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Author Topic: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS  (Read 2131 times)

longhorn

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Henry

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 10:16:44 AM »

75 miles is pretty ambitious, but at least there won't be any threat of earthquakes like there is on the West Coast.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 11:11:15 AM »

Double decker, stacked super highway? Cue the NIMBYs who don't want to look at any elevated highway structure no matter how badly such a thing is needed. And then cue the utopian, new urbanist dreamers who think all human movement and commerce can be delivered via bicycle.

I give the chances of building such a highway about a 1 in 1000 chance of becoming a reality. With the insanity of pricing and bureaucratic slog which mires any American infrastructure project even if NIMBYs and New Urbanists don't block the effort the project will still face a very tough up-hill battle getting the billions of dollars in funding that would be required

Between Buda and San Marcos I-35 could be expanded from 3 lanes in each direction to 5 without much problem. It's a tighter squeeze farther South, which likely inspired stacking elevated lanes above the existing frontage roads and freeway main lanes. Some sections can only be expanded to 4 lanes in each direction while 5 lanes is possible in other places. On/off ramp geometry gets more tricky as main lanes get closer to the frontage roads though.

I laughed at the concept of adding high speed rail lanes to one of the roadway decks, as opposed to 2 or more vehicle lanes on that deck. So, taxpayers will literally burn billions of dollars on a massive upper deck scheme on I-35 that only adds a couple car lanes just so we can do high speed rail for some douchey types?

Existing I-35 does not have the curve geometry to support a high speed rail line. Look at other nations building out high speed rail. None are tacking high speed rail lines onto existing freeways or toll roads. High speed rail lines demand path ways far more straight than the goofy, jagged garbage paths we're now building as new highway projects. Just look how crooked the path of the TX-130 toll road is as opposed to I-35. Next, the US has no national high speed rail network. The United States will never have a comprehensive high speed rail network spanning the nation unless it pursues one on a fully national scale. So far all the high speed efforts have been small regional pipe dreams that have gone absolutely nowhere. The US sucks at passenger rail just like we're increasingly sucking at building big infrastructure.

It's going to be a whole lot cheaper to enhance the TX-130 corridor as a relief route to I-35. They could draw a lot more long distance traffic to it by removing the tolls. They could add more main lanes. Another parallel highway to I-35 could be built from Randolph AFB and the FM-1604 loop, splitting the distance between I-10 and I-35, skirting Geronimo and then dovetailing into TX-130 at sharp bend it makes when crossing FM-3353.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 06:11:17 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Chris

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 11:31:36 AM »

TxDOT presented plans in 2013-2015 to construct some 12 miles of elevated toll lanes from I-410 in San Antonio to FM 3009 in Schertz.

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/san-antonio/022615.html

  • The proposed Build Alternative would add four elevated managed lanes (two lanes in each direction) to the existing six to 10-lane road between I-410 South and FM 1103. Direct connectors at the I-35/I-410 South, I-35/I-410 West, and I-35/Loop 1604 interchanges and operational improvements are also proposed, as well as interim access to the proposed managed lanes facility between Loop 1604 and FM 1103.

    South of FM 3009, the proposed elevated managed lanes would generally be constructed between the existing mainlanes and frontage roads; however, north of FM 3009, the managed lanes would cross over the I-35 general purpose mainlanes and drop down into the middle of the northbound and southbound general purpose mainlanes, going from elevated to at-grade and continuing down the middle of I-35 until they tie into the I-35 mainlanes and end just north of FM 1103.

kphoger

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 01:45:55 PM »

Mexico City has a 20-mile stretch of double-decker highway.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 03:09:23 PM »

I don't think the politicians proposing this concept have consulted with anyone who knows anything about what is possible and realistic. Of course this idea will never happen. As Chris points out, it may be possible to build elevated lanes in San Antonio, since there is a preliminary plan in place and San Antonio is much more accepting of elevated structures than other places, especially Austin.

