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Author Topic: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)  (Read 2506 times)

bwana39

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US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« on: September 08, 2023, 05:11:53 PM »

They are straightening and widening a ~ 7 mile section from SH-87 going north toward idabel.  It is widening the roadbed, bridges, and culverts. They are redoing the radiuses on a couple of curves and doing a major straightening / reroute in a different place.  It still will not be something I would describe as straight, but probably will support 65 MPH or so.
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In_Correct

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2023, 06:36:02 PM »

They are straightening and widening a ~ 7 mile section from SH-87 going north toward idabel.  It is widening the roadbed, bridges, and culverts. They are redoing the radiuses on a couple of curves and doing a major straightening / reroute in a different place.  It still will not be something I would describe as straight, but probably will support 65 MPH or so.

How wide ? Probably adding shoulders since there are not any ?
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Bobby5280

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2023, 10:16:28 PM »

The current US-259 road between Idabel and the Red River is pretty damned crooked. If this new straightened route is more of a diagonal path it could shave at least a few miles off the length of that highway segment.

If the new route is good enough perhaps TX DOT could make a more direct diagonal road from New Boston and I-30 up to that point where US-259 crosses the Red River. In bigger picture terms I think OKC needs a better diagonal path going Southeast to the Texarkana area. The current OK-3 route is pretty inadequate in its design as any sort of longer distance route.
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bwana39

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2023, 01:28:59 PM »

They are straightening and widening a ~ 7 mile section from SH-87 going north toward idabel.  It is widening the roadbed, bridges, and culverts. They are redoing the radiuses on a couple of curves and doing a major straightening / reroute in a different place.  It still will not be something I would describe as straight, but probably will support 65 MPH or so.

How wide ? Probably adding shoulders since there are not any ?

Currently is is 2 11' lanes with no shoulders at all, not even soft ones. That is what it looks like 2 12' lanes with paved shoulders.
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bugo

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2023, 09:59:43 AM »

US 259 between OK 87 and Idabel was once OK 87. The Red River bridge was built in 1961 and US 259 was added to the system in 1963. I'm not sure when OK 87 was truncated to US 259, but ODOT maps still show it ending in Idabel. Incidentally, what is now OK 3 from Idabel east to the Arkansas line was OK 21, which also followed what is now US 259 north from Broken Bow to Smithville, where it turned east along modern OK 4 to end at the Arkansas line at AR 4. There is an old steel bridge in Smithville that was once a part of OK 21, but was never US 259 or OK 4.
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rte66man

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2023, 08:10:32 AM »

I saw the plans a few months ago. IIRC they are smoothing out the sharp curves and straightening out some of the 'snakiness'. However, ODOT's recent website changes have made finding plans a lot harder.
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bugo

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2023, 08:42:43 AM »

Do you have a link for the US 259 plans? You're right, ODOT's website is not good. Before they redesigned the site a few years ago, there were tons of open folders on the ODOT website with PDF files including maps and other documents. I downloaded as many of them as I could, and now that version of the site is gone.
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bwana39

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2023, 09:31:11 AM »

US 259 between OK 87 and Idabel was once OK 87. The Red River bridge was built in 1961 and US 259 was added to the system in 1963. I'm not sure when OK 87 was truncated to US 259, but ODOT maps still show it ending in Idabel. Incidentally, what is now OK 3 from Idabel east to the Arkansas line was OK 21, which also followed what is now US 259 north from Broken Bow to Smithville, where it turned east along modern OK 4 to end at the Arkansas line at AR 4. There is an old steel bridge in Smithville that was once a part of OK 21, but was never US 259 or OK 4.

There is another old steel bridge on an old routing of OK-21 / US-70 across the Little River  north of Idabel on "Old Broken Bow Highway." It is sitting in place but was bypassed a couple of years ago and replaced by a modern concrete bridge. OK-21 / US-70 was rerouted to the current routing in the mid-1930's. The original truss bridge on this (current) routing was used for bidirectional traffic until the 1990's and for northbound (IIRC) traffic for another decade more or less. It was eventually removed.

In the early 1960's US-259 was created from Nacogdoches TX to Page Oklahoma. In Oklahoma there was new road built through mountainous terrain from Smithville OK to Page OK. There was a bypass / straightening around Bethel OK. From south of DeKalb TX to the Red River Bridge US-259 was rerouted from TX-26 to both bypass DeKalb and directly connect with the newly built bridge.  Most of the rest of this road was just a renumbering of state highways both in Texas and Oklahoma.

