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Thread: Grand Prairie 161 Tollway?

  1. #1
    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    Grand Prairie 161 Tollway?

    161 plan looks rosy to officials
    State wants it to be a tollway; city would get frontage roads in return
    04:13 PM CST on Saturday, March 20, 2004
    By STEPHANIE SANDOVAL / The Dallas Morning News
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...161.53584.html

    It's a deal with no real drawbacks, city officials say.
    If Grand Prairie gives its blessing to the state to build State Highway 161 as a toll road from Interstate 30 north through Grand Prairie to Irving, the state in turn would build millions of dollars in frontage roads on Interstates 20 and 30 – at no cost to the city.

    "There's not a negative in there that's even worth considering," City Manager Tom Hart said.

    Michael Morris, director of North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation, offered the deal during a City Council briefing session last week.

    Building that northern section of Highway 161 through Grand Prairie as a toll road will speed up construction of the entire project, which will stretch southward to I-20, Mr. Morris said. And because construction of the segment could be financed through toll-backed bonds, it would free up about $140 million in state and federal gas-tax revenue to use for other projects in Grand Prairie and neighboring cities, Mr. Morris said.

    It's a welcome opportunity for Grand Prairie officials, who long ago identified frontage roads as one of their top transportation priorities but have not had the money to build them.

    "I like what I heard," Mayor Charles England said. "If you want any growth in north Grand Prairie, the only place you're going to have it, any major development, is along service roads. We're going to have to have service roads, or we're not going to get that."

    The I-20 and I-30 frontage roads are important regional projects, Mr. Morris said.

    "We're doing it to increase the reliability of the freeway system if an accident occurs, to move people up and down those frontage roads," he said.

    The Council of Governments proposal also calls for using the freed-up funding to complete the interchange at Highway 161 and State Highway 183 in Irving and to build two interchanges – one at Loop 12 and I-30, the other at Loop 12 and Highway 183.

    But it's all just a preliminary proposal.

    Mr. Morris said that if a general consensus to go ahead is obtained by all the affected cities and agencies, he will began preparing a detailed plan that will outline which projects will be funded and how much will be allocated for each.

    Approval is needed from Irving, the North Texas Tollway Authority, the state attorney general's office, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Council and others.

    Mr. Morris said he has not yet briefed some of some of those groups on the proposal.

    And though the offer is for frontage roads in Grand Prairie, other projects would be considered, Mr. Morris said.

    City officials have been asked to prioritize their projects and make a recommendation.

    Council members suggested using some of the money to speed up construction of the main lanes of Highway 161 from I-20 to I-30.

    Another suggestion was to bridge the funding gap for the extension of Lake Ridge Parkway, which will meet Highway 161 at I-20, creating a link to the Joe Pool Lake area, Cedar Hill and Mansfield.

    City transportation director Jim Sparks said that also among the city's top road project priorities – and a suggested recipient of the funding boon – would be the widening of the existing Lake Ridge Parkway from four to six lanes. That project, which stretches from Polo Road south to Cedar Hill, will require expensive additional bridge construction at two crossings over Joe Pool Lake.

    Whatever projects receive funding, Grand Prairie is a winner, Mr. Hart said.

    "I guess if you are just going to look for a downside, you'd say if you have a choice of driving on a free road or a toll road, you'd prefer to drive on a free road," he said.

    But if making it a toll road means getting the road in more quickly, he'd rather pay up, he said.

  2. #2
    dallacentric drumguy8800's Avatar
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    Wow.. great news. Interstates 20 and 30 both are in serious need of service roads. The current system is difficult to move around with.. and a quicker extension of 161 plus the two new interchanges.. and then Lake Ridge Parkway.. wow.. this is gonna be a good thing. The loop around Dallas is really coming through. PGBT ext. IV (Superconnecter) and the Eastern Extension are going to be complete within the coming years.. and then we're going to have 161 through Grand Prairie and Lake Ridge Parkway that'll curve around through Grand Prairie and then connect to Bear Creek Road in Cedar Hill, taking it east through DeSoto, Glenn Heights, Lancaster, etc...and then curve around near Seagoville and connect back up to PGBT in Eastern Dallas County. Won't the entire thing (besides the non-highway portion) be tolled? And won't the entire highway portion be called President George Bush Turnpike? And if you look at the map.. (Here) the design of the loop is going to be similar to how I-20, 408, and I-635 make a loop around Dallas.. just on a larger scale. I think that the pink line curving around the south-eastern portion of the area is going to be called "Loop 9". And it appears, according to the map, that Lake Ridge Parkway is going to be a highway. Who knows.. the map also shows 161 as a freeway instead of a tollway. Maybe once everything is worked out, NCTCOG will publish a new map..

  3. #3
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    I must admit, I would hate to see more service roads in North Texas especially on 30.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  4. #4
    dallacentric drumguy8800's Avatar
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    How come? Service roads:...

    1. Relieve congestion by providing an alternate route when there is a collision
    2. Act as development catalysts.. (If you haven't noticed, any major development occurs where the exit ramps run into thoroughfares along the I-20 and I-30 corridors..)
    3. Act as a local thoroughfare. Take this example: A Grand Prarie resident lives south of I-20 off of Carrier. They would like to eat dinner at the clump of restaurants at I-20 and Great Southwest. To get there, they must drive North on Carrier, go way out of the way to Mayfield Dr, turn left, go to Great Southwest, and turn back south. With the addition of service roads, they can hop on the service roads and save probably five or ten minutes of driving. Without service roads, citizens have limited access. What would be the problem with service roads?

