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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 588201 times)

sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1675 on: August 10, 2020, 01:16:30 PM »

I wonder why they don't go ahead and signs some of the bypasses between Corpus Christi and Houston as I-69 (Beasley, Kendleton, Wharton, El Campo, Edna, Inez and Victoria) now.  The others I didn't mention (like Louise and Ganado) which are currently almost freeway, albeit a few expressway grade interchanges and a gas station driveway away from full freeway, TxDOT can focus small projects of closing off driveways and bulldozing crossovers to make them interstate grade, then sign them as I-69.  I know the argument would be that these sections are a few miles apiece, but I think it would be good for route continuity.  It would get locals and travelers alike used to the fact that US 59 is pretty much going away in lieu of I-69, and give some validity to the BGSs in Houston that say I-69 goes to Victoria when in reality it goes to Rosenberg. 

I know this is a new world and just because things were done like this before doesn't mean they will be done like this again, but that's how a lot of interstates got built.  The bypasses/town freeway sections came first, then the rural freeways were built in between connecting the sections.  If you recall, the disjointed sections of the interstates were signed as the interstate on the freeway sections, then they stopped either on a crossroad, or on the road they were displacing and had "TO I-XX" trailblazers on the non freeway parts.  All this to say, I think it would help the long term transition.  People in and around Houston still call Eastex and Southwest Freeways in Houston 59 (or the cringey I-59).  They kinda need to get people used to phasing out US 59 because we all know once this project is complete, US 59 will completely not exist in Texas.
In order to be signed as an interstate, the route must connect to another interstate. None of the bypasses you have mentioned do. Yes, I-2, I-69E and I-69C were all signed down in Valley for some reason, but at least they connect to each other and form a system thatís close to 100 miles long.

Construction is already underway to extend I-69 southward as a six lane interstate down to Kendleton, so that covers both Beasley and Kendleton bypasses already.

The Wharton Bypass doesnít meet interstate standards since it has numerous intersections with just two interchanges.

The El Campo Bypass is currently being upgraded to interstate standards by constructing frontage roads along the northern half of it. Same goes with the Victoria Bypass up to the railroad overpass. These wonít be signed as interstate highways though until they connect with the rest of the system.

Projects are planned to extend I-69 south to the Wharton Bypass as a six lane interstate, then further south to Louise as a four lane interstate. Schematics Iíve seen show reconstructing the cross section completely, with a 22 foot paved median / concrete barrier, plus two one-way frontage roads, on most of the bypasses, except the El Campo Bypass since it already had a full upgrade done on the southern portion a few years ago and now currently underway on the northern portion with realigned ramps and new frontage roads.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1676 on: August 10, 2020, 01:22:07 PM »

Unless local pressure is brought to bear regarding a 69W reroute around the northern loop, simple economics would dictate the extant path around the south side.

I took a look at the 2045 Victoria MTP (May 2020) and I canít tell if they have chosen the route for I-69W. Part of the loop is designated as ďFuture I-69Ē and it goes beyond US 59, but not all of the way around on the loop. On page 162 of 169:

https://www.victoriatx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2627/2045-MTP

Can anyone tell the route from the map?
The highlighted portion is the current project proposal posted above, though I donít recall it supposed to be apart of I-69W.

Under project description, it says preparing for the split of I-69 east and west.

Perhaps I-69W is slated to run along the northern loop while I-69E follows the southern route? I had always been under the impression I-69 would follow the southern route, then split with I-69E continuing south and I-69W / I-69C / I-69 (what is it supposed to be west of Victoria?) following the US-59 / US-77 overlap portion of the loop, then west on US-59.

The loop upgrade is a benefit for US-77 and providing an interstate grade loop around the city, but is not apart of the I-69 system as far as Iím aware, unless they want a I-x69.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 09:49:30 PM by sprjus4 »
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1677 on: August 10, 2020, 01:46:39 PM »

Unless local pressure is brought to bear regarding a 69W reroute around the northern loop, simple economics would dictate the extant path around the south side.

I took a look at the 2045 Victoria MTP (May 2020) and I canít tell if they have chosen the route for I-69W. Part of the loop is designated as ďFuture I-69Ē and it goes beyond US 59, but not all of the way around on the loop. On page 162 of 169:

https://www.victoriatx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2627/2045-MTP

Can anyone tell the route from the map?
The highlighted portion is the current project proposal posted above, though I donít recall it supposed to be apart of I-69W.

Under project description, it says preparing for the split of I-69 east and west.

