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Author Topic: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma  (Read 16304 times)

sparker

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #150 on: August 24, 2019, 03:45:36 PM »

Getting the I-45 designation north of I-40 is the easiest part of the process. Worst case they wait until it's done and get easy approvals from AASHTO and FHWA.

As far as I can tell, the Muskogee is pretty close to meeting Interstate standards already from US 69 to the west end, other than maybe the weird raised medians on bridges. The Broken Arrow is a bit more questionable, especially near I-44. Anything west of I-44 obviously isn't happening with the UP track there.

I get a 22 mile difference into downtown Tulsa going via Muskogee rather than Henryetta, so I think the INT and US 75 will remain the corridor of choice.

If by any chance I-45 eventually gets designated from DFW north to I-40, someone (not necessarily with ODOT -- more likely a local congress critter) might insert a designation clause within the yearly federal budget bill extending it further north -- and that part would certainly be simple.  But like with any "aftermarket" corridors, designation is merely the first step -- it's still up to the states to actually budget and let the various construction projects required to actually complete the corridor.  Look how many nascent Interstate corridors are legislatively designated in TX (and NC, for that matter!) and what percentage of the aggregate mileage of all of those is actually in operation as signed Interstate facilities.   Hint: not all that much!  Seems like every couple of years some section of the I-69 "family" opens up for a few miles here and there as budgetary considerations allow.  And something tells me, at least with TXDOT, that the massive Houston freeway rebuild will cause a budgetary "hole" for several funding cycles that will likely affect other projects statewide.  So while OK and its fiscal woes tend to cut off corridor concepts at their inception (just either not planning them or isolating whatever projects do crop up -- like the Calera upgrade -- in such a way as not to point toward the whole US 69 corridor, just a particular small section with its own rationale), TX tends to publish broad plans for these corridors -- usually overblown in regards to scope and who and what gets "serviced" -- but ekes the implementation out in very small chunks.  And the end result is that actual TX progress is not so different from that of OK; a small section of I-69E gets done west of Corpus and another SW of Houston, while OK's US 69 sees improvement at Calera and around McAlester.  The only difference is that OK actually views their projects as "spot" improvements rather than an integral part of a larger corridor concept, whereas with TX it's completing the corridor one baby step at a time -- a matter of, in TX, partially fulfilled "high hopes", whereas with OK it's "we're lucky to have the funds to do these small things; but don't expect much more than this!"  Different approaches; similar results.   
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In_Correct

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #151 on: August 24, 2019, 06:47:14 PM »

Houston needs a freeway rebuild. So does Dallas.

Texas is very similar to Oklahoma's progress: The urban areas get the much needed road projects first.

...

A difference between the road projects is Oklahoma D.O.T. will avoid road upgrades such as bypasses while Texas acquires wide Right Of Way and builds Frontage Roads to accommodate displaced businesses. If a business (or entire town) protests, TEX D.O.T. will say: "So what? Just move to the new frontage roads?!"

...

McAlester's Right Of Way is too narrow for more Interchanges. Where are they trying to build one?
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #152 on: August 24, 2019, 10:08:10 PM »

The recent bump in Oklahoma's fuel taxes (3 gasoline, 6 diesel) was the first increase in over 25 years. Yet the taxes we pay at the pump are still among the lowest in the nation. Most of the money from the fuel tax increase has been spent to fund teacher pay raises. Teacher pay is another category where Oklahoma pays among the least of all states. The state legislature dreamed up this fuel tax maneuver out of desperation. They couldn't dare raise state income tax rates or (God forbid) hike any property taxes.

Property taxes are off limits to the state. Millages are set at the local level and must fund certain things (schools being one).
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #153 on: August 24, 2019, 10:12:34 PM »

McAlester's Right Of Way is too narrow for more Interchanges. Where are they trying to build one?

