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Author Topic: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co  (Read 1847 times)

Brian556

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TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« on: April 01, 2019, 01:17:59 AM »

TxDOT has posted schematics for the proposed improvements to I-35 from Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co. This includes adding one additional lane per direction, and continuous one-way frontage roads

Interesting items in Schematics:

LOOP 288 (Future US 380): Removal of cloverleaf ramps, stack with frontage road intersections like the High Five

FM 3163 (Milam Rd) Direct connector ramps. It is worth noting that there is a proposal to extend this road east to FM 428

TxDOT Site: http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/CSJ%200195-02-074%20ETC.%2C%20_%20IH35_Schematic_20181108_11x17_Approved.pdf

Schematics:
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/CSJ%200195-02-074%20ETC.%2C%20_%20IH35_Schematic_20181108_11x17_Approved.pdf
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rte66man

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 07:34:47 PM »

TxDOT has posted schematics for the proposed improvements to I-35 from Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co. This includes adding one additional lane per direction, and continuous one-way frontage roads

Love the one way frontage roads but HATE only expanding to 6 lanes.  There is already too much traffic for that.  A minimum  of 8 lanes is needed.
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Bobby5280

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 12:18:29 AM »

Sheesh, I think I-35 needs to be at least 3 lanes in each direction clear up to Ardmore, OK! At least make it that wide to the giant casino across the Red River.

It looks like this modest widening project will be about 15 miles long. It's better than nothing. But, yeah, I agree 4 lanes in each direction is clearly justified through all of Denton and least up to Sanger. Any Interstate widening project is going to be disruptive as hell, particularly in developed areas. So why not add all the appropriate lanes needed? With a conservative (perhaps cost cutting) solution they're going to have to come back in a few years and disrupt the whole works all over again.

Hopefully they'll plan ahead and build any new bridges along this upgrade a bit wider to be able to handle 4 lanes in each direction in the future.
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kphoger

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 02:17:32 PM »

Sheesh, I think I-35 needs to be at least 3 lanes in each direction clear up to Ardmore, OK! At least make it that wide to the giant casino across the Red River.

AADT certainly does drop quite a bit north of the casino:  by roughly 25%, in fact.

61,653 @ north side of Denton
59,159 @ Sanger
48,153 @ TX/OK state line
{ CASINO }
35,900 @ south side of Thackerville

I'd settle for a lane drop at Gainesville US-82 interchange, in order to not have to replace the Red River bridge.
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In_Correct

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 10:41:59 AM »

The Ardmore interchanges need major redesign. If they add more lanes through Ardmore they might as well upgrade the interchanges instead of the narrow cloverleaf which is very outdated for the busy Interstate 35.

If they extend the added lanes to Ardmore, they also might as well extend it all the way to connect the Slow Lanes north of Ardmore.

Ending the new lanes at U.S. 82 is a bad idea. The area between U.S. 82 and The Red River (including the bridges) needs many upgrades.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 10:44:10 AM by In_Correct »
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 11:16:18 AM »

Sheesh, I think I-35 needs to be at least 3 lanes in each direction clear up to Ardmore, OK! At least make it that wide to the giant casino across the Red River.

It looks like this modest widening project will be about 15 miles long. It's better than nothing. But, yeah, I agree 4 lanes in each direction is clearly justified through all of Denton and least up to Sanger. Any Interstate widening project is going to be disruptive as hell, particularly in developed areas. So why not add all the appropriate lanes needed? With a conservative (perhaps cost cutting) solution they're going to have to come back in a few years and disrupt the whole works all over again.

