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Author Topic: Interstate 369  (Read 48534 times)

Anthony_JK

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #125 on: July 09, 2018, 08:57:46 PM »


[...]

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.

That makes absolute perfect sense, since upgrading US 59 to TX/AR 151 would provide direct access to central Texarkana and provide a direct link to I-49 and I-30. I figured that TXDOT wasn't going to bypass Texarkana merely using the Western Loop.

Quote
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.

If they would consider expanding the Western Loop to go north of I-30 to link with I-49 across the TX/AR border, and then extend it east at its southern terminus to hook up with I-49 south of Texarkana, that would create a nice I-x49 loop.

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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #126 on: July 09, 2018, 10:50:43 PM »

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.   
Cool. Back in the early 90s I lived in Lawton, Ok. Nice city at the time. Don't know what it's like now.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #127 on: July 09, 2018, 11:59:19 PM »

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.   
Cool. Back in the early 90s I lived in Lawton, Ok. Nice city at the time. Don't know what it's like now.

Ask Bobby 5280 -- he lives there and is chapter & verse about it (and all things OK!).
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #128 on: July 10, 2018, 12:53:54 AM »

Lawton has improved a bit from how it was in the early 1990's. I moved here in '93. It's pretty "clean" compared to how it was back then.

A bunch of the topless bars and massage parlors that were operating along Fort Sill Blvd, Cache Road and a few other spots are all gone now. Some of that was courtesy of Commanding Generals aboard Fort Sill marking those places off limits and some of it was due to action by the city council. The town is down to just one topless bar West of town not far from the Goodyear plant. Another one farther West on Old Cache Road goes in and out of business. There's still a decent number of pawn shops and dollar stores though.

Bar-S, Republic Paperboard and Silverline Plastics all built plants out West near the huge Goodyear tire factory in the late 1990's. I remember it being kind of a big deal with Applebee's built a location on the West side of town. Since then lots of other chain restaurants came to town. I laughed when we finally got an Olive Garden location. I spent 5 years in New York City and had some pretty great Italian food there; I didn't understand the locals' obsession with getting an Olive Garden.

I'm a movie buff and know movie theaters. The old theaters that were operating in the early 1990's are gone. The Video Triple was converted into a hardware store (Locke Supply). Back when I was just a kid I watched The Empire Strikes Back at the Showcase Twin in 1980. That theater closed in the mid 1990's not long after the Carmike 8 opened (in Dec 1994). It was turned into a Blockbuster Video location. When Blockbuster went bust that building was razed. There's a different small shopping plaza on that site now. The Carmike 8 was closed by AMC just recently. The main theater in town is the AMC Patriot 13. Carmike originally opened it in 2012. It has an IMAX-branded screen. Central Mall has a small 12-plex movie theater that has changed hands a few times. Dickinson Theaters opened it in 2001. AMC was the last owner, but spun it off when AMC bought Carmike. Now "New Vision Theaters" has it. I don't think that theater is going to last. And Central Mall itself is struggling. The Sears location shut down not too long ago. JCPenney is struggling. I'm surprised they stayed in Central Mall after a water line break flooded part of the store last year (causing a bunch of renovation work and the store to be closed for a few months). Some out of town company owns Central Mall and is charging outrageous rent prices. It's as if they want this mall to go under.

Lawton is still largely a military town. I've heard buzz the Army wants to do a bunch more expansion work on Fort Sill, moving missions from other posts to Oklahoma. I think a big part of that has to do with controlling cost. Oklahoma, and Lawton in particular, has a lower than average cost of living. The difference is pretty extreme when comparing living costs to highly populated coastal areas. Housing is by no means cheap, but it's a bargain compared to a bunch of other places. Our utility costs are low. Water supply is good.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 04:15:03 PM by Bobby5280 »
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #129 on: July 11, 2018, 12:11:22 PM »

Lawton has improved a bit from how it was in the early 1990's. I moved here in '93. It's pretty "clean" compared to how it was back then.

A bunch of the topless bars and massage parlors that were operating along Fort Sill Blvd, Cache Road and a few other spots are all gone now. Some of that was courtesy of Commanding Generals aboard Fort Sill marking those places off limits and some of it was due to action by the city council. The town is down to just one topless bar West of town not far from the Goodyear plant. Another one farther West on Old Cache Road goes in and out of business. There's still a decent number of pawn shops and dollar stores though.

