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Author Topic: Interstate 369  (Read 49019 times)

Grzrd

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #100 on: November 19, 2017, 08:20:39 PM »

The I-69 Segment One Committee Report and Recommendations contains an interesting map which shows the Northern Loop as an "I-69 connecting route", as well as showing the West Loop as the eventual primary I-369 corridor (and doing a horrible job of showing both I-49 in Arkansas and the I-49/ I-369 interchange location) ... (page 21/155 of pdf; page 15 of document)

Also, in the unfunded "wish list" of projects, there is an upgrade of the current US 59 to interstate standards from the current I-369 to the Cass County line, with a price tag of approximately $200 million (p. 95/131 of pdf; p. 87 of document):

....

With that price tag, it would make sense to explore the "western" option.

This November 15 article provides an update about the Texarkana-Queen City "I-69" route study, and it strongly suggests that they will study the Texarkana/ US 59 corridor instead of a new terrain TexAmericas Center Corridor:

Quote
Officials from both Texarkanas heard an update on various transportation projects from local, regional and state experts on Tuesday.
Widening Interstate 30 west of town, constructing part of the Interstate 69 corridor between Texarkana and Queen City, Texas, and resurfacing State Line Avenue all came up during the quarterly meeting of the Joint Texarkana Community Committee, which focused on transportation.
Glenn Green of Texas Department of Transportation ....
Green also announced that building I-69 southward from Texarkana is "in the project development funnel," not yet funded but beginning to be studied.

"If you've heard about 369 or the I-69 corridor, you know TxDOT has developed it from each end, from the south and from the north. We here in Texarkana are considered the north bookend. And so we are starting. We have a study that has been initiated last month that will look at the I-69 corridor from this point to Queen City. We'll be taking public input and establishing the I-69 corridor through our public involvement process and environmental process. That gets this project under development," he said.
That section of the interstate probably would follow U.S. Highway 59 but could deviate from that route, Green said. Any sections of U.S. 59 used would be upgraded to interstate highway construction standards if necessary.

By saying that it could deviate from US 59 leaves them the option to study the TexAmericas Center route, but I am surprised that they haven't mentioned the TexAmericas Center route at the beginning of the study. Time will tell.
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Stormwalker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #101 on: December 19, 2017, 03:21:40 PM »

I must admit, I'm fascinated by the I-369 development.  Admittedly, this is mostly because I have family that lives near Beckville, not far from Carthage, and I wonder how all of this is going to affect my regular trips down there to visit them.  I saw that one of the "Committee Suggested I-69 Connecting Routes" basically follows SH 149 from Longview to Carthage; my current route takes I-20 east from Dallas, then heads down 149.  It also looked like there was a route that was more direct from Dallas to Carthage shown in the suggested connecting routes.  I don't imagine I-369 itself would be faster than taking SH 149; that's too far of a detour to the east, but an upgraded direct route from Dallas to Carthage would be a significant time-saver

Obviously this isn't going to be done tomorrow, or 5 years from now, or even 10, but what kind of timetable are we looking at here, realistically?  15 years?  20?

Growing up, I certainly never imagined Carthage would have an Interstate of its own, even a 3di.  Of course, that was back before its loop was built; it's grown quite a bit since then. 

I have my doubts that this will ever be useful to me, simply because I don't know that I'll still be making those trips by the time it's done (I certainly hope to have reason to for a long time to come, but...).  Even so, as someone who's loved roads and travel since I was a child, it's pretty cool to see this unfold.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #102 on: February 07, 2018, 12:20:10 AM »

From today's Texarkana Gazette:

Quote
Speaker tells how I-69 will speed local economic growth

Capt. Bill Diehl, president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, said Texarkana will see a greater volume of cargo traffic when Interstate 69 opens, clearing another direct way from Houston northward.

Diehl, who was the featured speaker at the 2018 Economic Outlook Dinner, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Texarkana's College of Business, Engineering and Technology, also worked at the Panama Canal from 2004-06 and explained how ports work.

"It's cheaper for a company to ship a container from the Panama Canal to Texarkana through the Port of Los Angeles than it is through the Port of Houston," he said.

That's about to change, he said, as companies further north are now filling empty containers with plastic pellets made from ethane before they return to the port.

"It is expanding the market," he said. "Companies can get the boxes better, faster, cheaper."

Diehl predicts that more containers will come from the Port of Houston to Dallas and then be transported via truck or railroad to their final destinations.

