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Author Topic: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg  (Read 1819 times)

mwb1848

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Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« on: June 21, 2017, 12:39:54 PM »

It's not uncommon to hear about multi-vehicle crashed on Interstate 10 between Lordsburg and Road Forks, N.M., caused by intense dust storms. This week's, though, was one of the most dramatic and deadliest in recent memory:

http://www.kvia.com/news/el-paso/truck-driver-describes-deadly-dust-storm-haunted-by-death-of-infant/554300585

For those who aren't familiar, I-10 crosses a sandy, sparsely vegetated playa (intermittent lake bed) there.

While NMDOT has tried many things from closing the highway in bad weather to enhanced signage to planting experimental vegetation to keep the dust down, this is a problem which, clearly, hasn't been solved yet.

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70  leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

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roadguy2

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 12:51:33 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.
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sparker

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 04:16:05 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

While technically US 70 is a more direct route to Phoenix, I-10 was built where it is (old AZ 86/NM 14) so as to access Tucson; it also follows the main UP (former SP) "Sunset Route" RR line, which, like most lines crossing mountains, took the path of least resistance regarding gradients.  The most troublesome grades on the route are at Steins Summit, which lies pretty much at the AZ/NM state line.  Also -- this is the lowest-altitude crossing of the Continental Divide (which actually occurs rather unremarkably well east of Steins) -- a fact exploited shamelessly by old SP brochures stating that their E-W crossing was the safest for passengers with respiratory problems! 
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 04:19:58 PM by sparker »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 04:19:08 PM »

Really there isn't much that can be done to get around that playa between Lordsburg and the state line.  The playa isn't that big but it is surrounded by mountains which would have really driven the cost of I-10 up.  The Willcox Playa is much larger but AZ 86 and later I-10 were built a little above it to the north on favorable terrain.  Really the Chichihaun Desert has just as many dust storms as the Sonoran does, usually they aren't as intense though. 

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 05:13:56 PM »

Actually....as I was writing the above post, I thought of something else unique to the area -- there actually is an even lower crossing of the local ranges than the original SP/I-10 route via Willcox -- the 2nd RR route originally built in the early 1900's by the El Paso and Southwestern, a railroad owned by the Phelps Dodge mining company.  It was built to provide an outlet for PD ores to both the east and west; El Paso was a "hinge point", with a line extending north/NE along now-US 54 to Tucumcari, turning north there to access PD coal mines near Maxwell (along I-25).  West of El Paso their line hugged the Mexican border through Columbus, then following what is now NM 9 to (then) US 80 (serving mines along the way), and US 80 (more or less) west from there through Douglas, AZ and up to the SP line at Benson.  It paralleled SP into Tucson, where it ended -- although initial plans were to take it across the desert to Puerto Penasco, Mexico (the west end of Mexican federal route 8), where a major offloading site was envisioned.  But after WW I, PD had a change of corporate direction, deciding to get out of the railroad business.  They leased-with-an-option-to-buy all their lines to Southern Pacific in 1924; SP was eager to get the Tucumcari line, since it interchanged with the Rock Island there, and provided a direct route into the central Plains states.  The additional line to Tucson was essentially "gravy" to SP, as it did serve a more populated section of Arizona (Bisbee, Douglas); they promptly rerouted most of their passenger trains via this route (longer than the original by about 40 miles) to get the additional traffic in addition to the lower gradients (which meant higher speeds for passenger service).  But that line also ran through a series of playas west of Columbus; it was prone to more dust storms than the original Lordsburg-Willcox route; most freight traffic remained on the original line.  SP purchased the line outright in 1940 -- primarily to rid itself of a codicil in the original lease that required locomotives on the line to use Phelps-Dodge coal as fuel (the rest of SP's steam fleet was oil-fired); all coal-firing locomotives acquired from EP&SW as part of the lease were either scrapped or relegated to local service; the few newer locomotives built specifically for coal use were converted to oil-burning (because of the onset of WW II, some weren't rebuilt until after the war).  Interestingly -- this line, while still EP&SW, was shut down for a time due to the Pancho Villa cross-border raids near Columbus in the early 1900's.

This southerly El Paso-Tucson line saw through use by SP passenger trains until the mid-60's, when, after the mines along the way played out, it was decided to downgrade the line for local service only (i.e., "deferred maintenance", including removal of block signaling).  The line east of Douglas, AZ to just west of El Paso was removed in the early 1980's; the remaining trackage west of there to Benson was retained to serve local agriculture.  From the time of acquisition in 1924, the two parallel lines between Benson and Tucson were operated as two one-way facilities in order to expedite traffic. 

