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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: In_Correct on August 09, 2020, 12:17:10 AM

Title: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: In_Correct on August 09, 2020, 12:17:10 AM
Towns along The Interstate 35, such as Pauls Valley, Marietta, Valley View, and Sanger are chopped in half by rail roads.

Particularly in Valley View, you can see the rail road while driving on The Interstate 35 with out even exiting The Interstate 35. It is unusual to see rail road crossings so very close to an Interstate. With the crossings very close, it makes it feel like there would be a rail road crossing on the Interstate it self even if it technically does not cross the Interstate.

For several years, The Interstate 35 has been planning the addition of more lanes.

According to this, it looks like they ran out of space:

https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/wfs/i35ea/092817-fact-sheet.pdf

They have also wanted to have the rail road realigned, or risk realigning The Interstate 35 ( and in most alternatives with out any frontage roads ... ?! ) , for that reason.

And also for the additional reason be cause people are stuck in traffic:

A. waiting on trains or

B. going through Denton.

https://www.gainesvilleregister.com/community/i-35-proposed-expansion-on-its-way-from-denton-county/article_47d7291e-bed1-11e4-8b9f-478c97b53c02.html

https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/wfs/i35/feasibility-study-2007.pdf

Quote
The City of Valley View has three at grade railroad crossing locations: FM 922, Krahl
Road, and Hockley Creek Road. The crossing at FM 922 is of particular concern.
There is only sixty feet between the railroad crossing bars and the IH 35 northbound
frontage road intersection with FM 922. Because FM 922 is a major school bus
route, this distance is not adequate. A school bus barely fits between the crossing
gates and the stop bar, which creates serious safety concerns. Citizens also regularly
experience waits in excess of 30 minutes to cross the tracks and have expressed a
desire for the project to study the possibility of one or more grade separated
crossings of the BNSF railroad.

Despite the traffic problems, the denizens changed their minds and protested instead, and the rail road realignment is canceled.

https://www.gainesvilleregister.com/news/txdot-presents-alternatives-for-railroad/article_b3bed634-a544-11e7-9249-53f826c335da.html

https://www.gainesvilleregister.com/news/valley-view-residents-protest-railroad-proposal/article_68f46bf8-c0da-11e7-975a-ef6e96cdfbde.html

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/wichita-falls/i35-cooke-county.html

That link is updated regularly, so here is the quote:

Quote
TxDOT is working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. to conduct the Environmental Assessment.  A meeting to present to the public and collect comments on the proposed changes in the realignment of the BNSF rail line within the Valley View section as well as the proposed changes in access at 3rd Street in Valley View, Texas was held on Sept. 28, 2017. At that time TxDOT presented alternatives and collected comments on the rail alignment alternatives. In late 2019, the BNSF rail alignment option was removed in its entirety and is no longer being considered with this project.

Quote
In late 2019, the BNSF rail alignment option was removed in its entirety and is no longer being considered with this project.

That is very disappointing. I really hate the at grade rail road crossings. One of my favourite projects is grade separating them.

With the B.N.S.F. realignment canceled, Will The New Interstate 35 now have to be realigned instead?

...

And yet there is this:

https://www.lemonspublications.com/single-post/2019/11/18/BNSF-Railway-proposing-1000-acre-facility-between-Sanger-and-Valley-View
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: stridentweasel on August 09, 2020, 01:19:13 AM
I really hate the at grade rail road crossings.

I don't think anybody likes at-grade rail crossings.

Quote
One of my favourite projects is grade separating them.

$$$$$$$
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: Road Hog on August 09, 2020, 01:31:13 PM
Lots of towns are bisected by railroads. If itís a small town with one fire station, itís a problem getting to the other side sometimes. Only way to fix it is to build a viaduct or relocate the railroad line, neither of which is often practical. Or open a second emergency center on the opposite side.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: rte66man on August 09, 2020, 03:54:27 PM
Towns along The Interstate 35, such as Pauls Valley, Marietta, Valley View, and Sanger are chopped in half by rail roads.
<snipped>

In both cases, the vast majority of town is west of the tracks.  I don't believe I've seen a town anywhere in TX or OK with a railroad that doesn't have one part or another on either side of the tracks.  Many moons ago, that division was also usually economic; hence the expression "lives on the wrong side of the tracks".
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: Brian556 on August 09, 2020, 11:31:17 PM
Yep, this is a huge problem on this line in particular. They stop on a siding in towns and block all crossings for long periods of time while another trains passes. It is very unfair to motorists, and is a danger to public safety because it blocks emergency vehicles from responding to calls. Basically, BNSF is a big bully that gets away with it because railroads are given too much power and preference. Really, all towns on that line need a grade separation. They also could reduce crossing blockage time by putting sidings in rural areas for passing, and them prohibit stopping in towns. That line, called the Ft Worth Sub in TX, and the Red Rock Sub in OK, is very busy and probably needs to be double tracked for its entire length. Europe is way ahead of us in this regard, they are worlds better about having grade separations in towns and cities.

