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Author Topic: US 281 in San Antonio  (Read 2986 times)

Rothman

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2019, 09:50:55 AM »




Quote from: Rothman
That is a strange arrangement.  I wonder if ODOT is on the same STIP cycle as NY.  That could mean that their STIP is fully programmed (due to just starting in Ocrober) and the MPO has come along with this project and this is ODOT's way of squeezing it in and, to be blunt, showing some annoyance it wasn't included in the first place.

Then again, I wonder what the funding makeup really is of this 50/50 split.  Is it truly local funding that ODOT wants ponied up, or do they provide the MPO with a federal suballocation and those are the funds that they want used?  It's a major difference.

ODOT merely told Lawton's City Council they wanted our city to pay half the tab. It didn't sound like they cared how the city scrounged up the money for the added sidewalk for the Gore Blvd bridge over I-44.

The project, if federally funded (and why it wouldn't be is beyond me), would need to be added to the STIP through the MPO.  Power dynamics do differ from MPO to MPO, so maybe ODOT has an arrangement that allows them to have control of the TIP in Lawton.

Anyway, again, the type of funding matters if it is a real 50/50 split.  I suppose the 50% local share could be considered nonparticipating by FHWA in FMIS to allow ODOT to use the 90% share on its 50%, for example.  It's just that even in NYC, that kind of thing is unheard of unless the City really wants a project and ponies up its own funds to get it done.  We just don't know all the details here and it could be less dire than how it has been painted (e.g., Lawton just having to use federal funds allocated to it by ODOT).
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Bobby5280

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2019, 03:41:38 PM »

I don't understand the situation and I think the arrangement reeks of political bias. There's one sense of regional bias with ODOT concentrating its resources in the OKC and Tulsa areas. And there's a sense of bias regarding anyone who gets around town in something other than an automobile. Making a city more walk-able and friendly to bicycles appears liberal. Pedestrians are getting killed but there's nothing but foot-dragging over the situation anyway. If a fault in highway design was resulting in fatal vehicle collisions ODOT would have been more proactive -like they've been with 4-laning OK-49 in Medicine Park and OK-7 between Lawton and Duncan.

The funny thing is the intersection with I-44 and Gore Blvd in Lawton is very inefficient and badly in need of a serious upgrade. Gore Blvd passes through 3 traffic signals there, which leads to all kinds of traffic back-ups, including backups on the WB I-44 off-ramp to Gore Blvd that sometimes have cars trailing well into the main right lane of the Interstate. The 2 Gore Blvd bridges over I-44 are really old. Tacking a new sidewalk onto the side of one old bridge just seems stupid when the whole interchange needs to be completely re-done. But ODOT isn't going to spend $20-$50 million on a completely new interchange design when they can't even manage a couple million for a sidewalk tacked onto an old bridge.

Not only does that interchange need re-doing. But the Comanche Tribe and ODOT need to work out an arrangement to build a pedestrian bridge over I-44 halfway between the Gore and Lee Blvd exits. A bunch of Interstate jay-walkers take that path as a short cut to get to the casino on the other side of the highway. I don't know how often ODOT traffic engineers bother to visit Lawton. But that area of I-44 is far different now from what it was 20 years ago. There's a bunch of hotels and other businesses close to the Interstate. There are far more cars and far more people on foot moving through that area now.
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rte66man

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2019, 07:44:35 PM »

ODOT merely told Lawton's City Council they wanted our city to pay half the tab. It didn't sound like they cared how the city scrounged up the money for the added sidewalk for the Gore Blvd bridge over I-44. I think the situation is ridiculous. That interchange is not city property. Meanwhile people are still jay-walking across I-44 or risking getting clipped by car mirrors trying to walk along Gore Blvd over I-44. What really pisses me off is this dangerous situation has existed for many years and nothing is being done about it. Contrast that with Norman and I-35. Big upgrades have happened there. The new SPUIs at Lindsey and Main can be crossed on foot. The older bridges over I-35 at Robinson and Rock Creek Road have dedicated sidewalks. Going a little farther North into Moore and the bridges over I-35 are like those in Lawton: no accommodations for pedestrian and/or bicycles.

