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Author Topic: Interstate 369  (Read 68591 times)

O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #350 on: February 04, 2020, 02:09:25 AM »

I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that the future 3-interstate hub in Texakana may be one of the reasons Miller County (Arkansas side) is pitching land for this "opportunity of a lifetime" potential car manufacturing plant.  Being at such a "hub" hasn't yet helped West Memphis/Marion in the same pursuit, but we shall see:

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With what appears to be the "opportunity of a lifetime," Miller County's Budget and Finance Committee will soon recommend the county contribute $1.25 million over five years to potentially land a car-manufacturing plant.

https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2020/feb/04/opportunity-lifetime-miller-county-officials-recommend-committing-125m-help-buy-secure-land-car-manufacturing-plant/815082/

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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #351 on: February 04, 2020, 02:21:12 AM »

Seems like when 369 and 49 are finally completed through Texarkana, there's no telling how bad the traffic will be. I hope they plan with that in mind or else it could be a future choke point.

The owners of road-related businesses located (or looking to locate) in the Texarkana area are probably looking forward to a useful-to-them bit of congestion -- with an eye toward drivers, both commercial and "civilian", electing to stop and patronize them as long as it's relatively slow going through the city center.  Of course, a lot of that will depend upon the final configuration of the area freeway network; if 369 is indeed relocated at some point around the west side of town to meet up with 49 near the Red River crossing, then there will be a whole new set of local interchanges at which to locate the usual complement of restaurants, shops, and even truck stops.  Otherwise -- if 369 stays where it is up to I-30 and not extended further, Loop 151 will likely be pressed into the connecting role, with a few appropriate businesses locating along its length. 
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #352 on: February 04, 2020, 04:33:10 PM »

Adding on to what you were saying about logistics and warehouse related industries in Texarkana, could this be the beginning of that: https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2020/feb/04/opportunity-lifetime-miller-county-officials-recommend-committing-125m-help-buy-secure-land-car-manufacturing-plant/815082/
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #353 on: February 04, 2020, 04:35:58 PM »

Sorry. Didn't realize Tamandua had already posted this.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #354 on: February 04, 2020, 04:43:46 PM »

A completed I-369 from Houston to Texarkana will draw a lot of additional traffic onto the I-30 corridor.

I don't think I-49 is going to get a great deal more popular with long distance drivers until I-49 is completed between Texarkana and Fort Smith. Traffic coming from South Texas and going to points like Kansas City will likely stick with the I-35 corridor. Putting up with DFW traffic could be a "lesser evil" than dealing with a narrow, tree-lined 2-lane US-71 going through a bunch of hills.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #355 on: February 05, 2020, 02:26:47 AM »

A completed I-369 from Houston to Texarkana will draw a lot of additional traffic onto the I-30 corridor.

I don't think I-49 is going to get a great deal more popular with long distance drivers until I-49 is completed between Texarkana and Fort Smith. Traffic coming from South Texas and going to points like Kansas City will likely stick with the I-35 corridor. Putting up with DFW traffic could be a "lesser evil" than dealing with a narrow, tree-lined 2-lane US-71 going through a bunch of hills.

That observation is probably correct regarding overall volume; until I-49 is fully complete down the west side of AR, traffic in the DFW>KC corridor will continue to use I-35 through OKC and Wichita, with US 75/69 used sparingly when mileage is an overriding factor.  Still, US 71 through the "gap" will continue to see considerable traffic -- commercial stuff that needs to reach Ft. Smith or NWA from the south, and "civilian" traffic who simply see the shortest distance between two points and/or follow their GPS.  It'll still be the corridor of choice for traffic originating in LA -- the current batch of Interstate-grade alternatives are either east of the Ozarks or very much out of their way to the west.  That's probably why many regional proposals over in Fictional place a Conway-Springfield corridor along US 65; it provides a nice neat straight shot between metro areas with a clear path southward into LA.   But for the time being much N-S traffic will continue to use US 71 despite its inadequacies just because it is where it is -- where I-49 should be! 
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X99

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #356 on: February 05, 2020, 10:31:58 AM »

A completed I-369 from Houston to Texarkana will draw a lot of additional traffic onto the I-30 corridor.

