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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: txstateends on November 22, 2014, 07:06:03 AM

Title: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on November 22, 2014, 07:06:03 AM
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/27454723/txdot-proposes-new-major-project

TxDOT wants to redo the I-27/Loop 335-Hollywood Road interchange (nothing shown or discussed about cloverleafs or connecting overhead ramps), and widen Loop 335 to freeway-ish style between Bell Street and Soncy Road.  This would connect a stretch currently being freeway-ized between Bell and Washington, to where a proposed western bypass of Soncy would begin.  This project would start bidding in September 2016, take 2 1/2 years to do, and cost $30 million.  If Loop 335 is completely redone as a freeway around Amarillo, TxDOT says it will cost $600 million.

(The spokesperson gave an estimate of 1500/day moving to TX, while the text of the report says 15,000/day >yikes<... TxDOT would truly have to be slinging some concrete if the number was what the text says!)

The following are graphics/schematics presented in the report.

The first 2 maps show the project location and roads involved.  The first one includes landforms, most notably playa lakes which are practically ubiquitous in the region.
(http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/5947159_G.jpg)

(http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/5947164_G.jpg)

The arrangement of the I-27/Loop 335 interchange when redone; service roads (3 lanes each direction) will be on the ground level, I-27 will be on the next level, then Loop 335's new main lanes (2 lanes each direction, with an optional third) will pass over I-27.
(http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/5947168_G.jpg)

Comparing how Loop 335 between I-27 and Soncy is now, with how it will look afterward.
(http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/5947171_G.jpg)

This one is oriented with north to the left.  Soncy Road to the left, FM 2590 to the right, Hollywood-FM 2186 down to the lower part of the schematic vertically.  The curved part is the current SW corner of Loop 335.
(http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/5947179_G.jpg)

The report doesn't mention whether this proposal is considered part of the Ports-to-Plains corridor projects, or independent of those.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Chris on April 07, 2015, 03:29:09 PM
TxDOT has presented plans to construct a new greenfield freeway west of Loop 335. It includes a full stack interchange with all 8 direct connectors with I-40.

Plans: http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kfda/phaseIIschematic.pdf

(http://i.imgur.com/b6WbEOG.jpg)
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Henry on April 08, 2015, 12:41:02 PM
If I-27 is rerouted around Amarillo as part of an eventual northward extension, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this became the first step to it.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: aboges26 on April 08, 2015, 04:22:22 PM
If I-27 is rerouted around Amarillo as part of an eventual northward extension, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this became the first step to it.

What are the chances that TxDOT will eventually extend I-27 through downtown Amarillo along viaducts like they have done with I-44 in Wichita Falls?  As much as I would like for I-27 to be extended north, I would not like it to have to make an awkward jog around Amarillo if it was to have to follow the Loop.  I much more prefer a straight through route with no negotiating a bypass alignment, plus it would end up benefiting downtown no doubt to have the increased connectivity and exposure.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: MaxConcrete on April 08, 2015, 10:24:00 PM
TxDOT has presented plans to construct a new greenfield freeway west of Loop 335. It includes a full stack interchange with all 8 direct connectors with I-40.

That's interesting. I'm thinking that this proposed realignment is to reduce right-of-way costs and/or minimize impacts to the developed area along Loop 335 near Interstate 40. I don't think this is related to I-27.

As for extending I-27 through downtown, I have never seen or heard any reports that it was under consideration or under study. Several years ago I spent some time looking around the downtown area to see if there was a possible route for a freeway, and I concluded it would be difficult and expensive. Or stated another way, very unlikely it could ever be done.
 
 
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Chris on April 09, 2015, 08:23:47 AM
Perhaps an elevated structure similar to Wichita Falls?
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on April 09, 2015, 11:27:37 AM
Quote
What are the chances that TxDOT will eventually extend I-27 through downtown Amarillo along viaducts like they have done with I-44 in Wichita Falls?

The Holliday & Broad Street overpasses in Wichita Falls span across 11 blocks on the West side of downtown Wichita Falls. The overpasses aren't all that long and don't cross over many important structures.

US 87 & US 287 run at grade directly through the center of downtown Amarillo for 11 blocks, cross a rail yard, run another 7 blocks to Bus. Loop I-40 and then run another 4 or 5 blocks before turning into a freeway once again. I don't think there is a practical way to build a freeway through there.

Overhead viaducts would be unsightly running in front of places like the Civic Center, Globe Center of the Performing Arts, the Potter County Courthouse, etc. Tunneling under would probably be cost prohibitive. I think tunneling would be the only option for the downtown area. The portions of US-87 and US-287 North of the rail yard could possibly be built as overhead viaducts (or even at grade, in a trench, etc.), but I would expect quite a bit of community opposition.

It wouldn't be all that "elegant" to have I-27 routed on the West half of the TX-335 loop for a future extension North of Amarillo, but I-27 runs very near the SW corner of that loop. So it's not like thru traffic on I-27 would literally be driving a half circle (or square) around Amarillo. I-27 inside Loop 335 could probably be numbered something else like I-127 or I-727 (the 7 is more cool).
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Scott5114 on April 09, 2015, 01:36:01 PM
It would probably be an even number since it would end at I-40.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: dfwmapper on April 10, 2015, 03:03:10 AM
I(H)-27E
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on April 10, 2015, 11:37:24 AM
Original KFDA/10 article and video about the plans:
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/28744797/phase-i-of-loop-expansion-finalized-for-public-to-see
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: MaxConcrete on January 14, 2016, 11:45:03 PM
TxDOT has posted a schematic of the proposed five-level interchange at Loop 335 east and I-40. Since the connection ramps converge over the middle of the interchange, the ramps will be at maximum potential height.

Since a five-level interchange is also planned at Loop 335 west, Amarillo is slated for two five-level interchanges. But I'm thinking it may be a long time before either is built.

Index for solicitation
http://www.txdot.gov/business/consultants/architectural-engineering-surveying/advertised-contracts/0000001730.html (http://www.txdot.gov/business/consultants/architectural-engineering-surveying/advertised-contracts/0000001730.html)

Solicitation
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/rfq.pdf (http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/rfq.pdf)

Schematic
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/schematic-1.pdf (http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/schematic-1.pdf)
 
 
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: yakra on February 04, 2016, 11:58:48 AM
Schematic
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/schematic-1.pdf (http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/0000001730/schematic-1.pdf)
I'm getting a 404.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Chris on February 04, 2016, 01:27:51 PM
TxDOT launched a new website for the Loop 335 freeway conversion: http://www.theamarilloloop.com/
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: aboges26 on February 16, 2016, 10:01:58 PM
TxDOT launched a new website for the Loop 335 freeway conversion: http://www.theamarilloloop.com/

(https://i.imgsafe.org/69d05df.png)

Apparently there is no time table for the completion of the loop upgrade, but the first sections of Segment A are under construction, Segments A-1 and A-2 are the upgrades of the southwestern portion of Segment A running approximately from Bell to Washington Streets.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: DJStephens on February 19, 2016, 03:00:23 AM
If I-27 is rerouted around Amarillo as part of an eventual northward extension, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this became the first step to it.

What are the chances that TxDOT will eventually extend I-27 through downtown Amarillo along viaducts like they have done with I-44 in Wichita Falls?  As much as I would like for I-27 to be extended north, I would not like it to have to make an awkward jog around Amarillo if it was to have to follow the Loop.  I much more prefer a straight through route with no negotiating a bypass alignment, plus it would end up benefiting downtown no doubt to have the increased connectivity and exposure.

While no expert on the buildings in downtown Amarillo, wonder how many have been built since the mid nineties.  First traveled through that area in that time frame, and there seemed to be more vacant lots and open space in the downtown, meaning along the one way N-S corridors that carry US 87 / US 287.  Another example of piss poor planning.   The interstates in the area have likely been in existence for at least forty five years.  A northerly extension should have been anticipated.  If Lubbock can get that US 82 freeway, why can't they (the texdot) get a facility built (depressed or tunneled) through Amarillo?   Also, why the jog in the section in the NW quadrant (just N of the proposed western I-40 stack).  Why not just move it (the loop) further west?? 
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: In_Correct on August 05, 2016, 05:25:43 AM
If I-27 is rerouted around Amarillo as part of an eventual northward extension, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this became the first step to it.

What are the chances that TxDOT will eventually extend I-27 through downtown Amarillo along viaducts like they have done with I-44 in Wichita Falls?  As much as I would like for I-27 to be extended north, I would not like it to have to make an awkward jog around Amarillo if it was to have to follow the Loop.  I much more prefer a straight through route with no negotiating a bypass alignment, plus it would end up benefiting downtown no doubt to have the increased connectivity and exposure.

While no expert on the buildings in downtown Amarillo, wonder how many have been built since the mid nineties.  First traveled through that area in that time frame, and there seemed to be more vacant lots and open space in the downtown, meaning along the one way N-S corridors that carry US 87 / US 287.  Another example of piss poor planning.   The interstates in the area have likely been in existence for at least forty five years.  A northerly extension should have been anticipated.  If Lubbock can get that US 82 freeway, why can't they (the texdot) get a facility built (depressed or tunneled) through Amarillo?   Also, why the jog in the section in the NW quadrant (just N of the proposed western I-40 stack).  Why not just move it (the loop) further west??

There are still a few vacant lots and parking lots in that area. There are many more buildings around but they aren't skyscrapers. The buildings that are "in the way" can be easily relocated. The biggest concern is the courthouse, the performing arts center, and public library but I guess they can squeeze around them if they don't want to move them. Perhaps The Courthouse, The Public Library, The Performing Arts Center, AND The Civic Center (The Civic Center is unaffected but it should be kept next to The Performing Arts Center.) can be relocated somewhere else such as near the new loop that is going to be west of Soncy Road, or if there is any room on Soncy Road then they can be relocated there. Or somewhere that has plenty of room for parking lots. Extending I-27 through downtown would cause parking congestion.

So basically I am thinking that they should make two main roads with two frontage roads out of the four roads I-27 turns into.

A narrower option would be to turn the outside roads (Taylor and Buchanan) into regular 2 way streets and make the two inside roads (Fillmore and Pierce) frontage roads and place the main highway in between them. This option would keep all the important buildings I mentioned where they are without any issues.

They should trench it but that is unlikely because none of the other highways in Amarillo appear to be trenched. Even though Filmore and Buchanan are tunneled under the railway, The rest are just like Houston's highways or Wichita Falls.

