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Author Topic: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?  (Read 2909 times)

US71

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Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:56:54 PM »

Stumbled across an item in Wikipedia regarding US 69 in Oklahoma
Quote
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 requires the United States Secretary of Transportation to designate US-69 between the Texas state line and Checotah as an Interstate highway upon request from ODOT.

I'm guessing this would be a northern extension of I-45?  What are the odds of this happening considering all the upgrades that would have to be made to 69?
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US 89

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 09:29:46 PM »

Stumbled across an item in Wikipedia regarding US 69 in Oklahoma
Quote
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 requires the United States Secretary of Transportation to designate US-69 between the Texas state line and Checotah as an Interstate highway upon request from ODOT.

I'm guessing this would be a northern extension of I-45?  What are the odds of this happening considering all the upgrades that would have to be made to 69?

Whatever Congress says goes. Look at I-11 and I-99.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 05:27:37 AM »

Extending I-45 would make the most sense and would make even more sense if it continued north of Checotah and ended at I-44 near Big Cabin. If it weren’t for I-49 being nearby, I-45 could’ve even continued along US-69 to I-35 near Kansas City.

But I doubt Oklahoma is interested in any new interstates. Getting Texas to cooperate shouldn’t be a problem since they’re on an interstate spree. People bitch about North Carolina’s pursuit of interstates, but at least theirs makes sense...well, except for I-74 and I-87.

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 09:06:57 AM »

Suffice to say, in this situation TX is NC, slapping Interstate shields on everything they damn well please, and OK is VA, being reluctant to continue any new ones across their borders. Don't be surprised if without warning, the I-45 extension ends at the state line, like I-73 and possibly I-87 will in the near future.
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Brian556

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 10:44:09 AM »

This needs to be done.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 11:34:35 AM »

Right now Texas isn't putting Interstate highway shields on anything new unless it has something to do with the I-69 project. I would even count I-2 as part of the I-69 effort. Elsewhere in Texas many US and State highway segments have been built (or are in the process of being upgraded) to Interstate quality without getting an Interstate designation. That includes US-75/US-69 leading up to the Red River. I think some of this has to do with the amount of federal funding going into these projects. If the state of Texas has to pay for the bulk of the improvements why would they put an Interstate shield on the finished project?

If ODOT indeed requested US-69 be included in the Interstate highway system up to I-40 & Checotah that would make sense. I have long thought US-69 should be upgraded to Interstate quality from the Red River to Big Cabin & I-44.

Unfortunately it appears other people within Oklahoma are blocking improvements of the US-69 corridor, despite the ridiculous amounts of heavy truck traffic and dangers the current road design pose to motorists. According to what I've read elsewhere in this form people along the corridor in towns like Atoka and Stringtown have blocked corridor improvements, afraid their towns will die off if "bypassed." Never mind the fact small towns in Oklahoma are losing population to aging, youth migration to opportunties elsewhere and young people in general having far fewer children than past generations.

Oklahoma's state government is broke. The latest crisis is over teacher pay. Oklahoma now ranks dead freaking last in the nation. We've already been losing teachers, police officers, fire fighters, etc to better pay in other states. Years ago the state government passed big tax cuts it thought would create all sorts of growth that never happened. Its balanced budget law has forced the state to make deep cuts into the bone on many things, including public education. A recent measure to fund teacher pay raises with a fuel tax hike failed to pass. The state's fuel tax hasn't changed since 1993. IMHO fuel taxes should only be used to fund roads.

Some Interstate quality upgrades to US-69 are planned for Calera, McAlester and Muskogee. These will be useful upgrades, but far more has to be done to get the rest of the corridor upgraded. Changes in mindset need to happen in Oklahoma's state government and at the federal level.
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rte66man

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 11:53:04 AM »

Oklahoma's state government is broke. The latest crisis is over teacher pay. Oklahoma now ranks dead freaking last in the nation. We've already been losing teachers, police officers, fire fighters, etc to better pay in other states. Years ago the state government passed big tax cuts it thought would create all sorts of growth that never happened. Its balanced budget law has forced the state to make deep cuts into the bone on many things, including public education. A recent measure to fund teacher pay raises with a fuel tax hike failed to pass. The state's fuel tax hasn't changed since 1993. IMHO fuel taxes should only be used to fund roads.

