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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 516832 times)

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #100 on: December 09, 2011, 05:40:37 PM »


LGS. The difference between L and B, at least to me, is the makeup of the sign panel. A single sheet of aluminum is L, even if it's overhead. Extruded strips, several panels, etc. with backing reinforcement is B, even if it's side-mounted.

fair enough.  I tend to note the distinction as "would the sign have mixed case in a jurisdiction where smaller signs have all-caps?"  for example, Texas until recently had all-caps Series D on LGSes and mixed case Series E or EM on BGSes. 

this NH example is indeed quite borderline, as there are no letters apart from the shield itself.

so your LGS/BGS distinction might indeed lose a few states.  Washington comes to mind offhand as LGS-only.


The only place I've been without BGS is Prince Edward Island. Washington certainly has BGS, I just checked my site to make sure.

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #101 on: December 09, 2011, 06:20:49 PM »


The only place I've been without BGS is Prince Edward Island. Washington certainly has BGS, I just checked my site to make sure.

I was unclear.  I had intended to say that Washington has state-named shields only on LGSes.  but then I found this example on the shield gallery which I had forgotten about:



that, by my definition is a BGS.  large font mixed case control city.  in your definition, it might be LGS.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 06:25:10 PM by agentsteel53 »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #102 on: December 09, 2011, 06:30:13 PM »

You will find an interstate shield without 'Ohio' on it
[old photo]
(ODOT's archives date this as 1959, FWIW)

yep, it looks like either California or Ohio invented the 1961-spec neutered shield, with the shorter crown.  California had it by 1958 for sure, and Ohio by 1959.  

I do not know what Ohio's rules were for neutered vs state-named, but California was also fairly schizophrenic in the very, very early days.



1959 photo.  I was at one point tempted to say that independent-mount three-digit routes had no state name, while two-digit ones did, but this I-5 from 1959 exists and clearly has a pole mark on the back.  


yep, that is federal '61 spec neutered.  It may very well be a green-sign shield mounted on a post by error.  The two holes in upper left and right are non-conclusive: they might be for mounting to a green sign, or to add a wind brace for an independent mount.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 06:32:35 PM by agentsteel53 »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #103 on: December 09, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »

The NH sign is definitely a small guide sign ("LGS" as used on here), not just because it is a flat sheet aluminum sign, but also because its placement (close by a curb) and composition (thin border, minimally rounded corners) is characteristic of D-series signs.  (Placement is an important distinguishing criterion in states where there is little difference between small and large guide signs in terms of composition.  For example, Washington and California have both traditionally used mixed-case primary destination legend on both small and large guide signs.)

My rule for distinguishing between small guide signs ("LGS") and large guide signs ("BGS") is based on the MUTCD.  Large guide signs are covered in Chapter 2E and generally have "E" sign codes.  They are not found solely on freeway or expressway mainlines--many types of freeway approach signs are large guide signs too.  In contradistinction, small guide signs are covered in Chapter 2D and generally have "D" (hence the alternate label "D-series") or "M" codes.  ("M" is supposed to mean "marker" but some green-background signs, like the combination junction sign, are M-series signs.)
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #104 on: December 14, 2011, 06:57:50 PM »

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #105 on: December 14, 2011, 07:40:50 PM »

Corrected link for I-69 Texas Alliance article

(The last commentor forgot to take out the '/' at the end.)


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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #106 on: January 25, 2012, 08:29:51 PM »

TxDOT has updated its I-69 Segment Committees page by adding notes from November, 2011 meetings of the five committees.

My primary interest is Houston.  First, regarding the redesignation of US 59 as I-69 through Houston, Committee 3 is aiming for AASHTO approval by AASHTO's May 2012 meeting [page 2/30 of pdf]:

Quote
Roger Beall answered that the request to add U.S. 59 through Houston to the interstate system was tentatively scheduled to be sent to FHWA in January. If the request is approved, the Texas Transportation Commission will consider submission of an application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on Route Numbering to use the I-69 route number. The next AASHTO meeting will occur in May 2012. The committee member then asked for a letter from TxDOT regarding the redesignation and requesting local support. He explained that he would forward this letter to communities along U.S. 59 with a sample resolution and a document describing the benefits of redesignation. TxDOT agreed to send the resolution request letter. The committee member also noted that in October of 2010, the HGAC Transportation Policy Council passed a resolution of support for I-69 and the Segment Committees. He suggested that the level of support by the communities along U.S. 59 needs to be ascertained.

