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Author Topic: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?  (Read 8058 times)

Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2018, 08:42:11 PM »

Whether US-69 from the Red River to Big Cabin ever carries an Interstate designation or not (be it I-45 or even I-47), growing traffic levels along that route will eventually force the upgrade to happen. Development on the North side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro is spreading to the Red River. New freeways are going to be built in McAlester and Muskogee. That will fill in some of the most important gaps on the route.

The small towns along US-69 like Atoka and Stringtown have blocked any efforts to upgrade their portions of US-69 to Interstate quality. But it's only a matter of time before the anti-freeway influence breaks down. Those towns are not exactly magnets for new businesses and residents. They're aging as well. That translates into a declining tax base and less money for maintaining their streets and other elements of infrastructure. That's a great combination with the giant amount of heavy trucks using that corridor. And then there's the serious traffic accidents that keep happening along that corridor. A grisly enough incident could heat up calls for a freeway bypass out of safety concerns.

I'm a little more skeptical that Kansas could build a new freeway South from Kansas City all the way down to the Oklahoma border. There's not nearly as much heavy truck traffic on that part of US-69 as there is from Big Cabin on South toward Texas. If Kansas did manage to bring a new freeway down to the OK border it would make more sense to route it down so it could be built between Ouapaw and Miami to meet up with I-44. The land there is flat (unlike all the hilly area at the 3 state corner) and the route would be more direct for traffic headed to Tulsa/OKC or DFW.
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2018, 04:55:32 AM »

Kansas already has a freeway facility from Johnson County down to Fort Scott, so they have at least half of their share done. The nearby I-49 corridor could serve as a motivation to provide an alternate corridor to keep people on their side of the state line (and it is really close; half of the control cities for US-69 exits have a MO appended to them). US-69 doesn't seem to pull anywhere near the traffic counts that I-49 does, but Kansas could make a case for completing their part of the corridor, since it would eventually angle southwest, giving Dallas-bound traffic a better route than I-49 to I-30.

Of course, the Brownback administration has landed Kansas in even more dire financial straits than Oklahoma, with a particular focus on raiding KDOT of money, so that could dampen the outlook on that part of the corridor.
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US 89

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2018, 10:11:10 AM »

Kansas already has a freeway facility from Johnson County down to Fort Scott, so they have at least half of their share done. The nearby I-49 corridor could serve as a motivation to provide an alternate corridor to keep people on their side of the state line (and it is really close; half of the control cities for US-69 exits have a MO appended to them). US-69 doesn't seem to pull anywhere near the traffic counts that I-49 does, but Kansas could make a case for completing their part of the corridor, since it would eventually angle southwest, giving Dallas-bound traffic a better route than I-49 to I-30.

The only reason US 69 doesn’t get the traffic that I-49 does is that once you get to Fort Scott, it dumps you onto 2-lane roads, whereas I-49 stays a freeway all the way to I-44. If there were a freeway or even just a 4-lane connection to the Will Rogers Turnpike, I guarantee traffic goes up a ton. That corridor serves more SW-bound traffic to places like Tulsa, OKC, and DFW, whereas 49 is better suited for destinations more to the south, like Little Rock, Shreveport and New Orleans.

US 69 is already 4-laned south of Big Cabin (its junction with I-44) and is a freeway for some of that. Barring a successful anti-freeway movement in the towns along 69, it shouldn’t be that hard to fully upgrade US 69 to freeway in OK.

That said, I wonder if a better option for an extended I-45 would be to use the Indian Nation Turnpike and an upgraded US 75 to enter Tulsa from the south. From there you could run a concurrency east with I-44 to US 69. Or alternatively, it could go north from Tulsa to Kansas City via US 75-160-169 or just 169. 75 and 169 are both freeways in the Tulsa area, 169 has freeway segments south of KC, and I recall 169 has a super-2 section near Chanute that could easily be upgraded to interstate standard. The downside is that most of the rest of that corridor is currently 2-lane roads.
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2018, 10:58:55 AM »