Also, think about it this way: As the population has increased, we have expanded the highways and built new ones. The railroads are basically the same as they always have been. Thats why this problem is so bad.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: ethanhopkin14 on August 10, 2020, 09:25:43 AM
Particularly in Valley View, you can see the rail road while driving on The Interstate 35 with out even exiting The Interstate 35. It is unusual to see rail road crossings so very close to an Interstate. With the crossings very close, it makes it feel like there would be a rail road crossing on the Interstate it self even if it technically does not cross the Interstate.

I-35 from Salado to almost Waco parallels a railroad track.  In the old days of the 2-lane version of I-35, the railroad felt like it was right off the interstate.  Probably still unique, but to me as a kid going from Austin to Dallas, I thought it was normal. 
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: Brian556 on August 10, 2020, 09:55:52 PM
This just came out. FM 407 with RR grade separation planned in Justin:https://www.crosstimbersgazette.com/2020/08/10/txdot-holding-virtual-public-meeting-about-fm-407-study/?fbclid=IwAR29DTe74JfOCCJBAdzmXdXyyag1aSrQA_1PtXPZ5HGAuAXWZPQsefh-Wxs (https://www.crosstimbersgazette.com/2020/08/10/txdot-holding-virtual-public-meeting-about-fm-407-study/?fbclid=IwAR29DTe74JfOCCJBAdzmXdXyyag1aSrQA_1PtXPZ5HGAuAXWZPQsefh-Wxs)
(https://www.crosstimbersgazette.com/crosstimbersgazette/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Screen-Shot-2020-08-10-at-11.21.53-AM.png)
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: bwana39 on August 14, 2020, 12:22:48 AM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to teh railroad.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: Brian556 on August 14, 2020, 09:34:45 PM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to teh railroad.

In Valley View, FM 1307 is the OLD US 77, and it runs about 2.5 blocks west of the tracks, and I-35 runs much closer. So, the only section of I-35 in the Valley View area that is build over the OLD US 77, and is right beside the tracks, is the very short section from the cemetery north to Hockley Creek Rd
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: In_Correct on August 22, 2020, 01:00:49 AM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to teh railroad.

In Valley View, FM 1307 is the OLD US 77, and it runs about 2.5 blocks west of the tracks, and I-35 runs much closer. So, the only section of I-35 in the Valley View area that is build over the OLD US 77, and is right beside the tracks, is the very short section from the cemetery north to Hockley Creek Rd

Basically the U.S. Highways often have a parallel rail line outside of towns. When they run through towns, they usually split.

How ever, B.N.S.F. in the surrounding area is usually quite far from U.S. 77 and Interstate 35.

Interstate 35 should have been constructed west of Valley View, not east. And now they have a widening project that will run in to the B.N.S.F. line.

So how are they going to be able to widen Interstate 35?
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: rte66man on August 22, 2020, 02:57:07 PM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to the railroad.

In Valley View, FM 1307 is the OLD US 77, and it runs about 2.5 blocks west of the tracks, and I-35 runs much closer. So, the only section of I-35 in the Valley View area that is build over the OLD US 77, and is right beside the tracks, is the very short section from the cemetery north to Hockley Creek Rd

Basically the U.S. Highways often have a parallel rail line outside of towns. When they run through towns, they usually split.

How ever, B.N.S.F. in the surrounding area is usually quite far from U.S. 77 and Interstate 35.

Interstate 35 should have been constructed west of Valley View, not east. And now they have a widening project that will run in to the B.N.S.F. line.

So how are they going to be able to widen Interstate 35?

If TxDOT hadn't given up on rerouting 35 due north from just north of Sanger to pass west of both Valley View and Gainesville then we wouldn't need this discussion.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: motorola870 on August 27, 2020, 09:45:01 AM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to the railroad.

In Valley View, FM 1307 is the OLD US 77, and it runs about 2.5 blocks west of the tracks, and I-35 runs much closer. So, the only section of I-35 in the Valley View area that is build over the OLD US 77, and is right beside the tracks, is the very short section from the cemetery north to Hockley Creek Rd

Basically the U.S. Highways often have a parallel rail line outside of towns. When they run through towns, they usually split.

