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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 519229 times)

dariusb

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #200 on: August 06, 2012, 01:19:17 PM »

This is from todays Texarkana Gazette:
     A report concerning the local leg of the future Interstate 69 is now available. Segment committees have made the reports available, and the Texarkana and East Texas corridor is Segment One. The reports are found at txdot.gov/drivenbytexans/publications.htm  Statewide there are 5 segment committees composed of citizen volunteers. I-69 is a proposed national highway linking Michigan and Texas. It stretches about 1,600 miles and includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan. Jerry Sparks chairs the I-69 Segment One Committee, and said the report will be passed to decision makers, including legislators and Texas Dept Of Transportationofficials.

      The lengthy report is the culmination of about 2 years work.Segment One runs from Texarkana south to around Lufkin, Tx and the future I-69 largely follows U.S. Hwy 59. "Everywhere along the I-69 corridor where it's feasible, it uses existing corridors. We're not trying to build a new superhighway through the middle of nowhere. We want to take advantage of existing highways that meet interstate standards", Sparks said. The report represents traffic and highway data, citizen input and resolutions of support for I-69. It states support for I-69 is not only needed to accomodate population and traffic growth, but also to provide safer travel, improve emergency evacuations and improve economic development. The cost estimate is staggering for the Texas portion. About 16.4 billion is needed statewide to reconstruct roads to be designated I-69 corridors, with 4.6 billion in improvements identified in Segment One alone.

        Sparks pointed out funding is likely to be scarce, as state and national transportation budgets have been cut. "Without adequate funding, all we have is a conceptual plan. But we have to start now and know its an uphill battle. It's not going to be fast," he said. In a TxDOT press release dated July 24, the agency says Texas Transportation Commission recently approved an additional $140 million for various projects along the route, bringing total funding to more than $600 million. The release states funded priorities include the study of relief options in the Nacogdoches/Lufkin/Corrigan area; right of way acquisition for U.S. 59 improvements in Liberty County; environmental and engineering studies in the fort Bend and Wharton County areas; upgrading a section of U.S. 59 in Victoria to interstate standards; construction of a relief route in Premont; the U>S> 77/I-69 interstate-upgrade project from Driscoll to Kingsville; and construction of an overpass in Laredo. The I-69 advisory committee and 5 segment committees were created in 2008 by TTC. The move is a grassroots effort to encourage citizen involvement in planning the Texas portion of I-69.

       In a TxDOT press release dated July 24, the agency said it is reviewing more than 200 miles of highway along U.S. 59, U.S. 77, U.S. 83 and U.S. 281 as the first step in designating these highways as I-69. Most recently 35 miles of U.S. 59 was dually designated as I-69/U.S. 59 between I-610 North in Houston and the Liberty County line. Six miles of U.S. 77 has been designated I-69 between I-37 and state highway 44 in Robstown.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #201 on: August 06, 2012, 02:47:10 PM »

Looks like there is more misunderstanding locally of what the I-69 spur will be. The main interstate is not going through Texarkana. The main I-69 will go through the Shreveport area instead and will enter Texas somewhere between Carthage and Tenaha north of the north end of Toledo Bend Lake. What will be built to Texarkana instead will be a three-digit spur.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #202 on: August 06, 2012, 04:27:09 PM »

Is it possible that they renumber the spur to Laredo as I-6, and the central spur as something like I-906 (to keep the reference to I-69 intact)? Then you could have the Freer-Alice connector as I-269 (i.e. "to I-69")?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #203 on: August 06, 2012, 05:21:07 PM »

Is it possible that they renumber the spur to Laredo as I-6, and the central spur as something like I-906 (to keep the reference to I-69 intact)? Then you could have the Freer-Alice connector as I-269 (i.e. "to I-69")?

Nothing definitive has come out about exact numberings, other than the references to "I-69" in the valley having 'East' and 'Central' (and one more) naming.  I haven't heard about the use of any other number than a "69" or a possible "x69" as actual numbers, which for the moment leaves out any different possibilities, like a "6" or an I-37 extension/x37 numbering.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #204 on: August 09, 2012, 02:09:23 PM »