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2018/feb/07/speaker-tells-how-i-69-will-speed-local-economic-growth/712338/

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Grzrd

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #103 on: May 16, 2018, 11:36:07 AM »

The Texarkana MPO recently posted the May 17, 2017 Amendment #1 to the 2015-2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and it included the Route Study for I-69 from Texarkana to Atlanta in the 2020 to 2024 Fiscally Constrained Project List (p. 92/131 of pdf; p. 84 of document):

....

Since the prior route study ran into NIMBY opposition, the choice of Atlanta as the southern terminus of the study presents the possibility of going around the western end of Wright Patman Lake, or maybe using the the SH 8 bridge as a basis for an interstate upgrade, before heading up to TexAmericas Center, thereby avoiding the NIMBYs. It will be interesting to see as details come forth about the study.
Also, in the unfunded "wish list" of projects, there is an upgrade of the current US 59 to interstate standards from the current I-369 to the Cass County line, with a price tag of approximately $200 million (p. 95/131 of pdf; p. 87 of document):

....

With that price tag, it would make sense to explore the "western" option. And, as would be expected, the route for I-369 would need to be determined before the route for the Northern Loop could be studied.

This article reports that some money has been allocated for a study of a "spur" off of U.S. 59/Future I-369 that would run through TexAmericas Center:

Quote
Regional transportation officials have begun a process they hope someday will result in a new Bowie County highway.
The Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority last week allocated $350,000 toward studying the feasibility of a spur from the future Interstate 369—now U.S. Highway 59—west and north through Red River Army Depot and TexAmericas Center to Interstate 30.
The Texarkana, Texas, City Council voted Monday to contribute $25,000 toward $100,000 in matching funds for the study. NET RMA is asking Bowie County, TexAmericas and other stakeholders for the remainder of the matching funds, Andrea Williams-McCoy told the council. Last year, Bowie County Judge James Carlow appointed Williams-McCoy and Cory Floyd to be the county's representatives on the NET RMA board of directors.
"This will be the first solid step of getting engineers to look at the environmentals, the costs, acquisition of right of way and all the things that go into it," city Economic Developer Jerry Sparks told the council.
The Texarkana region should act now to accommodate an increase in freight traffic anticipated once U.S. 59 becomes I-369, Williams-McCoy said. Once complete, I-369 will connect the future Interstate 69 in Shelby County to Texarkana along the U.S. 59 corridor. Construction of I-369 is in the planning and development stage.
"Because U.S. 59 has such an organic amount of very heavy freight traffic—we have timber and a number of other industries that have used that forever—we have a really high portion of traffic on U.S. 59 before it ever becomes part of 69.
"Then when you add in factors like TexAmericas and the depot and other industries around here, there's no question that we're going to see a tremendous amount of (freight traffic), and planning for that can't happen, you know, a year before you start having a problem," Williams-McCoy said.
Carlow agreed that the time is right to begin studying the project, as the next segment of I-369 to be planned is between Queen City and Texarkana, where the proposed northwestward spur would originate. The concept is for the county to eventually donate to the state the land on which the spur would be built.
Carlow gave his comments while accepting from Mayor Bob Bruggeman a certificate that recognized his decades-long work on regional transportation and economic development.
Local cooperation will be key to achieving the spur's construction, Floyd said.
"When we're able to go to the NET RMA and tell them that we have a project that has both retail significance, state and national significance, but also local support from individuals such as yourself, it really increases our level of success," he said.

Regional Mobility Authorities are transportation agencies in Texas meant to give local governments more control over planning and project construction. One or more counties may form an RMA. The state legislature first authorized RMAs in 2001.
NET RMA formed in 2004, and Bowie County joined in 2007. NET RMA's 12 counties are Bowie, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Kaufman, Panola, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.
NET RMA collects revenues from a toll road around Tyler, Texas, called Toll 49, and those revenues funded the feasibility study, Williams-McCoy said.

I don't know how much significance, if any, should be placed on the "spur" language. However, it sounds like they intend to connect to the current I-369 in Texarkana and build out to TexAmericas Center.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #104 on: May 16, 2018, 04:28:53 PM »

I don't know how much significance, if any, should be placed on the "spur" language. However, it sounds like they intend to connect to the current I-369 in Texarkana and build out to TexAmericas Center.

