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Author Topic: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes  (Read 2032 times)

dfwmapper

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2019, 05:30:57 AM »

6 lanes from Georgetown to Mustang Ridge should be enough, and you'd want it designed to easily go to 8 between US 79 and SH 71 since that's where the heaviest traffic is now and will be in the future. Mustang Ridge to Seguin would probably be fine with just 4 lanes, since a lot of the traffic would continue west on SH 45S to reach I-35 and Buda, Kyle, San Marcos, and New Braunfels.

Getting I-10 to 6 lanes all the way from San Antonio to SH 130 would have to be done though, and that at least is in the works. I-10's AADT is already over 50000 between Loop 1604 and Seguin, with over 25% truck traffic. The south end of SH 130 doesn't even hit 10000 AADT now, but if it was free and the signed route for I-35, I bet it would hit 40k easy.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2019, 10:09:54 AM »

As of now, only 22 miles of SH-130 are currently being widened to 6 lanes - between SH-45 North and SH-71.

Out of the entire corridor though, that is indeed the busiest stretch, with AADT on the mainline varying between 40,000 - 45,000.

The remainder of the corridor is below 30,000 AADT, with the exception of the 5 mile stretch between US-79 and SH-45 North which has between 35,000 - 40,000 AADT on the mainline.

In the near future (5-10 years), I could see at least that 5 mile segment expanded to 6 lanes, along with an additional 22 miles (I-35 to US-79 and SH-71 to US-181) being studied for expansion as traffic counts increase.

The segment south of the US-181 / SH-45 South / SH-130 junction has 5,000 - 15,000 AADT, and I don't forsee an expansion being warranted there anytime soon.

I-10 between I-410 and SH-130 at Seguin warrants expansion to 6 lanes, carrying 50,000+ AADT, along with I-410 between I-35 South and I-10 East which carries 40,000 - 60,000 AADT.

If SH-130 was to be untolled, completing the remaining 27 miles on the northern half from SH-45 South northwards to 6 lanes would definitely be warranted, along with widening I-10 between SH-130 and I-410, and I-410 between I-35 South and I-10 East to 6 lanes. The 40 mile southern segment of the toll road has plenty room for growth and would likely only top out at 20,000 - 35,000 AADT if the tolls were eliminated. The segment currently carrying around 45,000 AADT today would likely top out at 75,000 - 80,000 AADT, though if local traffic increases with increased growth, could be higher, and -might- warrant 8 lanes at some point.

I think a long term goal of expanding the entire northern segment, I-10, and I-410 to 6 lanes, and buying out the tolls would definitely help relieve the I-35 corridor.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 10:13:56 AM by sprjus4 »
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dfwmapper

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2019, 02:00:27 AM »

The I-10 stuff is happening regardless. I-410 to Loop 1604 is already under construction. Loop 1604 to Graytown Rd was let this month, and Graytown to the Bexar/Guadalupe county line (Cibolo Creek) is scheduled to be let in April 2020. AAMPO's TIP for FY 2021 has US 90 west of Seguin to SH 130 as well as building 3 flyovers at the I-10/I-410 interchange (E->S, N->W, S->W). The MTP has more ramps listed for FY2025, and the remaining 9 miles between the Bexar/Guadalupe county line and US 90 in FY2028. The latter would presumably be advanced if there were serious plans to remove tolls on 130 before then.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2020, 06:07:09 PM »

It looks like the Central Part of the project through downtown has found funding. I am very excited for the proposed tunnels. This will easily be one of the most impressive stretches of freeway in the world if built as proposed.

https://www.kxan.com/traffic/texas-transportation-commission-unveils-plan-to-fund-i-35-expansion-project/
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2020, 07:04:57 PM »

Wow, that's a surprise. It was listed as a "Potential update to the 2020 Unified Transportation Program" in the agenda.

The presentation is now online (but the meeting video is not yet online as of this writing).

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2020/0227/4-presentation.pdf

The political powers probably realize the importance of Austin to the future of Texas, since Austin is a tech hub and is growing by leaps and bounds. Other sectors of the Texas economy, mainly oil & gas, face an uncertain future and Houston especially is facing a grim future as the fossil fuel sector permanently declines.

MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2020, 07:40:47 PM »

This will easily be one of the most impressive stretches of freeway in the world if built as proposed.

I think driving through downtown Houston on I-69 and I-45 will be much more impressive if/when the North Houston Highway Improvement project is completed (currently slated to start 2022). It will feature a peak of 33 traffic lanes on the north side of downtown.

sprjus4

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2020, 07:53:54 PM »

Wow, that's a surprise. It was listed as a "Potential update to the 2020 Unified Transportation Program" in the agenda.

The presentation is now online (but the meeting video is not yet online as of this writing).

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2020/0227/4-presentation.pdf

The political powers probably realize the importance of Austin to the future of Texas, since Austin is a tech hub and is growing by leaps and bounds. Other sectors of the Texas economy, mainly oil & gas, face an uncertain future and Houston especially is facing a grim future as the fossil fuel sector permanently declines.
Still missing that link to Houston though...  :hmmm:
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2020, 08:00:39 PM »

33 traffic lanes is awesome. I’m wondering if we will ever see a freeway break 50. My wowing over the Austin proposal has to do with the multi level tunnel. Does such a setup exist currently anywhere?
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2020, 08:10:40 PM »

This will easily be one of the most impressive stretches of freeway in the world if built as proposed.