As regards relief options in Houston, in both the I-69 Segment Two Committee Report and Recommendations (pages 37-38/157; pages 31-32 of document) and the I-69 Segment Three Committee Report and Recommendations (page 36/157; page 30 of document), the Segment Two and Segment Three Committees ... did not tip their hand as far as recommending a specific relief route .... The language regarding Houston relief options in the two Committee reports is identical:
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Relief Options in Houston – In the first few months of meeting, the committee discussed ... the importance of providing connectivity to the Port of Houston and other ports along the Texas gulf coast. This discussion concluded with the committee recommending that ... relief options within and around the Houston area be studied and considered to provide convenient, vital access to the sea ports along the coast, as well as additional options for through travelers to bypass Houston instead of having to use US 59 or other routes to travel through Houston ...
I figured the Grand Parkway would be the I-x69 loop (I-669?) since it'll eventually roll near the refineries in Baytown, Pasadena, La Porte, and Texas City in its southeast quadrant while those wanting to bypass Houston can hit its northwest quadrant

I have been trying to get a better grip on the recommendations regarding relief "options" for Houston. The Segment 3 Committee characterizes the Grand Parkway as "an important connection for I-69", but does not go so far as to call it a "relief route" (page 20/157 of pdf; page 14 of document):

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Regional Highways – Committee members recognized that their segment is served by a number of important regional highways where future connections and interchanges with I-69 will be important planning objectives. Interstate highways I 10 and I-45 in the Houston area and I-37 just southwest of the segment provide important regional connections for future I-69 planning. In the Houston area, the future development of the Grand Parkway/SH 99 was considered to be an important connection for I-69 by members of the committee, as it would provide a link to the Port of Houston as well as provide connections to I-10, I-45, US 290 and SH 288.

Below is a map showing, among other things, the relationship between I-69 and the Grand Parkway (page 21/157 of pdf; page 15 of document):


My guess is that the Grand Parkway is already a de facto relief route (although it may be a looooong time before it, too, is finished), and that the Committees are considering options beyond a through route/relief route analysis. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 02:13:42 PM by Grzrd »
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #205 on: August 09, 2012, 05:23:09 PM »

Interesting that on that map at El Campo (Dr. Chuck Swindoll's hometown) is a "proposed KCS bypass"...interesting because that particular stretch of track was inactive and just languishing until the Kansas City Southern railway acquired it sometime last decade...they've made it a key part of their emerging Kansas City to Mexico mainline which through trackage or haulage rights goes north to Canada, I believe.  It's a blessing that the tracks they called "The macaroni line" (built with extensive help from Italian immigrants) were still in place, and that El Campo now has to have such a bypass on their part of the I-69 plan.

Arthur Stilwell, the KCS founder, envisioned a railroad that would be the shortest route between critical freight/cattle center Kansas City and the Gulf of Mexico, and had a railway built between KC and Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX - Lake Charles, LA.  Through acquisitions the KCS got the Louisiana and Arkansas and a railroad which runs pretty much parallel to I-49 (current, plus I-10 and future) all the way to New Orleans, and now with their still developing Mexico line they're running parallel to a future Kansas City/Mexico corridor via I-49 and I-69.  They may merge with someone some day, but Kansas City Southern is a fascinating story in that they as a medium-range* railroad have carved out a niche among the Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Canadian National/Illinois Central, the current "big boys" of American railroading that have acquired many railroads between them.

Shows me just how critical this emerging dual I-69 and I-49 corridor is as well.

*As a rule, most American railroad traffic goes between east and west.  Don't know that same rule applies to highway traffic as well.  KCS also has a key corridor between Dallas/Fort Worth into Birmingham (and therefore Atlanta) so they've got a good chunk of that sector.  If, may God forbid, the New Madrid fault blows and affects St.Louis and/or Memphis (and somehow leaves the KCS/I-20 Vicksburg/Tallulah bridge standing) that railroad will get even more critical.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 05:26:30 PM by O Tamandua »
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codyg1985

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #206 on: August 10, 2012, 12:05:48 PM »

*As a rule, most American railroad traffic goes between east and west.  Don't know that same rule applies to highway traffic as well.  KCS also has a key corridor between Dallas/Fort Worth into Birmingham (and therefore Atlanta) so they've got a good chunk of that sector.  If, may God forbid, the New Madrid fault blows and affects St.Louis and/or Memphis (and somehow leaves the KCS/I-20 Vicksburg/Tallulah bridge standing) that railroad will get even more critical.

KCS "Meridian Speedway" actually runs from Shreveport, LA to Meridian, MS. West of Shreveport it transitions to UP, and in Meridian it transitions to NS.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #207 on: August 10, 2012, 12:10:50 PM »

KCS "Meridian Speedway" actually runs from Shreveport, LA to Meridian, MS. West of Shreveport it transitions to UP, and in Meridian it transitions to NS.
Nope - a KCS predecessor got the old MKT from Shreveport to DFW in 1923: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eql08 You're right about the east end though - KCS did have a (since spun off) branch into Birmingham, but it wasn't the main line.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #208 on: August 10, 2012, 01:11:11 PM »

As regards relief options in Houston, in both the I-69 Segment Two Committee Report and Recommendations (pages 37-38/157; pages 31-32 of document) and the I-69 Segment Three Committee Report and Recommendations (page 36/157; page 30 of document), the Segment Two and Segment Three Committees ... did not tip their hand as far as recommending a specific relief route
My guess is that the Grand Parkway is already a de facto relief route (although it may be a looooong time before it, too, is finished), and that the Committees are considering options beyond a through route/relief route analysis.

