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Author Topic: TxDOT approves two toll removals  (Read 4685 times)

MaxConcrete

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TxDOT approves two toll removals
« on: July 27, 2017, 11:54:00 PM »

Today the Texas Transportation Commission approved the removal of tolls from two highways, effective September 1. See agenda item 8 on the agenda http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2017/0727/agenda.pdf

The first is SH 255 near Laredo. This is the former Camino-Columbia private toll road which went bankrupt and was later purchased by TxDOT. Traffic is low so the loss of revenue is minimal.

The second is the Loop 375 toll lanes in El Paso. This project is also a failure with low usage which is declining - see the details https://dl.dropboxuserconhttp://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?board=29.0tent.com/u/26579627/2017-04-12/2017-04-12-BA-ITEM13b.pdf

Both these roads will provide much more benefit as free facilities, since the use should drastically increase. Hopefully we'll see more toll removals in the future, but no others are imminent at this time.

I-39

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 09:13:45 PM »

Wow, good for them. If only Illinois would remove some of their tolls from their roadways. Will never happen in a million years.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 09:36:56 PM »

The only time I ever like tolls is when a private company offers to build the road and pay the full price(not sure how often that happens) or when they are HOT/express lanes along high traffic routes. Other than that, I'm opposed to toll roads(rural or urban).
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Brandon

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 01:06:32 PM »

Wow, good for them. If only Illinois would remove some of their tolls from their roadways. Will never happen in a million years.

No.  No fucking way do I want IDiOT to get their hands on the tollways.  IDiOT can barely handle the freeways they have.  Why would I want them to neglect the top-of-the-line controlled access roads in the state?
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ET21

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 01:13:39 PM »

Wow, good for them. If only Illinois would remove some of their tolls from their roadways. Will never happen in a million years.

Tollway > IDOT
I'd rather pay the tolls for professionally managed and state of the art highways
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 01:16:21 PM »

Wow, good for them. If only Illinois would remove some of their tolls from their roadways. Will never happen in a million years.

Tollway > IDOT
I'd rather pay the tolls for professionally managed and state of the art highways

I was just in town for the weekend and I agree very strongly with this. It wasn't even close on the road quality.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 01:18:06 PM »

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Brandon

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 01:47:58 PM »

Today the Texas Transportation Commission approved the removal of tolls from two highways, effective September 1. See agenda item 8 on the agenda http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2017/0727/agenda.pdf

The first is SH 255 near Laredo. This is the former Camino-Columbia private toll road which went bankrupt and was later purchased by TxDOT. Traffic is low so the loss of revenue is minimal.

The second is the Loop 375 toll lanes in El Paso. This project is also a failure with low usage which is declining - see the details https://dl.dropboxuserconhttp://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?board=29.0tent.com/u/26579627/2017-04-12/2017-04-12-BA-ITEM13b.pdf

Both these roads will provide much more benefit as free facilities, since the use should drastically increase. Hopefully we'll see more toll removals in the future, but no others are imminent at this time.

I wouldn't be quick to predict a "drastic" increase in traffic on the CCTR.  Its demise was due to two situations:

(1) When the CCTR was planned, Texas was going to build a super-slick commercial port of entry at the end of it, and Mexico was going to build a new bypass to meet it on the other side.  Through commercial traffic would take that route and thus avoid Laredo and Nuevo Laredo traffic.  Except Texas later decided to build that super-slick commercial port of entry at the World Trade Bridge instead.  Mexico took the cue and built their bypass to connect at that point instead of Colombia.  Almost all of those trucks that were going to be paying tolls on the CCTR, then, ended up not taking the highway at all.

(2) When the CCTR was planned, the Cross-border Trucking Program was underway, which would soon allow US and Mexican trucks the same freedom to long-haul across the border as US and Canadian trucks enjoy in the north.  However, the program was shut down shortly after launching, and so the drayage systems remains strong as ever.  US trucks have to deliver their load to a drayage yard, then a drayage driver takes it across the border to a Mexican yard, then a Mexican truck takes it the rest of the way.  Vice versa for northbound freight.  Those drayage yards are closer in to the cities, and so truckers actually have little need to bypass the cities at all.

Removing tolls from the CCTR might encourage a few more vehicles to cross at Colombia, or to not go down to Mines Road and back north again to cross there, but the fact remains that the vast majority of cross-border traffic at Laredo has no need to bypass it.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 03:34:08 PM »

According to Wikipedia both border crossings opened in the same year (2000). It makes you wonder why they built two new border crossings at the same time. Is that based on the expectation that NAFTA meant Mexican trucks could enter the U.S.?

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 04:39:35 PM »

According to Wikipedia both border crossings opened in the same year (2000). It makes you wonder why they built two new border crossings at the same time. Is that based on the expectation that NAFTA meant Mexican trucks could enter the U.S.?

