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Author Topic: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma  (Read 6101 times)

Plutonic Panda

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I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« on: May 05, 2022, 12:23:19 PM »

I figured it’s time for a thread to discuss the widening of I-35 from OKC metro to the Texas state line. Though there aren’t any funded plans for an entire widening, it’s on the horizon with the first part beginning in Thackerville:

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Members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted to award a more than $11 million contract to widen I-35 to six lanes between US-77 North (mm 1) and Rogers Rd./Winstar Blvd. (mm 3) just north of the Texas state line near Thackerville. Two lanes of I-35 will remain open in each direction during construction, which is expected to take about six months to complete. This segment of I-35 carries 40,000 vehicles per day, on average.

https://oklahoma.gov/odot/citizen/newsroom/2022/may-commission-meeting-wrap-up--i-35-to-be-widened-to-six-lanes-.html

There are a couple other widenings planned in the 8yr plan around Thackerville and from the Canadian river to Goldsby.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2022, 12:35:42 PM »

Sounds like they're doing it on the cheap – just adding an inside lane, depending on the median width. Unlike the Texas side of the river, which needs a complete rebuild.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2022, 03:22:35 PM »

To be fair, a bunch of the I-35 upgrade in Texas between DFW and Austin had a lot of really old bridges and ramps that were badly outdated in design. Add to that the traffic levels on that stretch, situated between 2 of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation. That portion of I-35 needed a complete re-build. Does the portion of I-35 around Thackerville need the same treatment?

I'm a little surprised the portion of I-35 ODOT is set to widen doesn't have traffic counts significantly higher than 40,000 vpd. If ODOT only plans to add a third lane on the inner left of each roadway the work could end up being an interim solution. The Grayson County Tollway (an extension of the Dallas North Tollway) is proposed to dovetail into US-75 on the North side of Denison. That, and the general population growth in that region, could make it necessary do far more substantial upgrades to the US-75 Red River bridge crossing and that segment of I-35 going by the casinos in Thackerville. That could mean better ramps, a new concrete road bed or even more lanes (4 in each direction rather than 3).
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2022, 03:50:52 PM »

4 in each direction would be highly preferable to 3 but I am not sure if I see ODOT doing that. I do think they will eight lane I-35 to MM 1 though.
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Scott5114

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2022, 04:17:12 PM »

Of course, the real reason this project is being done is because the Chickasaws are throwing money in on it. Note that it ends at Exit 3, which leads straight up to the entrance to their casino. So far, the Choctaws haven't pitched in any money for US-75, so any upgrades there have to wait in line.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 08:12:57 PM »

Of course, the real reason this project is being done is because the Chickasaws are throwing money in on it. Note that it ends at Exit 3, which leads straight up to the entrance to their casino. So far, the Choctaws haven't pitched in any money for US-75, so any upgrades there have to wait in line.

IIRC, the Choctaws pitched in a chunk of change for the Calera upgrade as it came in over estimate. I'll have to verify that. Also, they are paying a majority of the cost for the widening from the river to Exit 3.

EDDIT: I was surprised to see the Chickasaws are only chipping in $1 million of the estimated $8.3 million cost for the I-35 widening.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 08:21:50 PM by rte66man »
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2022, 08:17:13 PM »

Of course, the real reason this project is being done is because the Chickasaws are throwing money in on it. Note that it ends at Exit 3, which leads straight up to the entrance to their casino. So far, the Choctaws haven't pitched in any money for US-75, so any upgrades there have to wait in line.

Looking at Google Maps, the Choctaws are getting a new SB onramp to US 75. But their casino is a bit further from the Texas state line. 
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2022, 01:38:49 PM »

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2022, 02:38:09 PM »

Statements from the June transportation meeting:

Quote
The traffic situation on I-35 in the Oklahoma City metro area and in Southern Oklahoma is expected to become unmanageable in the coming years without bold and immediate action, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission learned at their Monday, June 6, meeting. 

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Brian Taylor gave a detailed presentation to commissioners about growing traffic concerns on I-35, especially between Oklahoma City and Purcell and at the Texas state line near Thackerville. Traffic data collected by ODOT, third-party consultant EST, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and the cities of Moore and Norman reveal worsening congestion each year. It’s projected to eventually create near standstill traffic during daytime hours on I-35 between I-40 in downtown Oklahoma City and Purcell in the next 30 years.

“I-35 in Oklahoma has regional and even international economic significance, and we know that traffic volumes are only going to continue to increase, especially commercial trucks coming up from Texas,”  Taylor said. “The data is very clear that the status quo is not an acceptable solution.”

Taylor noted that ODOT spent 37 years and nearly $1 billion to widen I-35 to six lanes from downtown Oklahoma City to the South Canadian River in Norman but that no further widening is possible due to dense commercial development right up against the interstate. Using data and public input gathered in a corridor study that began in 2016, ODOT is working with the cities of Moore and Norman on modifications to interchanges, on- and off-ramps and service roads to help improve the operation of I-35 in this area. Additionally, ODOT’s Eight-Year Construction Work Plan includes upcoming projects to reconstruct the I-35 interchange at SH-9 West and widen the interstate to six lanes south of Norman to Goldsby.

