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Author Topic: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed  (Read 4449 times)

sparker

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2018, 01:37:00 PM »

Quote from: sparker
So -- is the issue with US 380 that it is not a freeway, or is simply inadequate for its current situation?

Both.

Adding to the problem is the lack of certain safety features along stretches of US-380. The road is a 5-lane undivided urban style street going West from Dallas North Tollway into Denton. Some of the intersections have traffic signals and street lights. Many other intersections (and driveways) are not lighted. That can be a big problem at night. Significant stretches of the road (the ones that would be easiest to upgrade into a freeway) are really dark at night. Combine that with the bright glare of lots of oncoming headlights in the opposing lanes. The situation makes it difficult to see a car whip out in front of you, either turning right or going across the lanes to turn left. There's no median barrier. Just a center turn lane.

It's shouldn't surprise anyone that the rate of serious and fatal collisions would increase on that part of US-380. Lots of big subdivisions are adding big numbers of homes nearby.

The obvious short term "cheap" solution is adding street lights and at least flashing yellow signals at intersections along US-380 currently not lighted and not controlled. That might cut down on some of the fatal collisions. But really the US-380 corridor needs a massive Interstate quality upgrade from Decatur & US-287 clear over to Greenville and I-30. The upgrade has to start with Denton to McKinney and stretch out to Decatur and Greenville. In the long term that's going to be a vital East-West corridor for North Texas and the North half of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. TX DOT can't wait until all this development is surrounding Lake Ray Roberts (north of Denton) with big tracts of McMansions. They should have been starting work on this corridor 20+ years ago. It was obvious back then that this situation was coming.

Either something along this route or paralleling it should have been part of something that DFW has been sorely lacking for decades -- an outer Interstate-grade loop around the entire metro complex -- and the cojones to clamp down on development around such a loop in order to preserve its role as a bypass rather than a location for activities that would invariably lead to congestion.  However, given the current pressing situation in the north part of the metro area, getting a freeway (or at least a freeway between I-35 and US 75 and an expressway east and west of there to US 287 on the west and I-30 on the east) down the 380 corridor is long overdue.  Let's just hope there's enough undeveloped land left to efficiently deploy such a facility -- and enough local & state resolve to get it done!
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Bobby5280

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2018, 03:36:52 PM »

All it would have taken was altering US-380 using the same formula that had been applied to several other highways in the North Texas region and many other places in the state. That formula is the familiar 4-lane divided highway with a huge median big enough to hold a freeway to be built later, decades later if need be.

They don't even have to four-lane a highway to apply this approach. There's a couple short portions of the proposed Colin County Outer Loop corridor North of McKinney that consist only of a 2-lane road with a big swath of vacant land to the left or right of the roadway. The key thing is simply buying up and securing enough ROW well in advance of development. US-380 should have been turned into a 4-lane highway with freeway sized median back in the late 1980's or early 1990's. TX DOT could have done that for relatively little money back then. Thanks to procrastination they're looking at spending a lot more. If they keep dragging their feet they won't be able to do anything at all about the problem. Everything along that corridor will be bottled up in just a few years.
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Brian556

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2018, 03:38:40 PM »

Quote from: sparker
So -- is the issue with US 380 that it is not a freeway, or is simply inadequate for its current situation?

Both.

Adding to the problem is the lack of certain safety features along stretches of US-380. The road is a 5-lane undivided urban style street going West from Dallas North Tollway into Denton. Some of the intersections have traffic signals and street lights. Many other intersections (and driveways) are not lighted. That can be a big problem at night. Significant stretches of the road (the ones that would be easiest to upgrade into a freeway) are really dark at night. Combine that with the bright glare of lots of oncoming headlights in the opposing lanes. The situation makes it difficult to see a car whip out in front of you, either turning right or going across the lanes to turn left. There's no median barrier. Just a center turn lane.

It's shouldn't surprise anyone that the rate of serious and fatal collisions would increase on that part of US-380. Lots of big subdivisions are adding big numbers of homes nearby.