Committee 3 also views it as a Recommended Priority that U.S. 59 through Houston should be dual designation as both I-69 and U.S. 59 [page 4/30 of pdf].

Regarding Houston relief options, Committee 3 decided to expand the area of study to the following [page 4/30 of pdf]:

Quote
• Extend the U.S. 59 relief options box (as depicted on the map) further south on U.S. 59 to south of Brazoria
• Extend the U.S. 59 relief options box (as depicted on the map) further north (in Segment Two) up to Cleveland
• Include the Port of Freeport in the U.S. 59 relief options box

Also, Committee 3 discussed that an Early Implementation Opportunity would be to study relief options and not just potential relief routes [page 4/30 of pdf]:

Quote
• Perform a study U.S. 59 relief options for Houston. It was noted that the U.S. 59 relief options for Houston might not be just a relief route and could include improvements such as widenings and interchanges.

Committee 2 also views the study of relief options for Houston as a Recommended Priority [page 4/32 of pdf].

It will be interesting to watch the relief options unfold over the years ...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 07:32:13 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #107 on: January 30, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »

The Alliance For I-69 Texas has recently posted an update about the Draft Environmental Assessment for a 122 mile segment of the US 77 upgrade to I-69 being completed:

Quote
The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of upgrading US 77 from Corpus Christi to Harlingen is complete and five public hearings were scheduled for early February.
The Preferred Alternative recommended in the document is to upgrade the existing highway, adding to the right-of-way width where necessary. Two short highway sections would be relocated to create relief routes around Driscoll in Nueces County and Riviera in Kleberg County ....
After the review of public comments is complete later this year the Federal Highway Administration is expected to issue a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) which will allow individual upgrade projects on the route to move forward once they are designed and funded ....
The US 77 Upgrade Project will provide additional capacity and significantly improve safety along the 122 miles of highway covered by the assessment. Currently there are dozens of at-grade crossings and cross-overs along the route.
The EA found that the estimated cost of completing Interstate 69 from Corpus Christi to Harlingen is approximately $1 billion ....

TxDOT's Public Hearing Notice notes that the Driscoll and Riviera relief routes may be tolled.  I wonder if this will trigger some Trans Texas Corridor fears?

TxDOT also has a US 77 Upgrade page with pdfs of the Draft Environmental Assessment.  It looks like completion of the US 77 "southern prong"  will be a primary focus for TxDOT in trying to make headway with I-69 in Texas.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 11:26:25 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #108 on: January 31, 2012, 11:50:46 AM »

I find it fascinating how they use off ramps to handle the many ranch "gate crossings" along the route, as well as the strategic cattle crossings they would have. In Louisiana, they probably would have used frontage roads with intermediate interchanges and grade-seperated "crossunders" for that purpose.

I'm not so happy with the proposed toll bypasses for Driscoll and Rivera, but I'm guessing that because they will be short, the toll won't be so bad...and there will be TxTollTag available for the locals to avoid mail sticker shock.


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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #109 on: January 31, 2012, 12:01:25 PM »

I find it fascinating how they use off ramps to handle the many ranch "gate crossings" along the route, as well as the strategic cattle crossings they would have. In Louisiana, they probably would have used frontage roads with intermediate interchanges and grade-seperated "crossunders" for that purpose.

the frontage road design is something they use in west Texas a lot.  what about the crossunders - do they have those out there?  I've never noticed.

also, in west Texas, they have the occasional at-grade crossing! 
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #110 on: February 15, 2012, 06:53:06 PM »

I did not know AASHO was approving suffixed routes still.  I thought they were put on the ban list in the early 1980s, with strong pressure to remove all but the pair of 35E/W splits.
I seriously doubt that they will.  The only reason I included that as a possibility is that the federal legislation authorizing the I-69 Corridor speaks in terms of suffixes.  It may be possible that AASHTO would feel compelled to comply with the legislation (although I doubt it).  I'm primarily interested in which route will be the "main" I-69: US 59, 77, or 281.
Given that US 77 is already all four-lane, I'd expect it to be the main I-69.
The Laredo routing makes more sense though. It's a bigger city that you're connecting to.
Not by much, and US 77 wins slightly when you add Harlingen. (Also note that, despite US 281 being another designated leg of I-69, US 77 easily serves McAllen etc.)
As for travel into the interior of Mexico, US 59 to Laredo does look like a better route; Houston to Monterrey is about 50 miles shorter via Laredo than via McAllen.

