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RobDSM Oct 5, 2007 4:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3094564)
On the way back, I hit TX 130 south to the airport. Its still FREE! I set a new speed record in my car - had a blast!

Better be careful. I have seen and heard of the cops targeting 130 pretty heavily. Upper deck of 183 late at night was always my favorite spot to fly low. Congrats! :D

JAM Oct 5, 2007 5:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobDSM (Post 3094591)
Better be careful. I have seen and heard of the cops targeting 130 pretty heavily. Upper deck of 183 late at night was always my favorite spot to fly low. Congrats! :D

Thanks for the heads up. I was cooking at 2 1/4 miles/min. If I saw one, do you think I should have kept going :D

ATXboom Oct 5, 2007 6:09 PM

Does anyone know why 71 is not included in the Toll road plan out to TX130??

This makes very little sense to me... it will really create a massive traffic squeeze from the aiport to 130. Its about 3-4 miles... just finish it! I would imagine it would help ridership numbers on both routes as well. At least they are doing 290.

arbeiter Oct 5, 2007 6:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3094721)
Thanks for the heads up. I was cooking at 2 1/4 miles/min. If I saw one, do you think I should have kept going :D

Umm, if a mile a minute is 60mph, 2.25 miles per minute is 135mph. There are only a handful of cars that are street legal that can even do this! I am sure you were speaking in hyperbole.

For the record, the fastest I've ever driven was 102mph in my old Volvo on IH-35 near Kyle. ;)

austlar1 Oct 5, 2007 9:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ATXboom (Post 3094797)
Does anyone know why 71 is not included in the Toll road plan out to TX130??

This makes very little sense to me... it will really create a massive traffic squeeze from the aiport to 130. Its about 3-4 miles... just finish it! I would imagine it would help ridership numbers on both routes as well. At least they are doing 290.

My understanding of the latest plan is that 71 will be tolled all the way to 130 as a part of the second phase of toll road building.

By the way I think 71/IH10 is the best route to Houston. After you clear Bastrop it is a divided highway with NO lights all the way into HOuston. It is a few miles longer, but there are very few hassles and you can usually fly without any problems.

Dragonfire Oct 6, 2007 1:50 AM

The latest issue of the Community Impact Newspaper for Round Rock/Pflugerville is out, and it has some interesting information about a possible flyover from RM 620 to US 79.

Apparently the flyover would start near 620 and Deepwood Drive (between the hospital and Round Rock High), and would cut straight through Old Town before merging with Sam Bass into US 79.

Link to article

I've been following this relatively closely, since I live north of this area and frequently drive through the area, and I can tell you this would be an AMAZING improvement. The Georgetown Railroad crossing at 620 is horrible when there's a train, not to mention Chisholm Trail is always packed with people going from Sam Bass/79 to 620 and vice versa.

However, that area has a lot of historical sites/properties, and I can see how a flyover would ruin that area.

RobDSM Oct 6, 2007 2:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3094721)
Thanks for the heads up. I was cooking at 2 1/4 miles/min. If I saw one, do you think I should have kept going :D

I guess it depends on how soon you can exit. ;)

I used to drive my Eclipse up to about 110-120 pretty regularly, a couple times up to almost 130, but I just didn't trust things after that point. Several years ago, an old friend and me raced a car down Mopac late at night, a 300ZX turbo I believe, and I remember looking over as we let off, and the speedo read about 150. I know some people with the big cars go faster than that, but I don't think I ever need to go that fast ever again--at least not on a public road.

I drive a slow pickup now. :(

DrewDizzle Oct 7, 2007 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonfire (Post 3095647)
The latest issue of the Community Impact Newspaper for Round Rock/Pflugerville is out, and it has some interesting information about a possible flyover from RM 620 to US 79.

Apparently the flyover would start near 620 and Deepwood Drive (between the hospital and Round Rock High), and would cut straight through Old Town before merging with Sam Bass into US 79.

Link to article

I've been following this relatively closely, since I live north of this area and frequently drive through the area, and I can tell you this would be an AMAZING improvement. The Georgetown Railroad crossing at 620 is horrible when there's a train, not to mention Chisholm Trail is always packed with people going from Sam Bass/79 to 620 and vice versa.

However, that area has a lot of historical sites/properties, and I can see how a flyover would ruin that area.


So, to clarify: TXDOT is talking about making RM620 some sort of hybrid non-controlled access freeway? Bridges at road intersections?

Dragonfire Oct 7, 2007 5:55 PM

Yeah, pretty much. They have two options: Build bridges at major intersections from Deepwood Drive to I-35 (I'm not entirely sure what this means, since there's no room to build interchanges along that stretch), including a bridge over the Georgetown Railroad. Their other option is to build a flyover from Deepwood Drive to Sam Bass/US 79, and do nothing on RM 620 from Deepwood to I-35.

Mikey711MN Oct 9, 2007 6:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ATXboom (Post 3094797)
Does anyone know why 71 is not included in the Toll road plan out to TX130?

There are some very significant costs in the SH 71 stretch between--and including--183 to SH 130: a reconstruction of the 183/71 interchange, DCs at the airport exit, a surprisingly high cost to construct an FM 973 intersection (would require realignment on either the north end--a new bridge over the CO River--or relocation of numerous municipal facilities/businesses on the south end), and a very long 3rd-level bridge to the 130/71 stack. On a cost-per-mile basis, this one is going to need attention all its own.