I may have spoken too soon about the lack of a proposed relief route, at least in regard to the Segment Two Committee.  Below is a map included in their report in which they incorporate part of the Grand Parkway as a "Committee Suggested I-69 Route" (page 21/157 of pdf; page 15 of document):


Unfortunately, the Segment Three Committee apparently did not share the same opinion. For ease of comparison, here is the comparable Segment Three map again; the comparison shows that the Segment Three Committee does not extend the relief route suggested by the Segment Two Committee:


Which beltway would be the Houston loop? We have one done and one being worked on, outside of 610. And better idea, Sam Houston turns into 869 or 845 since it is always known as Beltway 8.

Another difference between the two Committee reports is that the Segment Two Committee report expressly mentions the Sam Houston Tollway as providing a similar function to the Grand Parkway (whereas the Segment Three Committee report does not) (page 20/157 of pdf; page 14 of document):

Quote
Regional Highways – ... In the Houston area, the future development of the Grand Parkway/SH 99 was considered to be an important connection for I-69 by members of the committee, as it would provide a link to the Port of Houston, the Fred Hartman ship channel bridge, SH 146 and SH 225 to the south. To the west, the proposed Grand Parkway/SH 99 would provide connections to I-10, I-45, US 290 and SH 249. Currently, committee members noted that the Beltway 8/ Sam Houston Tollway provides similar connections for traffic in the Houston area.

I would really like to see where the Segment Two Committee envisioned the southwestern interchange of the mainline and the relief route.  Maybe next decade ...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 01:42:12 PM by Grzrd »
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #209 on: August 10, 2012, 03:23:43 PM »

*As a rule, most American railroad traffic goes between east and west.  Don't know that same rule applies to highway traffic as well.  KCS also has a key corridor between Dallas/Fort Worth into Birmingham (and therefore Atlanta) so they've got a good chunk of that sector.  If, may God forbid, the New Madrid fault blows and affects St.Louis and/or Memphis (and somehow leaves the KCS/I-20 Vicksburg/Tallulah bridge standing) that railroad will get even more critical.

KCS "Meridian Speedway" actually runs from Shreveport, LA to Meridian, MS. West of Shreveport it transitions to UP, and in Meridian it transitions to NS.

The individual is correct about the KCS from SHV to D/FW (was the old "Louisiana and Arkansas" railroad and I think there was an acquisition that got KCS to the Alliance yard near Fort Worth) and according to the KCS web site today the route actually goes north of Meridian (forget which railroad that once was) for a ways then heads east slightly to Columbus, where the KCS leases NS trackage to Brookwood, AL, then has trackage rights to Birmingham.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #210 on: August 24, 2012, 10:31:21 AM »

As regards relief options in Houston ... I-69 Segment Two Committee Report and Recommendations (pages 37-38/157; pages 31-32 of document)
the Segment Two Committee ...incorporate part of the Grand Parkway as a "Committee Suggested I-69 Route" (page 21/157 of pdf; page 15 of document):

An August 23 Houston Chronicle editorial advocates that the Grand Parkway should be finished in a manner that meshes well with the purposes of I-69:

Quote
To quote an aphorism, measure twice, cut once. And by cut, we mean construct a massive highway along the outer edges of greater Houston.
As U.S. 59 becomes part of Interstate 69 ... projections show traffic in some areas growing by up to 150 percent over the next 20 years ....
a grass-roots committee appointed by the Texas Transportation Commission has mentioned a bypass on the city's east side.
This bypass would divert I-69 traffic away from Houston's city center while also improving necessary transportation access to our booming port areas.
But it seems like we've already got something along those lines underway with the Grand Parkway. While there's still a lot of construction remaining on the planned 180-mile third loop around Houston, some parkway segments have been completed, including one in Baytown.
Because plans are not yet set in pavement, we still have some flexibility to construct the Grand Parkway in a manner that can best serve some of the needs of I-69, particularly the influx of long-haul trucking and port commerce that is a near-inevitable part of Houston's future.