Perhaps I-69W is slated to run along the northern loop while I-69E follows the southern route? I had always been under the impression I-69 would follow the southern route, then split with I-69E continuing south and I-69W / I-69C / I-69 (what is it supposed to be west of Victoria?) following the US-59 / US-77 overlap portion of the loop, then west on US-59.

The loop upgrade is a benefit for US-77 and providing an interstate grade loop around the city, but is not apart of the I-69 system as far as Iím aware, unless they want a I-x69.

Frankly, I don't think a path has been chosen, and what is highlighted on the map shown are simply the sections of the loop that are slated to become full freeway in any case.  Those in the NW corner of the loop -- between US 59 and the US 77 northward divergence -- would be part of the US 77 bypass and possibly part of an Interstate route.  But the segment along the current US 59/77 multiplex are also highlighted.  Taking an educated guess that I-69W will strike out west somewhere not too far from current US 59, if all the highlighted sections were to eventually be incorporated into the I-69 "family", one would have to be either a spur on the northern loop up to the US 77 interchange or part of a complete Interstate-grade upgrade to that loop.  Maybe that local pressure I mentioned in a previous post is actually part of the process, and the northern loop would be the path for I-69W, with the "split" happening SE of Victoria rather than SW -- which would mean the city would have two corridors being upgraded instead of one (possibly enhancing commercial development along both!)  This being TX, such a thing isn't out of the question.  But in the meantime, the map's illustrations and "highlighting" of the I-69 corridor segments only adds to the uncertainty regarding the actual corridors' alignments and exactly where the E/W junction will be located.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1678 on: August 10, 2020, 02:19:38 PM »

I wonder why they don't go ahead and signs some of the bypasses between Corpus Christi and Houston as I-69 (Beasley, Kendleton, Wharton, El Campo, Edna, Inez and Victoria) now.  The others I didn't mention (like Louise and Ganado) which are currently almost freeway, albeit a few expressway grade interchanges and a gas station driveway away from full freeway, TxDOT can focus small projects of closing off driveways and bulldozing crossovers to make them interstate grade, then sign them as I-69.  I know the argument would be that these sections are a few miles apiece, but I think it would be good for route continuity.  It would get locals and travelers alike used to the fact that US 59 is pretty much going away in lieu of I-69, and give some validity to the BGSs in Houston that say I-69 goes to Victoria when in reality it goes to Rosenberg. 

I know this is a new world and just because things were done like this before doesn't mean they will be done like this again, but that's how a lot of interstates got built.  The bypasses/town freeway sections came first, then the rural freeways were built in between connecting the sections.  If you recall, the disjointed sections of the interstates were signed as the interstate on the freeway sections, then they stopped either on a crossroad, or on the road they were displacing and had "TO I-XX" trailblazers on the non freeway parts.  All this to say, I think it would help the long term transition.  People in and around Houston still call Eastex and Southwest Freeways in Houston 59 (or the cringey I-59).  They kinda need to get people used to phasing out US 59 because we all know once this project is complete, US 59 will completely not exist in Texas.
In order to be signed as an interstate, the route must connect to another interstate. None of the bypasses you have mentioned do. Yes, I-2, I-69E and I-69C were all signed down in Valley for some reason, but at least they connect to each other and form a system that’s close to 100 miles long.

Construction is already underway to extend I-69 southward as a six lane interstate down to Kendleton, so that covers both Beasley and Kendleton bypasses already.

The Wharton Bypass doesn’t meet interstate standards since it has numerous intersections with just two interchanges.

The El Campo Bypass is currently being upgraded to interstate standards by constructing frontage roads along the northern half of it. Same goes with the Victoria Bypass up to the railroad overpass. These won’t be signed as interstate highways though until they connect with the rest of the system.

Projects are planned to extend I-69 south to the Wharton Bypass as a six lane interstate, then further south to Louise as a four lane interstate. Schematics I’ve seen show reconstructing the cross section completely, with a 22 foot paved median / concrete barrier, plus two one-way frontage roads, on most of the bypasses, except the El Campo Bypass since it already had a full upgrade done on the southern portion a few years ago and now currently underway on the northern portion with realigned ramps and new frontage roads.

Legislation changed about 10 years ago that allows stretches of highway that are up to interstate standards that are part of a future interstate corridor to be signed as an interstate even if they do not connect to the rest of the system, with the caveat of them having to be connected in the next 20 years.  http://i69texasalliance.com/NewsUpdates/update7.1.12.html  This is the reason I-69E, I-69C and I-2 were signed.  Signing the sections that are up to interstate standards keeps the project "on the clock". 

