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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 556000 times)

Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1575 on: December 17, 2019, 10:19:18 PM »

Even if a Gainesville to Jacksonville super highway had an interstate designation, as short as the route may be it would be just as good to have a 3-digit designation with I-10 or I-75 as the parent route.

An "I-6" route between Corpus Christi and Freer would be a little over 70 miles from Freer to the TX-44/TX-358 interchange in Corpus Christi. Another 30 miles could be added by routing "I-6" along the TX-358 freeway SE down to North Padre Island. Or "I-6" could be routed over the new bridge they're building over the new Nueces Bay ship channel then routed along the TX-35 corridor toward the Houston metro. Having two freeways (I-69 and I-6) running almost parallel to each other might seem like overkill. But there are several port towns that would benefit greatly from having real freeway access. Plus there's precedent in other highly populated areas of the country. I-95, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike all run parallel to each other close to the Delaware river.

A long time ago (before any of the I-69 business in Texas) I imagined an "I-6" route might run West-East from Laredo to Corpus Christi.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1576 on: December 18, 2019, 05:11:18 AM »

Even if a Gainesville to Jacksonville super highway had an interstate designation, as short as the route may be it would be just as good to have a 3-digit designation with I-10 or I-75 as the parent route.

An "I-6" route between Corpus Christi and Freer would be a little over 70 miles from Freer to the TX-44/TX-358 interchange in Corpus Christi. Another 30 miles could be added by routing "I-6" along the TX-358 freeway SE down to North Padre Island. Or "I-6" could be routed over the new bridge they're building over the new Nueces Bay ship channel then routed along the TX-35 corridor toward the Houston metro. Having two freeways (I-69 and I-6) running almost parallel to each other might seem like overkill. But there are several port towns that would benefit greatly from having real freeway access. Plus there's precedent in other highly populated areas of the country. I-95, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike all run parallel to each other close to the Delaware river.

A long time ago (before any of the I-69 business in Texas) I imagined an "I-6" route might run West-East from Laredo to Corpus Christi.

In an alternate universe where dumbass politicos and their syncophant handlers didn't decide such things, I-69W would logically be I-6!  But since we're not living there, Freer-Corpus is at least a moderately acceptable substitute.  Nevertheless, at this point there hasn't been any great rush to actually come up with a designation for this relatively new corridor addition; I'm guessing that with bigger regional fish to fry, it'll be years before that subject is addressed; we all will likely have more than sufficient time to speculate.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1577 on: December 18, 2019, 05:56:08 AM »

Even if a Gainesville to Jacksonville super highway had an interstate designation, as short as the route may be it would be just as good to have a 3-digit designation with I-10 or I-75 as the parent route.

An "I-6" route between Corpus Christi and Freer would be a little over 70 miles from Freer to the TX-44/TX-358 interchange in Corpus Christi. Another 30 miles could be added by routing "I-6" along the TX-358 freeway SE down to North Padre Island. Or "I-6" could be routed over the new bridge they're building over the new Nueces Bay ship channel then routed along the TX-35 corridor toward the Houston metro. Having two freeways (I-69 and I-6) running almost parallel to each other might seem like overkill. But there are several port towns that would benefit greatly from having real freeway access. Plus there's precedent in other highly populated areas of the country. I-95, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike all run parallel to each other close to the Delaware river.
Thereís very little warrant or demand for a freeway along the TX-35 corridor. Iíve driven that route before, and very little traffic. The most I could see, and even this is a stretch, is 4-laning parts of it, and passing lanes for the rest.

The US-77 / US-59 corridor is adequate, and I-69E / I-69 will be plenty.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1578 on: December 18, 2019, 10:20:09 AM »

Quote from: sparker
In an alternate universe where dumbass politicos and their syncophant handlers didn't decide such things, I-69W would logically be I-6!  But since we're not living there, Freer-Corpus is at least a moderately acceptable substitute.  Nevertheless, at this point there hasn't been any great rush to actually come up with a designation for this relatively new corridor addition; I'm guessing that with bigger regional fish to fry, it'll be years before that subject is addressed; we all will likely have more than sufficient time to speculate.

In all likelihood TX-44 (particularly the freeway between Robstown and TX-358 in Corpus Christi) will probably remain signed as TX-44, given the federal government's AWOL involvement in highway development these days. If for some reason it ever received an Interstate designation it would more likely be a 3-digit I-x69 number.

Quote from: sprjus4
Thereís very little warrant or demand for a freeway along the TX-35 corridor. Iíve driven that route before, and very little traffic. The most I could see, and even this is a stretch, is 4-laning parts of it, and passing lanes for the rest.

