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Author Topic: Interstate 369  (Read 63893 times)

dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #300 on: October 06, 2019, 09:19:33 PM »

I hope that their plans for the city translate into real job opportunities and not just more restaurants. The city leaders have a history of saying/talking big plans and getting people's hopes up only to dash those hopes but only time will tell. I-69 will take I don't know how long to build through Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi especially since those states are some of the poorest in the nation.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #301 on: October 06, 2019, 09:40:34 PM »

It does seem like there's a push to make Texarkana the transportation hub of the Ark-La-Tex instead of Shreveport which is the largest city.

A push no doubt originating on the TX side of the line; any enhancement in Shreveport tends to concentrate resultant benefits to that area with little spillover into TX (or AR for that matter).  It's simply a matter of TX doing what TX does best:  ensuring benefits remain within the state boundaries (hence prioritization of I-369 over the main I-69 trunk east of the division point).  Also -- since expansion east/NE from Texarkana is limited by the Red River floodplain, most developmental activities extend west along I-30 and/or US 82.    Finally, the multitude of rail lines converging on Texarkana certainly hasn't hurt its prospects as a distribution hub.

Very true.  I would submit that SHV and TXK, sister cities in the same TV market (which used to be called "Shreveport/Texarkana" but is now just "Shreveport" in Nielsen) will always have a rivalry that neither can fully best.  I'd mentioned on the previous page that the commercial bus lines, which have to pretend there's a completed I-49 and I-69, have made Texarkana a slightly bigger hub.  In fact, in Texas only Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Amarillo appear to have more bus connections than TXK.  Amtrak, always tenuous, still brings the "Texas Eagle" rail passenger service to Texarkana with it having been (tragically) long gone in Shreveport/Bossier*.  Then again, SHV has the huge Kansas City Southern Deramus railway yard and some significant UP ones, as well as key mainlines, though TXK will always be the quickest way to America's industrial midwest, midsouth and northeast from the Lone Star State unless state boundaries are changed.  Being the much bigger city, Shreveport has better airport connections as well (and maybe always will), though as Dariusb noted earlier here, TXK is trying to expand its modest airport service.

I-69 and I-49, and which gets to what city first (if at all) are the wild cards in all this.

*There's talk of extending the Amtrak "Southern Crescent" line between NYC and NO at Meridian (kind of like I-69 W and C  ;-) ) to extend to Marshall, TX (meeting the "Texas Eagle") through Shreveport, giving D/FW and Texas customers the option to head east.  It would be nice, but I won't hold my breath on it.  :-(
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 09:43:40 PM by O Tamandua »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #302 on: October 06, 2019, 10:10:56 PM »

Texarkana is home to a decent rail junction, perhaps one that can be expanded. But currently it ranks down the list in terms of activity compared to more major regional hubs, such as Fort Worth and Amarillo. Even Oklahoma City has more going on there in terms of rail infrastructure. For any location the true key to growth isn't about landing a new highway. It's all about landing new major employers. For instance, I mentioned OKC. With that city being at the intersection of I-35 & I-40 it's arguably the central point of the Interstate highway system in the contiguous 48 states. Amazon just opened a 2 million+ sq ft fulfillment center there. Texarkana could attract ventures like that, but I don't think it will happen until I-369 and I-49 are fully completed through there.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #303 on: October 07, 2019, 02:20:55 PM »

Texarkana is home to a decent rail junction, perhaps one that can be expanded. But currently it ranks down the list in terms of activity compared to more major regional hubs, such as Fort Worth and Amarillo. Even Oklahoma City has more going on there in terms of rail infrastructure. For any location the true key to growth isn't about landing a new highway. It's all about landing new major employers. For instance, I mentioned OKC. With that city being at the intersection of I-35 & I-40 it's arguably the central point of the Interstate highway system in the contiguous 48 states. Amazon just opened a 2 million+ sq ft fulfillment center there. Texarkana could attract ventures like that, but I don't think it will happen until I-369 and I-49 are fully completed through there.