It would be nice to see this tiny amount of road to be finished but they are rebuilding Loop 335 first. But I don't like the one way streets in various downtowns such as Amarillo, Cleburne, or even Denton when they can easily fix them.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 05, 2016, 11:33:05 AM
If I-27 is rerouted around Amarillo as part of an eventual northward extension, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this became the first step to it.

What are the chances that TxDOT will eventually extend I-27 through downtown Amarillo along viaducts like they have done with I-44 in Wichita Falls?  As much as I would like for I-27 to be extended north, I would not like it to have to make an awkward jog around Amarillo if it was to have to follow the Loop.  I much more prefer a straight through route with no negotiating a bypass alignment, plus it would end up benefiting downtown no doubt to have the increased connectivity and exposure.

While no expert on the buildings in downtown Amarillo, wonder how many have been built since the mid nineties.  First traveled through that area in that time frame, and there seemed to be more vacant lots and open space in the downtown, meaning along the one way N-S corridors that carry US 87 / US 287.  Another example of piss poor planning.   The interstates in the area have likely been in existence for at least forty five years.  A northerly extension should have been anticipated.  If Lubbock can get that US 82 freeway, why can't they (the texdot) get a facility built (depressed or tunneled) through Amarillo?   Also, why the jog in the section in the NW quadrant (just N of the proposed western I-40 stack).  Why not just move it (the loop) further west??

There are still a few vacant lots and parking lots in that area. There are many more buildings around but they aren't skyscrapers. The buildings that are "in the way" can be easily relocated. The biggest concern is the courthouse, the performing arts center, and public library but I guess they can squeeze around them if they don't want to move them. Perhaps The Courthouse, The Public Library, The Performing Arts Center, AND The Civic Center (The Civic Center is unaffected but it should be kept next to The Performing Arts Center.) can be relocated somewhere else such as near the new loop that is going to be west of Soncy Road, or if there is any room on Soncy Road then they can be relocated there. Or somewhere that has plenty of room for parking lots. Extending I-27 through downtown would cause parking congestion.

So basically I am thinking that they should make two main roads with two frontage roads out of the four roads I-27 turns into.

A narrower option would be to turn the outside roads (Taylor and Buchanan) into regular 2 way streets and make the two inside roads (Fillmore and Pierce) frontage roads and place the main highway in between them. This option would keep all the important buildings I mentioned where they are without any issues.

They should trench it but that is unlikely because none of the other highways in Amarillo appear to be trenched. Even though Filmore and Buchanan are tunneled under the railway, The rest are just like Houston's highways or Wichita Falls.

It would be nice to see this tiny amount of road to be finished but they are rebuilding Loop 335 first. But I don't like the one way streets in various downtowns such as Amarillo, Cleburne, or even Denton when they can easily fix them.

I am laughing so hard reading people ask why TxDOT doesn't have the foresight for future I-27 extension.  The answer is they are TxDOT.  I swear their business model has always been do the bear minimum for everything.  We need a freeway with 4 lanes in each direction for projected growth in 20 years, but 2 lanes will do?  Build two lanes then.  Its like building a house and to cut costs, using cheaper building materials.  Sure those materials will hold for 5 years, but if you just went ahead and threw down from the start, you wouldn't have to buy new building materials for another 30 years. 

I go through this with shoes too.  If you buy a $50 pair of shoes, they'll wear out in a year, and you will have to buy another pair of $50 shoes at the most inconvenient time, because they will literally fall apart.  Or you can pay $100 to $120 for shoes and they last 5-7 years. 

I do get very frustrated with TxDOT, because they pinch money like they are a pour state.  We have the money to have the world's best road network.  Plus, the planning like you said, is so back woods.  We are going to grow.  We have always grown.  And it is not stopping.  How the hell can you offer no income taxes to businesses so they want to put there corporate offices here, create a ton of jobs, but expect things to stay the same as they were in the 50s?  Aggravates me!!   :pan:
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: DJStephens on August 05, 2016, 11:42:05 AM
   Some of the existing I-40 alignment through Amarillo proper does seem to be depressed below surrounding street level.   Guessing 45 - 50 years old in places.   
   A Wichita Falls scenario for a northerly I-27 routing should be the last option.   Again, not knowing exact history of area, nor being there daily makes one a non expert on a ideal solution.  A cut/cover tunnel or depressed trench, with future deck parks and or development air rights over future N-S facility, seems to be the route to pursue.   
   Texas does seem to have more grandiose plans in places, and the money to back at least some of it up, but the planning seems to be sketchy, and inconsistent.   Plans, such as in Houston, to completely tear down recently constructed, and very expensive structures, borders on madness. 
   How much has been spent on clearview conversion, and architectural frills since the mid/late nineties?   Hundreds of millions?  Low billions?   
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 05, 2016, 12:17:56 PM
   Some of the existing I-40 alignment through Amarillo proper does seem to be depressed below surrounding street level.   Guessing 45 - 50 years old in places.   
   A Wichita Falls scenario for a northerly I-27 routing should be the last option.   Again, not knowing exact history of area, nor being there daily makes one a non expert on a ideal solution.  A cut/cover tunnel or depressed trench, with future deck parks and or development air rights over future N-S facility, seems to be the route to pursue.   
   Texas does seem to have more grandiose plans in places, and the money to back at least some of it up, but the planning seems to be sketchy, and inconsistent.   Plans, such as in Houston, to completely tear down recently constructed, and very expensive structures, borders on madness. 
   How much has been spent on clearview conversion, and architectural frills since the mid/late nineties?   Hundreds of millions?  Low billions?

On occasion TxDOT can plan.  It's few and far between.  I can think of several instances where they knew for a 100% fact that they were going to expand a certain road into a freeway, and instead of purchasing the right of way, they drug their feet and let someone build in their future road.  Now they have to buy the right of way (which the cost now has doubled) and the building.  It amazes me that even in the future Interstate 69 corridor, where a freeway is coming no matter what, and has been on the books for over 20 years, they still let people build in the right of way they forgot to buy.

Or the opposite happens too.  Here in Austin, the widening of US 290 has been on the books for over 30 years, and buildings have been torn down and lots have been vacant for decades now.  It is such an eyesore to have all these horrible looking empty foundations on the side of the road.  Are they building the freeway?  No, they instead threw in two of those stupid Continuous Flow pieces of works for no improvement.

Any yes, I couldn't agree more about all the money they wasted on clearview when it wasn't even a 100% go yet.  Its like they had a new toy and they were going to dump all their money into it and screw what other people say.

I swear TxDOT is like any other big business.  They will whine about someone using too many ball point pens because it is wasteful and costs money, yet have no problem pouring millions or billions into something really stupid, or for something for one of their big wigs. 

But back to the thread, I don't see why building displacement in Amarillo would be an issue, and if it is, straddle the one way streets like Wichita Falls.  Now that they have pigeon holed themselves into this design, did TxDOT really think I-27 was going to end at I-40 and that would be it?  And if the interstate stopped, progress wouldn't call for a freeway extension?
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 05, 2016, 04:29:13 PM
Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I am laughing so hard reading people ask why TxDOT doesn't have the foresight for future I-27 extension.  The answer is they are TxDOT.  I swear their business model has always been do the bear minimum for everything.

Things could be worse. TxDOT could be running things like ODOT does on the North side of the Red River. When it comes to planning for things like a future freeway corridor TxDOT at least has a lot of examples across the state where they at least bought up the right of way or they went further and built a divided highway or street with a huge median in between for a future freeway.

Oklahoma's government can't manage to get its collective pea brain around that idea. Various important traffic corridors in the OKC and Tulsa metros are getting boxed in worse and worse with uncontrolled development, making any prospects of freeway or turnpike upgrades all but hopeless. Freaking short sighted idiots. But ODOT is starting to copy Texas U-Turns in certain places as a consolation prize. Yay.

Quote from: DJStephens
A cut/cover tunnel or depressed trench, with future deck parks and or development air rights over future N-S facility, seems to be the route to pursue.

A cut and cover tunnel would be really expensive to build, and probably very difficult to accomplish politically. Amarillo has needed an Interstate quality loop for a long time. I think the Loop 335 project has to take priority over connecting the freeway gap between I-27 and US-287 in downtown Amarillo. Whether or not I-27 gets routed onto the loop highway depends on whether I-27 can ever be extended North into Colorado.

Looking at the overhead view of downtown Amarillo in Google Earth I see no room for things like deck parks unless surface streets like Fillmore and Pierce are literally replaced with green space. I think the I-27 main lanes would have to tunnel under those two streets. If the surface streets are retained not as many exit & entrance ramps would be needed to gain access to the tunnel. OTOH, building a pair of new surface streets over highway tunnels would probably create all their own wear & tear maintenance issues. It's a really complicated problem to solve. I do think tunneling would be the only way to go in the downtown area. North of the rail yard I think there's other options like building elevated roadways a block or two apart just like in Wichita Falls.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I don't see why building displacement in Amarillo would be an issue, and if it is, straddle the one way streets like Wichita Falls.  Now that they have pigeon holed themselves into this design, did TxDOT really think I-27 was going to end at I-40 and that would be it?  And if the interstate stopped, progress wouldn't call for a freeway extension?

The earliest maps I saw of the Interstate highway system only showed I-27 as a little stub between Lubbock and Amarillo. While many people have proposed various concepts of extending I-27 both North of Amarillo and South of Lubbock none of the plans has ever been put into action. Until the federal government and states have a better relationship with each other in terms of super highway funding I-27 is going to stay as is with only small parts of any future corridor getting upgraded in peace-meal fashion.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: dfwmapper on August 06, 2016, 09:39:51 PM
I am laughing so hard reading people ask why TxDOT doesn't have the foresight for future I-27 extension.  The answer is they are TxDOT.  I swear their business model has always been do the bear minimum for everything.  We need a freeway with 4 lanes in each direction for projected growth in 20 years, but 2 lanes will do?  Build two lanes then.  Its like building a house and to cut costs, using cheaper building materials.  Sure those materials will hold for 5 years, but if you just went ahead and threw down from the start, you wouldn't have to buy new building materials for another 30 years. 

I go through this with shoes too.  If you buy a $50 pair of shoes, they'll wear out in a year, and you will have to buy another pair of $50 shoes at the most inconvenient time, because they will literally fall apart.  Or you can pay $100 to $120 for shoes and they last 5-7 years. 

