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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 592859 times)

bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1725 on: August 26, 2020, 03:54:51 PM »


^^^^^^^^^^^^
Definitely the finalization of the suffixed approach, long favored within Alliance ranks -- they thought that was the only way to keep their pet Congressfolks busy getting appropriations (i.e., don't confuse them too much with non-69-referenced segments) took place in the 2010's and not earlier.  I was in contact with those folks in 2010-11 regarding designation options; their response to me was essentially along those lines, couched in the "maintaining consistency" concept.   If I had to cobble up an explanation for the original deployment of unsuffixed I-69 shields along what would become I-69E, it would be along the old "camel's nose through the tent door" sort of dynamic -- "brand" the route with the basic number and worry about the specifics later.  And, yeah, the old now-replaced shields may well find themselves up by Nacogdoches in time!


It is more about keeping any of the three constituencies from thinking they were lesser (IE not getting the MAIN I-69) everyone gets an equivalent.Sort of like Dallas and Fort Worth or Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  Neither of them got bypassed.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 04:22:26 PM by bwana39 »
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1726 on: August 26, 2020, 04:24:49 PM »

Quote
from: sparker on August 25, 2020, 05:45:26 PM

... But getting back to the matter at hand -- the analysis of the rationale behind maintaining the I-69 alignment as a relief route is pretty spot on; if TX completes its I-69/369 continuum well ahead of full development of the main I-69 trunk across AR and into MS, expect to see serious consequences -- essentially "rolling congestion" along I-30, I-440, and I-40 across the state (possibly lessened once I-57 is completed) due to the present configuration of both freeways, which doesn't readily lend itself to expansion without a substantial overall rebuild.  Much freeway design of the '60's, particularly in states that employed a more frugal approach to the original design/construction effort, is that type -- not anticipating the overall traffic increases that have occurred in the last half century.  And remember that a relief route "offsite", so to speak, doesn't pose the traffic interruption issues endemic to "expand-in-place" efforts.

The Gridlock is already worse between Texarkana and Little Rock and I-69 is not anywhere near finished. Traffic on I-49 is light.  The difference between Mount Pleasant and Hope traffic volumes is already primarily from US-59.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 08:47:26 PM by bwana39 »
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1727 on: August 28, 2020, 02:38:55 AM »

One interesting aspect of the coronavirus is that there are now a lot of virtual meetings in which roadgeeks can participate. One such meeting is about the proposed widening of US 59/ US 77 in Victoria for the Future I-69:

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/082520.html

It will take place on August 25.

* edit

Thanks to rte66man for the welcome back over in the Interstate 269 thread.
Meeting materials have been posted to the TxDOT project website.

The project limits are what I had predicted before - the remainder of the Victoria Beltway between FM-236 and US-77 / US-59 (Future I-69E)


Similar to the existing freeway segment north of FM-236, the project would ultimately construct a 4 lane freeway with a concrete barrier median / 6 foot left paved shoulders along with two-lane one way frontage roads in each direction. Two alternatives were presented, with the largest difference being two curves on US-59 / US-77 east of the US-59 / Business US-59 interchange - Alternative 1 would increase the radius on the two curves, Alternative 2 would completely realign the highway to eliminate the two curves. Both alternatives also feature direct flyovers to/from US-59 / US-77 to US-59 (the proposed I-69W movements). The US-59 / US-77 (Future I-69E / I-69W) interchange will not be modified.

Due to budget constraints, the project will be constructed in two phases. The first phase, in typical TxDOT fashion, would construct the frontage roads with a wide median, for around $35 million. This phase is fully funded and will begin construction in Fall 2023. Even though this is not constructing the freeway portion of the project, it would still eliminate the last 2 lane section of the beltway, a major improvement over the current situation. Phase 2 would construct the mainline / freeway in the median, and likely the US-59 flyovers, and is not currently funded.

The design speed for the mainline / freeway is 60 mph and the frontage roads is 50 mph, so in typical TxDOT fashion, the speed limit will likely be 70 - 75 mph. What is the point of a low design speed when the actual speed limit will ultimately be the default 70 mph or higher 75 mph?

Project Website: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/082520.html
Presentation: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-us77/082520-presentation.pdf
Alternative 1: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-us77/082520-schematic-1.pdf
Alternative 2: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-us77/082520-schematic-2.pdf
Typical Sections: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/us59-us77/082520-typical-sections.pdf
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 02:45:45 AM by sprjus4 »
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bluecountry

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1728 on: August 28, 2020, 03:25:04 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1729 on: August 28, 2020, 06:45:21 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

To avoid unnecessary reiteration, see my replies#1711 and #1713 a bit earlier in this thread.   
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1730 on: August 31, 2020, 03:07:47 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

If it had spurs it would need boots and chaps.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1731 on: August 31, 2020, 04:44:45 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

Because the I-69E, I-69C, and I-69W designations were codified into federal law when Congress enacted the legislation that established the I-69 corridor.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1732 on: September 01, 2020, 05:27:03 AM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

Because the I-69E, I-69C, and I-69W designations were codified into federal law when Congress enacted the legislation that established the I-69 corridor.