I don't think I-49 is going to get a great deal more popular with long distance drivers until I-49 is completed between Texarkana and Fort Smith. Traffic coming from South Texas and going to points like Kansas City will likely stick with the I-35 corridor. Putting up with DFW traffic could be a "lesser evil" than dealing with a narrow, tree-lined 2-lane US-71 going through a bunch of hills.

That observation is probably correct regarding overall volume; until I-49 is fully complete down the west side of AR, traffic in the DFW>KC corridor will continue to use I-35 through OKC and Wichita, with US 75/69 used sparingly when mileage is an overriding factor.  Still, US 71 through the "gap" will continue to see considerable traffic -- commercial stuff that needs to reach Ft. Smith or NWA from the south, and "civilian" traffic who simply see the shortest distance between two points and/or follow their GPS.  It'll still be the corridor of choice for traffic originating in LA -- the current batch of Interstate-grade alternatives are either east of the Ozarks or very much out of their way to the west.  That's probably why many regional proposals over in Fictional place a Conway-Springfield corridor along US 65; it provides a nice neat straight shot between metro areas with a clear path southward into LA.   But for the time being much N-S traffic will continue to use US 71 despite its inadequacies just because it is where it is -- where I-49 should be!
I've seen a couple proposals for a US 65 freeway between Springfield and Springdale on Fictional Highways (I made one of them), but not all the way to Conway.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #357 on: February 05, 2020, 01:41:50 PM »

I've seen a couple proposals for a US 65 freeway between Springfield and Springdale on Fictional Highways (I made one of them), but not all the way to Conway.

Springdale?  That's over on I-49 at US 412.  A Springfield-Springdale connection via US 65 and US 412 would be duplicative of I-49 (when completed) up to I-44 and then east; really wouldn't save a significant amount of either distance nor time.  Springfield-Conway (an effective proxy for greater Little Rock) would at least address a different traffic pattern -- particularly considering the I/AR 530 extension south (I'll stop here lest it become a bit too speculative).  But getting back to I-369/Texarkana matters -- any other mishmash of highways around the Ouachitas and/or Ozarks is simply out of the way for the LA-KC corridor;  the sole direct path (assuming OK continues to delay/avoid developing the "direct-ish" US 69 corridor) is US 71/I-49, regardless of the timetable for fully upgrading that particular route.   
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #358 on: February 05, 2020, 04:09:41 PM »

I've seen a couple proposals for a US 65 freeway between Springfield and Springdale on Fictional Highways (I made one of them), but not all the way to Conway.

Springdale?  That's over on I-49 at US 412.  A Springfield-Springdale connection via US 65 and US 412 would be duplicative of I-49 (when completed) up to I-44 and then east; really wouldn't save a significant amount of either distance nor time.  Springfield-Conway (an effective proxy for greater Little Rock) would at least address a different traffic pattern -- particularly considering the I/AR 530 extension south (I'll stop here lest it become a bit too speculative).  But getting back to I-369/Texarkana matters -- any other mishmash of highways around the Ouachitas and/or Ozarks is simply out of the way for the LA-KC corridor;  the sole direct path (assuming OK continues to delay/avoid developing the "direct-ish" US 69 corridor) is US 71/I-49, regardless of the timetable for fully upgrading that particular route.   

In a way, it's the lengthened shadow of the dream of Arthur Stilwell, founder of the Kansas City Southern railroad, who knew this corridor was the best way to get from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico.  That being said, Mr. Stilwell likely had no idea how big the Louisiana-Texas petrochemical complex would someday be, nor did he likely know that Texas would be America's second most populous state.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 04:22:19 PM by O Tamandua »
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #359 on: February 05, 2020, 04:56:23 PM »

I've seen a couple proposals for a US 65 freeway between Springfield and Springdale on Fictional Highways (I made one of them), but not all the way to Conway.

Springdale?  That's over on I-49 at US 412.  A Springfield-Springdale connection via US 65 and US 412 would be duplicative of I-49 (when completed) up to I-44 and then east; really wouldn't save a significant amount of either distance nor time.  Springfield-Conway (an effective proxy for greater Little Rock) would at least address a different traffic pattern -- particularly considering the I/AR 530 extension south (I'll stop here lest it become a bit too speculative).  But getting back to I-369/Texarkana matters -- any other mishmash of highways around the Ouachitas and/or Ozarks is simply out of the way for the LA-KC corridor;  the sole direct path (assuming OK continues to delay/avoid developing the "direct-ish" US 69 corridor) is US 71/I-49, regardless of the timetable for fully upgrading that particular route.   