Incidentally, the closing scenes of the film "Who'll Stop The Rain" (1978), including (spoiler alert!) the death of the main character played by Nick Nolte, were filmed along the old EP&SW tracks west of Columbus; viewing this film certainly gives one the idea of the desolate territory traversed by this rail line. 
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DJStephens

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 10:14:42 PM »

Neat slice of rail road history there, thanks for sharing. 
Regarding the dust storm - one has to wonder how so many drivers simply drove into the zero visibility wall of dust - while likely distracted or on their devices  Am guessing accident happened near the "Gage" exit 15 
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 10:16:57 PM by DJStephens »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 11:13:43 PM »

Neat slice of rail road history there, thanks for sharing. 
Regarding the dust storm - one has to wonder how so many drivers simply drove into the zero visibility wall of dust - while likely distracted or on their devices  Am guessing accident happened near the "Gage" exit 15

The Gage ghost town is off exit 62 at the end of the Safety Corridor.  Exit 11 for NM 338 is right in the middle of the playa in question.

mwb1848

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 11:46:02 AM »

Here's a little Google Map assistance:



NMDOT has a couple of cameras at MM 11 and 12 to monitor conditions.

http://m.nmroads.com/site.html?Cameras
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J N Winkler

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 11:45:51 AM »

Arizona has active signing (flashing lights to trigger a speed limit reduction from 75 to 45 MPH) on a length of I-10 just west of San Simon which is also prone to bad dust storms as a result of being cleared for agriculture.  NMDOT seems to be lagging in this regard since I saw nothing but static signing when I drove along I-10 last December.

Another approach that has been tried in the past, reportedly with some success on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson in (I think) the 1970's, is to build small embankments (about three feet high) next to the road to deflect dust.
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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 05:12:22 PM »

Another approach that has been tried in the past, reportedly with some success on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson in (I think) the 1970's, is to build small embankments (about three feet high) next to the road to deflect dust.

That's only going to prevent dirt from accumulating on the highway.  Same concept as a snow fence in colder climates.  It's not going to help with visibility, though.
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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2017, 04:52:19 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2017, 11:21:05 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.
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sparker

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 12:23:02 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 12:36:43 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.

Trouble is, does anything aside from Superior to Globe on US 60 really require an upgrade of any kind?  US 70 from Lordsburg all the way west to Globe is nothing but sparsely populated desert which mostly traverses the San Carlos reservation.  I've never had much issue taking a solid shortcut from Lordsburg to reach Phoenix via Globe with the present configuration.

sparker

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 04:18:57 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.

Trouble is, does anything aside from Superior to Globe on US 60 really require an upgrade of any kind?  US 70 from Lordsburg all the way west to Globe is nothing but sparsely populated desert which mostly traverses the San Carlos reservation.  I've never had much issue taking a solid shortcut from Lordsburg to reach Phoenix via Globe with the present configuration.

In reality, I doubt that a corridor along US 60 and US 70 via Globe and Safford will ever be seriously considered for a future Interstate; there's just not enough composite traffic from Phoenix to Las Cruces to warrant a "relief route" at this point -- plus the expense of constructing a Florence Jct.-Globe facility would likely be prohibitive in any case.  I've used this corridor several times, and haven't encountered much in the way of traffic, particularly east of Globe.  My comment re the numbering of such a route was just that -- addressing the numbering of a corridor that frankly would be more appropriate being discussed in Fictional rather than the regional pages.     
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 07:32:43 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.

Trouble is, does anything aside from Superior to Globe on US 60 really require an upgrade of any kind?  US 70 from Lordsburg all the way west to Globe is nothing but sparsely populated desert which mostly traverses the San Carlos reservation.  I've never had much issue taking a solid shortcut from Lordsburg to reach Phoenix via Globe with the present configuration.

In reality, I doubt that a corridor along US 60 and US 70 via Globe and Safford will ever be seriously considered for a future Interstate; there's just not enough composite traffic from Phoenix to Las Cruces to warrant a "relief route" at this point -- plus the expense of constructing a Florence Jct.-Globe facility would likely be prohibitive in any case.  I've used this corridor several times, and haven't encountered much in the way of traffic, particularly east of Globe.  My comment re the numbering of such a route was just that -- addressing the numbering of a corridor that frankly would be more appropriate being discussed in Fictional rather than the regional pages.     

