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Does I-69 really need to go through AR & LA?

Absolutely yes!
It is not necessary at all.

Author Topic: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?  (Read 3310 times)

cjk374

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Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« on: July 29, 2018, 02:13:54 PM »

With that being said, I-69 in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi is much harder to justify when I-69/I-369 and I-30 serves the same purpose in an arguably straighter route. The I-49 and I-57 corridors will make I-369 more attractive to traffic coming from Houston.

I-14 doesn't offer the same "big picture" compliments to the larger Interstate highway system. That's probably why this is being pitched by politicians with the angle of linking military posts/bases. Most heavy military equipment gets moved by rail or by air. Not so much gets moved on the highways. And if Fort Hood really needed an Interstate link to another important Army post they would do better by upgrading US-281 to Interstate standards between Lampasas and Wichita Falls -that would provide a high speed road link between Fort Hood and Fort Sill here in Lawton. There's a lot more close activity going on between those two posts than with Fort Polk.

I truncated your post to stay on task, which is comparing the I-69 connector in Louisiana to I-14. I agree completely that it makes more sense to take I-69 through the I-369/I-30/I-40 route than through the new territory. The Louisiana-Arkansas routing is mostly wishful thinking and ego stroking for southern Arkansas.

As for I-14, the key question is this: Why is a link to Fort Polk and central Louisiana important to Fort Hood in particular and Texas in general? Ford Polk is a lot closer to the Gulf of Mexico than either Fort Hood or Fort Sill. We're more likely to be attacked by an enemy from without than from within. So it makes sense to have easy access to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

The current best route from Fort Hood to the Gulf passes through several small towns and directly through Houston, Beaumont and Lake Charles. I-14 would bypass all of that. I-14 can go all the way to the Atlantic Ocean without passing through any major cities at all (except maybe Alexandria). It's far enough inland that it would be less threatened by an external invader. That sounds strategic to me. However, I have no experience with the military. Feel free to correct me if it's irrelevant.

I-69 exists to serve the interior. I-14 would exist to serve the exterior. As a coastal state, Louisiana is better served by focusing on projects that help the exterior. I-49 to New Orleans does that. Fixing I-10 through Baton Rouge does that. The short part of I-69 through north Louisiana would not do that.


With that being said, I-69 in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi is much harder to justify when I-69/I-369 and I-30 serves the same purpose in an arguably straighter route. The I-49 and I-57 corridors will make I-369 more attractive to traffic coming from Houston.

I-14 doesn't offer the same "big picture" compliments to the larger Interstate highway system. That's probably why this is being pitched by politicians with the angle of linking military posts/bases. Most heavy military equipment gets moved by rail or by air. Not so much gets moved on the highways. And if Fort Hood really needed an Interstate link to another important Army post they would do better by upgrading US-281 to Interstate standards between Lampasas and Wichita Falls -that would provide a high speed road link between Fort Hood and Fort Sill here in Lawton. There's a lot more close activity going on between those two posts than with Fort Polk.

I truncated your post to stay on task, which is comparing the I-69 connector in Louisiana to I-14. I agree completely that it makes more sense to take I-69 through the I-369/I-30/I-40 route than through the new territory. The Louisiana-Arkansas routing is mostly wishful thinking and ego stroking for southern Arkansas.

As for I-14, the key question is this: Why is a link to Fort Polk and central Louisiana important to Fort Hood in particular and Texas in general? Ford Polk is a lot closer to the Gulf of Mexico than either Fort Hood or Fort Sill. We're more likely to be attacked by an enemy from without than from within. So it makes sense to have easy access to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

The current best route from Fort Hood to the Gulf passes through several small towns and directly through Houston, Beaumont and Lake Charles. I-14 would bypass all of that. I-14 can go all the way to the Atlantic Ocean without passing through any major cities at all (except maybe Alexandria). It's far enough inland that it would be less threatened by an external invader. That sounds strategic to me. However, I have no experience with the military. Feel free to correct me if it's irrelevant.

I-69 exists to serve the interior. I-14 would exist to serve the exterior. As a coastal state, Louisiana is better served by focusing on projects that help the exterior. I-49 to New Orleans does that. Fixing I-10 through Baton Rouge does that. The short part of I-69 through north Louisiana would not do that.


Here's where I disagree with you on I-69 and eliminating the Tenaha-Memphis segment.

I-30 from Texarkana to Little Rock and I-40 from NLR to Memphis already carry a huge load, even with widening to 3x3 ongoing and the AR 440 bypass around Little Rock. I don't think that you'd want to add an additional load to that with I-69 interregional traffic just to save $$$$.

Also, there's the issue of bypassing Memphis, particular if you expand this truncated route to include I-40 to I-55 North at West Memphis to I-155 at Dyersburg. How do you connect the city of Memphis to this if you completely bypass them? How do you connect I-22 to this? A new Southern Crossing through Tunica? And, what happens to I-269, which loses its connection to its parent?

