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Author Topic: I-14 in Texas  (Read 50243 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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longhorn

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #359 on: August 21, 2019, 11:49:33 AM »

https://www.12newsnow.com/article/traffic/interstate-14-may-be-coming-to-beaumont/502-4aef09b1-ad19-4de0-90e4-23231302ffd5

Beaumont wants a piece of the action......Now things get interesting. Some of you may get the I-10 bypass after all, just in a different direction.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #360 on: August 21, 2019, 12:01:41 PM »

Ummm....how?

US 69/96 is already freeway standard from the interchange with I-10 to where 69 and 96 split near Lumberton. Four-laning either one to connect with I-69 would be suitable enough.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #361 on: August 21, 2019, 12:03:28 PM »

https://www.12newsnow.com/article/traffic/interstate-14-may-be-coming-to-beaumont/502-4aef09b1-ad19-4de0-90e4-23231302ffd5

Beaumont wants a piece of the action......Now things get interesting. Some of you may get the I-10 bypass after all, just in a different direction.
Just another long term wish. I donít see this I-14 highway getting built anytime soon. If we had unlimited money, Iím all for it. But in reality, on a limited budget, itís a low priority.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #362 on: August 21, 2019, 12:03:59 PM »

Ummm....how?

US 69/96 is already freeway standard from the interchange with I-10 to where 69 and 96 split near Lumberton. Four-laning either one to connect with I-69 would be suitable enough.
Likely a spur from I-14 branching off to Beaumont.
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Life in Paradise

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #363 on: August 21, 2019, 12:53:03 PM »

I also notice from the map from the news article that Alabama is no longer part of the route they are seeking.  It ends at I-59 at Laurel, MS.
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vdeane

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #364 on: August 21, 2019, 01:28:39 PM »

Given that Mississippi is broke and can't even get I-69 built, why are they even still pursuing I-14 there?
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #365 on: August 21, 2019, 02:05:02 PM »

Mississippi has its plate full just with the I-69 stuff near Memphis and its part of the Great River Bridge. Any stuff with I-14 would be way down the list of priorities.

I don't see I-14 getting East of Huntsville, much less making it to the Future I-69 corridor at Livingston. Lake Livingston is going to be a big hurdle.

Regarding Beaumont, I-14 would have to be built at least to Woodville or Jasper to allow construction of a 40+ mile spur down toward the Beaumont area. I don't see much justification of upgrading US-287/69 to Interstate quality North of the split with TX-96 in Lumberton. Any such upgrade would require a new terrain bypass due to development hugging too closely to the highway corridor.

Out of highways in the Beaumont area worth upgrading to Interstate quality, US-90 going West out of Beaumont should be the highest priority, IMHO. An Interstate quality upgrade from Beaumont to the Grand Parkway could move a bunch of I-10 traffic otherwise bound for Austin well North of the downtown Houston area.

TX-73 from I-10 @ Winnie over to Port Arthur is divided 4-lane with a couple freeway segments. That corridor could be upgraded into a larger 3-digit I-10 loop (meeting back up with I-10 just West of Pinehurst & Orange, TX). Such a route could help with heavy truck traffic from oil refineries as well as aid in hurricane evacuation.

Back to I-14, I think the route is going to see enough difficulty just getting built inside the Texas Triangle. The current route drawn on the maps is utter nonsense (the jagged "W" shape route), obviously drawn to politically include as many towns as possible on the route. Meanwhile other outer loop and spoke corridors nearby in Houston are going to be competing for highway development resources. The Grand Parkway is already a big priority. TX-105 from Navasota to Conroe and then Cleveland is seeing a lot of development along its corridor. The Tomball Parkway (TX-249) will eventually be extended to TX-6 near College Station.