The long term plan is to freewayize it from US270 to south of the Indian Nations interchange. The Kinkead Road interchange is supposed to start this month. The 8-year plan also shows work at the south end of 69B and around the INT interchange.
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #154 on: August 24, 2019, 10:15:05 PM »

One thing that is forgotten about this road is that some of the expressway is fairly recent. Some of it was built on new terrain while some of it was built by upgrading the old highway. It was 2 lanes until the late 1980s. The The 1988 ODOT map shows the highway as 4 lanes from I-44 near Big Cabin to the Red River. The last section of 2 lane highway was from Chockie to Atoka. This corridor was "completed" later than other major corridors in the state. It must have been hell when long parts were still 2 lanes. Was it as big of a truck route in 1987 than it is now?

Yes. I used to drive it in the late 70's from Tulsa to Dallas and it has always had heavy truck traffic.  The Chockie part was the last because it was built along a new alignment through Limestone Gap.
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #155 on: August 24, 2019, 10:26:03 PM »

Metro Tulsa has its own issues. The I-44/US-75 interchange is badly outdated and needs to be fully replaced. The same goes for I-44 between the I-244 interchange and the Arkansas River. It's just 2 lanes in each direction with features that look like they date back to the early 1960's.

It's on the 8-year plan. I saw the 33rd West Ave bridge replacements are going out for bid before the end of the year.

That stretch of I44 was built in 1953 to tie in the Turner Turnpike with the new 51st Street bridge.  I44 wasn't extended east for another few years.

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I don't know the history of the US-69 freeway segment between McAlester and Muskogee. But it appears to me the route was upgraded to push a lot of long distance heavy truck traffic away from the US-75 corridor and Tulsa's surface streets.

It got started as a result of relocation due to the construction of Lake Eufaula. With the Feds paying 100% why not shoot for the stars. Same thing with US64 west of Lake Keystone. The part for Checotah to Summitt came in the late 70's.

Quote
In the past there has been a good bit of intra-state political squabbling over the US-69/75 corridors from other parts of the state. Back in the 1990's one group of lawmakers were pushing for new turnpikes to be built in really absurd locations as a means of competing for business with the growing US-75 corridor in the Eastern part of the state. One proposal was a turnpike from Clinton down to Snyder along the US-183 corridor (implying US-183 was the equal to US-75 in the Western half of Oklahoma). Another was a turnpike from Duncan to Davis. I'm glad neither materialized. Neither of those proposed routes would attract a lot of long distance traffic. OTOH US-75 is the direct connection between Tulsa and Dallas.

The Duncan to Davis turnpike was originally (partially) meant to be a way to give the tremendous traffic generated by Halliburton to their Davis satellite facility from the large manufacturing plant in east Duncan. By the late 80's the bottom had dropped out the the oil business (again) and the idea was dropped.  OK7 at that time was a 2 lane disaster with a tremendous amount of heavy equipment movement.
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #156 on: August 25, 2019, 12:44:26 AM »

OK-7 between Duncan and I-35 was improved a little bit. It has a Super-2 grade and wide enough ROW for 4-laning from US-81 to just West of Ratliff City. The rest of the way to I-35 it's a little more limited. There's zero chance of that getting turned into a turnpike. Out of corridors in that area, I think US-81 is more important to improve. On the bright side the bypass around Duncan was built with enough ROW that it could be converted into a full blown 4-lane freeway. An extension from OK-7 up to US-81 in Marlow is in the works. Chickasha is going to get its own US-81 bypass soon.

Quote from: rte66man
Property taxes are off limits to the state. Millages are set at the local level and must fund certain things (schools being one).