That plan will reappear in a different bill at least once before the end of this session in May.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 11:53:14 AM »

Right now Texas isn't putting Interstate highway shields on anything new unless it has something to do with the I-69 project. I would even count I-2 as part of the I-69 effort. Elsewhere in Texas many US and State highway segments have been built (or are in the process of being upgraded) to Interstate quality without getting an Interstate designation. That includes US-75/US-69 leading up to the Red River. I think some of this has to do with the amount of federal funding going into these projects. If the state of Texas has to pay for the bulk of the improvements why would they put an Interstate shield on the finished project?

I-14?
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US71

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 12:37:25 PM »

Stumbled across an item in Wikipedia regarding US 69 in Oklahoma
Quote
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 requires the United States Secretary of Transportation to designate US-69 between the Texas state line and Checotah as an Interstate highway upon request from ODOT.

I'm guessing this would be a northern extension of I-45?  What are the odds of this happening considering all the upgrades that would have to be made to 69?

Whatever Congress says goes. Look at I-11 and I-99.

and I-57 in Arkansas?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 04:10:32 PM »

Quote from: rte66man
That plan will reappear in a different bill at least once before the end of this session in May.

I hope the plan washes up dead and bloated when it appears on the floor again. They need to be funding teacher pay through more appropriate sources rather than a gimmick of carving the raises out of highway funding. We have all kinds of serious street & highway needs in Oklahoma. If the first fuel tax increase in 25 years gets directed to teacher pay it may be another 25 years before roads get another chance at a funding increase.

Quote from: 1
I-14?

Well, yeah, there is that existing freeway stub in Killeen that has been a freeway spur already for decades. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for much to be added to "I-14" any time soon.
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txstateends

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 12:34:10 AM »

Sherman (city council, economic development, can't remember which) has said in a recent local article there that they want to pursue interstate status for US 75 once anything left to upgrade there along the highway is done.  They didn't come out and say which number they might like, but 45 would have to be it.  Sorry, don't have the article linkie at the moment, but it was definitely online.  Nothing was specifically mentioned about how connected they'd like to be in an interstate situation, but I would guess the more, the better.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 12:59:13 AM »

Sherman (city council, economic development, can't remember which) has said in a recent local article there that they want to pursue interstate status for US 75 once anything left to upgrade there along the highway is done.  They didn't come out and say which number they might like, but 45 would have to be it.  Sorry, don't have the article linkie at the moment, but it was definitely online.  Nothing was specifically mentioned about how connected they'd like to be in an interstate situation, but I would guess the more, the better.
Easy find. http://www.kten.com/story/37104409/plans-for-an-interstate-compatible-us-75-in-sherman
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 11:09:56 AM »

Thanks!  The one I ran across before was maybe a newspaper one; I hadn't looked yet for a TV version online.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 05:58:28 PM »

Stumbled across an item in Wikipedia regarding US 69 in Oklahoma
Quote
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 requires the United States Secretary of Transportation to designate US-69 between the Texas state line and Checotah as an Interstate highway upon request from ODOT.

I'm guessing this would be a northern extension of I-45?  What are the odds of this happening considering all the upgrades that would have to be made to 69?

Whatever Congress says goes. Look at I-11 and I-99.

and I-57 in Arkansas?

Does I-69 in Kentucky count as well? And I didn't mention 3dis of I-69 in KY. ;)
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 06:32:00 PM »

If Interstate 45 is extended north (and I doubt it will be), where exactly would its northern terminus be?
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2018, 06:42:51 PM »

If Interstate 45 is extended north (and I doubt it will be), where exactly would its northern terminus be?

The legal definition of the 1991 corridor is Checotah, at the I-40 interchange.  I'm guessing that if something were to happen, from the TX state line to that point would be the initial phase; with any northern extension happening down the line as funding and political viability dictate.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2018, 12:02:23 AM »

At least I-40 at Checotah would aim the Interstate designation in the right direction. I could have seen them end it McAlester, that way they could debate whether extending the potential Interstate directly North to Tulsa or (doing what I think they should do) extending the Interstate up to Big Cabin -where so much of that heavy truck traffic from Texas is headed.

Now, I think US-75 should be upgraded to Interstate quality between Henryetta and Tulsa. But doing so could be politically difficult. Some properties would have to be cleared in Henryetta. Oklmulgee would require a bypass around the town (which I'm sure more than a few residents there would fight furiously). The rest of the way, on up to Glenpool, numerous properties are hugging the current 4-lane highway and would have to be cleared.

Quote from: The Ghostbuster
I'm guessing that if something were to happen, from the TX state line to that point would be the initial phase; with any northern extension happening down the line as funding and political viability dictate.