I do get very frustrated with TxDOT, because they pinch money like they are a pour state.  We have the money to have the world's best road network.  Plus, the planning like you said, is so back woods.  We are going to grow.  We have always grown.  And it is not stopping.  How the hell can you offer no income taxes to businesses so they want to put there corporate offices here, create a ton of jobs, but expect things to stay the same as they were in the 50s?  Aggravates me!!   :pan:
The answer is that Texas is a red state and doesn't increase taxes. TxDOT does a damn good job of working with the money they're given by the people and the legislature, resulting in a far better system than nearby states. They're not going to build an 8 lane facility for traffic counts 20 years in the future because the extra millions spent for those unneeded lanes would be better spent fixing problems somewhere else. They will, however, build a 4 lane facility with bridges that are wide enough to go to 6 lanes with full shoulders, enabling them to widen the road in 10 years at minimal cost when it becomes needed.

If you really want to see a shitty job of planning, look at Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, or New Mexico. They're happy to build 4 or 5 lane facilities on bypasses or major routes in and out of cities with no access control and no setback requirements, making it impossible to ever upgrade them in the future. TxDOT would either build the frontage roads or at the very least require setbacks in order to let them widen the road in the future if it looks like it might need access control in the future.

That's not to say that blue states are any better, because while they might be able to increase taxes, that money almost never goes to roads.

Also, in your next post, did you really just bitch about lack of ROW preservation in one paragraph and then an instance where ROW was properly preserved in the next? :pan:
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 07, 2016, 12:43:16 PM
I am laughing so hard reading people ask why TxDOT doesn't have the foresight for future I-27 extension.  The answer is they are TxDOT.  I swear their business model has always been do the bear minimum for everything.  We need a freeway with 4 lanes in each direction for projected growth in 20 years, but 2 lanes will do?  Build two lanes then.  Its like building a house and to cut costs, using cheaper building materials.  Sure those materials will hold for 5 years, but if you just went ahead and threw down from the start, you wouldn't have to buy new building materials for another 30 years. 

I go through this with shoes too.  If you buy a $50 pair of shoes, they'll wear out in a year, and you will have to buy another pair of $50 shoes at the most inconvenient time, because they will literally fall apart.  Or you can pay $100 to $120 for shoes and they last 5-7 years. 

I do get very frustrated with TxDOT, because they pinch money like they are a pour state.  We have the money to have the world's best road network.  Plus, the planning like you said, is so back woods.  We are going to grow.  We have always grown.  And it is not stopping.  How the hell can you offer no income taxes to businesses so they want to put there corporate offices here, create a ton of jobs, but expect things to stay the same as they were in the 50s?  Aggravates me!!   :pan:
The answer is that Texas is a red state and doesn't increase taxes. TxDOT does a damn good job of working with the money they're given by the people and the legislature, resulting in a far better system than nearby states. They're not going to build an 8 lane facility for traffic counts 20 years in the future because the extra millions spent for those unneeded lanes would be better spent fixing problems somewhere else. They will, however, build a 4 lane facility with bridges that are wide enough to go to 6 lanes with full shoulders, enabling them to widen the road in 10 years at minimal cost when it becomes needed.

If you really want to see a shitty job of planning, look at Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, or New Mexico. They're happy to build 4 or 5 lane facilities on bypasses or major routes in and out of cities with no access control and no setback requirements, making it impossible to ever upgrade them in the future. TxDOT would either build the frontage roads or at the very least require setbacks in order to let them widen the road in the future if it looks like it might need access control in the future.

That's not to say that blue states are any better, because while they might be able to increase taxes, that money almost never goes to roads.

Also, in your next post, did you really just bitch about lack of ROW preservation in one paragraph and then an instance where ROW was properly preserved in the next? :pan:

I said the problem works both ways.  They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.

I am not completely sure what being a red state has to do with it. Usually red states like to have good roads and blue states like to share everyone's money to build a new art gallery.

To what you said about Texas building for the future, I guess you don't remember the I-35 Austin to San Antonio project (widening 4 lanes to 6).  All the bridges needed to be retro-fitted for an extra lane because TxDOT built them originally as narrow as they could.  No point building any more than you need, huh?  I see the same thing all over the state. I-10 will need to go from 4 lanes to 6 lanes soon from Brookshire (west end of the Houston 6 lane section) to at least Sealy because the San Antonio-Houston traffic is so bad.  And again, all the bridges on I-10 are way too narrow to just build another lane up to the bridge.  They have to waste our money retrofitting the bridge or completely demolishing it.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 07, 2016, 07:41:42 PM
Quote from: ethanhopkin14
They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.

I have no problem with a state like Texas buying up the right of way to build a freeway in the future and then waiting 10, 20 or even 30 years before actually building the freeway. The practice is at least still a forward looking practice.

There's two reasons to take that approach. The first is not having enough funding to build the freeway project entirely at once. The second reason is current traffic levels on that corridor might not yet be high enough to build the freeway immediately, but forecast growth would make the freeway a necessity eventually.

I don't agree that corridors with freeway ROW preserved look like war zones. Usually the medians just have a lot of grass and maybe some trees. Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls looked just fine to me before they built Kell Freeway. A widening project on TX-114 was just completed in front of Texas Motor Speedway. The finished result doesn't look like an eye sore. I just wish TxDOT had did more of that to TX-114 all the way to US-287 rather than just four lane most of it. And they still have the 2 lane bottle-neck going under a railroad bridge and FM-156.

I just wish other states like Oklahoma had already been copying that approach. Metro OKC is getting badly boxed in with development making something like a Kilpatrick Turnpike loop around OKC increasingly impossible to build. The same goes for US-69 through Eastern Oklahoma. That is an extremely heavy volume commercial truck traffic corridor, arguably one of the heaviest in the US that's not yet an Interstate highway. US-287 in Texas between Amarillo and Fort Worth has a lot of truck traffic, but that road wouldn't be very difficult to upgrade into an Interstate due to many parts of it already having a really big median.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: In_Correct on August 08, 2016, 04:56:30 AM
Quote from: ethanhopkin14
They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.

I have no problem with a state like Texas buying up the right of way to build a freeway in the future and then waiting 10, 20 or even 30 years before actually building the freeway. The practice is at least still a forward looking practice.

There's two reasons to take that approach. The first is not having enough funding to build the freeway project entirely at once. The second reason is current traffic levels on that corridor might not yet be high enough to build the freeway immediately, but forecast growth would make the freeway a necessity eventually.

I don't agree that corridors with freeway ROW preserved look like war zones. Usually the medians just have a lot of grass and maybe some trees. Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls looked just fine to me before they built Kell Freeway. A widening project on TX-114 was just completed in front of Texas Motor Speedway. The finished result doesn't look like an eye sore. I just wish TxDOT had did more of that to TX-114 all the way to US-287 rather than just four lane most of it. And they still have the 2 lane bottle-neck going under a railroad bridge and FM-156.

I just wish other states like Oklahoma had already been copying that approach. Metro OKC is getting badly boxed in with development making something like a Kilpatrick Turnpike loop around OKC increasingly impossible to build. The same goes for US-69 through Eastern Oklahoma. That is an extremely heavy volume commercial truck traffic corridor, arguably one of the heaviest in the US that's not yet an Interstate highway. US-287 in Texas between Amarillo and Fort Worth has a lot of truck traffic, but that road wouldn't be very difficult to upgrade into an Interstate due to many parts of it already having a really big median.


I have found a few examples in Texas where they widen the roads by building the other lanes very far from the existing road, and then building bridges between the two roads. There is plenty of room for more lanes in between. Basically they build the frontage roads first and then the main highway afterwards. They are widening Highway 82 east of Sherman, Highway 114 in Justin, and some highway (281?) somewhere south of Wichita Falls, about 30 or 40 miles south. Highway 287 through Bowie basically looks like an Interstate Highway while north of Bowie there is room in between the roads to upgrade it to extend the "Interstate" northwestward. Last time I checked there are still plans to widen all these Highways but there aren't any current plans for 287 or whatever they are doing with 281.

There are plans to replace the railroad bridge going over Highway 114 with a longer bridge. But Bridge Overpasses are a complete different story. They never seem to make them wide enough for future expansion. Highway 82 towards Wichita Falls is being widened and I am pretty sure that the rail bridge going over it had to be replaced. Some rail bridge going over highway 377 is too narrow and they have to replace. If only it was required by law to make rail bridges wide enough. Rail bridges that go over roads are more expensive than road bridges going over rail. (If they build more rail or track then either way it should cost less to redo a road bridge. But it is generally easier to build a rail bridge going over road instead.) But even if rail bridges are expensive, they should still make them long enough for future road expansion (or wide enough for future rail expansion lol) because they going to have to replace the bridge anyways which costs even more money to rebuild a bridge instead of building it long enough to begin with.

U.S. 69 in Oklahoma: This is one of the craziest highways and in some areas difficult to widen. Through Colbert it is regular basic  Interstate (no frontage roads) and Calera and Durant has crossing traffic, in many cases with no traffic lights. There are a few exits. One was built around a business (and the business appears to still be open), a cloverleaf for U.S. 70, and the rest of them are half-baked Interchanges. The only one that appears to be planned for future expansion was the 69 / 75 bridge over 78 (and possibly the 70 bridge over 78) even though 78 is a state highway and otherwise not 4 laned. To Caddo you have a very aged controlled access highway (with no frontage roads) but north of it you have a crossing traffic 4 lane highway with trees but wide enough to upgrade it, and eventually they have "frontage roads" towards Atoka. A bypass is necessary for Tushka-Atoka which was rejected but at least the road through it is 4 or 5 laned unlike Madill. And then 75 splits from 69 north of Atoka is a crossing traffic 4 lane divided road with no frontage roads.

McAlester is another problem. South of it they built frontage roads but still has traffic lights. This was supposed to be the new highway planned for future growth. Once you get to the last traffic light 69 immediately turns into an "Interstate" road with frontage roads and a cloverleaf for Highway 270. If people want to bypass McAlester traffic, they have to take The Indian Nation Turnpike south of McAlester and exit at Highway 270, and then exit again at 69 and go north. The "Interstate With Frontage Roads" continues for a while until it reaches a lake (Eufala I think, or Canadian River). I think the frontage roads go away but they still have bridge exits. It is a much nicer road the farther north you get but I don't remember. But that part of 69 could easily be upgrade to an Interstate. The reason why I said McAlester is another problem is because ODOT wants to replace the traffic lights with bridges, but the local businesses are more concerned with "highway traffic not being able to see them" instead of safety. They were going to replace the northernmost traffic light but are now wanting to replace the southernmost traffic light. Construction should have started by now but it has not. It seems McAlester does not want it, and they can't build a bypass around McAlester. Because They Already Did That!!  :biggrin:

The roads in Oklahoma are usually not designed for expansion. They seem to widen the shoulders and convert a 2 lane road to a 5 lane road. Some towns such as Davis have a rail bypass but the bridge is not on 4 lane Highway 7 but on a 2 lane road south of town. Others such as Madill and Marietta have no rail bypass, which means kids and perhaps teachers could be late for school.