Yet property taxes are one of the biggest sources (if not the biggest) of funding for local public schools.
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dfwmapper

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #157 on: August 26, 2019, 05:26:18 AM »

If by any chance I-45 eventually gets designated from DFW north to I-40, someone (not necessarily with ODOT -- more likely a local congress critter) might insert a designation clause within the yearly federal budget bill extending it further north -- and that part would certainly be simple.  But like with any "aftermarket" corridors, designation is merely the first step -- it's still up to the states to actually budget and let the various construction projects required to actually complete the corridor.  Look how many nascent Interstate corridors are legislatively designated in TX (and NC, for that matter!) and what percentage of the aggregate mileage of all of those is actually in operation as signed Interstate facilities.   Hint: not all that much!
It doesn't have to go through congress though, that's just how it's been done recently because some states got sick of AASHTO and FHWA telling them to go pound sand when they asked for designations for corridors that were decades from being viable. I think I-99 was the start of that?
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Seems like every couple of years some section of the I-69 "family" opens up for a few miles here and there as budgetary considerations allow.  And something tells me, at least with TXDOT, that the massive Houston freeway rebuild will cause a budgetary "hole" for several funding cycles that will likely affect other projects statewide.  So while OK and its fiscal woes tend to cut off corridor concepts at their inception (just either not planning them or isolating whatever projects do crop up -- like the Calera upgrade -- in such a way as not to point toward the whole US 69 corridor, just a particular small section with its own rationale), TX tends to publish broad plans for these corridors -- usually overblown in regards to scope and who and what gets "serviced" -- but ekes the implementation out in very small chunks.  And the end result is that actual TX progress is not so different from that of OK; a small section of I-69E gets done west of Corpus and another SW of Houston, while OK's US 69 sees improvement at Calera and around McAlester.  The only difference is that OK actually views their projects as "spot" improvements rather than an integral part of a larger corridor concept, whereas with TX it's completing the corridor one baby step at a time -- a matter of, in TX, partially fulfilled "high hopes", whereas with OK it's "we're lucky to have the funds to do these small things; but don't expect much more than this!"  Different approaches; similar results.   
Vastly different results. Oklahoma finishes a project, and then sits around for 3-5 years before they even think of doing another. Texas finishes a project and there's already another one in the pipeline ready to to go, and there's dirt flying within a year or two at most. And then there are a couple more that have the planning and environmental studies done and are just waiting on funding, and several more that are in planning. Oklahoma's spot improvements are much smaller than Texas's too. The improvements at Calera are nice, but if TxDOT was in control, they'd be trying their best to bypass Tushka and Atoka.
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sparker

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #158 on: August 26, 2019, 03:25:34 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Recently the congressional route has proven to be more fruitful than a slog through the bowels of AASHTO when it comes to future Interstate corridor designations.  The problem is that once the designation is on the books, the various parties view it as a fait accompli, with actual implementation eked out as funding can be secured.  The one issue with the ISTEA addendum (sec. 1174) that authorized an Interstate corridor along US 69 and/or 75 was that it specifically predicated the designation on action from ODOT (or at least a state entity, which I suppose could mean a gubernatorial edict as well).  But given the organized opposition from Atoka and Stringtown re bypasses -- and the outsized political clout emanating from those voices -- it appears that ODOT has simply elected to "bracket" the politically troublesome areas with projects in McAlester to the north and Durant/Calera to the south.   Maybe they're hoping (against hope?) that the interim towns will eventually "get the hint" and agree to be circumvented.  We'll just have to see what transpires in the next decade or so.

And it is -- partially -- true that TxDOT has several projects in a row lined up in succession -- but those are primarily in situations where the Alliance for I-69, representing a consortium of interests within the served regions, is virtually right up their butt pressing for these projects to continue until the network is fulfilled.  Elsewhere, it's all about the "spot" project, even with the toll facilities near Austin and Tyler.  True, there are plans for I-14, I-2, the P-to-P, El Paso, and other statewide "big picture" projects -- but except for I-69 and some urban connectors, these are progressing at a relatively glacial rate -- and a few miles or an interchange or two at a time.  Part of that is simply that TX is huge -- and has more highway needs than short-term funds to address them (CA's in the same general boat!).   The fact that there's as much progress on I-69 as there is constitutes a minor miracle considering the pressures from the rest of the state for some sort of distributional parity.  But I will concur that TxDOT takes a decidedly more active role than ODOT when it comes to "paving the way" for projects; whereas ODOT is largely willing to indefinitely procrastinate about bypassing the various towns along the US 69 corridor, TxDOT representatives would likely be out in Atoka and environs attempting to wear down the objectors or otherwise negotiate some sort of agreement that would expedite a freeway alignment to be ready & waiting whenever funding was available.   Whereas TX may not always have $$ immediately available, they do prefer to have their "ducks in a row" when letting time arrives; ODOT -- not so much.  If a big potential income source like the Calera casino comes calling, they'll get off their duffs and cobble up a project; otherwise, inaction appears to be the order of the day. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #159 on: August 26, 2019, 04:59:22 PM »

