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Author Topic: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?  (Read 49341 times)

rte66man

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #225 on: April 13, 2020, 01:40:49 PM »

Re: using the INT from McAlester to Henryetta for I-45. Could work to extend to Tulsa except for a highly expensive Okmulgee bypass. The rest of it wouldn't be difficult.

Despite what others have said, politics is the rule in every state.  Road funds have to be equitably divided between districts over a certain time period. That is why you won't seen any major projects around Duncan since they sucked up their part with the Duncan bypass. The Elk Avenue interchange will happen because of the tremendous safety issues there. Say goodbye to a Marlow bypass in our lifetime.

ODOT does make long-range plans but they are often changed because the Legislature continually robs them of dedicated funding. I know for a fact they want to fix Rogers Lane in Lawton but there is no $$.  And it will not be cheap to bring 69 up to interstate standards north of Caddo to McAlester. Lots of hilly terrain. At least they are improving the McAlester bypass.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #226 on: April 13, 2020, 02:48:39 PM »

Re: using the INT from McAlester to Henryetta for I-45. Could work to extend to Tulsa except for a highly expensive Okmulgee bypass. The rest of it wouldn't be difficult.

Despite what others have said, politics is the rule in every state.  Road funds have to be equitably divided between districts over a certain time period. That is why you won't seen any major projects around Duncan since they sucked up their part with the Duncan bypass. The Elk Avenue interchange will happen because of the tremendous safety issues there. Say goodbye to a Marlow bypass in our lifetime.

ODOT does make long-range plans but they are often changed because the Legislature continually robs them of dedicated funding. I know for a fact they want to fix Rogers Lane in Lawton but there is no $$.  And it will not be cheap to bring 69 up to interstate standards north of Caddo to McAlester. Lots of hilly terrain. At least they are improving the McAlester bypass.

So -- where does the money initially slated for ODOT projects actually go?  It sounds like OK state funding resembles a "shell game", with rotating prioritizations.  Guess limited revenue prospects result in this type of situation.  And while US 69 does encounter rolling hills from Durant north to at least McAlester, there's no reason to assume that the cost is prohibitive -- if a major rail line can get through those hills -- and there's already a divided conventional highway in place, upgrading it to interstate standards (even with some instances of new-terrain alignment for bypasses) shouldn't be significantly greater than other projects such as I-49 through NWA.   It appears to be more lack of political will -- or, correspondingly, fear of offending the populace along the corridor -- that has resulted in inaction on the portion north of Bryan County (which has generally welcomed the improvements).   
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #227 on: April 13, 2020, 03:11:27 PM »

The most basic problem: there is very little in the way of big picture long term planning for the future in Oklahoma.

I think there is a lot more in the way of influential people pushing the state legislature to do things that benefit them directly in the short term. Hence the obsession with cutting taxes and using ideological dogma to get those cuts. So things like public education take deep cuts. And even gas tax funded roads look like a version of "socialism" to lawmakers, despite the broad unpopularity of turnpikes. A major super highway project, such as extending I-45 well into or even through Oklahoma, would take a long term commitment. It would take multiple election cycles and administration changes before the project was completed. Politicians don't like that. Even voters don't like it. These people are only interested in things that can be done inside a 4-year period.

Then there is all the regional in-fighting that happens within Oklahoma. It's Tulsa versus Oklahoma City. Or it's the East half of the state versus the West half. Lawton misses out on a lot of needed things (such as an Interstate quality upgrade of Rogers Lane) because it doesn't have the population, money and political clout of more populous areas. The US-69 corridor from the Red River to Big Cabin is a mostly rural route and doesn't directly serve Tulsa or OKC. Muskogee and McAlester don't have the same "pull" as those bigger cities.

One factor that could one day prod Oklahoma's legislature to do something: the state's inferiority complex with Texas. The differences are pretty big in the category of roads.

For instance, Texas is going to continue its dramatic improvements of the US-75 freeway going North out of McKinney. Eventually that widening project will go up to the Red River. Drivers will notice an even more serious drop in road quality with US-75 when they cross into Oklahoma. I think it's unlikely Texas will sign their Northern section of US-75 as I-45. But if they did it would make the differences even more stark. Compound the situation further with an eventual extension of the Dallas North Tollway into US-75 just South of the Red River. Either way, a vastly improved US-75 South of the Red River could embarrass Oklahoma lawmakers enough to make them act.

