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Texas Highways and Interstates

Texas Highways and Interstates


concrete at dusk by TimSchmidt (Digammo), on Flickr


News, pics and information
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:cheers:

Texas 'gets' that this type of infrastructure might be the most important (after all, you might be able to get power from the wind and sun, and water from a well, but to travel you need a reliable road).
Long Live the great state of texas and its amazing freeway systems
by far the best in the nation and maybe even the world :banana::banana::banana:
Grand Parkway is pretty much complete between 59 and i10. Some small sections still to be completed. The intersection at i10 is just monstrous!

Work is continuing at pace between 290 and i45. The stanchions for Grand Parkway over i45 are also pretty much complete.

I'm moving to Cross Creek Ranch soon. Looking forward to an easy drive to The Woodlands!
get some pics of that Junction.
I saw it about 6 months go driving on my way back to Arizona.
that thing is huge super big
Grand Parkway is pretty much complete between 59 and i10. Some small sections still to be completed. The intersection at i10 is just monstrous!

Work is continuing at pace between 290 and i45. The stanchions for Grand Parkway over i45 are also pretty much complete.

I'm moving to Cross Creek Ranch soon. Looking forward to an easy drive to The Woodlands!
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/comm...xpansion-of-state-highway-183-green-light.ece

About time, that intersection is a mess!

Edit: Come to think about it the whole area around 114, Loop 12, and 183 is a mess! Another one is SH 360 with it's lack of connection to I-30, use of space, and unnecessary direct loop connections to roads. I don't understand why you need a direct connection to Pioneer 303 and not even be directly connected to I-30.
Texas Transportation Commission gives expansion of State Highway 183 green light

State Highway 183’s long wait for an overhaul is over.

Expansion work will begin later this year on the highway that connects Dallas and Tarrant counties as well as dozens of cities to the southern entrance to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It will be the first time since 1973 that the east-west corridor, also called Airport Freeway, will undergo a substantial upgrade.

The project, which will include upgrades to State Highway 114 and Loop 12, won’t add any new free, main lanes to any of the highways. All of the expanded capacity will come from the toll express lanes.

The work is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

“It was unfortunately overlooked for quite a few years,” said state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, whose Irving district includes Airport Freeway.

The Texas Department of Transportation will rebuild 10.6 miles of the highway in Irving and Dallas and 1.5 miles in Euless. It also will add an 18.3-mile toll express lane in each direction from State Highway 121 in Bedford to Interstate 35E in Dallas.

The work is part of an $847.6 million contract that the Texas Transportation Commission unanimously awarded Thursday to Southgate Mobility Partners.

Southgate also will add toll express lanes on 2.5 miles of Loop 12 and 10.5 miles of State Highway 114, including through Las Colinas. There also will be minor upgrades to portions of 114 and 183 that aren’t being completely rebuilt.

Direct connections from the new 183 and Loop 12 toll lanes will be added. That interchange also will get new direct ramps from eastbound 183 to northbound Loop 12 and southbound Loop 12 to westbound 183.
Looks like we got a 4th loop coming....Prairie Parkway.
Grand Parkway is pretty much complete between 59 and i10. Some small sections still to be completed. The intersection at i10 is just monstrous!

Work is continuing at pace between 290 and i45. The stanchions for Grand Parkway over i45 are also pretty much complete.

I'm moving to Cross Creek Ranch soon. Looking forward to an easy drive to The Woodlands!
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Texas Rail Thread (Regional, Commuter, Light..even Freight)

The present rail situation is decent to be where it is
The future is looking way better

Add on....



http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014...o-copy-japans-high-speed-rail-success/372984/

The Big Texas Plan to Copy Japan's High-Speed Rail Success
Texas Central Railway intends to build a Houston-Dallas line with private money.

AMY CRAWFORD Jun 19, 2014

With more than 300 daily departures, the Shinkansen bullet train covers the 300 miles between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan's two largest metro areas, in as little as 2 hours and 25 minutes. To an American tourist, the journey can feel futuristic. But the world’s first high-speed line, which now carries nearly 400,000 people a day, actually began running half a century ago.

It's a galling fact to consider upon returning home, where the fastest American train is Amtrak's comparatively pokey Acela Express, plodding 400 miles from Washington to Boston in about 7 hours. While bullet trains now race across Europe and Asia, American high-speed rail has a long history of delay and disappointment. President Obama's plan for a national network stalled when Republican governors refused to accept federal money. A $68 billion project isunderway in California, but that line, which voters approved six years ago, isn't slated to connect Los Angeles with San Francisco until at least 2029.

