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Author Topic: Texas roadway design question  (Read 3443 times)

J N Winkler

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2021, 02:06:41 PM »

EDIT: Oooh, just saw this. Is "swooping" a technical term?  :clap:

I have seen it used as such, to describe what in Britain are informally called "tiger-tail markings" and have a similar purpose of preventing changes across multiple lanes.
 
Based upon what I've read recently and over the years, I'd guess that the feds funded 90% of the cost of a reasonably-scoped new freeway, with the state and/or localities funding extras such as continuous frontage roads, extra-wide medians, and unwarranted interchanges and grade separations. If so, great. If not, I see that as a problem.

My understanding is that the 90% federal/10% state Interstate Construction split did apply to what BPR/FHWA deemed eligible expenses for Interstates.  In the early 1960's in California, Division of Highways engineers wanted to provide guardrails and other roadside safety hardware on a more generous basis than was then called for in national standards, so they had to keep up what was described as "sales pressure" on their BPR colleagues to fund them.

This said, I don't know what stance BPR/FHWA took on frontage roads specifically.  It is also possible that they were more readily funded in Texas than they would have been in other states, due to advocacy from the state and regional offices.  (In the state offices especially, the state DOT is very close while Washington is very far away.)
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2021, 08:27:44 PM »

Quote from: Thegeet
I believe so. I think that noise walls are only used for households, and businesses don’t usually request them.

Yeah, it would be pathologically stupid for any commercial business next to an Interstate frontage road to want a sound wall built, blocking out the view of the Interstate. A commercial business brick and mortar store front is an extremely important marketing tool. If the on premise signage is visible to passing Interstate traffic that is a very extreme win.

Quote from: CoreySamson
I would like to point out that Texas doesn't build feeder roads as an absolute given on new projects. Just look at the new rural parts of the Grand Parkway and the Aggie Expressway on the NW side of Houston. They don't have feeders, and they were built within the last 5 years. If the project is on new terrain and there are no houses/ranches/etc. that need access, they won't necessarily use them. There may still be Texas U-turns, however.

A new toll road going through terrain with little to no development would be more likely to ditch the frontage roads.

On the other hand, the toll road authorities probably want to make it as convenient as possible for motorists to enter a new turnpike. Everything is going to cash-less tolling, which means no toll booths. That makes it easier to build toll roads in freeway-like design, just with tag readers at every ramp.
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Rothman

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2022, 01:33:21 AM »

EDIT: Oooh, just saw this. Is "swooping" a technical term?  :clap:

I have seen it used as such, to describe what in Britain are informally called "tiger-tail markings" and have a similar purpose of preventing changes across multiple lanes.
 
Based upon what I've read recently and over the years, I'd guess that the feds funded 90% of the cost of a reasonably-scoped new freeway, with the state and/or localities funding extras such as continuous frontage roads, extra-wide medians, and unwarranted interchanges and grade separations. If so, great. If not, I see that as a problem.

My understanding is that the 90% federal/10% state Interstate Construction split did apply to what BPR/FHWA deemed eligible expenses for Interstates.  In the early 1960's in California, Division of Highways engineers wanted to provide guardrails and other roadside safety hardware on a more generous basis than was then called for in national standards, so they had to keep up what was described as "sales pressure" on their BPR colleagues to fund them.

This said, I don't know what stance BPR/FHWA took on frontage roads specifically.  It is also possible that they were more readily funded in Texas than they would have been in other states, due to advocacy from the state and regional offices.  (In the state offices especially, the state DOT is very close while Washington is very far away.)
I can't imagine frontage roads being eligible for 90/10.  Their functional class alone would be disqualifying.
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Road Hog

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2022, 01:45:57 AM »

Quote from: Thegeet
I believe so. I think that noise walls are only used for households, and businesses don’t usually request them.