Just in dollars and cents terms, I wonder how towns like Atoka and Stringtown can even get any business from highway travelers. The speed traps there already anger many drivers, making them not want to stop in those towns to fuel up or eat just on the matter of principal. Their fuel prices are usually 20˘ per gallon higher than the prices in McAlester or South across the Red River in Denison. Fuel prices are even higher in Durant, but they have the Choctaw Casino there. So, overall, US-69 between the Red River and McAlester is the highway equivalent of "flyover territory."

Still, even if Texas managed to shame the hell out of Oklahoma with their upgraded version of US-75 it's likely Oklahoma's legislature would still wage lots of turf wars over a US-75/69 project in Oklahoma. If we're lucky the upgrades of US-69 in McAlester might still happen. The Calera project would be another piece in the puzzle. It's going to take a major ideological overhaul of Oklahoma's state government (along with continued dying off in Atoka and Stringtown) for much of anything else to happen.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 03:26:11 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #228 on: April 13, 2020, 07:53:07 PM »

The most basic problem: there is very little in the way of big picture long term planning for the future in Oklahoma.

I think there is a lot more in the way of influential people pushing the state legislature to do things that benefit them directly in the short term. Hence the obsession with cutting taxes and using ideological dogma to get those cuts. So things like public education take deep cuts. And even gas tax funded roads look like a version of "socialism" to lawmakers, despite the broad unpopularity of turnpikes. A major super highway project, such as extending I-45 well into or even through Oklahoma, would take a long term commitment. It would take multiple election cycles and administration changes before the project was completed. Politicians don't like that. Even voters don't like it. These people are only interested in things that can be done inside a 4-year period.

Exacerbating the problem is Oklahoma's legislative term limits. That means you have just as much turnover in the legislative branch as you do in the executive. The constant influx of legislative rookies makes putting together a plan unworkable. And again, what's the incentive for legislators to do long-term planning if they're going to be gone by the time the project is complete?
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #229 on: April 16, 2020, 05:30:33 AM »

The most basic problem: there is very little in the way of big picture long term planning for the future in Oklahoma.

I think there is a lot more in the way of influential people pushing the state legislature to do things that benefit them directly in the short term. Hence the obsession with cutting taxes and using ideological dogma to get those cuts. So things like public education take deep cuts. And even gas tax funded roads look like a version of "socialism" to lawmakers, despite the broad unpopularity of turnpikes. A major super highway project, such as extending I-45 well into or even through Oklahoma, would take a long term commitment. It would take multiple election cycles and administration changes before the project was completed. Politicians don't like that. Even voters don't like it. These people are only interested in things that can be done inside a 4-year period.

Exacerbating the problem is Oklahoma's legislative term limits. That means you have just as much turnover in the legislative branch as you do in the executive. The constant influx of legislative rookies makes putting together a plan unworkable. And again, what's the incentive for legislators to do long-term planning if they're going to be gone by the time the project is complete?

Ha!  If they do like they do out here in CA, with 20-odd years of term limits in the bank, a legislator in one house (e.g. the State Assembly) will simply run for another office in the other house (State Senate); if he or she gets the support of the regional party leaders, that transition is expedited.  Some can -- and have -- gone the other way, from Senate down to Assembly.  Of course they can run for Congress as well -- or even try to win election as a county supervisor (which in large-population counties can yield more actual power than a legislative office).  It can look like a game of musical chairs at times!
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #230 on: April 16, 2020, 07:30:22 AM »

The term limit is 12 years in the Legislature, regardless of house. If you do six in the House, you can only do six in the Senate and then you're out.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #231 on: April 16, 2020, 02:22:40 PM »

The term limit is 12 years in the Legislature, regardless of house. If you do six in the House, you can only do six in the Senate and then you're out.