How ever, B.N.S.F. in the surrounding area is usually quite far from U.S. 77 and Interstate 35.

Interstate 35 should have been constructed west of Valley View, not east. And now they have a widening project that will run in to the B.N.S.F. line.

So how are they going to be able to widen Interstate 35?

If TxDOT hadn't given up on rerouting 35 due north from just north of Sanger to pass west of both Valley View and Gainesville then we wouldn't need this discussion.

Honestly would it be that hard to route the southbound lanes west of Valley View and make the current route northbound? leave the service roads and it would allow for an eventual dual pair of 4 lanes each direction without having to acquire more land in town. I mean yeah it may be more expensive but ROW looks still open on westside to couple the freeway from just south of the cemetery to the south side of the city. They could even just convert the existing 4 lane bridges to northbound only but then that would just be more work down the road with having to get the 16 ft 2 in clearance TXDOT recommends on all new builds. The bridges were built during the initial routing of I35 and the only work I see is they have filled in the center median to make the existing bridges wider compared to the original designs. It is mind boggling that they won't allow a reroute of the rail road through the city. There is not an amtrak stop for the heartland flyer which uses the corridor. My question is if they do have to reroute the freeway around the city what to do with the existing 4 lane setup. Making it a business 35 with exits seems overkill for a small town. Honestly an another scenario I see is making express style lanes that go around the city with a 2 and 2 setup that tie into the widened freeway that have no exits and keep exiting traffic on the existing route. Or they pull a double decker through the corridor which is really unfeasible as the bridges will need to be replaced down the road.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: bugo on August 31, 2020, 06:57:55 AM
Lots of towns along the KCS railroad are split in two. Mena, Heavener, Hatfield (there is an overpass for US 71 there, but it does not connect the two sides of town), Cove and probably a bunch of others in the area.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: In_Correct on August 31, 2020, 01:35:19 PM
I-35 is just an expanded US-77. It was not unusual for the US-Highways to run immediately adjacent to railroads.

So now the interstate runs immediately adjacent to the railroad.

In Valley View, FM 1307 is the OLD US 77, and it runs about 2.5 blocks west of the tracks, and I-35 runs much closer. So, the only section of I-35 in the Valley View area that is build over the OLD US 77, and is right beside the tracks, is the very short section from the cemetery north to Hockley Creek Rd

Basically the U.S. Highways often have a parallel rail line outside of towns. When they run through towns, they usually split.

How ever, B.N.S.F. in the surrounding area is usually quite far from U.S. 77 and Interstate 35.

Interstate 35 should have been constructed west of Valley View, not east. And now they have a widening project that will run in to the B.N.S.F. line.

So how are they going to be able to widen Interstate 35?

If TxDOT hadn't given up on rerouting 35 due north from just north of Sanger to pass west of both Valley View and Gainesville then we wouldn't need this discussion.

Honestly would it be that hard to route the southbound lanes west of Valley View and make the current route northbound? leave the service roads and it would allow for an eventual dual pair of 4 lanes each direction without having to acquire more land in town. I mean yeah it may be more expensive but ROW looks still open on westside to couple the freeway from just south of the cemetery to the south side of the city. They could even just convert the existing 4 lane bridges to northbound only but then that would just be more work down the road with having to get the 16 ft 2 in clearance TXDOT recommends on all new builds. The bridges were built during the initial routing of I35 and the only work I see is they have filled in the center median to make the existing bridges wider compared to the original designs. It is mind boggling that they won't allow a reroute of the rail road through the city. There is not an amtrak stop for the heartland flyer which uses the corridor. My question is if they do have to reroute the freeway around the city what to do with the existing 4 lane setup. Making it a business 35 with exits seems overkill for a small town. Honestly an another scenario I see is making express style lanes that go around the city with a 2 and 2 setup that tie into the widened freeway that have no exits and keep exiting traffic on the existing route. Or they pull a double decker through the corridor which is really unfeasible as the bridges will need to be replaced down the road.

Those people who protested against routing the rail road realignment probably watched Return To Green Acres, a reunion movie that is based on a colour programme and the producers knew it before editing the "old" footage to make it look black and white for the movie's opening. Other than an unrealistic chase of Arnold through New York City, it is about a bunch of people in Hooterville that ran the land and road developers out of town by attempting to demolish the hotel they were staying in. Ever since, it has be came a genre of its own.

But the few people who shut down the attempts to reroute the B.N.S.F. further east of Valley View where it belongs (and provide room for Grade Separation) are only a few people. The rest of the town seems to want the Grade Separation and The Realignment.