Big difference between Norman's bridges and Lawton's. If ODOT was going to fully replace the Gore Ave bridges as was done in Norman, then you would have a better case.  Tacking on sidewalks puts it into a different bucket.  Why doesn't the Comanche Nation pony up some matching $$ as their casino is the reason for all the ped traffic?
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2020, 05:03:56 PM »

The Comanche Nation Casino alongside I-44 would definitely need to be involved in helping fund a pedestrian bridge over I-44 halfway between the Gore Blvd and Lee Blvd exits. All the people I see jay-walking I-44 in that zone are headed to/from the casino.

As for the Gore Blvd crossing over I-44, not all the people on foot in that area are gamblers. Of the pedestrian gamblers, not all are headed to Comanche Nation Casino. Some walk farther East on Gore Blvd to Apache Casino. Gore Blvd is the primary connection between the East & West sides of Lawton. Some of the people I see hoofing through that area are walking to/from their jobs; I've seen employees of Cracker Barrel tip-toeing along those Gore Blvd bridges. Those who are too fearful of getting clipped by a side view mirror (or worse) end up jay-walking across the on/off ramps for the Gore Blvd exit and the main lanes of I-44 itself -which statistically seems like an even more dangerous choice.

To kind of pull the topic a bit back to US-281, if TX DOT did fully develop US-281 as an Interstate quality relief route of I-35 (from San Antonio up to Wichita Falls) it would put considerably more traffic onto the I-44 corridor up from Wichita Falls to OKC. If such a route was built and named something like "I-33" the segment of I-44 between WFTX and OKC could be renumbered "I-33" as well. Either way Lawton would be along that route. The situation for pedestrians at the Gore Blvd exit of I-44 would become even more hazardous as long distance traffic levels increase along the route.

But, yeah, I agree that tacking a new sidewalk onto the side of an old bridge is a bad idea compared to just replacing that interchange with a proper new design.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 02:00:42 PM by Bobby5280 »
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In_Correct

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2020, 09:52:44 AM »

It sounds like a dedicated sidewalk bridge is best. Keep the pedestrians separated from roads as much as possible and safe on a completely different bridge.
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motorola870

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2020, 05:29:31 PM »

The Comanche Nation Casino alongside I-44 would definitely need to be involved in helping fund a pedestrian bridge over I-44 halfway between the Gore Blvd and Lee Blvd exits. All the people I see jay-walking I-44 in that zone are headed to/from the casino.

As for the Gore Blvd crossing over I-44, not all the people on foot in that area are gamblers. Of the pedestrian gamblers, not all are headed to Comanche Nation Casino. Some walk farther East on Gore Blvd to Apache Casino. Gore Blvd is the primary connection between the East & West sides of Lawton. Some of the people I see hoofing through that area are walking to/from their jobs; I've seen employees of Cracker Barrel tip-toeing along those Gore Blvd bridges. Those who are too fearful of getting clipped by a side view mirror (or worse) end up jay-walking across the on/off ramps for the Gore Blvd exit and the main lanes of I-44 itself -which statistically seems like an even more dangerous choice.

To kind of pull the topic a bit back to US-281, if TX DOT did fully develop US-281 as an Interstate quality relief route of I-35 (from San Antonio up to Wichita Falls) it would put considerably more traffic onto the I-44 corridor up from Wichita Falls to OKC. If such a route was built and named something like "I-33" the segment of I-44 between WFTX and OKC could be renumbered "I-33" as well. Either way Lawton would be along that route. The situation for pedestrians at the Gore Blvd exit of I-44 would become even more hazardous as long distance traffic levels increase along the route.

