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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 538552 times)

Grzrd

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I-69 in TX
« on: October 09, 2010, 01:18:12 PM »

TxDOT estimates that it will have $4 billion to $5 billion to begin construction on I-69 in approximately 5 years:

http://www.caller.com/news/2010/oct/08/proposed-interstate-69-could-cost-165-billion-in/

Quote
A long awaited highway could cost as much as $16.5 billion to build through Texas, the state Department of Transportation told regional leaders at a meeting Friday.
Construction of Interstate 69 in South Texas could begin as soon as five years from now, and the road from the Rio Grande Valley through the Coastal Bend to Texarkana is at least 20 years from completion, said John Barton, the assistant executive director for engineering operations for the transportation department.
The department expects to have about $4 billion to $5 billion to begin construction on the interstate in Texas...
(caller. com (Corpus Christi); 10/8/10)

$4 billion seems like a decent amount of money to get things going ...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:25:25 PM by Grzrd »
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The Premier

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2010, 12:04:09 PM »

$4 billion seems like a decent amount of money to get things going ...

Or more alarmingly expensive. They may as well make I-69 a toll road for that price.
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Alex P. Dent

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2010, 07:40:37 PM »

I see from the last half of that article that the exact routing has not exactly been narrowed down for the southern end of I-69,
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2010, 11:38:50 PM »

I see from the last half of that article that the exact routing has not exactly been narrowed down for the southern end of I-69,

Actually, it has been, to a point...all three roads (US 59 to Laredo, and US 77 and US 281 to Harlingen/Brownsville) are planned to be integrated into the I-69 system and upgraded. My guess is that US 59 will serve as the main trunk and the other roadways as branches.

Personally, I'd reserve the I-69 moniker for the US 59 corridor, and use an extension of I-37 for the US 77 upgrade. An I-x69 could be suitable for the upgrade of US 281.

And....if I had to choose which corridor to South Texas out of 77 and 281 I'd upgrade first, I'd prefer 77.


Anthony
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bogdown

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2010, 04:56:40 PM »

id give 77 the nod, after they upgrade 59, of course
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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2010, 09:06:03 PM »

How does TX get all this money to build roads and expand them?  It seems they are always building new stacks, expanding highways or building new ones.  How do they do it?
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Scott5114

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2010, 09:14:15 PM »

Texas is a big state with a lot of taxpayers. Tolls build most of the urban stuff, so I guess most of the general tax money goes towards maintenance and building of rural roads. That doesn't explain how they are able to keep all the FMs up, though...
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jgb191

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2010, 11:14:53 PM »

$4 billion seems like a decent amount of money to get things going ...

Or more alarmingly expensive. They may as well make I-69 a toll road for that price.


That's because you're talking about a thousand miles of highway in Texas alone:  

-- 229 miles of US 77 from Victoria to Brownsville
-- 166 miles of US 281 from Three Rivers to McAllen
-- 612 miles of US 59 from Texarkana to Laredo

All three of those are going to be upgraded to interstates.  A few portions of those stretches are already fully completed freeways.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 11:20:28 PM by jgb191 »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2010, 11:18:33 PM »

And....if I had to choose which corridor to South Texas out of 77 and 281 I'd upgrade first, I'd prefer 77.
Anthony
id give 77 the nod, after they upgrade 59, of course

One small step for 77 ... : http://www.caller.com/news/2010/oct/14/new-overpass-near-robstown-means-i-69-is-one-to/

Quote
ROBSTOWN — An overpass under construction will move U.S. Highway 77 between Corpus Christi and Brownsville one step closer to interstate highway standards.
The $11.7 million project will raise the four lanes of U.S. 77 to allow traffic on Farm-to-Market Road 892 to travel underneath. The overpass is expected to open within the next three months, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
The project will help improve traffic through an increasingly congested area, said Transportation Planning and Development Director Paula Sales Evans. It also brings the freeway closer to interstate standards by removing cross traffic from the intersection.
At a ribbon cutting Thursday, officials stood near a sign noting that U.S. 77 is the future Interstate 69 corridor...
(www.caller.com; Corpus Christi, 10/14/10)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:27:11 PM by Grzrd »
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 03:47:35 AM »

Texas is a big state with a lot of taxpayers. Tolls build most of the urban stuff, so I guess most of the general tax money goes towards maintenance and building of rural roads. That doesn't explain how they are able to keep all the FMs up, though...

Agencies responsible for state highways in Texas (which include not just TxDOT but also cities, counties, RMAs, and regional toll road agencies) issue an awful lot of debt and do a lot of work through Comprehensive Development Agreements which in effect sign away a cashflow in order to avoid paying the entire costs of construction up-front.  It is getting increasingly hard to find large projects through TxDOT lettings, not just because a lot of the high-dollar stuff has been farmed out to RMAs and regional toll agencies, but also because the gas tax has not been increased in Texas since the early 1990's and TxDOT is running out of money.  Quite a lot of the stuff TxDOT does let is minor construction and major maintenance on FM and RM roads, generally in the sub-$10 million range.

