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Author Topic: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston  (Read 5789 times)

longhorn

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2018, 03:12:23 PM »

I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

As for US 190, it could work as an alternate route if the TX 12 / LA 12 / US 190 corridor were expressway all the way from Vidor to Baton Rouge.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.
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longhorn

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2018, 03:14:50 PM »

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/08083201.htm

Bids were opened today on the next section to be widened to 3x3, 10.2 miles from the Brazos River to west of Sealy.

It's an expensive job with the low bid of $317.5 million, or $31 million/mile, and 4.8% above estimate.

Estimate   $303,003,725.27   % Over/Under   Company
Bidder 1   $317,508,658.52   +4.79%   WEBBER, LLC
Bidder 2   $318,849,499.48   +5.23%   WILLIAMS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
Bidder 3   $326,380,527.70   +7.72%   FLUOR HEAVY CIVIL, LLC
Bidder 4   $340,535,018.06   +12.39%   PULICE CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Bidder 5   $346,686,800.41   +14.42%   BALFOUR BEATTY INFRASTRUCTURE, INC.


Observations
* This is a rare case when a bidder underbid Williams Brothers when WB is playing to win. WB already is working on the adjacent section to the east, so you would think the nearby presence would have lowered their cost
* The Brazos River bridge is included in this job and is shown as 4x4 in the plans. It is unclear if the existing bridge will be widened or replaced. The plans mention bridge demolition, so it is probably replacement.
* Looking at the plans, this entire section has near-continuous frontage roads (except for the Brazos bridge and BNSF RR) and it appears that all frontage roads will be rebuilt, and also widened in Sealy. So I'm thinking this is the main reason why the job is so expensive

Could be expensive because they will use concrete. Even on the access roads like they did on I-35 rebuild between Temple and Waco.
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nolia_boi504

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2018, 04:32:18 PM »

Will I-10 west of Katy Mills be built over major cross streets, as opposed to the akward exit and collection areas required when the cross stress jump over the highway?

Cane Island interchange is god awful, especially the north side with the traffic circle.

The I-10 overhaul project to the east of Grand Parkway did a much better job rebuilding the interchanges to what I like to think of as Texas standard.

Nexus 5X

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jbnv

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2018, 06:12:21 PM »

I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.
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DJStephens

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2018, 06:00:49 PM »

There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA. 

   The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections. 
    There are also ranch access gates in the ranch property area of I-10 between Tucson, and Benson, AZ.   
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nexus73

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2018, 08:45:04 PM »

4 lanes in each direction sets up well for handling a lot of truck traffic in the right two lanes while allowing for 80+ MPH travel in the left two lanes.  This is the kind of setup I would like to see on I-5 between I-580 and SR 99.  Let the traffic roll and flow in the empty spaces of the West!

Rick
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2018, 01:27:10 AM »

There is definitely a good number of I-10 segments that could use upgrades from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in both directions. However, I-10 goes through some pretty remote area too. I think it would be strange to have a 3-3 highway setup in West Texas yet still have all those damned at-grade gravel driveways connecting to the highway. With such a sub-standard thing being allowed to fly on an Interstate in West Texas one could make a good argument to sign I-40 all the way to Bakersfield, CA. 

   The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections. 
    There are also ranch access gates in the ranch property area of I-10 between Tucson, and Benson, AZ.
Regardless of the costs, they need to either build interchanges or collector roads that lead to interchanges no matter how rural the area is. Standards should be followed.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2018, 01:17:21 PM »

I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.


The existing wide median between the roadway structures would be suitable for widening from the inside to at least 3x3,  but you would then have to deal with replacing the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel structures where the median disappears to a concrete divider, as well as the Butte la Rose rest area inbetween the structures just before the main Atchafalaya River channel crossing. Also, the median crossovers would have to be reconstructed, although the way I see it, it presents a perfect opportunity to convert them to grade-separated crossovers.

With I-10 being widened to 3x3 (and 4x4 through Baton Rouge and New Orleans) everywhere else in most places, I find it inevitable that there will be some push to widen the Atchafalaya Basin section. The only alternative would be to freewayize US 190 from the I-49 interchange in Opelousas to at least the LA 415 connector at Lobdell, if not the LA 1 connector at Port Allen near the old Mississippi River Bridge. I don't think that towns like Port Barre, Krotz Springs, Livonia, or Erwinville would like the idea of having their main speed trap revenue cows taken away from them...let alone the issue of controlling access on that road.