Not particularly surprising; the presently signed I-369/US 59 has independent utility as the western leg of the south metro Texarkana bypass that also includes MSR/Loop 151 and part of I-49.  It's likely that regardless of the final path of I-369 that includes a connector to the unbuilt I-49 section within TX north of I-30 there will be an eventual push for another 3di either heading east from I-369 (the connector described above) or using the existing loop as currently situated; whether that would be an x30, x49, or even a x69 is too early to speculate.  Texarkana and its promoters seem to have an outsized view of themselves as the centerpiece of regional commerce; using planned and speculative alignments to cobble up a type of conceptual metro beltway seems like something that would be undertaken or at least promoted as a matter of course. 
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abqtraveler

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #105 on: May 22, 2018, 10:28:50 PM »

I don't know how much significance, if any, should be placed on the "spur" language. However, it sounds like they intend to connect to the current I-369 in Texarkana and build out to TexAmericas Center.

Not particularly surprising; the presently signed I-369/US 59 has independent utility as the western leg of the south metro Texarkana bypass that also includes MSR/Loop 151 and part of I-49.  It's likely that regardless of the final path of I-369 that includes a connector to the unbuilt I-49 section within TX north of I-30 there will be an eventual push for another 3di either heading east from I-369 (the connector described above) or using the existing loop as currently situated; whether that would be an x30, x49, or even a x69 is too early to speculate.  Texarkana and its promoters seem to have an outsized view of themselves as the centerpiece of regional commerce; using planned and speculative alignments to cobble up a type of conceptual metro beltway seems like something that would be undertaken or at least promoted as a matter of course.

My recollection is that at least the Arkansas portion of the Texarkana loop at one time carried the unsigned designation of I-130. Not sure if that designation still exists, but could I-130 take over the Texas portion of the Texarkana loop if I-369 is rerouted onto a new terrain alignment further west? Just food for thought.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #106 on: May 23, 2018, 12:28:54 AM »

Under the current funding arrangement with the federal government I wouldn't hold my breath for any new Interstate designation on what is currently signed as Texas Loop 151. The "I-130" thing is dead and gone. If the I-369 designation was removed from its portion of Loop 151 it might be possible Loop 151 between I-49 and I-30 could be re-signed as either "I-230" or "I-249." However, Texas is obviously is no rush whatsoever to obtain Interstate designations for quite a few existing freeways (and toll roads) carrying Texas state highway or even Farm to Market designations. Loop 151 will probably just remain as Loop 151 for decades into the future unless some radical changes are made to how the United States plans and funds highway infrastructure projects.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #107 on: May 23, 2018, 03:44:33 PM »

That's probably a correct assessment; the only thing that would get a stand-along 3di established on Loop 151 and existing I-369/US 59 would be heavy and continuous political pressure from Texarkana-area interests toward that end -- but, of course, any such effort would have to be abetted by ARDOT, since the tail end of the loop lies within their jurisdiction.  In any case, if it ever occurs, it'll be a long, long way down the line; nothing to hold one's breath over. 
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #108 on: May 23, 2018, 11:29:37 PM »

I'm thinking that it's still up in the air whether whatever becomes I-369 even makes it to the existing Loop 151, or is displaced westward to miss the loop altogether. If they decide the latter, then wouldn't that create a situation where most of Texarkana would be shut out of 369 entirely unless they decided to either upgrade the rest of US 59 to Loop 151 or build a separate connector to I-49 a bit south of the existing loop?

If it was up to me and I had unlimited bank, I'd upgrade 59 all the way to the Loop 151, and build the Western Loop from I-49 north of Texarkana to I-30 and back down as a separate corridor.

If you really want to splurge, you could also extend the Western Loop east to reconnect with I-49 south of Texarkana. Make the whole "Outer Loop" I-249, keep the upgraded US 59 to the "Inner Loop" as I-369, and keep the small connector of Loop 151 between 59/369 and I-49 as 151.

All that's missing is the money, of course.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #109 on: May 24, 2018, 01:38:11 AM »

The really odd thing is the I-369 route some planners fancy does not line up with the existing loop highway in Texarkana. It just runs farther west thru the TexAmericas Center and does not connect into the existing Texarkana loop at all. Basically it was a silly ploy for TxDOT to apply an I-369 designation to the existing loop at all.