I recently received an email response from FHWA's National Systems and Economic Team to a question about I-69 signage in Texas.  If I read the response correctly, it looks like, in the absence of an amendment to current I-69 legislation, in the future not only will the current US 77/I-69 corridor have to be re-signed, but also the US 77 and US 281 corridors will have some interesting shields indeed:

Quote
... regarding the recent addition of US 77 as I-69.  Section 1105(e)(5)(C)(i) of ISTEA amended, designates future Interstate routes along High Priority Corridor (HPC) #20 as “I-69”, HPC # (c)(18)(D)(i) as “I-69 East”, and HPC # (c)(18)(D)(ii) as “I-69 Central”.  These three future I-69 corridors correspond to US 59, US 77, and US 281 respectively.  Since there are no other approved additions along the “I-69” or “I-69 Central” Texas corridors, the US 77 segment was added as I-69 to avoid To avoid driver confusion.  Once segments are added along the other two corridors the State will need to sign the routes accordingly.

Well, I think there will be pleeeenty of time to enact an amendment ...  :-P

EDIT

On second thought, maybe there will not be much time at all.  I just remembered the following:

TxDOT's website now has pdfs of Nov. 2010 Interim Reports from the five I-69 Segment Committees: http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/committees/i69/default.htm
The Committees also recommend immediately signing the following freeway sections as I-69 ... Committee 4: ... US 281 from Mexican border to north of McAllen; US 77 from Mexican border to south of Lyford ... Apparently, the final two would be dependent upon the proposed legislation that would make a terminus at the Mexican border equivalent to an interstate junction.

Even if a multi-year highway reauthorization is not passed this year, at least a short-term extension of the current reauthorization will be passed sometime around March 31.  It is conceivable that the "I-69 terminus at the Mexican border" provision could be included in the extension.  Doing so would raise two immediate related questions: (1) what interstate designation do you give the US 281 border segment (will FHWA really mandate "I-69 Central"?), and (2) would the current US 77/I-69 segment have to be re-signed as "I-69 East" because of the interstate signage of the US 281 section?

A third question would be whether the Texas delegation would have the foresight to include language that would do away with the mandatory designations.  :pan:
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 11:46:06 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #111 on: March 19, 2012, 03:17:14 PM »

TxDOT's website now has pdfs of Nov. 2010 Interim Reports from the five I-69 Segment Committees: http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/committees/i69/default.htm
The Committees also recommend immediately signing the following freeway sections as I-69 ... Committee 4: ... US 281 from Mexican border to north of McAllen; US 77 from Mexican border to south of Lyford ... Apparently, the final two would be dependent upon the proposed legislation that would make a terminus at the Mexican border equivalent to an interstate junction.

The amendment for I-69 signage on freeways at the Mexican border survived the final version of MAP-21 two-year reauthorization passed by the Senate:

Quote
I-69
Construction of the proposed Interstate 69, the so-called NAFTA Superhighway from the Texas-Mexico border north into the American heartland, would move forward under MAP-21. The bill allows for segments to be deemed “Interstate” if they meet federal, access-controlled standards. This provision will allow for development along unfinished corridors.

Although unlikely, a possibility does exist that the House will simply vote on the Senate bill because the House bills have encountered great resistance.  If so, some I-69 Mexican border signage (page 4/4 of pdf) may spring up in the near future.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 03:24:08 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #112 on: March 19, 2012, 04:34:08 PM »

Why are they building 2 parallel interstates in south Texas?  They're just a few miles apart.  Wouldn't a 4 lane expressway with bypasses be enough for one of the two roads?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #113 on: March 20, 2012, 11:29:21 PM »

Short answer: Bcause they're Texas, and they can.   :sombrero: :sombrero: :sombrero:

Longer answer: Both highways can easily be converted to Interstate grade without much difficulty, and both already have Interstate freeway-grade sections. So, why pick and choose?


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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #114 on: March 21, 2012, 02:43:17 AM »

Why did they build the parallel highways (281 and 77) in the first place?  They could have upgraded one and built spurs to the towns that were on the 2 lane route.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #115 on: March 21, 2012, 03:11:30 AM »

Longer answer: Both highways can easily be converted to Interstate grade without much difficulty, and both already have Interstate freeway-grade sections. So, why pick and choose?
But why does either need to be freeway in the first place? Are there problems with the occasional at-grade that currently exists?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #116 on: March 21, 2012, 06:32:28 AM »

Texas loves expressways. That's why there are going to be 2 loops around Houston, with currently 9 expressways out of Houston that are not currently interstates. From what I understand, 77 is the closer to interstate of the 3 routes planned. Thus 77 to 59 getting labeled to I-69 by the end of next month is the goal that Texas wants to "speed" the process of getting I-69 signed as fast as possible. 59 from Victoria to Laredo would take more work. 281 has the lower section freeway grade, but it will take a while to get the rest to interstate standards.

