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Author Topic: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas  (Read 35392 times)

Alex

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2015, 11:16:00 AM »

West Texas has very long sight lines. Couple that with low traffic counts and having at-grade intersections with ranch roads should never be an issue. Drivers have plenty of time to shift lanes to bypass turning traffic.

South Texas is fairly wide open with long straightaways as well. VPD's along the US 77 stretch range from 8723 to 9425.

mwb1848

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2015, 04:13:39 PM »

True, but if you are eastbound on 10 and you see a vehicle with their left signal on for a few miles in advance, won't you just ignore it and assume they are a retiree for AZ.

How much driving experience do you have? Watching out for other drivers doing unexpected things is part of the task of driving on any road. You're less likely to encounter someone using one of these at-grades on an Interstate than any number of surprising and possibly more dangerous manoeuvres anywhere else.

I think there's more utilization of illegal crossovers on a daily basis by traffic volume than there is usage of these at-grade intersections in West Texas.
Bingo. The traffic count to consider isn't the one on I-10, it's the one on the unpaved roads that intersect it at these at-grade crossings. I've driven the stretch of I-10 in West Texas more times that I care to count over the last ten years and have NEVER seen them used.
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kkt

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2015, 04:43:07 PM »

True, but if you are eastbound on 10 and you see a vehicle with their left signal on for a few miles in advance, won't you just ignore it and assume they are a retiree for AZ.

How much driving experience do you have? Watching out for other drivers doing unexpected things is part of the task of driving on any road. You're less likely to encounter someone using one of these at-grades on an Interstate than any number of surprising and possibly more dangerous manoeuvres anywhere else.

I think there's more utilization of illegal crossovers on a daily basis by traffic volume than there is usage of these at-grade intersections in West Texas.
Bingo. The traffic count to consider isn't the one on I-10, it's the one on the unpaved roads that intersect it at these at-grade crossings. I've driven the stretch of I-10 in West Texas more times that I care to count over the last ten years and have NEVER seen them used.

Then they don't need to exist, do they?

How much would an interstate minimum deceleration and acceleration lane for a right-on, right-off driveway access cost?
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Scott5114

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2015, 07:39:29 PM »

True, but if you are eastbound on 10 and you see a vehicle with their left signal on for a few miles in advance, won't you just ignore it and assume they are a retiree for AZ.

How much driving experience do you have? Watching out for other drivers doing unexpected things is part of the task of driving on any road. You're less likely to encounter someone using one of these at-grades on an Interstate than any number of surprising and possibly more dangerous manoeuvres anywhere else.

I think there's more utilization of illegal crossovers on a daily basis by traffic volume than there is usage of these at-grade intersections in West Texas.
Bingo. The traffic count to consider isn't the one on I-10, it's the one on the unpaved roads that intersect it at these at-grade crossings. I've driven the stretch of I-10 in West Texas more times that I care to count over the last ten years and have NEVER seen them used.

Then they don't need to exist, do they?

How much would an interstate minimum deceleration and acceleration lane for a right-on, right-off driveway access cost?
North of $100,000 a piece, I'm sure. Not worth the money for how little they're used.
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Sykotyk

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2015, 10:34:47 PM »

True, but if you are eastbound on 10 and you see a vehicle with their left signal on for a few miles in advance, won't you just ignore it and assume they are a retiree for AZ.

How much driving experience do you have? Watching out for other drivers doing unexpected things is part of the task of driving on any road. You're less likely to encounter someone using one of these at-grades on an Interstate than any number of surprising and possibly more dangerous manoeuvres anywhere else.

I think there's more utilization of illegal crossovers on a daily basis by traffic volume than there is usage of these at-grade intersections in West Texas.
Bingo. The traffic count to consider isn't the one on I-10, it's the one on the unpaved roads that intersect it at these at-grade crossings. I've driven the stretch of I-10 in West Texas more times that I care to count over the last ten years and have NEVER seen them used.

Then they don't need to exist, do they?

How much would an interstate minimum deceleration and acceleration lane for a right-on, right-off driveway access cost?
North of $100,000 a piece, I'm sure. Not worth the money for how little they're used.

Also, by building in the accel/decel lanes, you're 'legitimizing' the intersection for others to take. Generally, these are only there for ranch owners as they have no other access to their property. They are not generally through roads that any person can just take if they wanted.

