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Author Topic: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor  (Read 10639 times)

Grzrd

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Another possible I-x02 is SH 68, which, as shown in this Handout from a September 9, 2014 Meeting, will provide an eastern connection from I-2 to I-69C
(above quote from Interstate 2 thread)
With all the population growth taking place in the far South end of Texas it's pretty obvious TX-DOT really needs to start thinking about the long term possibility of building a South loop relief highway for I-2 ...
Here you go: http://www.hcrma.net/sh365.html
Thanks! ... Seems like a "I-202" type of thing to me.
(above quotes from I-69 in TX thread)
The Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority ("HCRMA") and TxDOT will hold a public hearing regarding SH 365 on May 26
(above quote from Interstate 2 thread)

At its May 28 meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission ("TTC") issued a Minute Order in which it agreed to provide $127,935,262 in financial assistance for the construction of Segments 1 and 2 of the SH 365 project:

Quote
In accordance with §27.53 of the toll equity rules, the HCRMA has submitted a request for $127,935,862 in financial assistance, in the form of a grant, to cover certain costs of constructing Segments 1 and 2 of the State Highway 365 project ....
IT IS THEREFORE DETERMINED that the request for financial assistance in the form of a grant submitted by the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority meets the applicable requirements of 43 TAC § §27.53 and 27.54(a) and, in accordance with those provisions, and as an exception to the requirements of Minute Order 112605, the commission grants preliminary approval of the request for financing in an amount not to exceed $127,935,262, to cover certain costs of constructing Segments 1 and 2 of the State Highway 365 project, from west of FM 396 (Anzalduas Highway) and extending east and south to US 281 (Military Highway) in Hidalgo County.

I have previously posted about SH 365 and SH 68 in the Interstate 2 thread, primarily because they can be viewed as potential I-x02s.  These two projects, as well as a third project, the International Bridge Trade Corridor ("IBTC"), will provide a combined eastern bypass of I-69C and southern bypass of I-2 when completed. This snip of a slide from a Sept. 26, 2013 South Texas TTC meeting presentation provides a good visual of the relationship among these three projects with I-69C and I-2 (p. 11/22 of pdf):



As indicated above, the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority ("HCRMA") is proceeding with SH 365  Also, these snips of HCRMA's Project Development Schedules indicate that the IBTC is not too far behind, with project lettings for both the IBTC and SH 365 currently scheduled for Dec. 2015:




In addition, this Sept. 25, 2014 TxDOT SH 68 public meeting presentation includes a project schedule with a February-May, 2016 bid letting (p. 7/21 of pdf):



Since these three projects are not really Interstate 2 projects and developments regarding these three projects should dwarf Interstate 2 developments in the next few years, I decided to start a new thread about these three projects in order to avoid confusion with Interstate 2.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:58:55 PM by Grzrd »
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MaxConcrete

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 10:52:54 AM »

I was not aware that so much was planned in the Valley. I have my doubts that any of these toll roads can be financially successful in that region, since the Valley is among the poorest regions in the United States and is more like Mexico in the United States. I'm thinking that financial plans must be contingent on truck traffic.

To clarify the projects, the yellow section is SH 365 segments 1-3, and purple is IBTC segments 1-3. There is a more detailed map
http://www.hcrma.net/maps/2012-06-23%20HCRMA%20PROJ%20MAP%20%2824X36%29%20%283%29.pdf

My perception is that SH 68 will be built with frontage roads only in its first phase. There were numerous speakers protesting its alignment at a recent TxDOT commission meeting, but it seems like the alignment is still be adjusted, which may explain why it is so curvy.
 
 

Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 09:09:12 AM »

At its May 28 meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission ("TTC") issued a Minute Order in which it agreed to provide $127,935,262 in financial assistance for the construction of Segments 1 and 2 of the SH 365 project

This TV video reports that construction will soon begin on the SH 365 toll road, and that it is the first step in an eventual 120 mile loop in Hidalgo County:

Quote
The Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority said construction of a new state highway will begin.
State Highway 365 will be a toll road, connecting the Pharr International Bridge with the Anzalduas Port of Entry.