These improvements alone will not be enough to address Central Oklahoma’s traffic issues into the future. The department, as well as local and regional government organizations long have acknowledged the need for reliever routes and additional crossings at the South Canadian River, along with improvements to public transit and commuter rail to move traffic in the metro area.

“A big part of the discussion about additional routes in the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s ACCESS Oklahoma program is that ODOT does not have the resources to address these challenges alone,”  Taylor said. “An ”˜all-of-the-above’ approach will be required.”  

Traffic issues are also increasing on the southern end of the corridor, as the Texas Department of Transportation is investing more than $2 billion in the next 10 years to finish bringing eight lanes of I-35 from Denton to the Red River, where it will transition to six lanes in Oklahoma. Thanks to a major federal grant and partnerships between TxDOT, ODOT and the Chickasaw Nation, construction will soon begin to widen the I-35 bridges over the Red River and add lanes to the interstate up to Rogers Rd./Winstar Blvd. (mile marker 3) near Thackerville in Love County. The ODOT Eight-Year Plan also includes funding to begin right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation for future I-35 widening between Thackerville and Marietta. In his report to the commission in May, Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Tim Gatz noted the clear need for a six-lane corridor between Oklahoma City and the Texas state line, but that such an effort will take considerable time and resources. 

- https://oklahoma.gov/odot/citizen/newsroom/2022/june-commission-meeting-wrap-up--odot-predicts-major-i-35-traffi.html
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2022, 03:24:49 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?
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kphoger

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2022, 03:40:04 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.
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Scott5114

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2022, 04:54:14 PM »

Excellent example of how induced demand is bullshit–no upgrades between Norman and Purcell have taken place along I-35 since the 1970s and yet traffic is still growing out of control.

I-35 in Goldsby is starting to get kind of scary–traffic dense enough that there's only one car length between vehicles but moving along at 75-80 mph. Or, more frequently, the same density with the left lane going 80-85 while the right lane plods along at 60.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2022, 06:02:37 PM »

^^^ I think Goldsby and Blanchard are poised to see some solid growth. Goldsby more so.
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Scott5114

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2022, 04:50:41 AM »

^^^ I think Goldsby and Blanchard are poised to see some solid growth. Goldsby more so.

It's already happening in Goldsby–several big subdivisions have gone in there since I left in 2009. But for it to really catch fire there are some humps to get over–mostly that there's basically nowhere to go but Dollar General if you need to buy anything, and it doesn't have its own school district yet, and I think you still have to drive your trash down to the dump yourself (or contract with a garbage company to do it for you, which is more expensive than doing it through a city sanitation department). But you can kind of skate by because Norman is right there. What my parents do is "go into town" once a week or so to run all their errands.

Blanchard still has a way to go before it really starts to see some sustained growth. Right now, it doesn't really offer anything that Newcastle doesn't, and Newcastle has a much more solid business community and is closer to the amenities of the city if they don't have what you're looking for. I've been working on a grow out in Blanchard, and it's really kind of a pain in the ass at the moment because from some parts of the city limits you have to drive 15—20 minutes just to get lunch.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2022, 11:08:12 AM »

The situation on I-35 South of the OK-9 exit and Riverwind Casino is pretty ridiculous. ODOT has been doing some "cosmetic" work on a couple I-35 exits in Goldsby. But really the whole thing is overdue for being widened to a 3x3 lanes configuration to at least down past Purcell. If the OTA is able to go through with its Access Oklahoma plan, getting the Kickapoo Turnpike extended down to Slaughterville and Purcell that would also be a good occasion get the portion of I-35 I mentioned widened as well.

Speaking of Blanchard, the town is in a sort of odd location in relation to other towns nearby (Chickasha, Newcastle, Bridge Creek, etc). Perhaps if the OK-9 segment between I-44 and I-35 was properly upgraded Blanchard might derive some benefit from it. Otherwise, the only way I see Blanchard growing is if Newcastle blows up so much with growth that Blanchard gets a spill over effect from it.
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2022, 09:33:48 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2022, 08:50:10 AM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

You guessed right. OK has to make improvements in smaller chunks because of lack of funds. With the I44/US75 and I44/US169 projects in Tulsa and the I35/I240 and I44/I40 projects in OKC sucking up the big dollars, there's not much left.
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dchristy

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2022, 05:04:12 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

You guessed right. OK has to make improvements in smaller chunks because of lack of funds. With the I44/US75 and I44/US169 projects in Tulsa and the I35/I240 and I44/I40 projects in OKC sucking up the big dollars, there's not much left.

And, of course, the focus of the special session of the Oklahoma Legislature is going to be on tax cuts.  The revenue is actually there for some real progress on the I-35 project, but as long as the mindset of the legislature is what it is, that is not going to happen.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2022, 05:22:05 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

You guessed right. OK has to make improvements in smaller chunks because of lack of funds. With the I44/US75 and I44/US169 projects in Tulsa and the I35/I240 and I44/I40 projects in OKC sucking up the big dollars, there's not much left.