The reason why there is little traffic on TX-35 currently is due to the fact it is a jagged, indirect route in mostly 2-lane configuration. It's easier for traffic moving from Corpus Chrisi and Houston to take US-77 up to Victoria and US-59 the rest of the way. That's regardless of the fact TX-35 is an arguably more direct way out of town in Houston's direction.

Nevertheless TX DOT built segments of TX-35 in Aranasas Pass/Rockport and Port Lavaca/Point Comfort where they can be upgraded to freeways. Connecting those segments with other freeway upgrades would be challenging however. The Lyndon B Johnson Causeway by Rockport would need some upgrading. A fair amount of the route would need to be built on new terrain, cutting off some of the strange angles of the current route.

Point Comfort and Old Ocean both have large oil refineries, which generate a good amount of truck traffic. I think the Lake Jackson/Freeport area and Galveston needs a better, direct connection (right now there isn't one). Then there's the matter of improving hurricane evacuation routes. Not all such routes need to run North-South away from the Gulf. Efficient East-West routes would allow some traffic to filter to other routes rather than trying to cram all into one highway, such as I-45.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1579 on: December 18, 2019, 10:22:36 PM »

FWIW, they're continuing to do their thing at Nacogdoches (from Monday):

Quote
First steps in major U.S. 59 flyover construction project completed, TxDOT Lufkin says (KTRE/9)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The preliminary stages of a flyover construction project in Nacogdoches have been completed, according to a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Lufkin District spokesperson Rhonda Oaks.

U.S. 59 motorists can look to the east at U.S. 59, just south of Loop 224, and catch a glimpse of the cleared path for the Nacogdoches direct connect.

ďWhat motorists are seeing now is the clearing from north of Spradley to U.S. 59,Ē said Oaks. ďThis week we have completed preparing the right of ways along this path, as well as our drainage structures."

...

Engineering on the direct connect, including a flyover, will be up to interstate standards in anticipation of I-69.

Nacogdoches City Council is also considering to adopt the Federal and State priorities of the Alliance of I-69 Texas for the year 2020. The annual adoption gives the City an opportunity to declare the Federal and State priorities are priorities of the City.

The cost of the project is a little more than $86.1-million and the project should take close to 4 years to complete.

https://www.ktre.com/2019/12/16/first-steps-major-us-flyover-construction-project-completed-txdot-lufkin-says/
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1580 on: December 22, 2019, 09:43:44 PM »

"Here's why finishing I-69 is essential to Texas"

FYI, in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times 3 days ago from Barbara Canales, a local judge who is also an Alliance for I-69 board member:

Quote
The champions of I-69 have much to cheer about in 2020. This year the Texas Transportation Commission authorized funding for more than 60 projects on the I-69 System over the next decade with a cost of almost $6 billion. While this level of investment indicates the importance of I-69 to the state, there remain many miles to be funded.  As such, the Alliance urges our federal and state officials to pursue ways to speed up the completion of I-69.  Texas needs I-69. We do not want to bear the cost of not completing I-69.

https://www.caller.com/story/opinion/2019/12/12/finishing-interstate-69-essential-texas-nafta-trade-mexico-canada/4408644002/

This column has made the rounds.  It's now been also printed in news sources in Victoria, Longview and Texarkana this week.  The "champions" are definitely getting their message out.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1581 on: December 23, 2019, 03:33:02 AM »

"Here's why finishing I-69 is essential to Texas"

FYI, in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times 3 days ago from Barbara Canales, a local judge who is also an Alliance for I-69 board member:

Quote
The champions of I-69 have much to cheer about in 2020. This year the Texas Transportation Commission authorized funding for more than 60 projects on the I-69 System over the next decade with a cost of almost $6 billion. While this level of investment indicates the importance of I-69 to the state, there remain many miles to be funded.  As such, the Alliance urges our federal and state officials to pursue ways to speed up the completion of I-69.  Texas needs I-69. We do not want to bear the cost of not completing I-69.

https://www.caller.com/story/opinion/2019/12/12/finishing-interstate-69-essential-texas-nafta-trade-mexico-canada/4408644002/

This column has made the rounds.  It's now been also printed in news sources in Victoria, Longview and Texarkana this week.  The "champions" are definitely getting their message out.