The only proposals that were realigning Interstate 35 west of Valley View left out Frontage Roads (!) and was objected by The I.S.D. ... They want the grade separation for their bus route, but not like that.

I have not ever seen a town in between the median of an Interstate. They might double deck the Interstate. ...

Since I can not find any new information, and since no body has typed any new information ...

One possibility that I would like is putting a bridge over the B.N.S.F. in Spring Creek Road. There is plenty of room for a Bridge as well as plenty of room for Interstate Expansion.

Also with F.M. 922, if the B.N.S.F. is not realigned, they will need to build a much taller bridge for Interstate 35, and elevate part of F.M. 922, and elevate the Frontage Roads. Or perhaps B.N.S.F. will be so kind to elevate the rail road instead.

It seems much easier to move the B.N.S.F. rail road further East, and build the bridge there so they won't have to build the endless road construction.

Lots of towns along the KCS railroad are split in two. Mena, Heavener, Hatfield (there is an overpass for US 71 there, but it does not connect the two sides of town), Cove, and probably a bunch of others in the area.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hatfield,+AR+71945/@34.4823119,-94.3811528,26m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x87cb2a12c101b52b:0xfb1e25991a0525da!8m2!3d34.485662!4d-94.378547?hl=en

Taking Polk Road 141 or Polk Road 24 will end up at a bunch of winding roads, perhaps gravel, or not even roads ... yet they show up on the map. It might take hours to travel a short distance.
Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: bugo on August 31, 2020, 08:13:03 PM
Lots of towns along the KCS railroad are split in two. Mena, Heavener, Hatfield (there is an overpass for US 71 there, but it does not connect the two sides of town), Cove, and probably a bunch of others in the area.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hatfield,+AR+71945/@34.4823119,-94.3811528,26m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x87cb2a12c101b52b:0xfb1e25991a0525da!8m2!3d34.485662!4d-94.378547?hl=en

Taking Polk Road 141 or Polk Road 24 will end up at a bunch of winding roads, perhaps gravel, or not even roads ... yet they show up on the map. It might take hours to travel a short distance.

That would be a really long drive. CR 141 is old US 71, and the current road that is still in use doesn't go all the way to Sixmile Creek. I guess you could take Old Line Road and go through the tunnel on CR 25 east of US 71, but it would still be a long drive on narrow dirt roads.

Sometimes I drive through Heavener and the train is stopped on the track right next to the casino/c-store on the north side of town. I've seen the train stopped and cars parked at the crossing, waiting for the train to eventually move. They have a lot more patience than I do. There is a small, narrow 1 lane underpass about 4 miles north of Heavener, but it would be impractical in an emergency. Mena would really be screwed if a really long train (or series of trains) were blocking all of the crossings in the area. The first underpass to the south is at Hatfield, and the first one to the north is the one north of Heavener unless I'm forgetting one. The railroad should be forced to build viaducts across the tracks in these towns. They cause the delays, and there is no benefit to the person who is delayed, so KCS should pay for it.

Mena used to be a KCS hub, and switch trains were constantly blocking the crossings in town. Since they moved all of the operations to Heavener, the switch trains disappeared. Now, the trains that come through are usually going pretty fast and they don't hold up traffic for too long. Up into the mid-1980s, the lone crossbuck at the Mena Street (AR 88/former AR 8/former US 59/former US 71) crossing was mounted in between two tracks. It had lights, but if the train were on the track nearest you, you couldn't see the crossbuck or the flashing lights. No gates, of course. I remember when the only crossings in town that had lights were what is now AR 8 and AR 88. The rest of the crossings had crossbucks, but no warning lights or bell. Things were a little bit rougher around the edges in the 1980s than they are now.

Title: Re: Valley View And Sanger Are Chopped In Half
Post by: MaxConcrete on September 09, 2020, 07:33:10 PM
The updated schematic is now available for the upcoming public meeting

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/wichita-falls/091520.html (https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/wichita-falls/091520.html)

I compared the new schematic to the 2018 schematic. The only significant change I noticed is at Valley View, where the railroad remains in place.

The 2018 schematic designates the BNSF railroad as "To be abandoned". Of course, the topic of this thread is that it is no longer going to be abandoned.

Now, 4x4 freeway main lanes and 2x2 frontage roads barely fit on the available right-of-way.

I'm glad to see that TxDOT has maintained 4x4 main lanes on this entire 22-mile section; nothing has been reduced to 3x3. Also, the 2x2 one-way frontage roads are continuous without interruption for the entire length.

This is going to be expensive. The UTP lists the work at $675 million. All work is slated for award in the 2021-2024 period except for $136 million for the work at Valley View, which is slated for the 2025-2030 period.