Plans are in development for an Interstate quality US-69 bypass of Muskogee. That would take care of the biggest construction obstacle North of I-40. McAlester is another project that would help develop the corridor. Still, there's that Atoka and Stringtown stuff happening.
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bugo

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2018, 03:24:28 AM »

Now, I think US-75 should be upgraded to Interstate quality between Henryetta and Tulsa. But doing so could be politically difficult. Some properties would have to be cleared in Henryetta. Oklmulgee would require a bypass around the town (which I'm sure more than a few residents there would fight furiously). The rest of the way, on up to Glenpool, numerous properties are hugging the current 4-lane highway and would have to be cleared.

There's a freaking traffic light in Glenpool. US 75 is a 4 lane expressway with some freeway segments from Bartlesville to Okmulgee, a distance of about 77 miles. Smack dab in the middle, there is the single traffic light, at 141st Street. Traffic can back up for a half mile at this bottleneck during rush hour. It's dangerous and wastes time and fuel. If an interchange were to be built at US 75 and 141st, a few businesses would have to be demolished, but it would be worth it. There was a light at 111th Street until a few years ago but it was replaced by a half-assed interchange of sorts. US 75 really should be a freeway from Bartlesville to Henryetta but it won't happen in my lifetime.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2018, 06:16:55 PM »

I know there has been a grant allotted to upgrade the section from the state line to Durant, mainly through Calera.  The intersection at the casino with a horribly timed light in Durant needs to go next, but I have a feeling there may be some political pressure to keep that intersection in tact.

There's more of the NIMBY factor going on as they currently propose a bypass around Muskogee.  A website, stopodot.org has been created by folks worried about all of the business drying up.  Personally, US-69 within Muskogee is a dangerous section in my mind, having witnessed several huge wrecks at the first signalized intersection at Hancock, but not sure if the proposed section they want to reroute is the best method. 

If they don't do these bypasses now, and I-49 gets completed first, traffic will die down just as much.
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US71

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 06:41:30 PM »

On a tangential note, there is some upgrading along US 69 at Commanche Ave in McAlester complete with numbered exits (69E , 69W, 69WA).

I may try to go over there next week and take a look.






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Bobby5280

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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2018, 08:14:03 PM »

Quote from: Radison
If they don't do these bypasses now, and I-49 gets completed first, traffic will die down just as much.

It will be a long time before I-49 is filled in between Texarkana and Fort Smith. If it is completed and US-69 stays pretty much as is then I could definitely guess a good amount of long distance car traffic coming up from Texas would opt for I-30 or the I-30/I-49 combination to reach points to the North and East. No stop lights and local speed traps would make the option worth it. OTOH, I think a great deal of the truck traffic would still take US-69 thru Oklahoma regardless of the stop and go hassles. I think truckers would want to avoid the I-49 stretch in the Ozarks. Plus the I-30/I-49 combo from Dallas to a point like Joplin is a longer drive than using US-69 up to I-44.

Quote from: US71
On a tangential note, there is some upgrading along US 69 at Commanche Ave in McAlester complete with numbered exits (69E , 69W, 69WA).

The stretch of US-69 in McAlester from the US-69/US-69B split up to the Carl Albert Parkway exit should be relatively easy to upgrade since it's already flanked by frontage roads.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2018, 09:16:22 PM »

On a tangential note, there is some upgrading along US 69 at Commanche Ave in McAlester complete with numbered exits (69E , 69W, 69WA).

I may try to go over there next week and take a look.

Its right now a massive construction cluster with a 40 mph speed limit.  They've currently got traffic going southbound contraflowed into the northbound lanes. 
They've placed POI signs and numbered those exits with numbers 69E, 69W, and 69WA.  69WA is nothing more than a right turn onto the service road.  They've also created a J-turn southbound 100 ft from an existing AGC.

Southbound exit is for Commanche Ave (sic), and Peaceable Rd.  Northbound exit is for those as well as Wade Watts Ave, which serves as a turnaround for southbound traffic.  These are both posted as orange construction signs and I can only hope that the spelling is corrected, and really the exit numbers.  The exit numbers are no where near right, and if I had to guess, probably deployed by the local municipality rather than the DOT, as McAlester is not 69 miles from the state line (more like 90), or from its split with US-75 in Atoka.  I do have some dashcam footage going southbound and northbound available I may try to put up on the Youtubes, but the NB was at night and didn't come out too well.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2018, 03:09:46 PM »

I'm not sure that all of US 75 from downtown Dallas to the Oklahoma state line is Interstate quality.  Beside the 3 1/2 mile stretch in Sherman, the portion of the highway in Richardson and Plano, which was last widened in the 1980s, has relatively narrow lanes, due to an HOV lane configuration.  There has been talk about reconstructing this stretch of freeway, a very extensive project that would involve taking considerable right of way in a densely populated corridor.  The recent toll road revolt has taken toll revenues off the table, and this would have been the only practical means of gaining the funding to widen US 75 and meet Interstate standards any time in the near future, given the reluctance of politicians to raise gasoline taxes or impose mileage fees on vehicles to raise the necessary funds.