I agree that TX wants to get that SoTX/Houston/Texarkana corridor finished pronto to get maximum benefit, and that the Tenaha-Shreveport-Monticello-Tunica segment of I-69 will be put on ice for a while. But, Shreveport has plenty of skin in this game to lose if they lose I-69; they lose the only Interstate access to their main port, and they lose an opportunity to complete their Inner Loop. Also, South AR would probably want the growth that the originally approved path for I-69 would bring to their region.

Yeah, there are far bigger priorities for LA right now (I-10 though BTR, I-49 South, Lafayette Connector, Shreveport ICC...and I'd add to that I-10 through Lake Charles and the Calcasieu River Bridge and 3x3'ing I-10 from the Texas line to the Atchafalaya Swamp elevated section). But putting I-69 through LA/AR/MS in cold storage for now is not the same as eliminating it altogether; it simply means doing planning and environmental studies for now and holding steady for the future when funds may become available.

I-14...I'm a "meh" on that. I still don't see the need for an expensive Interstate corridor bisecting the north, and there's still the issue of how you get that sucka through Alexandria/Pineville and Ferriday/Vidalia/Natchez. I still say that a Lake Charles-Alexandria-Monroe-Bastrop-Monticello (Super I-69 Extender) freeway would have more bang for the bucks...but, that's only me.

I-69 exists to serve the interior. I-14 would exist to serve the exterior. As a coastal state, Louisiana is better served by focusing on projects that help the exterior. I-49 to New Orleans does that. Fixing I-10 through Baton Rouge does that. The short part of I-69 through north Louisiana would not do that.

I-30 from Texarkana to Little Rock and I-40 from NLR to Memphis already carry a huge load, even with widening to 3x3 ongoing and the AR 440 bypass around Little Rock. I don't think that you'd want to add an additional load to that with I-69 interregional traffic just to save $$$$.

How much additional traffic is I-69 going to create? The traffic will be there (or not be there) whether or not I-69 routes through Little Rock or through nowhere.

Shreveport has plenty of skin in this game to lose if they lose I-69; they lose the only Interstate access to their main port, and they lose an opportunity to complete their Inner Loop. Also, South AR would probably want the growth that the originally approved path for I-69 would bring to their region.

But does Shreveport have the clout to win it in Baton Rouge? I've never lived in north Louisiana (aside from 2 school years at LSMSA) so I have no idea what the economy is like up there. A quick search suggests it's not exactly booming: industry is gone and the main draw are casinos. They need a better argument for I-69 than "I-69 is going to bring more cross-country traffic through here." I asked this question earlier: What benefit does the Louisiana-Arkansas route bring to Texas that the Little Rock route does not? If they can't argue that it brings long-term benefit beyond being a pass-through, they have little chance of winning against projects from the south at the Capitol.

I-14...I'm a "meh" on that. I still don't see the need for an expensive Interstate corridor bisecting the north, and there's still the issue of how you get that sucka through Alexandria/Pineville and Ferriday/Vidalia/Natchez. I still say that a Lake Charles-Alexandria-Monroe-Bastrop-Monticello (Super I-69 Extender) freeway would have more bang for the bucks...but, that's only me.

Funny that you should bring up that corridor. Because if I were a south Louisiana legislator, and I wanted to make friends in central and north Louisiana, I'd pitch them the US 165 corridor, not I-69. An interstate along that route (presumably an extension of I-57) would strengthen the bond between Lake Charles and Monroe, link provide an alternate route for northbound traffic from Texas, link that area to St. Louis and Chicago (I-57), and improve hurricane evacuation. I-69 provides little or none of those benefits.

The advantage of I-14 over I-69 and the US 165 corridor is that it gives Texas a reason to invest in Louisiana. Texas does not need I-69 to go through Louisiana.

I-69 exists to serve the interior. I-14 would exist to serve the exterior. As a coastal state, Louisiana is better served by focusing on projects that help the exterior. I-49 to New Orleans does that. Fixing I-10 through Baton Rouge does that. The short part of I-69 through north Louisiana would not do that.

I-30 from Texarkana to Little Rock and I-40 from NLR to Memphis already carry a huge load, even with widening to 3x3 ongoing and the AR 440 bypass around Little Rock. I don't think that you'd want to add an additional load to that with I-69 interregional traffic just to save $$$$.

How much additional traffic is I-69 going to create? The traffic will be there (or not be there) whether or not I-69 routes through Little Rock or through nowhere.

Enough to add to the corridor that's already stressed with DFW-LR-Memphis traffic. You are adding the additional traffic from heavy trucks from Texarkana NE through Little Rock, and then up I-40 which is already crammed even as it's being widened.

Plus, I-69 is a national High Priority corridor that will ease the load of traffic from SoTX/Houston northeastward. I'm guessing Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee will have plenty to say about abandoning that corridor.