IMHO the existing loop around the South side of Texarkana should be designated at a I-x49 route, such as I-249. The I-369 thing is its own deal, but it is cribbing on what would be the "I-249" route around the immediate area of Texarkana. I-369 would be farther West serving other purposes, legit purposes at that.
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Grzrd

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2018, 11:19:12 AM »

This article reports that some money has been allocated for a study of a "spur" off of U.S. 59/Future I-369 that would run through TexAmericas Center

This article also discusses the funding for the study, but it includes the additional detail that interstate rigth-of-way has been set aside for the "spur" along Bowie Parkway in TexAmericas Center:

Quote
... Scott Norton, TexAmericas executive director and CEO ....
The spur will help to increase TexAmericas' and RRAD's transportation infrastructure in the area. Which will increase the value of both entities.
"We've been working with the Texas Department of Transportation, Jerry Sparks and (County) Judge James Carlow to figure out the next step. As a part of the I-69 corridor study, this spur is to be the link-up in our area, running through the 9,000 acres of the former Lone Star property.
"The TexAmericas Center board set aside a 600-foot right of way along Bowie Parkway, in anticipation of a future interstate corridor," he said. "Among the things the feasibility study will examine will be this route and it eventually linking up to I-30."

Here is a view of Bowie Parkway:

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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #111 on: May 28, 2018, 04:34:04 PM »

The designation of I-369 over the existing US 59 portion of the Texarkana SW loop was little more than a PR ploy; the corridor's backers thought that by getting a foothold in the Texarkana area they could marshal increased regional support for completion of the corridor -- that corridor's final routing notwithstanding.  Part of it was getting the I-369 shield on the approaches from I-30 to potentially extend that support to commercial users of the E-W Interstate -- along with publicizing the fact that eventually I-369 would be the direct route from I-30 to Houston.  Much of the I-69 corridor in East Texas is predicated upon the longstanding need for a direct Interstate-grade corridor to serve commercial traffic between Houston (and the rest of the "Chemical Coast"), I-369, being an in-state segment, is an integral part of that rationale -- since I-30 is arguably the most efficient present egress from Texas to all points northeast, finishing that portion of the corridor that will serve state interests while maintaining control of the progress of that corridor (no need to coordinate with LA, AR, or any other state on the basic connection).  Situations such as this predicated the division of the I-69 corridor into almost 30 SIU's; the rationale was to build the ones with tangible short-term benefit first and then move on to the less "vital" segments more or less at leisure.  If and when the I-69/369 continuum is completed, that will have fulfilled much of the TX "wish list" -- and the political figures at the center of the process can point to the route and state "see what I did for you".  Some may refer to it as "just more pork" -- but in this case it's pork with a modicum of nutritive value!  So the present I-369 signage will likely remain on its current freeway segment until it it's no longer of use.   
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #112 on: May 28, 2018, 10:00:12 PM »

The really odd thing is the I-369 route some planners fancy does not line up with the existing loop highway in Texarkana. It just runs farther west thru the TexAmericas Center and does not connect into the existing Texarkana loop at all. Basically it was a silly ploy for TxDOT to apply an I-369 designation to the existing loop at all.

IMHO the existing loop around the South side of Texarkana should be designated at a I-x49 route, such as I-249. The I-369 thing is its own deal, but it is cribbing on what would be the "I-249" route around the immediate area of Texarkana. I-369 would be farther West serving other purposes, legit purposes at that.

The problem is, though, that if you reroute I-369 along the Western Loop to the TAC to I-30, you completely bypass Texarkana freeway-wise; the only connection would be through existing US 59, which is an arterial surface highway.

Would TXDOT be willing to fund an upgrade of US 59 to freeway standards from the split of I-369 and Western Loop to the current "inner" Texarkana Loop (US 59/TX151/AR 151/AR 225)? Or, would ARDOT fund a connector between I-369 and I-49 to the south of Texarkana to link the two and give traffic on I-369 access to downtown?
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #113 on: May 29, 2018, 04:12:30 AM »

The really odd thing is the I-369 route some planners fancy does not line up with the existing loop highway in Texarkana. It just runs farther west thru the TexAmericas Center and does not connect into the existing Texarkana loop at all. Basically it was a silly ploy for TxDOT to apply an I-369 designation to the existing loop at all.

IMHO the existing loop around the South side of Texarkana should be designated at a I-x49 route, such as I-249. The I-369 thing is its own deal, but it is cribbing on what would be the "I-249" route around the immediate area of Texarkana. I-369 would be farther West serving other purposes, legit purposes at that.