Quote from: sparker
But given the organized opposition from Atoka and Stringtown re bypasses -- and the outsized political clout emanating from those voices -- it appears that ODOT has simply elected to "bracket" the politically troublesome areas with projects in McAlester to the north and Durant/Calera to the south.   Maybe they're hoping (against hope?) that the interim towns will eventually "get the hint" and agree to be circumvented.  We'll just have to see what transpires in the next decade or so.

Atoka and Stringtown, like so many rural towns in Oklahoma, are eventually going mostly dry up and become near ghost towns. Very few young people are sticking around those places after reaching adulthood due to many reasons (job opportunities and being able to party and get laid being two of the biggest motivations to head to the cities). The people who opposed converting US-69/75 into a freeway are not getting any younger. As they die off so will the strength of freeway opposition.

Meanwhile Oklahoma's lawmakers in bigger cities should be a little concerned about the condition of the US-69/75 corridor and the fact other high speed alternatives in the region will eventually be available. It may take decades for I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana to materialize. Same for I-69 in Southern Arkansas thru Mississippi. If either or both of those corridors were complete now they would definitely pull a decent amount of truck traffic (and the business associated with it) off of the US-69/75 corridor. If that happens towns like Atoka and Stringtown are going to be hit with a double whammy: shrinking youth/working age population and shrinking business on the highway corridor.
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #160 on: August 26, 2019, 11:27:36 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
But I will concur that TxDOT takes a decidedly more active role than ODOT when it comes to "paving the way" for projects; whereas ODOT is largely willing to indefinitely procrastinate about bypassing the various towns along the US 69 corridor, TxDOT representatives would likely be out in Atoka and environs attempting to wear down the objectors or otherwise negotiate some sort of agreement that would expedite a freeway alignment to be ready & waiting whenever funding was available.   Whereas TX may not always have $$ immediately available, they do prefer to have their "ducks in a row" when letting time arrives; ODOT -- not so much.  If a big potential income source like the Calera casino comes calling, they'll get off their duffs and cobble up a project; otherwise, inaction appears to be the order of the day. 

Not true at all. When ODOT proposed the Muskogee bypass earlier this year (a very common sense freeway bypass to the west), the locals rose up with pitchforks and torches and howled mightily. The reps and senators all saw which way the wind was blowing and came out strongly against it too. With that much political headwind to fight, ODOT gave up and submitted a reduced proposal for incremental changes to the existing US69 through town.

ODOT has tons of projects in the pipeline, they just don't usually get revealed to the general public. My daughter worked in the Bridge division and gave me details on projects that at the time weren't on the 8-year Plan but were added later. The true problem is politics and lack of funds.  ODOT has lost nearly $1 BILLION in funding over the last 10 years that was siphoned off to non-roads items.  They may not appear to be as proactive as TxDOT, but that is apples and oranges to me.
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dfwmapper

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #161 on: August 27, 2019, 03:19:26 AM »