Quote
Shreveport has plenty of skin in this game to lose if they lose I-69; they lose the only Interstate access to their main port, and they lose an opportunity to complete their Inner Loop. Also, South AR would probably want the growth that the originally approved path for I-69 would bring to their region.

But does Shreveport have the clout to win it in Baton Rouge? I've never lived in north Louisiana (aside from 2 school years at LSMSA) so I have no idea what the economy is like up there. A quick search suggests it's not exactly booming: industry is gone and the main draw are casinos. They need a better argument for I-69 than "I-69 is going to bring more cross-country traffic through here." I asked this question earlier: What benefit does the Louisiana-Arkansas route bring to Texas that the Little Rock route does not? If they can't argue that it brings long-term benefit beyond being a pass-through, they have little chance of winning against projects from the south at the Capitol.

Maybe right now I-69 in LA should be a lower priority, but I'm talking about the future here. Texas should not be the sole mediator in determining the final route for I-69; it's already set by Congressional fiat. There is still plenty of time to develop a funding plan, since the upgrades for the I-69 system in Texas will be ongoing for quite a while.

Quote
I-14...I'm a "meh" on that. I still don't see the need for an expensive Interstate corridor bisecting the north, and there's still the issue of how you get that sucka through Alexandria/Pineville and Ferriday/Vidalia/Natchez. I still say that a Lake Charles-Alexandria-Monroe-Bastrop-Monticello (Super I-69 Extender) freeway would have more bang for the bucks...but, that's only me.

Funny that you should bring up that corridor. Because if I were a south Louisiana legislator, and I wanted to make friends in central and north Louisiana, I'd pitch them the US 165 corridor, not I-69. An interstate along that route (presumably an extension of I-57) would strengthen the bond between Lake Charles and Monroe, link provide an alternate route for northbound traffic from Texas, link that area to St. Louis and Chicago (I-57), and improve hurricane evacuation. I-69 provides little or none of those benefits.

I've been pitching a US 165/US 465 freeway upgrade for the past 10 years for local and statewide benefits (alternative hurricane evac route; adds a SW/NE tangent to the LA freeway system; could be a "Super I-69/I-530 Extender"). If it was actually built, I could agree with removing the Tenaha to Memphis segment (or truncating it to end at the "Extender"), because at least an alternative relief corridor would exist for traffic and goods from SoTX/LA to the north and east. Until that happens, though, I'd rather any corridor that adds relief.

Like I said before, Texas might not need the Tenaha to Memphis segment, but it is locked in as part of the original agreement to merge HPC Corridor #18 (the overall I-69 extension from South Texas to Indy) and HPC Corridor #20 (the US 59 upgrade from Laredo to Texarkana). All of the states involved in this corridor have input here, not just Texas; they should have as much a say over the final product.

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The advantage of I-14 over I-69 and the US 165 corridor is that it gives Texas a reason to invest in Louisiana. Texas does not need I-69 to go through Louisiana.

IIRC, I-14 was originally designed as an interregional corridor to link military bases throughout the South, along with energizing the Black Belt corridor through MS, AL, and GA. Initially it was to terminate at Natchez, but when they discovered that that wasn't possible because there was no Interstate there to terminate it at, they extended it to I-49 at Alexandria. That, along with the original Trans-Texas Corridor plans for a toll route along the US 190 corridor, is more likely the spur for I-14. It's still up for grabs how TX will develop I-14; it will take years of study and acquisition before the final alignments are established and built. That's plenty of time to prioritize more needed projects.

The key element here is patience, and the willingness to allow the process to develop on its own. Rushing to pull I-69 onto I-30/I-40 (and I-55/I-155) and to build I-14 just to save money and spite LA and AR seems to me counterproductive to that consensus.


I agree with jbnv about the uselessness of I-69 through LA & AR,  and I agree with Anthony's viewpoint on needing an interstate running from Lake Charles through Elek (Louisiana's local dialect for Alexandria), Monroe on up to Pine Bluff. LADOTD has far more important projects than I-69 or I-14. Some have been mentioned, some have yet to be thought of by people more important than me:  (in no certain order)

1. I-49 ICC.

2. I-49 NOLA to Lafayette.

3. I-10 through Baton Rouge.

4. I-220/Barksdale project.

5. I-12 widening Baton Rouge to Slidell.

6. I-10 widening Texas to Mississippi (yes, the whole damn thing).

7. I-20 widening Texas to Mississippi (it needs it whether people realize it or not).

8. US 165/US 425 conversion to interstate quality to AR state line.

9. Twinning the Jimmie Davis bridge (LA 511) over the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier.

Some of the above listed are upcoming projects. The others need to be upcoming projects in the future. I believe all of these will be more beneficial to Louisiana than any piece of I-69. I also think that I-14...if carried all the way across into Georgia...will benefit Louisiana more than 69.