I think the proponents of I-14 within the Texas Triangle need to get their act together ASAP and get a proper, logical corridor figured out. If it only follows along the existing US-190 route then there's no reason to build the freaking highway at all. A new Interstate needs to yield some improvements, like a more direct route to the major destination. That should start with dumping Madisonville and a 25 mile long multiplex with I-45 off the route. Build the damned thing direct between College Station and Huntsville. The same goes for the leg between Cameron and Hearne. Dump Milano and bypass Hearne to the South to get to Bryan & College Station more direct.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 11:34:32 PM by Bobby5280 »
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #366 on: August 21, 2019, 06:03:07 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Likely outcome as previously predicted:  I-14 cuts off Cameron-Hearne, uses (more or less) TX 30 between Bryan/College Station and Huntsville in order to utilize as much of the TX 6 alignment as possible.  East of Huntsville is still problematic (as Bobby said, Lake Livingston poses a big obstacle re both the lake and the housing arrayed around it); a Beaumont option might provoke some interest in bypassing the lake to the south to shorten the distance there.  Although the map -- which still shows that stupid "14S/14N" arrangement out in W. Texas (although the Congressman that pushed for the more southerly but less populated/necessary branch via US 190 has announced his retirement, so that branch might eventually be deleted along with him!) -- indicates the Beaumont connection as a branch of the I-14 trunk, unless LA and possibly MS' plans for the corridor advance beyond mere speculation, something shunting the corridor down to Beaumont (and maybe even past there to a Port Arthur terminus) might be as far east as the I-14 "family" ever gets -- and the primary designation may well eventually shift down there rather than east to a Sabine River crossing that won't go anywhere.  That would be in keeping with Texas' main concern being highways within its boundaries (a la the I-69/369 prioritization up in the state's NE corner); such a routing would offer a Houston bypass and provide a direct route for I-10 traffic to veer off through the "Triangle" (and potentially beyond).   That rationale is probably sufficient to at least get preliminary studies underway regarding Huntsville-Beaumont.   
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motorola870

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #367 on: August 24, 2019, 09:42:34 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Likely outcome as previously predicted:  I-14 cuts off Cameron-Hearne, uses (more or less) TX 30 between Bryan/College Station and Huntsville in order to utilize as much of the TX 6 alignment as possible.  East of Huntsville is still problematic (as Bobby said, Lake Livingston poses a big obstacle re both the lake and the housing arrayed around it); a Beaumont option might provoke some interest in bypassing the lake to the south to shorten the distance there.  Although the map -- which still shows that stupid "14S/14N" arrangement out in W. Texas (although the Congressman that pushed for the more southerly but less populated/necessary branch via US 190 has announced his retirement, so that branch might eventually be deleted along with him!) -- indicates the Beaumont connection as a branch of the I-14 trunk, unless LA and possibly MS' plans for the corridor advance beyond mere speculation, something shunting the corridor down to Beaumont (and maybe even past there to a Port Arthur terminus) might be as far east as the I-14 "family" ever gets -- and the primary designation may well eventually shift down there rather than east to a Sabine River crossing that won't go anywhere.  That would be in keeping with Texas' main concern being highways within its boundaries (a la the I-69/369 prioritization up in the state's NE corner); such a routing would offer a Houston bypass and provide a direct route for I-10 traffic to veer off through the "Triangle" (and potentially beyond).   That rationale is probably sufficient to at least get preliminary studies underway regarding Huntsville-Beaumont.   
Or they can just leave it as is and expand it westward as they progress on widening US190. Terminus could be Abilene or Midland/Odessa. An intrastate route to connect West Texas to the Central Texas Corridor isn't a bad idea. I mean we have I2 in the RGV. I14 could be just like I12 in Louisiana.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #368 on: August 25, 2019, 12:57:49 AM »

I-12 is really a straight I-10 bypass of New Orleans. The road really ought to have a 3-digit I-10 related number rather than I-12.

