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Author Topic: Samsung To Build $17b Plant in Taylor TX (US79 needs converting to Freeway ASAP)  (Read 2955 times)

thisdj78

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Traffic between Taylor and Round Rock is going to be crazy once this is complete. Besides a southern bypass around Hutto, I don’t think there’s any current plans for US79 between SH130 and Taylor:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/samsung-to-choose-taylor-texas-for-17-billion-chipmaking-factory-11637627613?mod=latest_headlines&fbclid=IwAR0rd4NdQFfduX0JXqCGwZlDS9n9fti2eUB6GOijDNacNPwnZaEMr0XOZNU
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brad2971

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Traffic between Taylor and Round Rock is going to be crazy once this is complete. Besides a southern bypass around Hutto, I don’t think there’s any current plans for US79 between SH130 and Taylor:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/samsung-to-choose-taylor-texas-for-17-billion-chipmaking-factory-11637627613?mod=latest_headlines&fbclid=IwAR0rd4NdQFfduX0JXqCGwZlDS9n9fti2eUB6GOijDNacNPwnZaEMr0XOZNU

And TXDOT may want to hurry on this. There's a certain amount of urgency to these chipmaking plants nowadays, what with both the chip shortages and the imperative of not being so exposed to China for these chips.
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MaxConcrete

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The planned Southeast Loop Freeway goes along the west side of the plant site.

https://www.wilco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jKlWXIJnOPE%3d&tabid=1553&portalid=0&mid=8328

Segment 3 on the map is scheduled to receive bids for its frontage roads in June.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

As brad2971 says, TxDOT and Williamson County are going to need to expedite the full length of the Southeast Loop to full freeway standards.

thisdj78

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The planned Southeast Loop Freeway goes along the west side of the plant site.

https://www.wilco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jKlWXIJnOPE%3d&tabid=1553&portalid=0&mid=8328

Segment 3 on the map is scheduled to receive bids for its frontage roads in June.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

As brad2971 says, TxDOT and Williamson County are going to need to expedite the full length of the Southeast Loop to full freeway standards.

Even with the new Loop, 79 really needs to be limited access all the way from Taylor (thru Hutto) to at least Kalahari in Round Rock. Also some grade separated railroad crossings.
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sprjus4

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The planned Southeast Loop Freeway goes along the west side of the plant site.

https://www.wilco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jKlWXIJnOPE%3d&tabid=1553&portalid=0&mid=8328

Segment 3 on the map is scheduled to receive bids for its frontage roads in June.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

As brad2971 says, TxDOT and Williamson County are going to need to expedite the full length of the Southeast Loop to full freeway standards.

Even with the new Loop, 79 really needs to be limited access all the way from Taylor (thru Hutto) to at least Kalahari in Round Rock. Also some grade separated railroad crossings.
IMO, the new loop combined with SH-45 west of SH-130, would act as a “bypass” of the US-79 corridor.
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thisdj78

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The planned Southeast Loop Freeway goes along the west side of the plant site.

https://www.wilco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jKlWXIJnOPE%3d&tabid=1553&portalid=0&mid=8328

Segment 3 on the map is scheduled to receive bids for its frontage roads in June.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

As brad2971 says, TxDOT and Williamson County are going to need to expedite the full length of the Southeast Loop to full freeway standards.

Even with the new Loop, 79 really needs to be limited access all the way from Taylor (thru Hutto) to at least Kalahari in Round Rock. Also some grade separated railroad crossings.
IMO, the new loop combined with SH-45 west of SH-130, would act as a “bypass” of the US-79 corridor.

Majority of the congestion on 79 seems to be local between Hutto and Round Rock, so yes the loop will act as a bypass for folks going back and forth to East Hutto/Taylor, but going by the amount of growth on and around the Round Rock/Hutto border….some sort of local relief will be needed too.
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Chris

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A $ 17 billion plant, that must be one of the most expensive single sites ever built in Texas?

By comparison, the ExxonMobile campus north of Houston has cost just over $ 1 billion. The Tesla Gigafactory in Austin is also just over $ 1 billion.

