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Author Topic: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!  (Read 4284 times)

longhorn

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I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:51:53 AM »

1. Amazing the difference of a freeway designed in the 2010s compared to one designed in the 1950s.

2. West, Texas is no longer a choke point.

3. Many of the undulations in elevation have been smoothed out with better sight lines.

4. Three lanes wide each direction, hard to imagine but could easily be expanded to four.

5. A side note, the speed limit between Hillsboro and Dallas on 35E has been increased from 65 to 75 mph........ABOUT FREAKING TIME!!!.....................Beware of the speed trap in Italy, Texas though.

6. Just as we feared, Temple is a mess. They are going to have shut Adams intersection down, do not see how they can engineer keeping that intersection open when reconstructing.
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Chris

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 12:21:57 PM »

Some photos of that stretch of I-35 taken this summer. I don't know the exact source, probably some news article.





DNAguy

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 01:43:51 PM »

1. Amazing the difference of a freeway designed in the 2010s compared to one designed in the 1950s.

2. West, Texas is no longer a choke point.

3. Many of the undulations in elevation have been smoothed out with better sight lines.

4. Three lanes wide each direction, hard to imagine but could easily be expanded to four.

5. A side note, the speed limit between Hillsboro and Dallas on 35E has been increased from 65 to 75 mph........ABOUT FREAKING TIME!!!.....................Beware of the speed trap in Italy, Texas though.

6. Just as we feared, Temple is a mess. They are going to have shut Adams intersection down, do not see how they can engineer keeping that intersection open when reconstructing.

Probably a stupid question, but is the temple work already in progress?

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longhorn

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 02:21:53 PM »

1. Amazing the difference of a freeway designed in the 2010s compared to one designed in the 1950s.

2. West, Texas is no longer a choke point.

3. Many of the undulations in elevation have been smoothed out with better sight lines.

4. Three lanes wide each direction, hard to imagine but could easily be expanded to four.

5. A side note, the speed limit between Hillsboro and Dallas on 35E has been increased from 65 to 75 mph........ABOUT FREAKING TIME!!!.....................Beware of the speed trap in Italy, Texas though.

6. Just as we feared, Temple is a mess. They are going to have shut Adams intersection down, do not see how they can engineer keeping that intersection open when reconstructing.

Probably a stupid question, but is the temple work already in progress?



Yes.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 05:34:05 PM »

Time to shoot off the fireworks and drop the confetti! Woohoo!
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longhorn

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 05:50:15 PM »

There was a thread on this forum about which interstate has the longest mileage wise,three lane wide segments. I believe I-95 was first, then 75, now add I-35 (SAT to Hillsboro when completed) to that list and it may be ahead of I-75.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 06:26:51 PM »

There was a thread on this forum about which interstate has the longest mileage wise,three lane wide segments. I believe I-95 was first, then 75, now add I-35 (SAT to Hillsboro when completed) to that list and it may be ahead of I-75.

Not even close. 75 is three lanes for 310 miles (FL Turnpike to I-16 in Macon). 35 will be three lanes for 222 miles when done. However, if the short two lane section in Macon were excepted, 75 would be three lanes for nearly 500 miles.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 04:54:46 AM »

Any update on Waco to Temple? The way I-35 is like "Main Street" in towns like Troy and Bruceville-Eddy, that must be a feat of design.
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longhorn

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 06:01:33 PM »

Any update on Waco to Temple? The way I-35 is like "Main Street" in towns like Troy and Bruceville-Eddy, that must be a feat of design.

Just drove this earlier, Troy's main street will go under I-35, as the new freeway is being built adjacent to it. When the north bound side is done and both traffic directions is shifted to it, then they will tear down the old overpass over 35 that the semis barely cleared, and fill in the trench. Then complete the southbound lanes.

The Temple section seems to have picked up steam and one can see progress at the Adams interchange which is going to be mess during the rebuild.
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DJStephens

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 12:30:32 AM »

Viewing the above pictures, which may be distorted by the photo lens, it appears that the "new" roadway follows every undulation of terrain.  Rather than flattening vertical curves and easing horizontal ones.   What is the deal with placing the opposing lanes of traffic so close together, as opposed to a wider, grassy median with a cable??  Looks like fifties turnpike design - Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.  Seems somewhat regressive, design wise. 
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wxfree

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2016, 03:00:59 AM »

Viewing the above pictures, which may be distorted by the photo lens, it appears that the "new" roadway follows every undulation of terrain.  Rather than flattening vertical curves and easing horizontal ones.   What is the deal with placing the opposing lanes of traffic so close together, as opposed to a wider, grassy median with a cable??  Looks like fifties turnpike design - Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.  Seems somewhat regressive, design wise.