The best way to get from the Will Rogers Turnpike (I-44) from the west to the US 69 freeway in Kansas is to take Exit 313, the Miami exit which is signed as OK 10 off the Will Rogers Turnpike. When you go through the tollbooth and the traffic light at OK 10, go straight onto OK 69A and follow it all the way to US 69. When you get to US 69, turn right (east) onto northbound US 69 and follow it for about a half mile to where US 69 turns left towards Columbus and go straight onto US 69A/Alternate US 69 northbound, Follow US 69A all the way to US 69 in Crestline where US 69A ends. Go straight on US 69 which eventually turns into a freeway and leads to Johnson County, Kansas and the KC metro area. I haven't done all of this route but it goes through a few towns and is likely much slower than I-44 to I-49 is. Still, it is 17 miles closer from Exit 313 to the northeastern corner of the downtown loop in Kansas City, MO via the OK 69A/US 69/US 69A/US 69 routing than it is via I-44 and I-49, so if distance is more important to you than time it is a viable alternative. I personally think this route should be better marked and even renumbering OK 69A to US 69A and duplexing US 69A with I-44 between Exit 283 in Big Cabin to Exit 313 in Miami wouldn't be a bad idea.
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2018, 11:00:09 AM »

Just as an aside, Miami in Oklahoma is not pronounced like the name of the city in Florida. It is pronounced "MI-am-uh" and not "MI-am-ee". It's a good way to tell if somebody is from the area or not.
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2018, 01:13:39 PM »

Just as an aside, Miami in Oklahoma is not pronounced like the name of the city in Florida. It is pronounced "MI-am-uh" and not "MI-am-ee". It's a good way to tell if somebody is from the area or not.

Well not anymore, should I, for some reason, ever find myself stranded there. :biggrin:
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2018, 03:38:19 PM »

Just as an aside, Miami in Oklahoma is not pronounced like the name of the city in Florida. It is pronounced "MI-am-uh" and not "MI-am-ee". It's a good way to tell if somebody is from the area or not.

Well not anymore, should I, for some reason, ever find myself stranded there. :biggrin:

Went through there about 1990 or so EB on I-44 during winter; got caught in a huge snowstorm, with traffic directed off the pike at Miami.  There was a big brick sign assembly at the foot of the ramp after the toll booths stating "Welcome to Miami" -- covered with snow.  Got a picture of it (but after 28 years I'll be damned if I can find it -- probably lost or misplaced during a move) -- one of the most ironic pix I've ever taken!
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Brandon

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2018, 07:40:04 AM »

Just as an aside, Miami in Oklahoma is not pronounced like the name of the city in Florida. It is pronounced "MI-am-uh" and not "MI-am-ee". It's a good way to tell if somebody is from the area or not.

However, Miami in Florida is pronounced like the Ohio original (where the tribe is actually from).  It's the Oklahoma one that has a screwed up pronunciation.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #58 on: April 29, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »

I always figured the opposition of these little pissant towns between McAlester and Calera was just a convenient excuse for the state of Oklahoma to not spend. These burgs cannot wield as much power as, say, a state legislator.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2018, 12:56:21 PM »

That echoes my feelings. How exactly can a couple of little tiny towns literally in the back-woods of Oklahoma block upgrades of a major commercial trucking corridor? I think the state government has historically just looked for any excuse it could find to not upgrade that highway. That way they could divert any state and federal funds meant for it over to other projects.

Quote from: US 89
The only reason US 69 doesn’t get the traffic that I-49 does is that once you get to Fort Scott, it dumps you onto 2-lane roads, whereas I-49 stays a freeway all the way to I-44.

I-49 is one factor that may be lowering traffic counts on US-69 South of Kansas City. The US-169 corridor also siphons away Southbound traffic from Kansas City headed to places like Tulsa. It isn't as developed as US-69; it's a mix of 4-lane & Super-2 but with a decent number of limited access exits. There's a large Amazon distribution hub in Coffeyville. There aren't any tolls along US-169 between Kansas City and Tulsa, unlike the US-69 combination involving I-44.
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US 89

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2018, 05:43:22 PM »

I-49 is one factor that may be lowering traffic counts on US-69 South of Kansas City. The US-169 corridor also siphons away Southbound traffic from Kansas City headed to places like Tulsa. It isn't as developed as US-69; it's a mix of 4-lane & Super-2 but with a decent number of limited access exits. There's a large Amazon distribution hub in Coffeyville. There aren't any tolls along US-169 between Kansas City and Tulsa, unlike the US-69 combination involving I-44.