Also, they aren't just RIRO, you are allowed to make a left and cross the other lanes of travel. For how little they are used, what Texas has done is by far the cheapest, easiest, and generally safest. A few signs, and that's it. And buying out the property owner, building frontage roads, overpasses, or underpasses, etc is overkill given how little these intersections are used.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2015, 12:00:11 AM »

This whole thing is so silly.  I have driven this stretch of Interstate 10 several times, and most recently yesterday.  I would love for these intersections to be removed because it clearly violates the interstate standards which are a bible.  But also, we are talking 10 to 20 intersections, and each one is a dirt road leading to a locked gate.  Anyone who knows about large Texas ranches knows there are a lot of ranches no one lives on, and these are no exception.  So we are talking a remote dirt road here and there to a locked gate that goes to a ranch that maybe is used by the owner, or caretaker for mineral rights or just to check up on things maybe once a month at the most.  So yes it infuriates me to see a yellow diamond sign with a black + on it on an interstate, but I don't like the idea of the state wasting a bunch of money to build a frontage road to the next intersection (which might be 10 miles away or more) all for one dirt road here and there just to satisfy me and the other sticklers for the interstate rules either.  I would rather that money be used to bring another interstate to Austin.  Remember again we are talking about one of the most remote, sparsely populated places in the country.
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kkt

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2015, 12:16:42 AM »

Yeah, but I bet the frontage roads for all those ranch intersections together would only buy about one inch of new interstate for Austin.
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iBallasticwolf2

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2015, 10:25:21 AM »

How about we build dirt frontage roads to protect these drivers using the turns? It would be good for people going right in and right out. The left turns can stay the same.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2015, 11:29:32 PM »

I drove on I-40 between the Amarillo and the New Mexico border on Saturday. I counted five fully-developed at-grade intersections around mile markers 8-12. By fully-developed, I mean paved, striped and signed. See the images below. Other at-grade intersections I have seen were more informal, unpaved and without full striping. But these intersections were like you would see on a non controlled access, four-lane divided highway.

The photo quality is marginal since they were taken at full speed. Grass was high outside the shoulder so it was not ideal for stopping and parking.

I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.





intelati49

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #59 on: July 15, 2015, 04:51:16 AM »

I drove on I-40 between the Amarillo and the New Mexico border on Saturday. I counted five fully-developed at-grade intersections around mile markers 8-12. By fully-developed, I mean paved, striped and signed. See the images below. Other at-grade intersections I have seen were more informal, unpaved and without full striping. But these intersections were like you would see on a non controlled access, four-lane divided highway.

The photo quality is marginal since they were taken at full speed. Grass was high outside the shoulder so it was not ideal for stopping and parking.

I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.

img

img

img

Okay, that I have a problem with. If there is enough traffic to warrant paving, there should be an outer road. You just turned a freeway into an expressway.

jeffandnicole

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #60 on: July 15, 2015, 06:22:08 AM »

I drove on I-40 between the Amarillo and the New Mexico border on Saturday. I counted five fully-developed at-grade intersections around mile markers 8-12. By fully-developed, I mean paved, striped and signed. See the images below. Other at-grade intersections I have seen were more informal, unpaved and without full striping. But these intersections were like you would see on a non controlled access, four-lane divided highway.

The photo quality is marginal since they were taken at full speed. Grass was high outside the shoulder so it was not ideal for stopping and parking.

I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.

img

img

img

Okay, that I have a problem with. If there is enough traffic to warrant paving, there should be an outer road. You just turned a freeway into an expressway.

I wonder if there really isn't enough traffic, but a paved surface is a lot easier to drive on, especially coming from a complete stop. 

They should probably put a turn lane/decal lane in there though, rather than a hard left turn from the left lane of the highway.
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mwb1848

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2015, 11:07:31 AM »

I drove on I-40 between the Amarillo and the New Mexico border on Saturday. I counted five fully-developed at-grade intersections around mile markers 8-12. By fully-developed, I mean paved, striped and signed. See the images below. Other at-grade intersections I have seen were more informal, unpaved and without full striping. But these intersections were like you would see on a non controlled access, four-lane divided highway.

The photo quality is marginal since they were taken at full speed. Grass was high outside the shoulder so it was not ideal for stopping and parking.