Officials said the environmental phase for State Highway 365 was cleared by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The 13-mile stretch of highway will be built just off of San Juan Road near the Pharr International Bridge.
"Right now we have limited mobility in the county," said Pilar Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority. "In the east-west direction, we have Interstate 2, formally known as Expressway 83 and in the north-south direction, we have Interstate 69 which was formally known as U.S. 281 and that's pretty much the only... way to get to and throughout the county, and this works on expanding that."
The new route will be non-stop and available to the public. It will be specifically designed to facilitate transportation for the produce and maquiladora industry ....
Passenger cars will be charged 20 cents per mile to use the toll road. Commercial vehicles will have to pay 50 cents per mile.
"It will be all... electronic tolling, so you won't have to physically stop and pay a toll," Rodriguez said. "You'll just get on it and we'll either use a transponder, also known as a toll tag, or we'll read your license plate and send you a bill." ....
Pilar Rodriguez said the cost for the new state highway is $245 million dollars. It's part of a bigger project that will eventually turn into 230 [video says 120] Mile Highway Loop System.
The first phase of the project will start in late fall or early winter. Full construction is expected to start between 12 and 16 months.
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2015, 10:43:44 AM »

I was not aware that so much was planned in the Valley. I have my doubts that any of these toll roads can be financially successful in that region ... I'm thinking that financial plans must be contingent on truck traffic.
The Texas Transportation Commission has posted a July 29 TxDOT Interstate Corridor Planning - Prioritization of Corridor Studies presentation ... a slide comparing congestion in 2013 to estimated congestion in 2040 (p.5/13 of pdf)
(bottom quote from Texas thread)

Below are snips from the congestion comparison.  Of the two maps, the one on the left is 2013 and the one on the right is 2040:



I suppose that Hidalgo County and TxDOT officials believe that the expected increase in periodic and regular congestion along I-2 and I-69C warrants the construction of the new projects in this area and that truck traffic will be willing to pay tolls to avoid the traffic.
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 05:18:04 PM »

this Sept. 25, 2014 TxDOT SH 68 public meeting presentation includes a project schedule with a February-May, 2016 bid letting (p. 7/21 of pdf):
My perception is that SH 68 will be built with frontage roads only in its first phase. There were numerous speakers protesting its alignment at a recent TxDOT commission meeting, but it seems like the alignment is still be adjusted, which may explain why it is so curvy.

It looks like the speakers protesting SH 68's alignment will have their views studied in an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") process. The August 28 Federal Register states that an EIS will be prepared for SH 68, after the Environmental Assessment ("EA") process indicated that a full-blown EIS would be necessary:

Quote
... TxDOT will prepare an EIS for the proposed SH 68 from I-2/US 83 to I-69C/US 281, listed in the 2015—2040 Hidalgo County Metropolitan Transportation Plan as a 4-lane divided rural highway facility with the potential for main lanes and overpasses. There is no existing facility; therefore, the project is proposed on new location.
The purpose of the project is to improve north/south mobility, increase travel capacity for local and regional traffic, and provide an alternate north-south evacuation routes during emergency events. The project need is a lack of sufficient north/south mobility for local and regional traffic and for additional emergency evacuation routes, which are the result of historical and continuing growth in the region's population as well as continued growth of traffic in the region.
The significance of impacts for the proposed SH 68 project was initially uncertain, so the process began by preparing an environmental assessment (EA). Based on preliminary analysis and feedback from the public, it was determined that an EIS should be prepared. The EIS will incorporate information collected during the EA process; in addition, public input gathered during the development of the EA will be considered in the EIS process. The EIS will develop and evaluate a range of alternatives including “No-action” (the no-build alternative), Transportation System Management (TSM)/Transportation Demand Management (TDM), rapid transit and roadway build alternatives ...

I also suppose that the timetable for the initial bid letting, if any, will be pushed back a couple of years.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 09:16:10 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2016, 03:29:07 PM »

This article provides updates on SH 365 and the IBTC, with estimates that SH 365 will be completed in thirty months and that the IBTC will be completed in 2020:

Quote
Plans for a 120-mile loop of new highways within Hidalgo County are slowly approaching fruition. If all goes well, travelers will have several alternate, less congested routes by 2020 ....
Pilar Rodriguez, executive director of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority ....
One of three sections of SH 365 is set to break ground Feb. 2 near San Juan as part of the project's first phase, Rodriguez said. Work on that segment will take about 18 months, he added.