Hopefully they'll plan ahead and build any new bridges along this upgrade a bit wider to be able to handle 4 lanes in each direction in the future.
Why only Ardmore? I'd say go for broke and make the whole DFW-OKC corridor 8 lanes, to better facilitate travel between the two metro areas.
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Brian556

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 02:22:15 PM »

They really need to do something about that excessively sharp curve south of the Red River Bridge
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 03:00:09 PM »

They really need to do something about that excessively sharp curve south of the Red River Bridge

It really is quite the shocker when you come south from Oklahoma.  Welcome to Texas, and hold on tight!!
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 03:10:46 PM »

Since this study ends just north of the Denton County line, I'm optimistic TxDOT plans for a new route north that would run west of Valley View and Gainesville is still alive.  It would come in at the Red River bridge in such a way that the sharp curve would be eliminated (along with the adult book store).
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 08:24:48 PM »

I-35 runs on a pretty tight squeeze through Gainesville. I-35 has a pretty serious curve on the South side of town too. It's not as bad as the one at the edge of the Red River. But a 3rd lane added on the South bound side would get pretty tight in the right lane. I guess it's possible to add a third lane in each direction through Gainesville, but the slip ramps to the frontage roads would have to be completely re-done in order to be an acceptable length.

If they want to put I-35 on a new alignment to the West of Gainesville and Valley View they had better get on it ASAP before the available ROW gets gobbled up.

Regarding the DW's stores, I'm surprised any are still in business. I'm always amazed to see the one still open along US-287 outside Bellevue. It's such a desolate location and I rarely see more than one or two vehicles parked in front as I pass going to/from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Most regular video rental stores are out of business. And there's plenty of free porn for anyone to stream on the Internet. I can't help but wonder if those DW's stores are fronts for various illegal operations.

The Google Earth imagery in much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and up near the Red River on I-35 is recently updated. Apparently the Chickasaw Tribe is building a bunch of new stuff right off Exit 1 in Oklahoma. I can't tell if the huge new building south of the travel plaza is a big grocery store or just another big casino building. I mean, isn't the casino just up the road big enough?
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 08:46:23 PM »

I-35 runs on a pretty tight squeeze through Gainesville. I-35 has a pretty serious curve on the South side of town too.

That's one area that I wasn't happy they bumped up to a 75mph speed limit.  Anything over 70 there feels like a video game in real life.
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J N Winkler

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2019, 09:30:30 PM »

I take the view that, north of Dallas, rural I-35 needs eight lanes to Ardmore and six lanes to Stillwater, but given how badly borked the interim I-35E is in Dallas, I don't see TxDOT improving the part in Texas to that extent.  And yes, that part of I-35 desperately needs geometric improvements as well.  Others have already mentioned the really bad parts (Red River bridge curve, blind hills between Gainesville and the Red River, head-to-head section through Gainesville), but there are tons of issues involving ramp connections.
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Bobby5280

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2019, 10:31:14 PM »

Adding to the disappointment of interim I-35, a number of other road expansion projects in the DFW area are complete or near completion. Normally I would look forward to driving on a newly expanded super highway. But the end results of these projects in multiple zones has me baffled. Google Earth's imagery over most of DFW is dated 11/25/2018. Anyone can see the results of these projects. I wish Denton had been included in the update. The image block over that suburb is from 2017. So I can't see overhead views of the new Alamo Drafthouse or Buc-ee's store there. But it's easy to see Buc-ee's is building another huge location on US-75 just North of McKinney.

I have previously talked about the very odd (and arguably wasteful) configuration of "improved" I-820 on the North side of Fort Worth. The configuration is mostly just 2 free lanes in each direction and 2 toll express lanes in each direction. Parts of I-35W and TX-183 now have similar configurations, but widen out to 3 free lanes in a few spots. Then there's stuff like TX-114 through Las Colinas: 2 free lanes and 1 toll lane in each direction. The toll express lanes on TX-183 shift between being 1 or 2 lanes in each direction.  I don't understand how configurations like this can add capacity. I sure wouldn't want to drive along in a one lane express toll lane. Chances are good I would get stuck behind some slow poke and be unable to pass.