Same here with Legislative terms, but an aggregate total isn't spelled out -- just 3 terms for each house.  But, as I said previously, a lot of our politicos just shift from one level of government to another (cities & counties can set their own limits, but few actually do so).  They'll just stick around long enough to determine where all the bodies are buried, at which time they'll become "indispensable" and show up later on, as consultants or even "sequestered" in associated private enterprises until such time as an office they have yet to occupy becomes vacant.   This process is endemic right here in San Jose -- in fact, it's been S.O.P. since term limits were instituted in the early '90's. 
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #232 on: April 17, 2020, 06:50:58 AM »

For those of you wondering, the only stretch of US-75 in Texas that is not up to interstate standards (besides the HOV area in Collin County) is in Sherman, referred to locals as "The Gap." Reconstruction is currently underway, and should be completed by the start of 2023. From there, local officials will work towards asking for an interstate designation.

Where is this gap? Which exits are at each end?
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #233 on: April 17, 2020, 11:58:07 AM »

For those of you wondering, the only stretch of US-75 in Texas that is not up to interstate standards (besides the HOV area in Collin County) is in Sherman, referred to locals as "The Gap." Reconstruction is currently underway, and should be completed by the start of 2023. From there, local officials will work towards asking for an interstate designation.

Where is this gap? Which exits are at each end?

It's not really a US 75 gap, just an area that's not as interstate-like as the parts south and north of Sherman's center.  I'm not sure of the exact stretch that will be worked on, but it's north of FM 1417 and south of US 82--mostly the downtown exits and the south end of TX 91-Texoma Pkwy.
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sprjus4

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #234 on: April 17, 2020, 12:03:26 PM »

For those of you wondering, the only stretch of US-75 in Texas that is not up to interstate standards (besides the HOV area in Collin County) is in Sherman, referred to locals as "The Gap." Reconstruction is currently underway, and should be completed by the start of 2023. From there, local officials will work towards asking for an interstate designation.

Where is this gap? Which exits are at each end?

It's not really a US 75 gap, just an area that's not as interstate-like as the parts south and north of Sherman's center.  I'm not sure of the exact stretch that will be worked on, but it's north of FM 1417 and south of US 82--mostly the downtown exits and the south end of TX 91-Texoma Pkwy.
The “gap” is full freeway standards, it just doesn’t conform to full interstate standards.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #235 on: April 20, 2020, 11:13:36 AM »

For those of you wondering, the only stretch of US-75 in Texas that is not up to interstate standards (besides the HOV area in Collin County) is in Sherman, referred to locals as "The Gap." Reconstruction is currently underway, and should be completed by the start of 2023. From there, local officials will work towards asking for an interstate designation.

Where is this gap? Which exits are at each end?

The "GAP" is a freeway section built as a downtown bypass of Sherman in the fifties.  It, as has been noted, does not meet Interstate standards. Among the shortcomings are: Too tight curves. Too short exit and entry ramps. No acceleration lanes.

During the upgrade, they are also going to add through frontage roads, widen from 2X2 to ( I cannot remember which 3X3 or 4X4),  widen the newer portions to the north and south of downtown, and upgrade the US75 / US 82 intersection (Both roads are freeways, but no stack is planned.) 

Ultimately, this freeway (US-75) will be at least 3X3 from downtown Dallas to the Red River. This is the biggest project the Paris District of TXDOT has ever done.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #236 on: April 20, 2020, 10:07:26 PM »

For those of you wondering, the only stretch of US-75 in Texas that is not up to interstate standards (besides the HOV area in Collin County) is in Sherman, referred to locals as "The Gap." Reconstruction is currently underway, and should be completed by the start of 2023. From there, local officials will work towards asking for an interstate designation.

Where is this gap? Which exits are at each end?

The "GAP" is a freeway section built as a downtown bypass of Sherman in the fifties.  It, as has been noted, does not meet Interstate standards. Among the shortcomings are: Too tight curves. Too short exit and entry ramps. No acceleration lanes.

During the upgrade, they are also going to add through frontage roads, widen from 2X2 to ( I cannot remember which 3X3 or 4X4),  widen the newer portions to the north and south of downtown, and upgrade the US75 / US 82 intersection (Both roads are freeways, but no stack is planned.) 

Ultimately, this freeway (US-75) will be at least 3X3 from downtown Dallas to the Red River. This is the biggest project the Paris District of TXDOT has ever done.

