOT isn't ready to do that right now.

Unless there are some underheight overcrossings along the route, it seems the main non-Interstate-standard issue for US 75 is the lack of inner shoulders north of US 82; that appears to be something that can readily be remedied.  But one thing the article failed to cite is any push to actually designate an Interstate over US 75 (ostensibly a I-45 extension); the project seems to be to simply raise US 75 standards to match Interstate criteria.  Although there is precedent for I-designations that simply extend to the state line and stop there pending action from the adjacent state (it looks like NC will have a few of those in the near term), in this case the only rationale to so designate US 75 in TX would be to utilize it as an "end run" around the I-345 teardown efforts in Dallas.  Otherwise, such a designation over a recognized existing highway would be pointless -- unless the goal was to blatantly "knock on OK's door" with I-45 in an effort to provoke OK into actively following suit and proceeding with their segment.  Now -- whether that's an effective tactic remains to be seen;  NC's actions, particularly with I-73 & I-87, haven't reached that point yet -- so it's too early to come to any conclusions in that venue.   

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.6397956,-96.6159233,3a,75y,18.54h,80.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9DZiVMcbC8XNqHqVy7bABA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This bridge is way substandard. 11 ft lanes, no shoulders on either side.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #80 on: August 14, 2018, 12:22:38 AM »

There are Interstate bridges here in Oklahoma that aren't up to current standards. At least that one in Sherman has a very likely shot at being replaced.

Here's a couple links related to the US-75/US-82 interchange in Sherman:
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/paris/us75-corridor-study.html
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/par/us75/032218-ultimateschematic5.pdf
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #81 on: August 14, 2018, 04:42:35 PM »

I think Interstate 45 being extended to Oklahoma is as likely as extending Interstate 40 west of Barstow, California.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #82 on: August 15, 2018, 12:45:36 AM »

I think Interstate 45 being extended to Oklahoma is as likely as extending Interstate 40 west of Barstow, California.

Applies equally to each concept:  near term (next 15 years or so), doubtful.  Longer term -- distinct possibility (especially with regards to I-40/CA -- if Bakersfield continues to grow at its current rate).  Some sort of political sea change would be required in OK; otherwise, it's vaguely possible but not probable. 
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #83 on: August 15, 2018, 01:40:27 AM »

I think Interstate 45 being extended to Oklahoma is as likely as extending Interstate 40 west of Barstow, California.
Id guess the difference is California could easily find the money to build such an extension of the will was there. In Oklahoma, neither the will nor the money exists. I would suggest tolls on an I-45 extension all the way to to Tulsa, but Tulsa has so many tolled roads, even the existing interstate is tolled, so I feel bad for Tulsa.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #84 on: August 15, 2018, 01:53:04 PM »

One bright side about the turnpikes in Oklahoma: the toll cost per mile is a bargain compared with other toll roads in the country. Oklahoma was way behind as well with gasoline taxes. The state legislature recently gave them a bump of 3˘ per gallon for regular gasoline and 6˘ for diesel -the first fuel tax hikes in over 25 years. Those hikes still aren't enough to catch up with 25 years worth of highway building/maintenance cost inflation.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #85 on: August 15, 2018, 04:45:35 PM »

I think Interstate 45 being extended to Oklahoma is as likely as extending Interstate 40 west of Barstow, California.
Id guess the difference is California could easily find the money to build such an extension of the will was there. In Oklahoma, neither the will nor the money exists. I would suggest tolls on an I-45 extension all the way to to Tulsa, but Tulsa has so many tolled roads, even the existing interstate is tolled, so I feel bad for Tulsa.