Longview?  Is either the Alliance or TxDOT even considering a spur there -- especially since the Marshall I-369 plans have seemingly been nailed down and the bypass all but let (i.e., little chance of rerouting at this phase of the project).  Since it is the largest city in the area, a spur north from Nacogdoches wouldn't be out of the question somewhere down the line -- but for the present, the corridor backers should concentrate on getting what's currently planned done before tackling additional "add-ons".  But it's more than possible that they're just casting their support net a bit wider without implying service to areas not directly along the present corridor branches.   We'll undoubtedly see what this is all about in due time!
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1582 on: December 23, 2019, 04:49:36 AM »

Longview and Victoria have newspapers owned by the same company, which took over the Tyler paper a few months ago.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1583 on: December 23, 2019, 12:47:44 PM »

"Here's why finishing I-69 is essential to Texas"

FYI, in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times 3 days ago from Barbara Canales, a local judge who is also an Alliance for I-69 board member:

Quote
The champions of I-69 have much to cheer about in 2020. This year the Texas Transportation Commission authorized funding for more than 60 projects on the I-69 System over the next decade with a cost of almost $6 billion. While this level of investment indicates the importance of I-69 to the state, there remain many miles to be funded.  As such, the Alliance urges our federal and state officials to pursue ways to speed up the completion of I-69.  Texas needs I-69. We do not want to bear the cost of not completing I-69.

https://www.caller.com/story/opinion/2019/12/12/finishing-interstate-69-essential-texas-nafta-trade-mexico-canada/4408644002/

This column has made the rounds.  It's now been also printed in news sources in Victoria, Longview and Texarkana this week.  The "champions" are definitely getting their message out.

Longview?  Is either the Alliance or TxDOT even considering a spur there -- especially since the Marshall I-369 plans have seemingly been nailed down and the bypass all but let (i.e., little chance of rerouting at this phase of the project).  Since it is the largest city in the area, a spur north from Nacogdoches wouldn't be out of the question somewhere down the line -- but for the present, the corridor backers should concentrate on getting what's currently planned done before tackling additional "add-ons".  But it's more than possible that they're just casting their support net a bit wider without implying service to areas not directly along the present corridor branches.   We'll undoubtedly see what this is all about in due time!

There are 7 counties in Texas (Bowie, Cass, Marion, Morris, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, most of those on future I-69/369) that are in the Shreveport TV market.  There's a good chunk of the city of Longview that's actually in Harrison County.  Right now, there's a bit of a "news turf" battle going on, given that the SHV stations focus heavily on city and Louisiana news even though the TV market covers 4 states.  The Longview/Tyler TV stations are working to cover at least Harrison County and probably others...they may be wanting to compete to add the counties to their market.  Guessing the newspaper is working to follow suit.

Long story short: makes sense that Longview would be included in this (citizens) editorial drop.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1584 on: December 24, 2019, 04:45:44 AM »

Longview and Victoria have newspapers owned by the same company, which took over the Tyler paper a few months ago.

That makes sense -- coincidental common media ownership along the corridor and adjacent areas -- the same applies in CA, with the McClatchy organization owning several high-circulation papers throughout the state.  If a story -- or editorial comment -- makes one paper, it tends to be reiterated in the others; in this case, Longview was simply incidental rather than targeted as a possible I-69 "adjunct". 
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texaskdog

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1585 on: December 24, 2019, 12:21:07 PM »

Never understood why I-20 is so far from Longview
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1586 on: December 24, 2019, 08:06:23 PM »

My guess is they had I-20 split the difference between Tyler and Longview. Of course way back then Interstates were built on far more direct paths. If I-20 was built from scratch today it would look like a bunch of crooked pieces of elbow macaroni strung together. It would hit every town along the way to Shreveport. And probably be 100 miles longer.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1587 on: December 24, 2019, 08:49:01 PM »

My guess is they had I-20 split the difference between Tyler and Longview. Of course way back then Interstates were built on far more direct paths. If I-20 was built from scratch today it would look like a bunch of crooked pieces of elbow macaroni strung together. It would hit every town along the way to Shreveport. And probably be 100 miles longer.

There was also a mileage cap on total Interstate mileage; it was up to the individual DOT's to work out the trade-offs between serving every significant community along the route versus keeping as close to a straight-line as possible to minimize overall mileage.  While I don't have the 1950 census figures (or the 1955 interim Census Bureau estimates for that matter) immediately available, it's likely neither Longview nor Tyler exceeded 50K incorporated population during that timeframe -- which was the functional criterion for potential inclusion in the system -- but of course some cities that exceeded that level even back then were bypassed by the network; notable in TX were Lubbock, San Angelo, and Port Arthur (Lubbock got its service in the '68 additions with I-27, while the other two remain without Interstate service).  Since US 80, the basic existing route within the I-20 corridor crossed East Texas on a broad arc (tracing the Texas & Pacific RR main line) with both Longview and Tyler several miles to the south, TxDOT likely planned I-20 to "straightline" its Dallas-Shreveport path as much as possible, skirting the general Longview area (Tyler was just too far out of the way to be seriously considered if mileage was to be minimized).  So it ended up where it is -- not optimal for local service but more or less a "leaner", since it did at least come close to the regional population centers.
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texaskdog