IIRC, the super-2 sections on US 169 are built to be easily upgraded to a full 4-lane configuration.

I almost wonder if it would be a better idea to use the US 75 and 169 corridors to extend I-45. It could get to Tulsa using US 69/75, the Indian Nation Turnpike, and US 75, and from there it could go north to KC on US 169. Of course, the Indian Nation isn't up to Interstate standards, and a significant amount of freeway bypass construction would be required on 169 in north OK and south KS as well, in addition to the upgrading of existing 2-lane portions.
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DJStephens

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #61 on: May 01, 2018, 06:02:17 PM »

That echoes my feelings. How exactly can a couple of little tiny towns literally in the back-woods of Oklahoma block upgrades of a major commercial trucking corridor? I think the state government has historically just looked for any excuse it could find to not upgrade that highway. That way they could divert any state and federal funds meant for it over to other projects.

Quote from: US 89
The only reason US 69 doesn’t get the traffic that I-49 does is that once you get to Fort Scott, it dumps you onto 2-lane roads, whereas I-49 stays a freeway all the way to I-44.

I-49 is one factor that may be lowering traffic counts on US-69 South of Kansas City. The US-169 corridor also siphons away Southbound traffic from Kansas City headed to places like Tulsa. It isn't as developed as US-69; it's a mix of 4-lane & Super-2 but with a decent number of limited access exits. There's a large Amazon distribution hub in Coffeyville. There aren't any tolls along US-169 between Kansas City and Tulsa, unlike the US-69 combination involving I-44.

An argument could be made for upgrading US 169.   Decent limited access sections already extend away from both Tulsa, and Kansas City.  And there is a super two section in east - central Kansas that should be easily double barreled.  And it is farther away from I-49.   Drove through coffeyville right after the floods of 2008.  What a mess.  A high grade bypass of that area is sorely needed.   
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #62 on: May 01, 2018, 06:04:48 PM »

At first glance it would seem to make more sense to extend I-45 thru Tulsa via US-75 and then up to Kansas City using US-169. But there is so much commercial traffic using US-69 to Big Cabin, OK (and I-44) that it makes more sense to place I-45 on that path. That's the main trucking route for traffic coming from Central Texas & Mexico headed to points in the Northeastern US from St Louis and beyond (Chicago, NYC, Boston, etc). Honestly, if I-45 was extended up to Big Cabin and I-44 it would take away most of the need for building the I-69 system in Texas any farther North than Texarkana. There is certainly a need for South Texas Interstates and an Interstate between Corpus Christi and Houston. An Interstate from Houston to Texarkana can be justified. But after that, the winding, way out of the way nonsense that proposed Interstate does from Arkansas to Indiana is just wasteful. Due to the indirect path I-69 just duplicates efforts of other nearby Interstates in that region. If Oklahoma's legislators weren't so asleep at the wheel they would get on the stick with upgrading US-69 and take advantage of the situation.

I think US-75 should be an Interstate quality freeway between Henryetta and Tulsa, regardless if it ever carries an Interstate designation (such as I-45 or something else). Such a thing would be tricky to build due to the business & residential development encroaching parts of US-75. Henryetta has a couple of minor hurdles on US-75 immediately North of the I-40 interchange. Then there's other stuff here and there along the way into the Southern outskirts of Tulsa.

Olkmulgee started a loop highway of sorts (OK Loop 56). Unfortunately the property set-backs only allow for a standard 4-lane expressway with at-grade intersections. There's all sorts of driveways emptying out onto the main road rather than having full or partial frontage roads controlling the access and preserving future freeway ROW. So any new freeway or toll road going up through there will have to be built on an entirely new terrain alignment.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 06:07:30 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Scott5114

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #63 on: May 02, 2018, 05:28:57 AM »

If I-45 were extended to Big Cabin, the Muskogee Turnpike would allow people to get to Tulsa from I-45 anyway.
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2018, 10:49:54 PM »

If I-45 were extended to Big Cabin, the Muskogee Turnpike would allow people to get to Tulsa from I-45 anyway.

