AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed  (Read 26621 times)

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2016, 11:44:50 AM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Towns like Atoka would need new terrain bypasses. I think there are similarities with the I-69 upgrade of US-59 in East Texas and US-69 in Oklahoma. There's just a lot more political will to get I-69 done. US-69 in Oklahoma is getting upgraded to Interstate quality in very small segments. ODOT is about to do one project between Colbert and Durant.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 11:48:10 AM by Bobby5280 »
Logged

ethanhopkin14

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 383
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Last Login: August 21, 2019, 10:15:45 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2016, 12:13:04 PM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I disagree that TxDOT doesn't have the man power or resources to be landlords.  They had no problem staffing people to do all sorts of useless jobs for TTA ( a TXDOT offshoot) when they were building the toll roads.  I should know, they were a client of my old company's.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 12:17:51 PM by ethanhopkin14 »
Logged

Avalanchez71

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Middle Tennessee
  • Last Login: September 02, 2019, 05:12:17 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2016, 02:08:16 PM »

What is the traffic count like?  Why build I-27 into downtown just for the heck of it?  Building over empty vacant lots and parking lots is problematic.  Just ask Louisville, KY about this.  Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Logged

NE2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13866
  • fuck

  • Age: 11
  • Location: central Florida
  • Last Login: September 14, 2019, 04:59:57 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2016, 02:48:02 PM »

Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Today's Repubs took the Jim Crowers, dumbshit.
Logged
Florida route log | pre-1945
I will do my best to not make America hate again.
Global warming denial is barely worse than white privilege denial.

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2016, 03:52:51 PM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There also has to be a significant benefit for building what would be a very expensive highway project. Amarillo has about 200,000 people. There is a lot of traffic on I-40, but not nearly as much on US-287 going North out of there. A lot of Northbound traffic already uses Loop 335 to bypass downtown. My own experiences of driving through downtown Amarillo have not been bad. The traffic lights are timed pretty well. Traffic isn't jammed up there hopelessly like it is in some other much larger Texas cities. It would probably cost at least $1 billion or even more to build a combination of tunnels and bridges through downtown Amarillo and connecting to the existing Dumas Drive freeway on the North side of town. The price tag would probably be considerably higher due to all the political problems, lawsuits and other crap that would delay the project for years. Inflation on construction costs seems to never have any end to it.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 11:03:40 AM by Bobby5280 »
Logged

dfwmapper

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 651
  • Location: DFW
  • Last Login: September 12, 2019, 01:30:34 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2016, 05:16:09 PM »

I said the problem works both ways.  They either buy right of way and do nothing with it forcing people not to build and 30 years go by and nothing has been done and the place looks like a war zone.  Or plan to buy the right of way, don't, then say they now can't buy it because it's too expensive. What I would like is somewhere in the middle. Like, say, buy the right of way and then build the road on it?  I don't know.  Sounds too simple to me.
Both buying the ROW and building the road take money. Each year TxDOT gets a budget from the state and decides how to allocate it. If you have money to do one or the other but not both, then you have to make the decision of whether to buy ROW for the future (meanwhile letting traffic suck now), or expand now, but not have the ability to expand in the future because development drives up the cost of ROW acquisition.
Quote
I am not completely sure what being a red state has to do with it. Usually red states like to have good roads and blue states like to share everyone's money to build a new art gallery.
Red states, like Texas, very rarely vote to raise taxes. Let's throw around some fake numbers here. Say TxDOT has an annual budget of around $11 billion, and needs to spend say $35 billion over the next 5 years just doing maintenance work on the existing roads with no widening or other new construction, then they have $20 billion (55 minus 35) left for new construction. They might have $40 billion worth of projects they would like to build in that time. So, some stuff gets fully built, some stuff gets an EIS and design done but no construction, some gets ROW purchased, some gets built in an interim capacity, some gets built as toll projects by either TxDOT themselves, regional toll authorities (NTTA, HCTRA), regional mobility authorities (CTRMA), or by private companies like Cintra, and some just doesn't happen at all. There just isn't enough money to go around, and voters are unlikely to raise taxes on gas, property, general sales, or even worse, implement an income tax (and will probably toss anyone who suggests that out on their ass). This results in things like Prop 1, which reallocated money from the gas/oil rainy day fund, and Prop 7, which takes excess money from the general sales tax as well as vehicle sales and rental taxes. No new money coming in, just putting what's already there into a different pocket. It has helped push forward a bunch of projects, but isn't a long-term solution, especially for Prop 1 if the price of oil continues to be low. Proper funding would require increasing the gas tax and probably linking it to inflation, but again, red state.
Quote
To what you said about Texas building for the future, I guess you don't remember the I-35 Austin to San Antonio project (widening 4 lanes to 6).  All the bridges needed to be retro-fitted for an extra lane because TxDOT built them originally as narrow as they could.  No point building any more than you need, huh?  I see the same thing all over the state. I-10 will need to go from 4 lanes to 6 lanes soon from Brookshire (west end of the Houston 6 lane section) to at least Sealy because the San Antonio-Houston traffic is so bad.  And again, all the bridges on I-10 are way too narrow to just build another lane up to the bridge.  They have to waste our money retrofitting the bridge or completely demolishing it.
Most of those bridges date back to whenever the road was first built through that area, some back in the late 50s or earlier. There was no way to predict what kind of population growth that area would see 50 or 60 years later. Watch how they build in urban areas now where they expect future growth, and there's better planning going on.
Logged