Bar-S, Republic Paperboard and Silverline Plastics all built plants out West near the huge Goodyear tire factory in the late 1990's. I remember it being kind of a big deal with Applebee's built a location on the West side of town. Since then lots of other chain restaurants came to town. I laughed when we finally got an Olive Garden location. I spent 5 years in New York City and had some pretty great Italian food there; I didn't understand the locals' obsession with getting an Olive Garden.

I'm a movie buff and know movie theaters. The old theaters that were operating in the early 1990's are gone. The Video Triple was converted into a hardware store (Locke Supply). Back when I was just a kid I watched The Empire Strikes Back at the Showcase Twin in 1980. That theater closed in the mid 1990's not long after the Carmike 8 opened (in Dec 1994). It was turned into a Blockbuster Video location. When Blockbuster went bust that building was razed. There's a different small shopping plaza on that site now. The Carmike 8 was closed by AMC just recently. The main theater in town is the AMC Patriot 13. Carmike originally opened it in 2012. It has an IMAX-branded screen. Central Mall has a small 12-plex movie theater that has changed hands a few times. Dickinson Theaters opened it in 2001. AMC was the last owner, but spun it off when AMC bought Carmike. Now "New Vision Theaters" has it. I don't think that theater is going to last. And Central Mall itself is struggling. The Sears location shut down not too long ago. JCPenney is struggling. I'm surprised they stayed in Central Mall after a water line break flooded part of the store last year (causing a bunch of renovation work and the store to be closed for a few months). Some out of town company owns Central Mall and it charging outrageous rent prices. It's as if they want this mall to go under.

Lawton is still largely a military town. I've heard buzz the Army wants to do a bunch more expansion work on Fort Sill, moving missions from other posts to Oklahoma. I think a big part of that has to do with controlling cost. Oklahoma, and Lawton in particular, has a lower than average cost of living. The difference is pretty extreme when comparing living costs to highly populated coastal areas. Housing is by no means cheap, but it's a bargain compared to a bunch of other places. Our utility costs are low. Water supply is good.
Good to know. I remember how some people went down to Wichita Falls for entertainment and shopping. I'm sure some of that has changed now that Lawton has over 90,000 people now.
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #130 on: July 11, 2018, 12:30:39 PM »


[...]

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.

That makes absolute perfect sense, since upgrading US 59 to TX/AR 151 would provide direct access to central Texarkana and provide a direct link to I-49 and I-30. I figured that TXDOT wasn't going to bypass Texarkana merely using the Western Loop.

Quote
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.

If they would consider expanding the Western Loop to go north of I-30 to link with I-49 across the TX/AR border, and then extend it east at its southern terminus to hook up with I-49 south of Texarkana, that would create a nice I-x49 loop.


I remember when 369 was first proposed and the original plan was to build it to connect with the loop in Texarkana and loop around the north side of Texarkana and tie into I-49 but was abandoned because some many homes and businesses were built in the northern part of town. Now after other alternative routes were discussed they're once again proposing building up 59 to meet the loop on the south side of Texarkana. If they do that a lot of homes and businesses would have to be moved pushing back construction for God knows how long. If they do that as well as build the spur to TexAmericas Center, I'm quite sure the spur section would be built first since the plans for the inland port and work on rail lines to Houston are moving forward.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #131 on: July 11, 2018, 01:11:29 PM »

If it is eventually decided to simply utilize the present signed I-369/US 59 up to I-30, it would, IMO, be prudent to simply bring Loop 151 into the Interstate system as a x49 (no need to sign it as another x69, as it isn't an integral part of HPC #20's statutory designation).  That would provide an Interstate-signed connection between the two corridors and still maintain the aim of TX backers -- the direct segue from the greater I-69 corridor complex to the northeast outlet that I-30 provides.  While it certainly would be efficient to have a 2nd "segue" corridor from 369 to I-49 north of town, for the time being that isn't really necessary; a Loop 151 routing would not only serve as a direct 369>49 connection but also provide a south bypass route around Texarkana to avoid potential congestion on the E-W I-30 corridor through the central city.  The TexAmericas western loop project could be added to the network later as funding permits.  The idea here is to maximize the potential for what's presently "on the ground" and operational.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #132 on: July 11, 2018, 04:56:09 PM »