The obvious short term "cheap" solution is adding street lights and at least flashing yellow signals at intersections along US-380 currently not lighted and not controlled. That might cut down on some of the fatal collisions. But really the US-380 corridor needs a massive Interstate quality upgrade from Decatur & US-287 clear over to Greenville and I-30. The upgrade has to start with Denton to McKinney and stretch out to Decatur and Greenville. In the long term that's going to be a vital East-West corridor for North Texas and the North half of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. TX DOT can't wait until all this development is surrounding Lake Ray Roberts (north of Denton) with big tracts of McMansions. They should have been starting work on this corridor 20+ years ago. It was obvious back then that this situation was coming.

TxDOT always fails to proivide street lights on major arterials. Its like that in Flower Mound, and it makes driving at night there miserable. Oklahoma, which has far less riches, is very good about street lighting.

The safety problems on US 380 include entire neighborhoods with no traffic signal to get out onto 380, excessivly high speed limit, Heavy truck traffic, which creates issues because its hard for them to stop for red lights in time on high-speed roadways. It also sounds like there is issues with driveway traffic confilcting with other driveway and side street traffic due to intersection proximity issues.Also, there have been head-on collisions, which I dont blame the road for since there is a center turn lane seperation opposing traffic.
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Bobby5280

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2018, 10:36:03 PM »

Yeah, that last part (head on collisions) is largely due to other factors. There's always the threat of drunk drivers (especially at night). People who compulsively play with their phones while driving can easily drift into the opposing lanes. And then there's the careless/stupid drivers who break suddenly to turn, maybe even without a turn signal. The next car is unable to stop in time and rams the car ahead of them. Sometimes that car gets launched into the oncoming lanes.

Basically that center turn lane along US-380 is a pretty bad idea. It might be acceptable within Denton (where both street lights and a slow speed limit are present). Outside of Denton to the DNT much of that road needs a physical Jersey barrier in place, along with more lighting. And, yeah, maybe the speed limit needs to be dropped. That's all in the short term. But with the volume of traffic, including heavy truck traffic, a full blown freeway or toll road upgrade should be in the works.
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Road Hog

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2018, 08:40:17 PM »

The ship has sailed on making 380 a full freeway between Denton and Princeton. The Collin County Outer Loop is the obvious alternative and hopefully with the bond issue being approved, that will help it to end up being non-tolled.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 06:55:16 AM »

I would like this just to bypass I-35W to access north Dallas area. I would like it even better if they’d extend the NDT to connect with I-35 maybe at Sanger or even better Gainesville.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2018, 06:59:44 AM »

The ship has sailed on making 380 a full freeway between Denton and Princeton. The Collin County Outer Loop is the obvious alternative and hopefully with the bond issue being approved, that will help it to end up being non-tolled.
This is pretty out of the box/fantasy thinking, but down the line if the situation ever calls for it, they could do a cut and cover method for a toll road underneath the current road with a strip open in the median to allow for ventilation. It wouldn’t really be a tunnel but a freeway almost completely covered by a surface road except for a small strip in the middle. I’m not sure if this has ever been done before.

Obviously this would be overkill now as it wouldn’t be cheap, but the room is there. Could be an idea down the line.
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rte66man

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2018, 04:49:11 PM »

The ship has sailed on making 380 a full freeway between Denton and Princeton. The Collin County Outer Loop is the obvious alternative and hopefully with the bond issue being approved, that will help it to end up being non-tolled.
This is pretty out of the box/fantasy thinking, but down the line if the situation ever calls for it, they could do a cut and cover method for a toll road underneath the current road with a strip open in the median to allow for ventilation. It wouldn’t really be a tunnel but a freeway almost completely covered by a surface road except for a small strip in the middle. I’m not sure if this has ever been done before.

Large sections of the LBJ between 35E and 75
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Bobby5280

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2018, 06:38:09 PM »

Quote from: Road Hog
The ship has sailed on making 380 a full freeway between Denton and Princeton. The Collin County Outer Loop is the obvious alternative and hopefully with the bond issue being approved, that will help it to end up being non-tolled.

I don't think the ship has sailed as long as things like the "green" alignment are still on the table in US-380 Collin County Feasibility Study. That would push a new freeway right through the middle of McKinney on the existing US-380 alignment. Obviously it would have to be built in some kind of depressed trench, possibly with side streets or service roads partially hanging over it. Just repeating what I wrote on page 1, the other alignments being studied (like the "red" alignment) could run into their own problems, NIMBY opposition from rural/residential property owners being the most likely issue.