Actually, the World Trade Bridge and the Camino Colombia Toll Road both opened in 2000.  The international bridge at Colombia had been open since 1992, and the route for the CCTR was approved in 1997.  Texas had promised that hazmat cargo would be required to use the Colombia crossing, hence investors banking on lots of toll money coming in from trucks.  But, after the ball was already rolling, construction began on the World Trade Bridge, and the city of Laredo pushed for the Milo stack interchange to be built—which meant an all-freeway connection from I-35 to the border.  Furthermore, Texas changed its mind and made Bridge #4 the new hazmat POE.  After those decisions, the only big draw onto the CCTR for truckers would be non-hazmat long-haul from San Antonio to Monterrey or vice versa.  And the Cross-border Trucking Program, which would finally get US–Mexican trucking into compliance with a NAFTA requirement to have open trucking across both our northern and southern borders, would have provided that long-haul traffic.  But the Cross-border Trucking Pilot Program was bogged down in political mire, therefore got a slow start, and didn't launch until 2011—eight years after the CCTR had already been foreclosed on.  And the pilot program only lasted until 2014, which means the drayage system still reigns along the border.

The Mexicans, during all the changing of minds, waited to construct their side of the bypass until the damage had already been done.  The CCTR therefore does not connect directly to the Mexican half of the bypass, as it was intended to do.  Instead, Loop-20 does.  Using the CCTR, a driver has to head back towards Nuevo Laredo for several miles and then turn south onto said bypass.  It is still a useful bypass for people like me, who just want to get to Monterrey and points south without having to deal with driving through Laredo or Nuevo Laredo.  But people like me don't supply nearly enough toll revenue to match a steady stream of commercial traffic.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 02:48:38 PM »

No.  No fucking way do I want IDiOT to get their hands on the tollways.  IDiOT can barely handle the freeways they have.  Why would I want them to neglect the top-of-the-line controlled access roads in the state?

If anything, motorists would benefit from ISTHA taking over a few more interstates in IL.  Imagine how nice I-55 would be today had it been constructed as a toll road.

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Brandon

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 09:42:42 AM »

No.  No fucking way do I want IDiOT to get their hands on the tollways.  IDiOT can barely handle the freeways they have.  Why would I want them to neglect the top-of-the-line controlled access roads in the state?

If anything, motorists would benefit from ISTHA taking over a few more interstates in IL.  Imagine how nice I-55 would be today had it been constructed as a toll road.

There are locals here who wish both I-80 and I-55 were tollways based on what we see Aurora, Elgin, and Waukegan get.
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Scott5114

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 07:28:26 AM »

It's kind of funny that in Illinois, the toll roads are considered such a big step up from the free roads. In Oklahoma, the only time a toll road was turned free, it was held up because ODOT refused to take the road because it was not up to ODOT standard.

Not. Up. To. ODOT. Standard.

That is, the standard of the agency responsible for "Craig County."

Yeah, that's OTA's reputation.
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kphoger

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 01:04:03 PM »

It's kind of funny that in Illinois, the toll roads are considered such a big step up from the free roads. In Oklahoma, the only time a toll road was turned free, it was held up because ODOT refused to take the road because it was not up to ODOT standard.

Not. Up. To. ODOT. Standard.

That is, the standard of the agency responsible for "Craig County."

Yeah, that's OTA's reputation.

Now that we're already adrift of the topic...  Are there any plans to fix the roller coaster that is I-44 down by Lawton?
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 07:05:08 PM »

The Chickasaw Turnpike isn't up to "ODOT standard"? There are plenty of two lane highways in OK (OK 63, I'm looking at you) that are far, far worse.
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Scott5114

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 06:45:38 AM »

The Chickasaw Turnpike isn't up to "ODOT standard"? There are plenty of two lane highways in OK (OK 63, I'm looking at you) that are far, far worse.

It was mostly a deferred/recurring maintenance issue. In order to get ODOT to accept the transfer, OTA had to do a Kansas-style full-depth reconstruction (on a road that was at that point only 15 years old). This required completely closing the entire turnpike from March to September of 2006. ODOT also required the US-177 interchange expanded to a full interchange; previously, the interchanges on the turnpike only allowed entry toward and exit away from the toll plaza, to ensure all traffic passed through the toll plaza.

The Wikipedia article on the Chickasaw Turnpike summarizes all of my knowledge of the topic.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 03:43:51 PM »

It's kind of funny that in Illinois, the toll roads are considered such a big step up from the free roads. In Oklahoma, the only time a toll road was turned free, it was held up because ODOT refused to take the road because it was not up to ODOT standard.

Not. Up. To. ODOT. Standard.

That is, the standard of the agency responsible for "Craig County."