I would like to see I-27 go southward as well. South of Lubbock. They have it 4 lane divided all the way to I-20 with no frontage roads but plenty of room for them. Perhaps they will add the frontage roads without naming it I-27. The same for Wichita Falls. Or just improve 287 so Wichita Falls and Amarillo and Lubbock have an Interstate connecting to them within Texas.  :cool:
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 08, 2016, 09:54:33 AM
Quote from: ethanhopkin14
They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.

I have no problem with a state like Texas buying up the right of way to build a freeway in the future and then waiting 10, 20 or even 30 years before actually building the freeway. The practice is at least still a forward looking practice.

There's two reasons to take that approach. The first is not having enough funding to build the freeway project entirely at once. The second reason is current traffic levels on that corridor might not yet be high enough to build the freeway immediately, but forecast growth would make the freeway a necessity eventually.

I don't agree that corridors with freeway ROW preserved look like war zones. Usually the medians just have a lot of grass and maybe some trees. Kell Blvd in Wichita Falls looked just fine to me before they built Kell Freeway. A widening project on TX-114 was just completed in front of Texas Motor Speedway. The finished result doesn't look like an eye sore. I just wish TxDOT had did more of that to TX-114 all the way to US-287 rather than just four lane most of it. And they still have the 2 lane bottle-neck going under a railroad bridge and FM-156.

I just wish other states like Oklahoma had already been copying that approach. Metro OKC is getting badly boxed in with development making something like a Kilpatrick Turnpike loop around OKC increasingly impossible to build. The same goes for US-69 through Eastern Oklahoma. That is an extremely heavy volume commercial truck traffic corridor, arguably one of the heaviest in the US that's not yet an Interstate highway. US-287 in Texas between Amarillo and Fort Worth has a lot of truck traffic, but that road wouldn't be very difficult to upgrade into an Interstate due to many parts of it already having a really big median.


This is what I am talking about:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2340334,-97.8712439,3a,75y,358.71h,72.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snw1ImG3HRcDpyWdtFlR0ew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Its hard to see all the foundations because of our May and June rain that caused the weeds to grow.  Give it a month or two and the grass will die and you can see the lovely concrete foundations with all the lovely "street art galleries".  It's all good!!!  There was a really neat country/general store on the west side of Old Bee Cave Rd. that they bulldozed......15 years ago.  If they just did it, cool.  If they did it 3 years ago, okay.  But it has looked like this crap for ever.  There is a creek on the north side of US 290, which is a bum camp, and without the buildings in there, you can see all the rift raft.  The only improvement in the bulldozing was getting rid of the crappy hotel.  There was a neat strip mall that was built to look like buildings from the late 1800s and a neat resturaunt.  They have been gone for at least 10 years:

Here: https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2342575,-97.8638912,3a,60y,357.87h,81.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5_QpmUhpCyDzHtOMUOEpFw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Don't get me talking about the stupid intersection they put there.

The awesome two story German building that was across 290 from there was torn down in the mid 80s....for the freeway that still isn't there.

I grew up here, and my folks still live there, and you want to tell me this area that looks like Cold War Russia is good?

I am all for tem building right of way for future development, but until you have the funds to build the road there, let the buildings there stay and have the businesses rent the property until you have the money, bulldoze then build your highway; you could make some money too off of having the lot for rent.  That way you have the right of way, and it doesn't make the neighborhood look like crap by bulldozing the businesses and having vacant lots. 

I guess what I would have liked to have seen was for the right of way to have been bought in the 1960s, like it should have been, and the businesses build outside the right of way.  Instead what happened was the right of way bought in the mid 1980s after the businesses already built there, and it was way more expensive to buy, so TxDOT spent all their money acquiring right of way.

I understand planning for the future is tough, but I Think everyone could have seen that Austin was going to grow in the 60s from the hippie movement, and that it doubled in size in 10 years. 

Now about the subject in hand, The same thing has gone down.  This is just the most egregious example.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 08, 2016, 11:44:50 AM
In the case of US-290 going out of Austin's West side, I have been a little puzzled with it. It's obvious to me the long term goal is punching the US-290 freeway out farther West. TxDOT hasn't taken the usual approach of building a divided road with a really big median. But it looks like they've cleared a bunch of property and established set backs more friendly to a future freeway extension of US-290. Some of the property may have been bulldozed 10 or 15 years ago. But a bunch more of it happened just within the last couple or so years. It seems a little counterproductive for them to re-build that stretch of US-290 the way they did, rather than use the frontage road style approach. They'll have to demolish all of that stuff when the time comes to build a freeway through there.

Austin's politics (some of it very anti-freeway) must be a culprit for why US-290 is built the way it is through there. It's not only necessary for US-290 to be a freeway facility all the way out of Austin's West side. But TX-45 needs to be fully upgraded as well, connecting to US-290 out West and connecting to I-35. But plenty of folks in Austin are doing their best to block that effort.

Austin is kind of lucky to have some of the new freeways and toll roads that have been built since 2000. Before the dot-com bust back then there was no political way a new freeway could get built there. The bad economic downturn saw a lot of anti-freeway people move elsewhere, clearing the way for progress. I can only guess TxDOT just didn't have the funding to go all the way with US-290 in Western Austin back then. With Austin now rapidly growing once again a lot of anti-freeway types have returned to the area.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I am all for tem building right of way for future development, but until you have the funds to build the road there, let the buildings there stay and have the businesses rent the property until you have the money, bulldoze then build your highway; you could make some money too off of having the lot for rent.  That way you have the right of way, and it doesn't make the neighborhood look like crap by bulldozing the businesses and having vacant lots.

The problem is agencies like TxDOT don't have the manpower or expertise to operate as land lords for commercial businesses along a corridor where a freeway might be built in the future. It's easier and cheaper to buy up the ROW, clear it, build frontage roads and then wait til later to build the freeway.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Now about the subject in hand, The same thing has gone down.  This is just the most egregious example.

I think downtown Amarillo was laid out the way it was well before the Interstate highway system was first envisioned. You can't punch I-27 through the middle of it easily at all. The project would be very costly. There's a lot of buildings and foundations downtown to avoid in a cut & cover tunneling effort. There's limited space for entrance and exit ramps for cut and cover tunnels. It's going to be a lot easier and far less costly to upgrade all of Loop 335 to Interstate quality before messing with a downtown tunnel and bridge extension of I-27. I'd like to see I-27 extended up into Colorado (to Limon and I-70). Maybe if that happened a tunnel through downtown would then be more justifiable.

Quote from: In_Correct
I have found a few examples in Texas where they widen the roads by building the other lanes very far from the existing road, and then building bridges between the two roads. There is plenty of room for more lanes in between. Basically they build the frontage roads first and then the main highway afterwards. They are widening Highway 82 east of Sherman, Highway 114 in Justin, and some highway (281?) somewhere south of Wichita Falls, about 30 or 40 miles south. Highway 287 through Bowie basically looks like an Interstate Highway while north of Bowie there is room in between the roads to upgrade it to extend the "Interstate" northwestward. Last time I checked there are still plans to widen all these Highways but there aren't any current plans for 287 or whatever they are doing with 281.

I wonder if you have US-281 South of Wichita Falls mixed up with US-277. TxDOT is nearly finished with a long term upgrade project of US-277 between Wichita Falls and Abilene. Nearly all of it is four-laned now. A few of the towns, like Seymour, have bypasses that are Interstate quality or easy to upgrade to Interstate quality. This project would make it quite a bit easier to extend I-44 from Wichita Falls down to Abilene and I-20. There's still some difficult hurdles though, like connecting Kell Freeway with the Holliday bypass near Wichita Falls. There's a lot of industrial businesses and some homes in that gap. I don't like how Kell Freeway dead ends there.

Quote from: In_Correct
U.S. 69 in Oklahoma: This is one of the craziest highways and in some areas difficult to widen.

Towns like Atoka would need new terrain bypasses. I think there are similarities with the I-69 upgrade of US-59 in East Texas and US-69 in Oklahoma. There's just a lot more political will to get I-69 done. US-69 in Oklahoma is getting upgraded to Interstate quality in very small segments. ODOT is about to do one project between Colbert and Durant.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 08, 2016, 12:13:04 PM
In the case of US-290 going out of Austin's West side, I have been a little puzzled with it. It's obvious to me the long term goal is punching the US-290 freeway out farther West. TxDOT hasn't taken the usual approach of building a divided road with a really big median. But it looks like they've cleared a bunch of property and established set backs more friendly to a future freeway extension of US-290. Some of the property may have been bulldozed 10 or 15 years ago. But a bunch more of it happened just within the last couple or so years. It seems a little counterproductive for them to re-build that stretch of US-290 the way they did, rather than use the frontage road style approach. They'll have to demolish all of that stuff when the time comes to build a freeway through there.

Austin's politics (some of it very anti-freeway) must be a culprit for why US-290 is built the way it is through there. It's not only necessary for US-290 to be a freeway facility all the way out of Austin's West side. But TX-45 needs to be fully upgraded as well, connecting to US-290 out West and connecting to I-35. But plenty of folks in Austin are doing their best to block that effort.

Austin is kind of lucky to have some of the new freeways and toll roads that have been built since 2000. Before the dot-com bust back then there was no political way a new freeway could get built there. The bad economic downturn saw a lot of anti-freeway people move elsewhere, clearing the way for progress. I can only guess TxDOT just didn't have the funding to go all the way with US-290 in Western Austin back then. With Austin now rapidly growing once again a lot of anti-freeway types have returned to the area.

Yeah we are very lucky to have all our new freeways be toll roads.  I know that's how you guys roll in Oklahoma, but we didn't have many toll roads in Texas until all this mess started.  What do I know about all this, I only live 4 miles from this mess!

I get that the ball being dropped here was mostly Austin's anti-freeway crowd, but if they built it back in 1985 when the first round of bulldozing went on, they could have avoided all this NIMBY crap.  It was the 80s!  All anyone cared about then was high hair, cars that sucked gas and cocaine.  No one had time for highway revolts!!

But, the thing is, most of it is TxDOT's fault.  And this is far from an isolated event.  The same thing went down in the 90s when they expanded US 183 in north Austin to a freeway.  There is less NIMBY stuff up there, and people like construction up there.  It was done crappy then too, but they got it done.  They tried the same thing in the southwest and look where they are.

Yes, buy right of way, move the frontage roads to the edge of the right of way and then wait 30 years to build the freeway.  That would have been so much better because it would justify the unsightly bulldozing. 