But, yeah, I agree that tacking a new sidewalk onto the side of an old bridge is a bad idea compared to just replacing that interchange with a proper new design.
There is no way this would happen. Stephenville Texas has already squashed a new bypass around town to replace the the 1960's era reroute of US377 around town at the time now it is just a 5 lane outer loop in the middle of town that has a concurrency with US67 for half of it and Washingston St. is still BUS 377. They aren't going to be up for a reroute of US281 around town. TXDOT has been planning a Super 2 from north of Stephenville to Interstate 20. Although eventually this grass roots movement to keep stephenville rural is likely to be squashed due to how Tarleton University is rapidly expanding. College student traffic might force them to act eventually.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 05:35:48 PM by motorola870 »
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2020, 11:38:58 PM »

Let me guess: the folks in Stephenville, TX who are fighting to keep the town rural probably have a lot of gray hair on their heads, right? There's a lot of older folks here in Oklahoma who want to keep their small towns "rural," but it's coming at a cost of them losing population. They're shedding young people like crazy due to the lack of job opportunities (not to mention the towns being a social dead zone). The kids grow up and flee to the big cities -where they struggle with much higher living costs. Trade one set of problems for another.

At any rate the residents of Stephenville don't own that entire region of Texas. If they want to block an upgrade-able US-281 bypass that runs close to Stephenville then TX DOT could just build such a route farther outside town, far enough outside Stephenville's town limits where they would have little recourse to stop it.

As it is, US-281 runs on a somewhat crooked, angular route through that part of Texas. It's possible to build an "I-33" relief route for I-35 that runs a more straight shot, bypassing Hamilton and Hico to the West and then going half way between Stephenville and Bluff Dale to take a more direct shot at Mineral Wells. Hell, "I-33" could go a good bit West of Jacksboro to gain a faster path to Wichita Falls.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 11:41:13 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2020, 01:30:22 PM »

I bump this thread to mention then the first freeway mainlanes on US-281 north of Loop-1604 are now open.
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kphoger

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2020, 01:50:04 PM »


I guess I'm a roadgeek.  Because I read that as "celebrate the news with a heart and a right turn".
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texaskdog

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2020, 03:05:49 PM »

I don't understand the situation and I think the arrangement reeks of political bias. There's one sense of regional bias with ODOT concentrating its resources in the OKC and Tulsa areas. And there's a sense of bias regarding anyone who gets around town in something other than an automobile. Making a city more walk-able and friendly to bicycles appears liberal. Pedestrians are getting killed but there's nothing but foot-dragging over the situation anyway. If a fault in highway design was resulting in fatal vehicle collisions ODOT would have been more proactive -like they've been with 4-laning OK-49 in Medicine Park and OK-7 between Lawton and Duncan.

The funny thing is the intersection with I-44 and Gore Blvd in Lawton is very inefficient and badly in need of a serious upgrade. Gore Blvd passes through 3 traffic signals there, which leads to all kinds of traffic back-ups, including backups on the WB I-44 off-ramp to Gore Blvd that sometimes have cars trailing well into the main right lane of the Interstate. The 2 Gore Blvd bridges over I-44 are really old. Tacking a new sidewalk onto the side of one old bridge just seems stupid when the whole interchange needs to be completely re-done. But ODOT isn't going to spend $20-$50 million on a completely new interchange design when they can't even manage a couple million for a sidewalk tacked onto an old bridge.