I would certainly be all for widening I-35 to 3 lanes in each direction at least up to the OKC metro. I think ODOT is going to be blowing most of its money on highway projects in the OKC and Tulsa metro areas. The OTA has widening I-44 between Tulsa and OKC as one priority. So I don't think much will be done with I-35 South of OKC unless ODOT can get a lot of federal funding help.
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2019, 02:48:23 PM »

Why only Ardmore? I'd say go for broke and make the whole DFW-OKC corridor 8 lanes, to better facilitate travel between the two metro areas.

I begin to wonder if one day, we might see even a need for a new DFW-OKC corridor who could act as a relief route for I-35?
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2019, 03:01:02 PM »

Why only Ardmore? I'd say go for broke and make the whole DFW-OKC corridor 8 lanes, to better facilitate travel between the two metro areas.

I begin to wonder if one day, we might see even a need for a new DFW-OKC corridor who could act as a relief route for I-35?
Forth Worth to Wichita Falls to existing I-44. Anything more direct would be redundant.
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2019, 05:20:17 PM »

AADT certainly does drop quite a bit north of the casino:  by roughly 25%, in fact.

61,653 @ north side of Denton
59,159 @ Sanger
48,153 @ TX/OK state line
{ CASINO }
35,900 @ south side of Thackerville

I'm guessing there is some difference in how or when OK is measuring vs TX. Otherwise this implies that over 10,000 vehicles every day have the casino or associated facilities as their destination. That can't be right, can it?
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Bobby5280

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2019, 09:56:47 PM »

I probably wouldn't be surprised if 10,000 vehicles were visiting WinStar on a daily basis. It is the largest casino in the United States in terms of gaming square footage: a whopping 600,000 sq ft. That's double the size of the 2nd and 3rd largest casinos. It's amazing none of the casinos in Las Vegas even rank in the top 10.
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2019, 12:32:23 AM »

I probably wouldn't be surprised if 10,000 vehicles were visiting WinStar on a daily basis. It is the largest casino in the United States in terms of gaming square footage: a whopping 600,000 sq ft. That's double the size of the 2nd and 3rd largest casinos. It's amazing none of the casinos in Las Vegas even rank in the top 10.

Amazing considering there's not even 600,000 of *anything* in Thackerville, as small as it is.
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2019, 12:45:37 AM »

Improvements to I-35 are the top priority for the Wichita Falls district.  Priority number 1 is widening from Denton County to just south of US 82.  Number 2 is widening from the river to just south of US 82.  The next two involve the bridge.  Number 3 is "grading, concrete pavement and structures" on I-35 at the state line.  Number 4 is widening at the bridge.  I don't know why those are two different projects.  Widening would seem to involve grading, concrete pavement, and structures.

A look at a topographic map shows why the two curves are there.  The freeway approaches the river along a creek valley.  Shifting the path to the east would straighten the road, but would involve crossing multiple steep-sided valleys and ridges and approaching the river at least 50 feet higher, requiring either a deep cut or a high bridge sloping downward into Oklahoma.  The curve on the south side of Gainesville is there so that the freeway can cross the river and go back to near ground level quickly.  The curve goes around a low area along a bend in the old river course.  A straighter road would require a longer bridge above the low flood-prone ground and two stream channels.  I'd like to think that if they're refiguring the road they might smooth out the curves, but either of those adjustments would be very expensive.

District map showing project segments and numbers
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/wichita_falls.pdf

List and descriptions of projects
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/rural_2035/report/final_0612/appendix_e.pdf

Edit: It's interesting to note that the Red River is located very close to the watershed line.  The Trinity drainage basin gets almost within a half-mile of the Red River.  Having the river that close to the divide is going to result in some interesting topography and road-building challenges.  The ridge at one point in the area is more than 300 feet above the river, and within a half-mile.  That's a lot of local relief for this part of Texas.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 12:55:02 AM by wxfree »
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Road Hog

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2019, 01:14:14 AM »