But back to Amarillo.  I understand the original plan had Interstate 27 stopping downtown, but if TxDOT had half a brain about the future, they could have at least planned not to develop just a strip of downtown blocks.  Plus if they just go elevated structure, no one said they needed a single exit on any of that.

I disagree that TxDOT doesn't have the man power or resources to be landlords.  They had no problem staffing people to do all sorts of useless jobs for TTA ( a TXDOT offshoot) when they were building the toll roads.  I should know, they were a client of my old company's.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Avalanchez71 on August 08, 2016, 02:08:16 PM
What is the traffic count like?  Why build I-27 into downtown just for the heck of it?  Building over empty vacant lots and parking lots is problematic.  Just ask Louisville, KY about this.  Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: NE2 on August 08, 2016, 02:48:02 PM
Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Today's Repubs took the Jim Crowers, dumbshit.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 08, 2016, 03:52:51 PM
Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Yeah we are very lucky to have all our new freeways be toll roads.  I know that's how you guys roll in Oklahoma, but we didn't have many toll roads in Texas until all this mess started.  What do I know about all this, I only live 4 miles from this mess!

In this age of politics where citizens don't want to pay any taxes at all and just think the gub'ment is rolling in the dough it's pretty freaking hard to raise gasoline taxes to cover the cost of building new super highways, much less maintaining the existing ones. Construction cost inflation has been pretty extreme over the past 20 years. There is an overwhelming funding gap between gas tax revenues collected and what that money can actually buy. Toll roads are a consequence to that. If the current trends continue unchecked we'll see tolls popping up in all sorts of places, not just on super highways. Get ready.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I get that the ball being dropped here was mostly Austin's anti-freeway crowd, but if they built it back in 1985 when the first round of bulldozing went on, they could have avoided all this NIMBY crap.  It was the 80s!  All anyone cared about then was high hair, cars that sucked gas and cocaine.  No one had time for highway revolts!!

One problem is the anti-freeway revolts already started happening in the 1960's and 1970's. America's economy and overall well being was a horrible state of turmoil from the 1970's going into the early 1980's. The Permian Basin was reeling hard from the oil bust that hit back then.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
But back to Amarillo.  I understand the original plan had Interstate 27 stopping downtown, but if TxDOT had half a brain about the future, they could have at least planned not to develop just a strip of downtown blocks.  Plus if they just go elevated structure, no one said they needed a single exit on any of that.

All of the blocks of development in downtown Amarillo were already there before I-27 was ever built. If the real goal was to push I-27 through all of Amarillo onto the North they should have chose a different alignment rather than deliberately dead-ending the Interstate in the downtown area.

The Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock was more practical to build all the way across Lubbock because it dodged around some important areas. Downtown Lubbock is several blocks South of US-82, not directly in the path of it.

Quote from: Avalanchez71
What is the traffic count like?  Why build I-27 into downtown just for the heck of it?  Building over empty vacant lots and parking lots is problematic.

Downtown Amarillo, particularly the parts of downtown directly North of the I-27 terminus are not empty vacant lots and parking lots. It may not be the prettiest downtown area in the country, but it's not a predominantly vacant and abandoned area either. There is a lot of businesses and even new building construction going on there lining Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan streets. The Potter County Courthouse, Performing Arts Center and Civic Center are all in there next to those streets. Several multi-story buildings are also in there.

There also has to be a significant benefit for building what would be a very expensive highway project. Amarillo has about 200,000 people. There is a lot of traffic on I-40, but not nearly as much on US-287 going North out of there. A lot of Northbound traffic already uses Loop 335 to bypass downtown. My own experiences of driving through downtown Amarillo have not been bad. The traffic lights are timed pretty well. Traffic isn't jammed up there hopelessly like it is in some other much larger Texas cities. It would probably cost at least $1 billion or even more to build a combination of tunnels and bridges through downtown Amarillo and connecting to the existing Dumas Drive freeway on the North side of town. The price tag would probably be considerably higher due to all the political problems, lawsuits and other crap that would delay the project for years. Inflation on construction costs seems to never have any end to it.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: dfwmapper on August 08, 2016, 05:16:09 PM
I said the problem works both ways.  They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.
Both buying the ROW and building the road take money. Each year TxDOT gets a budget from the state and decides how to allocate it. If you have money to do one or the other but not both, then you have to make the decision of whether to buy ROW for the future (meanwhile letting traffic suck now), or expand now, but not have the ability to expand in the future because development drives up the cost of ROW acquisition.
Quote
I am not completely sure what being a red state has to do with it. Usually red states like to have good roads and blue states like to share everyone's money to build a new art gallery.
Red states, like Texas, very rarely vote to raise taxes. Let's throw around some fake numbers here. Say TxDOT has an annual budget of around $11 billion, and needs to spend say $35 billion over the next 5 years just doing maintenance work on the existing roads with no widening or other new construction, then they have $20 billion (55 minus 35) left for new construction. They might have $40 billion worth of projects they would like to build in that time. So, some stuff gets fully built, some stuff gets an EIS and design done but no construction, some gets ROW purchased, some gets built in an interim capacity, some gets built as toll projects by either TxDOT themselves, regional toll authorities (NTTA, HCTRA), regional mobility authorities (CTRMA), or by private companies like Cintra, and some just doesn't happen at all. There just isn't enough money to go around, and voters are unlikely to raise taxes on gas, property, general sales, or even worse, implement an income tax (and will probably toss anyone who suggests that out on their ass). This results in things like Prop 1, which reallocated money from the gas/oil rainy day fund, and Prop 7, which takes excess money from the general sales tax as well as vehicle sales and rental taxes. No new money coming in, just putting what's already there into a different pocket. It has helped push forward a bunch of projects, but isn't a long-term solution, especially for Prop 1 if the price of oil continues to be low. Proper funding would require increasing the gas tax and probably linking it to inflation, but again, red state.
Quote
To what you said about Texas building for the future, I guess you don't remember the I-35 Austin to San Antonio project (widening 4 lanes to 6).  All the bridges needed to be retro-fitted for an extra lane because TxDOT built them originally as narrow as they could.  No point building any more than you need, huh?  I see the same thing all over the state. I-10 will need to go from 4 lanes to 6 lanes soon from Brookshire (west end of the Houston 6 lane section) to at least Sealy because the San Antonio-Houston traffic is so bad.  And again, all the bridges on I-10 are way too narrow to just build another lane up to the bridge.  They have to waste our money retrofitting the bridge or completely demolishing it.
Most of those bridges date back to whenever the road was first built through that area, some back in the late 50s or earlier. There was no way to predict what kind of population growth that area would see 50 or 60 years later. Watch how they build in urban areas now where they expect future growth, and there's better planning going on.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Avalanchez71 on August 09, 2016, 10:32:15 AM
So where do you want I-27 to go, Boise City?
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 09, 2016, 11:16:23 AM
Yeah. Boise City, and then keep following US-287 up to Lamar and Kit Carson, finally angling over to Limon and I-70. That's one of the legs of the Ports to Plains Corridor.

There are long term plans to upgrade US-287 North of Amarillo eventually to Interstate quality. TxDOT is currently trying to get some kind of decision from the town leaders in Dumas, TX for their preferred location of a new bypass TxDOT wants to build, at first as a limited access Super 2 facility with Interstate quality exits to upgrade later to full Interstate quality. Some local business people don't want any bypass at all, fearing it could kill business. Others want the bypass in Dumas thinking TxDOT could relocate the future I-27 corridor significantly farther East or West of town, which would do much more damage to their local economy. TxDOT is demanding a decision ASAP because it would affect what they have to do in terms of street repairs through Dumas. The town's streets are getting pounded to oblivion by increasing levels of heavy truck traffic.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: In_Correct on August 11, 2016, 05:05:11 AM
Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Today's Repubs took the Jim Crowers, dumbshit.

I find red states to be hard working efficient tax friendly minimally racist states. Especially Texas.  :)  :biggrin: Actually Texas is all I know.

In the case of US-290 going out of Austin's West side, I have been a little puzzled with it. It's obvious to me the long term goal is punching the US-290 freeway out farther West. TxDOT hasn't taken the usual approach of building a divided road with a really big median. But it looks like they've cleared a bunch of property and established set backs more friendly to a future freeway extension of US-290. Some of the property may have been bulldozed 10 or 15 years ago. But a bunch more of it happened just within the last couple or so years. It seems a little counterproductive for them to re-build that stretch of US-290 the way they did, rather than use the frontage road style approach. They'll have to demolish all of that stuff when the time comes to build a freeway through there.

Austin's politics (some of it very anti-freeway) must be a culprit for why US-290 is built the way it is through there. It's not only necessary for US-290 to be a freeway facility all the way out of Austin's West side. But TX-45 needs to be fully upgraded as well, connecting to US-290 out West and connecting to I-35. But plenty of folks in Austin are doing their best to block that effort.

Austin is kind of lucky to have some of the new freeways and toll roads that have been built since 2000. Before the dot-com bust back then there was no political way a new freeway could get built there. The bad economic downturn saw a lot of anti-freeway people move elsewhere, clearing the way for progress. I can only guess TxDOT just didn't have the funding to go all the way with US-290 in Western Austin back then. With Austin now rapidly growing once again a lot of anti-freeway types have returned to the area.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I am all for tem building right of way for future development, but until you have the funds to build the road there, let the buildings there stay and have the businesses rent the property until you have the money, bulldoze then build your highway; you could make some money too off of having the lot for rent.  That way you have the right of way, and it doesn't make the neighborhood look like crap by bulldozing the businesses and having vacant lots.

The problem is agencies like TxDOT don't have the manpower or expertise to operate as land lords for commercial businesses along a corridor where a freeway might be built in the future. It's easier and cheaper to buy up the ROW, clear it, build frontage roads and then wait til later to build the freeway.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Now about the subject in hand, The same thing has gone down.  This is just the most egregious example.

I think downtown Amarillo was laid out the way it was well before the Interstate highway system was first envisioned. You can't punch I-27 through the middle of it easily at all. The project would be very costly. There's a lot of buildings and foundations downtown to avoid in a cut & cover tunneling effort. There's limited space for entrance and exit ramps for cut and cover tunnels. It's going to be a lot easier and far less costly to upgrade all of Loop 335 to Interstate quality before messing with a downtown tunnel and bridge extension of I-27. I'd like to see I-27 extended up into Colorado (to Limon and I-70). Maybe if that happened a tunnel through downtown would then be more justifiable.