And it is -- partially -- true that TxDOT has several projects in a row lined up in succession -- but those are primarily in situations where the Alliance for I-69, representing a consortium of interests within the served regions, is virtually right up their butt pressing for these projects to continue until the network is fulfilled.  Elsewhere, it's all about the "spot" project, even with the toll facilities near Austin and Tyler.  True, there are plans for I-14, I-2, the P-to-P, El Paso, and other statewide "big picture" projects -- but except for I-69 and some urban connectors, these are progressing at a relatively glacial rate -- and a few miles or an interchange or two at a time.  Part of that is simply that TX is huge -- and has more highway needs than short-term funds to address them (CA's in the same general boat!).   The fact that there's as much progress on I-69 as there is constitutes a minor miracle considering the pressures from the rest of the state for some sort of distributional parity.  But I will concur that TxDOT takes a decidedly more active role than ODOT when it comes to "paving the way" for projects; whereas ODOT is largely willing to indefinitely procrastinate about bypassing the various towns along the US 69 corridor, TxDOT representatives would likely be out in Atoka and environs attempting to wear down the objectors or otherwise negotiate some sort of agreement that would expedite a freeway alignment to be ready & waiting whenever funding was available.   Whereas TX may not always have $$ immediately available, they do prefer to have their "ducks in a row" when letting time arrives; ODOT -- not so much.  If a big potential income source like the Calera casino comes calling, they'll get off their duffs and cobble up a project; otherwise, inaction appears to be the order of the day.
The I-69 system is an obvious example here, but there are others in the state, like Texas Triangle. I've been making the Dallas-Austin circuit at least a few times a year for the last decade, and I can't remember a single trip that wasn't interrupted by major road construction. I'm not talking simple mill and fill pavement projects either, but major widening. I-10 and I-45 have progressed as well, though not quite as fast as I-35. Some of it is a few miles at a time, but a few miles followed immediately by another few miles and so on adds up a lot faster than no miles at a time until a casino decides they need better access and is willing to chip in. You can compare aerials of US 69 from 1995 to the current condition and find that the only upgrades in nearly 25 years are the overpass on the south side of the Choctaw Casino in Durant, the recent freeway upgrade in McAlester, and the US 64 interchange at the south side of Muskogee. Oklahoma doesn't even seem that interested in the spot improvements, even in places where they could be done without pissing off the local revenue generators. How about a few ramps, a couple overpasses, and a couple short frontage roads to remove the at-grade intersections for the prison and highway 43? It's outside Stringtown so it won't hurt their speed trap (and might help it since it encourages traffic to go faster heading in to town), it actually helps the residents who are going to and from work there by making it easier to get in and out, and gets rid of a major source of cross traffic.
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bugo

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #162 on: August 27, 2019, 08:02:15 AM »

That stretch of I44 was built in 1953 to tie in the Turner Turnpike with the new 51st Street bridge.  I44 wasn't extended east for another few years.

This is correct. This inset from the 1954 official shows what is now I-44 crossing the old 51st Street bridge but ending just east of the river.



The 1955 inset shows the same thing.

The 1956 inset shows it ending just east of the river but as proposed to Admiral.



The 1957 inset shows it ending at Yale, under construction to Memorial and proposed from Memorial to Admiral.



The 1958 inset shows it ending between Memorial and Mingo. It also shows US 66 as connecting to the Will Rogers Turnpike and OK 33 at Cherokee Curve in Catoosa. It shows what is now I-44 ending at the 193rd Street interchange in Catoosa.

Also, note the proposed expressway system. The Keystone Expressway (US 64 west), the Cherokee Expressway (US 75 north), the Mingo Valley Expressway (US 169), the Crosstown Expressway (I-244 east), the rest of Skelly Drive from Memorial to 193rd (I-44), the Broken Arrow Expressway (OK 51), the Turkey Mountain Expressway (US 75 south), the Red Fork Expressway (I-244 west) and the infamous Inner Dispersal Loop (I-244/I-444) were all built and are open to traffic today. The Osage Expressway was built as far north as the Gilcrease (shown as "Sequoyah Loop" on this map) as the LL Tisdale Expressway. The Gilcrease is complete between the Tisdale and I-244 near the airport and 2 lanes are open from I-44/244 to 41st Street including a short freeway. The part from 41st Street and the Tisdale Parkway is being considered to be built as a turnpike. The Riverside Expressway which is unlabeled here was built as an arterial south of 31st Street but was unbuilt north to the IDL. There was going to be a freeway connecting the IDL/BA interchange at the SE corner of the loop that followed the Midland Valley Railroad right of way south to where it crossed the river then south along Riverside to I-44 but it was cancelled, and cancelled freeways in Oklahoma are rare. If this highway had been built, there would be an interchange where the Gathering Place is today. This is a rare one that I'm glad wasn't built.