MaxConcrete

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A $ 17 billion plant, that must be one of the most expensive single sites ever built in Texas?

By comparison, the ExxonMobile campus north of Houston has cost just over $ 1 billion. The Tesla Gigafactory in Austin is also just over $ 1 billion.

The reason the plant is so expensive is because of the equipment inside the plant.

For example, the latest production machine from ASML (made in the Netherlands) costs $150 million each. So if you want 50 of those, the expenditure is around $7.5 billion.
https://www.wired.com/story/asml-extreme-ultraviolet-lithography-chips-moores-law/

thisdj78

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A $ 17 billion plant, that must be one of the most expensive single sites ever built in Texas?

By comparison, the ExxonMobile campus north of Houston has cost just over $ 1 billion. The Tesla Gigafactory in Austin is also just over $ 1 billion.

It is and it may be one of the most expensive plants in the US.
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edwaleni

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A $ 17 billion plant, that must be one of the most expensive single sites ever built in Texas?

By comparison, the ExxonMobile campus north of Houston has cost just over $ 1 billion. The Tesla Gigafactory in Austin is also just over $ 1 billion.

It is and it may be one of the most expensive plants in the US.

The Koreans see an opportunity and they are taking advantage of it. TSMC is doing the same in Arizona.

Plus Ford just announced a JV with GloFlo for a dedicated fab just for Ford. (it will probably go in Michigan)

Politics and Covid exposed some ignored weaknesses in the supply chain. There is a lot of free cash in the globe today looking to be invested and they are going for it.
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Plutonic Panda

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Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments announces a 30 billion dollar plant north of Dallas

https://dallasinnovates.com/texas-instruments-chooses-sherman-for-new-30b-semiconductor-chip-site/

Holy fucking fuck! The amount of investment in Texas is nuts. I wish Oklahoma could land just one of the dozens of projects announced in Texas lately. Goddamn.
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Thegeet

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Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments announces a 30 billion dollar plant north of Dallas

https://dallasinnovates.com/texas-instruments-chooses-sherman-for-new-30b-semiconductor-chip-site/

Holy fucking fuck! The amount of investment in Texas is nuts. I wish Oklahoma could land just one of the dozens of projects announced in Texas lately. Goddamn.
Now hopefully they can shift Calculator production from the Philippines to Texas.
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edwaleni

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A massive new 4 track rail yard was built in Hutto back in May right along side the ROW of the new Southwest Loop.

I assume this is for the Samsung plant or for something else? Railroads don't build yards this big unless something else is coming.
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thisdj78

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A massive new 4 track rail yard was built in Hutto back in May right along side the ROW of the new Southwest Loop.

I assume this is for the Samsung plant or for something else? Railroads don't build yards this big unless something else is coming.

Funny you mention that, I was thinking the same thing. That area is where Tesla was rumored to build until they announced the south location. So I’m thinking the rail was built in anticipation that some large company would buy land there.
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Bobby5280

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The new Samsung and Tesla plants will give the city of Austin an extra kick for its city limits population to surge past the 1 million mark. The 2019 estimate was 950,000 (2.28 million MSA). I don't know the official 2020 Census results.

I'm not sure what value the Southwest Loop will provide to the bigger picture traffic moving needs of the metro Austin area. Maybe it could be an opening baby step at building a direct freeway link between Austin and College Station? The US-79 expressway East of the TX-130 toll road could be converted into a freeway and overlay the existing bypass around Taylor. From there is could proceed farther along US-79 to Milano where I-14 is penciled in to pass. Or from the Taylor half-loop the route could proceed straight East and directly connect a large Alcoa plant before merging into TX-21 going East into Bryan. That would actually be better.

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Holy fucking fuck! The amount of investment in Texas is nuts. I wish Oklahoma could land just one of the dozens of projects announced in Texas lately. Goddamn.