The actual suffixes were not codified at that point; the legislative language specified a "east" and "central" corridor; what will become I-69W was not itself specified -- apparently the original intent was to keep that as the mainline I-69 and simply "branch" the others southward from it.   When TxDOT and the Alliance decided to simply translate the legislative language into actual suffixed designations circa 2010-11, they thought better of the original approach and subsequently modified the actual Interstate designations from the original legislation to include I-69W along with the "C" and "E" routes, effectively truncating the mainline I-69 at the E/W split near Victoria. 
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1733 on: September 01, 2020, 04:10:25 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

Because the I-69E, I-69C, and I-69W designations were codified into federal law when Congress enacted the legislation that established the I-69 corridor.

The actual suffixes were not codified at that point; the legislative language specified a "east" and "central" corridor; what will become I-69W was not itself specified -- apparently the original intent was to keep that as the mainline I-69 and simply "branch" the others southward from it.   When TxDOT and the Alliance decided to simply translate the legislative language into actual suffixed designations circa 2010-11, they thought better of the original approach and subsequently modified the actual Interstate designations from the original legislation to include I-69W along with the "C" and "E" routes, effectively truncating the mainline I-69 at the E/W split near Victoria.

Which I always thought was dumb.  It should take the rules of suffixed interstates into account, that the mainline mileage is derived from the E branch.  I understand this is a different situation then the last living suffixed interstates in that they don't branch from a unified interstate, then return to a unified interstate, but it's confusing to count down to Victoria just to have the mile post go back up and count down to the valley if traveling south.  Even worse to have them count up to Victoria then reset to zero and count up again. 
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1734 on: September 03, 2020, 01:42:52 PM »

Found some construction images on Google Maps from last fall on I-69E (Southern section) north of Raymondville:

https://www.google.com/maps/@26.5977635,-97.7663174,3a,60y,316.77h,98.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sn-5Li3sE51DPTjgcFlQooQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1735 on: September 03, 2020, 02:49:37 PM »

Found some construction images on Google Maps from last fall on I-69E (Southern section) north of Raymondville:

https://www.google.com/maps/@26.5977635,-97.7663174,3a,60y,316.77h,98.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sn-5Li3sE51DPTjgcFlQooQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
Looks to be about 6 miles of mainline construction in the median.
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mrsman

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1736 on: September 09, 2020, 02:34:44 PM »

I do not get why I-69 has I-69, 69E, 69W, why not just have spurs?

Because the I-69E, I-69C, and I-69W designations were codified into federal law when Congress enacted the legislation that established the I-69 corridor.

And we all think that is terrible.  Let the Congress vote to fund highways, but let the professionals decide on these criteria. 

This is also why we have an I-99 designation in PA and NY, even though it does not follow the numbering plan.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1737 on: September 09, 2020, 04:29:08 PM »

I think former Rep. Bud Shuster gave the US 220 corridor the Interstate 99 designation because there was a streetcar connecting his hometown of Glassport with McKeesport, that was numbered 99. It's annoying, but I think Interstate 238 in the Bay Area is a worse designation. As for Interstates 69E, 69C, and 69W, I would have numbered 69E as Interstate 69, 69C as Interstate 202, and 69W as Interstate 6 (though that last number could have gone to the Interstate 49 South corridor between Lafayette and New Orleans in Louisiana).
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1738 on: September 09, 2020, 05:39:29 PM »

I think former Rep. Bud Shuster gave the US 220 corridor the Interstate 99 designation because there was a streetcar connecting his hometown of Glassport with McKeesport, that was numbered 99. It's annoying, but I think Interstate 238 in the Bay Area is a worse designation. As for Interstates 69E, 69C, and 69W, I would have numbered 69E as Interstate 69, 69C as Interstate 202, and 69W as Interstate 6 (though that last number could have gone to the Interstate 49 South corridor between Lafayette and New Orleans in Louisiana).

Back in 2010 in correspondence to the Alliance for I-69/Texas I suggested that the I-69 "main line" proceed down the eastern leg, the western/Laredo branch be I-6, and the central branch, at their option, could be either a southern iteration of I-41 or simply I-169 (also suggesting I-47 for the Texarkana branch).  Reply: thanks but no thanks; we're probably sticking with the descriptions transferred to suffixes, including the central branch  (which, AFAIK, is the first iteration of the "C" suffix to indicate "central" on any US or Interstate route).  Rationales given:  don't confuse the congress critters holding the purse strings by stretching their comprehension, and doubling down on the publicity already afforded the "69" label. 

