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Author Topic: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed  (Read 26449 times)

txstateends

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Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« 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.




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.


Comparing how Loop 335 between I-27 and Soncy is now, with how it will look afterward.


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.


The report doesn't mention whether this proposal is considered part of the Ports-to-Plains corridor projects, or independent of those.
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Chris

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #1 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

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #2 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.
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aboges26

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #3 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.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #4 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.
 
 

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 08:23:47 AM »

Perhaps an elevated structure similar to Wichita Falls?

Bobby5280

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #6 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).
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Scott5114

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2015, 01:36:01 PM »

It would probably be an even number since it would end at I-40.
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dfwmapper

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 03:03:10 AM »

I(H)-27E
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txstateends

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 11:37:24 AM »

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MaxConcrete

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #10 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

Solicitation
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
 
 

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2016, 01:27:51 PM »

TxDOT launched a new website for the Loop 335 freeway conversion: http://www.theamarilloloop.com/

aboges26

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 10:01:58 PM »

TxDOT launched a new website for the Loop 335 freeway conversion: http://www.theamarilloloop.com/



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.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 10:19:32 PM by aboges26 »
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DJStephens

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #14 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?? 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 04:14:30 AM by DJStephens »
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In_Correct

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #15 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.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #16 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:
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DJStephens

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #17 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?   
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 11:46:54 AM by DJStephens »
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #18 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?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 12:45:11 PM by ethanhopkin14 »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #19 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.
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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #20 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:
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #21 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.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #22 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.
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In_Correct

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #23 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:
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #24 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.
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