Oklahoma is still too backwards and cheap in too many categories. That's despite having some big advantages like lower costs of living and lower costs of energy. I think one category hurting the state particularly bad is public education funding and school quality. Major companies absolutely do look at the status of local school districts when scouting locations. Oklahoma has some "good" districts that are well-funded (like Edmond). Most of the hundreds of other districts across the state, especially ones in rural areas, are struggling badly. Oklahoma lost thousands of teachers because the state is at or near the bottom in teacher pay. And then the state government passes the first gasoline tax increase in over 20 years, but only to fund teacher pay raises. That's pretty telling. The OKC and Tulsa metros are the only places in the state that are adding population. With the results of redistricting the OKC and Tulsa metros will gain a LOT more political clout.

We lost a few thousand residents in Lawton over the past few years. Public schools were a factor in the migration. About half the population loss was to residents moving to either Cache or Elgin, both of whom have a much better per capita level of funding per student. Others have left over lack of opportunity. Lawton Public Schools suffers some consequences of Lawton being a military town. Kids on Fort Sill go to LPS schools, but the district doesn't get squat in terms of impact aid from Fort Sill. The area has a high percentage of home owners exempt from paying property taxes, such as military retirees with 100% disability. The state passed a new law recently that is supposed to reimburse districts for some of the lost tax revenue.

At any rate, that $30 billion Texas Instruments chip fab should be a nice thing for the Sherman, TX area. Hopefully it will be yet another factor to extend I-45 North of Dallas along US-75 and then maybe into Oklahoma.
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thisdj78

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The new Samsung and Tesla plants will give the city of Austin an extra kick for its city limits population to surge past the 1 million mark. The 2019 estimate was 950,000 (2.28 million MSA). I don't know the official 2020 Census results.

It crossed the 1 million mark in summer of last year.

https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/austins-population-hits-1-million-estimates-show/

I think if anything else this will also cause an explosion of growth in east Williamson County. Even with the hot market, it’s way more affordable than Austin/Travis County. Tesla is a straight shot down toll 130 from the eastern Round Rock/Hutto area (a 30 minute drive is nothing compared to commutes in California) and now Samsung.
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dchristy

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The new Samsung and Tesla plants will give the city of Austin an extra kick for its city limits population to surge past the 1 million mark. The 2019 estimate was 950,000 (2.28 million MSA). I don't know the official 2020 Census results.

I'm not sure what value the Southwest Loop will provide to the bigger picture traffic moving needs of the metro Austin area. Maybe it could be an opening baby step at building a direct freeway link between Austin and College Station? The US-79 expressway East of the TX-130 toll road could be converted into a freeway and overlay the existing bypass around Taylor. From there is could proceed farther along US-79 to Milano where I-14 is penciled in to pass. Or from the Taylor half-loop the route could proceed straight East and directly connect a large Alcoa plant before merging into TX-21 going East into Bryan. That would actually be better.

Quote
Holy fucking fuck! The amount of investment in Texas is nuts. I wish Oklahoma could land just one of the dozens of projects announced in Texas lately. Goddamn.

Oklahoma is still too backwards and cheap in too many categories. That's despite having some big advantages like lower costs of living and lower costs of energy. I think one category hurting the state particularly bad is public education funding and school quality. Major companies absolutely do look at the status of local school districts when scouting locations. Oklahoma has some "good" districts that are well-funded (like Edmond). Most of the hundreds of other districts across the state, especially ones in rural areas, are struggling badly. Oklahoma lost thousands of teachers because the state is at or near the bottom in teacher pay. And then the state government passes the first gasoline tax increase in over 20 years, but only to fund teacher pay raises. That's pretty telling. The OKC and Tulsa metros are the only places in the state that are adding population. With the results of redistricting the OKC and Tulsa metros will gain a LOT more political clout.

We lost a few thousand residents in Lawton over the past few years. Public schools were a factor in the migration. About half the population loss was to residents moving to either Cache or Elgin, both of whom have a much better per capita level of funding per student. Others have left over lack of opportunity. Lawton Public Schools suffers some consequences of Lawton being a military town. Kids on Fort Sill go to LPS schools, but the district doesn't get squat in terms of impact aid from Fort Sill. The area has a high percentage of home owners exempt from paying property taxes, such as military retirees with 100% disability. The state passed a new law recently that is supposed to reimburse districts for some of the lost tax revenue.

