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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: longhorn on July 08, 2017, 03:19:02 PM

Title: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on July 08, 2017, 03:19:02 PM
Old article and behind a paywall, but states I-10 will be expanded to three lanes each way between SAT and HOU. With I-35 project winding down, TxDot can move on to this next major project.

http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/TxDOT-proposes-adding-lanes-to-I-10-6180343.php

Read on another post that on weekends I-10 can be parking lot even in rural areas between San Antonio and Houston.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: MaxConcrete on July 08, 2017, 05:37:50 PM
I've learned not to return to Houston on I-10 west at the end of holiday and long weekends due to the long backups.

Realistically, we're not going to see a six-lane I-10 for the entire distance between Houston and San Antonio for a very long time, maybe never. However, I think we'll get six lanes between Houston and Columbus in 10 to 15 years, and that will solve most of the problem.

In June TxDOT awarded a $142 million contract for reconstruction and expansion to 6 lanes for 6 miles west of Houston where the existing freeway is reduced to 4 lanes, from Brookshire to the Brazos River.
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/06073201.htm (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/06073201.htm)

Estimate   $142,378,747.21   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $141,496,478.10   -0.62%   WILLIAMS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
Bidder 2   $142,921,883.90   +0.38%   JAMES CONSTRUCTION GROUP, L.L.C.
Bidder 3   $146,660,739.22   +3.01%   BALFOUR BEATTY INFRASTRUCTURE, INC.
Bidder 4   $149,830,396.24   +5.23%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 5   $152,474,810.66   +7.09%   WEBBER, LLC


The next section section going west is slated for bidding in August 2018, 9.7 miles estimated at $233 million.
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2018/austin.htm#027102055

At $25 million per mile, the 38 miles from Brookshire to Coluimbus is going to cost around $1 billion.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: nexus73 on July 08, 2017, 06:33:40 PM
Too bad we can't make it a national priority to upgrade I-10 to a 6-lane minimum across the continent.  It is the only coast to coast freeway that can be figured to be open during the winter.  Lots of truck traffic, tourists and regional interurban travel takes place on I-10. 

Rick
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 09, 2017, 05:11:50 PM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA.

Whether it can be built soon or not for many years, it's very easy to justify a 3-3 upgrade for all of rural I-10 between Houston and San Antonio. The other thing that is very easy to justify: upgrading all of US-290 between Houston and Austin to Interstate quality, even 3 lanes in both directions the whole way.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: sparker on July 09, 2017, 09:09:08 PM
Too bad we can't make it a national priority to upgrade I-10 to a 6-lane minimum across the continent.  It is the only coast to coast freeway that can be figured to be open during the winter.  Lots of truck traffic, tourists and regional interurban travel takes place on I-10. 

Rick
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA.

Whether it can be built soon or not for many years, it's very easy to justify a 3-3 upgrade for all of rural I-10 between Houston and San Antonio. The other thing that is very easy to justify: upgrading all of US-290 between Houston and Austin to Interstate quality, even 3 lanes in both directions the whole way.

From about Kerrville west to the I-20 merge there just isn't enough I-10 traffic to warrant 3 + 3.  However, west from there all the way to at least AZ 85 west of Phoenix there is ample traffic for such a widening.  But Houston-SA is a good start; the current facility is definitely substandard to handle the levels of traffic that it does, particularly along the narrower-than-usual segments through some of the towns (Flatonia, I'm looking at you!).  And I fully agree with Bobby's call for an Austin-Houston Interstate -- but something tells me TxDOT might utilize TX 71 for that just because it involves less mileage -- and much of such a facility could be laid atop the current alignment.  Unfortunately, that would just add to the wear & tear on I-10 east of Columbus; my preference would also be for something along 290 -- or a "hybrid" via Bastrop and TX 21, and using US 290 east of there.     
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on July 10, 2017, 09:37:14 AM
The improved sight lines and elevation changes have done wonders for I-35. I expect the same for I-10 from SAT to HOU. East of HOU I-10 is three to Winnie. And in Louisiana from Vinton through Lake Charles. So eventually though two sections will merge.