In Austin, just keeping the existing elevated freeway lanes north of downtown is not a sure thing, since there are folks who want to get rid of them. Proposals for I-35 through downtown Austin include a tunnel option.

A plan for four elevated lanes along Loop 610 in Houston was estimated to be around $50 million per mile. So for the 100 miles from San Antonio to Georgetown, the cost would be around $5 billion. As Bobby5280 points out, there are sections where an at-grade expansion is possible on current right-of-way. Also, there are surely sections where right-of-way widening would make sense, just like the freeway expansion from Hillsboro to Georgetown required major right-of-way widening for that full length, including major urban right-of-way clearance.

But it's good that politicians recognize the problem, and they should be willing to work toward solutions which are feasible and possible.

NE2

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 05:11:43 PM »

Bobby is a douche.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »

Just the mild vinegar and water type though.
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Rothman

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 06:15:17 PM »

Revved up like a douche!
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Bobby5280

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 12:11:18 AM »

Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?
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sparker

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 03:10:57 AM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 
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kphoger

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 12:55:49 PM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 

I know music by both, yet I still don't get the reference.
So there you go.
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mvak36

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 01:40:33 PM »

So if they build this, would the elevated lanes bypass most of the exits except for the major intersections? I have never been on those elevated lanes in Austin so I couldn't tell where the exits were.
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Rothman

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 05:34:08 PM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 

I know music by both, yet I still don't get the reference.
So there you go.
What other Manfred Mann song is there that anyone knows? :D
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1

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 05:35:10 PM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 

I know music by both, yet I still don't get the reference.
So there you go.
What other Manfred Mann song is there that anyone knows? :D

Maybe kphoger only knows the actual lyrics.
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sparker

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2018, 08:24:25 PM »

"........Blinded by the light.......revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night......"

(bold indicates song's title)

One of those songs that needed a lyric sheet just to understand what the fuck was being sung!  Still, a pretty damn good song; holds up after 42 years!
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Rothman

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2018, 10:01:23 PM »

"........Blinded by the light.......revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night......"

(bold indicates song's title)

One of those songs that needed a lyric sheet just to understand what the fuck was being sung!  Still, a pretty damn good song; holds up after 42 years!

No.  No, it does not.
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wxfree

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2018, 10:59:57 PM »

So if they build this, would the elevated lanes bypass most of the exits except for the major intersections? I have never been on those elevated lanes in Austin so I couldn't tell where the exits were.

The elevated lanes in Austin have no exits.  If you want access to an exit along that stretch you must use the lower lanes.  The separation may help through traffic get by the area faster at some times, but often the whole stretch of highway backs up, so it makes little difference.  As for the proposed elevated lanes, my guess would be that they would have occasional access to the surface lanes for drivers wanting to use an upcoming exit.  For major roads I'd guess they may have direct access, or ramps that join the exit ramps from the surface lanes.
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michravera

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2018, 11:08:51 PM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 

I know music by both, yet I still don't get the reference.
So there you go.
What other Manfred Mann song is there that anyone knows? :D

Do Wah Ditty!
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In_Correct

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2018, 02:46:35 AM »

Revved up like a douche!
Some of the younger participants might not get that reference. Manfred Mann? Who the **** is that?

They might have a slightly better chance in hell of knowing the song's writer: Springsteen. 

I know music by both, yet I still don't get the reference.
So there you go.
What other Manfred Mann song is there that anyone knows? :D

Do Wah Ditty!

Please make this back to the original topic.
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In_Correct

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2018, 02:54:32 AM »

So if they build this, would the elevated lanes bypass most of the exits except for the major intersections? I have never been on those elevated lanes in Austin so I couldn't tell where the exits were.