Not only does that interchange need re-doing. But the Comanche Tribe and ODOT need to work out an arrangement to build a pedestrian bridge over I-44 halfway between the Gore and Lee Blvd exits. A bunch of Interstate jay-walkers take that path as a short cut to get to the casino on the other side of the highway. I don't know how often ODOT traffic engineers bother to visit Lawton. But that area of I-44 is far different now from what it was 20 years ago. There's a bunch of hotels and other businesses close to the Interstate. There are far more cars and far more people on foot moving through that area now.

we have one pedestrian death a month on I-35 in Austin and often its a pedestrian crossing within a block of a bridge.  they built 183 with some high poles in the median, problem solved
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sprjus4

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2020, 03:54:06 PM »

I bump this thread to mention then the first freeway mainlanes on US-281 north of Loop-1604 are now open.
Glad to see the project progressing. Per TxDOT, the flyovers from US-281 South to both Loop 1604 East and West are scheduled to open in the next 2 months, along with the new Redland Rd intersection that will pass under the new freeway with access to the frontage roads.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2020, 05:04:40 PM »

New Flyover Ramps at US-281 and Loop 1604 Set to Open
Quote


Get ready for a smoother commute as two new flyover ramps at the US 281 and Loop 1604 interchange are set to open to traffic. Scheduled for the weekend of August 15, the two new flyover ramps will offer drivers a seamless and direct connection from the southbound mainlanes of US 281 to the east- and westbound mainlanes of Loop 1604.

These new flyover ramps mark a major milestone on Segment 1 of the US-281N Expansion project, designed to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion on the most congested corridor in the San Antonio area.



The addition of these flyover ramps will allow for seamless travel on six of the eight ramps planned for the US 281 and Loop 1604 interchange. The remaining two ramps are scheduled to open by the end of 2021.

Please note that construction is weather permitting and subject to change.

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sprjus4

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2020, 05:02:55 PM »

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sprjus4

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2020, 03:12:45 PM »

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roadman65

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2021, 11:01:39 PM »

http://www.texashighwayman.com/281410.shtml

Found interesting article on the Loop 410 and US 281 exchange.  Didn't know the lack of direct connection pre 2007 had a story behind it.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #40 on: Today at 07:49:03 AM »

The last segment of the Phase 1 mainlines between Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Pkwy is now open to traffic. The final completion date for remaining work on the project is currently Fall 2021. Segment 2 remains under construction and will extend the freeway an additional 5 miles further north to Borgfeld Drive. That project is expected to be completed next year.

In total, both phases would have extended the US-281 freeway an additional 8 miles north from its former terminus at Loop 1604, now transitioning traffic directly onto rural 65 mph divided highway at its new terminus with no traffic signals or developed urban areas to traverse.

« Last Edit: Today at 07:52:11 AM by sprjus4 »
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bwana39

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Re: US 281 in San Antonio
« Reply #41 on: Today at 06:30:44 PM »

Let me guess: the folks in Stephenville, TX who are fighting to keep the town rural probably have a lot of gray hair on their heads, right? There's a lot of older folks here in Oklahoma who want to keep their small towns "rural," but it's coming at a cost of them losing population. They're shedding young people like crazy due to the lack of job opportunities (not to mention the towns being a social dead zone). The kids grow up and flee to the big cities -where they struggle with much higher living costs. Trade one set of problems for another.

At any rate the residents of Stephenville don't own that entire region of Texas. If they want to block an upgrade-able US-281 bypass that runs close to Stephenville then TX DOT could just build such a route farther outside town, far enough outside Stephenville's town limits where they would have little recourse to stop it.

As it is, US-281 runs on a somewhat crooked, angular route through that part of Texas. It's possible to build an "I-33" relief route for I-35 that runs a more straight shot, bypassing Hamilton and Hico to the West and then going half way between Stephenville and Bluff Dale to take a more direct shot at Mineral Wells. Hell, "I-33" could go a good bit West of Jacksboro to gain a faster path to Wichita Falls.

The keep it rural folks tend to be under 60. They are the ones who stayed around while all of their peers left town for bigger cities like Dallas, Houston, or even Waco. They enjoy their lifestyle. The biggest irony is that these conservative rednecks share many values with the urban tree huggers. The bottom line is both want to minimize urbanization of rural lands. The urbanists may want to minimize agricultural use but they both believe that spreading the urban sprawl is bad for the environment and bad for people.
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