It'll certainly be interesting to see which of the two corridors:  I-369 and its Houston connection via I-69, or I-49 north to Fort Smith/I-40, will be completed first.  The strategy for each of the corridors looks to be similar -- incremental development, with one project being completed prior to commencement on the next one (although TX arguably has more in the way of resources to "bite off" bigger chunks of construction in one sitting, there's enough on their plate statewide to render a concentration on one particular corridor unlikely).  In the case of AR, there's just not enough funds to address more than one smallish section at a time; the Arkansas River crossing -- the most costly pending segment -- will likely suck up much of the short-term funding, particularly since it's not only part of the overall I-49 corridor but also an effective "SIU" regarding its bypass function for Fort Smith (with corresponding localized political importance).  The remainder of the I-49 corridor will likely be a matter of "bits & pieces", with the most difficult segment -- the overlay of US 71 through the Ouachita ridgeline -- being the last to be attacked.  I'd "guesstimate" a horizon of 25-30 years for completion; compared with I-69/369, which if the Livingston, Nacogdoches, and Marshall segments come in, timewise, at anything approaching their planned schedule, will have much more completed mileage in the short haul.  In purely technical terms -- and with no navigable rivers to cross -- it's difficult to see how 69/369 wouldn't reach the finish line first -- but maybe not by much, depending upon how AR and TX can work out their joint section north of Texarkana and exactly where the stretch from there north to De Queen (before they encounter serious mountains) will be located (preliminary indications show the corridor cutting across open territory north of the Little River); if the TX/AR sticking points are ironed out, this will probably be the first segment, aside from a possible Mena bypass, to be developed.  It's probably safe to presume that once the Arkansas is bridged, the rush will be on to complete as much mileage as possible to "kickstart" the entire project; doing so in the relative flatlands would be the natural approach.  If this is done, a probable 30-35-year timeline would be a fair projection; unless unforeseen obstacles occur in TX, the Houston-Texarkana corridor will be done a few years before I-49.  But we shall see -- the political and fiscal environment might mitigate in one direction or the other in that period of time. 
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #304 on: October 08, 2019, 02:10:16 AM »

I-49 in Texarkana has pretty light traffic despite recently being connected to Shreveport via I-220. I'm sure it'll probably stay that way until being built to Ft. Smith. I-369 already has  nice traffic counts nearing 65,000 vpd. Of course it being completely in Texarkana is why. It's too early to tell right now but I'm guessing  the leg of 369 between Texarkana and Marshall will probably have higher traffic volumes than the Shreveport to Texarkana leg of 49 for awhile.
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #305 on: October 08, 2019, 02:15:39 AM »

It does seem like there's a push to make Texarkana the transportation hub of the Ark-La-Tex instead of Shreveport which is the largest city.

A push no doubt originating on the TX side of the line; any enhancement in Shreveport tends to concentrate resultant benefits to that area with little spillover into TX (or AR for that matter).  It's simply a matter of TX doing what TX does best:  ensuring benefits remain within the state boundaries (hence prioritization of I-369 over the main I-69 trunk east of the division point).  Also -- since expansion east/NE from Texarkana is limited by the Red River floodplain, most developmental activities extend west along I-30 and/or US 82.    Finally, the multitude of rail lines converging on Texarkana certainly hasn't hurt its prospects as a distribution hub.

Very true.  I would submit that SHV and TXK, sister cities in the same TV market (which used to be called "Shreveport/Texarkana" but is now just "Shreveport" in Nielsen) will always have a rivalry that neither can fully best.  I'd mentioned on the previous page that the commercial bus lines, which have to pretend there's a completed I-49 and I-69, have made Texarkana a slightly bigger hub.  In fact, in Texas only Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Amarillo appear to have more bus connections than TXK.  Amtrak, always tenuous, still brings the "Texas Eagle" rail passenger service to Texarkana with it having been (tragically) long gone in Shreveport/Bossier*.  Then again, SHV has the huge Kansas City Southern Deramus railway yard and some significant UP ones, as well as key mainlines, though TXK will always be the quickest way to America's industrial midwest, midsouth and northeast from the Lone Star State unless state boundaries are changed.  Being the much bigger city, Shreveport has better airport connections as well (and maybe always will), though as Dariusb noted earlier here, TXK is trying to expand its modest airport service.

I-69 and I-49, and which gets to what city first (if at all) are the wild cards in all this.