In a way, it's the lengthened shadow of the dream of Arthur Stilwell, founder of the Kansas City Southern railroad, who knew this corridor was the best way to get from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico.  That being said, Mr. Stilwell likely had no idea how big the Louisiana-Texas petrochemical complex would someday be, nor did he likely know that Texas would be America's second most populous state.



And KCS is still an independent railroad after 120+ years of existence & operation.  It's one of the remaining lines not on a coast with a decidedly N-S axis rather than a dominant E-W traffic flow.  The other notable Midwestern line with similar characteristics, Illinois Central, was acquired by Canadian National decades ago (which is why one regularly finds CN locomotives down in New Orleans & Mobile). 
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #360 on: February 05, 2020, 05:23:46 PM »

I've seen a couple proposals for a US 65 freeway between Springfield and Springdale on Fictional Highways (I made one of them), but not all the way to Conway.

Springdale?  That's over on I-49 at US 412.  A Springfield-Springdale connection via US 65 and US 412 would be duplicative of I-49 (when completed) up to I-44 and then east; really wouldn't save a significant amount of either distance nor time.  Springfield-Conway (an effective proxy for greater Little Rock) would at least address a different traffic pattern -- particularly considering the I/AR 530 extension south (I'll stop here lest it become a bit too speculative).  But getting back to I-369/Texarkana matters -- any other mishmash of highways around the Ouachitas and/or Ozarks is simply out of the way for the LA-KC corridor;  the sole direct path (assuming OK continues to delay/avoid developing the "direct-ish" US 69 corridor) is US 71/I-49, regardless of the timetable for fully upgrading that particular route.   

In a way, it's the lengthened shadow of the dream of Arthur Stilwell, founder of the Kansas City Southern railroad, who knew this corridor was the best way to get from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico.  That being said, Mr. Stilwell likely had no idea how big the Louisiana-Texas petrochemical complex would someday be, nor did he likely know that Texas would be America's second most populous state.



And KCS is still an independent railroad after 120+ years of existence & operation.  It's one of the remaining lines not on a coast with a decidedly N-S axis rather than a dominant E-W traffic flow.  The other notable Midwestern line with similar characteristics, Illinois Central, was acquired by Canadian National decades ago (which is why one regularly finds CN locomotives down in New Orleans & Mobile).

Excellent point, Sparker, and I think the main reason why KCS is still independent is because it took the OTHER part of Stilwell's vision (to build a railroad to the Pacific coast of Mexico) and acquired the railroad which is now the KCS de Mexico.  That's been good for KCS but may have acted as a kind of "poison pill" for would-be acquisitors, at least up to now.  Back to Mexico...likewise, Texas-I-69 will (technically) terminate at Texarkana to the north and in its "broken trident" shape terminate at Laredo (said right now to be North America's busiest international port), McAllen and Brownsville.

I'm still surprised that it has taken so long to build an interstate highway along this corridor yet again, the thinking has been "east-west" for railroads and, likely, interstates in mid-America west of Chicago for a long time.  Until now.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #361 on: February 05, 2020, 09:33:12 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Hadn't really though of the dearth of N-S Interstate corridors in the Midwest -- and the historical heritage of that situation as regards the rail corridors that preceded even the US highway network -- until now!  But that's basically true; the original approximately 30K mile system as envisioned in the '30's before Tom MacDonald and the Army Corps got involved were primarily E-W corridors west of the Mississippi -- probably a tip of the hat to the nation's population distribution back then.  But the postwar 1950 census figures, the first to indicate significant demographic shifting south and west, prompted the addition of a select few N-S corridors to the mix to serve the growing metro areas there.  Nevertheless, it took the type of "policy entrepreneurs" described by the political policy analyst John Kingdon -- and located in disparate parts of the country: Indiana and Texas -- to cobble up a reasonably useful diagonal national corridor concept (the Shreveport-Memphis segment notwithstanding) with, of course, enough locally-incited spurs and branches to garner regional support for its development.  I-69 may well be the poster child for a "horse-designed-by-a-committee" type of concept -- but it'll still likely be well-"ridden", at least regarding its outer segments.   The only thing holding back the Texas and Memphis-Indy segments is irregular identification and disbursement of funds.         
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bwana39

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #362 on: February 13, 2020, 06:59:26 PM »

Seems like when 369 and 49 are finally completed through Texarkana, there's no telling how bad the traffic will be. I hope they plan with that in mind or else it could be a future choke point.