With I-35 wrapping up, TxDot will turn more attention to I-10.

As regards 290 between AUS and HOU. I do not know why after all of these years, its not a priority with TxDot. In the space of time, the "highway of death" State 195 from Killeen to Georgetown has been rebuilt to almost interstate levels yet nothing done to 290.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Henry on July 10, 2017, 10:09:13 AM
Seeing that there's almost nothing between Houston and San Antonio, I really don't see any need for a six-lane I-10 outside those areas. But it would be very worthwhile.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 10, 2017, 11:03:59 AM
Seeing that there's almost nothing between Houston and San Antonio, I really don't see any need for a six-lane I-10 outside those areas. But it would be very worthwhile.
Perhaps for now the only 6 lane sections needed would be between I-410 in San Antonio and TX 130 and between Brookshire and TX 71
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on July 10, 2017, 11:44:10 AM
Seeing that there's almost nothing between Houston and San Antonio, I really don't see any need for a six-lane I-10 outside those areas. But it would be very worthwhile.

 Traffic from the SAT and HOU metropolitan areas necessitates the third lane in each direction.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Chris on July 10, 2017, 12:05:42 PM
The AADT is only around 30,000 on the middle section between Seguin and Columbus. It doesn't exceed 60,000 until you reach the Katy area.

http://www.txdot.gov/apps/statewide_mapping/StatewidePlanningMap.html
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: nguyenhm16 on July 10, 2017, 12:20:12 PM
Seeing that there's almost nothing between Houston and San Antonio, I really don't see any need for a six-lane I-10 outside those areas. But it would be very worthwhile.
Perhaps for now the only 6 lane sections needed would be between I-410 in San Antonio and TX 130 and between Brookshire and TX 71

I drive the Houston-Columbus segment a lot (as well as 290, and many of the back roads in Fayette/Colorado/Austin/Bastrop counties), and this is correct.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: ukfan758 on July 11, 2017, 11:25:22 AM
The AADT is only around 30,000 on the middle section between Seguin and Columbus. It doesn't exceed 60,000 until you reach the Katy area.

http://www.txdot.gov/apps/statewide_mapping/StatewidePlanningMap.html

If it wasn't such a major interstate and between two cities, I would probably support just adding trucklanes/3+3 for 2 to 3 miles every 10-20 miles. Considering the two cities are growing, therefore more commerce between them, it really does need to be 3+3 the entire distance.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: mwb1848 on July 11, 2017, 03:07:08 PM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA.

I assume you're referring to extending I-40 along CA 58. That highway includes at least one section which is 2-lane and undivided, has at least one at-grade intersection with a state highway, and an at-grade crossing with a railroad. I don't think it's a fair comparison to a fully four-laned I-10 in West Texas which has a few at-grade crossing with unpaved local roads and driveways.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 11, 2017, 05:24:13 PM
Plans are in progress to convert CA-58 into an Interstate quality facility around Hinkley. Similar plans are in the works for Kramer Junction. It won't be long before all of CA-58 between Barstow and Mojave is all Interstate quality. Any expressway-grade segments will be easy to upgrade.

The section of CA-58 between Tehachapi and the CA-223 junction would be really difficult to upgrade fully to Interstate standard (and get I-40 extended to Bakersfield and even I-5). Some of the grades are too steep (never mind the fact a huge number of big rig trucks and other traffic take this road anyway). There is a lot of gravel access roads and driveways spilling out onto CA-58, very much in the same manner as those gravel driveways along I-10 in West Texas. Those driveways are one of the primary reasons why I-40 may never be signed through there.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Duke87 on July 11, 2017, 10:35:03 PM
The AADT is only around 30,000 on the middle section between Seguin and Columbus. It doesn't exceed 60,000 until you reach the Katy area.

http://www.txdot.gov/apps/statewide_mapping/StatewidePlanningMap.html

But as has been stated, the issue is not the traffic counts on an ordinary day, it's the traffic counts on weekends. AADT, because it is simply an annual average, does not capture this phenomenon and indeed masks it when it is relied upon too heavily as the single metric by which to determine whether a road is operating within capacity.