*There's talk of extending the Amtrak "Southern Crescent" line between NYC and NO at Meridian (kind of like I-69 W and C  ;-) ) to extend to Marshall, TX (meeting the "Texas Eagle") through Shreveport, giving D/FW and Texas customers the option to head east.  It would be nice, but I won't hold my breath on it.  :-(
They both have something the other has. Shreveport has a better airport and larger population. Texarkana is a much safer city to do business.
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #306 on: October 08, 2019, 11:26:37 PM »

This is kind of connected to what we were talking about concerning transportation in Texarkana:
https://txktoday.com/news/texarkana-regional-airports-second-terminal-is-set-for-construction/
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debragga

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #307 on: October 09, 2019, 03:43:47 PM »

- If memory serves, the same principle is in effect in Dallas when one finally gets at the northeast edge of the Metroplex beltway(s) to I-30 and the big overhead green signs point to Texarkana as well (rather than Greenville or (less likely) Sulphur Springs).  Cachet, indeed. ">)

Your memory does indeed serve. The signs say Texarkana at both the US-80 split and the I-635 interchange.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #308 on: October 10, 2019, 02:07:41 PM »

When more sections of Interstate 369 are completed between Tenaha and Texarkana, does anyone think they will be fully signed as Interstate 369/US 59 from the get-go? Or might Texas just sign the completed portions solely as US 59, considering Interstate 69 is nowhere near completed between Cleveland and Tenaha?
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #309 on: October 10, 2019, 04:35:51 PM »

When more sections of Interstate 369 are completed between Tenaha and Texarkana, does anyone think they will be fully signed as Interstate 369/US 59 from the get-go? Or might Texas just sign the completed portions solely as US 59, considering Interstate 69 is nowhere near completed between Cleveland and Tenaha?

Seeing as how they were pretty quick on the draw with the singular signed portion of I-369, portions that are completed stand a good chance of receiving signage.  But it's also equally likely that major projects, such as the Marshall bypass and its I-20 interchange will be the ones to be signed; single small projects such as isolated interchanges with intersecting highways probably won't get the shields until they're connected to other completed segments.   
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #310 on: October 10, 2019, 08:43:56 PM »

When more sections of Interstate 369 are completed between Tenaha and Texarkana, does anyone think they will be fully signed as Interstate 369/US 59 from the get-go? Or might Texas just sign the completed portions solely as US 59, considering Interstate 69 is nowhere near completed between Cleveland and Tenaha?

Seeing as how they were pretty quick on the draw with the singular signed portion of I-369, portions that are completed stand a good chance of receiving signage.  But it's also equally likely that major projects, such as the Marshall bypass and its I-20 interchange will be the ones to be signed; single small projects such as isolated interchanges with intersecting highways probably won't get the shields until they're connected to other completed segments.   
The only segments that can be signed are those that connect to another interstate highway. The currently signed portion of I-369 in Texarkana connects to I-30, and the Marshall Bypass segment could also get signage once linked to I-20. Any extensions of the existing I-369 designated roadways (currently only Texarkana) can also be signed.

I-69 followed a similar process. It's signed in the Houston area as it connects to I-45, and I-10, and the Robstown - Kingsville area outside of Corpus Christi as it connects to I-37. Currently both segments are getting the freeway extended southward (Robstown to Kingsville under construction, Kendleton to Rosenburg under construction), and they are going to get I-69 shields as they link to another interstate highway. Meanwhile, isolated freeway segments don't receive signage until linked.

The Valley interstates are weird... it's almost like they gamed the system. They all technically link to another interstate - I-69E links with I-2, I-2 links with I-69E and I-69C, I-69C links with I-2. etc. but they actually don't connect to the rest of the network... at least for now until one of the I-69s is completed up to I-37.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 08:46:41 PM by sprjus4 »
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #311 on: October 10, 2019, 11:20:56 PM »

- If memory serves, the same principle is in effect in Dallas when one finally gets at the northeast edge of the Metroplex beltway(s) to I-30 and the big overhead green signs point to Texarkana as well (rather than Greenville or (less likely) Sulphur Springs).  Cachet, indeed. ">)

Your memory does indeed serve. The signs say Texarkana at both the US-80 split and the I-635 interchange.