Richard Lawless, who as a C.I.A. officer posted in Tokyo in the 1980s was a frequent Shinkansen passenger, has long found America's failure to embrace high-speed rail "mind-boggling." But today the former Bush administration official is in a position to change things, as chairman and CEO of Texas Central Railway, a private company that plans to link Dallas and Houston with a 200-mile-per-hour bullet train as soon as 2021. The venture just might be high-speed rail's best hope in the United States.

"The project has been progressing below the radar, very quietly, very deliberately, over the last four years plus," says Lawless. It's now undergoing an environmental impact study that will take between two and three years, but Texas Central, whose backers include Japan's JR Central railway, has already conducted its own extensive research. The company, originally called U.S.-Japan High-Speed Rail, looked at 97 possible routes nationwide before concluding that Texas was the ideal place for a high-speed line — and that healthy profits could be made in long-distance passenger rail, a travel mode that for the past 40 years has existed only with the help of massive government subsidies.

"Texas is special," says Lawless. He lists among its advantages a flat, rural landscape, staggering growth potential, and a "business-friendly approach." He adds that "as city pairs, Dallas and Houston are pretty unique in the United States." The cities are 240 miles apart, a distance Lawless describes as a "sweet spot" for high-speed rail, where it beats both air and highway travel.

The company is working under the assumption that both metro area populations will double by 2035, but their economies are already linked to an extent that that the railway's backers can count on a steady flow of traffic between them. Crucial to the line's success will be the 50,000 people who commute regularly between Dallas and Houston, currently a five-hour schlep in traffic or an hour-long flight on Southwest Airlines — which, when factoring in security lines and travel to and from the airport, takes longer than the 90-minute ride, downtown to downtown, promised by Texas Central.

Rice University survey that found congestion to be the number one concern of Houston residents.

"Yes, our economy is booming, but we are actually paying a price," says Crocker, who is also an aide to Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "There are major roadways here that are at gridlock. People are very aware of the problem and need for rail."

This is not the first time high-speed rail has been proposed in Texas. Twenty years ago, another private developer, Texas T.G.V., spent some $70 million toward an inter-city system, which was halted largely because of opposition from Southwest Airlines. There has been some speculation that Southwest could fight Texas Central as well, but so far the airline has kept mum, and it's possible that the train could even be a boon for air travel, if it helps take pressure off busy airports.

"There's really nothing not to be excited about," says Sam Merten, a spokesman for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who along with the mayors of Houston and Fort Worth has endorsed the project. "It seems like it's a win-win for everybody."

Much of the mayoral enthusiasm can be chalked up to the fact that the project will cost constituents nothing. Texas Central plans to fund construction — which early estimates put at about $10 billion — exclusively through private investment. It would consider federal financing, says Lawless, but it will not accept subsidies even if the line fails to turn a profit.

"We will not structure this company in any way that will come back and be a burden to the state of Texas," says Lawless. "That is the risk that we take as a privately-funded, privately-owned and operated company." That risk is outweighed by the advantages of staying private, he says. "It just gives you the flexibility to execute the project on schedule, probably with a lot more freedom of action than you would have if it were a government project."

While Japanese passenger rail is private (and profitable), the U.S. passenger rail industry declined significantly through the 20th century, and federally-funded Amtrak eventually took over all long-distance passenger service. But Dallas-Houston is not America's only planned private passenger route — All Aboard Florida, an express railway that would link Orlando and Miami, is scheduled to begin service by 2016. If these lines are successful, Lawless believes other private investors will begin to sense demand, as Americans who have become accustomed to the grind of traffic and the hassles of air travel get a taste of the ease and convenience rail can offer.

"People don't realize how dependable it is," he says. "In Japan, the average delay is less than a minute, and you can board five minutes before it leaves. … I think what will happen is, if we can demonstrate a successful high-speed rail system on this corridor, there will actually be agitation for it in other viable corridors."
http://www.planetizen.com/node/69491

Light Rail Success Story for Houston's Red Line

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 2:00pm PDT by JAMES BRASUELL
Transportation, Texas
1 0 0
With two new rail lines, serving east and southeast Houston, due to open later this year, early returns have been positive for the "North Line" extension of the city's Red Line.
Dug Begley sets the context for the early positive reviews and ridership for Houston's Red Line light rail, which opened six months ago: "Nearly six months since trains began rumbling north of the central business district along Main and Fulton on the north side, residents and community leaders said the Red Line is becoming a valued part of the neighborhood and a critical link for many transit travelers, even as it contributes to record-setting use of Metro's light rail system."