Some parts of US-380 between Denton and McKinney will have to be upgraded to some form of freeway regardless if the Collin County Outer Loop is ever built or not. Safety issues are getting worse on the existing road.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2018, 08:15:48 PM »

The ship has sailed on making 380 a full freeway between Denton and Princeton. The Collin County Outer Loop is the obvious alternative and hopefully with the bond issue being approved, that will help it to end up being non-tolled.
This is pretty out of the box/fantasy thinking, but down the line if the situation ever calls for it, they could do a cut and cover method for a toll road underneath the current road with a strip open in the median to allow for ventilation. It wouldn’t really be a tunnel but a freeway almost completely covered by a surface road except for a small strip in the middle. I’m not sure if this has ever been done before.

Large sections of the LBJ between 35E and 75
My idea would be a bit different than LBJ as the entire freeway would be below grade almost in a tunnel. The width of the median along the 380 through most of Denton is about the width the open gap would be to prevent the costly ventilation systems tunnels require. I can’t think of anywhere I’ve been or know about where this setup is in place.

It’s similar to what I’d like to see 39th. St expressway in OKC become from SH-74 to Kilpatrick. 4-4 below grade and the street above 3-3.
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In_Correct

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2018, 12:13:17 AM »

Current U.S. 380 is outdated and should be upgraded as much as possible. When things such as having the main lanes below the frontage roads become necessary, then the alternative tolled alignment should be constructed and connect Loop 288.
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Bobby5280

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2018, 01:10:47 PM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
My idea would be a bit different than LBJ as the entire freeway would be below grade almost in a tunnel. The width of the median along the 380 through most of Denton is about the width the open gap would be to prevent the costly ventilation systems tunnels require. I can’t think of anywhere I’ve been or know about where this setup is in place.

I can't think of any place in the United States where a completely trenched and covered freeway runs for more than a couple or so blocks. The stretch on Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas spans just 3 blocks. I-90 in Seattle goes into one tunnel 5/8 mile long under Sam Smith Park and another tunnel 1/2 mile long under the Park on the Lid. But I think those function as full blown tunnels. US-380 runs for 5 miles in Denton between I-35 and Loop 288. The segment in McKinney that would need to be trenched (and potentially capped) is half that length. Either one would be really expensive to trench, much less cap partially or completely. New Urbanists would love being able to bury and hide a freeway. Taxpayers would hate the construction cost.

Ventilation is one thing. Digging out a huge trench for a new freeway/turnpike is a huge logistical hurdle. There would be one heck of a tangle worth of utilities to relocate for the dig. Water, sewer, electrical, Internet, etc. Then there's the issue of drainage. The project would be painfully disruptive for years. I still remember the aggravation caused by the N Central Expressway project in Dallas. I think the LBJ Freeway expansion went a little more smoothly. The pain would be traded off for tremendous relief once the project was finished.

By the way, the Collin County Outer Loop intersection with US-75 is over 7 miles directly North of existing US-380 in McKinney. That's a long way away for a proposed new toll road to act as a functional bypass for US-380. Just for reference LBJ Freeway and the PGBT are about 5-6 miles apart on the North side of Dallas.
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Brian556

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2019, 11:32:18 PM »

GSV shows new US 380 bridge over Dallas Pkwy. The bridge is way longer than normal. They made the bridge longer instead of using dirt fill approach ramps. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.2186721,-96.8189502,3a,85.4y,263.9h,92.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suIeI1RJqqh-5hGTIYv-MpA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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rte66man

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2019, 08:18:11 AM »

GSV shows new US 380 bridge over Dallas Pkwy. The bridge is way longer than normal. They made the bridge longer instead of using dirt fill approach ramps. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.2186721,-96.8189502,3a,85.4y,263.9h,92.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suIeI1RJqqh-5hGTIYv-MpA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

That looks like it is wider than a 3x3 config
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Scott5114

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2019, 04:06:30 PM »

TxDOT always fails to proivide street lights on major arterials. Its like that in Flower Mound, and it makes driving at night there miserable. Oklahoma, which has far less riches, is very good about street lighting.

Yes and no. We're good about installing it, but miserly when it comes to maintaining it. Many of the lights are out in OKC because the wiring has been stolen from them and they're getting fixed Any Day Now. When it comes to state highways, it doesn't help that ODOT contracts light maintenance out to the electric company, so there's always bureaucratic buck-passing when it comes to getting lights fixed.