I would be surprised if any planners are still having any serious thoughts of extending Loop 151/I-369 in Texarkana North of its current I-30 terminus. There is a large strip shopping center, a cluster of restaurants and a big church on the North side of the interchange. A bunch of that property would have to be cleared to make room for flyover ramps and allow the Interstate to proceed North (presumably to meet I-49). The situation with property doesn't get any easier going farther North. There are some expensive homes, churches, a golf ranch and other obstacles along the way.

It's going to be difficult enough linking the existing I-369 stub in Texarkana with the other parts of I-369 along the US-59 corridor. A new terrain alignment looks likely considering all the development hugging close to existing US-59 just South of Loop 151.

There's still a chance US-59 could be re-aligned starting from where it runs just East of Wright Patman Lake Dam, going North to cross I-30 farther West of Texarkana and not connect to Loop 151 at all.

If having a I-69 system segment going through the TexAmericas Center is really a serious proposal why don't they get the ball rolling on that already? It's former Army post property, not something with a bunch of residential housing and other things that could stand in the way of a superhighway. From the way it looks that part, and a link to I-49 North of Texarkana would be significantly easier than the projects in/near Texarkana itself.

Plus, the more they fart around wasting time the more the project costs are going to rise. The emerging trade war could make a serious impact on construction materials costs for some time to come.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #133 on: July 11, 2018, 05:32:25 PM »

Something tells me that the TexAmericas project, which appears to be largely dependent upon private financing, might not be on as solid financial ground as its public-sector partners originally thought (not an uncommon occurrence by any means), with scheduling being likely a very "gray" zone.  So those partners are hedging their bets by reconfiguring I-369 to fit a more "restrained" set of plans, including utilizing existing facilities.  I've been on US 59 from Marshall to Texarkana and agree that the segment just south of the 59/151 junction isn't directly amenable to Interstate upgrades; a parallel (slightly) new-terrain alignment is the most likely course of action.  But, like I've always said, the clear goal of TX's I-69 backers is a corridor that connects Houston to I-30;  those folks are intending on accomplishing that by the clearest path from point "A" to point "B"; right now the existing/signed I-369 route up the US 59 portion of the Texarkana south loop is part of that path.  If and when the TexAmerica project gets off the ground and/or "stabilizes", a secondary loop via that facility will likely be planned -- probably one that, like other plans before it, hooks into I-49 somewhere along its short stint within TX.  But the "sure thing" will likely prevail initially. 
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #134 on: July 11, 2018, 10:51:44 PM »

Sparky and Bobby,  you both make very good points. People made so much noise about I-49 bringing so many jobs and commerce to Texarkana but little to nothing has happened since it opened. They're saying the same thing about 369 once it gets here. I know things take time but I really think the population and economic growth in the area will be minimal. Then again 49 still has a huge gap between Texarkana and Fort Smith.  So who knows.  What do you guys think?
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #135 on: July 12, 2018, 01:04:17 AM »

Sparky and Bobby,  you both make very good points. People made so much noise about I-49 bringing so many jobs and commerce to Texarkana but little to nothing has happened since it opened. They're saying the same thing about 369 once it gets here. I know things take time but I really think the population and economic growth in the area will be minimal. Then again 49 still has a huge gap between Texarkana and Fort Smith.  So who knows.  What do you guys think?

I'd venture that both the I-369/69 combination and I-49 north to Fort Smith will have to be finished before any substantial economic increase to the area is realized.  Because of its location, the area has good potential -- but for the time being that's largely unfulfilled.  It may be that the backers of TexAmericas themselves may be the ones holding back on development -- largely because the prospects for public projects such as the two unfinished Interstate corridors are so uncertain due to funding vagaries.  Quite likely it's a matter of "your move" between the private and public entities -- one is waiting for the other to make a significant move such as funding a sizeable stretch of either Interstate corridor or, in the inverse, actually starting to construct facilities on their reserved properties.  With ARDot displaying ongoing issues with getting key missing segments of I-49 off the ground, it becomes difficult for a private venture with stakeholders to satisfy to justify speculative physical investment absent some degree of certainty from the public partners.  It's quite possible that if activity picks up on the TX part of the equation and consistent progress is made on I-369 and I-69 to the south, there will be two southern access corridors to Texarkana while the northern one is still in the planning stage.  That might prove sufficient for the TexAmericas folks to phase in some sort of rail/truck transfer facility in order to "prime the pump", so to speak, for further development along those lines.  We'll just have to keep an eye on the situation!
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #136 on: July 12, 2018, 02:35:34 PM »