But the Shuster reference is quite correct; and I-238 is a bit of an embarassment -- but at the time CA 480 was still standing (for 5 more years after the I-238 designation), and Caltrans has been loath to do any kind of numbering "swap" -- and now that 34 years have passed since the I-238 signage was erected, there's no momentum to change anything -- although CA 238 south of there is all but relinquished, so the Interstate freeway portion is no longer effectively an extension of anything! 
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kphoger

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1739 on: September 10, 2020, 10:30:41 AM »

The I-99 and I-238 designations annoy nobody but roadgeeks and cause zero people any confusion at all.

The I-69C/E/W designations, on the other hand, have real potential to mislead drivers.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1740 on: September 10, 2020, 11:30:30 AM »

I think former Rep. Bud Shuster gave the US 220 corridor the Interstate 99 designation because there was a streetcar connecting his hometown of Glassport with McKeesport, that was numbered 99. It's annoying, but I think Interstate 238 in the Bay Area is a worse designation. As for Interstates 69E, 69C, and 69W, I would have numbered 69E as Interstate 69, 69C as Interstate 202, and 69W as Interstate 6 (though that last number could have gone to the Interstate 49 South corridor between Lafayette and New Orleans in Louisiana).

Back in 2010 in correspondence to the Alliance for I-69/Texas I suggested that the I-69 "main line" proceed down the eastern leg, the western/Laredo branch be I-6, and the central branch, at their option, could be either a southern iteration of I-41 or simply I-169 (also suggesting I-47 for the Texarkana branch).  Reply: thanks but no thanks; we're probably sticking with the descriptions transferred to suffixes, including the central branch  (which, AFAIK, is the first iteration of the "C" suffix to indicate "central" on any US or Interstate route).  Rationales given:  don't confuse the congress critters holding the purse strings by stretching their comprehension, and doubling down on the publicity already afforded the "69" label. 

The "69" label.... I could hear the 69 jokes coming to my head. ;)


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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1741 on: September 10, 2020, 08:55:47 PM »

I think former Rep. Bud Shuster gave the US 220 corridor the Interstate 99 designation because there was a streetcar connecting his hometown of Glassport with McKeesport, that was numbered 99. It's annoying, but I think Interstate 238 in the Bay Area is a worse designation. As for Interstates 69E, 69C, and 69W, I would have numbered 69E as Interstate 69, 69C as Interstate 202, and 69W as Interstate 6 (though that last number could have gone to the Interstate 49 South corridor between Lafayette and New Orleans in Louisiana).

Back in 2010 in correspondence to the Alliance for I-69/Texas I suggested that the I-69 "main line" proceed down the eastern leg, the western/Laredo branch be I-6, and the central branch, at their option, could be either a southern iteration of I-41 or simply I-169 (also suggesting I-47 for the Texarkana branch).  Reply: thanks but no thanks; we're probably sticking with the descriptions transferred to suffixes, including the central branch  (which, AFAIK, is the first iteration of the "C" suffix to indicate "central" on any US or Interstate route).  Rationales given:  don't confuse the congress critters holding the purse strings by stretching their comprehension, and doubling down on the publicity already afforded the "69" label. 

The "69" label.... I could hear the 69 jokes coming to my head. ;)




Taking into consideration the fate of former CA 69, consigned to history because of extensive shield theft, one only wonders what the corresponding signage theft rate is for I-69, particularly in the two states hosting the original pre-extension alignment (IN, MI) where the route has been active since the '60's.     

 
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1742 on: September 11, 2020, 11:26:47 AM »

They have begun clearing trees and doing ground work for the Diboll bypass.

I was through Diboll last week. They have begun the clearing and earth moving on the south side for the bypass. Looks like it is in the very early stages, but it is going.
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TheBox

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1743 on: September 26, 2020, 06:05:04 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.

Unless Business US-59 becomes Business I-69 (much like how Business US-75 between Houston and DFW became Business I-45), that's where US-59 may live on, much like how US-90 lives on even after I-10 was complete (although US-90 goes further into Del Rio)

or maybe not cause what i said about US-90 going further to Del Rio (and smaller places before) being the one route I-10 avoids in favor of El Paso (which is much bigger than Del Rio)
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1744 on: September 26, 2020, 06:51:08 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.