It would be helpful to look at what the daily traffic is at various percentile levels. Or, to keep it simple, at what specifically the average daily traffic is Fri/Sat/Sun/Hol only.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: sparker on July 12, 2017, 12:34:52 AM
Plans are either in progress to convert CA-58 into an Interstate quality facility around Hinkley. Similar plans are in the works for Kramer Junction. It won't be long before all of CA-58 between Barstow and Mojave is all Interstate quality. Any expressway-grade segments will be easy to upgrade.

The section of CA-58 between Tehachapi and the CA-223 junction would be really difficult to upgrade fully to Interstate standard (and get I-40 extended to Bakersfield and even I-5). Some of the grades are too steep (never mind the fact a huge number of big rig trucks and other traffic take this road anyway). There is a lot of gravel access roads and driveways spilling out onto CA-58, very much in the same manner as those gravel driveways along I-10 in West Texas. Those driveways are one of the primary reasons why I-40 may never be signed through there.

I discussed the points stated (particularly as concerns side-road access) above in two threads in the SW region; "CA-58 Hinkley Bypass Project", reply #113, and "Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor", reply #117.  In reality, the grades and curvature on CA 58 between CA 223 and Tehachapi aren't that much different than on I-80 between Colfax and Yuba Gap.  Some carving out of the mountainside to allow a bit of an inside shoulder in the Tehachapi Loop area might be required; most of the remainder would be likely to qualify for terrain waivers (if necessary).
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: codyg1985 on July 12, 2017, 08:25:28 AM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA.

I would also argue that I-10 along most of the Florida panhandle wouldn't be justified to be three lanes in each direction yet.. I would definitely see it as a priority between Pensacola and San Antonio. Also, widen the entire length of I-12.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: sparker on July 12, 2017, 04:16:31 PM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA.

I would also argue that I-10 along most of the Florida panhandle wouldn't be justified to be three lanes in each direction yet.. I would definitely see it as a priority between Pensacola and San Antonio. Also, widen the entire length of I-12.

From my experience, I-10 could use a third lane in each direction from Tallahassee east to its Jacksonville terminus (and possibly even 4+4 east of I-75 -- or at least periodic additional lanes for slower trucks).  And I concur that I-12 has enough (slow) truck traffic to warrant 3+3 along its entire length; there's plenty of "chemical coast" traffic coming out of Houston and environs that turns north on I-59.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: plain on July 12, 2017, 09:27:58 PM
I don't see much of a need for I-10 to be widened through much of Texas either. I spent a week & a half in San Antonio and the entire east side of the city south of the I-35 corridor barely had traffic to speak of (even on I-410) and the stretch between Houston and SA was pretty light once I got out of the Houston metro.

I do say that the portion from I-12 to I-65 could be widened to 6 lanes though (outside of the already 6 & 8 lane portion in the Gulfport-Biloxi region of course) but that's a lot easier said than done with the obvious environmental issues. I've never been to Florida as the closest I've came was Mobile so I can't speak on that.

SM-S820L

Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: codyg1985 on July 13, 2017, 07:26:42 AM
I do say that the portion from I-12 to I-65 could be widened to 6 lanes though (outside of the already 6 & 8 lane portion in the Gulfport-Biloxi region of course) but that's a lot easier said than done with the obvious environmental issues. I've never been to Florida as the closest I've came was Mobile so I can't speak on that.