And, of course, the focus of the special session of the Oklahoma Legislature is going to be on tax cuts.  The revenue is actually there for some real progress on the I-35 project, but as long as the mindset of the legislature is what it is, that is not going to happen.
These are actually tax cuts that could help the working class. Oklahoma is an extremely regressive state and without getting too political anything that actually helps the working class coming out of Oklahoma is a win in my book.
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2022, 10:13:07 AM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.

For traffic from the north, that makes no sense.  From the south, US-82 to US-377 is the better alternative.  OK-32 has many dog legs to iron out, in addition to being 2-lane; not sure why money would be spent on it at all.  But, hey, it's Oklahoma.
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2022, 05:03:32 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.

For traffic from the north, that makes no sense.  From the south, US-82 to US-377 is the better alternative.  OK-32 has many dog legs to iron out, in addition to being 2-lane; not sure why money would be spent on it at all.  But, hey, it's Oklahoma.

I use OK 32 quite a bit to get from Megastar to Winstar casino, and then I use it to go from Winstar to Riverstar casino on US 81. As I've said before in a previous post we need a good east - west turnpike in this area that could go from I-44 to I-35 and possibly all the way to Durant and even the Indian Nation turnpike via mostly OK 32. I think it would really get used. Texans are always debating on other casinos groups about which casino they should visit this weekend ( Choctaw Durant or Winstar) , and I always say "why not both".
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2022, 05:19:47 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.

For traffic from the north, that makes no sense.  From the south, US-82 to US-377 is the better alternative.  OK-32 has many dog legs to iron out, in addition to being 2-lane; not sure why money would be spent on it at all.  But, hey, it's Oklahoma.

I use OK 32 quite a bit to get from Megastar to Winstar casino, and then I use it to go from Winstar to Riverstar casino on US 81. As I've said before in a previous post we need a good east - west turnpike in this area that could go from I-44 to I-35 and possibly all the way to Durant and even the Indian Nation turnpike via mostly OK 32. I think it would really get used. Texans are always debating on other casinos groups about which casino they should visit this weekend ( Choctaw Durant or Winstar) , and I always say "why not both".

At the very least, making US 70 an expressway between Ardmore and Durant should be a priority, along with twinning the span over Lake Texoma.  Extending a US 70 bypass from the Exit 29 interchange to west of Lone Grove makes sense as well, since that area is filling in with local traffic.
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rte66man

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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2022, 07:33:06 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.

For traffic from the north, that makes no sense.  From the south, US-82 to US-377 is the better alternative.  OK-32 has many dog legs to iron out, in addition to being 2-lane; not sure why money would be spent on it at all.  But, hey, it's Oklahoma.

I use OK 32 quite a bit to get from Megastar to Winstar casino, and then I use it to go from Winstar to Riverstar casino on US 81. As I've said before in a previous post we need a good east - west turnpike in this area that could go from I-44 to I-35 and possibly all the way to Durant and even the Indian Nation turnpike via mostly OK 32. I think it would really get used. Texans are always debating on other casinos groups about which casino they should visit this weekend ( Choctaw Durant or Winstar) , and I always say "why not both".

At the very least, making US 70 an expressway between Ardmore and Durant should be a priority, along with twinning the span over Lake Texoma.  Extending a US 70 bypass from the Exit 29 interchange to west of Lone Grove makes sense as well, since that area is filling in with local traffic.

Madill bypass and the start of replacing the Roosevelt Bridge are all on the 8-Year Plan.
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Re: I-35 in Southern Oklahoma
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2022, 09:51:19 PM »

Marietta seems like a random place to end the widening.  Logically it should continue up to the northern US-70 interchange in Ardmore, but I guess, monies?

I just checked AADTs, and I agree.  There's no drop-off at Marietta.  In fact, if anything, the section between Thackerville and Marietta needs widening the least, but even that difference is very slim.

In the long-range planning OK-32 from Kingston to Marietta, not US-70 from Kingston to Ardmore is the focus of the lake region traffic.

For traffic from the north, that makes no sense.  From the south, US-82 to US-377 is the better alternative.  OK-32 has many dog legs to iron out, in addition to being 2-lane; not sure why money would be spent on it at all.  But, hey, it's Oklahoma.

I use OK 32 quite a bit to get from Megastar to Winstar casino, and then I use it to go from Winstar to Riverstar casino on US 81. As I've said before in a previous post we need a good east - west turnpike in this area that could go from I-44 to I-35 and possibly all the way to Durant and even the Indian Nation turnpike via mostly OK 32. I think it would really get used. Texans are always debating on other casinos groups about which casino they should visit this weekend ( Choctaw Durant or Winstar) , and I always say "why not both".

At the very least, making US 70 an expressway between Ardmore and Durant should be a priority, along with twinning the span over Lake Texoma.  Extending a US 70 bypass from the Exit 29 interchange to west of Lone Grove makes sense as well, since that area is filling in with local traffic.

Madill bypass and the start of replacing the Roosevelt Bridge are all on the 8-Year Plan.

They have been on the 8 Year Plan for 16 years.
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