The 1959 inset shows Skelly Drive as complete from the Turner Turnpike to the Will Rogers Turnpike and signed as I-44.



he 1960 map shows US 66 moved onto I-44 and old 66 between the I-44/244 interchange in west Tulsa and the I-44/11th Street interchange as Business 66. The stretch of 11th between I-44 in east Tulsa and 193rd E Ave then along 193rd/County Line Road north to I-44 was decommissioned entirely and is now a Tulsa city street.



My question is how was Skelly Drive signed before it was complete? I have seen references to a Bypass US 66 but it doesn't show up on any of the ODOT maps. Also, note that "Skelly Drive" clearly refers to the *freeway* and not just the *frontage roads* as has been claimed here by some. I know that I-44 between the Turner Turnpike and US 75 had some at-grade intersections and there was even an at-grade railroad crossing just east of the I-244 (then US 66/75) interchange.
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bugo

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #163 on: August 27, 2019, 08:18:16 AM »

The Chickasha bypass is not a new idea. This excerpt from the 1956 Grady County control section map shows that the US 81 bypass was on the books as early as the mid-1950s. The highway that became the HE Bailey Turnpike didn't show up on control section maps until a few years later. A proposed freeway paralleling US 277 does appear on the 1962 map.

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #164 on: August 27, 2019, 08:29:20 AM »

So the Muskogee 75 bypass is officially dead? I thought it was only put on hold for the time being. If its the former that is bullshit. How is Oklahoma supposed to be a world class functioning freeway network if these small towns prohibit improvements to it?
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bugo

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #165 on: August 27, 2019, 09:13:27 AM »

Oklahoma has a brand new source of revenue: medical cannabis. The state made $1.6 million from cannabis taxes and 2 million in state and local sales taxes in May. It has collected $10 million since the program began a year ago. This money is intended to go towards education and substance abuse programs so it won't go directly to highway funding but hopefully it will take a little pressure off of the rest of the funds. The program is wildly popular and has exceeded the state's estimates by more than double. The state predicted there would be 40,000-80,000 patients after the first year but as of the end of August, there are over 178,000 patients that have been approved and another 11,000 applications have come in and are being processed. 4.5% of Oklahomans are medical marijuana patients. Although a lot of social conservatives are against legalized cannabis, it has bipartisan support. One of the program's best friends is House Speaker Jon Echols, who made the medical program his pet project. It has succeeded beyond the wildest fantasies of anybody. Most of the patients I see in dispensaries are 50 or older. A lot of them are conservative. Somebody at the golf club or the rodeo tells them that they tried medical cannabis and it worked to ease their symptoms. These folks are sick of being in pain and they decide to give it a chance. They get their cards and start using it and they find that it doesn't only work, but it works well with minimal negative side effects. Some of them even like the way it makes them feel. They go to church and tell their friends how much it helped them and word gets around and a lot of minds are changed. The negative stigmas are fading. The stereotype of the lazy stoner is not accurate and cannabis is truly mainstream. Now if the rest of the states will get off their asses and legalize it.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #166 on: August 27, 2019, 02:30:31 PM »

I think the most important next step is for the feds to completely deschedule it and legalize it nationally.
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #167 on: August 27, 2019, 03:48:28 PM »

So the Muskogee 75 bypass is officially dead? I thought it was only put on hold for the time being. If its the former that is bullshit. How is Oklahoma supposed to be a world class functioning freeway network if these small towns prohibit improvements to it?