There are a few high-rise bridges along I-10 in Mississippi which would make widening rather expensive, but MDOT is creeping along east of Biloxi with widening.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on July 17, 2017, 12:54:54 PM
I do say that the portion from I-12 to I-65 could be widened to 6 lanes though (outside of the already 6 & 8 lane portion in the Gulfport-Biloxi region of course) but that's a lot easier said than done with the obvious environmental issues. I've never been to Florida as the closest I've came was Mobile so I can't speak on that.

There are a few high-rise bridges along I-10 in Mississippi which would make widening rather expensive, but MDOT is creeping along east of Biloxi with widening.

There is a lot of traffic on I-10 no matter what statics say. One can say the same about I-35, but thank goodness they expanded it to three lanes with a fourth lane built in for future use.

The I-10 bridge in Lake Charles is slated for replacement and you can guess it will be three lanes at least on each side.

I do not believe truck traffic is counted in population statics and that's what creates the stop and gos in the middle of nowhere Texas between two major metropolitan centers.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: codyg1985 on July 17, 2017, 01:49:43 PM
I do say that the portion from I-12 to I-65 could be widened to 6 lanes though (outside of the already 6 & 8 lane portion in the Gulfport-Biloxi region of course) but that's a lot easier said than done with the obvious environmental issues. I've never been to Florida as the closest I've came was Mobile so I can't speak on that.

There are a few high-rise bridges along I-10 in Mississippi which would make widening rather expensive, but MDOT is creeping along east of Biloxi with widening.

There is a lot of traffic on I-10 no matter what statics say. One can say the same about I-35, but thank goodness they expanded it to three lanes with a fourth lane built in for future use.

The I-10 bridge in Lake Charles is slated for replacement and you can guess it will be three lanes at least on each side.

I do not believe truck traffic is counted in population statics and that's what creates the stop and gos in the middle of nowhere Texas between two major metropolitan centers.

Typically trucks are counted and there is a factor included in the traffic count information which shows the percentage of trucks and heavy vehicles.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 08, 2018, 08:44:44 PM
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/08083201.htm (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/08083201.htm)

Bids were opened today on the next section to be widened to 3x3, 10.2 miles from the Brazos River to west of Sealy.

It's an expensive job with the low bid of $317.5 million, or $31 million/mile, and 4.8% above estimate.

Estimate   $303,003,725.27   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $317,508,658.52   +4.79%   WEBBER, LLC
Bidder 2   $318,849,499.48   +5.23%   WILLIAMS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
Bidder 3   $326,380,527.70   +7.72%   FLUOR HEAVY CIVIL, LLC
Bidder 4   $340,535,018.06   +12.39%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 5   $346,686,800.41   +14.42%   BALFOUR BEATTY INFRASTRUCTURE, INC.


Observations
* This is a rare case when a bidder underbid Williams Brothers when WB is playing to win. WB already is working on the adjacent section to the east, so you would think the nearby presence would have lowered their cost
* The Brazos River bridge is included in this job and is shown as 4x4 in the plans. It is unclear if the existing bridge will be widened or replaced. The plans mention bridge demolition, so it is probably replacement.
* Looking at the plans, this entire section has near-continuous frontage roads (except for the Brazos bridge and BNSF RR) and it appears that all frontage roads will be rebuilt, and also widened in Sealy. So I'm thinking this is the main reason why the job is so expensive
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Anthony_JK on August 09, 2018, 11:25:46 AM
In Louisiana, there's already a working project to widen I-10 to 3x3 from the I-49 interchange in Lafayette to the base of the Atchafalaya River Basin viaduct, along with completing the 3x3 widening from Cooley Bayou near Vinton to the Sabine River Bridge at the Texas state line (which is wide enough for 3x3 but currently striped for 2x2). I wouldn't be surprised if within 10-20 years all of I-10 was 3x3 all the way from TX to the Atchafalaya Basin and from BTR through NOLA (with even wider lengths through BTR and NOLA).

