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El Paso: bids opened for IH-10 widening

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Plutonic Panda:
Would you call it urban? But even then, 7 years seems a bit drawn out.

   Urban?  Yes it is now urban, from just N of Transmountain (MP 6) to Mesa St (Exit 11).

   Development will likely line both N and S frontages up to Vinton, and then Anthony, TX sooner than later. It will likely be of the nature of truck stops, diesel servicing for trucking, and other trucking related, and or warehousing, with some retail mixed in - family dollar, dollar general type of quick stop convenience stores.  Do not believe there will be much additional housing, constructed E of 10 between Transmountain, and the NM state line.  New housing does extend, for close to a linear mile, N of Transmountain, but believe there are limits to that continuing.  Along the river and to the W of 10, it will be completely filled, and El Paso will likely move to annex any remaining unincorporated regions up to the NM state line in the next few decades.
    Likely the price tag comes from rebuilding all the arroyo crossings and the bridge widening to get to a 6 lane cross section.  Of course they will be going into the median, and eliminating the separation that exists now.  Roughly 60 feet, yellow line to yellow line.  Personally, would have gone to the outside, and preserved much of the median, for the future, if an eight lane cross section was ever desired.   Meaning that if you had a vision, for an eventual eight lane build-out, the cross section would be roughly 150 feet.  Eight lanes - 96 feet, four FULL shoulders - 48 feet and footprint of three (3) CBR - 6 to 9 feet.      They could have had an eight lane cross section, up to at least Transmountain by now, if the piecemeal approach had not been done, and the process had had some vision for an ultimate build out.
   Major fails:
    Exit 9: Elevating 10 over Redd Rd with only a four lane cross section.   Widening here will require "adding" onto existing bridge over Redd, with a lot of phasing, detours, and complications.  Looking at the topography in that area, the from scratch Redd interchange then, (2002-ish) should have gone under Redd, and the additional hill N of the interchange flattened, and the whole 10 mainline depressed, with a clear sight-line from Thorn (S of Redd) to Artcraft.   And the 10 main line could have been built out then, as an eight lane cross-section, in anticipation of growth, that would, and DID happen.  This same mistake was made at Zaragosa Road, (Exit 32) in the '96 - '97 time frame, an original bridge, was replaced by one in kind (only four lanes) where it could have been built in anticipation of growth, that DID happen on the E side of El Paso.   
    Hypothetical Redd fill could have been moved to staging areas, to near other interchanges that COULD have been built properly.
   Exit 6: This should have been a full stack, with correct geometry.  What they did build, was a pair of visually brutal overpasses to both the Transmountain mainlines heading E up towards the mountain.  Some of the columns, and cantilever bent columns were placed, so all one can get is a 6 lane I-10 cross section underneath them.  Blunder.   Am also not sure why they cantilevered over pre-existing ramps with these flyovers, instead of combining them both (old and new ramps) together, on both sides of 10 into a single exit point (NB) and a single entrance point (SB).  Am guessing cheapness, and no desire to acquire additional property, which should have been done to shift frontages outward.  A box beam, or seg-mental design could have greatly reduced the number of columns, and it would have had some additional seismic resistance.   The entire Artcraft / Redd / Transmountain area has been completely urbanized, with strip malls, free standing retail, warehousing, and residential behind them, completely filling in an area, that was largely vacant desert - thirty years ago.  A lot of this residential, is also high density apartments and condos, which spew out more traffic than less dense single family housing would.   Not much planning has gone on here, it has become a congested mess, at both Artcraft Rd, and Transmountain Road interchange areas.  And housing construction continues in the Rio Grande Valley N of Artcraft.   Believe the two interchanges should have been combined - into one full symmetrical stack, either at Exit 8 (artcraft) or Exit 6 (transmountain), or in-between (Exit 7) if there had been some planning process.   
   Exit 2.  Was simply rebuilt as it existed originally, with the Vinton road going over the 10 mainlines.  A lot of wasted space in the interchange core, that could have been used more efficiently, had 10 been routed over a flattened Vinton Road.   The approaches on Vinton road are quite steep, and separate CD road/frontage road U turn bridges were added later, to the main Vinton road bridge over 10.  These belated U turn bridges seem tacked on, and cheap.   Fill from a hypothetical Redd I-10 trench, could have been brought here, and used for the 10 approaches.   In fact, the Redd bridge design should have been used for Vinton Rd, with an eight lane 10 cross section.  The inside and outside lanes, on both NB and SB, would have not been used, until later widening(s) put them into use.   Would have erected a sound-wall also for the colonia neighborhood in the NE quadrant of that Exit 2 interchange.
   Exit 0.  Anthony TX/NM.  Another interchange replacement ('00-'01) that failed in execution.   Too much emphasis on frills - terracing, landscraping, and funky design elements such as steel stars.   Three major truck stops now there - Love's, Flying J and Pilot.  Bridge was not wide enough, and exit ramps were not properly lengthened, and accel / decel lanes added.   Large amounts of long distance trucking should dictate better design.   The I-10 mainlines under "new" bridge retained the original humped up nature, and should have flattened, to provide greater vertical clearance, and better sight lines.   The NB 10 exit ramp, Exit 0, was moved far to the south actually becoming an Exit 1.5 in it's new location.   Very confusing.   An informal truck pull off south of Anthony for NB trucking is the likely reason for this.  This "pull-off" should have been either eliminated, or moved southward to the space between Transmountain and Vinton.
    Yes you would have had to be in this area, for a long time (27 years) to have seen all this change, and a lot of it has not been optimum or for the better.   Very Piecemeal.     Planning is not a strong suit, in this part of the country, growth happens, and then there is some belated knee jerk response to it, that is usually half-baked.   By this "part" of the country, am referring to W Texas, and the entire state of New Mexico.  Am of belief planning and execution is better in Texas, once one is away from the oilfields, and travels to the E. 


Interstate 10 in Texas is an embarrassment. It is so bad, that New Mexico is doing a better job.

--- Quote --- Personally, would have gone to the outside, and preserved much of the median, for the future, if an eight lane cross section was ever desired.
--- End quote ---

It will be.

--- Quote --- Meaning that if you had a vision, for an eventual eight lane build-out, the cross section would be roughly 150 feet.
--- End quote ---

New Mexico just might start before Texas finishes with six.


--- Quote from: In_Correl ---Interstate 10 in Texas is an embarrassment. It is so bad, that New Mexico is doing a better job.
--- End quote ---

There is a whole lot of Interstate 10 in Texas. The quality of the road depends on the specific part of the state. Katy Freeway is one of the most impressive stretches of highway in the entire nation. But between San Antonio and El Paso I-10 is rife with improvised dirt road driveways and even some purpose-built at-grade intersections. That ain't Interstate quality.

J N Winkler:

--- Quote from: Chris on October 21, 2021, 01:06:29 PM ---Should it have been 832 days? That's a little over two years.
--- End quote ---

I do not think it is an error.  Per the bidding proposal, the project is divided into five phases of 399 (1A), 426 (1B), 433 (2), 216 (3), and 114 (5) working days.  These sum up to 1588 days, so I suspect the difference between that and 1832 days includes allowances for mobilization, winter shutdowns, and the like.

--- Quote from: Chris on October 21, 2021, 01:06:29 PM ---Or do those 1832 days include drawing up a complete design for the project (as in a design-build contract?)
--- End quote ---

No.  This is a design-bid-build project, and the construction plans are available through TxDOT's Plans Online FTP server.  They aggregate to over 3000 sheets.


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