Yeah, it would be pathologically stupid for any commercial business next to an Interstate frontage road to want a sound wall built, blocking out the view of the Interstate. A commercial business brick and mortar store front is an extremely important marketing tool. If the on premise signage is visible to passing Interstate traffic that is a very extreme win.

Quote from: CoreySamson
I would like to point out that Texas doesn't build feeder roads as an absolute given on new projects. Just look at the new rural parts of the Grand Parkway and the Aggie Expressway on the NW side of Houston. They don't have feeders, and they were built within the last 5 years. If the project is on new terrain and there are no houses/ranches/etc. that need access, they won't necessarily use them. There may still be Texas U-turns, however.

A new toll road going through terrain with little to no development would be more likely to ditch the frontage roads.

On the other hand, the toll road authorities probably want to make it as convenient as possible for motorists to enter a new turnpike. Everything is going to cash-less tolling, which means no toll booths. That makes it easier to build toll roads in freeway-like design, just with tag readers at every ramp.
I can tell you that the future Dallas North Tollway extension will have frontage roads its entire length. They're building them as we speak.
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Thegeet

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2022, 02:20:21 AM »

 Tbh, frontage roads do serve quite well as a relief road for traffic, should the main lanes be backed up on under construction.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2022, 12:37:36 PM »

Quote from: Road Hog
I can tell you that the future Dallas North Tollway extension will have frontage roads its entire length. They're building them as we speak.

The frontage roads along extensions of the DNT are most definitely needed. There currently isn't a lot of development North of US-380. But that will quickly change, just like so many other areas North of Dallas-Fort Worth in the past 30 years. I remember in the early 1990's there was hardly anything North of The Colony and Frisco was itty bitty. Now it's all blown up like mad.

TX DOT really goofed up not doing the frontage road thing with US-380 back in the 1990's like how they widened TX-121 from Lewisville to McKinney. TX-114 between US-287 and I-35W is threatening to turn into another missed opportunity. 100% freeway conversion of that segment needs to happen ASAP due to the rapid development North of Fort Worth.

Toll roads that run across entire states and have significant distances between exits don't need frontage roads. I-44 in Oklahoma is one example. The Pennsylvania Turnpike or Florida Turnpike also count. But it is now easier to add more exits since toll booths no longer have to be manned. The interchanges can be standard diamonds rather than things like trumpet designs.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2022, 09:54:09 PM »

Do Texas freeways have fewer noise walls due to their extensive frontage road systems? Some freeways are lined with commercial development, which acts like an acoustic buffer for residential areas behind them.
I believe so. I think that noise walls are only used for households, and businesses don’t usually request them.
Noise policy is based on federal noise guidelines. Unless it is a critical place like hospitals, commercial property like industrial and retail is excepted except for offices, restaurants and bars, and a few other uses. Eligible commercial properties have a higher noise threshold than residential, and it is measured and modeled outside rather than the building interior of the “receptor” property. Adding a frontage road could increase or decrease the noise reaching a property due to several factors like elevation differences, distance from the main lanes and the frontage road lanes to the receptor, and the existing and projected traffic on each. In addition, property owners have some veto power regarding noise wall installations due to the “viewpoints solicitation” process.

In practice, noise barriers on a frontage road with numerous entrances would likely be infeasible due to the number of openings rendering it ineffective. And if the businesses along the frontage road are commercial entities receiving customers or industrial uses and not office space, they are not counted as part of the noise mitigation need. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 11:16:31 AM by Rick Powell »
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bwana39

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2022, 09:56:49 PM »


I would like to point out that Texas doesn't build feeder roads as an absolute given on new projects. Just look at the new rural parts of the Grand Parkway and the Aggie Expressway on the NW side of Houston. They don't have feeders, and they were built within the last 5 years. If the project is on new terrain and there are no houses/ranches/etc. that need access, they won't necessarily use them. There may still be Texas U-turns, however.