With that being said, again, why don't they sign the existing interstate grade sections as I-69 now, excluding the ones I thought were complete but aren't?

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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1679 on: August 10, 2020, 02:44:22 PM »

Legislation changed about 10 years ago that allows stretches of highway that are up to interstate standards that are part of a future interstate corridor to be signed as an interstate even if they do not connect to the rest of the system, with the caveat of them having to be connected in the next 20 years.  http://i69texasalliance.com/NewsUpdates/update7.1.12.html  This is the reason I-69E, I-69C and I-2 were signed.  Signing the sections that are up to interstate standards keeps the project "on the clock". 

With that being said, again, why don't they sign the existing interstate grade sections as I-69 now, excluding the ones I thought were complete but aren't?
Interesting... this law must have been an exception only applied for the I-69 corridor specifically, considering it's not in use anywhere else in the country. An interstate highway must connect to another one in order to be designated.

The only sections that could technically be posted in this instance would be an 8 mile portion near Victoria, a 6 mile portion near Edna, and a 7 mile portion near El Campo.

Looking further down, the Bishop to Kingsville freeway is still not signed despite being up to interstate standards, recently upgraded in fact, though once current projects to complete the freeway between Bishop and Robstown are complete in 2022, a full freeway will be in place between I-37 and Kingsville and presumably signed as I-69E throughout. On the US-281 corridor, a 5 mile segment through Falfurrias was recently upgraded though is not signed as I-69C. Throughout the next decade, projects to extend the freeway 40 miles southwards to the current I-69C segment in the Valley could lead to its signage.

Perhaps the law was only written specifically to allow the Valley to have an interstate system immediately (I-2, I-69E, and I-69C) along existing freeways that meet interstate standards with no intent to sign other, smaller segments.

One reason for not signing it could also be that Texas plans to renovate or upgrade the freeways to modern standards (such as reconstructing the mainlines to have a 22 foot paved median with concrete barrier, reversing ramps, construction of one-way two lane frontage roads, and bridge replacements) before posting signage. The segment near El Campo was recently fully upgraded with ramp reversals and one-way two lane frontage roads, so if they are going to immediately designate one portion, it would be that. Near Victoria, upgrade work has occurred in some areas, but still may need to be done in other spot areas.

In the next decade, I-69 should be fully upgraded and sign posted from Rosenberg to Louise. I can't provide specifics since I haven't driven along US-59 since last year, but the first segment of this project between the northern end of the Wharton Bypass and Kendleton was to be let in January 2020 and presumably under construction by now if on schedule. As of last year, the segment from Kendleton to Rosenberg was well under construction, numerous lane shifts, barrier walls on either side, and many bridges actively under construction. I imagine it's on target to be complete in the next couple of years if not sooner.

Project Website: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/yoakum/us59-wharton.html
Project Map: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-wharton/location-map.pdf
Project Schematics (large file): http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-wharton/032819-schematic.pdf
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 02:50:34 PM by sprjus4 »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1680 on: August 10, 2020, 02:54:39 PM »

Unless local pressure is brought to bear regarding a 69W reroute around the northern loop, simple economics would dictate the extant path around the south side.

I took a look at the 2045 Victoria MTP (May 2020) and I canít tell if they have chosen the route for I-69W. Part of the loop is designated as ďFuture I-69Ē and it goes beyond US 59, but not all of the way around on the loop. On page 162 of 169:

https://www.victoriatx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2627/2045-MTP

Can anyone tell the route from the map?
The highlighted portion is the current project proposal posted above, though I donít recall it supposed to be apart of I-69W.

Under project description, it says preparing for the split of I-69 east and west.

Perhaps I-69W is slated to run along the northern loop while I-69E follows the southern route? I had always been under the impression I-69 would follow the southern route, then split with I-69E continuing south and I-69W / I-69C / I-69 (what is it supposed to be west of Victoria?) following the US-59 / US-77 overlap portion of the loop, then west on US-59.

The loop upgrade is a benefit for US-77 and providing an interstate grade loop around the city, but is not apart of the I-69 system as far as Iím aware, unless they want a I-x69.