I have been following TxDOT lettings for over eight years.  The very first contract I downloaded from TxDOT and archived was a sign replacement contract for I-20 west of Fort Worth, in February 2002.  Most of the Katy Freeway contracts (well over $2 billion of work) passed through the TxDOT lettings and I got all of those contracts, over a three-year period beginning in 2003 and ending in 2006.  TxDOT has also been running construction for the Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock through its lettings.  But that has been pretty much it for the big projects since 2006, with isolated exceptions like the southwestern end of the Crosby Freeway in Houston (modifying the I-10/I-610 east stack to incorporate new ramps for the US 90 connection).  At the moment I have 9,437 pattern-accurate sign design sheets from TxDOT, but the growth rate has slowed to 700 sheets annually, and the proportion of sheets I have which are from toll road agency/RMA contracts with TxDOT-assigned CCSJs has gone way up in the last three years.  At the present rate I won't break 10,000 sheets until September 2011 at earliest.  There are two stacks under construction right now in Texas that I am aware of, and I have the construction plans for both of them, but they are both administered by NTTA, not TxDOT.

I am missing construction plans for the US 271 Mount Pleasant Bypass and SL 79 down near Del Rio because those are both being administered by counties through a new TxDOT financing mechanism--Pass-Through Funding.  I would like to obtain the construction plans for them, but to my knowledge they were never put online, and I do not look forward to dealing with the counties.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 03:52:45 AM by J N Winkler »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 07:20:57 AM »

Upgrade of U.S. 59 to I-69 from Lufkin to Texarkana is now projected to cost approximately $4.5 billion:

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/localnews/2010/10/21/study-building-interstate-will-cost-texa-81.php

Quote
JEFFERSON, Texas—Studies estimate U.S. Highway 59 between Texarkana and Lufkin can become Interstate 69 for $4.5 billion.
The preliminary numbers were revealed Wednesday during a planning meeting for the interstate corridor’s Segment 1."
The article also discusses alternative methods of financing Segment 1:
"But with no pot of gold in sight for transportation, local committee member Bill Cork asked what new funding options are available.
Barton said a tool legislators are supporting is more public/private partnerships, which are frequently assumed to be toll roads. A builder constructs a road and charges a fee to drive on it, recouping its investment.
“But there are other options,” Barton said. “Private companies come in and build the asset and the way they generate the revenue is through a retail opportunity.”
An investor could build a convenience store along the corridor and make its profit back on a service provided rather than use of the system.
Tax increment districts can also help pay for transportation expansion. Both Texarkanas have taxing districts established that capture revenues as property values increase and put that money into expenses in specific areas.
Other options include increases in state and/or federal gas taxes, directing more of the shared tax revenues to Texas roadways and increased costs of vehicle registration.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:29:04 PM by Grzrd »
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Chris

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 03:49:53 PM »

Lufkin - Texarkana is 160 miles, so that comes down to $ 28 million per mile. I can't say that is an absurd amount of money.

3467

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 09:43:29 PM »

It is sticker shock though for US rural contruction but it is not out of line . US 20 in Illinois reached 23 million a mile and was put on the back burner. Just 10 years ago a rural interstate freeway was about 10 million a mile . In the 1990s a 4 lane expresway construction was as low as 2.5 million a mile. Now without a lot of structures it is 6 million. I can see why Missouri shifted to passing lanes instead.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 08:11:29 AM »

Here is a link to materials from the July 23, 2010 Segment Committee 1 meeting (click "Meetings" under Segment Committee 1 and you will find pdfs from various meetings):

http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/committees/i69/default.htm

On page 3/3 is a map of the constantly-evolving route.  I thought that the whole idea of upgrading U.S. 59 as opposed to choosing a new terrain route was to save money.  If an upgrade is $28 million/mile, how much would new terrain cost?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 11:46:19 PM by Grzrd »
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3467

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 12:28:53 PM »

Probably not a lot more, but it avoids taking a lot of land. To put this in perspective, Illinois is looking at 4-laning 200-300 miles statewide, and that is all expressway, not freeway. and I bet most other states are not much more (MORE WHAT???), so I-69 in Texas alone is an immense project by today's construction rates.

Punctuation is God's gift to literacy. ~S
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 05:47:05 PM by AlpsROADS »
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Chris

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2010, 04:16:58 PM »

Upgrading an existing road could turn out more expensive because you either need to build frontage roads for local traffic, or build a lot more interchanges to serve all the minor roads US 59 serves today. If you have greenfield construction, you can greatly reduce the amount of nonsense interchanges to backwater roads.

Anthony_JK

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 08:45:00 PM »

Upgrading an existing road could turn out more expensive because you either need to build frontage roads for local traffic, or build a lot more interchanges to serve all the minor roads US 59 serves today. If you have greenfield construction, you can greatly reduce the amount of nonsense interchanges to backwater roads.

Considering Texas' liberal use of frontage roads, as well as the brohaha over the Trans-Texas Corridor's original proposals for new toll facilities bisecting farmland, I'd say that using existing roadways as much as possible with relief bypasses around urbanized areas is probably a good decision.