Yes, there are no frontage roads (feeders as the Houstonians call them)on these new roads. The question is did they account for them in the initial ROW? The Bill Ratliff Freeway in Mount Pleasant (US-271) was built as freeway mainlanes but the ROW was acquired with the ability to finish through frontage roads.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 10:31:50 PM by bwana39 »
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J N Winkler

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2022, 01:18:45 AM »

For those looking to delve further into provision of frontage roads in Texas, these may be of interest:

Kara M. Kockelman et al., Frontage Roads in Texas:  A Comprehensive Assessment (FHWA/TX-01873-2) (2001):

"Moreover, the roadway geometry associated with frontage roads in other states was in many cases quite different from typical Texas designs.  Frontage roads where development was allowed to occur on both sides of the roadway was a design characteristic shared by several states, generous ramp-to-signal distances were required by several policy guidelines, and development adjacent to the ramp-frontage-road interface to prevent dangerous weaving maneuvers was generally much more restricted than in Texas. While not every strategy given by a state DOT will apply to Texas, new and rehabilitated roadways within Texas may achieve significant operational and safety advantages by utilizing some of the techniques proven successful in other areas of the United States."

"The analyses presented here represent avenues of study not previously attempted.  The momentum of frontage-road construction in the state of Texas dates back to before construction of the interstate highway system, and many may argue that it gave rise to undesirable roadway operations and land development within the state. It is hoped that these results, in addition to efforts by other researchers, will assist in constructing a solid, formal policy for Texas to follow in providing access along its new and existing freeways in the decades to come."

Charles Pinnell and Paul R. Tutt, "Evaluation of Frontage Roads as an Urban Freeway Design Element", Highway Research Record 9 (1963):

"In view of the effect that the presence or absence of frontage roads has on the cost of right-of-way, the construction of a frontage road system will usually result in a lesser overall cost for the entire facility."



The contrast in perspectives tells its own story--Pinnell and Tutt, writing during the era of first construction of the Interstates, essentially argue that savings in access rights at least reimburse the cost of constructing frontage roads.  Kockelman et al. are more concerned with the operational and cost issues of managing a mature system, and essentially recommend that frontage roads be subject to some form of access management if they are provided at all.  (2001 was also the year the Texas Transportation Commission passed Minute Order 108544, directing abandonment of the policy of building frontage roads by default.)
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2022, 09:35:31 AM »

https://imgur.com/5Dr7m55.jpg
Let's say I just finished shopping at HEB and I want to go north on 288 (the freeway in the picture). I can either go out the front way onto FM-518 (the primary E-W road) and make 2 left turns at busy intersections where I might run the risk of getting T-boned (plus I'll have to wait a while because the lights are extremely busy), or I can go out the back way, turn south onto the frontage road, and make a U-turn before the light to get onto the freeway NB. If I go the latter route, it is a lot safer, as I do not cross any opposing traffic at all, plus it is more efficient, as I do not have to wait at any lights.

This is often cited as a benefit of frontage roads and I would agree if you're a local who knows the local roadway network well. But a long distance traveler just passing through should not have to study a map just to figure out how to get back on the highway without potentially going miles out of the way. Being able to go out the back entrance behind the HEB doesn't help if you don't know it exists. The newer practice of putting offramps much farther back from the intersecting road also makes it much harder to find cheap gas if you're someone like me who doesn't use their phone while driving. By the time you can see the gas station sign with the price, you've already passed the offramp.