At any rate, that $30 billion Texas Instruments chip fab should be a nice thing for the Sherman, TX area. Hopefully it will be yet another factor to extend I-45 North of Dallas along US-75 and then maybe into Oklahoma.

Excellent post, and as someone who taught in Oklahoma for over 40 years I can attest to its validity.  Bryan County in general, and Durant in particular, is one of the very few non-metro areas in Oklahoma that are actually growing and the TI chip lab construction in Sherman will augment that growth to a certain extent.  Sherman has just started to build three large housing developments totaling at least several hundred homes, and the addition of 3200 more jobs will mean that isn't enough!

There is miles of road construction from Durant south through Sherman and it seems like it would be easy to just call it I-45 when it is finished as I believe it will be to interstate standards with the exception of the stop light at Calera and a few at-grade intersections into local businesses.  What can be done to facilitate calling it I-45?   
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Bobby5280

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Quote from: thisdj78
It crossed the 1 million mark in summer of last year.

I expected Austin to pass the 1 million mark in city limits population on or just before the 2020 Census. According to some numbers I've seen online Austin has already passed San Jose in city limits population (1011790 vs 1009340). San Jose squeaked over the 1 million mark a few years ago and has barely enough residents to stay in the "millionaire's club."

Fort Worth will be the next city in Texas with over 1 million residents in city limits population. The latest numbers have it at 942323; it was 748441 in 2010. That's some pretty fast growth. At that pace Fort Worth could blow past Austin during this decade and even catch up to Dallas' city limits population by 2040.

Jacksonville, Columbus and Charlotte could all have city limits populations over 1 million before 2030 if current growth trends are sustained. Yeah, Jacksonville is technically the biggest city in Florida. Miami and Tampa don't have city limits populations close to 1 million like Jacksonville. They do have large MSA populations though. Columbus is technically a bigger city than Cleveland or Cincinnati, yet it has no NFL or MLB teams.

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There is miles of road construction from Durant south through Sherman and it seems like it would be easy to just call it I-45 when it is finished as I believe it will be to interstate standards with the exception of the stop light at Calera and a few at-grade intersections into local businesses.  What can be done to facilitate calling it I-45?

US-69 through all of Calera will be Interstate quality once that particular ODOT project is completed. There will still be some at-grade crossings between Colbert and Calera that have to be "cleaned up" to make the corridor Interstate quality from the Red River up to US-70. I'm confident that will happen not long after the Calera project is finished. Once that is done (along with other bigger projects in Texas) I-45 could be signed up to Durant, if the powers that be allow that to happen.

Going North of Durant, the US-69/75 corridor could be upgraded fairly easily to Interstate quality to Tushka. But the stretch from Tushka and Atoka up to McAlester is still a difficult segment to upgrade. However, political forces blocking Interstate quality development there are losing clout by way of serious population decline. Old residents are dying off and younger ones are migrating out of there if they can escape. It may take a few years, but an Interstate quality upgrade through there is eventually going to happen. Muskogee is really the only town along the US-69 corridor with enough ability to hold off an Interstate quality upgrade inside city limits. ODOT or OTA could always bypass it though. They can fill in all the other segments of the route between the Red River and Big Cabin as Interstate quality, leaving Muskogee for the last segment. Then the city could decide if they want an Interstate in the city or bypassing their city (and accepting the consequences of that traffic bypassing their city).
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 01:40:09 AM by Bobby5280 »
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edwaleni

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Jacksonville, Columbus and Charlotte could all have city limits populations over 1 million before 2030 if current growth trends are sustained. Yeah, Jacksonville is technically the biggest city in Florida. Miami and Tampa don't have city limits populations close to 1 million like Jacksonville. They do have large MSA populations though. Columbus is technically a bigger city than Cleveland or Cincinnati, yet it has no NFL or MLB teams.

The population of Jacksonville, Florida is 949,611. 12th largest in the US. Population of Duval County is 995,667. It's MSA is 1,605,848.