Personally, I would skip adding 281 all together and leave it as such, if they want an interstate and McAllen, then almost all of 83 is a freeway standard, label that a spur of I-69.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #117 on: March 21, 2012, 10:51:31 AM »

Why did they build the parallel highways (281 and 77) in the first place?  They could have upgraded one and built spurs to the towns that were on the 2 lane route.

I think a lot of freeways would have been built differently with more foresight.  I would have sent I-20 west from Fort Worth, north of Midland/Odessa straight west to El Paso, to avoid all that extra mileage.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #118 on: March 21, 2012, 11:01:59 AM »


I think a lot of freeways would have been built differently with more foresight.  I would have sent I-20 west from Fort Worth, north of Midland/Odessa straight west to El Paso, to avoid all that extra mileage.

I disagree on this, because when you take into consideration that the I-10 segment west of the 10/20 split had to be built only once, you're saving mileage. 

as the traffic quantity isn't anywhere near so heavy as to need more than four lanes, you may as well bring 20 into 10.  it adds actual miles per user, but saved a lot of miles to be built.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #119 on: March 21, 2012, 11:05:00 AM »

I think a lot of freeways would have been built differently with more foresight.  I would have sent I-20 west from Fort Worth, north of Midland/Odessa straight west to El Paso, to avoid all that extra mileage.
This would have added at least 60 miles of Interstate, with two parallel routes into El Paso from the east (like the two parallel routes of I-69). All to save at most about 25 miles of driving.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #120 on: April 07, 2012, 08:23:43 PM »

I think a lot of freeways would have been built differently with more foresight.  I would have sent I-20 west from Fort Worth, north of Midland/Odessa straight west to El Paso, to avoid all that extra mileage.
This would have added at least 60 miles of Interstate, with two parallel routes into El Paso from the east (like the two parallel routes of I-69). All to save at most about 25 miles of driving.

Which, at 80 MPH, is only about 19 minutes, assuming I did the math correctly.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #121 on: April 07, 2012, 09:46:01 PM »


I think a lot of freeways would have been built differently with more foresight.  I would have sent I-20 west from Fort Worth, north of Midland/Odessa straight west to El Paso, to avoid all that extra mileage.

I disagree on this, because when you take into consideration that the I-10 segment west of the 10/20 split had to be built only once, you're saving mileage. 

as the traffic quantity isn't anywhere near so heavy as to need more than four lanes, you may as well bring 20 into 10.  it adds actual miles per user, but saved a lot of miles to be built.
I-20 meeting I-10 in West Texas makes a lot more sense than paralleling it all the way to El Paso. At least there's a fork in the road that gives you a choice of a nonstop trip to Dallas or San Antonio.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2012, 09:54:37 PM »

as the traffic quantity isn't anywhere near so heavy as to need more than four lanes, you may as well bring 20 into 10.  it adds actual miles per user, but saved a lot of miles to be built.

Good luck getting up to 80 on the stretch west of the I-10/20 merge.  Sometimes it can be done, but all too often slow trucks passing slower trucks will tie up the passing lane.  Like with I-5 through California's Central Valley, an extra lane in each direction would help.  But a parallel freeway would be overdoing it.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #123 on: April 14, 2012, 07:32:23 AM »

Minor little update type thing I thought was cool (to me at least).  I recently recieved the official state map from TXDot and it has the short section of IH 69 near Corpus Christi marked.  Hopefully soon we will see some new signage here in Houston.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #124 on: May 08, 2012, 12:41:17 PM »

Minor little update type thing I thought was cool (to me at least).  I recently recieved the official state map from TXDot and it has the short section of IH 69 near Corpus Christi marked.  Hopefully soon we will see some new signage here in Houston.
AASHTO SCOH's Special Committee on US Route Numbering (USRN) has posted its agenda for its Spring Meeting next week online at: http://www.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/Agenda%20USRN%20SM2012%20May%2018.pdf Page 14 includes an application from TxDOT for signing I-69 along 35 miles of US 59 from I-610 north to just north of the Liberty County line. (The proposal document links are not active as of yet). There are also applications involving US 377.

 


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