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Author Topic: I-57 Approved  (Read 30058 times)

edwaleni

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #350 on: November 08, 2019, 08:55:34 PM »

The I-57 connection is important, but not mandatory.  I agree it will allow Chicago-Little Rock traffic to bypass St Louis, but also westbound traffic on I-70. The capacity issue on I-40 between Memphis and Little Rock will drive I-57.

I-69 will continue to increment in small sections from Monticello to McGahee over the next few years. Tunica to the Great River Bridge will not happen before 2060. 

As for I-49 and it's "blip" into Texas, TxDOT already owns the ROW and won't do anything until Arkansas is ready (and they aren't). As for funding, that "blip" is minor in Texas terms and will not be the hold up.

Generally speaking, as the US population continues to shift from the northeast to the south and southwest, you will see more projects supporting that requirement.

I-49 between Shreveport to Fort Smith is a hard sell. Looks good on a map, but there just isn't enough commerce between KCMO and the Bayou that requires a truck. Most of it goes by rail. NW Arkansas is growing, I agree, but not due to any connectivity to the gulf.

I don't think there is enough capacity going west south of the Ohio. This is supposed to be dealt with federal route #6 and Kentucky tried to make it I-66 but it died. (Illinois messed it up actually) The route between Springfield, Missouri and points east are definitely skipping St Louis and using US-60/I-57. Can't tell you how many trucks cut through Cairo to Wickliffe to get to I-24 in Paducah to catch the Parkway to go east.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #351 on: November 08, 2019, 11:25:26 PM »

Quote from: edwaleni
As for I-49 and it's "blip" into Texas, TxDOT already owns the ROW and won't do anything until Arkansas is ready (and they aren't). As for funding, that "blip" is minor in Texas terms and will not be the hold up.

If TX DOT already owns the ROW that's at least one good thing. It's a heck of a lot more forward-thinking than the nonsense going on here in Oklahoma.

Quote from: edwaleni
I-49 between Shreveport to Fort Smith is a hard sell. Looks good on a map, but there just isn't enough commerce between KCMO and the Bayou that requires a truck. Most of it goes by rail. NW Arkansas is growing, I agree, but not due to any connectivity to the gulf.

I don't even think the routing of I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana looks good on a map. If that route was going to get built 40-50 years ago the feds would have been boring a few tunnels through those mountains to make a much more direct, efficient route. And a route with far more reasonable grades for heavy trucks to handle. At the very least, I'm hoping the Alma to Barling segment in the Fort Smith area can get built.

I still think I-49 should be built. But if the process is going to take decades to complete then the federal government and AR DOT both need to do the job right. Closing following the US-71 corridor and its winding path through the Ozarks is a loser. They just need to start on the bypass segments in towns along the corridor and leave the mountain crap for the last. Maybe something good will develop by then, such as new technological break-throughs in tunnel construction.

Meanwhile, a little farther West, Oklahoma needs to get on the ball with improving the US-69 corridor. I'm not the only one who thinks it ought to be an extension of I-45. If it doesn't carry an Interstate designation the route from the Red River to I-44 at Big Cabin needs to be Interstate quality nonetheless. The US-69 corridor would serve a lot of the traffic and commerce needs of that I-49 gap between Fort Smith and Texarkana.

Quote from: edwaleni
I don't think there is enough capacity going west south of the Ohio. This is supposed to be dealt with federal route #6 and Kentucky tried to make it I-66 but it died. (Illinois messed it up actually) The route between Springfield, Missouri and points east are definitely skipping St Louis and using US-60/I-57. Can't tell you how many trucks cut through Cairo to Wickliffe to get to I-24 in Paducah to catch the Parkway to go east.

I think I-66 is yet another prospective Interstate corridor that West Virginia had a hand in ultimately killing. WV is a road block to I-74 and I-73. The same goes for I-66. Kentucky could do only so much on their own. At least Missouri got on board with the idea 20+ years ago.