That would be way out of the way. It is 21 miles shorter to take the Indian Nation Turnpike to US 75 route. There are a couple of traffic lights in Henryetta and one in Glenpool and you have to go through Okmulgee (much of Okmulgee can be bypassed via US 62 and OK Loop 56) but it would still be much shorter and quite a bit quicker.
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US 89

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2018, 12:24:34 AM »

If I-45 were extended to Big Cabin, the Muskogee Turnpike would allow people to get to Tulsa from I-45 anyway.

That would be way out of the way. It is 21 miles shorter to take the Indian Nation Turnpike to US 75 route. There are a couple of traffic lights in Henryetta and one in Glenpool and you have to go through Okmulgee (much of Okmulgee can be bypassed via US 62 and OK Loop 56) but it would still be much shorter and quite a bit quicker.

The real question is whether US 75 between Henryetta and Tulsa can be easily upgraded to freeway standards. It looks like it wouldn’t be too hard to build a freeway bypass of Okmulgee, likely using some of the OK 56 corridor. I see a lot of at-grade intersections on US 75, but that problem could likely be solved using one-way frontage roads in the difficult areas.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2018, 01:20:50 AM »

IMO, the cheapest option for extending I-45 from Dallas to Kansas City would be to upgrade US 75 and US 69 from Dallas to Savanna, the Indian Nation Turnpike to I-40, upgrade US 75 from I-40 to Tulsa, a 123 mile concurrency with I-44 from Topeka to Joplin and renumber I-49 as I-45 from Joplin to Kansas City, MO.  I say the cheapest since the long concurrency with I-44 between Tulsa and Joplin and renumbering I-49 north of I-44 as I-45 would eliminate the need for upgrades north of Tulsa.  According to Google maps this I-45 corridor from Galveston to Kansas City would be 798 miles. 

https://goo.gl/maps/SyX6Pums8Sv

The second and probably less-cheap option for I-45 would be to bypass Tulsa to the east and upgrade US 69 all the way to I-44 near Big Cabin, which would give the I-45 corridor a shorter distance of 780 miles and only a 65 mile concurrency with I-44 to Joplin, though more miles of highway in OK would need to be upgraded to interstate standards.

https://goo.gl/maps/3RZubnekcG52

 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 01:59:31 AM by Lyon Wonder »
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sparker

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #67 on: May 04, 2018, 02:42:16 AM »

IMO, the cheapest option for extending I-45 from Dallas to Kansas City would be to upgrade US 75 and US 69 from Dallas to Savanna, the Indian Nation Turnpike to I-40, upgrade US 75 from I-40 to Tulsa, a 123 mile concurrency with I-44 from Topeka to Joplin and renumber I-49 as I-45 from Joplin to Kansas City, MO.  I say the cheapest since the long concurrency with I-44 between Tulsa and Joplin and renumbering I-49 north of I-44 as I-45 would eliminate the need for upgrades north of Tulsa.  According to Google maps this I-45 corridor from Galveston to Kansas City would be 798 miles. 

https://goo.gl/maps/SyX6Pums8Sv

The second and probably less-cheap option for I-45 would be to bypass Tulsa to the east and upgrade US 69 all the way to I-44 near Big Cabin, which would give the I-45 corridor a shorter distance of 780 miles and only a 65 mile concurrency with I-44 to Joplin, though more miles of highway in OK would need to be upgraded to interstate standards.

https://goo.gl/maps/3RZubnekcG52

 

Somehow I don't think renumbering of I-49 to I-45 north of Joplin would even be considered; the concept of "major" vs. "minor" Interstates has effectively faded away outside the road enthusiast circle -- and asking MODOT to get behind a re-signage plan that would cost a few million ("parts+labor") to implement would likely elicit derisive chuckles from Jeff City!  If I-45 gets extended, it'll be to Tulsa or Big Cabin, with a miniscule chance of getting to KC via US 69 in KS (but almost certainly not with a Tulsa-based routing). 
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #68 on: May 04, 2018, 09:21:25 AM »