A northern extension of Interstate 45 won't happen anytime soon, irrespective of what Oklahoma does.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2018, 03:25:04 PM »

Quote from: nhoward45
I'm not sure that all of US 75 from downtown Dallas to the Oklahoma state line is Interstate quality.  Beside the 3 1/2 mile stretch in Sherman, the portion of the highway in Richardson and Plano, which was last widened in the 1980s, has relatively narrow lanes, due to an HOV lane configuration.

Decreased lane width in Richardson would not necessarily be a deal-breaker for obtaining an Interstate designation -considering the expansion of I-35E in Carrollton and Lewisville is stuck with the same thing for the next several years until the other part of that expansion is completed.

Regarding the "toll revolt" in Texas we'll see how that flavor of populist politics plays out over the next few years for funding various major highway projects, particularly those in Texas' rapidly growing cities. None of this stuff is free or cheap to build. The costs and years required to complete any of these projects is only increasing. Yet voters seem to think policy makers can just magically conjure up the funding for these projects out of thin air without raising taxes of fuel purchases or putting up toll gates. It is stupid, deliberate ignorance of very simple math.

I think the biggest thing threatening any possible Northern extension of I-45 is the movement in Dallas to tear down the portion of North Central Expressway between I-30 and Woodall Rodgers Freeway. I think there's a good possibility that could happen. The existing elevated highway and stack interchange with I-30 is aging. New elevated highways are very unpopular politically. While it would be possible to re-build un-signed I-345 in a trench, capped with new green space like nearby Kylde Warren Park, such a project would be really expensive and the construction process might be very disruptive.

Another scenario might have an "I-47" highway going South from Checotah (or from as far North as Big Cabin) and going into the Dallas area.
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Re: Extending I-45 to Oklahoma?
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2018, 04:02:07 PM »

Quote from: nhoward45
I'm not sure that all of US 75 from downtown Dallas to the Oklahoma state line is Interstate quality.  Beside the 3 1/2 mile stretch in Sherman, the portion of the highway in Richardson and Plano, which was last widened in the 1980s, has relatively narrow lanes, due to an HOV lane configuration.

Decreased lane width in Richardson would not necessarily be a deal-breaker for obtaining an Interstate designation -considering the expansion of I-35E in Carrollton and Lewisville is stuck with the same thing for the next several years until the other part of that expansion is completed.

Regarding the "toll revolt" in Texas we'll see how that flavor of populist politics plays out over the next few years for funding various major highway projects, particularly those in Texas' rapidly growing cities. None of this stuff is free or cheap to build. The costs and years required to complete any of these projects is only increasing. Yet voters seem to think policy makers can just magically conjure up the funding for these projects out of thin air without raising taxes of fuel purchases or putting up toll gates. It is stupid, deliberate ignorance of very simple math.

I think the biggest thing threatening any possible Northern extension of I-45 is the movement in Dallas to tear down the portion of North Central Expressway between I-30 and Woodall Rodgers Freeway. I think there's a good possibility that could happen. The existing elevated highway and stack interchange with I-30 is aging. New elevated highways are very unpopular politically. While it would be possible to re-build un-signed I-345 in a trench, capped with new green space like nearby Kylde Warren Park, such a project would be really expensive and the construction process might be very disruptive.

Another scenario might have an "I-47" highway going South from Checotah (or from as far North as Big Cabin) and going into the Dallas area.

Another possibility would be to reroute I-45 around the I-20/635 loop, with the remainder of I-45 inside the loop up to I-30 as a relocated I-345, with it picking up its own alignment at the current I-635/US 75 interchange.  Fancifully -- the remainder of US 75 plus the TX 366/Woodall freeway could become another x45.  But if there's a clamor from the north TX suburban area for an I-45 conversion of US 75, that may blunt the push for an I-345 teardown and steer the discussion toward a below-grade replacement facility (as has been discussed at length in that thread).
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