There have been times where I have found the U-turns greatly beneficial, but frontage road setups have also tripped me up multiple times. As an example, about a month ago I stayed a night at a hotel off I-40 on the west side of Soncy Rd in Amarillo, here: https://goo.gl/maps/SVfEZBxGL6L78Mmq5

The 'correct' way to get to I-40 eastbound would have been to turn left (away from the interstate!) onto Soncy Rd's frontage road, then U-turn onto the main lanes at a crossover, then turn left onto I-40's frontage road. But I hadn't looked at this on the map before getting moving, and I couldn't see the crossover to my left due to a complete lack of any street lighting (this was before sunrise), and so I turned right onto Soncy's frontage road toward the visible I-40 overpass. This meant I was then forced to turn right onto the westbound I-40 frontage road and search for a U-turn, which I almost missed at Helium Rd because there is no street lighting and not a single sign indicating this is an actual street you can turn left onto: https://goo.gl/maps/XcHVnKtHAHbNqMf39

tl;dr I think frontage roads are great and useful for locals but make navigating an urban area and/or finding services on a long trip much more complicated for through travelers.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2022, 11:55:00 AM »

Texas U-Turns on freeway/toll road frontage roads are great. I think they're usually signed clearly enough to make them reasonably easy to understand to out of state motorists. I wasn't confused the first times I encountered them many years ago. Instead, my reaction was, "this is pretty nice."

The real problem is Texas U-Turns aren't used more often along frontage roads in other states.

Texas isn't devoid of poorly signed and/or confusing ramp configurations. One example I particularly dislike is the entrance to Westbound I-635 at Webb Chapel Road. The first on-ramp immediately West of Webb Chapel is very deceiving. When you enter the ramp the tendency is to stay left because you expect the ramp to immediately let you enter I-635. Nope. The first thing that happens is you reach a "Y" split, with the left lane actually being a ramp for I-35E Northbound express lanes. Not WB I-635. The other ramp is signed like an exit for Denton Drive and Harry Hines Blvd. There is no mention of I-635 West for that lane, but that's the lane you must use to reach I-635. All that lane does is hop you over the Josey Lane intersection right back down to the WB frontage road. Then you finally get an entrance ramp to WB I-635. The very least thing TX DOT could do is sign those damned ramps better.

BTW, it's a pretty bad thing if you goof up and take the wrong turn to I-35E North going into Farmer's Branch, Carrolton, etc. Valwood Parkway is the first place where you can turn around to back-track to I-635. Farther North I-35E is configured with 11' wide lanes rather than the normal 12' width. That one foot difference in lane width is a big problem. Rush hour traffic is bad enough in Dallas, but in that area it feels like you're going to trade paint with other vehicles at any second. I won't go that way under the current setup. It's going to be several years before they get the next upgrade to I-35E done, which possibly, maybe restore the lanes back to normal 12' width. Unfortunately some minds at TX DOT are warming up to the idea of making 11' lane widths a more common thing.
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Tom958

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2022, 07:03:48 PM »

The contrast in perspectives tells its own story--Pinnell and Tutt, writing during the era of first construction of the Interstates, essentially argue that savings in access rights at least reimburse the cost of constructing frontage roads.  Kockelman et al. are more concerned with the operational and cost issues of managing a mature system, and essentially recommend that frontage roads be subject to some form of access management if they are provided at all.  (2001 was also the year the Texas Transportation Commission passed Minute Order 108544, directing abandonment of the policy of building frontage roads by default.)

Honestly, it never occurred to me that frontage roads could save more money than they cost. If that was the case, then it'd be perfectly sensible for the Feds to fund them, especially if deals were made for the state or localities to maintain them. It's conceivable that eventually a strong enough relationship was established between the costs of frontage roads and saving on rights-of-way to justify only a cursory review. Now I'm wondering to what degree the ability of Texas landowners to get more money out of the government than landowners in other states is the root of Texas' seeming enthrallment with frontage roads.

I also think that we've mostly answered the question in the OP, and that the question was better than it appeared upon first view. I might go back and answer it directly.
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Tom958

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2022, 09:24:49 PM »

Why is Texas allowed to be special and unique in the way they build freeways? especially in regards to their frontage roads. aren't federal DOT standards somewhat binding? its also weird that they're going the other direction of many states that are separating ramps from local roads. is it because they would make a stink if required to?

Best I can tell, having learned some things in this thread...