Gotcha, I just felt like maybe a couple people throwing in the reality of US 60/70 east of Phoenix would steer this away from a fictional tangent that a lot of people who never have driven the area seem to want to take it.  Really the only part of US 60 that warrants continued upgrades is between Superior and Globe.  Apparently the Southeast District of ADOT is also building the expressway to the Superior town boundary at Silver King Road:

https://www.azdot.gov/projects/southeast/us-60-silverking-superior-streets

It looks like the passing lanes east of Globe have hit some snags due to difficultly blasting.  Really four-lanes has been something that has been debated with all the mining truck traffic for years.  The mountain terrain makes it incredibly difficult coupled with the fact that a lot of people live on US 60 itself in Top-of-the-World.

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2017, 08:48:55 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2017, 11:05:35 PM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.

Not over that distance, not to mention there is some pretty barren mountains once you get to New Mexico and western Texas.  Essentially that would be the land of 75 MPH 2-lane speed limits...which are justified.

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2017, 02:48:58 PM »

Neat slice of rail road history there, thanks for sharing. 
Regarding the dust storm - one has to wonder how so many drivers simply drove into the zero visibility wall of dust - while likely distracted or on their devices  Am guessing accident happened near the "Gage" exit 15

The Gage ghost town is off exit 62 at the end of the Safety Corridor.  Exit 11 for NM 338 is right in the middle of the playa in question.

You are correct.  Exit 15 is "Gary".  One has to wonder if there is actually a town there, or it is a ranch designation.   The wreck occurred on the westbound lanes just east of Exit 11, which is state road 338.  Passed through there last week, there was still debris along the roadway, including sections of aluminum truck trailers, and misc personal items, including clothing and coolers.   
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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2017, 11:20:19 PM »

Neat slice of rail road history there, thanks for sharing. 
Regarding the dust storm - one has to wonder how so many drivers simply drove into the zero visibility wall of dust - while likely distracted or on their devices  Am guessing accident happened near the "Gage" exit 15

The Gage ghost town is off exit 62 at the end of the Safety Corridor.  Exit 11 for NM 338 is right in the middle of the playa in question.

You are correct.  Exit 15 is "Gary".  One has to wonder if there is actually a town there, or it is a ranch designation.   The wreck occurred on the westbound lanes just east of Exit 11, which is state road 338.  Passed through there last week, there was still debris along the roadway, including sections of aluminum truck trailers, and misc personal items, including clothing and coolers.

Gary might be the name of a railroad siding. It seems that most place names that are in the middle of nowhere along a railroad are the names of the sidings.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2017, 02:35:02 AM »

Neat slice of rail road history there, thanks for sharing. 
Regarding the dust storm - one has to wonder how so many drivers simply drove into the zero visibility wall of dust - while likely distracted or on their devices  Am guessing accident happened near the "Gage" exit 15

The Gage ghost town is off exit 62 at the end of the Safety Corridor.  Exit 11 for NM 338 is right in the middle of the playa in question.

You are correct.  Exit 15 is "Gary".  One has to wonder if there is actually a town there, or it is a ranch designation.   The wreck occurred on the westbound lanes just east of Exit 11, which is state road 338.  Passed through there last week, there was still debris along the roadway, including sections of aluminum truck trailers, and misc personal items, including clothing and coolers.

Gary might be the name of a railroad siding. It seems that most place names that are in the middle of nowhere along a railroad are the names of the sidings.

Usually there was a small collection of buildings that went along with it though.  Usually western rail sidings generally leave some trace ruins that can be found if they never really grew to be a real town.  The odd thing is that with "Gary" I can't find a single reference to it anywhere but Goggle Maps.  Not even ghosttowns.com has a reference and they cover Hidalgo County very well. 

Edit:  Incidentally there is a very real and much larger rail related ghost town at Exit 3 on I-10 which is called Steins.  I'm not sure if the town ever reopened for tours, the land owner was murdered in 2011.  In 2012 you could still exit at Steins and view the town behind the fence:

https://flickr.com/photos/151828809@N08/sets/72157678169859853

Edit again:   Apparently Steins has a Facebook page and will have another tour on July 7th.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:54:16 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2017, 12:49:48 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.

Not over that distance, not to mention there is some pretty barren mountains once you get to New Mexico and western Texas.  Essentially that would be the land of 75 MPH 2-lane speed limits...which are justified.
Tunnel under the mountains.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2017, 12:53:16 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.