Frankly, I don't think a path has been chosen, and what is highlighted on the map shown are simply the sections of the loop that are slated to become full freeway in any case.  Those in the NW corner of the loop -- between US 59 and the US 77 northward divergence -- would be part of the US 77 bypass and possibly part of an Interstate route.  But the segment along the current US 59/77 multiplex are also highlighted.  Taking an educated guess that I-69W will strike out west somewhere not too far from current US 59, if all the highlighted sections were to eventually be incorporated into the I-69 "family", one would have to be either a spur on the northern loop up to the US 77 interchange or part of a complete Interstate-grade upgrade to that loop.  Maybe that local pressure I mentioned in a previous post is actually part of the process, and the northern loop would be the path for I-69W, with the "split" happening SE of Victoria rather than SW -- which would mean the city would have two corridors being upgraded instead of one (possibly enhancing commercial development along both!)  This being TX, such a thing isn't out of the question.  But in the meantime, the map's illustrations and "highlighting" of the I-69 corridor segments only adds to the uncertainty regarding the actual corridors' alignments and exactly where the E/W junction will be located.
From the Alliance for I-69 Texas website, a project update map released in December 2019 clearly shows the I-69W corridor following the small US-77 / US-59 overlap portion of the loop, and the US-59 route along the southern part of the city, not the rest of the loop.

Nonetheless, the rest of the loop has already been upgraded to interstate standards except the small portion between US-59 Business and US-59 east of the city.



Large PDF: http://www.i69texasalliance.com/ResourcesPDFs/i-69%20Projects%20Map%20Dec%202019.pdf
http://www.i69texasalliance.com/Projects.html
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1681 on: August 10, 2020, 03:59:41 PM »


One reason for not signing it could also be that Texas plans to renovate or upgrade the freeways to modern standards (such as reconstructing the mainlines to have a 22 foot paved median with concrete barrier, reversing ramps, construction of one-way two lane frontage roads, and bridge replacements) before posting signage. The segment near El Campo was recently fully upgraded with ramp reversals and one-way two lane frontage roads, so if they are going to immediately designate one portion, it would be that. Near Victoria, upgrade work has occurred in some areas, but still may need to be done in other spot areas.-schematic.pdf

I did think this as being a possible reason.  We all know that just because a freeway is a freeway doesn't make it interstate grade, but still makes me wonder.  The reason I am fixating on this is the sections that have been signed had their signing, and then that was it (the last being 5 years ago?).  A lot of time has gone by, and I for one (an many wanting to see this move forward) are getting a bit disillusioned by, on the surface, the lack of progress.  I know it takes a lot to build an interstate, but I really think signing the sections that qualify, even if its a mile here and mile there, might boost morel.  It will give the people who are in favor of the interstate a bit to smile about.  Maybe the people that live on the corridor might not feel that way, but my grandmother lives on US 59 on the I-369 corridor and is extremely excited about the progress. 
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Scott5114

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1682 on: August 11, 2020, 02:52:13 PM »

Sure, but you also have to think about the usefulness of the I-69(C/E/W/F/Q/∆/ō) designation as a navigation tool. If someone hops onto a segment of I-69 thinking it will connect with another segment of I-69 they are already familiar with, and it ends after one mile instead, they could get confused/lost.

In the original Interstate era, this was handled with "Temporary" bannered routes or "To" routes. But is the expense and effort to install those worth the boost in morale of signing disparate one-mile sections of Interstate as such?
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1683 on: August 11, 2020, 03:14:05 PM »

Sure, but you also have to think about the usefulness of the I-69(C/E/W/F/Q/∆/ō) designation as a navigation tool. If someone hops onto a segment of I-69 thinking it will connect with another segment of I-69 they are already familiar with, and it ends after one mile instead, they could get confused/lost.

In the original Interstate era, this was handled with "Temporary" bannered routes or "To" routes. But is the expense and effort to install those worth the boost in morale of signing disparate one-mile sections of Interstate as such?

Short answer....Yes!