It got dropped from the latest version of the 8 Year plan
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rte66man

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #168 on: August 27, 2019, 03:53:14 PM »

The Chickasha bypass is not a new idea. This excerpt from the 1956 Grady County control section map shows that the US 81 bypass was on the books as early as the mid-1950s. The highway that became the HE Bailey Turnpike didn't show up on control section maps until a few years later. A proposed freeway paralleling US 277 does appear on the 1962 map.



And part of it was built that year directly north from the bend south of Ninnekah then back east at OK19.  That is why there is such a large median where it bends east.  It was always known a Chickasha bypass was planned. I can remember riding that part in 1964 after the Bailey was opened.  81 was a 30's era concrete 2-lane north from Rush Springs to where the new 4 lane section started. It wasn't unitl; 67 or 68 that 81 was 4 laned from RushSprings to Ninnekah. The Rush Springs bypass even later than that.
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sparker

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #169 on: August 27, 2019, 05:53:49 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
But I will concur that TxDOT takes a decidedly more active role than ODOT when it comes to "paving the way" for projects; whereas ODOT is largely willing to indefinitely procrastinate about bypassing the various towns along the US 69 corridor, TxDOT representatives would likely be out in Atoka and environs attempting to wear down the objectors or otherwise negotiate some sort of agreement that would expedite a freeway alignment to be ready & waiting whenever funding was available.   Whereas TX may not always have $$ immediately available, they do prefer to have their "ducks in a row" when letting time arrives; ODOT -- not so much.  If a big potential income source like the Calera casino comes calling, they'll get off their duffs and cobble up a project; otherwise, inaction appears to be the order of the day. 

Not true at all. When ODOT proposed the Muskogee bypass earlier this year (a very common sense freeway bypass to the west), the locals rose up with pitchforks and torches and howled mightily. The reps and senators all saw which way the wind was blowing and came out strongly against it too. With that much political headwind to fight, ODOT gave up and submitted a reduced proposal for incremental changes to the existing US69 through town.

ODOT has tons of projects in the pipeline, they just don't usually get revealed to the general public. My daughter worked in the Bridge division and gave me details on projects that at the time weren't on the 8-year Plan but were added later. The true problem is politics and lack of funds.  ODOT has lost nearly $1 BILLION in funding over the last 10 years that was siphoned off to non-roads items.  They may not appear to be as proactive as TxDOT, but that is apples and oranges to me.

So what is revealed here is that (a) ODOT is more than willing to lay down and play dead when political (read NIMBY/local revenue) opposition rears it head, and (b) they tend to hold back public info on projects, partially likely because of (a) above!  In that case, it would be clear that virtually any warranted project in TX would much easier to shepherd through the planning/construction process than one in OK -- simply because either TxDOT and their associates are able to smooth over (or circumvent) locally-derived issues and actually get things past the preliminary planning stages, while ODOT will turn tail and backtrack when money politics intervenes, whether from a larger regional center like Muskogee or a smaller entity such as Atoka or even Stringtown.  That policy -- or lack thereof -- doesn't bode well for even a freeway extension limited to the federally designated portion south of I-40.  OK residents and those who need to traverse the state have my profound sympathy; someone needs to send a big tube of K-Y Jelly to ODOT -- at this point, they could use some sort of relief! 
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #170 on: August 28, 2019, 12:42:38 AM »

Quote from: sparker
So what is revealed here is that (a) ODOT is more than willing to lay down and play dead when political (read NIMBY/local revenue) opposition rears it head, and (b) they tend to hold back public info on projects, partially likely because of (a) above!

Nah, actually there is a different game involved: the two big cities in OK versus everybody else.

The US-69 corridor is in urgent need of upgrades all along the route from the Red River up to Big Cabin. But there are plenty of other highway corridors elsewhere in Oklahoma that urgently need upgrades (or just repair work) too. The state has a very limited amount of funding to spread around for all these projects. Representatives in these affected areas have to do their own bit of lobbying and campaigning just to get attention to their needs. The big cities always have highways in need of major (and very expensive) improvements. That gobbles up a hell of a lot of the highway funding pie.