While CA may have access to more funding, these days they seem to be prone to just sitting on whatever cash there is rather than spending it on significant projects.  At any time there are a few "major" projects happening statewide:  the Kramer Junction CA 58 bypass, the Petaluma Narrows upgrade on US 101, the reconstruction of the I-80/I-680/CA 12 interchange at Cordelia, and the continuing improvement of I-5 south of L.A.  Except for the "border" projects (CA 905/CA 11) that are on a coordination schedule with Mexico, most of the available funds are going into maintenance and "spot" projects dealing with discrepancies at particular problematic locations (as it should be).  Once the Kramer section of 58 is done, Caltrans will have a typical opening ceremony (probably at the 395 interchange), open it to traffic hours later, and that'll be it for significant projects on that corridor; it'll be at minimum a 4-lane expressway from Bakersfield to the eastern terminus at I-15.  Provoking continued interest in going back and upgrading what's already on the ground will require a combination of time, pressure from local and major commercial interests, and igniting the political will to take action.

The one thing the CA corridor has going for it is lack of pointed opposition (general kvetching from the usual suspects notwithstanding); there was a general consensus that it needed to have the last few obstacles removed (Hinkley and Kramer) to become a safe traffic-signal-free facility with sufficient capacity to handle the volume of commercial traffic it was seeing.  In that respect it's much more advanced than the US 69/75 corridor in OK, which still has traffic schlepping down city streets in more than one location -- and vocal opposition to altering that status quo.   A number of local commercial interests prefer the steady stream of vehicles past their establishments; ostensibly enough of those patronize those places to support their continued existence.  And this being Oklahoma, they probably also have good reason to not expect much in the way of public monetary assistance to move their businesses to bypass interchange locations where the potential for continued profitability would be greater.  So the recourse is to convey their opposition to freeway bypass projects upstream through their representatives, the media, or likely both; so far, for the most part it's paid off; the improvements have moved south to McAlester and north through Durant, but everything in between is still as it has been for decades.  Unless something drastic happens to upset that equilibrium, nothing's going to change.       
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #86 on: August 15, 2018, 06:00:55 PM »

One bright side about the turnpikes in Oklahoma: the toll cost per mile is a bargain compared with other toll roads in the country. Oklahoma was way behind as well with gasoline taxes. The state legislature recently gave them a bump of 3˘ per gallon for regular gasoline and 6˘ for diesel -the first fuel tax hikes in over 25 years. Those hikes still aren't enough to catch up with 25 years worth of highway building/maintenance cost inflation.

At the same time, wasn't 3˘ from the general fund reallocated from transportation to education? So the tax increase is neutral as regards the highway fund.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #87 on: August 16, 2018, 02:01:20 PM »

Quote from: Scott5114
At the same time, wasn't 3˘ from the general fund reallocated from transportation to education? So the tax increase is neutral as regards the highway fund.

Yes. Supposedly that reallocation is only supposed to go on for a couple or so years and then get directed back to transportation. Supposedly. So many people in this state have no idea what a road costs to build or maintain. They just think the people at the capitol are stuffing their pockets with taxpayer money. For all I know they may vote to rescind the fuel tax hike by the time the DOT is set to gain any benefit from it.

Meanwhile, after years worth of destructively deep budget cuts this little funding boost for education is like sticking a band-aid on the stump of an amputated leg. I wouldn't put it past our flag-waving 'murica state legislature using the gas tax bump as a reason to make further cuts to education from the traditional funding sources. A bunch of those guys view public education as communism and want it all replaced with private/charter schools. The trouble is most young families in Oklahoma can't remotely afford to put kids in an acceptably good quality private school. And good luck with the arrangement of vouchers and pop-up charter schools. Qualified teachers have been leaving Oklahoma in droves. Oklahoma is turning into a difficult place for middle and lower income families to raise children. Over the long term that won't be great for the state's economy and ability to attract and maintain a good labor force.

