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Author Topic: I-14 in Texas  (Read 41142 times)

sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #350 on: July 12, 2019, 04:13:23 AM »

^^^^^^^^^
One would think that the P-to-P concept, extensive as it was regarding overall mileage and reach, could have been handled along the Q: "How to eat an elephant?" A: "One bite at a time!" approach -- but that was tried about 20 years ago with a simple proposal to extend I-27 down the original corridor branch to I-20 at Big Spring.  The study that was commissioned by TXDOT regarding that proposal was carried out by the Wilbur Smith consultancy, which came back with the conclusion that traffic from Lubbock south to I-20 was split among too many corridors (from W to E, 62/385 to Odessa, 87/349 to Midland, 87 straight down to Big Spring, and 84 to Roscoe) and that an Interstate route over any corridor wouldn't be warranted because the traffic volume on any single corridor was relatively slight.  No consideration was given to the concept that if an Interstate were to be constructed on a given corridor -- particularly one of the central choices using at least some of US 87 -- that some of the traffic presently using one of the other alternatives would then elect to instead utilize the improved corridor, raising its volume to an appropriate level.   Since the Smith group had a reputation for producing negative recommendations relative to other well-known firms (such as Parsons Brinckerhoff), P-to-P backers were somewhat disillusioned at TXDOT for selecting them; it indicated that, at least at the time, TXDOT really wasn't particularly interested in P-to-P development.  Thus the dormancy regarding active pursuit of corridor activity commenced; the recent revival in interest after nearly 2 decades appears to be a collective effort of the metro areas and towns arrayed along the route (Del Rio, San Angelo, M/O, and Lubbock itself) to enhance W. Texas regional connectivity, whereas the prior effort was primarily Lubbock looking for an Interstate-grade southern outlet. 

Despite factors such as the tragic story Bobby relates, it may be a difficult task to get OK and CO to actively participate in corridor development north of Amarillo or even Dumas; the NM improvements to US 87 may be sufficient to convince corridor planners to utilize the Raton branch of the P-to-P/HPC #38 rather than straight up US 287 into CO if that state indicates that it's willing to take part in the effort.  Or it may be a western version of the NC/VA situation seen with both the I-73 and I-87 proposals:  any planning efforts may well stop right at the TX state line.  The corridor has been in existence for two dozen years now; sometimes it has seemed that we are the only ones particularly interested in its progress!       
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #351 on: July 12, 2019, 01:30:57 PM »

The failure of the Ports to Plains Corridor to "gel" really falls back on the absence of the federal government at being a guiding force on it. Corridors like this will go nowhere without a big picture, national-scope view of the situation.

Obviously the negative judgments from the Wilbur Smith consultancy are a result of them having a stunted view of the I-27 corridor. If the ultimate goal was only a short extension from Lubbock to a choice of 3 cities along I-20 (Midland, Big Spring or Roscoe) then, yes, there was no legit reason to bother upgrading anything. The current roads as they exist now work just fine. If one bothers to think bigger, such as Denver to San Antonio via Amarillo and Lubbock, then the idea of extending I-27 looks more legit. Interstates are ultimately supposed to connect major destinations and allow high volumes of traffic to move between them.

Just on the safety angle, some parts of US-287 should at least be upgraded to 4-lane divided on a few stretches ASAP. ODOT needs to upgrade US-287 to 4-lane divided North of Boise City up to the Colorado state line. It pisses me off they haven't done so already. ODOT and OTA have done other upgrades to roads in response to highway tragedies. OK-49 in Medicine Park was 4-laned to stop collisions there. OTA installed the concrete Jersey barrier on I-44 in the 1990's from Medicine Park up to the MO border following a multi vehicle head on collision that killed several people in Elgin. I refuse to drive on that stretch of US-287 on road trips up to Colorado. I always go to Raton instead. At least US-64/87 is four laned the whole way in that direction.

And CDOT needs to 4-lane US-287 from the OK border up to until the road straightens out just South of Campo. But CDOT drags its feet at upgrading rural roads. People can be getting killed continually in grisly head-on collsions along certain highways in Colorado, such as US-24 on the East side of Colorado Springs. CDOT does little more than maybe stringing up a flashing yellow signal over an intersection. Their travel and turn lane designs along US-24 are baffling.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #352 on: July 12, 2019, 01:32:59 PM »

Or it may be a western version of the NC/VA situation seen with both the I-73 and I-87 proposals:  any planning efforts may well stop right at the TX state line.
If the Martinsville Southern Connector is built, that may creep I-73 up to Martinsville, VA.

Once I-87 is completed to the state line, VDOT may well choose to extend it to I-64, especially if it draws additional traffic.
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #353 on: July 12, 2019, 04:46:22 PM »

Or it may be a western version of the NC/VA situation seen with both the I-73 and I-87 proposals:  any planning efforts may well stop right at the TX state line.
If the Martinsville Southern Connector is built, that may creep I-73 up to Martinsville, VA.

Once I-87 is completed to the state line, VDOT may well choose to extend it to I-64, especially if it draws additional traffic.