Anyone who’s lived along the Red River can tell you the river drains nothing in North Texas. Its entire watershed is Oklahoma, the Panhandle and a sliver of New Mexico. Everything else drains south into the various rivers that go directly to the Gulf (Trinity, Brazos, Sabine, etc.) The Sulphur River in NE Texas is an exception, a tributary of the Red.
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J N Winkler

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2019, 12:06:20 PM »

A look at a topographic map shows why the two curves are there.  The freeway approaches the river along a creek valley.  Shifting the path to the east would straighten the road, but would involve crossing multiple steep-sided valleys and ridges and approaching the river at least 50 feet higher, requiring either a deep cut or a high bridge sloping downward into Oklahoma.  The curve on the south side of Gainesville is there so that the freeway can cross the river and go back to near ground level quickly.  The curve goes around a low area along a bend in the old river course.  A straighter road would require a longer bridge above the low flood-prone ground and two stream channels.  I'd like to think that if they're refiguring the road they might smooth out the curves, but either of those adjustments would be very expensive.

I went into Google Earth to evaluate these two curves.

*  The curve south of Gainesville has a radius of about 1800 ft.  It is conceptually possible to replace it with a curve of much greater radius by relocating I-35 slightly to the east and tying it back into the existing alignment just north of the picnic area that is accessed from the southbound lanes.  This would also eliminate the broken-back curve (succession of two curves involving bearing change in the same direction) just south of the big curve, but would necessitate both acquiring additional ROW and crossing the Elm Fork of the Trinity River at a new location downstream of the existing one.  It is desirable not to have broken-back curves at all, and straightening the big curve so that it has a radius of at least 2765 ft (corresponding to curvature of 2° or less) would likely reduce accidents, since research has shown that they are at a minimum between 0° and 2° curvature, increase at a slow rate between 2° and 3° curvature, and increase more rapidly when curvature is 3° or more.  This length of I-35 is currently posted at 75, and historically has been posted at 65 and 70; 1944 standards for Interstate highways called for curvature maxima of 2.5° (desirable)/3° (absolute) at 75 and 3° (desirable)/4° (absolute) at 70, and the big curve south of Gainesville is about 3.2°.  I actually suspect the bulk of the cost of an I-35 improvement through Gainesville would come from ROW acquisition and mitigating environmental justice issues, since the existing facility runs on a very confined alignment that passes close to apartment buildings in a neighborhood where Google Maps shows hair-braiding shops.

*  The curve immediately south of the Red River bridge has a radius of about 1000 ft, reckoning from the northbound lanes.  If it were considered acceptable to roll out superelevation on the bridge itself, this could be straightened out to 2765 ft (2° curvature) by shifting the northbound lanes so that they run in the footprint currently occupied by the frontage road on the east side of I-35.  Of course, this would necessitate a considerable amount of excavation since the frontage road is at an elevation significantly higher than the mainlanes just behind the river crossing.  But this geometric improvement is definitely worth undertaking because curvature of almost 6° is not, by any stretch of the imagination, acceptable for a high-type facility posted at 70 in Oklahoma and 75 in Texas.  Curvature that high has historically been used on high mountain segments of the original (1940) Pennsylvania Turnpike which the PTC has been trying to straighten out ever since.  What people say about the way the terrain rolls between Gainesville and the river is, of course, correct--but the attitude to take is to recognize that you are in the business of making large-scale landform sculptures and get on with the job.
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rte66man

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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2019, 05:21:51 PM »

A look at a topographic map shows why the two curves are there.  The freeway approaches the river along a creek valley.  Shifting the path to the east would straighten the road, but would involve crossing multiple steep-sided valleys and ridges and approaching the river at least 50 feet higher, requiring either a deep cut or a high bridge sloping downward into Oklahoma.  The curve on the south side of Gainesville is there so that the freeway can cross the river and go back to near ground level quickly.  The curve goes around a low area along a bend in the old river course.  A straighter road would require a longer bridge above the low flood-prone ground and two stream channels.  I'd like to think that if they're refiguring the road they might smooth out the curves, but either of those adjustments would be very expensive.