Mikey711MN Oct 9, 2007 6:54 AM

As expected, the CAMPO Board approved all five roads in the Phase 2 plan tonight...

http://img.coxnewsweb.com/B/08/53/32/image_5932538.jpg

RobDSM Oct 9, 2007 1:04 PM

So are most of these projects going to be managed lanes in the middle of the existing roads or something to that effect? Or is this reconstructing the existing road, and the new frontage roads are free?

DrewDizzle Oct 9, 2007 1:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobDSM (Post 3100830)
So are most of these projects going to be managed lanes in the middle of the existing roads or something to that effect? Or is this reconstructing the existing road, and the new frontage roads are free?

Frontage roads free.

Managed lanes not.

Standard operating procedure here.

arbeiter Oct 9, 2007 4:21 PM

I'm confused, isn't Ed Bluestein already mostly upgraded to freeway?

RobDSM Oct 9, 2007 5:16 PM

I'm familiar with the way it goes when they reconstruct an existing road into a tollway (north Mopac, 620/45). The newly reconstructed mainlanes are tolled and frontage roads free.

I'd just like to know if anyone knows which of these projects, if any, are just going to be adding tolled/HOV managed lanes to the existing facility. My guess is none. I'm sure they will be restricting those to future upgrades of Mopac, NW 183, and 35.

JAM Oct 9, 2007 6:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arbeiter (Post 3101021)
I'm confused, isn't Ed Bluestein already mostly upgraded to freeway?

No, the portion referred to as Ed Bluestein has stop lights and is missing components of a bona fide freeway. They may have built that like BW8 in Houston, where they built frontage roads first, and then the tolled lanes came later.


..................

Seems I have read that any lanes that were previously free and built with tax payer dollars will remain that way. Some new lanes added would be tolled. So you could have a situation where you have 4 high speed, limited access lanes, but one of them is tolled. Much like what is talked about for Mopac and 183.


But I really haven't seen on paper, so can anyone clarify? I think that is RobDSM's original question. To further clarify, would high speed, limited access lanes be converted to frontage road, or is there going to be some mixture here?

Mopacs Oct 9, 2007 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3101225)
No, the portion referred to as Ed Bluestein has stop lights and is missing components of a bona fide freeway. They may have built that like BW8 in Houston, where they built frontage roads first, and then the tolled lanes came later.

Correct, the Ed Bluestein stretch includes lights at Loyola Drive, E 51st, Motorola plant and at least one more? There are grade separated interchanges at 290, Manor/Springdale, MLK/969, Bolm Rd and the E7th/CesarChavez/Airport Blvd confluence.

I would hope they won't toll at those interchanges, as they have been free and paid-for, for years. My guess is they will double-up the tollway/free lanes, as they did at 45 and Parmer (which was previously a short freeway section of highway 620), with a collector-distributor of sorts. The new overpasses, on the other hand, would possibly be tolled-only (Loyola, etc)

Mopacs Oct 9, 2007 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonfire (Post 3097697)
Yeah, pretty much. They have two options: Build bridges at major intersections from Deepwood Drive to I-35 (I'm not entirely sure what this means, since there's no room to build interchanges along that stretch), including a bridge over the Georgetown Railroad. Their other option is to build a flyover from Deepwood Drive to Sam Bass/US 79, and do nothing on RM 620 from Deepwood to I-35.

Yeah, very interesting article. There's been talk for years about upgrading 620 between 35 and as far south as what is now SH45. There seems to be significant room for expansion for much of that stretch, along the east side of 620 (part of Robinson Ranch, I believe). Clearly the Deepwood-to-35 stretch is problematic. The 'bypass' will have to cross Brushy Creek, and the only alternative to crossing Old Town woudl be to tear out the last stretch of Sam Bass, which would displace numerous businesses. Thats on top of the displacements between Chisolm Trail and Mays St (on the other side of 35).

Should be interesting... it IS needed though.

M1EK Oct 9, 2007 8:44 PM

The people who actually get held accountable for their words on this stuff are usually more careful than we are in this forum - they often say "we will keep the existing CAPACITY free", because obviously it can't be the same physical lanes (the free frontage roads are farther out from the center than the old highway lanes are). Bear that in mind.

Also bear in mind that almost everything the anti-tollers tell you is a load of crap. For instance, YES, we used "tax money" to buy the land for these freeway expansions but the city/state have already agreed to rebate that money if/when the roads are built as tollways. YES, it's "double taxation" but nowhere near as bad as what urban drivers endure for the benefit of the same suburban drivers now whining about tolls. Etc.

Mikey711MN Oct 10, 2007 12:30 AM

Re: existing capacity vs. newly-tolled facilities.

The short answer is that any facility that is currently free must remain free. Evidence of this within the CTTS can be found at various locations:
* NBFR Loop 1 through Parmer
* SBFR to Loop 1 ramp to mainlanes through Parmer
* FRs of SH 45 through Parmer
...again, all to preserve a level of thru-access that had been in place.

This will be handled most curiously along US 183 as it is primarily limited-access south of MLK. Just speculating here, but on this and other routes, you'll probably see a mix of tolled mainlanes and free "thru" FR's (as in the examples above).


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