Of course, the point to which I referred is moot if the 2nd state cooperates with the initial state regarding continuation across the line; if VDOT is seriously considering the I-73 extension from the state line to at least the US 58 bypass, then that's at least the "baby steps" needed to break the ice, so to speak.  For I-87, we'll just have to see what transpires over the next few years.   
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sprjus4

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #354 on: July 12, 2019, 04:47:35 PM »

Or it may be a western version of the NC/VA situation seen with both the I-73 and I-87 proposals:  any planning efforts may well stop right at the TX state line.
If the Martinsville Southern Connector is built, that may creep I-73 up to Martinsville, VA.

Once I-87 is completed to the state line, VDOT may well choose to extend it to I-64, especially if it draws additional traffic.

Of course, the point to which I referred is moot if the 2nd state cooperates with the initial state regarding continuation across the line; if VDOT is seriously considering the I-73 extension from the state line to at least the US 58 bypass, then that's at least the "baby steps" needed to break the ice, so to speak.  For I-87, we'll just have to see what transpires over the next few years.
Well the preferred alternative for the Martinsville Southern Connector was just released, and I saw it a few minutes ago, and can safely now say it's not getting built anytime soon.

Cost Estimate - $616 million for 7 miles.

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #355 on: July 12, 2019, 05:17:01 PM »

This is Texas, not North Carolina (although the two states seem to have similar plans for new roads). Any discussion about Interstate 73 and Interstate 87 in North Carolina should be regulated to their proper threads in the Southeast Regional Board. At any rate, I don't see Interstate 14 being extended or leaving Texas anytime soon, let alone being a continuous route from Texas all the way to Georgia.
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #356 on: July 12, 2019, 10:18:11 PM »

This is Texas, not North Carolina (although the two states seem to have similar plans for new roads). Any discussion about Interstate 73 and Interstate 87 in North Carolina should be regulated to their proper threads in the Southeast Regional Board. At any rate, I don't see Interstate 14 being extended or leaving Texas anytime soon, let alone being a continuous route from Texas all the way to Georgia.

No -- Alabama put the kibosh on any extension east of I-59 this last year by jettisoning essentially all their existing freeway corridor plans, including the so-called I-85 extension westward along US 80 from Montgomery to I-20/59.  Although there have been rumblings in LA regarding I-14 via Fort Polk and Alexandria, so far no legislation to match the 2015 Texas HPC #84 concept that authorized I-14 in the first place has emerged from the LA congressional delegation; the corridor as described simply ends at the TX/LA state line.  But as previously projected, the only part of I-14 that has any chance of full development within the near term is an eastern extension of the present signed section from I-35 to I-45 via Bryan/College Station.  East of there -- at least past I-69 -- is pointless absent concurrent action from LA; west of there is presently a multi-branch political football that will need to be resolved and winnowed down before any further action would be forthcoming.

Nevertheless, when discussing potential Interstate corridor plans that cross state lines, a "compare & contrast" analytical approach to how other states are handling similar situations is relevant; the above analysis regarding the easternmost planned/legislated section of I-14 approaching the LA state line employed a rudimentary form of this sort of discussion -- whether a route duly authorized if unfunded warrants an extension to the state line even if the adjoining state has declined to meet it with its own project?  In the case of I-14, the rational answer is a resounding "no"; although some value might be obtained by extending the corridor between I-45 and I-69, the costs (given the intervening lake and terrain) of doing so would likely outweigh the benefits.  And since access from the central TX "triangle" to Houston is a primary objective of the corridor's more vehement backers, once it reaches I-45 as an effective path to metro Houston the enthusiasm for further development will likely wane.  There's probably not enough potential traffic from the nascent I-69 corridor that would peel off and head over I-14 (save a few staunch Aggie alums!) to warrant even that relatively short extension.  Copperas Cove to Huntsville -- that's the most I'd expect to see developed in my lifetime!     
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In_Correct

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #357 on: July 14, 2019, 09:30:20 AM »

Yes I do also agree that the highways need to be 4 laned. Connectivity is one reason. But Safety is another reason. And with the Oklahoma Panhandle, there should not be that many roads to finish, so they should just finish them all ready. Toll them if necessary. I will happily drive the toll roads.
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #358 on: July 14, 2019, 03:32:52 PM »

Yes I do also agree that the highways need to be 4 laned. Connectivity is one reason. But Safety is another reason. And with the Oklahoma Panhandle, there should not be that many roads to finish, so they should just finish them all ready. Toll them if necessary. I will happily drive the toll roads.

The OK toll road authority is unlikely to consider a short toll road along US 287 isolated from their other facilities; the best chance that road has for improvement to 4-lane limited access is the usual modern method -- take the existing HPC #38 designation, get a congressman from along the corridor to append  a corresponding Interstate designation (in this case, undoubtedly a new I-27 section) and insert it into a recurring funding bill, and start lobbying for specific project funding.   Since this section of the P-to-P traverses 3 states, some sort of coordinated effort from representatives from each state certainly wouldn't hurt the cause.   It's how the nascent I-14 got its start, as did I-22, I-11, and other recent system additions; in a time of generally dysfunctional governance, this approach (often decried as "pork" by observers not directly in the path of these corridors) is often, despite is convoluted nature, the only way to get projects off the ground.  The alternative of slapping tolls on facilities usually involves a PPP approach; and TX in particular is, for good reason, quite wary of that methodology these days.   And in these days, a revisiting of a coordinated (and chargeable!) multi-corridor Interstate addition program stands as much chance of success as an ice cube on a Phoenix sidewalk in August!     
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