Quote from: In_Correct
I have found a few examples in Texas where they widen the roads by building the other lanes very far from the existing road, and then building bridges between the two roads. There is plenty of room for more lanes in between. Basically they build the frontage roads first and then the main highway afterwards. They are widening Highway 82 east of Sherman, Highway 114 in Justin, and some highway (281?) somewhere south of Wichita Falls, about 30 or 40 miles south. Highway 287 through Bowie basically looks like an Interstate Highway while north of Bowie there is room in between the roads to upgrade it to extend the "Interstate" northwestward. Last time I checked there are still plans to widen all these Highways but there aren't any current plans for 287 or whatever they are doing with 281.

I wonder if you have US-281 South of Wichita Falls mixed up with US-277. TxDOT is nearly finished with a long term upgrade project of US-277 between Wichita Falls and Abilene. Nearly all of it is four-laned now. A few of the towns, like Seymour, have bypasses that are Interstate quality or easy to upgrade to Interstate quality. This project would make it quite a bit easier to extend I-44 from Wichita Falls down to Abilene and I-20. There's still some difficult hurdles though, like connecting Kell Freeway with the Holliday bypass near Wichita Falls. There's a lot of industrial businesses and some homes in that gap. I don't like how Kell Freeway dead ends there.

Quote from: In_Correct
U.S. 69 in Oklahoma: This is one of the craziest highways and in some areas difficult to widen.

Towns like Atoka would need new terrain bypasses. I think there are similarities with the I-69 upgrade of US-59 in East Texas and US-69 in Oklahoma. There's just a lot more political will to get I-69 done. US-69 in Oklahoma is getting upgraded to Interstate quality in very small segments. ODOT is about to do one project between Colbert and Durant.

Quote
I wonder if you have US-281 South of Wichita Falls mixed up with US-277. TxDOT is nearly finished with a long term upgrade project of US-277 between Wichita Falls and Abilene. Nearly all of it is four-laned now. A few of the towns, like Seymour, have bypasses that are Interstate quality or easy to upgrade to Interstate quality. This project would make it quite a bit easier to extend I-44 from Wichita Falls down to Abilene and I-20. There's still some difficult hurdles though, like connecting Kell Freeway with the Holliday bypass near Wichita Falls. There's a lot of industrial businesses and some homes in that gap. I don't like how Kell Freeway dead ends there.
You are Correct. I got 277 mixed up. And I checked again on the map and it looks like I-44 used to be U.S. 277 and also I-44 is diagonal so of course it would make sense to connect it to Abilene. 281 is where they added passing lanes into the shoulders which then goes back to two lanes in the middle of nowhere. Also, 277 has the a 4 lane undivided road but with shoulders. Unfortunately there are businesses close to 277 which means there is no room for frontage roads.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Yeah we are very lucky to have all our new freeways be toll roads.  I know that's how you guys roll in Oklahoma, but we didn't have many toll roads in Texas until all this mess started.  What do I know about all this, I only live 4 miles from this mess!

In this age of politics where citizens don't want to pay any taxes at all and just think the gub'ment is rolling in the dough it's pretty freaking hard to raise gasoline taxes to cover the cost of building new super highways, much less maintaining the existing ones. Construction cost inflation has been pretty extreme over the past 20 years. There is an overwhelming funding gap between gas tax revenues collected and what that money can actually buy. Toll roads are a consequence to that. If the current trends continue unchecked we'll see tolls popping up in all sorts of places, not just on super highways. Get ready.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I get that the ball being dropped here was mostly Austin's anti-freeway crowd, but if they built it back in 1985 when the first round of bulldozing went on, they could have avoided all this NIMBY crap.  It was the 80s!  All anyone cared about then was high hair, cars that sucked gas and cocaine.  No one had time for highway revolts!!

One problem is the anti-freeway revolts already started happening in the 1960's and 1970's. America's economy and overall well being was a horrible state of turmoil from the 1970's going into the early 1980's. The Permian Basin was reeling hard from the oil bust that hit back then.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
But back to Amarillo.  I understand the original plan had Interstate 27 stopping downtown, but if TxDOT had half a brain about the future, they could have at least planned not to develop just a strip of downtown blocks.  Plus if they just go elevated structure, no one said they needed a single exit on any of that.

All of the blocks of development in downtown Amarillo were already there before I-27 was ever built. If the real goal was to push I-27 through all of Amarillo onto the North they should have chose a different alignment rather than deliberately dead-ending the Interstate in the downtown area.

The Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock was more practical to build all the way across Lubbock because it dodged around some important areas. Downtown Lubbock is several blocks South of US-82, not directly in the path of it.

Quote from: Avalanchez71
What is the traffic count like?  Why build I-27 into downtown just for the heck of it?  Building over empty vacant lots and parking lots is problematic.

Downtown Amarillo, particularly the parts of downtown directly North of the I-27 terminus are not empty vacant lots and parking lots. It may not be the prettiest downtown area in the country, but it's not a predominantly vacant and abandoned area either. There is a lot of businesses and even new building construction going on there lining Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan streets. The Potter County Courthouse, Performing Arts Center and Civic Center all in there. Several multi-story buildings are also in there.

There also has to be a significant benefit for building what would be a very expensive highway project. Amarillo has about 200,000 people. There is a lot of traffic on I-40, but not nearly as much on US-287 going North out of there. A lot of Northbound traffic already uses Loop 335 to bypass downtown. My own experiences of driving through downtown Amarillo have not been bad. The traffic lights are timed pretty well. Traffic isn't jammed up there hopelessly like it is in some other much larger Texas cities. It would probably cost at least $1 billion or even more to build a combination of tunnels and bridges through downtown Amarillo and connecting to the existing Dumas Drive freeway on the North side of town. The price tag would probably be considerably higher due to all the political problems, lawsuits and other crap that would delay the project for years. Inflation on construction costs seems to never have any end to it.

If they are going to fight it in court, then they should probably just decommission that part of I-27. I read somewhere that TXDOT is planning on moving I-27 somewhere else, perhaps to the east side of Amarillo where there doesn't appear to be much development but I assume there isn't any funding for this project and I probably misread it anyways. They are probably talking about moving the Southwest corner of the loop away from Soncy Road. And then they can make the current alignment of I-27 U.S. 87 but when it stops at downtown and turns into one way streets is still very ugly. It is very badly planned. I still do not like how cities morph highways that go through them into downtown one way streets. It is outdated and bypasses are much nicer. Once they finish improving Loop 335 perhaps I won't be so embarrassed lol.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on August 30, 2016, 09:57:48 AM
Decreased state funds slow Loop 335 progress

http://www.amarillo.com/news/local-news/2016-08-29/decreased-state-funds-slow-loop-335-progress
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 30, 2016, 01:32:07 PM
Various states (like Oklahoma) are going to have to stop sucking so much on a nearly dried up oil tit and look for other sources of funding for infrastructure. Lawmakers are going to have a difficult job switching from the usual game plan of funding cuts and tax cuts as political candy to voters and tell us idiot voters there is no free ride for our way of life.

Quote from: In_Correct
If they are going to fight it in court, then they should probably just decommission that part of I-27. I read somewhere that TXDOT is planning on moving I-27 somewhere else, perhaps to the east side of Amarillo where there doesn't appear to be much development but I assume there isn't any funding for this project and I probably misread it anyways. They are probably talking about moving the Southwest corner of the loop away from Soncy Road. And then they can make the current alignment of I-27 U.S. 87 but when it stops at downtown and turns into one way streets is still very ugly. It is very badly planned. I still do not like how cities morph highways that go through them into downtown one way streets. It is outdated and bypasses are much nicer. Once they finish improving Loop 335 perhaps I won't be so embarrassed lol.

It wouldn't be very productive to move I-27 to Amarillo's East side, on the Eastern half of Loop 335. On Amarillo's South side I-27 is shifted to the West, only a couple miles from where the West side of the Loop 335 freeway will be built. They could build a short freeway connector leg from I-27 over to the West side of Loop 335 to smooth out the path, kind of like I-865 in Indianapolis or Spur 327 in Lubbock. I-27 could split from its present N-S path around Sundown Lane and then connect more directly with the West side of Loop 335.

As for Soncy Road, the Loop 335 alignment will be moved off Soncy Road and West about a mile, closer to Helium Road. The new freeway will hook back into the existing Loop 335 alignment a little over a mile North of I-40 near 9th Ave.

As for Amarillo's bad planning, the city's downtown and one way streets pre-dated the two Interstate highways by many years. Very little can be done realistically with how I-27 dead ends in downtown Amarillo. Decommissioning I-27 through there might be a bit much. I think it would be just as good to rename it as a 3-digit Interstate, perhaps I-327. It's a similar arrangement to I-395 in Washington, DC. The main interstate gets re-directed onto the loop, leaving behind an Interstate quality spur.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: mwb1848 on August 30, 2016, 06:51:41 PM
Perhaps an elevated structure similar to Wichita Falls?

I really hope not. Elevated freeways do nothing good for Downtowns.

However, Amarillo is uniquely positioned have the best of both worlds. They can keep their current network (current I-27, US 87, US 287) which connects intracity traffic to Downtown, while providing intercity thru traffic with a better route (realigned I-27) around Downtown. You'd end up with a more appropriate way for north-south traffic to pass thru (around, really) Downtown, rather than shoehorning in an elevated facility which discourages pedestrian activity.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: TXtoNJ on August 31, 2016, 12:12:11 PM
Roadgeek completionism is never a good-enough reason to build an urban freeway.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 31, 2016, 08:59:48 PM
Ultimately the cost to benefit ratio just wouldn't pan out for tunneling and/or bridging I-27 through downtown Amarillo. I'm not sure if there's really even enough traffic going North of Amarillo to build out I-27 in that direction currently. In the near term Interstate quality bypasses could be justified for towns like Dumas and Boise City. At least get the routes planned and perhaps ROW secured for some kind of interim approach (frontage roads with a big median, Super 2 with exits, etc.). That's better than doing nothing until the traffic counts justify the Interstate extension. But without any forward looking plan (and ROW acquisition) development would swallow up the desired corridors making future upgrades a whole lot more expensive.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: rte66man on August 31, 2016, 09:07:48 PM
Ultimately the cost to benefit ratio just wouldn't pan out for tunneling and/or bridging I-27 through downtown Amarillo. I'm not sure if there's really even enough traffic going North of Amarillo to build out I-27 in that direction currently. In the near term Interstate quality bypasses could be justified for towns like Dumas and Boise City. At least get the routes planned and perhaps ROW secured for some kind of interim approach (frontage roads with a big median, Super 2 with exits, etc.). That's better than doing nothing until the traffic counts justify the Interstate extension. But without any forward looking plan (and ROW acquisition) development would swallow up the desired corridors making future upgrades a whole lot more expensive.