Quote from: sparker
The one thing the CA corridor has going for it is lack of pointed opposition (general kvetching from the usual suspects notwithstanding); there was a general consensus that it needed to have the last few obstacles removed (Hinkley and Kramer) to become a safe traffic-signal-free facility with sufficient capacity to handle the volume of commercial traffic it was seeing. In that respect it's much more advanced than the US 69/75 corridor in OK, which still has traffic schlepping down city streets in more than one location -- and vocal opposition to altering that status quo. A number of local commercial interests prefer the steady stream of vehicles past their establishments; ostensibly enough of those patronize those places to support their continued existence. And this being Oklahoma, they probably also have good reason to not expect much in the way of public monetary assistance to move their businesses to bypass interchange locations where the potential for continued profitability would be greater. So the recourse is to convey their opposition to freeway bypass projects upstream through their representatives, the media, or likely both; so far, for the most part it's paid off; the improvements have moved south to McAlester and north through Durant, but everything in between is still as it has been for decades. Unless something drastic happens to upset that equilibrium, nothing's going to change.

Oh, a number of drastic things could happen to upset the equilibrium. I've previously stated a grisly-enough fatality accident along US-69 could force upgrades. I don't know, in that case it might take the fatalities involving loved-ones of certain politically connected types who have been obstructing improvements to US-69. They may not care if the splattered drivers are out of state residents. The little towns like Atoka and Stringtown aren't exactly attracting new residents. Very few areas inside Oklahoma (except OKC & Tulsa) are retaining young adults; many are leaving for Texas or other states. In short, those towns could literally die off.

Then there's the wild cards of other Interstate corridors nearby getting built into service. The folks along US-69 act like they're along the only "good" path from Texas to the North & Northeast US. For now they have a kinda-sorta captive audience. Eventually I-49 will be built from Texarkana to Fort Smith. Eventually I-57 will be completed between Sikeston and Walnut Ridge. Either corridor could pull a bunch of traffic off US-69. Completion of I-69 & I-369 in East Texas will pull yet even more long distance traffic away from the US-69 corridor. Many long distance travelers have a strong dislike for US-69, with all its stop lights, speed zones and speed traps. Heck, improvements along I-44 between Oklahoma City and Tulsa alone might be enough to pull a noticeable amount of traffic off US-69.

Those old farts in those little towns had better realize that time keeps marching on while they keep living in the past. If they don't want their highway corridor to improve eventually a bunch of traffic (and business that goes with it) will find a different route, maybe even completely outside Oklahoma.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 02:04:37 PM by Bobby5280 »
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #88 on: August 16, 2018, 02:20:15 PM »

At the risk of slightly venturing into fictional territory, a simple eastern N-S bypass of OKC, allowing I-35 traffic the chance to avoid the downtown "maze" and provide more efficient access to I-44, might itself be at least a partial alternative to a general US 69/I-45 upgrade.  OK posters would know better than I about whether such a facility has ever been suggested or even proposed; please enlighten if possible -- thanks!
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #89 on: August 16, 2018, 02:29:35 PM »

At the risk of slightly venturing into fictional territory, a simple eastern N-S bypass of OKC, allowing I-35 traffic the chance to avoid the downtown "maze" and provide more efficient access to I-44, might itself be at least a partial alternative to a general US 69/I-45 upgrade.  OK posters would know better than I about whether such a facility has ever been suggested or even proposed; please enlighten if possible -- thanks!
If you look at the plans for EOC connector under construction, they included stubs on each end, one at I-44 and one at I-40, that continue on for a quarter mile or so. By that, it would appear they have plans to extend the turnpike in both directions eventually and create a functional bypass for OKC. It is needed.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #90 on: August 16, 2018, 04:38:08 PM »

At the risk of slightly venturing into fictional territory, a simple eastern N-S bypass of OKC, allowing I-35 traffic the chance to avoid the downtown "maze" and provide more efficient access to I-44, might itself be at least a partial alternative to a general US 69/I-45 upgrade.  OK posters would know better than I about whether such a facility has ever been suggested or even proposed; please enlighten if possible -- thanks!
If you look at the plans for EOC connector under construction, they included stubs on each end, one at I-44 and one at I-40, that continue on for a quarter mile or so. By that, it would appear they have plans to extend the turnpike in both directions eventually and create a functional bypass for OKC. It is needed.