Unlike I-12 in Louisiana, I-14 in Texas directly connects no major destinations. Killeen to San Angelo or Midland is not exactly a high traffic corridor or one that directly connects thru to long distance destinations (like I-12). At best, I-14 thru the central Texas Triangle, will work as a Northern partial outer loop for the Houston metro.
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #369 on: August 25, 2019, 04:32:14 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^^
Somehow, the fact that it doesn't directly serve one of the major TX metro areas may be I-14's salient point, particularly in a role as a bypass of everything along the I-10 corridor (at least from San Antonio east).  Sure, it doesn't serve the one central TX city lacking any E-W Interstate service, Austin -- but that city is rife with traffic issues to the point that attempting to route a E-W corridor through there for any purpose except a bidirectional accessway from Austin itself is a self-defeating concept.  With San Angelo, Temple, and Bryan/State College as the major population centers traversed by the I-14 corridor as presently proposed, the entire corridor -- even the part west of I-35 -- serves as a relatively traffic-free way to get from Houston and points east to far West Texas (and, if corresponding P-to-P/I-27 development takes place, Lubbock and the Panhandle as well) without having to deal with San Antonio, Austin, DFW, or any other existing chokepoints.  I-14 makes sense as a relief route rather than a simple set of lines connecting population centers.  TX already has that -- I-10 east of SA, I-35 as a whole, I-45, and even much of I-20.  The fact that the west TX section of I-10 was routed through a lot of nothing (I always thought that it was odd to shoot it west via old US 290 rather than through San Angelo and by the now-defunct Goodfellow AFB -- but that's what old Tom MacDonald and friends came up with in the '40's, so it stuck!) is itself something of an anomaly -- but then it was the only stretch of original TX Interstate that didn't follow a major rail line -- hence the lack of population centers along that segment.  Maybe they were just trying to avoid having to build a major bridge across the Pecos gorge along US 90 farther south (that would have at least gone through Del Rio), and 290 didn't have much in the way of mountains along the pathway (neither does US 87 through San Angelo, for that matter). 

But realistically any plans for I-14 west of its present west terminus are likely to be dependent upon what eventually occurs regarding the I-27/Port-to-Plains various proposals -- and how a viable network can be cobbled out of the two corridors' routings.   Part of that sentiment arises from the fact that the original US 190 route through another lot of nothing west of Brady was due to the influence of representative Hurd, in whose district that "branch" lies -- and who recently announced his retirement.  If a I-27 proposal makes it in to his district (which hugs the US/Mexico border), the southern I-14 won't be a political necessity, and a San Angelo-based routing will prevail -- giving Hurd's successor a check in the "win" column for their P-to-P segment rather than any unnecessary E-W routing through Menard along US 190.  Since corridors these days are inherently political animals (like it or not!), the presence of two largely overlapping proposals has, if skillfully manipulated, the chance of yielding some semblance of order and rationality.  The trick is to step back, defocus, and look at the whole potential West Texas network as a "forest" rather than a bunch of disparate "trees", and rearrange the overall picture into (a) one that yields the most effective overall network for the area and (b) in doing so gives the various political players their own reason for claiming victory.  In this case that entails I-27/P-to-P along US 87 south to San Angelo (with it "split" alignments via Big Spring and Midland intact) and then US 277 south of there to Del Rio and then on toward Laredo, and I-14 west via Brady and US 87 directly to San Angelo.  Multiple congressional districts will get their pet projects -- and the west Texas Interstate network gels into something that serves both long-distance as well as local interests.   
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #370 on: August 25, 2019, 10:08:19 PM »

Quote from: sparker
Somehow, the fact that it doesn't directly serve one of the major TX metro areas may be I-14's salient point, particularly in a role as a bypass of everything along the I-10 corridor (at least from San Antonio east).  Sure, it doesn't serve the one central TX city lacking any E-W Interstate service, Austin -- but that city is rife with traffic issues to the point that attempting to route a E-W corridor through there for any purpose except a bidirectional accessway from Austin itself is a self-defeating concept.