The problem is, though, that if you reroute I-369 along the Western Loop to the TAC to I-30, you completely bypass Texarkana freeway-wise; the only connection would be through existing US 59, which is an arterial surface highway.

Would TXDOT be willing to fund an upgrade of US 59 to freeway standards from the split of I-369 and Western Loop to the current "inner" Texarkana Loop (US 59/TX151/AR 151/AR 225)? Or, would ARDOT fund a connector between I-369 and I-49 to the south of Texarkana to link the two and give traffic on I-369 access to downtown?


It seems that the TexAmericas Center just west of town is considered by locals to be inexorably connected with Texarkana itself and part & parcel of its commercial-center ambitions; routing I-369 through there rather than sticking to the present US 59 alignment would satisfy local interests, since from there it would loop around the NW side of the metro area to meet I-49 west of the Arkansas state line.  Texarkana is staking its future on new commercial development around its periphery rather than concentrating on downtown revival; the planned freeway network reflects that.  There are/will be 5 individual Interstate "arms" radiating out from the general area; taking advantage of that is the centerpiece of local development.  Even I-49 doesn't pierce the city center in either half of greater Texarkana but uses the east side of the inner loop to skirt the denser metro core;  that in itself is an indicator of the region's priorities re development of both the commercial potential of the region and the freeway network serving it.   
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Grzrd

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #114 on: June 12, 2018, 07:53:25 PM »

It's a small step, but TxDOT is holding an Open House on June 26 for an interstate-grade grade separation at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794, preseumably part of Future I-369:

Quote
The purpose of this open house is to discuss the proposed construction of a grade separation that would meet interstate standards at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794 in Panola County.

Here is a snip of the project area:

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Anthony_JK

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #115 on: June 12, 2018, 10:29:19 PM »

It's a small step, but TxDOT is holding an Open House on June 26 for an interstate-grade grade separation at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794, preseumably part of Future I-369:

Quote
The purpose of this open house is to discuss the proposed construction of a grade separation that would meet interstate standards at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794 in Panola County.

Here is a snip of the project area:



Hmmm...the way those left turn lanes are transferred to the opposite carriageways is kind of like a partial CFI.

From the looks of the ROW, it looks like they will convert the existing southbound carriageway into the southbound frontage road; the existing  northbound carriageway will become the new southbound freeway mainline overpassing the cross road; and new roadways will be built on the east side of the ROW for the northbound freeway mainline and the northbound frontage road/ramps. Without seeing the plans, am I correct?
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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #116 on: June 12, 2018, 10:49:12 PM »

It's a small step, but TxDOT is holding an Open House on June 26 for an interstate-grade grade separation at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794, preseumably part of Future I-369:

Quote
The purpose of this open house is to discuss the proposed construction of a grade separation that would meet interstate standards at the intersection of US 59 and FM 1794 in Panola County.

Here is a snip of the project area:



Hmmm...the way those left turn lanes are transferred to the opposite carriageways is kind of like a partial CFI.



Texas has been doing those in places for the last 5-6 years, I think.  Not every intersection is like this

Hallsville has one controlled by a traffic signal https://goo.gl/maps/avWRzGLvGy12
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #117 on: July 08, 2018, 01:25:11 PM »

Whenever the planned inland port opens in TexAmericas Center, I wonder how big it's impact will be as far as jobs and population growth are concerned.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #118 on: July 08, 2018, 03:29:46 PM »

Whenever the planned inland port opens in TexAmericas Center, I wonder how big it's impact will be as far as jobs and population growth are concerned.