Yeah, traffic levels on I-49 are not going to increase noticeably until the gap between Fort Smith and Texarkana is filled. When enough of I-49 is sufficiently complete it will draw a lot of commercial traffic from Mid-America and points farther North destined for Louisiana ports. The I-69 system will add even more growth. Getting into fictional territory, I'd like to see a diagonal Interstate built from Limon, CO down to Oklahoma City and continue to the slant down to Texarkana. That would fill a pretty obvious gap in the national system and make Texarkana into an even more important crossroads point.

Regarding the TexAmericas center, if that development project is not getting a lot of commercial interest I can't say I'm surprised. Wasn't this supposed to be some kind of staging area for imports & exports? Such businesses need fast/efficient access to ports. I-69 and I-369 in Texas are pretty far away from being completed. The problem is the TexAmericas center kind of depends on I-69 in East Texas being finished already. Interest in that place may be pretty tepid until then.

The TexAmericas center has a decent amount of existing rail infrastructure, due to the Army ammunition depot that previously operated there. But much of that infrastructure is really old. And it empties out on an East-West route. Rail traffic has to go to Texarkana for any lines going South toward the coast.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #137 on: July 12, 2018, 04:38:43 PM »

Ooh -- an Interstate right down OK 3:  My family in the Broken Bow/Idabel area would quake with excitement at the prospect of acquiring one or another food or fuel franchise (collectively we own about 9-10 square miles SE of Broken Bow, most of it forested). 

Getting back to reality -- the TexAmericas center sits on a secondary UP (former Missouri Pacific) branch that previously, as cited above, served the ammo depot; the main UP line (also ex-MP and hosting the Amtrak "Texas Eagle", tracks I-30 northeast of town but shifts SW more or less along US 59 to Marshall; that by far is the most trafficked of the rail lines except for the N-S KCS line, which essentially follows the I-49 corridor.  The 3rd line is the old Cotton Belt line, which come up from Dallas and Mt. Pleasant and leaves town to the east following US 82 before turning northeast to follow US 79 up to Pine Bluff.  For the most part, the old MP and Cotton Belt lines paralleled each other from SE MO all the way down to the DFW area, crossing each other occasionally.  Today, UP uses them largely as a one-way couplet, with the old MP line via Little Rock handling northeast-bound freight traffic heading toward Chicago or the East Coast (including some containers passing through DFW but mostly bulk cargo from the "Chemical Coast"), while the Cotton Belt line through Pine Bluff handles traffic returning southwest, including empty container and tank cars.  But neither has directly served the TexAmericas former ammo-depot site; that was along a secondary old MP line that followed US 82 through Paris and Sherman; it diverged from the main line in Texarkana, essentially right at the state line.  It's likely a new "loop" track extending to the main line southwest of town along US 59 would have to be constructed as a southern access route to TexAmericas; the existing trackage would function adequately from the other direction.  But with these transfer/holding facilities, efficiency of egress is vital; having to back trains up a former branch line to get to the facility wouldn't be conducive to attracting customers.  And that in itself may be a reason why the facility's development hasn't progressed rapidly;  UP and possibly KCS likely realize that they're going to have to lay out bucks to retrofit an efficient access system from their main lines to the site -- in addition to getting FRA approval to construct such a network, convincing their boards of directors to do so without the various Interstate access corridors being fully operational may be problematic.  Probably a case of, as I stated before, one party waiting for the other to make a definitive move before doing anything themselves.         
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 04:43:20 PM by sparker »
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #138 on: July 12, 2018, 11:49:50 PM »

Yeah, traffic levels on I-49 are not going to increase noticeably until the gap between Fort Smith and Texarkana is filled. When enough of I-49 is sufficiently complete it will draw a lot of commercial traffic from Mid-America and points farther North destined for Louisiana ports. The I-69 system will add even more growth. Getting into fictional territory, I'd like to see a diagonal Interstate built from Limon, CO down to Oklahoma City and continue to the slant down to Texarkana. That would fill a pretty obvious gap in the national system and make Texarkana into an even more important crossroads point.