Thanks, Debragga!
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #312 on: October 10, 2019, 11:56:09 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
The Valley interstates are weird... it's almost like they gamed the system. They all technically link to another interstate - I-69E links with I-2, I-2 links with I-69E and I-69C, I-69C links with I-2. etc. but they actually don't connect to the rest of the network... at least for now until one of the I-69s is completed up to I-37.

This situation is not much different from the early years of the Interstate highway system in the 1960's and 70's when many isolated, disconnected segments existed, but were still signed as Interstate highways.

IMHO, if the segment of freeway only consists of a single limited access highway segment hopping an intersection then that certainly does not need to be signed as an Interstate. But if the isolated freeway segment goes on for a pretty good chunk of miles (such as 10, 20 or more) I don't think there should be any issue for signing that as an Interstate, especially if more progress is pending along that corridor. In the end the Interstate signs serve as a form of advertising campaigning to get the entire job finished.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #313 on: October 11, 2019, 01:54:32 AM »

Quote from: sprjus4
The Valley interstates are weird... it's almost like they gamed the system. They all technically link to another interstate - I-69E links with I-2, I-2 links with I-69E and I-69C, I-69C links with I-2. etc. but they actually don't connect to the rest of the network... at least for now until one of the I-69s is completed up to I-37.

This situation is not much different from the early years of the Interstate highway system in the 1960's and 70's when many isolated, disconnected segments existed, but were still signed as Interstate highways.

IMHO, if the segment of freeway only consists of a single limited access highway segment hopping an intersection then that certainly does not need to be signed as an Interstate. But if the isolated freeway segment goes on for a pretty good chunk of miles (such as 10, 20 or more) I don't think there should be any issue for signing that as an Interstate, especially if more progress is pending along that corridor. In the end the Interstate signs serve as a form of advertising campaigning to get the entire job finished.

Essentially the raison d'etre for the existing I-14 segment; the "camel's nose through the tent opening" type of approach -- publicize and celebrate the signage enough that folks start wondering where and when the next section will be deployed.  While the presently signed I-369 is only a small fraction of I-14's current length, when the Marshall bypass is completed, the aggregate signable mileage will be similar.  And if the under-planning Nacogdoches segment of I-69 gets built in short order, the push to get the rest of the TX-based corridor north to Texarkana underway may well gain additional traction.
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dariusb

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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #315 on: December 01, 2019, 04:13:07 AM »

Interesting article about area highway projects: http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2019/nov/29/20-years-texarkana-will-really-be-moving-arkansas-texas-have-local-portions-i-30-planned-six-lanes-future/806067/

While the addition of a fully completed I-49 would certainly make Texarkana a true "crossroads" in the historic sense of the term, it's also clear that TxDOT would be more than satisfied to make that city a merge point for traffic coming north from Houston on the 69/369 composite corridor; they're certainly not going to wait around for AR to substantially build out the Texarkana-Ft. Smith portion of 49, but treat their in state N-S corridor as an independent project with the near-term goal of expediting Houston-originated traffic up to I-30.  The plans for 6-laning the latter route merely emphasize those agency priorities -- and the likelihood that I-69 through AR won't be a functional corridor for decades means that commercial traffic on I-30 will continue to increase.  That'll likely be enough to prompt ADOT to extend the 6-laning of 30 as far as available funds will take it just to keep up with the demands on that facility. 
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #316 on: December 02, 2019, 10:31:38 PM »

Right, I agree. Do you think I-69 through Arkansas and Louisiana is needed or basically a wasted project?
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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #317 on: December 03, 2019, 12:57:21 AM »

Right, I agree. Do you think I-69 through Arkansas and Louisiana is needed or basically a wasted project?
Personal opinion, but I think that the route will technically be complete when I-69 is finished between Canada and I-155 in Tennessee, and I-69/369 is finished between Marshall and Houston. The rest of the route is already served by I-155, I-55, I-40, I-30, I-49, and I-20, north to south.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #318 on: December 03, 2019, 12:14:15 PM »

Right, I agree. Do you think I-69 through Arkansas and Louisiana is needed or basically a wasted project?
Personal opinion, but I think that the route will technically be complete when I-69 is finished between Canada and I-155 in Tennessee, and I-69/369 is finished between Marshall and Houston. The rest of the route is already served by I-155, I-55, I-40, I-30, I-49, and I-20, north to south.