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1588 on: December 24, 2019, 10:27:49 PM »

My guess is they had I-20 split the difference between Tyler and Longview. Of course way back then Interstates were built on far more direct paths. If I-20 was built from scratch today it would look like a bunch of crooked pieces of elbow macaroni strung together. It would hit every town along the way to Shreveport. And probably be 100 miles longer.

I'm surprised they weren't built more directly.  Then the US highways probably would be more prevelant.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1589 on: December 24, 2019, 10:32:05 PM »

My guess is they had I-20 split the difference between Tyler and Longview. Of course way back then Interstates were built on far more direct paths. If I-20 was built from scratch today it would look like a bunch of crooked pieces of elbow macaroni strung together. It would hit every town along the way to Shreveport. And probably be 100 miles longer.
I-20 actually diverges from US-80's path to serve Tyler. If it were direct, it should be about 5 miles shorter.

In all honesty though, it really doesn't matter if it's the most direct or slightly indirect to serve some cities and towns. It wouldn't be "100 miles longer", maybe 10-15 miles longer by going in closer to Longview then heading southeast going in closer to Tyler, then heading back northwest, and it wouldn't make much of a difference at all in reality.

The point of the interstate system isn't just to strictly link metros, but to serve the towns and smaller cities along the way to provide access and open up areas for growth, at least nowadays. I don't see an issue with that, as long as it doesn't go outrageously out of the way. I'm still going to prefer the convenience of a 70 mph interstate highway over an old US / state highway that's 10-15 miles shorter.

IMO, given the state of Tyler (population 100,000) and Longview (population 80,000), it would make sense for the interstate to travel closer and better serve them if it were to be built today.

Looking at a map, even if it were to run a "zig-zag" shape to serve the towns it currently does plus closer into Longview and Tyler, it would only add roughly 5 miles to the routing. It may look "out of the way" on a map, but in reality it's not.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 10:51:46 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1590 on: December 24, 2019, 11:53:06 PM »

Never understood why I-20 is so far from Longview

Not only that, since I-20 was built, the outward growth trend in both Longview and Tyler have been in the opposite direction, instead of toward I-20.  Kind of strange, IMO, as most cities tend to embrace their proximity to an interstate.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1591 on: December 25, 2019, 01:48:45 PM »

The town layouts of both Tyler and Longview are a bit odd and not well-controlled. Retail and residential development seems a bit scattered at random in both places. Loop 281 in Longview and Loop 323 in Tyler are really not highways at all; they're busy urban streets with lots and lots of stop lights. Neither road has any room for expansion. Too much development too close to the road and lots of driveways connecting direct to the main lanes.

Parts of downtown Tyler are kind of nice. I like the red brick streets. Those neighborhoods have street curbs and sidewalks.

The TX-49 toll road goes so far around Tyler that I don't expect it to attract much development alongside the 2 lane limited access road. It's little more than a semi-functional route for US-69 traffic needing to bypass Tyler. Perhaps if/when TX DOT extends the TX-49 toll road up and over Longview and farther East to Marshall (and I-369) it might gain higher vehicle counts. But I think it has to be expanded to a 4 lane divided facility and offer high speed limits for that to happen.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1592 on: December 25, 2019, 02:05:17 PM »

if/when TX DOT extends the TX-49 toll road up and over Longview and farther East to Marshall (and I-369) it might gain higher vehicle counts.
An extension of the road eastwards of itís current terminus would just be redundant to I-20 at that point. Building local freeways around those cities may be desired, but a toll road paralleling I-20 for 10-15 miles just to connect isnít needed.

But I think it has to be expanded to a 4 lane divided facility and offer high speed limits for that to happen.
The speed limit on the toll road is 75 mph with a posted minimum speed of 65 mph... is that not high enough?

The road also has an alternating passing lane allowing each direction to have 2 lanes for a few miles at a time, so itís not strictly 2-lanes.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 02:12:14 PM by sprjus4 »
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1593 on: December 25, 2019, 02:41:44 PM »

Longview and Victoria have newspapers owned by the same company, which took over the Tyler paper a few months ago.