It's because, initially at least, the main purpose of frontage roads in Texas was to provide access to properties. To my surprise, it's apparently often cheaper in Texas to build frontage roads than not to build them (I still don't know if 90% federal funding was used to build them during the heyday of Interstate highway construction, but if building them saved more money than it cost, why wouldn't they have been?). Without yet having seen specific indications of it, I suspect that's partly because Texas law and the courts that interpret it are more supportive of property rights and more generous with public money for aggrieved property owners than are those of other states.

Because they were primarily intended for property access, frontage roads were indeed built to lower standards than other roads. They were also built before the all-freeway Interstate system was a thing, and they were even built on highways that weren't freeways. By the time anyone put much effort into designing frontage roads as components of larger highways rather than as adjuncts to them, Texas' practices were well established and likely difficult to change, even if a compelling case for doing so was made, which it may not have been.

I'm not at all a fan of frontage roads myself, but I consider it worthwhile to try to understand both the logic and the history behind them.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2022, 10:50:55 PM »

Another common factor with frontage roads in Texas is the frontage roads were often built before the freeway. I like pointing to Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls as one example. I can remember back in my childhood when Kell Blvd was a divided surface street with a really wide median. Then the freeway got added in phases starting in the late 1980's.

Today highway engineers have grown a little more creative at building freeways in phases without using frontage roads. The Belle Vista Bypass is one example. The Duncan Bypass in Duncan, OK is a modest example of a Super 2 than can be eventually upgraded into a divided freeway.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2022, 11:04:34 PM »

It's because, initially at least, the main purpose of frontage roads in Texas was to provide access to properties. To my surprise, it's apparently often cheaper in Texas to build frontage roads than not to build them (I still don't know if 90% federal funding was used to build them during the heyday of Interstate highway construction, but if building them saved more money than it cost, why wouldn't they have been?). Without yet having seen specific indications of it, I suspect that's partly because Texas law and the courts that interpret it are more supportive of property rights and more generous with public money for aggrieved property owners than are those of other states.

I have been trying to think of ways we could find out definitively how frontage roads were funded in the context of Interstate construction, especially in comparison to purchase of access rights, which other states resorted to in lieu of building frontage roads.  The two reports also point to a need to differentiate between construction on new location (no legal obligation to provide access where none previously existed) and upgrades on the existing alignment (frontage roads are necessary to maintain existing access).

I see what Rothman says about frontage roads not matching the functional classification of the Interstate mainlanes, but I'm not convinced BPR wouldn't have seen its way to funding their construction as appurtenances to Interstates.  If the argument is that building the frontage roads and buying the access rights are essentially a wash, then a policy of paying for access rights with IC funds but saying No to funding frontage roads would seem to disadvantage an agency that believes they are the better way to secure access control within its jurisdiction.

I'm not at all a fan of frontage roads myself, but I consider it worthwhile to try to understand both the logic and the history behind them.

Indeed.  There are subtleties here in terms not just of traffic operation, but also urban planning, law, and economics.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2022, 11:23:45 PM »

Quote from: J N Winkler
I see what Rothman says about frontage roads not matching the functional classification of the Interstate mainlanes, but I'm not convinced BPR wouldn't have seen its way to funding their construction as appurtenances to Interstates.

Wouldn't those funding lines be really blurred when the frontage roads are built first and signed as highways, such as US Highways, with the Interstates being built years later (or many years later)? Like the example of Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls, the future frontage roads functioned as US-82 for many years.

Then we have other Texas oddities where state or US highways are technically signed along the frontage roads and then a toll road with the same number is signed on the limited access lanes. US-290 and US-183 in Austin are a couple examples.
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Rothman

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2022, 11:38:41 PM »

I see what Rothman says about frontage roads not matching the functional classification of the Interstate mainlanes, but I'm not convinced BPR wouldn't have seen its way to funding their construction as appurtenances to Interstates.  If the argument is that building the frontage roads and buying the access rights are essentially a wash, then a policy of paying for access rights with IC funds but saying No to funding frontage roads would seem to disadvantage an agency that believes they are the better way to secure access control within its jurisdiction.