And even if we cannot build the parkway as close to the ports as would be optimal, additional investment in service roads could help this third loop both bypass and provide port access.
Doing it right once, instead of building it twice, can save taxpayer dollars and help ensure that this increased traffic will drive Houston's growth rather than hold it back. After all, the increased traffic is going to come from the people, ports and businesses that power Houston's economy, not to mention the long-haul trucks that are part of healthy international trade ....
So as the Legislature starts up next session, we hope that our representatives won't starve the goose that lays the golden egg. We need to fund Houston's transportation infrastructure.

I have been trying to get a better grip on the recommendations regarding relief "options" for Houston.
Quote
And even if we cannot build the parkway as close to the ports as would be optimal, additional investment in service roads could help this third loop both bypass and provide port access.

The above quote from the editorial board indicates that they are also looking beyond a Grand Parkway/ I-x69 relief route and recognize the need for additional relief options to optimize the entire Houston-area I-69 "system".  Too bad there are no near-term prospects for money to fund this vision.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 10:35:15 AM by Grzrd »
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FreewayDan

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #211 on: September 10, 2012, 08:42:45 PM »

Interstate 69 signs have now popped up in Houston.  These photo locations are along eastbound Beltway 8.

Distance to IH 69 & US 59 on Beltway 8 Eastbound - 1.5 Miles by FreewayDan, on Flickr

Distance to IH 69 & US 59 on Beltway 8 Eastbound - 1 Mile by FreewayDan, on Flickr

Approach to IH 69 & US 59 along eastbound Beltway 8 by FreewayDan, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 10:01:47 PM by FreewayDan »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #212 on: September 11, 2012, 12:57:11 AM »

This was all i could find in the Rio Grande Valley, north of Harlingen on US 77 (northbound)...

txstateends

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #213 on: September 11, 2012, 04:59:35 AM »

Interstate 69 signs have now popped up in Houston.  These photo locations are along eastbound Beltway 8.

Distance to IH 69 & US 59 on Beltway 8 Eastbound - 1.5 Miles by FreewayDan, on Flickr

Distance to IH 69 & US 59 on Beltway 8 Eastbound - 1 Mile by FreewayDan, on Flickr

Approach to IH 69 & US 59 along eastbound Beltway 8 by FreewayDan, on Flickr

Well, by the looks of these pix, not all the TX I-69 shields will be the same since these are neutered.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #214 on: September 17, 2012, 04:19:50 PM »

The Alliance for I-69 Texas website also has some Houston-area photos and an article about the new signage.

One of the photos:
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Perfxion

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #215 on: September 17, 2012, 10:36:24 PM »

From the website, I-69 goes right over US59 through Houston. Thus making some sense, saving some money, but still might need some upgrades inside the loop.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #216 on: September 17, 2012, 11:46:20 PM »

Quote
The individual is correct about the KCS from SHV to D/FW (was the old "Louisiana and Arkansas" railroad and I think there was an acquisition that got KCS to the Alliance yard near Fort Worth) and according to the KCS web site today
Concerning the KCS railroad stuff, the aquesition that got them to the Alliance yard was the former "Santa Fe Connection" (now the KCS Alliance Sub); which runs fron Dallas to Metro JCT north of Krum.

Here's some new info on the Louisiana and Arkansas line that ran east out of McKinney, Tx:
http://www.abandonedrails.com/McKinney_to_Farmersville
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #217 on: September 17, 2012, 11:47:55 PM »

Are there going to be any "I-69 ends, follow US 59" signs?
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Perfxion

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #218 on: September 18, 2012, 06:16:25 AM »

If its dual signed, might not be needed to say I-69 ends, since US59 signs are all over the place. Crazy thing is the current stubs of I-69 aren't even on the same road or highway.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #219 on: September 18, 2012, 09:24:47 AM »

There's a sign at the end of Future I-49 advising traffic on I-49 to continue north on US 71.  I would think TxDOT would post similar signs at the ends of the I-69 segments.



Speaking of I-49, it is ridiculous that all of these 5 mile long stretches of I-69 are allowed to be signed, but I-49 is not signed in Arkansas because of AASHTO.  They need a blanket policy one way or the other.
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Perfxion

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #220 on: September 18, 2012, 02:25:18 PM »

The problem is I-69 is written into law like I-99. I-49 goes by standard rules. Thus it seems AASHTO hands are tied with what happens with I-69.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #221 on: September 19, 2012, 09:45:47 PM »

The agenda for TTC's meeting next week includes this item: Highway Designations
(1) Bowie County - Authorize the submission of an application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to designate a segment of US 59 in Texarkana as an Interstate Highway (MO)
In accordance with the processes established by the Federal Highway Administration and AASHTO, this minute order authorizes the department to petition AASHTO to include a 3.5 mile segment of US 59 from I-30 to SL 151 in Texarkana as part of the Interstate Highway System as I-369. The proposed route will act as a spur within the developing Interstate Highway 69 System.