Gannett (who used to own USA Today), or another local company?
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1594 on: December 25, 2019, 09:05:33 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
An extension of the road eastwards of itís current terminus would just be redundant to I-20 at that point. Building local freeways around those cities may be desired, but a toll road paralleling I-20 for 10-15 miles just to connect isnít needed.

Yet plans are in the works for just that:
https://www.netrma.org/projects/toll-and-ethg/

Meanwhile the newest segment of the TX-49 toll road from NW of Tyler @ I-20 on up North of Lindale opened earlier this year. It's not default visible in Google Earth. But the historical imagery layer shows an April 2019 layer featuring that completed segment. So, what I said earlier about US-69 have a partially functional bypass of Tyler was not actually correct. It's somewhat complete now, at least in 2-lane form.
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sparker

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1595 on: December 26, 2019, 04:45:36 PM »

The town layouts of both Tyler and Longview are a bit odd and not well-controlled. Retail and residential development seems a bit scattered at random in both places. Loop 281 in Longview and Loop 323 in Tyler are really not highways at all; they're busy urban streets with lots and lots of stop lights. Neither road has any room for expansion. Too much development too close to the road and lots of driveways connecting direct to the main lanes.

Parts of downtown Tyler are kind of nice. I like the red brick streets. Those neighborhoods have street curbs and sidewalks.

The TX-49 toll road goes so far around Tyler that I don't expect it to attract much development alongside the 2 lane limited access road. It's little more than a semi-functional route for US-69 traffic needing to bypass Tyler. Perhaps if/when TX DOT extends the TX-49 toll road up and over Longview and farther East to Marshall (and I-369) it might gain higher vehicle counts. But I think it has to be expanded to a 4 lane divided facility and offer high speed limits for that to happen.

Tyler was originally founded as the Texas railhead for the Cotton Belt (St. Louis & Southwestern) railroad connecting TX with, well, St. Louis.  A local road back then (circa 1890), the "Tyler Tap", was the basis for the larger system, which extended north to Mt. Pleasant, turning NE from there to Texarkana and then east to El Dorado, AR, where it again struck out NE (basically alongside what was to become US 79 and, north of there, AR 1) through Jonesboro, finally hitting the Mississippi near Cape Girardeau, MO, crossing the river, and heading to the St. Louis area on the east side of the river.  Tyler was essentially a "company town", building itself up around the tracks, which did and still do pass through town on an S-curve.  The SLSW corporate HQ was in Tyler to both satisfy TX laws (deleted in 1960) that required railroads with mileage in TX to be incorporated in TX (other railroads established TX-based subsidiaries that owned their TX trackage), but also take advantage of the state's substantial tax breaks (although the line's funding came from St. Louis).  The yard, which is just NE of downtown, was the original main commercial activity of Tyler (not surprising for a company town), and the town built outward from that facility, which accounts for its odd configurations and "radial" streets that cross the grids that built up later.   SLSW was purchased by SP in 1932 but run as a separate entity until 1980, when it was fully merged with the parent -- and the whole works was acquired by UP in 1996.  The yard, which loaded local agricultural and lumber products going both ways (SLSW was extended SW along TX 31 to Waco by 1900) was converted by UP to a container-switching facility in the late 1990's; it remains one of Tyler's significant employers.   
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1596 on: December 26, 2019, 11:24:06 PM »

Longview and Victoria have newspapers owned by the same company, which took over the Tyler paper a few months ago.

Gannett (who used to own USA Today), or another local company?

It is a local company called M. Roberts Media.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1597 on: December 29, 2019, 01:40:26 AM »

Add the Rio Grande Guardian to the aforementioned I-69 editorial drop, along with this nifty map below (which is worth reposting again).  BTW, the Casa Morales restaurant in Redland (between Nacogdoches and Lufkin) is closing one 45-year-old location due to I-69 expansion.  Didn't know the L-N part of I-69 was getting that close to construction.:

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1598 on: December 30, 2019, 10:20:32 AM »

Interesting that they're including state road 44 east of US 59 as part of the I-69 system.  I wonder if it'll get an interstate number.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #1599 on: December 30, 2019, 11:02:30 AM »

Interesting that they're including state road 44 east of US 59 as part of the I-69 system.  I wonder if it'll get an interstate number.

It's actually been a part of the corridor cluster for a while, but nothing has really been mentioned in detail as to how redeveloped and improved TX 44 will really become, nor has anything specific been mentioned up to now regarding any redesignation (not that there's been a lack of speculation here on the forum) of the route once anything happens to it.  By the looks of that map, TX 44 isn't getting as much I-69 -related attention as other parts of the corridors.
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