Two of Hidalgo County’s six points of entry — the Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge and the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge — are equipped to handle commercial trucks. Rodriguez said SH 365 was proposed to help move those trucks.
“The purpose of this road is to get traffic from the ports of entries into the county — and through the county — eventually to connect to I-69 Central or to I-69 East,” he said.
The highway will span a little more than 13 miles between Mission and San Juan, according to Rodriguez. However, it won’t be free for travelers.
“It’s going to have main lanes, overpasses, frontage roads, so it’s going to look a lot like Interstate 2 — formerly known as Expressway 83,” he said. “It’d look a lot like that from a functional standpoint. The only difference is that this will be a toll road and an overweight corridor.”
The tolls, among other things, will help the HCRMA pay off the $250 million in development costs.
The latter feature will allow overweight trucks to use the highway. This type of commercial vehicle is heavier than Texas’ limit of 80,000 pounds. SH 365 would accommodate trucks weighing up to 125,000 total pounds, which Rodriguez believes would offer several benefits to drivers.
“For every two overweight trucks that you get on the road, you eliminate one truck because they can carry more capacity,” he said. “As we get more overweight trucks on the road, using our facility, you should see a reduction in legal weight trucks because they’re actually able to carry more. In theory, that should mean fewer trucks on the road.”

The HCRMA issued 14,400 permits for overweight trucks last year, which Rodriguez finds promising.
At its eastern end, SH 365 will meet with the International Bridge Trade Corridor, which splits into a “wishbone,” as Rodriguez likes to call it.
The International Bridge Trade Corridor is the next step in the multi-billion-dollar endeavor, Rodriguez said. The road will connect the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge to the Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge. The 13-mile stretch will also connect to Interstate 2 between Donna and Alamo.

The highway’s design is about halfway done, but are pending environmental clearance among other things, Rodriguez said. He also stated that the HCRMA is about $150 million short to complete this road’s plans, but he is optimistic.
“I think we’ll get that money,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time, going through the process and jumping through hoops. A lot of it just takes time.” ....
With SH 365 estimated to take 30 months to complete and the IBTC  scheduled for completion in 2020, the entire loop will take time to become a reality.
Rodriguez believes it will pay off for drivers of all sorts.
“This facility is primarily meant to give the driver an alternative. Because it’s a toll facility, people don’t have to use it. They can use all the free roads. But a lot of free roads are congested, so there’s a lot of time delay,” he said. “So if you’re moving time-sensitive commodities like vegetables, products that have to get to a particular market at a particular time, then you’ll have the option to use the toll road where time is money.”
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 03:33:21 PM by Grzrd »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2016, 04:24:14 PM »

Anyone want to go to Fictional Highways, and give these toll roads Interstate designations?
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2016, 12:48:13 PM »

This article provides updates on SH 365 and the IBTC, with estimates that SH 365 will be completed in thirty months and that the IBTC will be completed in 2020:
Quote
Pilar Rodriguez, executive director of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority ....
One of three sections of SH 365 is set to break ground Feb. 2 near San Juan as part of the project's first phase, Rodriguez said. Work on that segment will take about 18 months, he added.

This February 2 article reports on the groundbreaking for the first section of SH 365 and reports that the second, 13.3 mile, section is scheduled to be let in August:

Quote
Hidalgo County officials gathered Tuesday to commemorate the groundbreaking of a massive project intended to better prepare the Rio Grande Valley for commercial trade — State Highway 365.
The first official groundbreaking is the first of many steps toward the completion of a $2 billion project intended to create a smooth flow of commercial traffic passing through the Rio Grande Valley from Mexico ....
The beginning phase involves building a 2-mile overpass at the intersection of Military Highway and San Juan Road. The overpass will also be connected to the Pharr international port of entry and the Border Safety Inspection Facility, explained Pilar Rodriguez, executive director of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority.
“We are connecting at the outbound side of the (Border Safety Inspection Facility),” Rodriguez said. “That’s basically the last facility that trucks have to go through inspection before they are allowed to leave the port. That’s where they do all the safety inspections.”
This first portion of the project is slated to cost $19.4 million in construction only, which was covered by state funding, Rodriguez said. The RMA spent $4.45 million getting the area “shovel ready.”
The contract for the overpass was awarded last December to Foremost Paving Inc. Rodriguez said RMA estimates this portion should be completed in 18 months, but the construction company is positive about being able to finish in 13 months instead, Rodriguez said.
This is only a small portion of a master plan called the Hidalgo County Loop System, a 120-mile long system that is expected to be completed in 25 to 30 years, Rodriguez said. This includes the State Highway 365, State Highway 68, the U.S. 83 Relief Route and the International Trade Bridge Corridor ....
The overpass segment is part of State Highway 365 and will be rolled out in two phases. The second phase, which connects the loop to the Anzalduas International Bridge, is scheduled to go out for bids in August, Rodriguez said. It’s a 13.3-mile project expected to cost about $165 million.
“We are hoping to have the contracts awarded in around October of 2016,” he said. “Hopefully, we can turn dirt in November, December or January.”
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andy3175