Seems like the plan is to extend down to Highway 9 at Little Axe. Combined with upgrades (including a new South Canadian River bridge for OK-9), this would functionally complete a southeast Outer Beltway. It would certainly be the preferred Norman-Tulsa route, likely the Fort Worth-Tulsa route, and might even pull some Dallas traffic.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #91 on: August 16, 2018, 05:36:44 PM »

OTA has started construction on the Eastern OK County Corridor. If you drive I-44 between OKC & Tulsa you'll pass the early stages of interchange construction.

I would hope this kind of remote Eastern OK county turnpike has larger plans of being extended South and Southwest to connect into I-35 and even I-44. Otherwise it's just going to be kind of a waste. I'd never use it otherwise.

As for utilizing OK-9 into Norman, presumably to connect into I-35, I think that's going to be a tall order (maybe literally). Between I-35 and Chautauqua Ave there's not enough room for both frontage roads and freeway main lanes to exist. The real problem is space for on/off ramps. There's not enough room for modern on/off ramp designs without taking properties. Which intersections get served with interchanges and which ones simply get blocked off or bridged over? You have SW 24th Ave, McGee Drive, Imhoff Road, South Berry Road and Chautauqua Ave. SW 24th Ave is right next to I-35, so it would be tough to build a full service exit there. Plus Total Beverage Services has a big industrial building right on one of the corners of that intersection. Maybe they could bridge SW 24th Avenue over OK-9 at that spot. Anyway, converting OK-9 on the South side of Norman into a freeway would be a very difficult task, both in terms of geometry and politics.

OK-9 leading over the H.E. Bailey Turnpike Extension isn't much better of a situation either. Riverwind Casino and other properties may be encroaching the highway too closely for a freeway upgrade.

I think if they looped the new Eastern turnpike down and West to connect into I-35 they would choose one of two options. One would be using what looks like a fairly open corridor between Norman & Moore running near Franklin Road. That would serve metro OKC traffic pretty well. The other choice is a path farther South of Norman, either between Norman & Noble or even farther South than that. If the goal is getting traffic from Texas to bypass OKC to the East then maybe the new turnpike should connect into I-35 closer to Purcell (where I-35 bends from going North to more Northwest).
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #92 on: August 18, 2018, 09:45:46 AM »

Oklahoma is becoming the land of turnpikes. 
And some get little usage.
I-44 from OKC to MO line were to be paid for in the 70s.  I know they had to put them back up to secure money for the HEB. 
I also know of the idea that users should have to pay for the highways.  I thought we did at the gas pump.  Also, if all highway taxes were still put into a fund to be only used for highways our roads would be better.  Instead federal and state are put into general fund.

Probably this has been covered but I have been wondering for years if I-44 in Texas is turning towards Amarillo or Lubbock?  I appears on some maps to be turning towards Amarillo.   
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 09:49:32 AM by leroys73 »
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #93 on: August 18, 2018, 11:24:43 AM »

Probably this has been covered but I have been wondering for years if I-44 in Texas is turning towards Amarillo or Lubbock?
It's not.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #94 on: August 18, 2018, 11:29:41 AM »

I also know of the idea that users should have to pay for the highways.  I thought we did at the gas pump.  Also, if all highway taxes were still put into a fund to be only used for highways our roads would be better.  Instead federal and state are put into general fund.

Federal fuel taxes go directly into the Highway Trust Fund in their entirety.  There used to be diversions for deficit reduction during the Bush 41 and Clinton administrations, but those were abolished 21 years ago.  Some of the HTF money (11.7%-15.6% depending on the gasoline/diesel mix) goes to mass transit.  The real problem with the HTF is that fuel taxes have not been increased for almost 25 years now (still at 1994 rates of 18.4c/gallon for gasoline and 24.4c/gallon for diesel), so for almost 10 years now it has required subsidies from the general fund.