Regarding the TexAmericas center, if that development project is not getting a lot of commercial interest I can't say I'm surprised. Wasn't this supposed to be some kind of staging area for imports & exports? Such businesses need fast/efficient access to ports. I-69 and I-369 in Texas are pretty far away from being completed. The problem is the TexAmericas center kind of depends on I-69 in East Texas being finished already. Interest in that place may be pretty tepid until then.

The TexAmericas center has a decent amount of existing rail infrastructure, due to the Army ammunition depot that previously operated there. But much of that infrastructure is really old. And it empties out on an East-West route. Rail traffic has to go to Texarkana for any lines going South toward the coast.
7up
I don't know if you've heard about it, but at one time hwy. 82 between Texarkana and Wichita Falls was to be upgraded into an interstate but the plan fell through. It was part of former Texas governor Rick Perry's Trans Texas Corridor. I-44 may one day be extended from Wichita Falls to Fort Worth. Since you live in Lawton,  is there still talk about that project?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #139 on: July 13, 2018, 01:09:31 AM »

If I-44 was going to be extended it would most likely go down to Abilene (and then maybe San Angelo; Del Rio is quite a reach). Over the past 20 years TX DOT has done a series of upgrades on US-277 between Wichita Falls and Abilene. The entire route is now a 4-lane facility. Several towns along the way have Interstate quality or near-Interstate quality bypasses. From OKC I-44 is already pointing toward the Southwest. It wouldn't make any sense at all for I-44 to suddenly make a hard left turn to go to Fort Worth and meet the I-35 corridor again. I would absolutely hate seeing that on a map.

US-287 between Fort Worth and Amarillo is worthy of an Interstate quality upgrade. I've heard the I-32 designation thrown around a good bit and that would make sense. The US-82 corridor is a tougher sell, although as gigantic as the Dallas-Fort Worth megapolis has become building an "I-34" route along that corridor may become a necessity. I certainly think US-82 needs to be fully Interstate quality between I-35 and US-75. Development from DFW is growing in that direction. The Lake Texoma region is very popular for leisure activity. There's some big casinos just across the river.

The Trans Texas Corridor thing was just a big pipe dream and not in touch with the financial realities of building super highways, much less the really high costs of high speed rail. Also high speed rail should NEVER be confined to run parallel with a highway. Any cutting edge rail line with trains running near 200mph would require track geometry with far more smooth, gradual turns than that of any Interstate highway in existence. Just check how the high speed rail lines in Europe or a Maglev line in China look via satellite in Google Earth. Highways aren't built that smooth. Texas is a big state and has a decent amount of money. But big highways and big cutting edge rail lines require a nationally focused big picture approach. We're not getting that at all, not in the slightest, from the federal government these days. The idiot policy makers up there now think roads and railroads can be built with pocket change.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 01:11:51 AM by Bobby5280 »
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #140 on: July 13, 2018, 01:45:19 AM »

Let's just say I'm in full agreement with Bobby's assessment of the situation -- although I'd just make the US 287 corridor an I-30 western extension (save 32 or 34 for a bypass of DFW along US 82, which, trust me, will be needed sooner than later!)  Back in the mid '00's, it was actually humorous to watch Rick Perry pompously unveil his "Trans-Texas Corridor" plans for half-mile-width toll facilities crisscrossing the state, with everything from intercity HS rail to pipelines, fiber optics, and electrical transmission lines down the middle!  It was almost immediately excoriated from all political fronts -- from rural landowners on the right rightfully pissed off about the property acquisition that would be required to urban activists on the left who, well, tend to get upset about any roadway expansion efforts whatsoever (the so-called "BANANAS").  I don't think I've ever seen a state administration back away from something as fast as the Perry folks did with Trans-Texas; first they presented a "scaled-down" version of the previous plans but confined to existing planned corridors -- then the whole thing seemed to vanish into nothingness; by 2010-11 it was like the grandiose plans had never existed!