Going back to the 1980's Austin only had I-35 and a portion of the Mopac Expressway, basically two unconnected North-South freeways. 30 years later Austin has far more in the way of freeways and toll roads. Phoenix was in a similar situation. If a city grows beyond a certain population level that eventually requires major improvements and additions to the road network.

People in Austin can be against road building and improvement only so much. The vast majority of people there still get around town primarily by car. No one likes being stuck in traffic jams. At some point even the most hardcore anti-roads people have to relent and agree to allow something new to be built. With that being said there are big road improvement projects in progress, such as the US-183 freeway conversion within Austin. Other big projects are planned, like a Northern extension of the US-183A toll road North out of Austin and a western extension of the US-290 freeway.

If Austin keeps growing like it has been, and if other rapidly growing areas between Austin and San Antonio keep up their pace it's going to be a foregone conclusion that Austin will need East-West highway corridors with far greater traffic capacity and efficiency. That means US-290 out to the West and likely both US-290 and TX-71 out to the East will need new freeway or toll road conversions. TX DOT needs to plan for it sooner than later. One bright side is US-290 runs South of the most expensive Hill Country real estate developments. But there is all sorts of new stuff going up in the Dripping Springs area. TX DOT needs to get ahead of that stuff pronto.

Quote from: sparker
With San Angelo, Temple, and Bryan/State College as the major population centers traversed by the I-14 corridor as presently proposed, the entire corridor -- even the part west of I-35 -- serves as a relatively traffic-free way to get from Houston and points east to far West Texas (and, if corresponding P-to-P/I-27 development takes place, Lubbock and the Panhandle as well) without having to deal with San Antonio, Austin, DFW, or any other existing chokepoints.

Traffic originating or coming through Houston has to go way North just to meet up with the proposed, jagged I-14 route. The proposed route is anything but direct. That ruins any traffic free, time-saving advantage over just staying on I-10. There is just no credible way that I-14 could serve as a relief route for I-10. It's not difficult getting through San Antonio, especially if one sets their driving schedule to avoid peak rush hour times.

Quote from: sparker
The fact that the west TX section of I-10 was routed through a lot of nothing (I always thought that it was odd to shoot it west via old US 290 rather than through San Angelo and by the now-defunct Goodfellow AFB -- but that's what old Tom MacDonald and friends came up with in the '40's, so it stuck!) is itself something of an anomaly -- but then it was the only stretch of original TX Interstate that didn't follow a major rail line -- hence the lack of population centers along that segment.

San Angelo had fewer people then. And the main "big picture" interest with I-10 in West Texas was linking San Antonio and El Paso with as efficient a highway as possible. A dog-leg turn up to San Angelo wasn't in the cards back then. If they were to go about building I-10 from scratch today it would probably do a ping-pong pork barrel bounce all over the damn place, hitting every possible town in the area code, adding another 200 miles to an already very long drive.

Quote from: sparker
Since corridors these days are inherently political animals (like it or not!), the presence of two largely overlapping proposals has, if skillfully manipulated, the chance of yielding some semblance of order and rationality.  The trick is to step back, defocus, and look at the whole potential West Texas network as a "forest" rather than a bunch of disparate "trees", and rearrange the overall picture into (a) one that yields the most effective overall network for the area and (b) in doing so gives the various political players their own reason for claiming victory.