Re the 75/82 interchange:  it's a cookie-cutter TX "volleyball", which TxDOT favors as an interim method of connecting freeways in more outlying areas without massive movements from one facility to another.  They'll have a stack planned atop the volleyball but would only build it if and when overall traffic volume warrants, which may or may not occur (the volleyball at I-27 and Loop 289 north of downtown Lubbock has been there for decades with apparently no current plans to upgrade it).  Occasionally exceptionally dense development has occurred around a volleyball perimeter; this happened with the I-35/US 190 interchange in Temple -- one of the reasons that section of 190 freeway wasn't considered for part of the I-14 corridor.  I've been through the Sherman 75/82 interchange several times -- even back in the '80's when it was a simple diamond.  Currently, there's a few convenience stores and/or gas stations along the intersecting frontage roads; while a stack would certainly eliminate some of these, the present situation certainly wouldn't be prohibitive as regards interchange upgrades. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #237 on: April 20, 2020, 10:33:25 PM »

If they eventually follow through with long term plans to extend the Dallas North Tollway up to US-75 North of Denison, just to the South of the Red River a new US-69/75 crossing will be needed over the Red River. The Grayson County Toll Road study has a path mapped out to US-75 just North of the FM-84 exit where US-75 bends from going North to Northwest. The extended DNT would dovetail into that bend in the road.

The current US-69/75 bridge crossing over the Red River is old and only 2 lanes in each direction. The bridges have a decent outer shoulder, but no inner shoulder at all. So the existing bridges do not live up to Interstate standards. An improved US-75 and an extended DNT would probably make it necessary to build a new Red River crossing with at least 4 lanes in both directions.

Whatever happens ODOT will end up under some pressure to improve US-75 through the Colbert area. The existing 2x2 configuration will act as a bottleneck to traffic coming to and from the Texas side of the river. Various other improvements to existing ramps and bridges (including a rail bridge going over US-69/75) would be necessary.

Hopefully ODOT's plans for the US-69/75 freeway upgrade in Calera up to Choctaw Casino provide room to expand the road to a 3x3 configuration. I think what they're planning is a regular 2x2 build.

Regarding the US-75/US-82 volleyball interchange in Denison, that's not going to be an easy or cheap thing to upgrade into a directional stack. Obviously the gas stations, mobile phone stores and what not hugging too close to the corners of the interchange would have to be cleared for directional ramps to be built. A bunch of the other entrance and exit ramps near the volleyball interchange would have to be reconfigured or even eliminated to make room for the high speed directional stack ramps.

Of course there is a likely chance TX DOT may choose to leave the US-75/US-82 interchange as a volleyball setup. The decision rests on just how much traffic needs to move between the two highways rather than just travel directly through the interchange. Most of the traffic heading up US-75 from Dallas is just going to keep driving North. Likewise, the East-West traffic on US-82 may be using that road to stay clear of Dallas. I can picture US-82 being a future regional Interstate corridor going from just East of Wichita Falls to Texarkana. There's even potential to go into Southern Arkansas to towns like El Dorado. US-82 even has a fairly new bridge crossing over the Mississippi River.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 09:40:38 PM by Bobby5280 »
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MikieTimT

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #238 on: April 21, 2020, 12:23:51 PM »

I can picture US-82 being a future regional Interstate corridor going from just East of Wichita Falls to Texarkana. There's even potential to go into Southern Arkansas to towns like El Dorado. US-82 even has a fairly new bridge crossing over the Mississippi River.

Past Texarkana, US-82 will likely get the same treatment as US-412 in the northern part of the state.  Occasional passing lanes and city bypasses until funding comes through from somewhere to do 4 laning across the state, but without limited access.  At grade intersections and ramps only at major crossings.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #239 on: April 21, 2020, 05:02:33 PM »

I can picture US-82 being a future regional Interstate corridor going from just East of Wichita Falls to Texarkana. There's even potential to go into Southern Arkansas to towns like El Dorado. US-82 even has a fairly new bridge crossing over the Mississippi River.

Past Texarkana, US-82 will likely get the same treatment as US-412 in the northern part of the state.  Occasional passing lanes and city bypasses until funding comes through from somewhere to do 4 laning across the state, but without limited access.  At grade intersections and ramps only at major crossings.