I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.

img

img

img

Okay, that I have a problem with. If there is enough traffic to warrant paving, there should be an outer road. You just turned a freeway into an expressway.

Agreed!! I have no problem at all with the occasional, barely-improved at-grade crossing on I-10 and I-20. But this is no longer an Interstate.
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txstateends

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #62 on: July 16, 2015, 11:37:59 AM »

Those 3 pix look no better, really, than US 87-US 287 between Amarillo and Dumas.  Yet, that stretch is not considered an interstate and the pictured parts of I-40 are.

Quote from: maxconcrete
I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.

I knew there had been several projects to add new turbines, but I didn't know it had gotten to the level you describe.  After the years I lived up there, I'd always wondered why there weren't plans *much* sooner to do wind power projects...goodness knows, there's enough wind up there to keep many in lights for a long time.
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dfwmapper

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #63 on: July 16, 2015, 02:53:24 PM »

How about we build dirt frontage roads to protect these drivers using the turns? It would be good for people going right in and right out. The left turns can stay the same.
IIRC, TxDOT's design standards don't permit unpaved surfaces on state highways, including frontage roads.
They should probably put a turn lane/decal lane in there though, rather than a hard left turn from the left lane of the highway.
They don't want to encourage normal drivers to use them because then it really would start to become a safety issue.
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iBallasticwolf2

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #64 on: July 16, 2015, 03:02:27 PM »

It could be possible to make paved turn lanes but have no decal or lane marking change.
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Truvelo

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #65 on: July 16, 2015, 03:13:15 PM »

Traffic turning left would most likely pull onto the shoulder and wait for a gap in the traffic before turning across both lanes. It would be a lot safer than coming to a halt in the fast lane.
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Grzrd

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2015, 11:16:29 AM »

what was the projected traffic count for 20 years in the future when the highway was designed 50+ years ago? Some people on the forum seem to imagine those at-grade crossings were approved and built yesterday. Are they problematic today? Probably not, or there would be a whole thread here about the constant accidents. They certainly weren't problematic within a couple decades of the highway's construction.
we are talking 10 to 20 intersections, and each one is a dirt road leading to a locked gate.  Anyone who knows about large Texas ranches knows there are a lot of ranches no one lives on, and these are no exception.  So we are talking a remote dirt road here and there to a locked gate that goes to a ranch that maybe is used by the owner, or caretaker for mineral rights or just to check up on things maybe once a month at the most.
The Texas Transportation Commission has posted a July 29 TxDOT Interstate Corridor Planning - Prioritization of Corridor Studies presentation ... (p.5/13 of pdf) .... The anticipated congestion, combined with possible rebuilding of much of the system that is reaching the end of its expected service life (p. 8/13 of pdf), suggests that Texas will have to spend a lot of money over the next 25 years.
(bottom quote from Texas thread)

In the not too distant future, Texas may have to rebuild many of the sections of interstates that currently have the at-grades, and take into account anticipated traffic counts.  The below snips compare west Texas congestion in 2013 to west Texas estimated congestion in 2040:




In looking at projected traffic flows along I-10 and I-40, at what point, if any, would TxDOT deem it necessary to upgrade at least some of the at-grades for safety reasons (at initial glance I-10 east of the I-20 interchange seems like it could keep the at-grades)?
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2015, 11:40:35 AM »

what was the projected traffic count for 20 years in the future when the highway was designed 50+ years ago? Some people on the forum seem to imagine those at-grade crossings were approved and built yesterday. Are they problematic today? Probably not, or there would be a whole thread here about the constant accidents. They certainly weren't problematic within a couple decades of the highway's construction.
we are talking 10 to 20 intersections, and each one is a dirt road leading to a locked gate.  Anyone who knows about large Texas ranches knows there are a lot of ranches no one lives on, and these are no exception.  So we are talking a remote dirt road here and there to a locked gate that goes to a ranch that maybe is used by the owner, or caretaker for mineral rights or just to check up on things maybe once a month at the most.
The Texas Transportation Commission has posted a July 29 TxDOT Interstate Corridor Planning - Prioritization of Corridor Studies presentation ... (p.5/13 of pdf) .... The anticipated congestion, combined with possible rebuilding of much of the system that is reaching the end of its expected service life (p. 8/13 of pdf), suggests that Texas will have to spend a lot of money over the next 25 years.
(bottom quote from Texas thread)

In the not too distant future, Texas may have to rebuild many of the sections of interstates that currently have the at-grades, and take into account anticipated traffic counts.  The below snips compare west Texas congestion in 2013 to west Texas estimated congestion in 2040:




In looking at projected traffic flows along I-10 and I-40, at what point, if any, would TxDOT deem it necessary to upgrade at least some of the at-grades for safety reasons (at initial glance I-10 east of the I-20 interchange seems like it could keep the at-grades)?