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 10:21:00 AM »

Is there any plan to offer a direct connection between the southern end of I-69C freeway (at I-2/US 83) and the international border? The map I see above seems to suggest the routes to the border will require a new belt route of sorts. I'd wondered if I-69C was intended to continue all the way to the border or not.
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 11:09:12 AM »

Is there any plan to offer a direct connection between the southern end of I-69C freeway (at I-2/US 83) and the international border? The map I see above seems to suggest the routes to the border will require a new belt route of sorts. I'd wondered if I-69C was intended to continue all the way to the border or not.

Here is prior discussion of the issue:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3624.msg2035826#msg2035826

To make a long story short, the Congressional designation extends I-69C directly to the border, TxDOT has no current plans to extend I-69C from the I-2 interchange directly to the border, and lordsutch has put forth a plausible theory (conforming to the Congressional statutory language) that it can be considered as already having an "unsigned" indirect extension to the border.

Also, TxDOT did not include the potential border to I-2 interchange direct segment of I-69C in its October 2013 US 281/US 59 Planning and Feasibility Study - Interstate (I-69C).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 04:13:52 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2016, 03:27:34 PM »

My perception is that SH 68 will be built with frontage roads only in its first phase. There were numerous speakers protesting its alignment at a recent TxDOT commission meeting, but it seems like the alignment is still be adjusted, which may explain why it is so curvy.
It looks like the speakers protesting SH 68's alignment will have their views studied in an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") process. The August 28 Federal Register states that an EIS will be prepared for SH 68, after the Environmental Assessment ("EA") process indicated that a full-blown EIS would be necessary

TxDOT has posted a SH 68 Notice of Public Scoping Meeting for March 15:

Quote
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will hold a Public Scoping Meeting for State Highway 68 (SH 68) to allow the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed project’s purpose and need, draft coordination plan, and other relevant project information. The Public Scoping Meeting will be held in an open house format between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., on March 15, 2016 at the Donna North High School located at 7250 N. Val Verde Rd., Donna, TX 78537. No formal presentation will be given, but project staff will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. Attendees are invited to come and go at their convenience.
Currently, the project is described in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as a four-lane divided rural highway facility with future main lanes and overpasses in eastern Hidalgo County from US 83/IH 2 to US 281/IH 69C. The facility described in the MTP and STIP has a total project length of approximately 22 miles.
The purpose of the project is to improve north/south mobility, increase travel capacity for local and regional traffic, and provide an alternate north-south evacuation route during emergency events. The project need is a lack of sufficient north/south mobility corridors for local and regional traffic and for additional emergency evacuation routes, which are the result of historical and continuing population and traffic growth in the region.
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 09:42:11 AM »

TxDOT has posted a SH 68 Notice of Public Scoping Meeting for March 15

TxDOT has posted the Initial Study Corridor Map, which depicts the five corridor alternarives:



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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 11:05:29 AM »

TxDOT has posted a SH 68 Notice of Public Scoping Meeting for March 15

TxDOT will host a Public Meeting providing an update on SH 68 on January 3, including the reasonable alternatives that will be advanced:

Quote
Purpose:   The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is hosting a Public Meeting for State Highway 68 (SH 68) to update the public on the project’s history, status, and next steps, including the presentation of the reasonable alternatives being advanced for further evaluation.
....
Description: .... The project is described in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as a four-lane divided rural highway facility with future main lanes and overpasses from US 83/IH 2 to US 281/IH 69C for a total project length of approximately 22 miles.
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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »

TxDOT will host a Public Meeting providing an update on SH 68 on January 3, including the reasonable alternatives that will be advanced

TxDOT held its Public Meeting on January 3, which, among the materials, included a presentation of reasonable alternatives (p. 3/6 of pdf):

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Grzrd

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Re: South Texas: SH 365, SH 68 and International Bridge Trade Corridor
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 03:17:48 PM »

TxDOT held its Public Meeting on January 3, which, among the materials, included a presentation of reasonable alternatives (p. 3/6 of pdf)

TxDOT has selected a route for SH 68 and the schematics can be found here. In addition, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is also included.

This April 5, 2018 TV video reports on a public meeting about SH 68.
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