The port of Shreveport/Bossier has access to I-49 via either of these routes:

1. LA 1 NORTH to LA 523 (Flournoy-Lucas Rd.) to LA 3132 to I-49. Or....

2. LA 1 SOUTH to LA 175 to I-49.

Either of the above routes can be improved at a much lower price than trying to build I-69.

As far as diverting traffic off of I-30 & 40: My opinion is the truck traffic will still take 30 & 40 from Texarkana whether or not I-69 is built in LA & AR.
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MikieTimT

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 06:27:16 PM »

I could seen I-69 being run along I-30 from Texarkana and I-40 for some of the way across Arkansas, but there really needs to be another Mississippi River crossing south of I-55 as Memphis is an absolute nightmare of traffic and perpetual construction that I always dread navigating.  There desperately needs to be a southern bypass of Memphis, whether it's I-69 splitting off I-40 around Brinkley and going south and east of Memphis, or the same road being called I-22 and tying in to the current end of I-22.  Or better yet, co-locate both I-69 and I-22 on the same stretch to pull more traffic around the south of Memphis.  There's just too much congestion on the current bridges with no upgrade path other than new construction.  Little Rock might be a little tight for about 20 miles along I-30 to add lanes what with the businesses hemming in very close access roads, though.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 06:39:09 PM by MikieTimT »
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wdcrft63

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 06:46:10 PM »

I could seen I-69 being run along I-30 from Texarkana and I-40 for some of the way across Arkansas, but there really needs to be another Mississippi River crossing south of I-55 as Memphis is an absolute nightmare of traffic and perpetual construction that I always dread navigating.  There desperately needs to be a southern bypass of Memphis, whether it's I-69 splitting off I-40 around Brinkley and going south and east of Memphis, or the same road being called I-22 and tying in to the current end of I-22.  Or better yet, co-locate both I-69 and I-22 on the same stretch to pull more traffic around the south of Memphis.  There's just too much congestion on the current bridges with no upgrade path other than new construction.  Little Rock might be a little tight for about 20 miles along I-30 to add lanes what with the businesses hemming in very close access roads, though.
I don't know what to do with I-69, but I can see a good case for extending I-22 along the south loop past Memphis, across the river, and tying it into I-40 somewhere west of Memphis area. This seems like an obvious gap in the interstate system.
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jbnv

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 01:53:35 PM »

Widen I-10, I-12, I-20, I-30, and I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.

Extend I-57 along US 60/67 to Little Rock, then I-530 to Pine Bluff, then US 165 to Lake Charles.

Extend the southern arc of the I-269 loop across the river.

Voila, no more need for I-69 across new terrain between Tehana and Memphis.
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inkyatari

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2018, 01:54:06 PM »

I-69 should end at Memphis.  There is no need further south.

I had a post in Fictional Highways that routes I-57 from its terminus in Missouri, through AR, Multiplexing with I-30, and then head on what is I-369 and I-69 through Texas down to Mexico to replace the I-69 proposals.
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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 03:17:59 PM »

What about two sections of I-69, similar to some other Interstate Highways in the U.S.? One I-69 from Brownsville to Texarkana and another one from Memphis to Port Huron.

According to the Wikipedia article, I-69 in Arkansas receives almost no funding, with an 8 mile segment around Monticello being under construction for 7 years now and that is apparently only a two-lane road. That doesn't bode well for any large-scale freeway construction in that region.

For Arkansas, getting I-49 and I-57 completed seems like a more urgent priority than I-69.

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 07:42:04 PM »

What about two sections of I-69, similar to some other Interstate Highways in the U.S.? One I-69 from Brownsville to Texarkana and another one from Memphis to Port Huron.

According to the Wikipedia article, I-69 in Arkansas receives almost no funding, with an 8 mile segment around Monticello being under construction for 7 years now and that is apparently only a two-lane road. That doesn't bode well for any large-scale freeway construction in that region.

For Arkansas, getting I-49 and I-57 completed seems like a more urgent priority than I-69.

I-49 is the utmost priority with the current governor, who is from NWA. The previous governor, who is from Searcy,  favored I-57, which runs through his hometown (although he wanted I-30 as the designation).

Huckabee just wanted something for the whole state because they're all Baptists.
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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 11:53:04 AM »

Here is where I disagree and I do think that the Tenaha-Shreveport-El Dorado-Monticello-Greenwood-Tunica-Memphis segments of I-69 are legitimately needed.

As Sparker said in another thread, I-30 is already loaded enough between DFW and Little Rock with heavy container traffic from BNSF's major container yard, and the upcoming Tex-Americas Center in Texarkana will certainly add to the flow. I'm not so sure you want to add I-69 SoTX traffic to that corridor as well.