Eh, I suppose in the early days of the Interstate Highway System, everything could have been mixed up together in the enthusiasm to just build the roads, but as time progressed, FHWA developed more regulations, more audit procedures and generally became stingier.  Technological advances also allowed for better oversight and control of various details over the decades.  It'd be interesting to see how things worked out for Texas through the 1980s and especially post-ISTEA in 1991 in that regard, if the money really did flow more freely through the 1960s and 1970s.

...and if FHWA's TX Division is currently letting TX go 90/10 on its frontage roads (which seem to be mostly classified as collectors on their functional class map, so I doubt it), FHWA's NY's Division's got some 'splainin' to do given how picky they are with splitting up funding shares on bridge projects with approach/detour work (just went through that hell on an upcoming bridge replacement project last year...).

Of course, FHWA stepped up their game with a new version of their Financial Management Information System (FMIS) a few years ago with the intent of tying individual fiscal shares to particular assets at the segment level -- with mixed results (e.g., pavement marking projects, which can have hundreds of locations -- they had to retreat to a position where they had to allow some more generic entries).  Wonder what audits looked like prior to that major upgrade...



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Rothman

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2022, 11:47:23 PM »

Quote from: J N Winkler
I see what Rothman says about frontage roads not matching the functional classification of the Interstate mainlanes, but I'm not convinced BPR wouldn't have seen its way to funding their construction as appurtenances to Interstates.

Wouldn't those funding lines be really blurred when the frontage roads are built first and signed as highways, such as US Highways, with the Interstates being built years later (or many years later)? Like the example of Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls, the future frontage roads functioned as US-82 for many years.


In earlier years where keeping the stuff straight was harder, maybe.  Today, no.  Keep in mind that US Highways that are tightly parallel to Interstates aren't even considered on the National Highway System and aren't even eligible for National Highway Performance Program funding (e.g., US 11/I-81 and I'd bet US 5 and I-91.  US 20, however, is far enough away from the Thruway and is considered NHPP eligible.  FHWA is fickle...).

Every road has a federal functional classification, even if it's just considered "Local."  DOTs are currently required to keep funding shares separate depending on the eligibility of the segments/facilities being worked upon -- as a general rule.  There is some flexibility (i.e., in terms of what can and cannot be lumped together -- more of what drove NYSDOT crazy on that bridge replacement I mentioned earlier), but for the most part, FHWA expects some splitting up of the fiscal shares between Interstate-eligible (90%) and other work (80%) that may be associated with the project.
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Scott5114

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2022, 12:39:10 AM »

I think what Bobby's getting at is if you wanted to get your frontage road paid for by FHWA, you could:

1) Build an alignment of an existing NHS US/state highway of appropriate functional class with an extremely wide median, enough for future expansion to freeway.  (Or get your Congressman to get a new NHS corridor tacked on to whatever transportation bill, and build it as such.)
2) Once traffic volumes rise, build a freeway in the median, transferring the NHS designation to the freeway (i.e. code it as an expansion project belonging to the existing US/state highway).
3) The frontage roads will now be of too low a functional class to be NHS-eligible, but who cares? You already got them built with NHS funding, now you're just on the hook for maintenance.

Given that Texas regularly phases freeway construction in exactly this manner, I would be surprised if it doesn't work on the funding side as well.
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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2022, 08:33:06 AM »

I think what Bobby's getting at is if you wanted to get your frontage road paid for by FHWA, you could:

1) Build an alignment of an existing NHS US/state highway of appropriate functional class with an extremely wide median, enough for future expansion to freeway.  (Or get your Congressman to get a new NHS corridor tacked on to whatever transportation bill, and build it as such.)
2) Once traffic volumes rise, build a freeway in the median, transferring the NHS designation to the freeway (i.e. code it as an expansion project belonging to the existing US/state highway).
3) The frontage roads will now be of too low a functional class to be NHS-eligible, but who cares? You already got them built with NHS funding, now you're just on the hook for maintenance.