As I've related previously, the lack of a national transportation "vision" started back in Nixon's day, when one of his administration's goals was to render the possibility of broad national programs all but impossible by dissipating funding through "block grants".  He was able to get the more conservative southern Democrats (yes, folks, those did exist a generation or two ago!) to go along with his plans (they were still smarting from the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act) and got the plan through Congress with only a few votes to spare.  Of course, besides stymieing nationwide funding for social purposes, such things as infrastructure were brought to their knees more or less as collateral damage.  Combine that with the "black eye" the Interstate concept was sustaining in the '70's from urban backlash, and progress on the remainder of the system faded from the limelight -- the goal became the completion of the original system with as little fuss -- and PR problems -- as feasible.     
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #141 on: July 13, 2018, 12:20:36 PM »

Thanks for the input guys. I read not long about expanding I-30 to 6 lanes between Texarkana and New Boston  because of the increase in  traffic especially truck traffic. Another reason cited was to handle traffic from 369 when it's completed. I'm sure by then much of the I-30 corridor in Texas will be widened like I-35 between DFW and  Austin.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #142 on: July 13, 2018, 01:24:34 PM »

Quote from: sparker
As I've related previously, the lack of a national transportation "vision" started back in Nixon's day, when one of his administration's goals was to render the possibility of broad national programs all but impossible by dissipating funding through "block grants".  He was able to get the more conservative southern Democrats (yes, folks, those did exist a generation or two ago!) to go along with his plans (they were still smarting from the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act) and got the plan through Congress with only a few votes to spare.  Of course, besides stymieing nationwide funding for social purposes, such things as infrastructure were brought to their knees more or less as collateral damage.  Combine that with the "black eye" the Interstate concept was sustaining in the '70's from urban backlash, and progress on the remainder of the system faded from the limelight -- the goal became the completion of the original system with as little fuss -- and PR problems -- as feasible.

I have a pretty grim view of our nation's current long term trajectory, especially involving things like highways and other important elements of infrastructure that provide a foundation for our modern society. From the selfish perspective it has me fairly worried what could be happening in 20 years when I'm eligible to retire. Americans love waving the flag and going on how "patriotic" they may be, but there are very very few willing to give up any money to support it. The institutions that flag represents suddenly become an "overbearing enemy."

All while we're busy patting ourselves on the back about our perceived greatness (insert loud chants of "we're number one"), other nations are not standing still. China is doing all sorts of things in an attempt to make its nation the biggest focus on the globe rather than the United States. They're building super highways at a pace the US hasn't come close to matching in over 50 years. They're building lots of high speed rail lines, hydroelectric dams, artificial islands (with military installations) and so many other things that it's scary. Over here we don't have the tax revenue needed to fix many crumbling parts of our nation's infrastructure. And we have no big picture view to modernize it. The only big ideas our policy makers have now is dreaming up new tax cuts as a means to pander to us fools so they can be re-elected. The only thing really keeping the United States afloat is our nation's ability to innovate. But we're doing our best to undermine that too.

What kind of future will the United States have when a fundamental thing like starting a family is being turned into an unaffordable luxury lifestyle? Many young couples just can't do it. I don't see any 50-year old recruits going thru basic training at Fort Sill. 20 years from they may be desperate for any new recruits. Gripe as I may about short-sighted tax cuts, there has been so much price gouging taking place in key economic areas (housing, health care, higher education, etc) that it's almost impossible to roll back those cuts. The savings from those cuts are being eaten by price hikes in other areas.

In the end our neglected infrastructure is stuck. The matter is made worse by various groups of people with their own agendas of getting paid via some slick angle. It can be contractors taking taxpayers for a ride. It can be anti-roads crowds pitching the dream of Americans riding bicycles everywhere, but really it's some law firms making a lot of money off keeping infrastructure projects bottled up in court for decades.