The route won't be technically complete; that particular SIU will be functionally complete -- but only if one considers Shreveport rather than I-30 as the immediate "goal".  Sure, one could head east on I-20 then north on I-49 (with a stint on I-220) to get to Shreveport -- but that would be a detour through an additional metro area -- which is what the entirety of I-369 is intended to avoid.  The segment between Marshall and Texarkana is, at least to those promoting the corridor, as vital to their aims as the section south of there.  The short-term goal is to get commercial traffic up to I-30, where it can head northeast to Midwest/Great Lakes distribution zones.  Stopping short at I-20 won't be considered even adequate, much less optimal.

As far as the "central" section (Tenaha-Memphis) section of I-69 is concerned, its completion is less immediately important than the remainder of the system -- including that section along US 51 between Memphis and Dyersburg!  Sorry, but just because an out-of-the-way freeway facility requiring a substantial amount of backtracking is technically available (the 155/55 alternative is analogous to the 20/49 Shreveport "detour") doesn't indicate the functional completion of a corridor.   It's like ordering salmon and getting a tuna sandwich instead!  Once the I-69 corridor in TX segues seamlessly onto I-369 and the latter route is finished to I-30 -- and I-69 north of Memphis is completed, the higher-value sections of that whole corridor are done.  The interim section was designated in the first place to (a) tie those two sections together into a project with national implications, and (b) to provide Interstate service to areas of Arkansas and Mississippi previously neglected by national system planning -- and providing political cover to parties hailing from those areas.  Actually, it's possible that I-69's shorter-term plans may yet include a Shreveport bypass -- at least to the proposed I-69/20 interchange east of town -- but that concept will likely have to wait until the inner-city portion of I-49 is in the rear view mirror. 

Aside from the arguably valid perception that the central I-69 segment has diminished value compared to the remainder of the corridor, the major obstacle to full realization is the Great River Bridge -- a concept that will need to be "resold" to both the public and political actors again and again until it eventually is either developed or deleted.   It has gone through many iterations in the 28 years since the corridor's inception, including whether or not to include freight rail capacity.  But all options are ultra-expensive -- it needs to cross miles of floodplain in addition to a main channel with sufficient clearance for commercial ships.   But, unlike many I-69 segments, it has limited SIU value -- there's a nice new 4-lane crossing at US 82 about 20 miles south of the proposed crossing site that adequately handles local/regional traffic needs.   So the prospect of having to fund an expensive structure has resulted in (and, in all likelihood, will continue as) the project being the object of procrastination on the part of the responsible jurisdictions.   While AR has the initial couple of lanes of their I-69 stretch planned as a "placeholder" for an eventual freeway not too far west of the bridge, the designated I-69 SIU that does include the bridge hasn't been acted upon except for a few conceptual drawings released to the public; MS hasn't sunk a penny into anything beyond the study stage south of Tunica (not that they have the available funds to do so).   So with the bridge in effective "limbo", the entire central I-69 segment's short-term future is uncertain.   AR "hedged their bet" a bit with the adjunct AR 530 freeway (which so far appears to have been prioritized above the main 69 trunk); they may build their share of initial mileage -- possibly as a 2-lane expressway or even Super 2 -- simply to provide a feeder to 530 (although IMO they may as well simply take the 530 concept straight down US 425 to the state line on their own).  Otherwise, only halting activity toward development of the segment will be the norm in AR, and MS will likely wait until either (a) the bridge concept is actively resuscitated or (b) their segment along US 61 is somehow justified by regional economic development (unlikely). 

Bottom line:  who knows?  With the I-57 project being the recipient of much of AR attention in the eastern "flatlands" part of the state, any in-state development of the I-69 corridor is likely to progress at the snails' pace currently seen.   There's just so much to go around in a relatively low-tax state, and ADOT certainly has bigger fish to fry.   It's likely the 69 concept will continue to exist on paper and will be included within planning efforts -- but substantial progress will be highly limited for the next few decades.   
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