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I-69 in TX

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Upgrade of U.S. 59 to I-69 from Lufkin to Texarkana is now projected to cost approximately $4.5 billion:

--- Quote ---JEFFERSON, Texas—Studies estimate U.S. Highway 59 between Texarkana and Lufkin can become Interstate 69 for $4.5 billion.
The preliminary numbers were revealed Wednesday during a planning meeting for the interstate corridor’s Segment 1."
The article also discusses alternative methods of financing Segment 1:
"But with no pot of gold in sight for transportation, local committee member Bill Cork asked what new funding options are available.
Barton said a tool legislators are supporting is more public/private partnerships, which are frequently assumed to be toll roads. A builder constructs a road and charges a fee to drive on it, recouping its investment.
“But there are other options,” Barton said. “Private companies come in and build the asset and the way they generate the revenue is through a retail opportunity.”
An investor could build a convenience store along the corridor and make its profit back on a service provided rather than use of the system.
Tax increment districts can also help pay for transportation expansion. Both Texarkanas have taxing districts established that capture revenues as property values increase and put that money into expenses in specific areas.
Other options include increases in state and/or federal gas taxes, directing more of the shared tax revenues to Texas roadways and increased costs of vehicle registration.

--- End quote ---

Lufkin - Texarkana is 160 miles, so that comes down to $ 28 million per mile. I can't say that is an absurd amount of money.

It is sticker shock though for US rural contruction but it is not out of line . US 20 in Illinois reached 23 million a mile and was put on the back burner. Just 10 years ago a rural interstate freeway was about 10 million a mile . In the 1990s a 4 lane expresway construction was as low as 2.5 million a mile. Now without a lot of structures it is 6 million. I can see why Missouri shifted to passing lanes instead.

Here is a link to materials from the July 23, 2010 Segment Committee 1 meeting (click "Meetings" under Segment Committee 1 and you will find pdfs from various meetings):

On page 3/3 is a map of the constantly-evolving route.  I thought that the whole idea of upgrading U.S. 59 as opposed to choosing a new terrain route was to save money.  If an upgrade is $28 million/mile, how much would new terrain cost?

Probably not a lot more, but it avoids taking a lot of land. To put this in perspective, Illinois is looking at 4-laning 200-300 miles statewide, and that is all expressway, not freeway. and I bet most other states are not much more (MORE WHAT???), so I-69 in Texas alone is an immense project by today's construction rates.

Punctuation is God's gift to literacy. ~S


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