The Texarkana spur may be designated as I-369.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #222 on: September 19, 2012, 10:01:56 PM »

The agenda for TTC's meeting next week includes this item: Highway Designations
(1) Bowie County - Authorize the submission of an application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to designate a segment of US 59 in Texarkana as ... I-369. The proposed route will act as a spur within the developing Interstate Highway 69 System.
The Texarkana spur may be designated as I-369.

Interesting. I had thought they would go for I-969 because it would theoretically be the northernmost spur in the state.

EDIT

Also interesting - the Texas Transportation Commission will also consider an interstate designation application for US 83 in the Rio Grande Valley, but a specific numerical request will apparently not be considered: (page 6/14 of pdf):

Quote
Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr Counties - Authorize the submission of an application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to designate one or more segments of US 83 in the Rio Grande Valley as an Interstate Highway (MO) In accordance with the processes established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and AASHTO, this minute order authorizes the department to petition AASHTO to include segments of US 83 in the Rio Grande Valley as part of the Interstate Highway System. FHWA's designation is contingent upon a finding that the segments meet current Interstate design standards and approval to add the segments to the Interstate System.

I guess it will not be an I-x69. Also, it seems like they should have sought the respective approvals for the US 77 and US 281 corridors before US 83 because those corridors have termini at the border and are planned to eventually connect to the interstate system, which in turn would provide the eventual interstate connection for the US 83 corridor.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:38:08 PM by Grzrd »
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Perfxion

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #223 on: September 20, 2012, 06:31:09 AM »

That southern tip of the Rio Grand Valley makes no sense, The way everything  seems to be going, 77 will be I-69E, 281 will be I-69C, US59 will be I-69W, and 83 will be I-69S. If they want to label all 4 highways as interstates, why not spurs of either 69, 37 or make a new number.  Odd thing is a Spur of 37 would be longer than the parent highway.

I know this a little fictional highways but:
Everything US59 south of Houston stays I-69.
US281 becomes I-169 or rather I-969 since they are screwing up Texarkana area.
US83 comes either I-269 or I-869 for the same reason.
US77 becomes either becomes I-569, I-137, or I-37
If US77 stays I-37, switch the old I-37 to I-137.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #224 on: October 13, 2012, 11:48:29 AM »

The Alliance for I-69 Texas also has a map and an article about the addition:
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... Two additional sections of US 59 in the Houston area that have long been at interstate highway standard are currently under review. The next to be added to the Interstate System is likely to be the Southwest Freeway from the I-610 Loop South down through Sugar Land and on to Rosenberg. The final Houston section is expected to be the part of US 59 inside Loop 610. Each designation requires an extensive submittal by the TxDOT and an exhaustive review by the federal FHWA to see that standards are being met.
The Texas Transportation Commission, in its revision of the 2012 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) gave approval for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to move forward with additional funding identified earlier this year. Several I-69 projects are included in TxDOT's Projects Selected for $2 Billion Allocation list:
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(US 59) Liberty County line to south of Cleveland freeway upgrade - $6 million ...

This article reports that the next I-69 project in the greater Houston area that will involve extensive construction (the two remaining I-69 signage applications for US 59 southwest of Houston and through Houston will only involve minimal construction, if any) will extend north from the current end of I-69 near the Montgomery County/ Liberty County county line to the recently completed 105 Loop near Cleveland (Bing Maps):

Quote
A portion of Hwy. 59 in Liberty County is expected to soon become I-69 according to state officials.
Cory Taylor, TxDot Liberty Area Engineer and Tucker Ferguson, district engineer for Beaumont TxDOT, addressed the Cleveland City Council on Oct. 9 to discuss upcoming projects for the area.
Ferguson discussed Hwy. 59 through Liberty County and the roadway eventually turning into I-69. The first designation was made last year in the Corpus Christi area. The next area to be developed in the Houston area is on Hwy. 59 from the border of Liberty County to the 105 Loop.
Ferguson explained that once a designer was in place, they can begin doing the preliminary engineering and environmental studies, followed by right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation. Once these items a re completed, TxDoT can then put together a bid package for the construction to bring Hwy. 59 up to interstate status.

I assume the road under construction in the above Bing Maps link is the new 105 Loop.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 10:10:12 AM by Grzrd »
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