The 1961 US-259 bridge north of DeKalb was replaced about 5 years ago. Both the original and its replacement are / were concrete slab bridges. Originally there had been a ferry a couple of miles east of the current bridge site. I am under the impression it had been discontinued before the bridge was built.

Yes, Bugo there is nothing of use I can find on the ODOT site that outlines the current construction.

I did find something really useful there though. High quality / definition PDF's of all the official Oklahoma Highway maps back to 1907. (Through 2010) You can magnify them however you want. Some of the best definition maps I have seen online. https://www.oktl.org/map-collection

Here is the link to the Ribbon Cutting Story https://www.mcalesternews.com/news/local_news/cathey-president-kennedy-s-1961-visit-to-southeastern-oklahoma/article_b6bf26c6-909b-5dc6-91c6-20f63dbb5760.html




« Last Edit: September 12, 2023, 10:25:01 AM by bwana39 »
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bugo

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2023, 11:23:40 AM »

There is another old steel bridge on an old routing of OK-21 / US-70 across the Little River  north of Idabel on "Old Broken Bow Highway." It is sitting in place but was bypassed a couple of years ago and replaced by a modern concrete bridge. OK-21 / US-70 was rerouted to the current routing in the mid-1930's.

About 30 years ago, I was in Idabel for some reason (just driving around for the sake of it, most likely) and I decided to take what looked like the old highway north out of Idabel on the county map book that I had at the time. This alignment crossed the Little River, which made me suspicious that there might be an old bridge there. My hunch was correct, and there is an amazing crossing there. This was long before sites like the late, lamented bridgehunter.com and social media existed, and there wasn't much information about bridges at all online. We had to find bridges the old fashioned way: study maps for hours at a time, using your skills at spotting old bridges by using a county level map and going out in the field and looking for bridges. Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes you got a base hit, and sometimes you struck out. The bridge hobby is completely different now than it was even 20 years ago. I lived in Kansas City in the early 2000s, and I drove around looking for bridges all the time, usually striking out. Ten years or so later, bridgehunter.com had thousands of bridge listings, including a ton of bridges in the KC metro that I had no idea were there. Many of them now no longer exist. With the demise of bridgehunter.com and the ephemerality of social media, it isn't as easy as it was a year ago, but it's still nothing like it was in the 1990s.

Quote
In the early 1960's US-259 was created from Nacogdoches TX to Page Oklahoma. In Oklahoma there was new road built through mountainous terrain from Smithville OK to Page OK. There was a bypass / straightening around Bethel OK. From south of DeKalb TX to the Red River Bridge US-259 was rerouted from TX-26 to both bypass DeKalb and directly connect with the newly built bridge.  Most of the rest of this road was just a renumbering of state highways both in Texas and Oklahoma.

Le Flore County is in my old neck of the woods. What is now US 259 from US 59/270 near Page to Smithville was originally OK 103, from Smithville to Broken Bow was OK 21, from Broken Bow to Idabel was a follow route of US 70, from Idabel to just north of the Red River near Harris was OK 87, and the Red River bridge and approaches was new construction especially for US 259. I've never seen a map that showed a different number for the section south of OK 87. OK 21 was a weird C shaped highway that ended at the Arkansas border at both termini.

Quote
The original truss bridge on this (current) routing was used for bidirectional traffic until the 1990's and for northbound (IIRC) traffic for another decade more or less. It was eventually removed.

Yes. this was an incredible bridge. It had 9 Parker pony spans, a K-truss through span, and another pony span at the other end. I think what doomed it more than anything was geometry. It was lower in elevation than the SB bridge, and the way the NB lanes ran through the area were weird.

Another bridge in that area that has been largely forgotten is the old OK 21 (later OK 4) Mountain Fork River bridge. I remember riding across it in the 1980s, but it was removed not long after that. It was a multiple span through truss bridge of some design that I cannot recall.
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bwana39

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2023, 08:16:33 PM »

With the demise of bridgehunter.com and the ephemerality of social media, it isn't as easy as it was a year ago, but it's still nothing like it was in the 1990s.