I think you can expect US82 to be upgraded significantly from I49 in Texarkana to I69 (wherever it runs) near ElDorado eventually. The only way it gets built past that is if I69 decides to change its route to follow 82 more or less.

As to US 82 in north Texas, Starting in the late seventies, 82 was routed on a new alignment a mile or so to the north between FM1417 to Whitesboro. Then around 2000 from SH121  east to just east of Honey Grove.  Then in the 2010's from SH121 to FM1417. Right now it is four lane divided from SH121 to Whitesboro.  They are widening the portion from 121 to East of Honey Grove to 4 lane divided.  It should be completed in a year or so.

This is very similar to what Oklahoma is doing with US 70 across southeast Oklahoma.

The pitfall of four lane divided is at work in Whitesboro.  There is a low speed limit AND a traffic signal at the high school.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #240 on: April 22, 2020, 10:24:05 PM »

US-82 in North Texas is kind of an interesting combination of different highway configurations, like 4-lane divided and Super 2 with limited access exits.

I think TX DOT needs to get on the ball about the segment of US-82 between Gainesville and Sherman. The section between Whitesboro and Sherman can be upgraded to Interstate standards without any difficulty. It looks like all the existing properties adjacent to the highway are set back far enough to allow room for new frontage roads. Hopefuly no jerk developers hug a bunch of crap right up on the ROW. The area between Whitesboro and Gainesville is a tougher nut to crack. Any new freeway there will have to be built on a new alignment. TX DOT has been studying US-82 relief route options around Gainesville. TX DOT will have to expand the scope of how US-82 should be improved in this area before it turns into a copy of US-380 between Denton and McKinney.

The segment of US-82 between Bonham and Honey Grove was a partially limited access Super 2. It will be interesting to see what TX DOT does with that segment in the 4-laning project. It may end up considerably closer to Interstate standards.

The 4-lane segment between Sherman and Bonham can be upgraded to Interstate standards, but there are a few properties along the way that may have to be bought and removed. East of Honey Grove and over to Paris I think any new US-82 freeway would probably have to be built on a new alignment. Loop 286 around Paris could be pretty difficult and expensive to turn into an Interstate quality loop.
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rte66man

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #241 on: April 23, 2020, 12:46:36 PM »

US-82 in North Texas is kind of an interesting combination of different highway configurations, like 4-lane divided and Super 2 with limited access exits.

I think TX DOT needs to get on the ball about the segment of US-82 between Gainesville and Sherman. The section between Whitesboro and Sherman can be upgraded to Interstate standards without any difficulty. It looks like all the existing properties adjacent to the highway are set back far enough to allow room for new frontage roads. Hopefuly no jerk developers hug a bunch of crap right up on the ROW. The area between Whitesboro and Gainesville is a tougher nut to crack. Any new freeway there will have to be built on a new alignment. TX DOT has been studying US-82 relief route options around Gainesville. TX DOT will have to expand the scope of how US-82 should be improved in this area before it turns into a copy of US-380 between Denton and McKinney.

The segment of US-82 between Bonham and Honey Grove was a partially limited access Super 2. It will be interesting to see what TX DOT does with that segment in the 4-laning project. It may end up considerably closer to Interstate standards.

The 4-lane segment between Sherman and Bonham can be upgraded to Interstate standards, but there are a few properties along the way that may have to be bought and removed. East of Honey Grove and over to Paris I think any new US-82 freeway would probably have to be built on a new alignment. Loop 286 around Paris could be pretty difficult and expensive to turn into an Interstate quality loop.

TxDOT would be better off using the southern half of the Paris loop. Coming from the west, have 82 veer SE a mile or so before it reaches 286. Much less development along that route. Have it veer NE at the junction with 271 and follow along south of the railroad and cross over to the existing road a couple of miles east.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #242 on: April 23, 2020, 03:44:23 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^^^
All this talk about improving US 82 is fine -- but the reality is that any such improvements would be "stand-alone" projects with limited regional benefit.  Even an Interstate-grade connector between I-35 and US 75 along US 82 wouldn't do much except provide an outer "shunt" between the two N-S routes (much of which is obviated by the I-35E/W split).  And a Paris extension of that concept would be effectively a single-ended enhanced corridor.  Unless US 82 is the northern section of a more comprehensive DFW outer loop (itself not a shabby idea!), by itself it doesn't do much except improve the lot of the current traffic pattern.  Now -- if I-grade development were extended east to intersect I-30 at some point, it might well serve as an alternative distributor from & to I-30, allowing that corridor's traffic a way to get past a Dallas chokepoint en route to the west side of the metro area (like the BNSF container-offload facility at Saginaw, north of Fort Worth).  And if ever a DFW-Amarillo Interstate-grade facility along US 287 becomes reality (one can only hope!), extending a similar facility along US 82 from Gainesville west to Henrietta could serve the same function from the opposite direction.   