Avalanchez71

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Middle Tennessee
  • Last Login: September 02, 2019, 05:12:17 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2016, 10:32:15 AM »

So where do you want I-27 to go, Boise City?
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2016, 11:16:23 AM »

Yeah. Boise City, and then keep following US-287 up to Lamar and Kit Carson, finally angling over to Limon and I-70. That's one of the legs of the Ports to Plains Corridor.

There are long term plans to upgrade US-287 North of Amarillo eventually to Interstate quality. TxDOT is currently trying to get some kind of decision from the town leaders in Dumas, TX for their preferred location of a new bypass TxDOT wants to build, at first as a limited access Super 2 facility with Interstate quality exits to upgrade later to full Interstate quality. Some local business people don't want any bypass at all, fearing it could kill business. Others want the bypass in Dumas thinking TxDOT could relocate the future I-27 corridor significantly farther East or West of town, which would do much more damage to their local economy. TxDOT is demanding a decision ASAP because it would affect what they have to do in terms of street repairs through Dumas. The town's streets are getting pounded to oblivion by increasing levels of heavy truck traffic.
Logged

In_Correct

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 274
  • Location: TX
  • Last Login: Today at 07:32:35 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2016, 05:05:11 AM »

Oh and NE2 it was the Jim Crowe dems that were the ones that displaced neighborhoods back in the day not the red staters.
Today's Repubs took the Jim Crowers, dumbshit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

txstateends

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1081
  • Location: north TX, not far from an interstate interchange and a US terminus
  • Last Login: June 05, 2019, 11:30:28 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2016, 09:57:48 AM »

Logged
\/ \/ click for a bigger image \/ \/

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2016, 01:32:07 PM »

Various states (like Oklahoma) are going to have to stop sucking so much on a nearly dried up oil tit and look for other sources of funding for infrastructure. Lawmakers are going to have a difficult job switching from the usual game plan of funding cuts and tax cuts as political candy to voters and tell us idiot voters there is no free ride for our way of life.

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

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

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

As for Amarillo's bad planning, the city's downtown and one way streets pre-dated the two Interstate highways by many years. Very little can be done realistically with how I-27 dead ends in downtown Amarillo. Decommissioning I-27 through there might be a bit much. I think it would be just as good to rename it as a 3-digit Interstate, perhaps I-327. It's a similar arrangement to I-395 in Washington, DC. The main interstate gets re-directed onto the loop, leaving behind an Interstate quality spur.
Logged

mwb1848

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 194
  • Location: El Paso, TX
  • Last Login: August 08, 2019, 12:37:12 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2016, 06:51:41 PM »

Perhaps an elevated structure similar to Wichita Falls?

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

However, Amarillo is uniquely positioned have the best of both worlds. They can keep their current network (current I-27, US 87, US 287) which connects intracity traffic to Downtown, while providing intercity thru traffic with a better route (realigned I-27) around Downtown. You'd end up with a more appropriate way for north-south traffic to pass thru (around, really) Downtown, rather than shoehorning in an elevated facility which discourages pedestrian activity.
Logged

TXtoNJ

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 527
  • Last Login: September 11, 2019, 02:06:25 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2016, 12:12:11 PM »

Roadgeek completionism is never a good-enough reason to build an urban freeway.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2016, 08:59:48 PM »

Ultimately the cost to benefit ratio just wouldn't pan out for tunneling and/or bridging I-27 through downtown Amarillo. I'm not sure if there's really even enough traffic going North of Amarillo to build out I-27 in that direction currently. In the near term Interstate quality bypasses could be justified for towns like Dumas and Boise City. At least get the routes planned and perhaps ROW secured for some kind of interim approach (frontage roads with a big median, Super 2 with exits, etc.). That's better than doing nothing until the traffic counts justify the Interstate extension. But without any forward looking plan (and ROW acquisition) development would swallow up the desired corridors making future upgrades a whole lot more expensive.
Logged

rte66man

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1101
  • Location: Warr Acres, OK
  • Last Login: September 13, 2019, 04:07:27 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2016, 09:07:48 PM »

Ultimately the cost to benefit ratio just wouldn't pan out for tunneling and/or bridging I-27 through downtown Amarillo. I'm not sure if there's really even enough traffic going North of Amarillo to build out I-27 in that direction currently. In the near term Interstate quality bypasses could be justified for towns like Dumas and Boise City. At least get the routes planned and perhaps ROW secured for some kind of interim approach (frontage roads with a big median, Super 2 with exits, etc.). That's better than doing nothing until the traffic counts justify the Interstate extension. But without any forward looking plan (and ROW acquisition) development would swallow up the desired corridors making future upgrades a whole lot more expensive.