Secondly, one of the main factors of I-69 is to connect major city centers. At least the currently envisioned path of I-69 goes through downtown Memphis via I-55 and I-240, and has a viable outer loop in I-269. Diverting to I-30/I-40 and then I-55 north of West Memphis would have I-69 completely bypass Memphis, unless you were willing to extend both termini of I-269 north and west to meet I-40/I-55 and I-55/I-555/US 63.

Third, Shreveport would raise holy hell if their segment of I-69 was removed because they would lose their link to their port, as well as a chance to complete, at least indirectly, the Inner Loop freeway. The original plans for a full I-220/LA 3132 loop were stymied by Barksdale Air Force Base, which is now getting a gate access to I-20 and I-220 East as consolation. Even if the I-49 Inner City Connector is Priority 1 right now, that doesn't mean they won't fight to keep I-69 viable through their city, even if they defer to the future. And I'm sure Monticello with their proposed bypass and the connection with the I-530/AR 530 extension would feel the same way.

Obviously, if the I-530 extension is pushed all the way to Lake Charles (as an I-51 or I-53), that would change the game completely and make that segment of I-69 less viable. But, even at that, I'd still at least build a truncated version of I-69 from Monticello northeastward to Memphis, while adding a 4-lane connection between Texarkana and Monticello along US 82 as an ancillary.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 01:33:06 PM »

Widen I-10, I-12, I-20, I-30, and I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.

Extend I-57 along US 60/67 to Little Rock, then I-530 to Pine Bluff, then US 165 to Lake Charles.

Extend the southern arc of the I-269 loop across the river.

Voila, no more need for I-69 across new terrain between Tehana and Memphis.
I-10, I-12 and I-20 between Little Rock and Memphis? The rest of the stuff I agree with but those three Interstates go nowhere near either city.
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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 01:36:26 PM »

Here is where I disagree and I do think that the Tenaha-Shreveport-El Dorado-Monticello-Greenwood-Tunica-Memphis segments of I-69 are legitimately needed.

As Sparker said in another thread, I-30 is already loaded enough between DFW and Little Rock with heavy container traffic from BNSF's major container yard, and the upcoming Tex-Americas Center in Texarkana will certainly add to the flow. I'm not so sure you want to add I-69 SoTX traffic to that corridor as well.

Secondly, one of the main factors of I-69 is to connect major city centers. At least the currently envisioned path of I-69 goes through downtown Memphis via I-55 and I-240, and has a viable outer loop in I-269. Diverting to I-30/I-40 and then I-55 north of West Memphis would have I-69 completely bypass Memphis, unless you were willing to extend both termini of I-269 north and west to meet I-40/I-55 and I-55/I-555/US 63.

Third, Shreveport would raise holy hell if their segment of I-69 was removed because they would lose their link to their port, as well as a chance to complete, at least indirectly, the Inner Loop freeway. The original plans for a full I-220/LA 3132 loop were stymied by Barksdale Air Force Base, which is now getting a gate access to I-20 and I-220 East as consolation. Even if the I-49 Inner City Connector is Priority 1 right now, that doesn't mean they won't fight to keep I-69 viable through their city, even if they defer to the future. And I'm sure Monticello with their proposed bypass and the connection with the I-530/AR 530 extension would feel the same way.

Obviously, if the I-530 extension is pushed all the way to Lake Charles (as an I-51 or I-53), that would change the game completely and make that segment of I-69 less viable. But, even at that, I'd still at least build a truncated version of I-69 from Monticello northeastward to Memphis, while adding a 4-lane connection between Texarkana and Monticello along US 82 as an ancillary.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

I-69 would still go through Memphis, and have no need to extend I-269, unless you also eliminated the new terrain route from Memphis to Dyersburg.

I would say that Tenaha-Shreveport is more valuable than I-369.
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jbnv

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 01:53:35 PM »

Widen I-10, I-12, I-20, I-30, and I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.
I-10, I-12 and I-20 between Little Rock and Memphis? The rest of the stuff I agree with but those three Interstates go nowhere near either city.

Use common sense. My clear meaning is to widen I-10, and to widen I-12, and to widen I-20, and to widen I-30, and to widen I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.

As Sparker said in another thread, I-30 is already loaded enough between DFW and Little Rock with heavy container traffic from BNSF's major container yard, and the upcoming Tex-Americas Center in Texarkana will certainly add to the flow. I'm not so sure you want to add I-69 SoTX traffic to that corridor as well.

That can be mitigated by widening I-30 and I-20, and upgrading US 82 to an expressway.

Secondly, one of the main factors of I-69 is to connect major city centers. At least the currently envisioned path of I-69 goes through downtown Memphis via I-55 and I-240, and has a viable outer loop in I-269. Diverting to I-30/I-40 and then I-55 north of West Memphis would have I-69 completely bypass Memphis, unless you were willing to extend both termini of I-269 north and west to meet I-40/I-55 and I-55/I-555/US 63.