Don't get me wrong -- there's nothing intrinsically wrong with improving an artery such as US 82 for the sake of local traffic efficiency & safety.  But full Interstate-grade improvements might well be gratuitous unless the route has some purpose beyond local service.  IMO, Job #1 for TxDOT should be improving US 75 through Sherman and Denison, where traffic counts are highest.  Any improvements to US 82 should come about within the context of local improvements until such time that west and/or east connections to other corridors are under consideration. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #243 on: April 23, 2020, 11:24:54 PM »

There are multiple reasons that justify upgrading US-82 to Interstate quality through the Texoma region.

The direction of development in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is North, toward that US-82 corridor. It's better to get ahead of that growth than be caught with the pants around the ankles, like TX DOT ended up being with US-380. I've said this many times before: they don't have to entirely build out a full fledged Interstate corridor. But they need to at least be acquiring the property to be able to do so later. One of the nice things about much of the US-287 corridor between Fort Worth and Amarillo is it can be upgraded to Interstate quality without much trouble. Some sections were even built with an Interstate sized median in the middle.

The Lake Texoma area is a very popular recreational area. The segment of US-82 nearest to Lake Texoma (the Whitesboro to Sherman segment) is the easiest to upgrade to Interstate standards. The casino business on the other side of the river is likely to boost traffic on the Gainesville to Sherman segment of US-82, especially as the Northern DFW suburbs continue to grow, as does tourism in Lake Texoma.

US-82 could grow into a very important East-West relief route for commercial traffic looking to bypass the busiest and most expensive areas of DFW. If an upgraded US-82 route went through Paris, TX and to I-30 it would bring a completed I-49 into play for a bigger picture Ports to Plains function. New Orleans and Southern Louisiana generate a lot of port business aside from the port activity in Texas.

Regarding regional outer loops for DFW, US-82 does not serve that function. The Collin County Outer Loop and Texas Loop 9 will serve those functions if/when they're built. An upgraded US-82 in the Texoma region would function a little like I-81 does for I-95 traffic on the Eastern Seaboard. I think US-281 could serve a similar relief route function for I-35 and traffic trying to bypass Austin and DFW.

I'm not all 100% gung-ho on upgrading US-82. If US-82 was fully upgraded to Interstate standards from Henrietta (US-287) to New Boston (I-30) it could draw a lot of long distance traffic away from Oklahoma's road system. Here in Oklahoma I think the OK-3 corridor should be a very high priority for route upgrades. If it was up to me I'd have a turnpike or freeway system running from the Texarkana area diagonally up to the OKC metro and then on up to Woodward and over to Boise City. An upgraded US-82 would take a good amount of wind out of the sails of upgrading OK-3.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #244 on: April 24, 2020, 05:50:23 AM »

There are multiple reasons that justify upgrading US-82 to Interstate quality through the Texoma region.

The direction of development in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is North, toward that US-82 corridor. It's better to get ahead of that growth than be caught with the pants around the ankles, like TX DOT ended up being with US-380. I've said this many times before: they don't have to entirely build out a full fledged Interstate corridor. But they need to at least be acquiring the property to be able to do so later. One of the nice things about much of the US-287 corridor between Fort Worth and Amarillo is it can be upgraded to Interstate quality without much trouble. Some sections were even built with an Interstate sized median in the middle.

The Lake Texoma area is a very popular recreational area. The segment of US-82 nearest to Lake Texoma (the Whitesboro to Sherman segment) is the easiest to upgrade to Interstate standards. The casino business on the other side of the river is likely to boost traffic on the Gainesville to Sherman segment of US-82, especially as the Northern DFW suburbs continue to grow, as does tourism in Lake Texoma.