Widening the Basin segment would be a bear due to the existing bridges across the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel, and that rest area in the median at Butte la Rose. But, it would be a fine idea, since the only alternative would be to upgrade US 190 from the I-49 interchange at Opelousas to at least the LA 415 interchange near Lobdell/Port Allen to freeway standards....and I can't see Port Barre, Krotz Springs, or Livonia giving up that sweet speed trap funding.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: jbnv on August 09, 2018, 02:03:18 PM
I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

As for US 190, it could work as an alternate route if the TX 12 / LA 12 / US 190 corridor were expressway all the way from Vidor to Baton Rouge.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on August 09, 2018, 03:12:23 PM
I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

As for US 190, it could work as an alternate route if the TX 12 / LA 12 / US 190 corridor were expressway all the way from Vidor to Baton Rouge.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: longhorn on August 09, 2018, 03:14:50 PM
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/08083201.htm (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/08083201.htm)

Bids were opened today on the next section to be widened to 3x3, 10.2 miles from the Brazos River to west of Sealy.

It's an expensive job with the low bid of $317.5 million, or $31 million/mile, and 4.8% above estimate.

Estimate   $303,003,725.27   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $317,508,658.52   +4.79%   WEBBER, LLC
Bidder 2   $318,849,499.48   +5.23%   WILLIAMS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
Bidder 3   $326,380,527.70   +7.72%   FLUOR HEAVY CIVIL, LLC
Bidder 4   $340,535,018.06   +12.39%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 5   $346,686,800.41   +14.42%   BALFOUR BEATTY INFRASTRUCTURE, INC.


Observations
* This is a rare case when a bidder underbid Williams Brothers when WB is playing to win. WB already is working on the adjacent section to the east, so you would think the nearby presence would have lowered their cost
* The Brazos River bridge is included in this job and is shown as 4x4 in the plans. It is unclear if the existing bridge will be widened or replaced. The plans mention bridge demolition, so it is probably replacement.
* Looking at the plans, this entire section has near-continuous frontage roads (except for the Brazos bridge and BNSF RR) and it appears that all frontage roads will be rebuilt, and also widened in Sealy. So I'm thinking this is the main reason why the job is so expensive

Could be expensive because they will use concrete. Even on the access roads like they did on I-35 rebuild between Temple and Waco.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: nolia_boi504 on August 09, 2018, 04:32:18 PM
Will I-10 west of Katy Mills be built over major cross streets, as opposed to the akward exit and collection areas required when the cross stress jump over the highway?

Cane Island interchange is god awful, especially the north side with the traffic circle.

The I-10 overhaul project to the east of Grand Parkway did a much better job rebuilding the interchanges to what I like to think of as Texas standard.

Nexus 5X

Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: jbnv on August 09, 2018, 06:12:21 PM
I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: DJStephens on August 10, 2018, 06:00:49 PM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA. 

   The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections. 
    There are also ranch access gates in the ranch property area of I-10 between Tucson, and Benson, AZ.   
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: nexus73 on August 10, 2018, 08:45:04 PM
4 lanes in each direction sets up well for handling a lot of truck traffic in the right two lanes while allowing for 80+ MPH travel in the left two lanes.  This is the kind of setup I would like to see on I-5 between I-580 and SR 99.  Let the traffic roll and flow in the empty spaces of the West!

Rick
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Plutonic Panda on August 15, 2018, 01:27:10 AM
There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA. 

   The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections. 
    There are also ranch access gates in the ranch property area of I-10 between Tucson, and Benson, AZ.
Regardless of the costs, they need to either build interchanges or collector roads that lead to interchanges no matter how rural the area is. Standards should be followed.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Anthony_JK on August 15, 2018, 01:17:21 PM
I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.