Given that Texas regularly phases freeway construction in exactly this manner, I would be surprised if it doesn't work on the funding side as well.
90% NHPP only works for Interstates, not general NHS routes (80%).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2022, 08:35:59 AM by Rothman »
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Scott5114

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2022, 04:11:24 AM »

80% is still a hell of a lot better than 0%.
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Tom958

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2022, 05:14:56 AM »

I have been trying to think of ways we could find out definitively how frontage roads were funded in the context of Interstate construction, especially in comparison to purchase of access rights, which other states resorted to in lieu of building frontage roads. 

Ask old-timers at FHWA?  :-D  There are enough agency historical materials online to make it appear that they're reasonably forthcoming about such things.

Twenty-three years ago, the head of the Atlanta office took my phone calls, as did several of his subordinates. Too bad I didn't think about this then.  :bigass:

BTW: On New Years Day, I emailed NCDOT about that interchange on the Troy bypass that wasn't on the original plans. NCDOT seems to be fairly forthright, too, so maybe something will come of it.
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Rothman

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2022, 06:37:15 AM »

80% is still a hell of a lot better than 0%.
Sure, but no one was saying they weren't federal-aid eligible at all.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2022, 02:39:58 PM »

Fascinating thread, because it reminds me of how Louisiana does it slightly differently with their service/frontage roads.

US 167 between Lafayette and Opelousas and US 90 between Lafayette and Berwick acquired its original ROW under contracts stipulating that the roadway would ultimately be limited access. Because of funding limitations, though, their original ROW acquisition consisted of 300 foot wide corridors, which would be enough to carry the mainline roadways and continuous two-way service roads; along with wider widths of around 450 feet to accommodate bulb-outs of the mainlines to support overpasses at future interchanges. However, unlike Texas and their policy of building the service roads (as one-way) first, Louisiana decided on a different approach: they built the mainlines as at-grade expressways with temporary crossovers and intersections, with the aforementioned bulb outs at intersections where future overpasses could be built to complete the interchanges. Intermittent service roads were then built at strategic spots to control access to the mainlines and to serve businesses and residents along the route.

This was Stage One: ultimately, in the late 70's and 80's when they built the bulk of existing I-49 from Shreveport to Lafayette, they simply upgraded the Opelousas to Lafayette segment of 167 by adding in the remainder of the service roads to make them continuous, added in the mainline overpasses to complete the interchanges, and removed the remaining crossovers and at-grade road intersections. The one exemption was that in order to build the Judson Walsh Drive interchange (Exit 15), they had go to a tighter urban diamond interchange concept due to the local businesses and the preexisting local frontage roads. (That was added on to the project in order to serve Opelousas High School, located about 1/2 mile to the west.)

The same model is now being used for the conversion of US 90 to I-49 South in Iberia and St. Mary parishes. It's now almost complete, save for that dang rail spur crossing serving that sugar mill near Jeanerette. The plan there is to truncate the spur short of the crossing and build a pipeline and service culvert that would pass underneath the mainlines and frontage road that would service a pumping station and storage tanks to deliver the goods from the spur to the processing plant.

I'm assuming that the funding was typical 90/10 Interstate, though there might have been some STiP funds involved as well.
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Rothman

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Re: Texas roadway design question
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2022, 09:02:41 PM »

Because of funding limitations, though, their original ROW acquisition consisted of 300 foot wide corridors, which would be enough to carry the mainline roadways and continuous two-way service roads; along with wider widths of around 450 feet to accommodate bulb-outs of the mainlines to support overpasses at future interchanges.

Up here in NY, that practice would not be a sign of funding limitations, but money flowing freely at a statewide Fyre Festival.
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