Fictional highway here but if you extended I-45 to east of Tulsa, would it be a crazy idea to reroute I-35 onto I-49 south from Kansas City to I-44 at Joplin, run with I-44 to Big Cabin, and then onto the new I-45 from Big Cabin to Dallas.  I-45 would then run along what is I-35E, I-35, and I-135 to Salinas.  I-35 Wichita to KC would have to be renumbered.  I-35w in Fort Worth would have to be an x35.  Sounds complicated but I-35 would be shorter in the new routing.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #69 on: May 04, 2018, 02:47:25 PM »

I-45 should be running East of I-35, not West of it. Running I-45 up to Salinas, KS and renumber I-49 in Missouri as I-35 would throw the numbering grid even farther out of whack.

Re-numbering existing 2-digit Interstates should never be done unless there is a legitimately urgent reason to do so. Route number changes cost a bunch of money to implement on a highway. The changes also affect more things that just the cosmetic look of a map.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #70 on: May 04, 2018, 04:02:38 PM »

There's a large Amazon distribution hub in Coffeyville. There aren't any tolls along US-169 between Kansas City and Tulsa, unlike the US-69 combination involving I-44.

The Amazon hub in Coffeyville was closed in 2015 in favor of KC.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 04:09:20 PM by route56 »
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #71 on: May 04, 2018, 10:38:19 PM »

I always figured the opposition of these little pissant towns between McAlester and Calera was just a convenient excuse for the state of Oklahoma to not spend. These burgs cannot wield as much power as, say, a state legislator.

It's not as bad as it was 20 years ago, but "these burgs" still wield quite a bit of power in the Legislature and no one who wants to get elected from those areas can ignore them.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2018, 01:15:47 AM »

If those little towns along US-69 in Southern OK actually have any real political clout it's only a matter of time before that clout literally dies with those who were politically connected. No young person is aching to move to bum-f### Atoka or Stringtown.

Quote from: route56
The Amazon hub in Coffeyville was closed in 2015 in favor of KC.

I didn't know that distribution center closed. I guess that might explain why Amazon is building a new distribution facility out on the West side of Oklahoma City.

Even without the Amazon hub in Coffeyville, US-169 is still the most direct (and toll free) path between Kansas City and Tulsa. I can't doubt that it is drawing traffic from the bigger US-69 corridor in Kansas.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2018, 02:02:41 AM »

If those little towns along US-69 in Southern OK actually have any real political clout it's only a matter of time before that clout literally dies with those who were politically connected. No young person is aching to move to bum-f### Atoka or Stringtown.

Quote from: route56
The Amazon hub in Coffeyville was closed in 2015 in favor of KC.

I didn't know that distribution center closed. I guess that might explain why Amazon is building a new distribution facility out on the West side of Oklahoma City.

Even without the Amazon hub in Coffeyville, US-169 is still the most direct (and toll free) path between Kansas City and Tulsa. I can't doubt that it is drawing traffic from the bigger US-69 corridor in Kansas.

US 169 would likely be the favored route from KC to Tulsa for both private and commercial use, while the tandem of US 69 and I-49 on the other side of the state line likely splits that traffic heading for the direct-to-Texas US 69 corridor.  Except for Coffeyville (can't picture that town any other way than the Eagles' Desperado album cover!), 169's pretty obstacle-free through KS.  I've always wondered if Tulsa interests ever pressed for a direct DFW-KC route through their city prior to the initial Interstate finalizations in the mid-50's (using, more or less, US 75 DFW-Tulsa and US 169 Tulsa-KC). 
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2018, 12:31:11 AM »

I would be satisfied with US 75 south of Tulsa if they removed the traffic light in Glenpool, built an Okmulgee bypass (it would have to be on new terrain - OK 56 Loop would be nearly impossible to upgrade into a freeway), the traffic lights in Henryetta were removed, and the speed limit was raised to 70. An interchange at Preston Road would be nice, and 6 lanes from the I-244 split to south of Glenpool would be nice as well.
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