And some hard evidence of the success of the line: "After adding 5.3 miles of track from the University of Houston-Downtown to Northline Commons outside Loop 610, the Red Line posted more trips for the first three months of 2014 than in any three-month period in the light rail system's history. Based on ridership data compiled by the American Public Transit Association, more than 3.5 million trips were logged on the Red Line from January to March."

In detailing the city's evolving relationship with transit, Begley also discusses the line's impact on the city's bus system and the predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods the new light rail line serves.
I hope this becomes reality.
The present rail situation is decent to be where it is
The future is looking way better

Add on....



http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014...o-copy-japans-high-speed-rail-success/372984/

The Big Texas Plan to Copy Japan's High-Speed Rail Success
Texas Central Railway intends to build a Houston-Dallas line with private money.

AMY CRAWFORD Jun 19, 2014

With more than 300 daily departures, the Shinkansen bullet train covers the 300 miles between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan's two largest metro areas, in as little as 2 hours and 25 minutes. To an American tourist, the journey can feel futuristic. But the world’s first high-speed line, which now carries nearly 400,000 people a day, actually began running half a century ago.

It's a galling fact to consider upon returning home, where the fastest American train is Amtrak's comparatively pokey Acela Express, plodding 400 miles from Washington to Boston in about 7 hours. While bullet trains now race across Europe and Asia, American high-speed rail has a long history of delay and disappointment. President Obama's plan for a national network stalled when Republican governors refused to accept federal money. A $68 billion project isunderway in California, but that line, which voters approved six years ago, isn't slated to connect Los Angeles with San Francisco until at least 2029.

Richard Lawless, who as a C.I.A. officer posted in Tokyo in the 1980s was a frequent Shinkansen passenger, has long found America's failure to embrace high-speed rail "mind-boggling." But today the former Bush administration official is in a position to change things, as chairman and CEO of Texas Central Railway, a private company that plans to link Dallas and Houston with a 200-mile-per-hour bullet train as soon as 2021. The venture just might be high-speed rail's best hope in the United States.

"The project has been progressing below the radar, very quietly, very deliberately, over the last four years plus," says Lawless. It's now undergoing an environmental impact study that will take between two and three years, but Texas Central, whose backers include Japan's JR Central railway, has already conducted its own extensive research. The company, originally called U.S.-Japan High-Speed Rail, looked at 97 possible routes nationwide before concluding that Texas was the ideal place for a high-speed line — and that healthy profits could be made in long-distance passenger rail, a travel mode that for the past 40 years has existed only with the help of massive government subsidies.

"Texas is special," says Lawless. He lists among its advantages a flat, rural landscape, staggering growth potential, and a "business-friendly approach." He adds that "as city pairs, Dallas and Houston are pretty unique in the United States." The cities are 240 miles apart, a distance Lawless describes as a "sweet spot" for high-speed rail, where it beats both air and highway travel.

The company is working under the assumption that both metro area populations will double by 2035, but their economies are already linked to an extent that that the railway's backers can count on a steady flow of traffic between them. Crucial to the line's success will be the 50,000 people who commute regularly between Dallas and Houston, currently a five-hour schlep in traffic or an hour-long flight on Southwest Airlines — which, when factoring in security lines and travel to and from the airport, takes longer than the 90-minute ride, downtown to downtown, promised by Texas Central.

Rice University survey that found congestion to be the number one concern of Houston residents.

"Yes, our economy is booming, but we are actually paying a price," says Crocker, who is also an aide to Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "There are major roadways here that are at gridlock. People are very aware of the problem and need for rail."

This is not the first time high-speed rail has been proposed in Texas. Twenty years ago, another private developer, Texas T.G.V., spent some $70 million toward an inter-city system, which was halted largely because of opposition from Southwest Airlines. There has been some speculation that Southwest could fight Texas Central as well, but so far the airline has kept mum, and it's possible that the train could even be a boon for air travel, if it helps take pressure off busy airports.

"There's really nothing not to be excited about," says Sam Merten, a spokesman for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who along with the mayors of Houston and Fort Worth has endorsed the project. "It seems like it's a win-win for everybody."