Bridgehunter is SUPPOSED to be coming back. It, at least, has a placeholder when you type in / click on the url /shortcut now.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2023, 09:24:03 PM »

When were the bypasses around Idabel built?
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bugo

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2023, 10:21:53 PM »

When were the bypasses around Idabel built?

The southern bypass first shows up on the 1972 ODOT highway map, the northern bypass on the 2001 edition.
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bugo

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2023, 10:24:41 PM »

With the demise of bridgehunter.com and the ephemerality of social media, it isn't as easy as it was a year ago, but it's still nothing like it was in the 1990s.



Bridgehunter is SUPPOSED to be coming back. It, at least, has a placeholder when you type in / click on the url /shortcut now.

The webmaster was killed in a hiking accident and the site was taken over by a nameless committee who has let the site rot for several months, despite getting government grants to preserve the site. I don't know if I even want to be a part of the site if it is ever finished.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2023, 06:05:43 PM »

Do you have a link for the US 259 plans? You're right, ODOT's website is not good. Before they redesigned the site a few years ago, there were tons of open folders on the ODOT website with PDF files including maps and other documents. I downloaded as many of them as I could, and now that version of the site is gone.
Their website was halfway decent at the end of Mary Fallon’s term. It seems like as soon as Stitt had Gatz look after both ODOT and the OTA they just stopped caring. There’s projects that have been finished for almost a year and are still listed as active. They added so many cool features like interactive maps with links to projects that had information on them including how far along they were. They’d update the major projects lists every other month or so.

Just stopped caring. I don’t think that’ll change until a new director gets in charge that actually cares about keeping the public updated other than doing the bare minimum.
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Scott5114

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2023, 07:02:10 PM »

I wouldn't even necessarily blame Gatz, at least not for that particular reason. Gary Ridley was also head of ODOT and OTA at the same time for a while when the site was still useful and looked like it was designed in 1997.

If you want to blame anyone, blame Matt Pinnell; he's the one who's been pushing to put the Death Star on everything that doesn't move and some things that do. I wouldn't be surprised if as part of that he insisted that ODOT get a "nicer looking" website. (Notice also how they don't want to be called ODOT anymore, they want to be "Oklahoma Transportation".)
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2023, 04:24:03 AM »

True. I also think Gatz has a lot on his plate as well.
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rte66man

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2023, 08:19:32 AM »

I wouldn't even necessarily blame Gatz, at least not for that particular reason. Gary Ridley was also head of ODOT and OTA at the same time for a while when the site was still useful and looked like it was designed in 1997.

If you want to blame anyone, blame Matt Pinnell; he's the one who's been pushing to put the Death Star on everything that doesn't move and some things that do. I wouldn't be surprised if as part of that he insisted that ODOT get a "nicer looking" website. (Notice also how they don't want to be called ODOT anymore, they want to be "Oklahoma Transportation".)

You have identified the true culprit. Pinnell was looking for something to do so he was put in charge of "branding" for the State. All flash and no substance.
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Bobby5280

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2023, 01:02:45 PM »

I wonder if they fired some personnel in charge of maintaining the web site in order to get rid of wasteful spending. Put up a more simple, less informative web site that needs hardly any work to update. Fire some employees on the back end. Give an executive or two a pay raise. Laugh it up on the country club golf course.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2023, 05:27:24 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Scott5114

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2023, 02:27:12 PM »

The funny thing is that parts of the old site still exist if you follow certain links. The Transportation Commission minutes are still on the old site, for example.
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bwana39

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2023, 09:36:59 PM »

The funny thing is that parts of the old site still exist if you follow certain links. The Transportation Commission minutes are still on the old site, for example.

The old map link I came across (above ) appears to come from a legacy site.
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bwana39

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Re: US-259 McCurtain County (South of Idabel)
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2023, 11:13:17 AM »

With the demise of bridgehunter.com and the ephemerality of social media, it isn't as easy as it was a year ago, but it's still nothing like it was in the 1990s.



Bridgehunter is SUPPOSED to be coming back. It, at least, has a placeholder when you type in / click on the url /shortcut now.


https://bridgehunter.com/explore  will get you back to a good bit of the content. The problem is it looks like the entire NBI was loaded as well. Perhaps they merged bridgehunter and uglybridges both.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 11:19:32 AM by bwana39 »
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