Not over that distance, not to mention there is some pretty barren mountains once you get to New Mexico and western Texas.  Essentially that would be the land of 75 MPH 2-lane speed limits...which are justified.
Tunnel under the mountains.

Or we can save the fictional Interstate stuff for a corridor that DOESN'T need it for a FritzOwl thread. 

Anyone else want to talk about dust storm mitigation on I-10 or has this thread run it's course?

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2017, 09:40:48 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.

Not over that distance, not to mention there is some pretty barren mountains once you get to New Mexico and western Texas.  Essentially that would be the land of 75 MPH 2-lane speed limits...which are justified.
Tunnel under the mountains.

Or we can save the fictional Interstate stuff for a corridor that DOESN'T need it for a FritzOwl thread. 

Anyone else want to talk about dust storm mitigation on I-10 or has this thread run it's course?

ADOT has been "fantasizing" about a Tucson and Phoenix bypass for years, although not necessarily along the US 60/70 Route. This is the most recent article I found on the topic via a cursory web search, dated May 20, 2017:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/news/adot-considers-i--bypass-for-phoenix-tucson/article_cd67edd5-65d2-591b-ae2f-a3c789c84205.html

Also, can someone enlighten me, because I don't browse these forums frequently enough, what is a "Fritzowl thread"?

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Deadly I-10 dust storm near Lordsburg
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2017, 09:57:05 AM »

As I've been watching the coverage, it also occurs to me, this is a problem which was really created rather recently. Before I-10 was built, most travelers between Phoenix and El Paso would use US 60 and US 70 leaving only local traffic to cross the playa on US 80. Had I-10 been built through Safford, Globe and Superior, transcontinental traffic would avoid this danger and avoid the delays often caused by roadway shutdowns.

I-10 was probably built where it was for two reasons. One is that it goes through Tucson, where US 60 and 70 did not. The other reason is the terrain: the US 80 route appears to be relatively flat, whereas the US 60/70 route would have had to pass directly through the mountains west of Globe.

There's been talk for years of building a divided highway from Superior to Globe on a different alignment, along with relatively recent studies for a 4-lane divided highway to bypass Safford and Thatcher. Once those two items are complete, the rest should be relatively easy.

Between the recent pileup in New Mexico, the record number of  I-10 closures this year, and a recent head-on collision west of Bylas that sent three people to the hospital via helicopter, I certainly hope the state is taking a good look at improvements to the 70/60 corridor.
The 4 lane road can be a western I-12.

Why not use I-18; it's presently not in use and quite appropriate for that corridor.  Better to utilize unused designations (they're not Hummel dolls that look good on the shelf!) rather than create unnecessary duplications.
I was thinking you could connect the 2 somehow.

Not over that distance, not to mention there is some pretty barren mountains once you get to New Mexico and western Texas.  Essentially that would be the land of 75 MPH 2-lane speed limits...which are justified.
Tunnel under the mountains.

Or we can save the fictional Interstate stuff for a corridor that DOESN'T need it for a FritzOwl thread. 

Anyone else want to talk about dust storm mitigation on I-10 or has this thread run it's course?

ADOT has been "fantasizing" about a Tucson and Phoenix bypass for years, although not necessarily along the US 60/70 Route. This is the most recent article I found on the topic via a cursory web search, dated May 20, 2017:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/news/adot-considers-i--bypass-for-phoenix-tucson/article_cd67edd5-65d2-591b-ae2f-a3c789c84205.html

Also, can someone enlighten me, because I don't browse these forums frequently enough, what is a "Fritzowl thread"?

Interesting to see the whole AZ 176 concept come back to light, its been a long time indeed:

https://arizonaroads.com/arizona/az176.html

Really though, the terrain north of Benson is completely workable and I'm surprised that ADOT never went through with even a two-lane highway.  It would certainly help with truck traffic in Tucson and likely avoid one of the big dust storm areas on I-10 north of the city.  Maybe I-11 if it ever made it to the Tucson area would be better served bypassing the city using said corridor.

A FritzOwl thread is where people post absurd ideas and concepts for new Interstates.  The name comes from the user of the same name who does nothing but threads of the type.  He has proposed things like bridges to North Korea and coastal Interstate of Alaska.  Most people think he's joking or doesn't mean Interstate standards, the dude is dead serious and has some big to do with not liking US Route.  RGT tries to emulate his style but unlike Fritz he has been dragging ideas of his off the Fictional Board into regional boards where they don't belong.

 


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