I think driving through downtown Houston on I-69 and I-45 will be much more impressive if/when the North Houston Highway Improvement project is completed (currently slated to start 2022). It will feature a peak of 33 traffic lanes on the north side of downtown.
Looks like the Katy Freeway will be surpassed  :-o
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2020, 08:16:56 PM »

This will easily be one of the most impressive stretches of freeway in the world if built as proposed.

I think driving through downtown Houston on I-69 and I-45 will be much more impressive if/when the North Houston Highway Improvement project is completed (currently slated to start 2022). It will feature a peak of 33 traffic lanes on the north side of downtown.
Looks like the Katy Freeway will be surpassed  :-o
IIRC there was a freeway to be widened in the IE in SoCal that was going to exceed the number of lanes on the Katy Freeway.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2020, 10:16:30 PM »

Michael Morris, director of NCTCOG, is furious that this funding for IH 35 in Austin will divert $1 billion of funds which would normally be expected to go to North Texas. He's trying to get North Texas political entities to try to force the managed lanes on IH 35 to be tolled.

See item six, starting around 10 minutes in

https://nctcog.swagit.com/play/02272020-674

Chris

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2020, 04:30:03 AM »

My wowing over the Austin proposal has to do with the multi level tunnel. Does such a setup exist currently anywhere?

Twin-level tunnels are rare, but they do exist here and there. 3-level roads (frontage roads on top of two freeway levels) are probably much rarer.

Chris

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2020, 04:35:27 AM »

Michael Morris, director of NCTCOG, is furious that this funding for IH 35 in Austin will divert $1 billion of funds which would normally be expected to go to North Texas. He's trying to get North Texas political entities to try to force the managed lanes on IH 35 to be tolled.

To be fair, Austin's problems are significant and so far they have almost exclusively built toll roads to address population growth. And the problems on I-35 cannot be significantly reduced without a high-cost solution.

I wonder how they are going to 'manage' the traffic on the managed lanes without tolls. In a fast-growing area like Austin, the managed lanes will likely be overwhelmed by traffic growth after some time, so there needs to be some kind of tolling to guarantee free-flow conditions. Maybe not to the extreme levels that the I-66 tolls in Northern Virginia have though.

thisdj78

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2020, 07:57:30 AM »

Michael Morris, director of NCTCOG, is furious that this funding for IH 35 in Austin will divert $1 billion of funds which would normally be expected to go to North Texas. He's trying to get North Texas political entities to try to force the managed lanes on IH 35 to be tolled.

To be fair, Austin's problems are significant and so far they have almost exclusively built toll roads to address population growth. And the problems on I-35 cannot be significantly reduced without a high-cost solution.

I wonder how they are going to 'manage' the traffic on the managed lanes without tolls. In a fast-growing area like Austin, the managed lanes will likely be overwhelmed by traffic growth after some time, so there needs to be some kind of tolling to guarantee free-flow conditions. Maybe not to the extreme levels that the I-66 tolls in Northern Virginia have though.

I imagine they will be managed similar to HOV lanes, with police periodically positioned to hand out tickets (assuming there’s enough shoulder width for them to park in)
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2020, 08:12:20 AM »

^

If the HOV lanes being constructed in the San Antonio area in lieu of previously proposed HO/T lanes are any indication, I’d say they would be.
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texaskdog

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2020, 08:25:34 AM »

Wow, that's a surprise. It was listed as a "Potential update to the 2020 Unified Transportation Program" in the agenda.

The presentation is now online (but the meeting video is not yet online as of this writing).

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2020/0227/4-presentation.pdf

The political powers probably realize the importance of Austin to the future of Texas, since Austin is a tech hub and is growing by leaps and bounds. Other sectors of the Texas economy, mainly oil & gas, face an uncertain future and Houston especially is facing a grim future as the fossil fuel sector permanently declines.
Still missing that link to Houston though...  :hmmm:

Well we have TWO expressways to get there
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thisdj78

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2020, 08:29:16 AM »

Wow, that's a surprise. It was listed as a "Potential update to the 2020 Unified Transportation Program" in the agenda.

The presentation is now online (but the meeting video is not yet online as of this writing).

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2020/0227/4-presentation.pdf

The political powers probably realize the importance of Austin to the future of Texas, since Austin is a tech hub and is growing by leaps and bounds. Other sectors of the Texas economy, mainly oil & gas, face an uncertain future and Houston especially is facing a grim future as the fossil fuel sector permanently declines.
Still missing that link to Houston though...  :hmmm:

Well we have TWO expressways to get there

Well, “Express” is relative....there’s still stoplights (several on 290, a few on 71) on both routes.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: TxDOT solicits consultants for IH 35 express lanes
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2020, 02:22:55 PM »

^

The eventual goal should be an interstate highway, but at minimum they need to eliminate the final traffic signals and bypass the remaining towns.
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