OK, extend I-269.

Third, Shreveport would raise holy hell if their segment of I-69 was removed...

Yes they will. The question is whether they have the political clout to matter.

Obviously, if the I-530 extension is pushed all the way to Lake Charles (as an I-51 or I-53), that would change the game completely and make that segment of I-69 less viable. But, even at that, I'd still at least build a truncated version of I-69 from Monticello northeastward to Memphis, while adding a 4-lane connection between Texarkana and Monticello along US 82 as an ancillary.

This is where the political clout comes into play. Why should Lake Charles, Alexandria and Monroe support I-69 when they could potentially get an interstate along US 165 which is already an expressway? Would Monticello trade I-69 for the I-530 extension and US 82? Could any of these cities make a deal with Lafayette and Houma to fully support I-49 in exchange for support for their corridors? It's basically a real-life game of Risk at this point.
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cjk374

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2018, 10:07:04 PM »

As a side note:  US 82 is being widened across Arkansas as we speak into a 4-lane no-access-controlled highway. Work is ongoing in Magnolia.
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froggie

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2018, 09:44:02 AM »

Quote
...no-access-controlled...

Foolish as that is...
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 11:08:09 AM »

As a side note:  US 82 is being widened across Arkansas as we speak into a 4-lane no-access-controlled highway. Work is ongoing in Magnolia.
US 82 should have been the I-69 route through Arkansas to begin with and using the new bridge at Lake Village across the Mississippi as the I-69 Bridge. If Arkansas is going to make US 67 into I -57, might as well push it to the LA line. Any new bridge across the Mississippi needed to be at Memphis, one that ran from around Lehi (just west of West of West Memphis) to the current  terminus of I-69 at Tunica. Arkansas could have rerouted I- 55 from Jerichoto meet up with this at Lehi. It would have put it real close to the industrial par and the intermodal yard. It would have allowed for a completely new I-40/I-55 exchange and provided a relief route for I-55 through Memphis due to the situation at the Old Bridge. It would simply be a continuation of an I-269 loop, later on anot her bridge connecting the I-55/I-555 area at Turrell to the I-69/I-269 area at Millington would complete the I-269 loop.

I will not get into make I-555 into an extension of I-22 to at least Walnut Ridge with a grand design of running it to Tulsa via US 412 in the far distant future.
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MikeSantNY78

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 07:00:47 PM »

Widen I-10, I-12, I-20, I-30, and I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.

Extend I-57 along US 60/67 to Little Rock, then I-530 to Pine Bluff, then US 165 to Lake Charles.

Extend the southern arc of the I-269 loop across the river.

Voila, no more need for I-69 across new terrain between Tehana and Memphis.
I-10, I-12 and I-20 between Little Rock and Memphis? The rest of the stuff I agree with but those three Interstates go nowhere near either city.
Edited: Widen... (a) I-10, (b) I-12, (c) I-20, (d) I-30, and (e) I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis. Clear now?
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edwaleni

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2018, 10:50:25 PM »

I-49 s/b the priority in Arkansas in the near term followed by connecting I-57  to Pocahontas.

AR-530 should stay as a Super 2 south of Pine Bluff and should be finished to Monticello.

They have already diverted funding from finishing the Monticello Bypass, to converting US-278 from Monticello Bypass east to McGehee into a Super 2 bypass and ending it where the future alignment of I-69 will cross the Mississippi.

With the US-82 Greenville Bridge the only river crossing from Vicksburg all the way north to Helena, I can see why Arkansas wants to improve cross river access.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 11:32:41 PM »

Quote from: cjk374
As a side note:  US 82 is being widened across Arkansas as we speak into a 4-lane no-access-controlled highway. Work is ongoing in Magnolia.

I thought the bond issue was only going to bring US-82 to 4-lane expressway standards across the state. There are spots where US-82 is or will be freeway quality, but I don't see that happening for its entire path across the state (especially when Arkansas has other priorities like I-49).

Quote from: Wayward Memphian
US 82 should have been the I-69 route through Arkansas to begin with and using the new bridge at Lake Village across the Mississippi as the I-69 Bridge

The proposed I-69 crossing East of McGehee (the Great River Bridge) is already too far South as it is. Moving the crossing to US-82 would be a shift of 25 more miles farther South. That would transform the I-69 route in Mississippi and Arkansas into an even more ridiculous L-shape path. It would be bigger and considerably worse L-shape path than the stupid L-shape path I-69 has farther North in Kentucky.

I understand the choice of having I-69 cross near McGehee. If I-69 traveled a more direct path between Shreveport and Memphis it would have to span more rivers (like the Arkansas River), more swamp land and more wetlands.
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sparker

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 01:06:24 PM »

Quote from: cjk374
As a side note:  US 82 is being widened across Arkansas as we speak into a 4-lane no-access-controlled highway. Work is ongoing in Magnolia.