Of course, some would say that I-49 South would effectively become I-10's "bypass" when completed.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2018, 01:46:23 PM »

Quote from: DJStephens
The ranch access gates and cross-overs are in remote stretches of I-10 both east and west of Van Horn.   Am sure exceptions were granted for those ranchers, to avoid the need to build expensive exits, interchanges, and frontages that could stretch for miles.  If I-10 was built to complete "limited access" there, these facilities would have been used by a handful.   The pre-existing US 80 was completely laid over/eliminated by the interstate for much of those sections.

I think at the very least they should come up with some other solutions. One idea is building gravel/dirt frontage roads flanking the main lanes of I-10. Those could connect to other paved frontage road segments that do exist. Or they can do what is proposed for spots of I-69E and I-69C in South Texas: short length frontage roads with functional on/off ramps & acceleration lanes, creating a safer RIRO for those access points.

Whether the ranch access gates get used frequently or not they do pose a danger every time they are used. Ranchers should not be entering the freeway directly from a dirt road, especially a road (or driveway) that connects perpendicular to the highway, forcing hard right turns.

The thru traffic on I-10 out there is traveling at 80mph or significantly faster than that depending on how bad someone is speeding. 80mph is 117.3 feet per second. That's a football field in under 3 seconds. If some rancher is making a hard right turn onto I-10 from some gravel/dirt road he has to take extreme precautions to wait for a big enough gap in traffic before attempting to turn onto the highway. It takes more than a few seconds to go from a dead stop, turn right and then get up to highway travel speed. Many of these ranchers are hauling trailers behind their pickups, which greatly increases the time it takes to make a turn and speed up to the flow of traffic. God forbid the guy hops one set of lanes to jump over to make a left turn. Imagery in Google Earth clearly shows this is happening in some spots.

Ranchers may be used to dealing with those hazards, but other non-farmer types driving I-10 don't have the practice. Going 80mph or more it will be difficult for them to suddenly slow down for someone making a hard turn onto the highway in front of them. And that's even if they anticipate something like that could happen. Most people driving on freeways don't expect pickups entering out of nowhere from some gravel road. Normal Interstate exits have room to accelerate on the on ramps or have acceleration lanes at the end of the on ramps. These ranch access things have none of those safety features.

The terrain along I-10 in West Texas is pretty irregular. The highway is far from perfectly straight. If one of these ranch access roads is around a bend then visibility to I-10 traffic will be blocked within so and such many seconds of the turn. Trees, bushes and hills add to the visibility problems. That's one of the factors that makes all the gravel road off-shoots on CA-58 in California so potentially hazardous.
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wxfree

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2018, 03:46:33 PM »

TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

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

That's a list.  Here's a map.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/el_paso.pdf
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TXtoNJ

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2018, 04:28:22 PM »

I don't see the Basin bridge being widened.

Why not? Heck it would be a good to widen it to 4x4 so the whole thing doesn't shut down every time there is an accident.

Cost, plus good luck getting that one past the environmentalists.


The existing wide median between the roadway structures would be suitable for widening from the inside to at least 3x3,  but you would then have to deal with replacing the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel structures where the median disappears to a concrete divider, as well as the Butte la Rose rest area inbetween the structures just before the main Atchafalaya River channel crossing. Also, the median crossovers would have to be reconstructed, although the way I see it, it presents a perfect opportunity to convert them to grade-separated crossovers.

With I-10 being widened to 3x3 (and 4x4 through Baton Rouge and New Orleans) everywhere else in most places, I find it inevitable that there will be some push to widen the Atchafalaya Basin section. The only alternative would be to freewayize US 190 from the I-49 interchange in Opelousas to at least the LA 415 connector at Lobdell, if not the LA 1 connector at Port Allen near the old Mississippi River Bridge. I don't think that towns like Port Barre, Krotz Springs, Livonia, or Erwinville would like the idea of having their main speed trap revenue cows taken away from them...let alone the issue of controlling access on that road.

Of course, some would say that I-49 South would effectively become I-10's "bypass" when completed.


It'll happen within the next 25 years, if only because the structure will be approaching 75 years old at that point, under constant corrosion from the brackish water.
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sparker

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2018, 09:29:13 PM »

TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

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

That's a list.  Here's a map.

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

I don't suppose there's any equivalent plans to address the grade crossings on I-40 in the western Panhandle?
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wxfree

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2018, 09:48:57 PM »

TxDOT has plans to eliminate 10 grade crossings in Hudspeth County.  They aren't high-ranking priorities, but they are on the radar.

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

That's a list.  Here's a map.