Initially, it'll have some marginal effect.  Texarkana is already a "crossroads" of sorts with major UP RR lines tracing I-30 from SW to NE; these are heavily-used lines taking Texas products -- primarily petroleum-based products such as plastics and chemical compounds to distribution centers in the Midwest (mainly Chicago, but with E. St. Louis and Toledo, OH being major transfer points as well); the KCS N-S main line (S. Texas/up the Gulf and New Orleans; the lines merge at Shreveport) to Kansas City crosses and interchanges with the U.P lines here as well.  What the TexAmericas Center is intended to do is add containerized cargo to the mix; it is intended to be a local "holding tank" for containers (primarily coming in from the West Coast through Fort Worth) before transfer to trucks or local-service trains.  However, its impact won't be fully felt until I-49 is completed between Texarkana and Fort Smith to the north -- and I-369 is completed as a conduit to the main I-69 trunk.  The Alliance for I-69/Texas, which has been the major in-state driver for completing the I-69 corridor cluster as planned, has made no bones about the relative importance of I-369 versus the short eastern segment of I-69 going into LA from the division point of Tenaha, near Carthage -- getting a continuous corridor from Houston north to Texarkana is "job one", enabling traffic to segue onto eastward I-30 at that point and thus to Memphis and points north and east of there.  The TexAmericas facility is simply "piggybacking" on that prioritization, being essentially situated at the 30/369 junction places it in a position to establish "spoke & hub" service centered on that location -- bring containers in via rail or truck from Fort Worth (where most of the regional container facilities are presently located) or containers loaded with "Chemical Coast" products brought up by UP or KCS trains or trucks coming up the I-69/369 continuum, which can "dwell" at TexAmericas until ready to be transported elsewhere.  Virtual cargo "holding tanks" such as this can provide employment at least in the high hundreds if not in the low/middle thousands when fully operational; TexAmericas, being situated at a logical collection point for both container cargo originating elsewhere and TX production, will likely start off slow but eventually will pick up in total cargo volume once the accessways are completed.  The Panama Canal enlargement (Panamax -- no relation to the power-conditioning products), while speculative, might enhance the prospects for collection/distribution centers like TexAmericas if traffic now originating at West Coast ports is shifted to Corpus Christi, Houston, Port Arthur, or other Gulf facilities -- and that's more than likely one of the arguments forwarded regarding development of those centers.  Like all ventures, it's something of a crapshoot -- but like with similar concepts, it comes down to location -- and Texarkana seems to be one of the better-situated places for this sort of activity.  Now -- how that translates to enhancement of local growth patterns remains to be seen -- but it certainly will result in some level of growth in the not-too-distant future.
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #119 on: July 08, 2018, 08:15:34 PM »

Thanks for the explanation and making it all clearer. Just wondering since you have knowledge of the area, have you ever lived or spent time here Sparker?
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #120 on: July 09, 2018, 12:25:34 AM »

Lots of family in the area; mostly in OK and spread out along US 70 from Durant east to Broken Bow (the vast majority live in McCurtain County).  My late dad's side; he was born in De Queen, AR and moved to Broken Bow when he was 6.  Before WWII he used to work for the Texas, Oklahoma, and Eastern railroad (owned by the Dierks lumber firm, now part of Weyerhaeuser), which was a hardwood conduit to the mills along its length -- my grandfather managed the one in Broken Bow for many years.  I do have an aunt in New Boston, but I barely maintain contact (her husband is one of the world's premier assholes! -- most of the family avoids him like the plague) except when she comes to Broken Bow alone for family get-togethers.  Since my grandmother died back in the early 30's and my grandfather remarried and had kids into his late '50's, a lot of my (half) aunts & uncles are only a few years older than myself -- so while technically a previous generation, they're relatively close in age and mostly still around.  I'm actually right between that generation and their oldest kids (they tended to marry and have kids at a very early age -- I'm 68, my youngest aunt is 77, and her oldest son just turned 60!).     

I used to do rail photography as a hobby; before the '96 takeover of SP by UP, Texarkana was a great place to find vintage diesel power on the old Cotton Belt (SP subsidiary) main line through town.  I invariably made side trips down there during family visits.   So yes, I'm reasonably familiar with the region.  Haven't been there in several years because of health issues (mine); planning a trip to Broken Bow for Christmas 2019 unless the situation changes.   
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Grzrd

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #121 on: July 09, 2018, 02:56:27 PM »

The Texarkana MPO recently posted the May 17, 2017 Amendment #1 to the 2015-2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and it included the Route Study for I-69 from Texarkana to Atlanta in the 2020 to 2024 Fiscally Constrained Project List (p. 92/131 of pdf; p. 84 of document):

....
This article indicates that the route study began on Sept. 1, 2017 and that it should last about a year:
Quote
Judge Carlow has also continued his efforts to advance regional transportation projects such as Interstate 69/Interstate 369, Highway 82 and the widening of Interstate 30 in Texarkana.
"We were successful in securing funds for the final route study for the segment of I-69/I-369 from Texarkana to Queen City. The study formally began Sept. 1, 2017, and is expected to take about a year. It's great to see the progress continue," Judge Carlow said.