There is already a (sorta) Super-2 bypass of Boise City.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: In_Correct on September 01, 2016, 01:46:19 PM
Decreased state funds slow Loop 335 progress

http://www.amarillo.com/news/local-news/2016-08-29/decreased-state-funds-slow-loop-335-progress

So that means it is still happening, but is going to take twice as long before it is finished. If they take any longer to finish it, then Amarillo's population will be half a million people.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on September 01, 2016, 03:34:52 PM
I'm hoping the federal government will have a truly renewed interest in infrastucture following the November elections. What I mean by that is actually having a real strategy for transportation to move people and business more efficiently. Politicians only seem willing to sell efforts like this as a "jobs program," which is pretty stupid. Only so many people are going to work on a highway project. But a properly functional transportation system can help businesses create more jobs.

Quote from: rte66man
There is already a (sorta) Super-2 bypass of Boise City.

I forgot about that. The bypass is fairly new too. Hopefully ODOT and the town planners established large enough set back boundaries to provide enough room to add another pair of lanes and a couple more exits in the future.

Dumas is arguably the biggest and most tricky town to bypass North of Amarillo. There might be just enough ROW in place to squeeze an Interstate through Cactus, TX along the current alignment. Stratford would need a modest bypass to the West.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Scott5114 on September 01, 2016, 10:36:20 PM
I forgot about that. The bypass is fairly new too. Hopefully ODOT and the town planners established large enough set back boundaries to provide enough room to add another pair of lanes and a couple more exits in the future.

I don't know whether they did or not, but I feel like growth in Boise City is probably not something transportation planners need to stay up at night worrying about.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: rte66man on September 01, 2016, 10:54:39 PM
I forgot about that. The bypass is fairly new too. Hopefully ODOT and the town planners established large enough set back boundaries to provide enough room to add another pair of lanes and a couple more exits in the future.


I don't know whether they did or not, but I feel like growth in Boise City is probably not something transportation planners need to stay up at night worrying about.

 :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on September 02, 2016, 12:24:33 AM
Boise City might be a little "blink and you miss it" burg of a town, but the same tired, old short-sighted ODOT pooch screws can still materialize along corridors in towns of any size. Some blowhard insists on building his new business right up close to a highway, sticking his main entrance driveway out into the main lanes of the highway. Someone equipped with a backbone would tell the guy to build his building at least so many feet away from the ROW of the highway to provide room for future road expansion. There's VERY FEW people in Oklahoma making decisions on transportation that have anything at all resembling a backbone. They're all a bunch of push-over blobs of sludge.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Rothman on September 02, 2016, 08:29:12 AM
I know that NYSDOT's influence on access management is a bit sporadic.  Sometimes, NYSDOT has a big say in what happens with driveways and whatnot and other times not so much.  Of course, NY is one of those states where the levels of bureaucracy (Whose project is this?  Who owns the road?  What does the law say?  Who's paying for it and what rules come along with the funding?) come into play, big time.

And then there are those city planners that actually want businesses right up along the road for aesthetics -- who wants to look at a big parking lot and whatnot.

Just saying that it may not be spineless DOT employees being the main factor in poor access management decisions.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on September 02, 2016, 11:04:01 AM
I'm not putting all the blame of spineless policy on ODOT. Apologies if it appeared that way. The blame for stupid corridor policy goes higher up to state lawmakers and city government leaders. They're the blithering idiots who have no "big picture" view for that state's future transportation needs.

I like to cite the sheer idiocy going on in the metro Oklahoma City area as a good example of the lack of planning in Oklahoma. The Mustang Creek housing development was built directly in the path of where the Kilpatrick Turnpike was going to extend. When you look at it via satellite imagery in Google Maps/Earth the stupidity of it is almost hilarious if it wasn't so anger inspiring. All along S. Sara Road in Mustang they allowed uncontrolled development to swallow up the corridor. ODOT and OTA both wanted the Kilpatrick Turnpike to function as a proper loop for OKC, Edmond, Norman, etc. But thanks to some idiots in Mustang that's probably never going to happen, especially with how little the OK state government is willing to spend on highways. The Kilpatrick Turnpike -might- be extended, but only as a very curvy, non-direct short connection to Airport Road instead of going down to Norman.

Another sad thing is these idiot local and state politicians are only too happy to let ODOT and OTA take all the blame for the piss poor planning when the blame really needs to go to these elected morons.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 03, 2016, 02:24:40 AM
The thing about is they need to make sure the land is there to build the highway to connect with Highway 9. I support them connecting it as they are doing now to the airport, but they also can buy land and preserve future developments to connect it which is what they should do.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on September 06, 2016, 12:16:49 AM
ODOT and various towns in the Greater Metro OKC area don't have the foresight to do anything like that. Earlier today I was at a friend's party in Mustang. More and more development is taking place there, pretty much random with no control. There appears to be no rhyme or reason where any of it is going. It's just classic sub-urban sprawl. I think they're letting these whole neighborhood sized chunks filled with McMansions plop down just where ever any developer chooses regardless if there is any water/sewage service connection, electrical power or even Internet back bone. Build homes first. Worry about the other details later. And worry about horrible traffic jams that are in the cards way way way down the calendar many years later.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: In_Correct on November 19, 2016, 04:59:02 AM
I just watched a BigRigTravels or Big Rig Travels video called "U.S. Highway 287 going though downtown Amarillo" (or something like that) also U.S. 87 and U.S. 60. (The same road) I got to see the trench (northbound carriageway, either Buchanan or Filmore) that goes under the edge of the rail yard. It looks very nice and provides an example of what the rest of the highway would like if it was trenched. It's too bad. If they are going to dig two of the carriageways under a rail yard (and the other two carriageways are bridges going over the railroad) instead of bypassing the rail yard, then they ought to have trenched everything else.

Even if that would involve approximately 88 additional grade separations (4 carriageways going under or perhaps over 22 streets, 11 streets north of the rail yard, 11 streets south of the rail yard) or just 44 grade carriageways because frontage roads aren't supposed to be grade separated from traffic lights. would never ever happen, unless Amarillo's population reaches one million.

Also I noticed on the maps, that the bridge-over-the-rail-yard carriageways (southbound carriageways, Pierce and Taylor) already go over some of the streets closest to the rail yard. (1st and 2nd Street) which means that there are less more grade separations than I thought. ... if they would only Just Keep Going and build the rest of them.

At least Loop 335 upgrades will be completed ... perhaps when Amarillo reaches population of 500,000 then the loop upgrades will be completely completed.


(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: November 19, 2016, 05:17:29 AM
And upon closer inspection of the map, I am now very annoyed.

It looks like when they built the bridge over the rail yard, it appears they actually built the bridges ON TOP OF BUILDINGS!! This is the first time I have seen that. Do they really build bridges on top of buildings?! So if they really do things like that, then they could extend the bridges over the rest of the 20 of 22 streets. (1st and 2nd street have southbound bridges going over them.)

Or, perhaps the buildings were built after the bridge was built. Who would want to build a building under a bridge?

Since the remaining buildings are far enough from the roads: If anybody objects to any bridges being built too close to their buildings, then TXDOT could say "well, at least your buildings are not under the bridges!"  :D  :)

Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Brian556 on November 19, 2016, 03:32:11 PM
As for the US 290 situation in west Austin, and someone saying it was wasteful, the situation with FM 2499 in Flower Mound was also wasteful. In the late 90's, FM 2499 was extended from FM 1171 to FM 407. Knowing full well that it would need to be divided very soon, rather than building half of a divided highway, and adding the other side as traffic increased, they built a rural two-laner with shoulders in the middle of the ROW. Just 10 years later, they completely tore it out and put in a 6-lane unban divided roadway.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on November 20, 2016, 02:52:00 PM
Quote from: In_Correct
I just watched a BigRigTravels or Big Rig Travels video called "U.S. Highway 287 going though downtown Amarillo" (or something like that) also U.S. 87 and U.S. 60. (The same road) I got to see the trench (northbound carriageway, either Buchanan or Filmore) that goes under the edge of the rail yard. It looks very nice and provides an example of what the rest of the highway would like if it was trenched. It's too bad. If they are going to dig two of the carriageways under a rail yard (and the other two carriageways are bridges going over the railroad) instead of bypassing the rail yard, then they ought to have trenched everything else.

This is presuming there were always plans to build an Interstate through the middle of downtown Amarillo when that was never the case. The downtown was there already. The super highways came later.

Then there is the matter of cost. It's one thing to make a pair of cut and cover tunnels for just a couple blocks under a rail line. It's an entirely different thing to build much longer cut and cover tunnels through the downtown area of a modest sized, not major, city.

Quote from: In_Correct
It looks like when they built the bridge over the rail yard, it appears they actually built the bridges ON TOP OF BUILDINGS!! This is the first time I have seen that. Do they really build bridges on top of buildings?! So if they really do things like that, then they could extend the bridges over the rest of the 20 of 22 streets. (1st and 2nd street have southbound bridges going over them.)

East Pierce Street (US-60) goes over one single story building just North of East 1st Avenue (a BNSF office for the rail yard). The bridges in downtown Amarillo don't span over the top of multiple buildings. Also, it's not clear which was built first, the bridge or the building. By the way it's worth mentioning the Taylor Street and Pierce Street bridges don't meet current Interstate standards.

In decades or centuries past it was more common for road or rail bridges to span over the tops of buildings. Just go to Brooklyn (in person or via Google Street View) and you'll see huge but historical examples of this. It's very rare for any new highway project to have any bridges spanning over existing buildings or property.

One recent example is the re-built interchange with TX-114 and TX-121 in Grapevine, TX. There's a really long fly-over ramp that connects TX-114 East to TX-121 South. That ramp goes over the top of a Chevrolet dealership parking lot. The bridge has really high chain link fences on both sides for the portion that spans that commercial property -probably to keep any crap tossed by motorists from falling onto vehicles in the parking lot below.