Regarding I-30, I know it sucks that a major route ending in a zero travels for such a relatively short distance. However I don't like the idea of I-30 terminating at both ends at I-40. I don't like the "V" shape of such a route either. I also think the best candidates for I-32 and I-34 are in North Texas. Of course we also have the issue of some route numbers being duplicated in different parts of the country (I-84, I-76, I-74, etc with more on the way like I-87).
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #143 on: July 15, 2018, 10:14:25 PM »

I recently went to Atlanta, Tx and noticed a full interchange at Domino. I wonder what the next project in the area to converting hwy 59 into 369 will be?
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #144 on: July 19, 2018, 07:10:43 PM »

Just saw this on the news: TxDot will have public meetings in Queen City and Texarkana concerning upgrading  U. S. Hwy 59 to interstate standards.  They will be on July 24th and 26th respectively. .
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 08:05:24 PM by dariusb »
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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #145 on: July 19, 2018, 07:36:56 PM »

Am I wrong for saying this: it looks to me as though TxDOT may be setting themselves up to be carrying the I-69 shield...not right now, but sometime in the future... the entire way from Houston to Texarkana.

I saw 2 FUTURE I-69 CORRIDOR signs between Marshall & Nacogdoches last month. Also with TxDOT's major lack of interest in performing the EIS study into Louisiana  (for which I don't blame them for not wanting to work on "foreign soil"), it just looks as though Texas is planning/steering/preparing for I-69 to be multiplexed with I-40 at Memphis & I-30 at Little Rock.

Thoughts?
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #146 on: July 19, 2018, 08:08:23 PM »

I'm guessing Texas is trying to get their part done as quickly as they can especially since it's such a large area mileage wise.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #147 on: July 20, 2018, 12:13:49 AM »

Am I wrong for saying this: it looks to me as though TxDOT may be setting themselves up to be carrying the I-69 shield...not right now, but sometime in the future... the entire way from Houston to Texarkana.

I saw 2 FUTURE I-69 CORRIDOR signs between Marshall & Nacogdoches last month. Also with TxDOT's major lack of interest in performing the EIS study into Louisiana  (for which I don't blame them for not wanting to work on "foreign soil"), it just looks as though Texas is planning/steering/preparing for I-69 to be multiplexed with I-40 at Memphis & I-30 at Little Rock.

Thoughts?

Doubt whether I-69 itself will ever multiplex with I-30 & I-40, despite the naysayers dismissing the central (Tenaha-Tunica) segment; too much support in AR (maybe not duplicated in MS) for that to happen.  For certain, they'll take their own damn time to complete it, but eventually it'll happen (most of us probably will have been long gone).  The TX backers are perfectly content to have both I-69 and I-369 signed on the portion north of Houston, as long as that connection is made in reasonably short order.   The lack of a TX-originated push for an EIS for the segment extending into LA is simply a matter of priorities; and those lie squarely with I-369.  Once that corridor segment is well under way, then you may find a change of heart regarding the I-69 trunk across the state line -- or maybe they're just waiting for LA to take the reins and do the whole damn study on their dime, including the TX mileage.  Either way, it's in no one's best interest to hold their breath for this one! 
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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #148 on: July 20, 2018, 01:02:08 AM »

I wouldn't doubt if 369 becomes just as busy as it's parent 69. At least where they split.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #149 on: July 20, 2018, 11:40:21 AM »

Am I wrong for saying this: it looks to me as though TxDOT may be setting themselves up to be carrying the I-69 shield...not right now, but sometime in the future... the entire way from Houston to Texarkana.

I saw 2 FUTURE I-69 CORRIDOR signs between Marshall & Nacogdoches last month. Also with TxDOT's major lack of interest in performing the EIS study into Louisiana  (for which I don't blame them for not wanting to work on "foreign soil"), it just looks as though Texas is planning/steering/preparing for I-69 to be multiplexed with I-40 at Memphis & I-30 at Little Rock.

Thoughts?

I think not.

Louisiana needs the Tenada-Memphis segments of I-69 to complete the freeway loop in South Shreveport-Bossier and connect the Port of Shreveport-Bossier to the Interstate system there. Texas is only balking at funding studies of SIU 13 because their priorities are right now focused on US 59, and they would prefer LADOTD to become the lead for funding the Tenaha-Logansport-Shreveport segment. This is only a delay, not a total rejection, of the presumed I-69 corridor through LA and AR.

I just can't see TXDOT running I-69 through Texarkana and then ARDOT rerouting it through concurrencies with I-30 and I-40, or Memphis accepting anything that bypasses their central core completely.
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