Much of the mayoral enthusiasm can be chalked up to the fact that the project will cost constituents nothing. Texas Central plans to fund construction — which early estimates put at about $10 billion — exclusively through private investment. It would consider federal financing, says Lawless, but it will not accept subsidies even if the line fails to turn a profit.

"We will not structure this company in any way that will come back and be a burden to the state of Texas," says Lawless. "That is the risk that we take as a privately-funded, privately-owned and operated company." That risk is outweighed by the advantages of staying private, he says. "It just gives you the flexibility to execute the project on schedule, probably with a lot more freedom of action than you would have if it were a government project."

While Japanese passenger rail is private (and profitable), the U.S. passenger rail industry declined significantly through the 20th century, and federally-funded Amtrak eventually took over all long-distance passenger service. But Dallas-Houston is not America's only planned private passenger route — All Aboard Florida, an express railway that would link Orlando and Miami, is scheduled to begin service by 2016. If these lines are successful, Lawless believes other private investors will begin to sense demand, as Americans who have become accustomed to the grind of traffic and the hassles of air travel get a taste of the ease and convenience rail can offer.

"People don't realize how dependable it is," he says. "In Japan, the average delay is less than a minute, and you can board five minutes before it leaves. … I think what will happen is, if we can demonstrate a successful high-speed rail system on this corridor, there will actually be agitation for it in other viable corridors."
http://blog.chron.com/kuffsworld/20...-studies-can-begin-for-texas-high-speed-rail/

Environmental impact studies can begin for Texas high speed rail
Posted on June 26, 2014 | By Charles Kuffner

The Federal Railroad Administration published a document on its website Wednesday officially kicking off a highly anticipated environmental review of a proposed high speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

The document, called a Notice Of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), marks the start of a process that will involve public input on Texas Central High-Speed Railway’s ambitious endeavor, which aims to connect travelers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes or less. The company has said it plans to operate the country’s fastest and only profitable high-speed rail line without public subsidies. Company officials have been preparing for the federal review for more than a year and have quietly worked on the logistics of it with federal officials in advance, according to people involved in the discussions.

The EIS, which could take more than a year, will examine possible routes for the rail line and how each scenario would impact the region’s environment, including agricultural land, streams, floodplains and wildlife, as well as various federal regulations including the National Historic Preservation Act. The review will also investigate “the potential impacts of stations, power facilities, and maintenance facilities to support HSR operations,” according to the federal notice.

Local entities as well as the public have 90 days to submit written comments on the scope of the EIS to ensure “that all issues are addressed related to this proposal and any significant impacts are identified.”

The doc is here. As you may recall from the light rail process here in Houston, there will be public meetings, in this case organized by TxDOT and held in the affected area, which is more or less the I-45 corridor between Houston and Dallas, to present information about the project and allow for further feedback. This process will take some time and will if all goes well lead to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, a Final Environmental Statement, and a Record of Decision. How long that takes is at least somewhat proportional to how contentious or smooth the process is.

The Chron had a preview story from the morning before the Notice of Intent was published.

“It is now more than just talk,” said Maureen Crocker, executive director of the Gulf Coast Rail District, which is supportive of passenger rail projects in the Houston area. “When they do this, it’ll give everyone a much clearer idea of what this is going to be, and lay out the plan that so far has been private.”

Robert Eckels, president of Texas Central Railway, the company proposing the line, said in a statement that the notice begins a process, “which, true to our overall philosophy, will be funded with private dollars.”

[...]

Initiation of the environmental process doesn’t lock public or private officials into anything, or set specific deadlines.

“Timelines for these kinds of projects vary widely,” said Mike England, spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration.

Public agencies, notably the railroad administration and Texas Department of Transportation, must conduct the review – including soliciting public comment and holding meetings in areas affected by the plan.

Crocker said the local rail district currently has a study examining how to bring passenger trains into downtown Houston.

“We’ve kind of kept the high-speed rail line in mind when we’re doing that,” Crocker said.


See here for my previous blogging on this, plus PDiddie and Texas Leftist for reports on a recent meeting some of us bloggers had with the TCR folks. The optimistic time frame for the start of construction is 2016. TCR will undoubtedly have a few wish list items for the Legislature next year as well, mostly to smooth out the state regulatory process, but nothing that is likely to be a big deal. I’ll keep my eyes open for announcement about the public meetings and will let you know when I know more about them.
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Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes? Plans for 205-MPH bullet train speed up



The proposed high-speed train project between Houston and Dallas is about to cross into new territory. The much-discussed transportation option is finally headed for a major review, federal officials announced Wednesday.