I thought the bond issue was only going to bring US-82 to 4-lane expressway standards across the state. There are spots where US-82 is or will be freeway quality, but I don't see that happening for its entire path across the state (especially when Arkansas has other priorities like I-49).

Quote from: Wayward Memphian
US 82 should have been the I-69 route through Arkansas to begin with and using the new bridge at Lake Village across the Mississippi as the I-69 Bridge

The proposed I-69 crossing East of McGehee (the Great River Bridge) is already too far South as it is. Moving the crossing to US-82 would be a shift of 25 more miles farther South. That would transform the I-69 route in Mississippi and Arkansas into an even more ridiculous L-shape path. It would be bigger and considerably worse L-shape path than the stupid L-shape path I-69 has farther North in Kentucky.

I understand the choice of having I-69 cross near McGehee. If I-69 traveled a more direct path between Shreveport and Memphis it would have to span more rivers (like the Arkansas River), more swamp land and more wetlands.

In addition to this, there is an ACE (Army Corps of Engineers) requirement that there be no structures within a certain distance of the confluence of major rivers (here the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers); the Great River bridge was sited more or less at the minimum allowable distance from the confluence. 

In response to those whose complaint about the central part of the I-69 corridor is that it doesn't serve any major populated areas between Shreveport and Memphis -- that very fact is part of the raison d'etre of the basic corridor alignment.  Absent this route, traffic between those points (and Houston beyond the southern end) is now reliant largely on a combination of I-49, I-30, and I-40 -- all of which were predicated upon and functioning as "point-to-point" servers -- with Texarkana, Little Rock, and greater Memphis as the "dots" of the connecting system.  While this is the historic method of laying out a transportation network -- first with trails, then with railroads, with highways and, later, Interstate or quasi-Interstate freeways following suit -- and it remains a valid method when addressing territories previously unserved/underserved but now enhanced due to demographic shifts -- the concept of "relief routes" connecting specific points noted for being commercial destinations or traffic origins without intervening "chokepoints" is additionally valid.  Not entirely a new concept; I-5 in CA's San Joaquin Valley and I-80 across north-central PA were included in the first "final" Interstate iteration as more or less "direct" servers between major regions that avoided major populated areas en route.  The central section of I-69, despite some evidence of political intervention from the area it traverses being partially responsible for its routing, is a more modern example of this concept; the largest town along its path is Clarksdale, MS.  Obviously, there are drawbacks to this -- not much in the way of local contribution to traffic counts; plowing through previously unsullied territory, especially in new-terrain segments, and second-guessing by the very agencies responsible for its deployment, usually right up to the time that contracts are let -- which more often than not places those efforts at the bottom of the "to-do" pile. 

In the case of I-69, the SIU that seems to matter most to ARDOT and its handlers is not the main "trunk" across the state's southern tier, but the "530" connector between Monticello and Little Rock via Pine Bluff.  From all appearances the state is utilizing the inclusion of that branch in the I-69 "portfolio" as a funding mechanism for a project that they've likely wanted to undertake for some time; the progress in getting a basic facility (the initial 2-lane segments now in service) deployed outstrips the work done on the E-W trunk, which is being developed at what could be described as a "leisurely pace".  Maybe the I/AR-530 corridor is AR's way of compensating for the FHWA denial of the "Dickey Split", which would have provided a I-69 branch up US 79 through Pine Bluff; the 530 branch may be serving as a "consolation prize" of sorts; the chances are that something will be in place on that entire N-S corridor before even the Monticello-McGehee initial I-69 segment (in whatever form it initially is) is opened to traffic.   

While relief routes may increasingly be the focus of future intercity (Interstate or not) corridors; the issue is constituency and the subsequent ability, or lack thereof, to provide consistent pressure to complete a project.   Without major areas to traverse, these relief corridors (unless dictated from above like I-5 and I-80 in the '50's) have little in the way of historically intrinsic support, at least initially.  It usually takes external circumstances -- such as traffic "meltdowns" on the existing routes -- to kick the relief efforts into gear.  Here, that seems to be a situation that is gradually deteriorating on I-30 and I-40 (particularly the latter east of Little Rock); when it comes to a head, the funneling of funds to I-69 may expand beyond the trickle it is presently.                                                                                 
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MikieTimT

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2019, 11:55:23 AM »

In addition to this, there is an ACE (Army Corps of Engineers) requirement that there be no structures within a certain distance of the confluence of major rivers (here the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers); the Great River bridge was sited more or less at the minimum allowable distance from the confluence. 