Haha.  I say that because I have seen Texas waste amazing amounts of money in resigning projects that didn't need to be resigned (let's put clearview here), signing in an area that has a construction project that will start literally in days destroying the sign that was just erected, and the coup de gras https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1872983,-97.9128173,3a,59y,43.79h,95.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKbWWb3giD8g60TxQwzIBBw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192.  This is a stubout road built when SH-45 was built here in the 90's.  Until recently there was a shield assembly here telling you the directions to turn for EAST or WEST SH-45, FACING THE WOODS!!!  I know for a fact these shields were present because I may have a bit of intel on where one of the shields is currently located.  The shields were placed there so in the advent of a road reaching that intersection, the driver would know where to go, of course.  It's been at least 25 years and there is no road.  All to say, I have seen the state waste a lot of money.  I honestly don't intend to come off like I am constantly contrary, I don't.  My point is always if it's the interest of saving a buck here or a buck there, then why didn't you save a buck here or there the other 800 times you could have easily saved a buck?  Lets take all the sections of I-69 currently signed.  Was that worth us paying for all those shields?  They didn't sign a new highway like Louisiana and Arkansas did for I-49, no, Texas just slapped a shield on an already existing freeway, back slapped each other, shook hands and took pictures and made it seem like they changed the world.  I would honestly say they wasted way more money doing the signing they already did than what I am proposing (not to mention signing mile marker for routes without a definite zero post yet, I-369).  I mean, if you are gonna waste a bunch of money over here, what's stopping you from wasting more over there?

I guess I keep asking the same questions over and over again.  The reasoning for why X road isn't an interstate, or why this road is not like that road, the answer is it's expensive to make x road an interstate.  I then turn to some multi billion dollar projects in the state and say, so I guess it was okay there, huh?
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1684 on: August 11, 2020, 06:19:34 PM »

Sure, but you also have to think about the usefulness of the I-69(C/E/W/F/Q/∆/ō) designation as a navigation tool. If someone hops onto a segment of I-69 thinking it will connect with another segment of I-69 they are already familiar with, and it ends after one mile instead, they could get confused/lost.

In the original Interstate era, this was handled with "Temporary" bannered routes or "To" routes. But is the expense and effort to install those worth the boost in morale of signing disparate one-mile sections of Interstate as such?

Short answer....Yes!

Haha.  I say that because I have seen Texas waste amazing amounts of money in resigning projects that didn't need to be resigned (let's put clearview here), signing in an area that has a construction project that will start literally in days destroying the sign that was just erected, and the coup de gras https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1872983,-97.9128173,3a,59y,43.79h,95.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKbWWb3giD8g60TxQwzIBBw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192.  This is a stubout road built when SH-45 was built here in the 90's.  Until recently there was a shield assembly here telling you the directions to turn for EAST or WEST SH-45, FACING THE WOODS!!!  I know for a fact these shields were present because I may have a bit of intel on where one of the shields is currently located.  The shields were placed there so in the advent of a road reaching that intersection, the driver would know where to go, of course.  It's been at least 25 years and there is no road.  All to say, I have seen the state waste a lot of money.  I honestly don't intend to come off like I am constantly contrary, I don't.  My point is always if it's the interest of saving a buck here or a buck there, then why didn't you save a buck here or there the other 800 times you could have easily saved a buck?  Lets take all the sections of I-69 currently signed.  Was that worth us paying for all those shields?  They didn't sign a new highway like Louisiana and Arkansas did for I-49, no, Texas just slapped a shield on an already existing freeway, back slapped each other, shook hands and took pictures and made it seem like they changed the world.  I would honestly say they wasted way more money doing the signing they already did than what I am proposing (not to mention signing mile marker for routes without a definite zero post yet, I-369).  I mean, if you are gonna waste a bunch of money over here, what's stopping you from wasting more over there?

I guess I keep asking the same questions over and over again.  The reasoning for why X road isn't an interstate, or why this road is not like that road, the answer is it's expensive to make x road an interstate.  I then turn to some multi billion dollar projects in the state and say, so I guess it was okay there, huh?

The short-form answer as to preliminary Interstate signage value, particularly on pre-existing-but-meeting-criteria freeways like US 59 through Houston, is this:  the project promoters want to get the camel's nose through the door, so to speak!  Here, it's a joint Alliance and TxDOT effort (both "all in" on the corridor concept), so the decision to deploy I-69 signage in arguably the most populated section of the entire corridor was, given the existing ready-to-go facility, a no-brainer.  Lots of Texans and commercial drivers from all over the region see that signage on a regular basis, and expectations are formed as to where I-69 is going to go and how long it's going to take to get there.  With the isolated I-69E/C/I-2 cluster in the Rio Grande Valley, it's much the same thing but with a slightly different audience -- one seeking some semblance of connectivity with the rest of the state.  It's likely I-69E will be the first to actually provide the connection to the rest of the Interstate network; when it does (and if COVID is behind us by then) it'll be accompanied by loud hoopla and a shitload of PR.  Later, with I-69C, when it reaches I-37 there will be some but likely less boisterous celebration -- but more sighs of relief from truckers. 