The Federal Railroad Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement examining the effects of construction and operation of a high-speed rail system. The statement will include an evaluation of the presumed method (a sealed high-speed rail corridor) as well as alternatives.

Texas Central High Speed Railway, a private company, has been developing plans for the train system since 2009. Using the same Japanese bullet train model as the one that connects Tokyo and Osaka, Texas Central says the train would reach speeds of 205 miles per hour and complete the Dallas-Houston route in just 90 minutes. The company plans to raise $10 billion in private capital to fund the line.

Although Texas Central appears to be planning a route along existing north-south freight lines, others are exploring options along the state's highway system.

A UTA study released in 2013 recommends further detailed investigation into four corridors — I-45 from Houston to Dallas, I-20 between Dallas and Fort Worth, I-35 from DFW to Laredo (though San Antonio and Austin), and Route 6 from Houston to Waco (through College Station).

The Dallas-Houston rail, with its visions of being completed by 2021, is part of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association's proposed 14,000-mile, high-speed rail system that would connect dozens of the nation's major cities.
Cool! Glad Texas is beginning to get more serious about rail whether it be light rail or passenger service between cities.
Texas Transportation Commisssion Greenlights $97 Million For El Paso Streetcar

Transportation Commission Approves $97M for Streetcars

The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) approved a minute order last week that green-lights funding for two large transportation projects in El Paso, including the long-awaited streetcar project slated for the Downtown/University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) areas.

The TTC approved $97 million for the streetcar project as a “regional multimodal” development, serving the I-10 “congested corridor.” The funding will support construction of 4.8 miles of track that will transport riders from Downtown El Paso, including areas near the ports of entry, to UTEP and the nearby Cincinnati entertainment district.

According to the TTC’s Unified Transportation Program update, the streetcar line will include 27 stops. The route, as chosen by City Council, will travel north on Oregon Street, turn east on Glory Road, and then back south on Stanton Street. A circulator will also travel in a loop around Downtown El Paso’s core. New funding is also intended to cover vehicle maintenance and storage facilities.

The City of El Paso performed an engineering and environmental study and chose a route for the streetcar line in 2012 after the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) signaled that $90 million could be available for the project with the City’s cooperation.

However, once the study was completed, there was little to no further information on funding the project from TXDOT and TTC officials. Now, more than two years after the City approved funding the study, the project could break ground as early as the second half of 2014.
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TTC Approves $35 Million For Final Americas Ramps



The TTC also reprogrammed $35 million from one project to another as part of its minute order. The final two direct connector ramps that are part of the Americas Interchange in Far East El Paso can now be built, completing the project that began with construction of three direct connectors in 2010. The fourth, fifth, and sixth ramps are currently under construction.
Beautiful project, my favorite thread here in the texas Forum
Not the greatest pic as I was driving beneath it but gives you an idea of the height of those ramps! I'll try and get a better pic the next time I drive up that way.

get some pics of that Junction.
I saw it about 6 months go driving on my way back to Arizona.
that thing is huge super big
New Chisholm Trail Parkway ramp opens off I-20



North Texas Tollway Authority officials say they’re on course to finish Chisholm Trail Parkway by late September, and the latest sign of progress is a new direct connection ramp in southwest Fort Worth.

The new ramp, which opened Sunday night, connects westbound Interstate 20 to southbound Chisholm Trail Parkway. That’s a connection that could be useful for thousands of residents who travel each day among communities along the toll road such as southwest Fort Worth, Burleson, Joshua and Cleburne and job centers such as Arlington, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Irving.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/07/21/5985041/new-chisholm-trail-parkway-ramp.html#storylink=cpy
I was driving by DFW airport a few months back and couldn't believe how much road construction that is going up there.
Just about every highway in DFW has construction going on and the ones that don't will start soon. Many people are starting to grow tired of it.
I was driving by DFW airport a few months back and couldn't believe how much road construction that is going up there.
Well that's what happens when you're in a fast growing state with a strong economy.

Personally, I'd rather deal with the annoyances of construction than see everything crumble...
Just about every highway in DFW has construction going on and the ones that don't will start soon. Many people are starting to grow tired of it.
A joint venture between Amey and Webber has won an £11m ($19m) contract from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in the US to manage and maintain the major interstate highways in and around Dallas, Texas.
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