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US-62 expressway between El Paso and Lubbock perhaps?

Started by TheBox, October 23, 2023, 02:30:01 PM

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The work going on at Montana Ave in El Paso and the decade+ old work at Marsha Sharp Fwy in Lubbock got me thinking

What if they make a US-62 expressway between these two?

Sure it would have less priority than I-69, I-27, and even I-14 and some US highways like US-287 and US-290 (let alone anything within the big Texas cities themselves like the Texas Triangle), and yes it would require bypasses around (and it's a long list) Carlsbad, Hobbs, Seminole, Seagraves, Brownfield, Meadow and then Ropesville in between El Paso and Lubbock, and ofc New Mexico would have to do the Carlsbad and Hobbs bypasses themselves. I just thought it would be nice for West Texas to have a more direct connected highway between El Paso and Lubbock with bypasses along the way.

I also feel like this idea is slept on, but looking at the distance gap between El Paso and Lubbock (348 miles to be exact), the terrain, and said NM's required involvement for the Carlsbad and Hobbs bypasses, i can understand why.
Wake me up when they upgrade US-290 between the state's largest city and growing capital into expressway standards if it interstate standards.

Giddings bypass, Elgin bypass, and Elgin-Manor freeway/tollway when?

Max Rockatansky

East of El Paso to the New Mexico State Line there isn't really anything insufficient about the two lane portions of US 62-180.  Much of that segment is signed at 75 MPH and has plenty of passing opportunities/passing zones.


It's honestly not that far away from it now, and the portions that aren't expressway are generally that way for good reason.

You have a 100 mile stretch of US-62/180 that's 2-laned in west Texas - but traffic counts are no higher than 3,000 vehicles per day on that section. It's well within the capacity of a 2-lane roadway, particularly if there's periodic passing lanes (which it has). Traffic would have to double before 4-laning starts to become justifiable - even by western state standards.

Traffic counts are similarly light once you hit the NM border - but then it's 4-laned pretty much all the rest of the way to Lubbock, even the low-traffic portion between Hobbs and Seminole (under 3500 vehicles per day). At no point could someone reasonably complain of any part of US-62 being congested.

You can make a better case for Carlsbad and Hobbs bypasses, but the precipitous drop in traffic east of Hobbs and SW of Carlsbad tells me most folks driving US-62/180 are not driving through. They are going to one of those towns as a destination. The ones who are just passing through aren't held up too long, and may well welcome the pit stop.

So really, what you're asking for is:
- Texas to 4-lane 100 miles of a lonely stretch of 2-lane highway, and to bypass towns that don't need it.
- New Mexico to bypass two towns that have, at best, a questionable need for it.

Seems to me that US-62 is plenty adequate as-is.


Quote from: TheBoxThe work going on at Montana Ave in El Paso and the decade+ old work at Marsha Sharp Fwy in Lubbock got me thinking

What if they make a US-62 expressway between these two?

Actually, when you look at the overall map of the Interstate highway system, it would make more sense to build a new East-West Interstate from Las Cruces going East to Lubbock, either by using US-70 thru Roswell or US-82 thru Artesia. That is if you're taking into account long distance inter-state traffic.

I-10 takes a hard left turn at Las Cruces downward to El Paso. There is a good bit of Eastbound traffic that diverts from I-10 at that point. US-70 continues the Eastbound line I-10 was charting across New Mexico. US-70 is a divided 4-lane highway from Las Cruces up past Holloman AFB to Alamogordo. There is a somewhat upgrade-able bypass around the West side of Alamogordo.

US-70/380 thru the mountains via is a combination of 4-lane divided, 4-lane not divided and 5-lane (center turn lane). East of the mountains on the way to Roswell US-70/380 is 4-lane divided. East of Roswell US-380 dumps down to a 2-lane route. Of course, more of the traffic is staying on US-70 up to Clovis; that road is 4-lane divided the entire way. And US-60 is 4-lane divided from Clovis to I-27 in Canyon, TX. In terms of commercial traffic movement, an Interstate highway from Las Cruces to Amarillo would make sense.

It might be politically impossible to widen US-70/380 to Interstate quality thru Ruidoso and the Mescalero Apache Reservation. But it might be possible with the right sales pitch. Lately tribal governments have warmed up to generating tourism revenue via giant casino resort hotels and other kinds of related attractions. US-70 already carries a good bit of truck traffic as it is. So it's not like US-70 is some scenic-only highway. An Interstate would open the potential of building bigger hotels and casinos. That would translate into more money for the tribe AND bigger "per cap" checks for tribe members.  The Ruidoso area does look more scenic than Thackerville, OK. With a good highway connection the mountain town area could challenge stupid-priced Santa Fe for tourist attention. Tribal casino-resorts are in an "arms race" of sorts; they're getting bigger and more fancy. They're even putting a big dent in Las Vegas and Atlantic City business. Anyway, an Interstate thru the Ruidoso area could help the place "blow up" with economic growth.

US-82 is an alternative. But the damned highway grades on the existing road are steep. US-82 is outside reservation territory though. But an Interstate pushed through there would probably require some new terrain routing and tunnels. Artesia is a serious oil town. The US Border Patrol Academy is located there. It would probably be easier pushing a new Interstate through that area than weird Roswell.

The people who were promoting the "I-66" idea had their dream route starting on US-54 in El Paso or US-70 in Las Cruces and following US-54 around the Sierra Blanca Mountain Range and connect to I-40 in Santa Rosa. "I-66" would have overlapped the US-54 route thru the Northern Texas Panhandle and over to Wichita, KS.

Quote from: JREwing78Seems to me that US-62 is plenty adequate as-is.

There are parts of US-62 near Lubbock that could benefit from Interstate quality upgrades. US-62 ought to be a freeway East of Lubbock up to at least Idalou. And that would be an easy upgrade to build. SW of Lubbock US-62 might be worth upgrading down to Brownfield and the intersection with US-380.

Residents in Lubbock might prefer US-84 to be upgraded to Interstate standards between Lubbock and I-20 near Sweetwater. But it's actually a shorter drive to DFW by using US-82 to Seymour and then taking TX-114 the rest of the way. US-84 is four lane divided though (with limited access segments) down to I-20. Plenty of motorists will drive out the way to stay on a 4-lane divided road than take their chances on a shorter 2-lane route.

As it stands, US-62 East of Lubbock turns into a pretty damned desolate highway between Crosbyton and Seymour. Like, right now, when the rut in deer is fixing to happen (late October into November), US-62 can be a ****king white-knuckle nightmare to drive at night. There isn't very many vehicles, but there is a shit-ton of deer. Holy cow, man. I have family in SE New Mexico and I really hate driving out there during this time of year. The deer scare the hell out of me because I never know when one is going to bolt across the highway in front of me. At night you can see whole herds of them on the sides of the road. They're standing there waiting for you.

Max Rockatansky

US 70 has one of the more patched together American freeways I've been on branching east of Las Cruces towards Organ.  It's adequate east of I-25 but it is also strange in that it literally was built over the original alignment. 


The current US-70 freeway going East of I-25 has the same third world feel of a Mexican Autopista. That road seriously needs some proper upgrades. Still, it is a do-able prospect to upgrade US-70 to Interstate standards from the I-25 interchange on East out of Las Cruces and up to Alamogordo.

The Ghostbuster

The US 62 corridor between El Paso and Lubbock is probably adequate the way it is. Same for the portion of US 70 previously mentioned.

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