The first decade of Interstate deployment ('57-'67) was a lot like this -- sections were built, ribbons cut, politicos yapped, and piece by piece it came together.  But after the first ten years the novelty had largely worn off, and the ribbons/blithering became ever rarer (generally for the better!).  But with the lack of the good old federal chargeability, things move at a slower pace today -- so 25 years into the corridor's existence, it's still in its infancy south of Kentucky.  The signage on eligible completed sections is simply to keep the overall project in the public eye, particularly when funding is sought.  If portions of the public regularly clamor for more progress on the corridor, it's difficult for those holding the purse strings to repeatedly procrastinate without occasionally loosening things up and funding it a segment at a time.  Right now the emphasis is centered both north and southwest of Houston, although the King Ranch segment of I-69E is also in the design stage, along with spot projects on 69C.  So as long as something is going on at any given time, it indicates that things are progressing reasonably well.  Of course this year anything of the sort is well down the priority list as far as public perception is concerned -- but OTOH the relative lack of traffic means that projects that would certainly disrupt "normal" flow -- like in situ upgrades of existing facilities -- can be undertaken with less problems (much of the US 59 upgrades fit those parameters).  So it's possible that as we (hopefully) emerge from our sequestrations and lockdowns some of us may have a shiny new section of I-69 -- signed as such or not -- on which to travel.  And then the cycle continues -- we see positive results and wonder when the next piece of the puzzle will come our way.  And that's the likely state of affairs for the next couple of decades until at least two pieces of the South Texas "trident" are in operation, as well as the 69/369 continuum from Houston to Texarkana.  And if one wants to see a major ribbon-cutting, replete with all the regalia and BS such an event can hold, wait until the last segment between Brownsville and Texarkana opens -- the eastern half of the state (and pretty much most Houston-based CEO's) will throw one hell of a party if physically possible (hopefully we won't be up to COVID-38 by that time!).     
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1685 on: August 11, 2020, 06:44:31 PM »

Sure, but you also have to think about the usefulness of the I-69(C/E/W/F/Q/∆/ō) designation as a navigation tool. If someone hops onto a segment of I-69 thinking it will connect with another segment of I-69 they are already familiar with, and it ends after one mile instead, they could get confused/lost.

In the original Interstate era, this was handled with "Temporary" bannered routes or "To" routes. But is the expense and effort to install those worth the boost in morale of signing disparate one-mile sections of Interstate as such?

Short answer....Yes!

Haha.  I say that because I have seen Texas waste amazing amounts of money in resigning projects that didn't need to be resigned (let's put clearview here), signing in an area that has a construction project that will start literally in days destroying the sign that was just erected, and the coup de gras https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1872983,-97.9128173,3a,59y,43.79h,95.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKbWWb3giD8g60TxQwzIBBw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192.  This is a stubout road built when SH-45 was built here in the 90's.  Until recently there was a shield assembly here telling you the directions to turn for EAST or WEST SH-45, FACING THE WOODS!!!  I know for a fact these shields were present because I may have a bit of intel on where one of the shields is currently located.  The shields were placed there so in the advent of a road reaching that intersection, the driver would know where to go, of course.  It's been at least 25 years and there is no road.  All to say, I have seen the state waste a lot of money.  I honestly don't intend to come off like I am constantly contrary, I don't.  My point is always if it's the interest of saving a buck here or a buck there, then why didn't you save a buck here or there the other 800 times you could have easily saved a buck?  Lets take all the sections of I-69 currently signed.  Was that worth us paying for all those shields?  They didn't sign a new highway like Louisiana and Arkansas did for I-49, no, Texas just slapped a shield on an already existing freeway, back slapped each other, shook hands and took pictures and made it seem like they changed the world.  I would honestly say they wasted way more money doing the signing they already did than what I am proposing (not to mention signing mile marker for routes without a definite zero post yet, I-369).  I mean, if you are gonna waste a bunch of money over here, what's stopping you from wasting more over there?

I guess I keep asking the same questions over and over again.  The reasoning for why X road isn't an interstate, or why this road is not like that road, the answer is it's expensive to make x road an interstate.  I then turn to some multi billion dollar projects in the state and say, so I guess it was okay there, huh?