The existing wide median between the roadway structures would be suitable for widening from the inside to at least 3x3,  but you would then have to deal with replacing the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel structures where the median disappears to a concrete divider, as well as the Butte la Rose rest area inbetween the structures just before the main Atchafalaya River channel crossing. Also, the median crossovers would have to be reconstructed, although the way I see it, it presents a perfect opportunity to convert them to grade-separated crossovers.

With I-10 being widened to 3x3 (and 4x4 through Baton Rouge and New Orleans) everywhere else in most places, I find it inevitable that there will be some push to widen the Atchafalaya Basin section. The only alternative would be to freewayize US 190 from the I-49 interchange in Opelousas to at least the LA 415 connector at Lobdell, if not the LA 1 connector at Port Allen near the old Mississippi River Bridge. I don't think that towns like Port Barre, Krotz Springs, Livonia, or Erwinville would like the idea of having their main speed trap revenue cows taken away from them...let alone the issue of controlling access on that road.

Of course, some would say that I-49 South would effectively become I-10's "bypass" when completed.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 15, 2018, 01:46:23 PM
Quote from: DJStephens
The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections.

I think at the very least they should come up with some other solutions. One idea is building gravel/dirt frontage roads flanking the main lanes of I-10. Those could connect to other paved frontage road segments that do exist. Or they can do what is proposed for spots of I-69E and I-69C in South Texas: short length frontage roads with functional on/off ramps & acceleration lanes, creating a safer RIRO for those access points.

Whether the ranch access gates get used frequently or not they do pose a danger every time they are used. Ranchers should not be entering the freeway directly from a dirt road, especially a road (or driveway) that connects perpendicular to the highway, forcing hard right turns.

The thru traffic on I-10 out there is traveling at 80mph or significantly faster than that depending on how bad someone is speeding. 80mph is 117.3 feet per second. That's a football field in under 3 seconds. If some rancher is making a hard right turn onto I-10 from some gravel/dirt road he has to take extreme precautions to wait for a big enough gap in traffic before attempting to turn onto the highway. It takes more than a few seconds to go from a dead stop, turn right and then get up to highway travel speed. Many of these ranchers are hauling trailers behind their pickups, which greatly increases the time it takes to make a turn and speed up to the flow of traffic. God forbid the guy hops one set of lanes to jump over to make a left turn. Imagery in Google Earth clearly shows this is happening in some spots.

Ranchers may be used to dealing with those hazards, but other non-farmer types driving I-10 don't have the practice. Going 80mph or more it will be difficult for them to suddenly slow down for someone making a hard turn onto the highway in front of them. And that's even if they anticipate something like that could happen. Most people driving on freeways don't expect pickups entering out of nowhere from some gravel road. Normal Interstate exits have room to accelerate on the on ramps or have acceleration lanes at the end of the on ramps. These ranch access things have none of those safety features.

The terrain along I-10 in West Texas is pretty irregular. The highway is far from perfectly straight. If one of these ranch access roads is around a bend then visibility to I-10 traffic will be blocked within so and such many seconds of the turn. Trees, bushes and hills add to the visibility problems. That's one of the factors that makes all the gravel road off-shoots on CA-58 in California so potentially hazardous.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: wxfree on August 15, 2018, 03:46:33 PM
TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/report/0512/trtp_appendix_e_district.pdf.pdf

That's a list.  Here's a map.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/el_paso.pdf
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: TXtoNJ on August 15, 2018, 04:28:22 PM
I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.


The existing wide median between the roadway structures would be suitable for widening from the inside to at least 3x3,  but you would then have to deal with replacing the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel structures where the median disappears to a concrete divider, as well as the Butte la Rose rest area inbetween the structures just before the main Atchafalaya River channel crossing. Also, the median crossovers would have to be reconstructed, although the way I see it, it presents a perfect opportunity to convert them to grade-separated crossovers.