The elevated lanes in Austin have no exits.  If you want access to an exit along that stretch you must use the lower lanes.  The separation may help through traffic get by the area faster at some times, but often the whole stretch of highway backs up, so it makes little difference.  As for the proposed elevated lanes, my guess would be that they would have occasional access to the surface lanes for drivers wanting to use an upcoming exit.  For major roads I'd guess they may have direct access, or ramps that join the exit ramps from the surface lanes.

I am usually against elevated freeways. I am not one of those people who think that every elevated freeways should be demolished because of some opinion of fashion and apparel, but I am against them for that no exits reason in the quotes.

And I prefer adding additional capacity with 3 lanes in each direction and also a one way pair of continuous frontage roads. And also the freeway to freeway interchange lanes with diamond clover leaf interchange for frontage roads. Adding additional lanes after all those lanes becomes silly, especially if they run out of room and have build an elevated structure(s) and make it a multi level highway.

The best solution would be if people do not like traffic, they should take rail and toll roads. Unfortunately neither is going to happen here.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:03:08 AM by In_Correct »
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texaskdog

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2018, 07:40:47 AM »

It would be cheaper to buy toll 130 from the toll company.  If that road was free it would be a good alternative for the Georgetown to San Antonio traffic at 85 MPH.
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texaskdog

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2018, 07:41:24 AM »

So if they build this, would the elevated lanes bypass most of the exits except for the major intersections? I have never been on those elevated lanes in Austin so I couldn't tell where the exits were.

The elevated lanes in Austin have no exits.  If you want access to an exit along that stretch you must use the lower lanes.  The separation may help through traffic get by the area faster at some times, but often the whole stretch of highway backs up, so it makes little difference.  As for the proposed elevated lanes, my guess would be that they would have occasional access to the surface lanes for drivers wanting to use an upcoming exit.  For major roads I'd guess they may have direct access, or ramps that join the exit ramps from the surface lanes.

And it's only about 2 miles long anyway.
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wxfree

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2018, 01:58:05 PM »

It would be cheaper to buy toll 130 from the toll company.  If that road was free it would be a good alternative for the Georgetown to San Antonio traffic at 85 MPH.

From my reading of the concession agreement, I believe TxDOT has had the contractual right to cancel the concession and take control of the road without cost ever since the original operating company started defaulting in their loan payments.  I suspect they didn't do that because they didn't want to discourage potential future private-sector partners by being so eager to enforce such extreme options, and because they knew the road was built with shoddy workmanship and would need expensive repairs, and because it's a source of free money (TxDOT gets 4.65% of the toll revenue off the top).

As for the northern section of SH 130, removing the tolls isn't just a matter of money.   I don't think they could just remove the tolls, because of the bond covenant.  It's more likely that they would have to refinance the Central Texas Turnpike System bonds to cancel that covenant and put a new one in place.  Even if they had to buy out the new owner of the concession and had to refinance the whole CTTS, it would still be cheaper than the construction we're discussing.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Double decking I-35 between SAT and AUS
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2018, 05:04:39 PM »

I take it the build quality issues with the TX-130 toll road have not been fixed. If that's the case I'm surprised speed limits as high as 85mph are allowed on that road. If the company that owns the toll road is going into the red on this particular highway then it would seem to be only a matter of time before TX DOT had to take over its maintenance.

I wish the section of TX-130 between the south split with TX-45 down to I-10 wasn't built with such a crooked I-69 style path. If the road didn't have so many stupid bends and angles in it then it might serve as a good alternative to I-35. Still, I think another road parallel to I-35 & I-10 halfway between Seguin and New Braunfels would be a good thing (and draw more traffic off I-35). At some point a freeway or toll road directly connecting Seguin and New Braunfels is going to become a necessity.

Quote from: Rothman
What other Manfred Mann song is there that anyone knows?

"Do Wah Diddy Diddy" was mentioned (from the first incarnation of the Manfred Mann band). I liked one tune Manfred Mann's Earth Band did in the 1980's, called "Runner". It was released in time for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. It reached the top 40 and was the band's first hit since "Blinded By the Light."
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