Given the importance of the oil business as well as serving the biggest cities out in that part of Texas, I would have to say I-27 would have a better shot at getting something built either to the Midland-Odessa area (down from Lubbock) and/or San Angelo. The current North end of I-27 terminates at one of America's most busy freight rail hubs. Not everything the oil industry uses or produces gets pumped through pipelines. For intra-state commerce I think extending I-27 down as far as Laredo (and extending I-2 up to meet it) matters more than building I-14. It's going to do more to generate and facilitate business.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 10:12:55 PM by Bobby5280 »
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sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #371 on: August 26, 2019, 03:41:29 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Scoping out the efficacy of a Houston-to-the I-10/20 split trip via the potential I-14 versus existing I-10 does show that a trip up I-45 to Huntsville before turning west on the corridor -- and making the assumption that the corridor will do the rational thing and (a) go directly between Huntsville & College Station and (b) "cut the corner" between Hearne and Cameron -- if extended to San Angelo and on to I-20 at Midland, the distance is some 635 miles versus about 584 right down I-10; the difference would be halved if the 249 toll facility were to be completed out to the Navasota area as ultimately planned.  And Bobby is correct -- if one has the luxury of picking & choosing when San Antonio would be traversed, the existing routing is just fine -- but if not, it's essentially a wash between the two corridors -- some extra miles in exchange for the avoidance of urban congestion. 

There is no doubt that corridors such as I-14 -- whether they receive federal designation as this one did, or not -- are born of pork served up by local interests looking to expedite development by enticing warehousing and distribution centers along the routes (although our current president might not care much for the targets of those efforts!).  But by now that should be "old hat";  the odds don't favor a reiteration of "master planned" corridors or anything reeking of federal chargability, for that matter.   So locals either resign themselves to do without or engage in the manipulations required to advance their corridor from a line on a map to a working facility.  Absent an unforeseen bout of asceticism among cities and/or regions, that's what is SOP these days.  The best one can hope for is that as much fat as possible is trimmed from any particular piece of that pork.  With the case of the combined West Texas corridor concepts, there's a shitload left to trim; the only chance that a rational network will emerge is for a joint effort by the backers of each to provide a clear view of what will accomplish regional goals but function as cost-effectively as feasible.       
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longhorn

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #372 on: August 26, 2019, 09:42:54 AM »

 Hmm, this gets interesting, lets be realistic. I-14 between Temple and Bryan/CS will be first with a connector to I-45......somewhere. But if the next stage is a "connector" built to Beaumont, I could see this as an easy sales job. It connects the Metroplex and Central Texas with I-10 and bypasses Houston. Is it necessary? Of course  not, but I could such a route being popular.
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Alex

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #373 on: August 26, 2019, 10:00:48 AM »

Is there any time table when the second set of lanes will be added to the 4.5 miles of limited access Super 2 around the South side of Copperas Cove?

Per the TxDOT Project Tracker , widening 5.12 miles of the Copperas Cove bypass, estimated to cost $39.3 million, will begin within the next four years. Completion is to be determined.

sparker

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Re: I-14 in Texas
« Reply #374 on: August 26, 2019, 02:28:26 PM »

Hmm, this gets interesting, lets be realistic. I-14 between Temple and Bryan/CS will be first with a connector to I-45......somewhere. But if the next stage is a "connector" built to Beaumont, I could see this as an easy sales job. It connects the Metroplex and Central Texas with I-10 and bypasses Houston. Is it necessary? Of course  not, but I could such a route being popular.

If a I-14-related connector between Beaumont and Huntsville is considered for development, the local viewpoint of the project might well be as just another edition of the various "rings" around greater Houston -- maybe the outermost, in practical terms.  At this point, most freeway/Interstate projects in the eastern portion of TX (the I-69 cluster notwithstanding) will likely be configured as "relief routes" rather than simple point-to-point connectors between metro areas; the object will be to circumvent congestion rather than funnel even more traffic into the chokepoints.  That may in part account for the lack of enthusiasm within Austin for direct E-W connection to I-10 and/or the Houston area; local officials and residents witnessing congestion on a daily basis translate that into a skepticism regarding additional access points.  Even though I-35 is the only Interstate serving Austin, its contribution to the traffic problem may be considered more than enough to avoid adding to the load with more inbound facilities; any civic pride that could be bolstered by adding a E-W Interstate to the mix gets swamped by the reality of regular local congestion.   
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