I went into Google Earth to evaluate these two curves.

*  The curve south of Gainesville has a radius of about 1800 ft.  It is conceptually possible to replace it with a curve of much greater radius by relocating I-35 slightly to the east and tying it back into the existing alignment just north of the picnic area that is accessed from the southbound lanes.  This would also eliminate the broken-back curve (succession of two curves involving bearing change in the same direction) just south of the big curve, but would necessitate both acquiring additional ROW and crossing the Elm Fork of the Trinity River at a new location downstream of the existing one.  It is desirable not to have broken-back curves at all, and straightening the big curve so that it has a radius of at least 2765 ft (corresponding to curvature of 2° or less) would likely reduce accidents, since research has shown that they are at a minimum between 0° and 2° curvature, increase at a slow rate between 2° and 3° curvature, and increase more rapidly when curvature is 3° or more.  This length of I-35 is currently posted at 75, and historically has been posted at 65 and 70; 1944 standards for Interstate highways called for curvature maxima of 2.5° (desirable)/3° (absolute) at 75 and 3° (desirable)/4° (absolute) at 70, and the big curve south of Gainesville is about 3.2°.  I actually suspect the bulk of the cost of an I-35 improvement through Gainesville would come from ROW acquisition and mitigating environmental justice issues, since the existing facility runs on a very confined alignment that passes close to apartment buildings in a neighborhood where Google Maps shows hair-braiding shops.

*  The curve immediately south of the Red River bridge has a radius of about 1000 ft, reckoning from the northbound lanes.  If it were considered acceptable to roll out superelevation on the bridge itself, this could be straightened out to 2765 ft (2° curvature) by shifting the northbound lanes so that they run in the footprint currently occupied by the frontage road on the east side of I-35.  Of course, this would necessitate a considerable amount of excavation since the frontage road is at an elevation significantly higher than the mainlanes just behind the river crossing.  But this geometric improvement is definitely worth undertaking because curvature of almost 6° is not, by any stretch of the imagination, acceptable for a high-type facility posted at 70 in Oklahoma and 75 in Texas.  Curvature that high has historically been used on high mountain segments of the original (1940) Pennsylvania Turnpike which the PTC has been trying to straighten out ever since.  What people say about the way the terrain rolls between Gainesville and the river is, of course, correct--but the attitude to take is to recognize that you are in the business of making large-scale landform sculptures and get on with the job.

They must have read your mind:

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/wfs/i35ea/062717-schematic.pdf
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2019, 05:32:14 PM »

It looks as if TxDOT has punted on the new alignment west of Gainesville.  All the links are dead.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=13353.msg2003644#msg2003644
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2019, 07:43:18 PM »

The ridiculous thing is that the curve south of the Red River Bridge doesn't have chevrons, or flashers on the advanced warning signs. You really need to slow down a lot for it, even in a car, more so in an 18-wheeler. Also, given that an accident there would completely block traffic with no way around ,you would think they would make more effort on safety there
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Re: TX: I-35 Proposed Improvements Denton to FM 3002 in Cooke Co
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2019, 01:31:04 PM »

AADT certainly does drop quite a bit north of the casino:  by roughly 25%, in fact.

61,653 @ north side of Denton
59,159 @ Sanger
48,153 @ TX/OK state line
{ CASINO }
35,900 @ south side of Thackerville

I'm guessing there is some difference in how or when OK is measuring vs TX. Otherwise this implies that over 10,000 vehicles every day have the casino or associated facilities as their destination. That can't be right, can it?

I actually used OklaDOT's vehicle count for the state line.  TxDOT had a value of 46,809 on the south side of the bridge for the same year (2017).

One other thing I see is that TxDOT recorded a 44% increase in traffic at the state line between 2013 and 2017, with traffic counts increasing every year since 2012.

The casino appears to (perhaps) account for some spike in traffic when it opened in 2004, but I don't know what caused traffic counts to start rising rather suddenly ten years later.
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