The owners of road-related businesses located (or looking to locate) in the Texarkana area are probably looking forward to a useful-to-them bit of congestion -- with an eye toward drivers, both commercial and "civilian", electing to stop and patronize them as long as it's relatively slow going through the city center.  Of course, a lot of that will depend upon the final configuration of the area freeway network; if 369 is indeed relocated at some point around the west side of town to meet up with 49 near the Red River crossing, then there will be a whole new set of local interchanges at which to locate the usual complement of restaurants, shops, and even truck stops.  Otherwise -- if 369 stays where it is up to I-30 and not extended further, Loop 151 will likely be pressed into the connecting role, with a few appropriate businesses locating along its length.

Texarkana looks to be not that congested. There seems to be a spread out idea in the not that distant future. I49 is planned to go into Texas then to west of Texarkana before crossing the Red River into Arkansas. 369 will probably head north and meet I49. 369 MAY actually come to the loop, but it may not.  Texarkana is looking for manufacturing & distribution jobs; not retail and food service.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #363 on: February 13, 2020, 10:09:41 PM »

I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that the future 3-interstate hub in Texakana may be one of the reasons Miller County (Arkansas side) is pitching land for this "opportunity of a lifetime" potential car manufacturing plant.  Being at such a "hub" hasn't yet helped West Memphis/Marion in the same pursuit, but we shall see:

Quote
With what appears to be the "opportunity of a lifetime," Miller County's Budget and Finance Committee will soon recommend the county contribute $1.25 million over five years to potentially land a car-manufacturing plant.

https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2020/feb/04/opportunity-lifetime-miller-county-officials-recommend-committing-125m-help-buy-secure-land-car-manufacturing-plant/815082/

OK, to both give an update and add a bit more to what Bwana39 said just above:

- First, about the "opportunity of a lifetime" I mentioned earlier.  There was a very favorable editorial about the story above in the Texarkana Gazette a day or two after the link at the top was posted, essentially saying this was a venture the area should get behind.  THEN, the Miller County (AR) Quorum Court met and, according to the Gazette, added "a tidal wave of extra money" to what was already authorized!

- Then, I came across this article in the Gazette posted a little over two months ago.  It quotes both Arkansas- and Texas-side Texarkana city managers, as well as the director of Arkansas-Texas REDI, a special Texarkana joint economic effort which was officially launched by Gov. Gregg Abbott (TX) and Gov. Asa Hutchinson (AR) in late 2018.  Now, I hope the REDI leader isn't playing Svengali to Texarkana's Trilby.  Yet I think he sees (just like that city councilman who said last month that TXA has to prepare infrastructure to become a "three-interstate city") what the rest of us do with our own eyes: that Texarkana already is the prime rail gateway from the eastern U.S. both to America's second most populous state AND Mexico, and is going to be the same someday as an interstate highway junction point.  Now, we wait and see.:

Quote

Robust, diverse economy forecast for city | AR-TX REDI's Sitterley: Auto manufacturing plant 'not too much to hope for'

A growing, diversified business landscape is in the forecast for Texarkana, according to key stakeholders involved in shaping the Twin Cities' future.
In recent interviews, Kenny Haskin, Arkansas-side city manager; David Orr, Texas-side director of planning; and Rob Sitterley, CEO of vanguard economic development organization AR-TX REDI, agreed that the Texarkana region's unique set of assets and advantages poises it for unprecedented success.
...

"Ultimately, our goal is to diversify the economy. In 10 or 20 years, I would see that this community would be home to a number of large manufacturing operations, would be home to a number of logistics/distribution companies. We are just in a prime spot in the country," Sitterley said.

A large auto manufacturing operation is a real possibility for Texarkana, he said.

"If you look on the map, all the major auto plants and auto-making parts producers are basically Memphis to San Antonio, and that vein runs literally right through here.

"So I don't see any reason in 20 years we couldn't be just a giant in manufacturing and a place where people want to go because it's close to their customers, the product can get in and out quickly, and again it all comes down to workforce," Sitterley said. A major car maker investing $750 million to $1 billion here and employing 2,000 people, for example, is not too much to hope for.