There is already a (sorta) Super-2 bypass of Boise City.
Logged
When you come to a fork in the road... TAKE IT.

                                                               -Yogi Berra

In_Correct

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 274
  • Location: TX
  • Last Login: Today at 07:32:35 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2016, 01:46:19 PM »

Decreased state funds slow Loop 335 progress

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

So that means it is still happening, but is going to take twice as long before it is finished. If they take any longer to finish it, then Amarillo's population will be half a million people.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2016, 03:34:52 PM »

I'm hoping the federal government will have a truly renewed interest in infrastucture following the November elections. What I mean by that is actually having a real strategy for transportation to move people and business more efficiently. Politicians only seem willing to sell efforts like this as a "jobs program," which is pretty stupid. Only so many people are going to work on a highway project. But a properly functional transportation system can help businesses create more jobs.

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

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

Dumas is arguably the biggest and most tricky town to bypass North of Amarillo. There might be just enough ROW in place to squeeze an Interstate through Cactus, TX along the current alignment. Stratford would need a modest bypass to the West.
Logged

Scott5114

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8140
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Norman, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 06:36:44 AM
    • Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2016, 10:36:20 PM »

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

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

rte66man

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1101
  • Location: Warr Acres, OK
  • Last Login: September 13, 2019, 04:07:27 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2016, 10:54:39 PM »

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


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

 :clap: :clap: :clap:
Logged
When you come to a fork in the road... TAKE IT.

                                                               -Yogi Berra

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2016, 12:24:33 AM »

Boise City might be a little "blink and you miss it" burg of a town, but the same tired, old short-sighted ODOT pooch screws can still materialize along corridors in towns of any size. Some blowhard insists on building his new business right up close to a highway, sticking his main entrance driveway out into the main lanes of the highway. Someone equipped with a backbone would tell the guy to build his building at least so many feet away from the ROW of the highway to provide room for future road expansion. There's VERY FEW people in Oklahoma making decisions on transportation that have anything at all resembling a backbone. They're all a bunch of push-over blobs of sludge.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4931
  • Last Login: September 14, 2019, 01:44:50 PM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2016, 08:29:12 AM »

I know that NYSDOT's influence on access management is a bit sporadic.  Sometimes, NYSDOT has a big say in what happens with driveways and whatnot and other times not so much.  Of course, NY is one of those states where the levels of bureaucracy (Whose project is this?  Who owns the road?  What does the law say?  Who's paying for it and what rules come along with the funding?) come into play, big time.

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

Just saying that it may not be spineless DOT employees being the main factor in poor access management decisions.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2016, 11:04:01 AM »

I'm not putting all the blame of spineless policy on ODOT. Apologies if it appeared that way. The blame for stupid corridor policy goes higher up to state lawmakers and city government leaders. They're the blithering idiots who have no "big picture" view for that state's future transportation needs.

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

Another sad thing is these idiot local and state politicians are only too happy to let ODOT and OTA take all the blame for the piss poor planning when the blame really needs to go to these elected morons.
Logged

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1035
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Last Login: Today at 10:48:41 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2016, 02:24:40 AM »

The thing about is they need to make sure the land is there to build the highway to connect with Highway 9. I support them connecting it as they are doing now to the airport, but they also can buy land and preserve future developments to connect it which is what they should do.
Logged

Bobby5280

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 02:18:27 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2016, 12:16:49 AM »

ODOT and various towns in the Greater Metro OKC area don't have the foresight to do anything like that. Earlier today I was at a friend's party in Mustang. More and more development is taking place there, pretty much random with no control. There appears to be no rhyme or reason where any of it is going. It's just classic sub-urban sprawl. I think they're letting these whole neighborhood sized chunks filled with McMansions plop down just where ever any developer chooses regardless if there is any water/sewage service connection, electrical power or even Internet back bone. Build homes first. Worry about the other details later. And worry about horrible traffic jams that are in the cards way way way down the calendar many years later.
Logged

In_Correct

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 274
  • Location: TX
  • Last Login: Today at 07:32:35 AM
Re: Amarillo: new I-27/Loop 335 project proposed
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2016, 04:59:02 AM »

I just watched a BigRigTravels or Big Rig Travels video called "U.S. Highway 287 going though downtown Amarillo" (or something like that) also U.S. 87 and U.S. 60. (The same road) I got to see the trench (northbound carriageway, either Buchanan or Filmore) that goes under the edge of the rail yard. It looks very nice and provides an example of what the rest of the highway would like if it was trenched. It's too bad. If they are going to dig two of the carriageways under a rail yard (and the other two carriageways are bridges going over the railroad) instead of bypassing the rail yard, then they ought to have trenched everything else.

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

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

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


Post Merge: November 19, 2016, 05:17:29 AM
And upon closer inspection of the map, I am now very annoyed.

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

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

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

« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 05:17:29 AM by Scott5114 »
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.