US-82 could grow into a very important East-West relief route for commercial traffic looking to bypass the busiest and most expensive areas of DFW. If an upgraded US-82 route went through Paris, TX and to I-30 it would bring a completed I-49 into play for a bigger picture Ports to Plains function. New Orleans and Southern Louisiana generate a lot of port business aside from the port activity in Texas.

Regarding regional outer loops for DFW, US-82 does not serve that function. The Collin County Outer Loop and Texas Loop 9 will serve those functions if/when they're built. An upgraded US-82 in the Texoma region would function a little like I-81 does for I-95 traffic on the Eastern Seaboard. I think US-281 could serve a similar relief route function for I-35 and traffic trying to bypass Austin and DFW.

I'm not all 100% gung-ho on upgrading US-82. If US-82 was fully upgraded to Interstate standards from Henrietta (US-287) to New Boston (I-30) it could draw a lot of long distance traffic away from Oklahoma's road system. Here in Oklahoma I think the OK-3 corridor should be a very high priority for route upgrades. If it was up to me I'd have a turnpike or freeway system running from the Texarkana area diagonally up to the OKC metro and then on up to Woodward and over to Boise City. An upgraded US-82 would take a good amount of wind out of the sails of upgrading OK-3.

Given the precondition that connections to either I-30 to the east and/or a DFW-Amarillo Interstate (grade) route are made, US 82 is a prime candidate for an Interstate corridor -- the classic "relief route" diverting traffic around DFW on the north side.  And if the metro area looks like it's extending out that far, reserving ROW would be a fine idea -- let TxDOT "do their thing" and build widely separated frontage roads with an I-grade freeway coming along in time between Gainesville and Paris, with expandable 2-lane upgrades west and east of there:  Henrietta-Gainesville and Paris-New Boston.  Just so if the need arises, TxDOT isn't caught with their pants down.   

My McCurtain County extended family would absolutely love the idea of a continuous diagonal freeway/expressway as described above; they've been pushing for that for decades, along with the quickly abandoned idea of running I-49 down US 259 through Broken Bow (a concept that died in the late '80's).  But the idea of upgrading OK 3 has been promoted from the SE state corner for decades now -- with the concept that both Atoka and Ada would be bypassed and a "beeline" from Ada to OKC -- avoiding Shawnee -- was part of the package.   Needless to say, some of the same dynamics that have characterized the lack of action along the US 69 (I-45?) corridor have come into play here as well.  Some wise person once said "all politics is local"; that seems to hold particularly true within OK circles.     
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #245 on: April 24, 2020, 07:05:09 AM »

I'm a little shocked that an upgraded Ada-to-OKC corridor hasn't been heavily promoted by the Chickasaw Nation. Their headquarters is in Ada, and better connectivity with OKC could only help them.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #246 on: April 24, 2020, 12:46:48 PM »

I'm a little shocked that an upgraded Ada-to-OKC corridor hasn't been heavily promoted by the Chickasaw Nation. Their headquarters is in Ada, and better connectivity with OKC could only help them.

I-40 to US177 to OK3W is the natural route. Long term plans are to 4 lane all of it; however, give Oklahoma's glacial pace of road improvement, it will likely be 2040 before that happens.
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bwana39

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #247 on: April 24, 2020, 05:08:09 PM »

US 59 was originally supposed to follow AR41 to DeQueen but temporarily routed through Texarkana because there was a bridge at Texarkana.  It initially followed the current TX8 from Linden to  Boston (New Boston) then followed US82 to Texarkana. Later it was shortened to skip New Boston and followed US67 directly to Texarkana. When Wright Patman Lake was built, it was redirected along SH47 from Linden to Atlanta to Texarkana (by then the District TXDOT office was in Atlanta).

As to I-49 in Oklahoma,  It would still be a fit to follow US59 to US271 then back to Ft Smith. That said, OK has as little money as Arkansas especially for Southeast Oklahoma.  This is the place where JFK came to open US259 where no real road had existed before. 