I'm pretty sure the lack of a wide median is due to insufficient right-of-way.  They're fitting the lanes, and future fourth lanes, into the existing space.

The photos are very distorted.  The undulations are actually long, gradual features.  The horizontal curves are exaggerated or completely made up by the camera.  Consider the first photo.  It has a sign for the FM 1242 exit being one mile ahead, and then the sign for the exit, another mile away.  The lens is capturing things further away by compressing the image, which exaggerates the inclines and, for some reason, adds horizontal curves that aren't there.  The road is just about perfectly straight.

https://goo.gl/maps/Axbh4ZpPAVP2
This Street View imagery shows the area, before the road was completed.  The bridge ahead is where I assume the photo was taken from.  You can turn the view around to see back toward FM 1242.  The vertical curves are gradual, and the horizontal curves aren't there.  The hill to the north (in the photo, this is from the dip past the sign to the level area before the next climb) is about 70 feet high over about 0.6 mile, for a grade of about 2%.  It isn't exactly level, but it certainly isn't an imposing feature.  I've driven the entire stretch of new road both ways and never thought anything about the design except for how smooth it is.
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jakeroot

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2016, 04:48:15 AM »

What is the deal with placing the opposing lanes of traffic so close together, as opposed to a wider, grassy median with a cable??  Looks like fifties turnpike design - Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.  Seems somewhat regressive, design wise.

Beyond wxfree's comment on right-of-way, there is evidence that concrete medians have fairly similar (if not, better) safety records than cable barriers (though there's a right and wrong time for both). As well, it's been said that cable barriers are a bit messier, and can shut down freeways for longer following a collision because of shit flinging all over the place. IMO, in rural areas with well-established grassy medians, cable barriers are perfectly fine. But these days, median barriers (with narrow inside shoulders) get the best bang for the buck.

I could be wrong, but most new freeways seem to be ditching wide medians for Jersey barriers, if only because of the cost savings.

It might also be worth noting that much of the world gets on fine without wide grassy medians (a trait seemingly reserved for North American highways). European motorways have very narrow central reservations, but have similar (if not, better) safety records than our motorways. That's not to say that their motorways are safer simply because of their narrow medians (that would be preposterous), but to describe narrow medians as a regressive design feature, seems rather unfair.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 04:53:45 AM by jakeroot »
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longhorn

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 09:32:58 AM »

Viewing the above pictures, which may be distorted by the photo lens, it appears that the "new" roadway follows every undulation of terrain.  Rather than flattening vertical curves and easing horizontal ones.   What is the deal with placing the opposing lanes of traffic so close together, as opposed to a wider, grassy median with a cable??  Looks like fifties turnpike design - Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.  Seems somewhat regressive, design wise. 

Trust me, as someone who drives I-35 often, its the distortion in the zoom lens, which is common to zoom lens. The right of way has been rebuilt in many areas to take out the hills and level some of the elevation. Impressive too, TxDot had the forsight to leave area for a fourth lane in each direction which will be needed soon. The I-35E rebuild has an for a third lane too.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-35 Between Waco and Hillsboro completed.......Woohoo!!!!!
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 11:00:50 AM »

DJStephen's observations are a result of the fact that many Texas interstates were originally built to very low standards. This occurred because Texas was ahead of the rest of the country in completing interstates, which meant that most were designed in the 1950s when standards were lower. Lower standards resulted in narrower right-of-way widths, narrower medians and less grade smoothing. I suspect there was also a lot of "doing things on the cheap" to stretch available money as far as possible and meet political objectives of getting highways open as fast as possible.

See that attached snippet which reports that two thirds of Texas interstate mileage was open at the beginning of 1965. Standards for design and aesthetics were improved in the early-to-mid 1960s, too late for those two-thirds of Texas interstates.

Sections of Texas interstate highways designed in the mid-1960s have better standards. A good example is I-45 from around Centerville to north of Fairfield. It has heavy cut and fill to provide ideally smooth grades, and long sections with wide medians.

As for I-35, its design characteristics were especially low. TxDOT did expand the corridor width substantially to accommodate the widening which included continuous frontage roads, but adding another 50 feet of right-of-way for a grassy median was not a logical or reasonable thing to do. There was some smoothing of the up-and-down grades, but not as much as I would like to have seen. Realistically, smoothing of up-and-down grades is difficult with frontage roads and heavy development along both sides of the freeway.



 


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