Jacksonville is very much like Austin, Texas because it is surrounded by very large quantities of undeveloped land. Duval County of which Jacksonville has incorporated 95% of, is still 40% undeveloped.
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armadillo speedbump

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Comparing city populations is almost useless, other than for local pom-pom waving cherry pickers trying to make their city look better than reality on Wikipedia edits and (fake) 'news' articles.  (And some local impacts like politics, governance, utilities, land use (see the above post), etc., but that's not why city pops are tossed into message boards 95% of the time.)

What matters is CSA or MSA numbers (basically total urban/exurban/market size) or TV market size for some financial matters.  All have outliers you can point to as imperfect, but they much better capture the total housing and job market than city population numbers based only on where city limit lines were drawn. 

San Antonio boosters can claim that they're the 7th largest city in the nation, but the reality is that they're the 27th largest CSA/metro in the US.  Approx. 2.6 million last year.  You really want to claim your economic impact is bigger than the Atlanta area (6.9 mil CSA) because your city pop is higher?

(It would also help if the census would create a combined CSA/metro list, since several major metros, like San Diego, Tampa, and Austin, don't have a CSA and thus aren't listed in the CSA rank that is the most accurate comparison of greater metros/markets.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 03:04:17 PM by armadillo speedbump »
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Plutonic Panda

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^^^ hell I’d take it a step further and say that even beyond metro population is megalopolis regions. Dallas is bigger metro than Washington DC but DC is part of the NE mega region and it feels vastly more vibrant than DFW. Certain factors like “daytime” population play a role even many smaller cities in SoCal packed in between major cities feel much more vibrant and populated than other cities several times their size like Kansas City or Oklahoma City for example.

You could make the case all of SoCal minus the far eastern deserts is basically one giant connected city. Unless either politics in Texas shift and urban growth boundaries are imposed or the US loses all economic steam I see no reason this won’t also be the case for the Texas triangle becoming basically one giant low density city over the next century.
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edwaleni

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Comparing city populations is almost useless, other than for local pom-pom waving cherry pickers trying to make their city look better than reality on Wikipedia edits and (fake) 'news' articles.  (And some local impacts like politics, governance, utilities, land use (see the above post), etc., but that's not why city pops are tossed into message boards 95% of the time.)

Every city has pluses, minuses, debits and credits to speak of, (even if it isn't edited into a Wikipedia article). Population is just one of many comparatives people can use (and in this case was by the poster).

Too much turkey over the weekend perhaps? Your favorite college football team lose?
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Bobby5280

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It's still a legit feather in Texas' cap to have the most cities with city limits population over 1 million. Texas has four such cities and the state is on fast pace with Fort Worth to make it 5 cities. The two primary "binary" cities in DFW will both have over 1 million people within city limits. No other metro in the US has that. Not even the SF Bay area.

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Dallas is bigger metro than Washington DC but DC is part of the NE mega region and it feels vastly more vibrant than DFW.

I don't agree with that at all. I spent my high school years in Northern Virginia on the fringes of the DC metro. So I'm very familiar with that area. Likewise, I've spent a lot of time in Dallas-Fort Worth over the past 30 years. Also, I went to college in NYC, so I have a lot of experience living in the nation's largest MSA.

Dallas-Fort Worth is the 4th largest MSA in the United States. The New York, Los Angeles and Chicago MSAs are the only ones larger.

There are plenty of things that are impressive and "vibrant" about the DC area. It's the nation's capitol and has a whole lot of history on display there. There is a lot of culture in DC. There is some impressive infrastructure there, such as the I-95/I-495/I-395 interchange as well as some others along the Capitol Beltway.

But Dallas-Fort Worth isn't some little cow town. It takes a while to drive across it even when traffic isn't jammed anywhere. From the early 1990's I've watched that metro grow like a freaking virus. Well over 7 million people live in the metroplex now. And it just keeps growing. There is a lot of great sights there for road geeks. Both Dallas and Fort Worth have quite a bit of culture. Both have some great museums and galleries. I remember when ground was broken in 1986 for Potomac Mills near Dale City, VA. Grapevine Mills in DFW is just as big. Overall DC vs Dallas is an apples to oranges comparison. DFW is an important enough American megapolis to rank well on a global/cosmopolitan level.
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