Some states do fuel tax diversions, while others don't.  Kansas used to be quite good about avoiding diversions and repaying any amounts diverted, but that came to an end with Brownback.  (There is a movement on to repay the Brownback-era diversions, which currently stand at $2 billion.)  AIUI, Oklahoma diverts like mad, partly because education is seriously underfunded, while Texas (with no state income tax) has traditionally split the proceeds three-quarters to highways and one-quarter to education.  (Is the same true for recent increases in the fuel tax?  I seem to recall them being completely ringfenced for highways.)
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #95 on: August 18, 2018, 11:49:56 AM »

Oklahoma is becoming the land of turnpikes. 
And some get little usage.
I-44 from OKC to MO line were to be paid for in the 70s.  I know they had to put them back up to secure money for the HEB. 
I also know of the idea that users should have to pay for the highways.  I thought we did at the gas pump.  Also, if all highway taxes were still put into a fund to be only used for highways our roads would be better.  Instead federal and state are put into general fund.

Probably this has been covered but I have been wondering for years if I-44 in Texas is turning towards Amarillo or Lubbock?  I appears on some maps to be turning towards Amarillo.   

At its western terminus at the US 82/277/281/287 interchange in Wichita Falls, I-44 is actually heading SSE.  As far as future extensions, at this time there aren't any official planning efforts; what speculation there is usually centers on a continuation down US 277 toward Abilene and I-20. 
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leroys73

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #96 on: August 18, 2018, 01:01:47 PM »

I could see that.  It even makes sense.

Lawton and WF would like the added business it would bring because of people traveling from NE to SW using that route instead of fighting through the DFW metroplex via I-35W, I-820, I-30, I-20.  As of right now US 277 form WF to Abilene is pretty good.  I would use that route now if I was traveling from NE to SW or reverse.     

I find it amusing when traveling down from Lawton to WF the signage is West 44 but it is more south than west and ends up SSE.  I guess the original plans for interstates to be increasing numbers from north to south and west to east.  Then even numbers running east/west and odds north/south was not a hard rule.  There are several other places those rules don't hold true.  I-69 is a real wild one.   

As the country's population grows and needs change the original plans must be altered.  Who would have thought 70 years ago that 4 lane highways would have been over crowded. 

Life goes on as does what might be called progress.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #97 on: August 18, 2018, 02:42:35 PM »

I could see that.  It even makes sense.

Lawton and WF would like the added business it would bring because of people traveling from NE to SW using that route instead of fighting through the DFW metroplex via I-35W, I-820, I-30, I-20.  As of right now US 277 form WF to Abilene is pretty good.  I would use that route now if I was traveling from NE to SW or reverse.     

I find it amusing when traveling down from Lawton to WF the signage is West 44 but it is more south than west and ends up SSE.  I guess the original plans for interstates to be increasing numbers from north to south and west to east.  Then even numbers running east/west and odds north/south was not a hard rule.  There are several other places those rules don't hold true.  I-69 is a real wild one.   

As the country's population grows and needs change the original plans must be altered.  Who would have thought 70 years ago that 4 lane highways would have been over crowded. 

Life goes on as does what might be called progress.

Most of the rationale for a I-44 extension to I-20 at Abilene does center around provision of a "cutoff" for I-20 (and I-10 to the west) traffic to head to Midwest distribution points without having to endure DFW congestion (and vice-versa, of course).  But local & regional TX politics figure into the mix, of course -- and the fact that the US 277 corridor is seeing some improvement over time including freeway segments in and around Wichita Falls bolsters the notion that it's a viable corridor with some degree of attention from TXDOT and others holding the purse strings.  Corridors in TX tend to be developed when there is broad & visible support, both within and outside of official agencies. 
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #98 on: August 18, 2018, 03:17:02 PM »

I doubt Interstate 44 will be extended anytime soon, just like I doubt Interstate 45 will be extended into Oklahoma anytime soon.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #99 on: August 18, 2018, 03:21:05 PM »

I doubt Interstate 44 will be extended anytime soon, just like I doubt Interstate 45 will be extended into Oklahoma anytime soon.

What about I-45 to the Oklahoma state line? It's all-freeway, Texas is known for creating more Interstates, and the extension would prevent current I-345 from being demolished.
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