Cairo, IL and the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers is a highway bottleneck. The I-57 crossing is an old, narrow 4-lane bridge with no shoulders. US-62 is an alternative: a more narrow 2-lane bridge. New bridge crossings are needed there. If I-66 had been built through that area I'm sure it would have featured a wider, more efficient Mississippi River bridge. Some people might be gun-shy at building new billion dollar bridges in that location. New Madrid, MO is a short drive South of Sikeston. That's home to one of the worst earthquakes in recorded history. That spot is still a geologic power keg.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #352 on: November 08, 2019, 11:34:27 PM »

I-49 between Shreveport to Fort Smith is a hard sell.
Hard sell, but they somehow managed to build the section between Shreveport and Texarkana, with cooperation and a new border crossing between the two states.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #353 on: November 08, 2019, 11:44:06 PM »

Shreveport and Texarkana are not too far apart. And there are no mountain ranges between the two cities either. IIRC, it took over 20 years to finish that segment of I-49.

This situation is kind of odd. Mankind is still making big advances in technology and engineering. Yet the only thing that seems to be happening with highway building is the process is only getting sloooooowwwerrrr and far more expensive.
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US71

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #354 on: November 09, 2019, 08:50:29 AM »

Shreveport and Texarkana are not too far apart. And there are no mountain ranges between the two cities either. IIRC, it took over 20 years to finish that segment of I-49.

This situation is kind of odd. Mankind is still making big advances in technology and engineering. Yet the only thing that seems to be happening with highway building is the process is only getting sloooooowwwerrrr and far more expensive.

For one, labor is more expensive, as is fuel to run the machines. I'm sure greasing palms costs a lot more, too.
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capt.ron

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #355 on: November 09, 2019, 11:46:56 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^
It's likely that the primary impetus for the designation and ultimate deployment of the I-57 southern extension was the fact that there was already a freeway -- completed or well into the construction phase -- along much of its length when the designation was approved.   If completed and in service, it will take some pressure off ADOT to spend a lot of money to increase capacity on not only the decidedly overworked section of I-40 east of Little Rock but also the state's section of I-55.   And in doing so, ADOT and their political handlers can cross another portion of the state off their list of areas receiving Interstate service (one of the drivers behind I-69 and its I-530/extension cohort).   And last but certainly not least is the revenue potential from roadside/travel-related businesses along the I-57 corridor; towns like Searcy and Newport stand to benefit from the diversion of interregional traffic to I-57 -- and it's pretty clear that Pocahontas wants a piece of that action as well.   But still the fact that there was a lot of it already deployed probably had much to do with its selection as an Interstate addition, much in the same way as with I-22 to the east.
About Searcy:
They definitely are on the I-57 bandwagon. They want some big name restaurants but some [franchise owners] are balking due to the lack of an interstate number on the 67 corridor. I stumbled upon an article on the ARDOT site regarding some upcoming rehab work for 67 stretching from exit 42 down to exit 19. There are several sections of concrete in that stretch that need to be completely torn out and replaced. The inner and outer shoulders are wide enough (inner shoulder is 3-4 ft; outer shoulder is 10 ft); they just need redoing as well. Work is ongoing from exit 55 up to the Jackson / White Co line. What is being done is the highway is getting large amounts of concrete sections replaced and others milled down because it's like a washboard, especially in the right lanes.
The section between exits 55 and 82 is slated to be complete by late 2021.
Also, the Cabot area interchanges [16, 19] are on the drawing board. The initial proposal is for both to be replaced with SPUI's. Also, the section of 67 between exits 16 and 19 is likely to be upgraded to 6 lanes (on the drawing boards along with the 2 interchanges mentioned.
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US71

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #356 on: November 09, 2019, 12:23:08 PM »