TxDOT is holding an Open House on July 24 for the US 59 Texarkana-Queen City Route Study, which is described as follows:

Quote
TxDOT is conducting a planning study to develop and evaluate potential route options to extend Interstate 369 (I-369) from I-369/State Loop 151 southwest of Texarkana (Bowie County) to Farm to Market (FM) Road 2327 north of Queen City (Cass County). This section of US 59 in Bowie and Cass Counties will become part of the Interstate 69 system and be designated as I-369 upon meeting interstate standards and connecting to existing I-369. US 59 in this area does not currently meet interstate standards.

With the "spur" to TexAmericas Center also being studied, the following language in this May 30 article jumped out at me:

Quote
In other business, commissioners agreed to authorize the county to make a $50,000 contribution, as the county's share of matching funds, for a $350,000 grant recently extended to the county from the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The grant money will be used to finance a feasibility study that focuses on an Interstate 369 West Spur project connecting existing major roadways....

Does "Interstate 369 West Spur" raise the possibility of a "369W" shield? Also, since they are currently planning on extending I-369 to TX 151, will they rename TX 151/AR 151 an I-x49, since presumably a lot of freight traffic will follow I-49 to I-30 in carrying freight from I-369 to Little Rock and points beyond? More questions than answers.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 03:07:38 PM by Grzrd »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #122 on: July 09, 2018, 03:42:08 PM »

I think it would just be another 3-digit I-x69 route. It is not necessary for every 3di Interstate route to originate from, connect to or cross the original 2di parent route.

Some Examples:
I-990 in Buffalo,
I-590 in Rochester,
I-278 & I-678 in New York City,
I-175 & I-375 in St Petersburg,
I-235 in Wichita
I-380 in San Francisco
I-980 in Oakland
I-238 in Ashland, CA

None of those routes make any contact directly with the parent 2di route.

We sure don't need any "I-369W" shields. The lettering would be even more badly, revoltingly squeezed than the characters on I-H201 shields. It would be disgusting, but more important: the lettering would be far less legible than usual.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #123 on: July 09, 2018, 05:17:15 PM »

And all of the above raises one more question:  there seem to be no plans to extend the current I-369/US 59 alignment north and east to intersect I-49 NW of central Texarkana -- that was ostensibly to have been accomplished by the TexAmericas realignment (leaving the present alignment simply the N-S component of the entire SW Texarkana loop including 151).  Is that still the plan -- but here, I-369 simply terminates at I-30 while the "spur" heads clockwise around the periphery to the aforementioned I-49 junction?   At that point it could be designated as an x49 as well as an x69 -- but this being a part of the HPC 20 corridor and thus connected to the Alliance for I-69/Texas, which is responsible for the push to have everything (so far save I-2) reflect the "69" familiar logo, the "fix" would likely be in for a 69 derivative -- unfortunately, if past history with that group indicates a pattern, this would include the 3di+suffix (yecch!).  Hell -- back in 2011, I emailed them a suggestion that the then-Northeast Branch, now I-369, be designated as I-47 (it's close to 120 miles long), but they shot me down in short order with the claim that all routes legally designated under HPC 18 and HPC 20 must be I-69 or a derivative (US 83 was never formally within that corridor definition, so they had no objections to I-2 for that facility).  They're very protective of their projects and their "brand"!   But, ironically, when I emailed a reply stating that section #28 of HPC 18, the Pine Bluff spur, was to eventually become an I-530 extension, they replied that anything outside of Texas was beyond their control (and, obviously, interest!).
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #124 on: July 09, 2018, 06:46:58 PM »

What's wrong with naming the TexAmericas corridor alignment something like "I-569" if it's a spur route that dead ends or "I-669" if it ties into I-30 or goes farther to connect with I-49 North of Texarkana? The route could potentially have any even or odd numbered 3-digit I-x69 designation not already reserved by other projects. Aside from I-369 the only other one I can think of off-hand is the TX-550 toll road for the Port of Brownsville; I've heard that one bandied about as I-169. Are any others reserved already?

While the TexAmericas thing could technically be called "I-47" it would be a big waste of a 2di designation, especially if I-369 end up going directly into Texarkana (and meet up with the existing segment signed as I-369). The TexAmericas alignment is sparsely populated and does not directly serve metro Texarkana. I'm not a big fan of other ridiculously short 2di corridors, such as I-97. I can give I-2 a pass because of its location, the potential of its NW extension to Laredo and the fact it serves a pretty huge population (around 1.5 million people live in the Rio Grand Valley cluster of cities).
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