Unless Business US-59 becomes Business I-69 (much like how Business US-75 between Houston and DFW became Business I-45), that's where US-59 may live on, much like how US-90 lives on even after I-10 was complete (although US-90 goes further into Del Rio)

or maybe not cause what i said about US-90 going further to Del Rio (and smaller places before) being the one route I-10 avoids in favor of El Paso (which is much bigger than Del Rio)

One thing to consider when discussing signage over short disconnected completed (or as cited above, "semi-completed" in some instances) Interstate corridor segments is the actual expense of (a) "spot" fixes, such as joisting off driveways to the nearest surface street and (b) dispatching the signage crews to the upgraded section.  Remember, except for the signage itself, this is work not done by maintenance crews but by contractors paid from legislatively authorized funds.  That's why I-69 between Victoria and Houston is proceeding in let segments rather than simply locating an existing freeway section and concentrating on getting it up to standards -- it's more economically efficient to do so for 10-15 miles at a shot than a series of 1-2 mile existing freeway pieces; the interim segments will have to be done sooner or later in any case; may as well make progress in larger chunks -- and there will be greater continuity, since the upgrades and the sections connecting the former piecemeal freeway will likely look similar -- with fresh pavement, consistency of bridge abutments, improved lines of sight, etc.  In other words, it'll look like a decent amount of new Interstate-grade roadway, which in turn will assure both the pursestring-holders as well as the locals affected by the new route that substantial progress is being made toward completing the full corridor.  Having a nice new rural segment segueing into a former through-town portion that was upgraded to barely meet spec is a bit disconcerting (cf. Arbuckle, CA on I-5!); best to construct a consistent product.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1745 on: September 26, 2020, 07:50:26 PM »

Having a nice new rural segment segueing into a former through-town portion that was upgraded to barely meet spec is a bit disconcerting (cf. Arbuckle, CA on I-5!)
I-27 has a couple of those... Hale Center and Albernathy.

This segment near Canyon, TX was just barely bypassed.
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rte66man

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1746 on: September 29, 2020, 07:16:14 PM »

Having a nice new rural segment segueing into a former through-town portion that was upgraded to barely meet spec is a bit disconcerting (cf. Arbuckle, CA on I-5!)
I-27 has a couple of those... Hale Center and Albernathy.

This segment near Canyon, TX was just barely bypassed.

That part through Hale Center is SCARY! You really have to be on your toes.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1747 on: October 05, 2020, 01:46:50 PM »

Never underestimate the value of an interstate:

Quote

Cleveland ISD is the fastest-growing school district in Texas, Superintendent of Schools Chris Trotter said. The district, which currently has 8,600 students, might reach as many as 15,000 by 2025, he estimates. The district has grown nearly 125% since the 2014-15 school year, when it had 3,829 students, according to a November 2019 presentation.

Trotter attributed that growth, in part, to Cleveland ISD’s location, intersected by Interstate 69 and State Highway 105 northeast of Houston.

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2020/10/01/cleveland-isd-breaks-ground-school.html

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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1748 on: October 05, 2020, 03:49:07 PM »

Never underestimate the value of an interstate:

Quote

Cleveland ISD is the fastest-growing school district in Texas, Superintendent of Schools Chris Trotter said. The district, which currently has 8,600 students, might reach as many as 15,000 by 2025, he estimates. The district has grown nearly 125% since the 2014-15 school year, when it had 3,829 students, according to a November 2019 presentation.

Trotter attributed that growth, in part, to Cleveland ISD’s location, intersected by Interstate 69 and State Highway 105 northeast of Houston.

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2020/10/01/cleveland-isd-breaks-ground-school.html



I have been banging this drum forever.  An interstate makes ALL the difference t so many things, not just that you can drive non-stop.
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1749 on: October 05, 2020, 06:37:43 PM »

Never underestimate the value of an interstate:

Quote

Cleveland ISD is the fastest-growing school district in Texas, Superintendent of Schools Chris Trotter said. The district, which currently has 8,600 students, might reach as many as 15,000 by 2025, he estimates. The district has grown nearly 125% since the 2014-15 school year, when it had 3,829 students, according to a November 2019 presentation.

Trotter attributed that growth, in part, to Cleveland ISD’s location, intersected by Interstate 69 and State Highway 105 northeast of Houston.

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2020/10/01/cleveland-isd-breaks-ground-school.html



I have been banging this drum forever.  An interstate makes ALL the difference t so many things, not just that you can drive non-stop.

Yes, a freeway (Interstate if you must) does drive growth. That said,  Cleveland texas is about the urban sprawl from Houston. It is about the same distance from Downtown Houston as Conroe. The biggest thing Cleveland has going for it is the housing pricing is relatively low. Crime is relatively low.

I can certainly offer you another place that has grown similarly: Princeton TX. Princeton is 15 miles from a freeway of any type.  As far as that goes, Frisco and far north Plano were also on small roads when they began their rush.  SH121 was 2 lanes at places going either east toward McKinney and west toward Grapevine.  Preston Road (which is what the growth surrounded, was a four-lane road (mostly) . While Frisco went nuts after SRT was built and DNT were extended the need for the sprawl to spread northward was necessary even without roads.

Just like Frisco  grew up around Preston Rd (SH-289) and Celina and Gunter are sprawling, Cleveland would most probably have grown up without I-69.  That said, the growth makes I-69 be needed even more than before.
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