This does vary by municipality. Norman is usually pretty well lit.
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sparker

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2019, 04:16:11 PM »

GSV shows new US 380 bridge over Dallas Pkwy. The bridge is way longer than normal. They made the bridge longer instead of using dirt fill approach ramps. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.2186721,-96.8189502,3a,85.4y,263.9h,92.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suIeI1RJqqh-5hGTIYv-MpA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

That's often done when the ground is prone to waterlogging (high water table, for instance); since the total weight of a berm greatly exceeds the load of a bridge through its bents -- and a berm could be undermined by ground water -- extending the bridge structure as an alternative has been a longstanding method for dealing with that issue.
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DJStephens

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2019, 07:43:05 PM »

Believe the covered "central artery" in Boston is close to a mile long.  Completely buried in their "big dig"  Which cost close to $15 billion.   That is including the third harbor tunnel and the above ground connections though - such as the charles river crossing and connections to previous elevated structures.   
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2019, 12:14:36 AM »

Believe the covered "central artery" in Boston is close to a mile long.  Completely buried in their "big dig"  Which cost close to $15 billion.   That is including the third harbor tunnel and the above ground connections though - such as the charles river crossing and connections to previous elevated structures.
If you’re posting this in response to my idea, that isn’t remotely comparable to this scenario.
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Brian556

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2019, 10:53:12 AM »

GSV shows new US 380 bridge over Dallas Pkwy. The bridge is way longer than normal. They made the bridge longer instead of using dirt fill approach ramps. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.2186721,-96.8189502,3a,85.4y,263.9h,92.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suIeI1RJqqh-5hGTIYv-MpA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

That's often done when the ground is prone to waterlogging (high water table, for instance); since the total weight of a berm greatly exceeds the load of a bridge through its bents -- and a berm could be undermined by ground water -- extending the bridge structure as an alternative has been a longstanding method for dealing with that issue.

That is not an issue in this area
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txstateends

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2019, 12:28:37 AM »

There's going to be a lot of unused under-bridge ROW there.  I wonder if TxDOT is thinking of some kind of storage there (equipment, piles of sand/gravel/etc), or if there would be a future park & ride use like what happened with the CityLine-Bush DART station parking lot that was put together after the Bush Turnpike/US 75 interchange was built.  Other than those possibilities, I can't see why there's that much extra space underneath.
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Bobby5280

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2019, 12:22:19 PM »

I think the long bridge over Dallas Parkway is there to provide plenty of flexibility on how they might expand the Dallas North Tollway in the future. Right now there's enough room for the toll road extension to fit between the frontage roads. But if they needed to do a major expansion and accommodate separated express and local lanes, as well as move the frontage roads out farther apart the new US-380 bridges over the zone would allow it. I would imagine a new 4 level directional stack interchange would be in the works once the DNT is extended.
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Brian556

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2019, 08:29:55 PM »

Denton County Feasibility Study - Possible alignments map:
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0135-10-061_US380_PM1_RollPlot.pdf

Right now TxDOT is saying that they plan to start construction in 2021 to upgrade US 380 in E Denton Co to a 6-lane urban arterial expressway, with interchanges at some FM roads.

I think there is a good chance of this being cancelled.

I also had another thought. With the planned US 380 freeway taking over N Loop 288, that has major implications for the I-35/ Loop 288 (Future US 380) interchange. I say its possible that there could be a stack there someday.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2019, 08:37:11 PM »

That sucks if it gets canceled. If Texas doesn’t stay on the ball traffic will surely get much worse than it has been.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2019, 04:56:40 PM »

They're not going to slap an Interstate designation on the proposed US 380 freeway, are they?
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txstateends

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Re: DFW: US 380 freeway feasibility study options revealed
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2019, 06:37:28 PM »

They're not going to slap an Interstate designation on the proposed US 380 freeway, are they?

If any part of US 380 were eyed for interstating, there would be so much upgrading/updating to do.  Now if the outer loop thing further out were considered, I could see it.  Nothing to change out, not as many toes to step on out there.  As toll-happy as TX has been lately, they'd just as soon toll the outer loop as interstate it.
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