With I-10 being widened to 3x3 (and 4x4 through Baton Rouge and New Orleans) everywhere else in most places, I find it inevitable that there will be some push to widen the Atchafalaya Basin section. The only alternative would be to freewayize US 190 from the I-49 interchange in Opelousas to at least the LA 415 connector at Lobdell, if not the LA 1 connector at Port Allen near the old Mississippi River Bridge. I don't think that towns like Port Barre, Krotz Springs, Livonia, or Erwinville would like the idea of having their main speed trap revenue cows taken away from them...let alone the issue of controlling access on that road.

Of course, some would say that I-49 South would effectively become I-10's "bypass" when completed.


It'll happen within the next 25 years, if only because the structure will be approaching 75 years old at that point, under constant corrosion from the brackish water.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: sparker on August 15, 2018, 09:29:13 PM
TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/report/0512/trtp_appendix_e_district.pdf.pdf

That's a list.  Here's a map.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/el_paso.pdf

I don't suppose there's any equivalent plans to address the grade crossings on I-40 in the western Panhandle?
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: wxfree on August 15, 2018, 09:48:57 PM
TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/report/0512/trtp_appendix_e_district.pdf.pdf

That's a list.  Here's a map.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/el_paso.pdf

I don't suppose there's any equivalent plans to address the grade crossings on I-40 in the western Panhandle?

No.  The only at-grade intersection eliminations on the list are the ones in Hudspeth County.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 15, 2018, 10:44:48 PM
That's at least a start. But there's a whole bunch of other gravel driveways along I-10 farther East well past the split with I-20. They're fairly frequent between Van Horn and Junction. They don't really stop completely until just East of Kerrville. Many of them look improvised, just wheel ruts coming off the highway. Few are like the signed at-grade crossings on I-40 in the Texas Panhandle.

I guess some farmers and ranchers are so used to hopping directly onto the main lanes of I-10 from a gravel driveway that they'll even do it from the frontage roads. I-10 doesn't get very far Northwest out of metro San Antonio before there's clear evidence of that happening. The first example I spotted is just West of Exit 537 (Business US-87/Main St in Boerne).
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: wxfree on August 15, 2018, 11:19:03 PM
I remember a few places where a frontage road ends at a private drive, and instead of backtracking along the frontage road to the next ramp, it's obvious people drive directly to the freeway lanes, while there is a "Keep off median" sign and a cable barrier to prevent illegal crossing, but that barrier ends just at the end of the frontage road, making room for the illegal maneuver.  They build those long barriers and then end them 20 or 30 feet short of actually being effective.  You could almost get the impression it's a form of unofficial tolerance.
Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: MaxConcrete on September 27, 2018, 12:03:20 AM
The public meeting for the expansion around Columbus showed plans for a major realignment of IH 10 at the Colorado River crossing to elminate curves in the area.

Alternative 1 will result in the abandonment of about 1.3 miles of the existing interstate. Alternative 2 abandons around 1 mile. Work is slated to begin in 2022.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html (https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html)

Title: Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
Post by: DNAguy on September 27, 2018, 10:30:02 AM
The public meeting for the expansion around Columbus showed plans for a major realignment of IH 10 at the Colorado River crossing to elminate curves in the area.

Alternative 1 will result in the abandonment of about 1.3 miles of the existing interstate. Alternative 2 abandons around 1 mile. Work is slated to begin in 2022.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html (https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html)

Oh wow. The slow and steady march of 3 lanes all the way from SA to Houston and from Houston to SA continues.

Makes sense and it totally warranted. Having traveled this stretch many times this is needed badly.

Quick travel hack for those traveling from SA or Austin and going to the Soutwest side of Houston (like Missouri City, Sugar Land, Richmond, etc) or possibly the west side if there's a significant enough wreck on I10:

Take FM102 just east of Columbus to Eagle Lake and then take US 90 Alternate to Spur 10 to 59/69. FM102 is actually kind of nice in some areas (trees, cows, etc).

On Sundays you can totally bypass the back-ups in Sealy and avoid the tolls of either SH99 or the Beltway.