Anthony
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 10:16:28 PM by Anthony_JK »
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3467

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2010, 11:08:33 PM »

TX DOT is proposing 4laning 3000 miles of trunk highway for 6.6 billion by 2035. That is only 2 million per mile which is a thenth of the 69 price and a bargain. I expected Texas to be less than Illinois but a third suprises me.
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2010, 04:08:06 AM »

Remember that Texas is the home of the "poor boy" four-lane.
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3467

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2010, 11:52:36 AM »

What is the Poor boy 4 lane. I would add Illinois 4 lanes have all paved shoulders and if the existing 2 lane is used it is reconstructed . There are left and right turn lanes at every intersection and all the bridges are rebuilt. They are also designed to be converted to freeway in most cases.I take it that isnt a poor boy so maybe the comparison isnt right.
On most passing lane or center turn lanes the road is reconstructed and there are gravel shoulders sometimes paved ones so those run about 3 million a mile.
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2010, 03:52:25 PM »

The "poor boy" was basically an undivided rural four-lane arterial highway made by converting the full shoulders on a two-lane highway (which in Texas frequently have a 44' paved width consisting of two 12' lanes and two 10' shoulders) into part of the traveled way.  A typical poor-boy might have four lanes (two up and two down) of 11' each with no shoulder.  The heyday of poor-boys was the early 1980's, and I am not sure there are many examples still around--I think SH 6 near Bryan used to be a poor-boy but has since been reconstructed into a full freeway.  It was discovered that poor-boys have a marginally better safety record than two-lane highways because continuous passing opportunities are provided, but are still far inferior to four-lane expressways with full shoulders because there is no lateral separation between up and down traffic and no place to pull off in an emergency.  TxDOT practice in the recent past has been to spend more to get more, by building a full four-lane divided highway instead of a "poor boy," but I am not sure how keen they will be on holding the line with a cash crunch in progress.
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3467

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2010, 09:46:40 PM »

Thanks I was just on a couple of Illinois roads that could be easily turned ino poor boys. I know Illinois wouldnt like that Since thye are low volume I think a few more miles of passing lanes would do the trick.

The TxDOT 2035 did claim they could 4 make the trunk system 4 lane divided for 2 million a mile but I dont know when they came out with that plan. I could see how thye could do cheaper divideds with no bypasses and no upgarde to the existing roads. I coule see 3 million since I suspect their labor rates are cheaper and Texas being warmer than Illinois might need less asphalt or concrete.

But if they have no money I think you are right the "poor boy" would be tempting. It is to me!
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Sykotyk

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2010, 01:01:08 AM »

The problem with 'poor boy' highways is if it was originally a shoulder upgraded to a four-lane, the new slow lane will slope the edge, of which there is no shoulder (US77 north of I-10 is like this for a ways, it's quite annoying, actually).

I prefer the Texas style of driving where slower moving traffic moves to the shoulder to be overtaken as the need arrises. Otherwise, they stay in the wide open lane with an ample shoulder to accommodate any issue that arises.
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Grzrd

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I-69 Shields Coming Soon To Rio Grande Valley?
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2010, 07:43:23 AM »

A Texas representative is attempting to amend federal I-69 legislation to allow designation of portions of defined corridor that are currently up to interstate standards to be signed as I-69, even though those portions do not currently connect to another interstate: http://www.themonitor.com/articles/interstate-44356-designation-valley.html

Quote
A slight tweak to language included in the 1995 law that designated U.S. 77 and U.S. 281 as future segments of the interstate highway system could be a step toward securing the long-awaited blue shield for the two Rio Grande Valley highways.
U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, plans to add legislative language that could accelerate the designation of the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69 by the end of this year ...
Although the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 stipulated that the two north-south highways leaving the Valley would be included as part of the I-69 corridor, it also said that they must be up to interstate system design standards and connect to an existing interstate system.
Portions of U.S. 281 and U.S. 77 and nearly all of Expressway 83 —the major route that connects them — are up to interstate design standards in the Valley. But billions in construction dollars still separate the highway’s rural portions from being up to standard before they connect with Interstate 37 outside Corpus Christi.
Hinojosa’s language would stipulate that the interstate-quality segments at the highway’s southern terminus be given the I-69 designation even though they don’t connect with I-37 ...
But the Valley’s portions of the highways — such as U.S. 281 to just outside of Edinburg and U.S. 77 to Raymondville — qualify for the interstate designation, Hinojosa said. By adding language to the federal code that allows those sections because they connect to the border, the Valley could already reap the economic benefits of an interstate ...

Looks like he will attempt to amend the law to make a border terminus the equivalent of a connection to another interstate.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:31:49 PM by Grzrd »
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J N Winkler

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2010, 07:46:36 AM »

This would actually be a return of I-69 signs.  There were originally "future" I-69 signs along US 77 and (I think) US 83 in Willacy and Cameron counties, but these were removed when US 77 and US 83 were upgraded some years ago.
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