About Searcy:
They definitely are on the I-57 bandwagon. They want some big name restaurants but some [franchise owners] are balking due to the lack of an interstate number on the 67 corridor. I stumbled upon an article on the ARDOT site regarding some upcoming rehab work for 67 stretching from exit 42 down to exit 19. There are several sections of concrete in that stretch that need to be completely torn out and replaced. The inner and outer shoulders are wide enough (inner shoulder is 3-4 ft; outer shoulder is 10 ft); they just need redoing as well. Work is ongoing from exit 55 up to the Jackson / White Co line. What is being done is the highway is getting large amounts of concrete sections replaced and others milled down because it's like a washboard, especially in the right lanes.
The section between exits 55 and 82 is slated to be complete by late 2021.
Also, the Cabot area interchanges [16, 19] are on the drawing board. The initial proposal is for both to be replaced with SPUI's. Also, the section of 67 between exits 16 and 19 is likely to be upgraded to 6 lanes (on the drawing boards along with the 2 interchanges mentioned.

IMO, Searcy could also stand to lose a few roach motels.  Also, going Wet would help, but Harding University would fight it.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #357 on: November 09, 2019, 12:25:57 PM »

Exit 46 at Searcy doesn't look that bad.
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sparker

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #358 on: November 10, 2019, 12:10:47 AM »

I don't think there is enough capacity going west south of the Ohio. This is supposed to be dealt with federal route #6 and Kentucky tried to make it I-66 but it died. (Illinois messed it up actually) The route between Springfield, Missouri and points east are definitely skipping St Louis and using US-60/I-57. Can't tell you how many trucks cut through Cairo to Wickliffe to get to I-24 in Paducah to catch the Parkway to go east.

The E-W corridor that was legislated within the '91 ISTEA act was HPC #3, the "Transamerica" corridor, which followed on the heels of a similar conceptual corridor from the mid-80's envisioned as an "I-66" from D.C to Fresno, CA (and touted by several chambers of commerce, including Bowling Green, KY, Wichita, KS, and, of course, Fresno itself).  The only portion officially designated as "future I-66" was in KY (with some brief "spillover" into neighboring MO and WV).  It was slated to merge with the I-73/74 corridor near Matewan, WV -- but since that corridor is going nowhere fast, the prospects for I-66 simply end at the KY/WV state line.  Speculation had it utilizing US 60 west of Sikeston, MO along the same stretch now part of the future I-57 extension -- but the I-66 speculative route simply headed west, likely along US 60, to at least Springfield and I-44.  Again, another speculative extension followed US 400 (the "consolation prize", so to speak!) north and west from I-44 into Wichita.  Since neither MO nor KS has officially sought the corridor's development, it's likely to remain a dormant concept for the foreseeable future. 

I don't even think the routing of I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana looks good on a map. If that route was going to get built 40-50 years ago the feds would have been boring a few tunnels through those mountains to make a much more direct, efficient route. And a route with far more reasonable grades for heavy trucks to handle. At the very least, I'm hoping the Alma to Barling segment in the Fort Smith area can get built.

Having driven extensively through the area due to relatives in SE OK,  the most logical way to achieve a N-S corridor in that region would be to simply follow the rail lines SW from Fort Smith into OK, then keep following the KCS main south through Heavener and then cutting laterally along US 59/270 back into AR, avoiding the worst ridges where construction of a US 71-based I-49 corridor has no choice but to sit atop the existing route.   Railroads select the path of least resistance for a reason -- lower grades (for more efficient operation) and easier construction (a concept transferable to highways as well).   But the reason for that route not being considered is simple -- the state of Oklahoma and their reticence to develop much beyond OKC and Tulsa.   It's highly unlikely a corridor coming into the state and subsequently leaving again after about 80 miles -- and benefiting only those communities directly along the facility -- would see any prioritization from ODOT or their political handlers.   Hell, if OK isn't ready or willing to develop a corridor which undoubtedly would provide gobs of benefit to the state -- US 69 -- something with an even more limited benefit package would be a non-starter.   So ADOT will simply have to go it along along or near US 71, which will be a looooong drawn-out slog in terms of development.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-57 Approved
« Reply #359 on: Today at 12:16:30 AM »

I don't think there is enough capacity going west south of the Ohio. This is supposed to be dealt with federal route #6 and Kentucky tried to make it I-66 but it died. (Illinois messed it up actually) The route between Springfield, Missouri and points east are definitely skipping St Louis and using US-60/I-57. Can't tell you how many trucks cut through Cairo to Wickliffe to get to I-24 in Paducah to catch the Parkway to go east.