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

I don't suppose there's any equivalent plans to address the grade crossings on I-40 in the western Panhandle?

No.  The only at-grade intersection eliminations on the list are the ones in Hudspeth County.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2018, 10:44:48 PM »

That's at least a start. But there's a whole bunch of other gravel driveways along I-10 farther East well past the split with I-20. They're fairly frequent between Van Horn and Junction. They don't really stop completely until just East of Kerrville. Many of them look improvised, just wheel ruts coming off the highway. Few are like the signed at-grade crossings on I-40 in the Texas Panhandle.

I guess some farmers and ranchers are so used to hopping directly onto the main lanes of I-10 from a gravel driveway that they'll even do it from the frontage roads. I-10 doesn't get very far Northwest out of metro San Antonio before there's clear evidence of that happening. The first example I spotted is just West of Exit 537 (Business US-87/Main St in Boerne).
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 09:58:52 AM by Bobby5280 »
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wxfree

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2018, 11:19:03 PM »

I remember a few places where a frontage road ends at a private drive, and instead of backtracking along the frontage road to the next ramp, it's obvious people drive directly to the freeway lanes, while there is a "Keep off median" sign and a cable barrier to prevent illegal crossing, but that barrier ends just at the end of the frontage road, making room for the illegal maneuver.  They build those long barriers and then end them 20 or 30 feet short of actually being effective.  You could almost get the impression it's a form of unofficial tolerance.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 11:21:42 PM by wxfree »
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2018, 12:03:20 AM »

The public meeting for the expansion around Columbus showed plans for a major realignment of IH 10 at the Colorado River crossing to elminate curves in the area.

Alternative 1 will result in the abandonment of about 1.3 miles of the existing interstate. Alternative 2 abandons around 1 mile. Work is slated to begin in 2022.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html

DNAguy

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2018, 10:30:02 AM »

The public meeting for the expansion around Columbus showed plans for a major realignment of IH 10 at the Colorado River crossing to elminate curves in the area.

Alternative 1 will result in the abandonment of about 1.3 miles of the existing interstate. Alternative 2 abandons around 1 mile. Work is slated to begin in 2022.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html

Oh wow. The slow and steady march of 3 lanes all the way from SA to Houston and from Houston to SA continues.

Makes sense and it totally warranted. Having traveled this stretch many times this is needed badly.

Quick travel hack for those traveling from SA or Austin and going to the Soutwest side of Houston (like Missouri City, Sugar Land, Richmond, etc) or possibly the west side if there's a significant enough wreck on I10:

Take FM102 just east of Columbus to Eagle Lake and then take US 90 Alternate to Spur 10 to 59/69. FM102 is actually kind of nice in some areas (trees, cows, etc).

On Sundays you can totally bypass the back-ups in Sealy and avoid the tolls of either SH99 or the Beltway.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2019, 11:35:18 PM »

See page 5
https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/ppd/projected-contracts/2020.pdf

"Schematic/Environmental services in the Yoakum District: IH 10 from SH 71 to US 77."

I thought the widening to 3x3 would not extend west past SH 71. But it appears the wheels will be set in motion to continue westward. In January TxDOT is stated to award a consultant contract for the next section going west, 20 miles to US 77. Start of construction is probably at least 5 years away, since two major projects still need to start to reach SH 71. A $148 million project for 7 miles (east of SH 71) is slated for November award.
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2020/austin.htm#027102049

dariusb

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2019, 11:55:32 PM »

In Louisiana, there's already a working project to widen I-10 to 3x3 from the I-49 interchange in Lafayette to the base of the Atchafalaya River Basin viaduct, along with completing the 3x3 widening from Cooley Bayou near Vinton to the Sabine River Bridge at the Texas state line (which is wide enough for 3x3 but currently striped for 2x2). I wouldn't be surprised if within 10-20 years all of I-10 was 3x3 all the way from TX to the Atchafalaya Basin and from BTR through NOLA (with even wider lengths through BTR and NOLA).

Widening the Basin segment would be a bear due to the existing bridges across the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel, and that rest area in the median at Butte la Rose. But, it would be a fine idea, since the only alternative would be to upgrade US 190 from the I-49 interchange at Opelousas to at least the LA 415 interchange near Lobdell/Port Allen to freeway standards....and I can't see Port Barre, Krotz Springs, or Livonia giving up that sweet speed trap funding.