In response to those whose complaint about the central part of the I-69 corridor is that it doesn't serve any major populated areas between Shreveport and Memphis -- that very fact is part of the raison d'etre of the basic corridor alignment.  Absent this route, traffic between those points (and Houston beyond the southern end) is now reliant largely on a combination of I-49, I-30, and I-40 -- all of which were predicated upon and functioning as "point-to-point" servers -- with Texarkana, Little Rock, and greater Memphis as the "dots" of the connecting system.  While this is the historic method of laying out a transportation network -- first with trails, then with railroads, with highways and, later, Interstate or quasi-Interstate freeways following suit -- and it remains a valid method when addressing territories previously unserved/underserved but now enhanced due to demographic shifts -- the concept of "relief routes" connecting specific points noted for being commercial destinations or traffic origins without intervening "chokepoints" is additionally valid.  Not entirely a new concept; I-5 in CA's San Joaquin Valley and I-80 across north-central PA were included in the first "final" Interstate iteration as more or less "direct" servers between major regions that avoided major populated areas en route.  The central section of I-69, despite some evidence of political intervention from the area it traverses being partially responsible for its routing, is a more modern example of this concept; the largest town along its path is Clarksdale, MS.  Obviously, there are drawbacks to this -- not much in the way of local contribution to traffic counts; plowing through previously unsullied territory, especially in new-terrain segments, and second-guessing by the very agencies responsible for its deployment, usually right up to the time that contracts are let -- which more often than not places those efforts at the bottom of the "to-do" pile. 

In the case of I-69, the SIU that seems to matter most to ARDOT and its handlers is not the main "trunk" across the state's southern tier, but the "530" connector between Monticello and Little Rock via Pine Bluff.  From all appearances the state is utilizing the inclusion of that branch in the I-69 "portfolio" as a funding mechanism for a project that they've likely wanted to undertake for some time; the progress in getting a basic facility (the initial 2-lane segments now in service) deployed outstrips the work done on the E-W trunk, which is being developed at what could be described as a "leisurely pace".  Maybe the I/AR-530 corridor is AR's way of compensating for the FHWA denial of the "Dickey Split", which would have provided a I-69 branch up US 79 through Pine Bluff; the 530 branch may be serving as a "consolation prize" of sorts; the chances are that something will be in place on that entire N-S corridor before even the Monticello-McGehee initial I-69 segment (in whatever form it initially is) is opened to traffic.   

While relief routes may increasingly be the focus of future intercity (Interstate or not) corridors; the issue is constituency and the subsequent ability, or lack thereof, to provide consistent pressure to complete a project.   Without major areas to traverse, these relief corridors (unless dictated from above like I-5 and I-80 in the '50's) have little in the way of historically intrinsic support, at least initially.  It usually takes external circumstances -- such as traffic "meltdowns" on the existing routes -- to kick the relief efforts into gear.  Here, that seems to be a situation that is gradually deteriorating on I-30 and I-40 (particularly the latter east of Little Rock); when it comes to a head, the funneling of funds to I-69 may expand beyond the trickle it is presently.                                                                                 

Nothing is likely to happen other than a couple of bypasses in south Arkansas until Texas finishes I-69/I-369.  Then, the cork pops and LOS goes down a couple of notches on I-30, I-440, and I-40 east of Little Rock in Arkansas.  Will have to add lanes at that point to those segments to resolve the service levels without I-69.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2019, 05:32:09 AM »

Isn't I-40 between Little Rock and West Memphis already being widened to 3x3 to handle the existing bottleneck traffic? Add potential I-69/I-369 traffic to that and you can sense the nightmare (especially through Little Rock itself).


Waiting until existing facilities are choked to near strangulation to increase capacity is a bit like waiting until water infrastructure corrodes and pipes blow before upgrading and renovating. Spending money now can save money later. Plus, I don't believe that the money can't be made available. Increase the gas tax and fund public infrastructure properly.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2019, 10:11:06 AM »

^^^ any chance of them straightening the curve on I-40 through the I-55 North Interchange?
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Rick Powell

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2019, 09:20:38 PM »

I voted not necessary. I agree with wrapping a third river crossing corridor around the south side of Memphis, and adding capacity between Memphis and Texarkana.
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rte66man

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2019, 01:22:17 PM »

^^^ any chance of them straightening the curve on I-40 through the I-55 North Interchange?

The one in West Memphis? I never thought it was that bad.
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codyg1985

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2019, 02:19:59 PM »

Isn't I-40 between Little Rock and West Memphis already being widened to 3x3 to handle the existing bottleneck traffic? Add potential I-69/I-369 traffic to that and you can sense the nightmare (especially through Little Rock itself).

I think that new bridges are being built to accommodate 3x3 traffic, but I don't think it is being actively widened.
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Cody Goodman
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Tomahawkin

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Re: Should I-69 be built new south of Memphis?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2019, 06:07:12 PM »

That was my same thought. Those bridges on IH 40 were seriously outdated and in need of repair but I'm all for making it 6 lanes from Memphis to Little Rock. 3 lanes in one direction when there are a lot of trucks makes the drive so much easier on the stress level. I 22 outside of Birmingham is a perfect example IMO
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