The funny thing is, the at-grade intersections on Interstate 10 start west of Van Horn, some 40 or so miles west of the I-10, I-20 split.  So, ironically, where the traffic is the lightest on I-10, there are no at-grade intersections.  But the ones on the west side would have to be removed if traffic continues to get worse, I agree.
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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2015, 09:36:53 PM »

The Texas Rural Transportation Plan of 2012 lists priorities and associated ranks for rural highway projects.  It includes elimination of several at-grade intersections in Hudspeth County.  Apparently, TxDOT considers the situation undesirable and wants to correct it.  The rankings for the projects are in the 460 to 480 range.  There appear to be fewer than 700 rankings given, so it's a moderate to low priority at this time.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/report/0512/trtp_appendix_e_district.pdf.pdf

The projects are listed by district, and districts are listed alphabetically.  This is in the El Paso district.
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US 41

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2015, 10:40:07 PM »

I saw some of these at grades on I-10 last month on my way to Presidio from El Paso. Even though the speed limit is 80 I didn't really see a problem with them. They do sign that there is a crossroads ahead. Keep in mind that there are at grades on lots of roads in Texas that have 75 mph speed limits. As long as you use a turn signal and give plenty of warning that you will be turning you should be fine.

Here is a photo of one of the crossroads signs I took while driving on eastbound I-10 shortly after going through an internal customs checkpoint.



EDIT: I totally forgot about the at grades on I-40 west of Amarillo. Now that I saw the pictures I remember seeing those on my trip as well. I didn't take any pictures of them.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 10:45:46 PM by US 41 »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2015, 03:21:30 PM »

Somehow, I doubt the at-grades will ever be removed. Interstate Standards be damned!
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Anthony_JK

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #71 on: December 17, 2015, 12:29:05 AM »

I drove on I-40 between the Amarillo and the New Mexico border on Saturday. I counted five fully-developed at-grade intersections around mile markers 8-12. By fully-developed, I mean paved, striped and signed. See the images below. Other at-grade intersections I have seen were more informal, unpaved and without full striping. But these intersections were like you would see on a non controlled access, four-lane divided highway.

The photo quality is marginal since they were taken at full speed. Grass was high outside the shoulder so it was not ideal for stopping and parking.

I was amazed by the concentration of wind turbines on the north side of I-40 west of Amarillo. From mile marker approx 10 to 50, there are continuous wind turbines multiple rows deep.


Yeah..that's not acceptable for me. Now you are on an expressway, not a freeway. At the very least, make them jughandles so that there is some flexibility for left-turning traffic, or add deceleration lanes outside of the mainlaines.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2016, 12:47:49 PM »

Its funny to me that a state that prides themselves on their massive use of service roads (Texas) can't just build a service road out where it's needed, so it causes a violation in the Interstate Highway System.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2016, 01:43:04 PM »

I have never seen these roads used ever.  Has anyone actually seen anyone use these?  I see no problem at all with them.  These were approved long ago and are a part of the interstate system.  If I had time to dig up the records I would probably put in a public records request to see the accident rate at these intersections.

If this was an issue it would be dealt with.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: At-grade intersections on Interstates in Texas
« Reply #74 on: August 05, 2016, 02:49:32 PM »

I have never seen these roads used ever.  Has anyone actually seen anyone use these?  I see no problem at all with them.  These were approved long ago and are a part of the interstate system.  If I had time to dig up the records I would probably put in a public records request to see the accident rate at these intersections.

If this was an issue it would be dealt with.


I go back and forth with this one.  Sometimes it infuriates me to no end, and then other times I say the same thing, that maybe these roads get used once or twice a year.  obviously its not enough to build another road, but it does make me mad because the one time it is used, someone slows to a 20 mph right hand turn on a "freeway" with an 80 mph speed limit. 
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