The E-W corridor that was legislated within the '91 ISTEA act was HPC #3, the "Transamerica" corridor, which followed on the heels of a similar conceptual corridor from the mid-80's envisioned as an "I-66" from D.C to Fresno, CA (and touted by several chambers of commerce, including Bowling Green, KY, Wichita, KS, and, of course, Fresno itself).  The only portion officially designated as "future I-66" was in KY (with some brief "spillover" into neighboring MO and WV).  It was slated to merge with the I-73/74 corridor near Matewan, WV -- but since that corridor is going nowhere fast, the prospects for I-66 simply end at the KY/WV state line.  Speculation had it utilizing US 60 west of Sikeston, MO along the same stretch now part of the future I-57 extension -- but the I-66 speculative route simply headed west, likely along US 60, to at least Springfield and I-44.  Again, another speculative extension followed US 400 (the "consolation prize", so to speak!) north and west from I-44 into Wichita.  Since neither MO nor KS has officially sought the corridor's development, it's likely to remain a dormant concept for the foreseeable future. 

I don't even think the routing of I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana looks good on a map. If that route was going to get built 40-50 years ago the feds would have been boring a few tunnels through those mountains to make a much more direct, efficient route. And a route with far more reasonable grades for heavy trucks to handle. At the very least, I'm hoping the Alma to Barling segment in the Fort Smith area can get built.

Having driven extensively through the area due to relatives in SE OK,  the most logical way to achieve a N-S corridor in that region would be to simply follow the rail lines SW from Fort Smith into OK, then keep following the KCS main south through Heavener and then cutting laterally along US 59/270 back into AR, avoiding the worst ridges where construction of a US 71-based I-49 corridor has no choice but to sit atop the existing route.   Railroads select the path of least resistance for a reason -- lower grades (for more efficient operation) and easier construction (a concept transferable to highways as well).   But the reason for that route not being considered is simple -- the state of Oklahoma and their reticence to develop much beyond OKC and Tulsa.   It's highly unlikely a corridor coming into the state and subsequently leaving again after about 80 miles -- and benefiting only those communities directly along the facility -- would see any prioritization from ODOT or their political handlers.   Hell, if OK isn't ready or willing to develop a corridor which undoubtedly would provide gobs of benefit to the state -- US 69 -- something with an even more limited benefit package would be a non-starter.   So ADOT will simply have to go it along along or near US 71, which will be a looooong drawn-out slog in terms of development.

Thank you for the correction, as it was HPC#3, not #6.

Illinois messed it up because when KY was trying to get a corridor established, the Illinois delegation tried to get I-66 routed up I-24 and through the Marion/Carbondale/Murphysboro CSA and have the route terminate with a new bridge at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Which of course is a total foobar. The CSA does need a FAP, but I-66 is not it.

If HPC#3 was to live going west it should have split off I-24 at or near Paducah and cross the Mississippi south of Cairo and connect cosign with I-57 at Sikeston all the way to Poplar Bluff and then assume US-60 all the way to Springfield.  That would have solved 2 old rickety bridges in 1 swoop.

As for future I-57 planning, the NE Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities board met and are starting work to develop prospectus' for the Walnut Ridge Industrial Zone, the City of Portia, and other parties in the new I-57 path.  They are working to have ready to go materials for businesses looking for improved logistics and manufacturing capabilities due to the new route.
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