The short-form answer as to preliminary Interstate signage value, particularly on pre-existing-but-meeting-criteria freeways like US 59 through Houston, is this:  the project promoters want to get the camel's nose through the door, so to speak!  Here, it's a joint Alliance and TxDOT effort (both "all in" on the corridor concept), so the decision to deploy I-69 signage in arguably the most populated section of the entire corridor was, given the existing ready-to-go facility, a no-brainer.  Lots of Texans and commercial drivers from all over the region see that signage on a regular basis, and expectations are formed as to where I-69 is going to go and how long it's going to take to get there.  With the isolated I-69E/C/I-2 cluster in the Rio Grande Valley, it's much the same thing but with a slightly different audience -- one seeking some semblance of connectivity with the rest of the state.  It's likely I-69E will be the first to actually provide the connection to the rest of the Interstate network; when it does (and if COVID is behind us by then) it'll be accompanied by loud hoopla and a shitload of PR.  Later, with I-69C, when it reaches I-37 there will be some but likely less boisterous celebration -- but more sighs of relief from truckers. 

The first decade of Interstate deployment ('57-'67) was a lot like this -- sections were built, ribbons cut, politicos yapped, and piece by piece it came together.  But after the first ten years the novelty had largely worn off, and the ribbons/blithering became ever rarer (generally for the better!).  But with the lack of the good old federal chargeability, things move at a slower pace today -- so 25 years into the corridor's existence, it's still in its infancy south of Kentucky.  The signage on eligible completed sections is simply to keep the overall project in the public eye, particularly when funding is sought.  If portions of the public regularly clamor for more progress on the corridor, it's difficult for those holding the purse strings to repeatedly procrastinate without occasionally loosening things up and funding it a segment at a time.  Right now the emphasis is centered both north and southwest of Houston, although the King Ranch segment of I-69E is also in the design stage, along with spot projects on 69C.  So as long as something is going on at any given time, it indicates that things are progressing reasonably well.  Of course this year anything of the sort is well down the priority list as far as public perception is concerned -- but OTOH the relative lack of traffic means that projects that would certainly disrupt "normal" flow -- like in situ upgrades of existing facilities -- can be undertaken with less problems (much of the US 59 upgrades fit those parameters).  So it's possible that as we (hopefully) emerge from our sequestrations and lockdowns some of us may have a shiny new section of I-69 -- signed as such or not -- on which to travel.  And then the cycle continues -- we see positive results and wonder when the next piece of the puzzle will come our way.  And that's the likely state of affairs for the next couple of decades until at least two pieces of the South Texas "trident" are in operation, as well as the 69/369 continuum from Houston to Texarkana.  And if one wants to see a major ribbon-cutting, replete with all the regalia and BS such an event can hold, wait until the last segment between Brownsville and Texarkana opens -- the eastern half of the state (and pretty much most Houston-based CEO's) will throw one hell of a party if physically possible (hopefully we won't be up to COVID-38 by that time!).     

Got it, but if you really want to promote a project, keep it in the public's eye.  There is a short concurrency of I-69E and I-37 just north of where that section of I-69E ends.  let's sign that.  Keep it in everyone's face, that way everyone will be accountable for keeping the project going.  The more inquires, the more the people that are working on that project want those inquiries to go away, so they speed up the job.  Works with my job. 
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1686 on: August 11, 2020, 09:59:27 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
Essentially the "squeaky wheel" concept.  That works well when it's a matter of where & when to apportion available funds -- but with current public-sector expenditure routine, it becomes an issue when their political handlers are divided about whether to spend money on public projects at all.  If the negative side tends to prevail, then all the PR and public outcry in the world will hardly make a dent in the proceedings.  Fortunately for you TX folks, there's enough "connected" folks "all in" regarding not only I-69 but, to a lesser extent, the other planned corridor concepts to render them reasonably viable.  If enough of them periodically nudge TxDOT, which in turn nudges the state legislature and/or the state's congressional delegation, the corridors will advance piece by piece until reasonably complete.
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1687 on: August 13, 2020, 09:31:02 AM »

Poking around Texas on Google Maps due to another thread, I found that the Driscoll Relief Route construction on Future I-69E is now showing up in the satellite image...

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.6741635,-97.7541586,6510m/data=!3m1!1e3
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 07:59:17 PM by GreenLanternCorps »
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1688 on: August 13, 2020, 02:24:21 PM »

The new satellite imagery is showing up in both Google Maps and Earth. There is also a good bit of fairly recent Street View imagery there too.
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1689 on: August 13, 2020, 08:02:07 PM »

I checked Apple just now on my phone, no dice.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1690 on: August 13, 2020, 08:52:03 PM »

Poking around Texas on Google Maps due to another thread, I found that the Driscoll Relief Route construction on Future I-69E is now showing up in the satellite image...