None of this creates any precedent to build Interstate bridges or tunnels for I-27 through the middle of downtown Amarillo. The heights of the existing buildings and buildings that were there in downtown Amarillo previously would prevent building over the top of buildings. Bridges could only be built over existing streets. Current politics and urban design trends would make such a thing very difficult to build. Tunneling to modern standards is just too expensive. For the price of tunneling I-27 through downtown Amarillo most of an I-27 extension down toward San Antonio could be built. We're talking billions of dollars for either idea.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: US-175 on March 07, 2017, 01:22:29 AM
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/34663660/more-money-for-loop-335-project

According to the report, Amarillo was able to get $65 million out of TxDOT to help with Loop 335.  That now makes $150 million so far received; a total of $870 million is reportedly needed for the whole redo/upgrade/west side move.  Local officials are putting the $65 million toward the new west side alignment work.  A quick check of the project website (http://www.theamarilloloop.com) shows no updating yet.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Henry on March 08, 2017, 09:33:20 AM
This is good news! Puts us one step closer to seeing the whole thing get built.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: chays on March 31, 2017, 09:49:12 AM
According to this page: http://www.theamarilloloop.com/maps/section-a.html , sections A-1 and A-2 are under construction.  drivetexas.org shows these projects as being complete by 4/3/2017.  Does anyone know if this means that these sections will be a bonafide freeway at that point, or will there still be more work to be done?
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on March 31, 2017, 12:09:20 PM
Google Earth imagery of that zone is dated February 8, 2016. It shows quite a bit of progress on the A-1 and A-2 sections, but with still a lot left to complete. If those sections are finished by April 2017 I think it would just be the basics between I-27 and FM-1541. A freeway to freeway interchange with I-27 and Loop 335 will take a long time to build (it's not included in the A-1 and A-2 sections).
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: aboges26 on April 04, 2017, 09:38:25 PM
I can confirm that sections A-1 and A-2 will be a bonafide freeway, 2 lanes each way with 2-3 lane frontage roads.  I will be going up to Amarillo soon enough and look forward to checking out the progress.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on January 08, 2018, 03:15:01 PM
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/37207043/construction-of-i-27-hollywood-intersection-to-begin-jan-8th

Starting today, work on the I-27/Loop 335 interchange begins.  Crossovers will be built between the Bell St. and Sundown Lane exits, which will take 2 months to do.  Once that is done, then main work on bridges at the interchange can start.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on January 09, 2018, 02:15:37 PM
Another article, with TV report video:
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/37218834/drivers-may-notice-traffic-delays-as-construction-continues-along-i-27?utm_content=buffer1f6ea&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on March 27, 2018, 05:42:18 AM
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/37813818/from-freshmen-to-seniors-randall-high-students-likely-to-see-hollywood-road-project-throughout-high-school

During the next several days, the bridge for SB I-27 over Loop 335 will be demolished.  All Loop 335 traffic is being diverted along the I-27 service roads until the bridge demo is complete.  Traffic congestion is anticipated, as there is a high school and elementary school less than a mile east of the interchange.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: DJStephens on April 07, 2018, 08:55:50 AM
I can confirm that sections A-1 and A-2 will be a bonafide freeway, 2 lanes each way with 2-3 lane frontage roads.  I will be going up to Amarillo soon enough and look forward to checking out the progress.

No desire to slap a "3di" on the thing.   Amarillo is certainly large enough to warrant it.  Lubbock's ring road also could be one.   
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Phone_Harold on April 08, 2018, 01:00:43 AM
Question -- is Interstate 27 the only (if not the few) Interstate(s) that do not connect to an Interstate on either end?
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: sparker on April 08, 2018, 01:55:37 AM
Question -- is Interstate 27 the only (if not the few) Interstate(s) that do not connect to an Interstate on either end?

The north terminus of I-27 is at I-40 south of downtown Amarillo; the freeway extends for a block or two north, but as US 87/287.  It's only the southern terminus that is "left hanging" at the southern intechange with Loop 289 south of central Lubbock.  Over the years, plans have been forwarded to extend I-27 south to I-20 or even I-10 via San Angelo but such haven't as of yet come to fruition; but there are current studies under way toward this end -- this is a "stay tuned -- but don't hold your breath" type of situation.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on April 08, 2018, 05:19:20 PM
Quote from: DJStephens
No desire to slap a "3di" on the thing.   Amarillo is certainly large enough to warrant it.  Lubbock's ring road also could be one.

I have lost track of how many freeways in Texas are signed only as state highways or US highways. If I had my way I would call the Amarillo loop "I-427." It would be a logical combination of I-40 and I-27. Plus the 427 is a great big block engine. The loop down in Lubbock could be "I-227."

With Texas adding population the way it is, drawing a lot of transplant residents from the coasts and colder climates, it will get ever more important to upgrade more of US-87 and the Ports to Plains corridor to Interstate quality. But you gotta have funding to do it.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: sparker on April 09, 2018, 02:50:33 AM
Quote from: DJStephens
No desire to slap a "3di" on the thing.   Amarillo is certainly large enough to warrant it.  Lubbock's ring road also could be one.

I have lost track of how many freeways in Texas are signed only as state highways or US highways. If I had my way I would call the Amarillo loop "I-427." It would be a logical combination of I-40 and I-27. Plus the 427 is a great big block engine. The loop down in Lubbock could be "I-227."

With Texas adding population the way it is, drawing a lot of transplant residents from the coasts and colder climates, it will get ever more important to upgrade more of US-87 and the Ports to Plains corridor to Interstate quality. But you gotta have funding to do it.

The one issue with converting many of the TX loops into Interstates is the TXDOT love for volleyball interchanges (obviously as a money-saving stopgap); the north I-27/Loop 289 interchange is one of these.  The problem is most of these attract development on the frontage/transition roads, making later deployment of "real" freeway-to-freeway interchanges problematic (for another example, see the I-35/US 190 interchange in Temple). 
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on April 09, 2018, 03:58:31 PM
Yeah, Texas has allowed developers to encroach volleyball interchanges in many locations. The US-82/US-75 interchange in Sherman is a problematic example since it has quite a bit of development on all four corners, yet it's clear this interchange will probably have to be upgraded into a 4-level stack direct-connect interchange within the next few years.

The TX-114/I-35W interchange North of Fort Worth is threatening to be stuck as being no better than a volleyball interchange. It's either going to be that outcome or the direct connect fly-over ramps will have to span over the parking lots and fuel pump canopies of convenience stores hugging 3 of the 4 corners of this interchange.

In the case of the I-27/Loop 289 interchange on the North side of Lubbock there is plenty of open space for flyover ramps to span. The Pharr RV store is the only thing close enough to cause problems. I think a flyover ramp could span over part of the parking lot and not go directly over the building. Still, the ramp would need plenty of fencing to block debris from falling on the dealership parking lot.

Realistically, the only way I can see Interstate shields going up on some of these Texas state highway signed freeways and toll roads is if the federal government pitches in a whole lot of funding to aid various improvement projects. That sure isn't going to happen with the current philosophy in place at the federal level.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on April 22, 2018, 08:09:27 AM
More about the Loop 335 project, plus Amarillo's MPO wants to expand to include nearby Canyon so they can be included in projects like widening I-27.

http://www.newschannel10.com/story/38000566/making-loop-335-shovel-ready
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Aquatarkus on November 29, 2018, 08:29:08 AM
Hi. I'm new here and an Amarillo native and just wanted to share my thoughts on this project with some others who actually care about this stuff.

When they announced the new loop redesign, I was sure they would build a free flowing interchange at 335-I27 to facilitate north bound thru traffic to bypass the most congested parts of I-27 in the city, and not have to go through downtown to get across town, but they didn't. It perplexes me that this decision was made, as the upgrades to the loop are only going to create more traffic through the area. Txdot kinda dropped the ball with this I think.

There exist plans for a huge 4 level stack interchange with the western end of I-40 and the future Hope Rd loop, and there has been talk (no plans yet afaik) of an even bigger 5 level(!) stack with frontage direct connectors at Lakeside and I-40. Why did the I 27 junction get the sort end of the stick.

Diverting all the semi truck traffic around town would greatly help to reduce traffic on the highways in town, it's only going to get worse as time goes on. A failure of planning for the future is why we have the gimped loop to begin with, it'll be a shame if we're in the same place come 30 years down the line and we have to rebuild everything again.

Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Bobby5280 on November 29, 2018, 02:01:21 PM
I think the game plan from TX DOT is to upgrade the main lanes of Loop 335 first -the "easy part." The freeway to freeway interchanges are the harder part.

Obviously there are hazards of putting off the freeway to freeway interchanges to later phases. Construction costs keep rising as the years roll on, making it ever more difficult to fund these projects. And then there is lack of discipline with lawmakers and other connected "deciders." The real estate and retail deals they make along transporation corridors are routinely made without any thought of how the project could screw up bigger picture things for a city, like its highway network. Oklahoma is flat out infected with these kinds of greedy, goofball idiots.

I can't tell for sure what is happening at the intersection of I-27 and Loop 335 on the South side of Amarillo. Google Earth imagery dated August 5, 2018 shows a good bit of construction work happening on all four corners of the interchange. But I don't know if that is related to the widening projects of both I-27 and Loop 335. It could be some local jerks signed some sweetheart deals with developers to put a bunch of new stores right there on the corners, effectively making it impossible to build a directional, stack interchange in that spot.

The East side interchange with I-40 and Loop 335/Lakeside has plenty of room on the NW and SE corners. The property is pretty much vacant. There is a building on the NE corner of the intersection that has a "for sale or lease" message on a billboard next to it for years. I don't know if the Super 8 next door would have to be cleared. The biggest issue is the SW corner. There is a big Petro truck stop and Valero store there.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on November 30, 2018, 02:43:55 AM
Hi. I'm new here and an Amarillo native and just wanted to share my thoughts on this project with some others who actually care about this stuff.

Welcome Aquatarkus.  It does seem that planning for the Loop upgrades isn't what it should be in spots, including the I-27 interchange.  Hopefully the local bigwigs and TxDOT are serious about making Loop 335 better all the way around and don't get cold feet later on, financially and otherwise.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: Chef on December 06, 2018, 09:16:58 AM
December Update: The Bell to Western portion of the freeway along with the bridge has been officially been opened to the public. There is still work on the 335-I-27 interchange. The first portion of the bridge is near completion then they will have to demolish the second bridge. TXDOT projects that the entire bridge will not be completed until 2021. Frontage roads are beginning to be made west of I-27 to accomodate the future bridge above Coulter.
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on February 13, 2019, 01:35:43 PM
A bit of a half*** TV report and article, but basically the Loop project is coming along.

http://www.newschannel10.com/2019/02/12/txdot-project-roundup-southbound-loop/
Title: Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
Post by: txstateends on June 03, 2019, 01:39:02 PM
Earlier today, ground was broken to officially get the westward relocation of Loop 335 underway.

https://www.newschannel10.com/2019/06/03/txdot-breaks-ground-project-relocate-loop
https://www.myhighplains.com/news/txdot-and-partners-hosting-a-groundbreaking-ceremony-for-relocating-sl-335-westward-to-helium-road/2048672757