I agree. Houston to Lake Charles should be 3×3 and again from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. Traffic on that section is very heavy and frequently backs up in the afternoon at the Plaquemine exit and on the bridge leading into Baton Rouge.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2019, 03:01:06 PM »

In Louisiana, there's already a working project to widen I-10 to 3x3 from the I-49 interchange in Lafayette to the base of the Atchafalaya River Basin viaduct, along with completing the 3x3 widening from Cooley Bayou near Vinton to the Sabine River Bridge at the Texas state line (which is wide enough for 3x3 but currently striped for 2x2). I wouldn't be surprised if within 10-20 years all of I-10 was 3x3 all the way from TX to the Atchafalaya Basin and from BTR through NOLA (with even wider lengths through BTR and NOLA).

Widening the Basin segment would be a bear due to the existing bridges across the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel, and that rest area in the median at Butte la Rose. But, it would be a fine idea, since the only alternative would be to upgrade US 190 from the I-49 interchange at Opelousas to at least the LA 415 interchange near Lobdell/Port Allen to freeway standards....and I can't see Port Barre, Krotz Springs, or Livonia giving up that sweet speed trap funding.

I agree. Houston to Lake Charles should be 3×3 and again from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. Traffic on that section is very heavy and frequently backs up in the afternoon at the Plaquemine exit and on the bridge leading into Baton Rouge.

Problem is I can see the section between Winnie and Beaumont as being particularly expensive, since there would be a lot local demand to raise it on pylons given the twice-a-year flooding that shuts down the highway.
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nexus73

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2019, 06:10:31 PM »

In Louisiana, there's already a working project to widen I-10 to 3x3 from the I-49 interchange in Lafayette to the base of the Atchafalaya River Basin viaduct, along with completing the 3x3 widening from Cooley Bayou near Vinton to the Sabine River Bridge at the Texas state line (which is wide enough for 3x3 but currently striped for 2x2). I wouldn't be surprised if within 10-20 years all of I-10 was 3x3 all the way from TX to the Atchafalaya Basin and from BTR through NOLA (with even wider lengths through BTR and NOLA).

Widening the Basin segment would be a bear due to the existing bridges across the Atchafalaya River and Whiskey Bay Channel, and that rest area in the median at Butte la Rose. But, it would be a fine idea, since the only alternative would be to upgrade US 190 from the I-49 interchange at Opelousas to at least the LA 415 interchange near Lobdell/Port Allen to freeway standards....and I can't see Port Barre, Krotz Springs, or Livonia giving up that sweet speed trap funding.

I agree. Houston to Lake Charles should be 3×3 and again from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. Traffic on that section is very heavy and frequently backs up in the afternoon at the Plaquemine exit and on the bridge leading into Baton Rouge.

Making all of I-10 a minimum 3-lane in each direction freeway would make sense since so many trucks use it.  Even West Texas needs this since trucks are the Big Beasts that need all the room they can get when they pass each other while the leftmost lane lets us in regular vehicles zip along at 80+ MPH unimpeded.  Safety!

Rick
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2019, 07:49:44 PM »

^^^ I completely agree with this. It isn’t just traffic counts that should be the only thing factored into a six laning. If enough truck traffic exists, then they ought to consider widening so cars don’t constantly get stuck behind trucks passing each other.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2019, 09:45:10 PM »

Quote from: dariusb
I agree. Houston to Lake Charles should be 3×3 and again from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. Traffic on that section is very heavy and frequently backs up in the afternoon at the Plaquemine exit and on the bridge leading into Baton Rouge.

I agree I-10 should be expanded through there. It pretty much should be at least a 3x3 facility from the Texas border to Mississippi. But replacing all those long bridges over swamp land is going to be seriously expensive. It's going to have to happen eventually though.
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Echostatic

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2019, 11:40:09 PM »

But replacing all those long bridges over swamp land is going to be seriously expensive. It's going to have to happen eventually though.

I doubt the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge will be replaced in my lifetime. Eighteen miles of concrete over water, in Louisiana, with today's level of infrastructure funding. They'll use that bridge until it falls into the sea.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 01:38:25 PM by Echostatic »
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longhorn

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Re: I-10 expansion between San Antonio and Houston
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2019, 11:36:34 AM »

Quote from: dariusb
I agree. Houston to Lake Charles should be 3×3 and again from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. Traffic on that section is very heavy and frequently backs up in the afternoon at the Plaquemine exit and on the bridge leading into Baton Rouge.

I agree I-10 should be expanded through there. It pretty much should be at least a 3x3 facility from the Texas border to Mississippi. But replacing all those long bridges over swamp land is going to be seriously expensive. It's going to have to happen eventually though.

Why does it have to be replaced, just widened. The bones are still good.
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