"There's no reason we can't play on that field. There just isn't," he said. "All those things are doable here, and I think for a lot of years there were people that maybe didn't dream as big or didn't think that it was possible here. But for sure, I see that it's possible."  (NOTE: for "a lot of years", Texarkana didn't have a through interstate to Shreveport (and Louisiana I-49, with Arkansas taking notice) nor did it have the State of Texas furiously building the I-69 corridor.)

https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2019/dec/01/robust-diverse-economy-forecast-city-ar-tx-redis-sitterley-auto-manufacturing-plant-not-too-much-hope/806305/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 01:28:20 AM by O Tamandua »
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #364 on: February 14, 2020, 09:32:06 PM »

I hope all goes well for Texarkana not just regarding potentially getting this plant but for the city's future. As a native of that city, there's been many promises and proposals that didn't materialize and many there myself included have the attitude of yeah right I'll believe it when I see it. So I guess time will tell.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #365 on: February 15, 2020, 03:00:52 AM »

I hope all goes well for Texarkana not just regarding potentially getting this plant but for the city's future. As a native of that city, there's been many promises and proposals that didn't materialize and many there myself included have the attitude of yeah right I'll believe it when I see it. So I guess time will tell.

I hear you, brother.  Watching ALL the auto, vehicle frame and auto parts trains that go through TXA on the Virtual Railfan "TexarCamera" plus knowing the key location of this place does make me think these people have a point.  I also think these individuals see what's preparing to happen here in terms of transportation where many in the past either couldn't or didn't have a reason to believe in it.  We will see what happens.
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dariusb

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #366 on: February 15, 2020, 02:40:31 PM »

I see what you're saying about the area having a future in manufacturing and distribution. Not only does Texarkana's location put it in a good spot but the city also serves all modes of transportation (rail, bus and air). A brand new airport terminal is scheduled to start construction next year to make room for any new airlines. Currently there's airline service to DFW. A lot of truck stops, gas stations and restaurants have broken ground over the last several years to service the growing number of trucks along I-30. All good but need jobs that pay the wages that manufacturing and distribution centers would pay. Most new jobs in Texarkana are either some sort of restaurant or retail which mostly pay minimum wage.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Interstate 369
« Reply #367 on: February 15, 2020, 04:12:32 PM »

I see what you're saying about the area having a future in manufacturing and distribution. Not only does Texarkana's location put it in a good spot but the city also serves all modes of transportation (rail, bus and air). A brand new airport terminal is scheduled to start construction next year to make room for any new airlines. Currently there's airline service to DFW. A lot of truck stops, gas stations and restaurants have broken ground over the last several years to service the growing number of trucks along I-30. All good but need jobs that pay the wages that manufacturing and distribution centers would pay. Most new jobs in Texarkana are either some sort of restaurant or retail which mostly pay minimum wage.

(Moderators and friends, I'll get back to highways and highway-related things only on my next post.)

Dariusb, you know as well as I the issues facing Texarkana right now, and some of those have the potential to magnify with city growth.  Yet even before these other interstates started sprouting up, around 1998 something started changing.  Since that time, the three Texas-side schools have won a roomful of state high school championship trophies;  apparently Texarkana is the only Texas city to have three high schools which have each won both a football and baseball state title.  (Pleasant Grove h.s. just went to its third straight football championship game, and has won two of those.  BTW, the Arkansas-side high school has a boatload of such trophies.)  The Perot theatre was judged by Architectural Digest as the top performing arts venue in the state of Texas.  The newest Miss Teen Texas is from TXA.  The current top middle/high school administrator (as judged by his statewide peers) is from the TISD.  There are other recent awards as well.  When you're competing against D/FW, the Greater Houston area, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and cities/towns from 253 other Texas counties, these achievements are far from easy.  Don't know if this is just an "up/down" cycle, but I'm guessing there are a lot of other cities that would like the potential that Texarkana has when these three interstates are all complete (all catching up to an existing rail network that was part "ahead of its time" thinking, part unexpected blessing with being the natural prime eastern gateway to America's second biggest state on pretty much all fronts).

Anyway, it FEELS like this city, or people within it, are accomplishing or at least being recognized for same a lot more than when I first started coming there on business in 1984.  There's some things Texarkana will likely never be, such as a financial capital.  That's cool by me - I don't want TXA becoming NYC.  Then again, the special things this city already has will probably make up for those perceived "shortcomings".

Back to I-369 for me.   :popcorn:
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