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.6741635,-97.7541586,6510m/data=!3m1!1e3

That's a nice utilitarian bypass alignment -- keep it close in for town access but far enough afield so as not to take a significant amount of developed property.  Obviously sending it straight down the existing US 77 facility was a non-starter (way too much private access with which to deal).  TxDOT planners did a more than decent job here!
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1691 on: August 16, 2020, 04:37:11 PM »

I now the I-69C subject has come up numerous times, but I don't think anyone has really analyzed this part until I was thinking about it today.  The current alignment crosses I-69W at George West, but it continues north to I-37 north of Three Rivers.  I never really thought much of it before, but shouldn't that part not be signed as I-69C.  I mean, I-69C should be spawned from I-69W if we are going to be technical about it, so shouldn't the segment from George West to the current intersection of US 281 and I-37 north of Three Rivers have a separate number?

i  canít remember if it has already been posted, but here is the February 2018 I-69 Implementation Status Report:

http://168.44.251.92/pub/txdot-info/i69/implementation-strategy-report-0218.pdf

It updates the March 2016 I-69 implementation Status Report:

https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/i69/implementation-strategy-report.pdf

It is now a little dated and it seems about time for a new update (perhaps COVID is delaying it?) At any rate, it confirms there are no plans to upgrade US 281 from George West to Three Rivers to an I-x69. (page 56 of 78)

* edit

I took a look at the 2045 Victoria MTP (May 2020) and I canít tell if they have chosen the route for I-69W. Part of the loop is designated as ďFuture I-69Ē and it goes beyond US 59, but not all of the way around on the loop. On page 162 of 169:
https://www.victoriatx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2627/2045-MTP
If Iím not mistaken, this would be the first project specifically for the I-69W corridor outside Laredo?
The loop upgrade is a benefit for US-77 and providing an interstate grade loop around the city, but is not apart of the I-69 system as far as Iím aware, unless they want a I-x69.

The Implementation Report update also shows that, as of February 2018, I-69W will begin in the southeast corner of Victoria and not travel around the loop. (P. 47 of 78)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 07:45:32 PM by Grzrd »
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1692 on: August 20, 2020, 12:36:28 PM »

Sure, but you also have to think about the usefulness of the I-69(C/E/W/F/Q/∆/ō) designation as a navigation tool. If someone hops onto a segment of I-69 thinking it will connect with another segment of I-69 they are already familiar with, and it ends after one mile instead, they could get confused/lost.

In the original Interstate era, this was handled with "Temporary" bannered routes or "To" routes. But is the expense and effort to install those worth the boost in morale of signing disparate one-mile sections of Interstate as such?

I don't think many of us choose to follow a single highway to get from point-a to point-b.  The GPS tells us where to go at most every turn.  A perfect example is from Lufkin, TX to Marshall, TX   You start out on US-59 and Finish up on US-59 but you take US-259 and SH-315.
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kphoger

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1693 on: August 20, 2020, 01:25:15 PM »

The GPS tells us where to go at most every turn.

The what?  Don't have one of those thingamagadgets in my car.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1694 on: August 20, 2020, 01:54:31 PM »

Do you use Google Maps or Waze?
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kphoger

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1695 on: August 20, 2020, 02:03:51 PM »

Do you use Google Maps or Waze?

Only ahead of time.  And I don't automatically go with the route it first suggests.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1696 on: August 20, 2020, 09:44:39 PM »

Having dealt with the GPS on my business partner's car on more than one occasion, I certainly would like to tell the designers/engineers of the system where to go -- or, more precisely, just where to stick their product. 
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rte66man

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1697 on: August 21, 2020, 07:51:33 AM »

Having dealt with the GPS on my business partner's car on more than one occasion, I certainly would like to tell the designers/engineers of the system where to go -- or, more precisely, just where to stick their product. 

I've never used GPS to navigate. I use Google Maps but plan my own route. I tried Waze but it isn't particularly helpful in my area.
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kphoger

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1698 on: August 21, 2020, 10:48:09 AM »

I use Google Maps but plan my own route.

This summarizes what I do too.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1699 on: August 21, 2020, 11:32:02 AM »

^

Usually Iíll use Google Maps to route plan, then run Waze in the background once actually driving for traffic information, and other minor yet helpful info like where vehicles are pulled over, police traps, debris in road, animals nearby (especially w/ deer in the evening), etc.

Not absolutely need info and also not 100% reliable, but helpful to have a heads up when possible.
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