So if the folks in Muskogee don't want a new freeway then ODOT is going to be only too happy to blow the money that would have been spent on that project on something else in someone else's city or town. ODOT didn't lay down and play dead for anybody.

I think the folks in Muskogee looked a gift horse in the mouth. They passed up on something that would have made US-69 a much better and safer highway through their town. They passed up on something that would have fueled new business and residential growth. Now ODOT will do something far more modest (hardly anything at all) on the existing US-69 corridor. Meanwhile the heavy truck traffic can keep putting its wear and tear on the infrastructure along the existing route.

Long term, the small cities and towns along US-69 in Oklahoma need to understand all those cars and trucks that currently use US-69 to bypass OKC and Tulsa aren't going to take that route forever. The stop lights suck. The speed traps are rage inducing and essentially a loud "F.U." to all the long distance motorists using that road. When other limited access alternatives open, like I-49 or I-69 in the next state, many are going to take their driving and their business elsewhere.

I don't even understand the logic of these folks. Freeways and turnpikes do have exits. Drivers do leave the super highways to get fuel, eat, sleep and buy stuff just like they possibly could driving along a road in town with a bunch of stop lights. If a motorist gets snagged in a town's speed trap he's not going to feel like buying shit from any business in that town. Speed traps aren't as much of a thing on super highways.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 12:55:00 AM by Bobby5280 »
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dfwmapper

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #171 on: August 28, 2019, 03:32:53 AM »

I don't really see I-49 taking over as a primary route between DFW and anywhere. US 69 will remain a better option for traveling to NWA, KC, and St. Louis. It's mostly flat and straight, while I-49 will be neither. If/when Arkansas and Missouri get I-57 complete from Walnut Ridge to Sikeston, I do see that becoming the new primary route between DFW and anything along or east of I-57, including Chicago, but probably not St. Louis since that ends up about 80 miles longer. It may affect the choice for travel between Houston and NWA or KC, but how much of that is currently using US 69 vs. US 59/259 is something I don't know.
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captkirk_4

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #172 on: August 28, 2019, 09:01:56 AM »

The Federal Government seems derelict of duty compared to when Eisenhower built the interstates. There are still a number of major diagonal routes in need of limited access high speed highways for traffic that aren't getting built. Midwest to North Carolina for one, and US 69 from the Red River to Big Cabin. It still is shorter and faster from Dallas to Illiniois, but watching my clock and comparing the miles on the speedometer it could have been possibly up to 90 minutes faster if an Interstate. I really lost a lot of time going north when I hit Muskogee up to the Big Cabin terminus. While you have to watch your speed on the southern section due to the speed traps you don't really go through the constant small towns at 35mph the way you do on the northern part. US 51 from Decatur IL to Pana is a non Interstate four lane highway built much better, it goes around all the little towns like Mowequa and Macon and slows you only to 55 with a flashing yellow sign where the cross street runs. Bypasses on the north part would be a welcome improvement even without a full upgrade.

*(Do note that the alternate route on I-57 has one of the worst speed traps in the entire country in Pulaski County Illinois, the first 25 miles in the southern tip, the local county patrols always have at least 3-5 vehicles pulling everyone over they possibly can for even going 1 mile over to raise revenue. Cairo is broke and looks like that abandoned town outside Chernobyl, it makes Flint look prosperous.)
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kphoger

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #173 on: August 28, 2019, 01:43:57 PM »

for even going 1 mile over to raise revenue.

Cite your source?
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: US 69 Improvements in Oklahoma
« Reply #174 on: August 28, 2019, 04:38:44 PM »

for even going 1 mile over to raise revenue.

Cite your source?
A LEO can technically pull you over for that, no?

At any rate, I know many I've talked to are opposed to this, but I would like to see a ban on muni police patrolling interstates or highways(controlled access highways) as well as Sheriff's on incorporated areas. This would prevent over policing and shift resources to areas needed more than just cracking down on speeding.

Disclaimer: yes I speed.
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