A good route for I49 would have been Texarkana to roughly Foreman AR to Idabel then roughly follow US259 to US59 Near Paige OK then to 271. (The distance would be little different than the proposed moutain route through Arkansas

It looks like I49 will stay entirely in Arkansas and probably will take 25 years or more to complete. I really don't see it taking any less anywhere else.






« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 05:14:03 PM by bwana39 »
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Road Hog

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #248 on: April 24, 2020, 05:10:17 PM »

If they eventually follow through with long term plans to extend the Dallas North Tollway up to US-75 North of Denison, just to the South of the Red River a new US-69/75 crossing will be needed over the Red River. The Grayson County Toll Road study has a path mapped out to US-75 just North of the FM-84 exit where US-75 bends from going North to Northwest. The extended DNT would dovetail into that bend in the road.

The current US-69/75 bridge crossing over the Red River is old and only 2 lanes in each direction. The bridges have a decent outer shoulder, but no inner shoulder at all. So the existing bridges do not live up to Interstate standards. An improved US-75 and an extended DNT would probably make it necessary to build a new Red River crossing with at least 4 lanes in both directions.

Whatever happens ODOT will end up under some pressure to improve US-75 through the Colbert area. The existing 2x2 configuration will act as a bottleneck to traffic coming to and from the Texas side of the river. Various other improvements to existing ramps and bridges (including a rail bridge going over US-69/75) would be necessary.

Hopefully ODOT's plans for the US-69/75 freeway upgrade in Calera up to Choctaw Casino provide room to expand the road to a 3x3 configuration. I think what they're planning is a regular 2x2 build.

Regarding the US-75/US-82 volleyball interchange in Denison, that's not going to be an easy or cheap thing to upgrade into a directional stack. Obviously the gas stations, mobile phone stores and what not hugging too close to the corners of the interchange would have to be cleared for directional ramps to be built. A bunch of the other entrance and exit ramps near the volleyball interchange would have to be reconfigured or even eliminated to make room for the high speed directional stack ramps.

Of course there is a likely chance TX DOT may choose to leave the US-75/US-82 interchange as a volleyball setup. The decision rests on just how much traffic needs to move between the two highways rather than just travel directly through the interchange. Most of the traffic heading up US-75 from Dallas is just going to keep driving North. Likewise, the East-West traffic on US-82 may be using that road to stay clear of Dallas. I can picture US-82 being a future regional Interstate corridor going from just East of Wichita Falls to Texarkana. There's even potential to go into Southern Arkansas to towns like El Dorado. US-82 even has a fairly new bridge crossing over the Mississippi River.
I am very familiar with the 75/82 volleyball. I agree that TXDOT will leave it as is for now, but the short ramps on and off 82 need to be addressed. Traffic movement from westbound 82 to northbound 75 is a nightmare as vehicles have about 100 feet to change lanes.

If TxDOT got creative with pillar placement it could spare the businesses there with a stack, but that means getting vertical farther out. That will make it expensive. A stack there would probably require both highways to gain interstate status.
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #249 on: April 24, 2020, 05:27:59 PM »

US 59 was originally supposed to follow AR41 to DeQueen but temporarily routed through Texarkana because there was a bridge at Texarkana.  It initially followed the current TX8 from Linden to  Boston (New Boston) then followed US82 to Texarkana. Later it was shortened to skip New Boston and followed US67 directly to Texarkana. When Wright Patman Lake was built, it was redirected along SH47 from Linden to Atlanta to Texarkana (by then the District TXDOT office was in Atlanta).

As to I-49 in Oklahoma,  It would still be a fit to follow US59 to US271 then back to Ft Smith. That said, OK has as little money as Arkansas especially for Southeast Oklahoma.  This is the place where JFK came to open US259 where no real road had existed before. 

A good route for I49 would have been Texarkana to roughly Foreman AR to Idabel then roughly follow US259 to US59 Near Paige OK then to 271. (The distance would be little different than the proposed moutain route through Arkansas

It looks like I49 will stay entirely in Arkansas and probably will take 25 years or more to complete. I really don't see it taking any less anywhere else.

At this point, the die has essentially been cast; I-49 will basically follow US 71 via a bit east of DeQueen and Mena, then sit atop that highway over the Y City "summit", an all-AR alignment.  It'll likely take a tad short of forever X-(, but if and when it finally happens, that's where it'll occur. 

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