Yeah, that's OTA's reputation.

See, we in Illinois find it funny that ODOT roads are in better shape than OTA roads.  Our sole exception in this part of the Midwest is the Indiana Toll Road, but that's run by a consortium that's trying to maximize shareholder value.  Otherwise, our toll roads are as such:

ISTHA > IDOT
OTIC > ODOT

ISTHA had to upgrade the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway when they took it over from IDOT.  A third lane was added in each direction, new lighting was installed (LEDs), signage was upgraded, mileposts were upgraded, auxiliary lanes were added as needed, and a stack-type interchange was built at I-290.  Hell, if ISTHA didn't replace an IDOT sign gantry, they freshened it up by removing the rust and repainting them.

Elgin-O'Hare Expy - Before
Elgin-O'Hare Expy - After
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 05:11:56 AM »


If anything, motorists would benefit from ISTHA taking over a few more interstates in IL.  Imagine how nice I-55 would be today had it been constructed as a toll road.


Now, imagine the mass angry crowd with pitchforks assembling in Springfield over having to pay tolls on a highway originally built for public funds and full access. Also...Trans Texas Corridor, SH 130, and CA 125.

No thank you....I prefer public roads be paid with public funds and accessible to everyone, not just those who can fly through Lexus lanes.

I will grant a begruging exception to public entities running existing toll roads. But privatizing existing public Interstates? HELL. TO. THE. NOPE.
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Brandon

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 07:52:42 AM »


If anything, motorists would benefit from ISTHA taking over a few more interstates in IL.  Imagine how nice I-55 would be today had it been constructed as a toll road.


Now, imagine the mass angry crowd with pitchforks assembling in Springfield over having to pay tolls on a highway originally built for public funds and full access. Also...Trans Texas Corridor, SH 130, and CA 125.

A "free" road was handed over to ISTHA with no problems and no pitchforks.  See: Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 09:54:58 AM »

I did say I'd give a begrudging exception to public state orgs running toll roads, right?

It's selling our roads to private firms like Cintra and Zachary that I'm opposed too.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2017, 11:19:12 AM »

Now, imagine the mass angry crowd with pitchforks assembling in Springfield over having to pay tolls on a highway originally built for public funds and full access. Also...Trans Texas Corridor, SH 130, and CA 125.

A "free" road was handed over to ISTHA with no problems and no pitchforks.  See: Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.

I don't think the next transfer will be as peaceful - the talks of turning over IL 53 to ISTHA were drawing opposition from nearby villages.  Maybe if the next transfer is another 'minor'/harder to notice facility such as I-190, IL 56 or IL 394.  As I'm typing I'm also wondering if the transfer would have been as peaceful if the Elgin O'Hare had managed to reach Elgin.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2017, 11:49:04 AM »

I did say I'd give a begrudging exception to public state orgs running toll roads, right?

It's selling our roads to private firms like Cintra and Zachary that I'm opposed too.

I'm curious as to your opinion on additional lanes to existing freeways being tolled and run by private companies. CDOT and its tolling unit (HPTE) were impressed enough by the job Plenary Roads was doing with the US36 managed lanes that they decided to let Plenary run the I-25 express lanes as well:

https://www.codot.gov/projects/i-25-hov-express-lanes

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Brandon

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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2017, 05:28:02 PM »

Now, imagine the mass angry crowd with pitchforks assembling in Springfield over having to pay tolls on a highway originally built for public funds and full access. Also...Trans Texas Corridor, SH 130, and CA 125.

A "free" road was handed over to ISTHA with no problems and no pitchforks.  See: Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.

I don't think the next transfer will be as peaceful - the talks of turning over IL 53 to ISTHA were drawing opposition from nearby villages.  Maybe if the next transfer is another 'minor'/harder to notice facility such as I-190, IL 56 or IL 394.  As I'm typing I'm also wondering if the transfer would have been as peaceful if the Elgin O'Hare had managed to reach Elgin.

That's been known for years that it will be a tollway.  Hawthorn Woods and Long Grove would be pissed if the road were a freeway, a tollway, or a parkway.
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Re: TxDOT approves two toll removals
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2017, 10:03:55 PM »

I don't think the next transfer will be as peaceful - the talks of turning over IL 53 to ISTHA were drawing opposition from nearby villages.  Maybe if the next transfer is another 'minor'/harder to notice facility such as I-190, IL 56 or IL 394.  As I'm typing I'm also wondering if the transfer would have been as peaceful if the Elgin O'Hare had managed to reach Elgin.

That's been known for years that it will be a tollway.  Hawthorn Woods and Long Grove would be pissed if the road were a freeway, a tollway, or a parkway.

Maybe I should have been clearer - if tolls were added to the existing freeway section of IL 53 from I-90 to Lake Cook Road.
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