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    They induce congestion by increasing the amount of users on the roadway making local trips. If there were no frontage roads would there be no economic development? Of course not, you would simply see roads similar to Preston which have all the retail very close to the freeway. They make getting to something that is not on the sied of the freeway you are going difficult to get to. How many times do you see a restaurant location repeatedly fail simply because a person going home would rather not get off the freeway make their way across the freeway stop where they are going complete the circle and then get back on the freeway.

  6. #6
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    drumguy,
    Quiz03 has basically summed it up for me but I will a few others. Service roads make think the following: traffic congestion, unwanted noise for suburban neighborhoods, ugly, I35 (north of 635), 183 (between 360 and Texas Stadium), not-so-easy-access-or-service, traffic, poor planning, poor land use, eye sores, etc

    The reconstruction of 75 between downtown and 635 might be the only place where service roads have been more tolerable. However, many of the items listed above still apply there as well.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  7. #7
    dallacentric drumguy8800's Avatar
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    Whenever I was writing my post, I was thinking specifically of the service roads on NCX. If we can get some intelligent planning done and put into place on I-30 and I-20, service roads will be beneficial. Can you imagine NCX without service roads? How difficult it would be to get around? I'm sorry if you all are completely against them. With correct planning.. aesthetics.. etc, service roads make a highway better. Another example of a well planned service road is the portion of Trinity Mills in Carrollton that forms the SRs for PGBT. And remember, these two roads are the newest in the area.. and if we made intelligent use of service roads on these two roads, don't you think that any new service roads put in place will be just as good? (One extremely obnoxious service road is the one near the I-635/DNT interchange. If you take Valley View East from Farmers Branch, it splits into Alpha and Valley View.. and if you take VV, it will go under I-635 and become a service road, then make a weird intersection above the interchange... very obnoxious..) Actually, you know what would solve all of these problems? We should just make every single road in the metroplex be exactly.. with aesthetic variations.. likle NCX. Then everything would run so smoothly... but that would costs tons of $$$$. Tons and tons of $$$$. And tons of headaches. And would be annoying. We could force a 1-year you-have-to-walk-everywhere law.. and then.. they could rebuild all the highways.. really quickly.. hahaha. what a retarted, but good, idea. (I'm not seriously proposing this, so don't go off on me... I'm just saying.. that it would make construction much easier if you weren't trying to handle traffic while completely reconstructing a road.)

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    The lack of frontage roads is really not a problem in the resat of the country. Its uglier when the backs of building face the freeway, but it makes for a more coherent urban environment. We should build to the scale of arterials not to massive freeways. Frontage roads promote sprawl because businesses want the exposure that you get from the freeway. Well hell if there isn't enough frontage where you want to be, just go further out, or build a new freeway. If economic development is based on freeway frontage, sprawl will never end.

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    Frontage roads are ugly. I like the portion of the GBT between the DNT and Preston. No service roads, it looks so much nicer.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    I noticed this project is gaining some steam on both the north end at 183 and the south end at I-20. Any news on this?

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    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    It looks like the 183-Bush interchange is over 60% complete.

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    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    I'm with GC. I hate service roads. The de-beautify my drive for one thing. And usually the drives are slower because of traffic getting on and off more frequently.

    I thought highways were built to improve car flow and not to make it easier for residence to get food.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

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    Some guy
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    Not in Texas

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    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Frontage roads serve a purpose as a release for highway traffice and help bring development close to the highways. I remember when living in Chicago I had to take 94 home in the evenings and if 94 were shut down or backed up the traffic would end up emptying out into residential neighborhoods for miles in every direction you could think. I remember being at a standstill on some neighborhood block stopped dead and chatting with the a woman trying to go the other way.

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    Thats why building too many highways causes more traffic, bringing the sprawly type development to the highways and not the city center. I hate having to shop around those areas because it's so darn hard to get around. First if there are several stores to visit, you gotta drive to each, fighting traffic, trying to cross the freeways, going down only one-way service roads....blah. Lewisville is a good example of this right at 35E, 121 and FM 3040, and Vista Ridge Mall. I'm not saying the service by them selves caused that but you know what i mean. Service roads have their place, and should be designed carefully. There's my 2 cents anyways

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    Supertall Skyscraper Member NThomas's Avatar
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    If you don't have Service Roads then congestion would back up on Preston (on the NCX example.) they really do releve traffic and help with moving people along

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    The areas of 30 without the service road move faster in Grand Pararie than the areas of 30 with a service road in Arlington. Traveling west in rush hour, without construction delays always slows down when nearing 360 and continues until Fort Worth. Unlike 360 and division, there is no obvious bottleneck. If service roads help, explain this phenomenon on the stretch of road where they want to add service roads.

  18. #18
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoUTASportscaster
    The areas of 30 without the service road move faster in Grand Pararie than the areas of 30 with a service road in Arlington. Traveling west in rush hour, without construction delays always slows down when nearing 360 and continues until Fort Worth. Unlike 360 and division, there is no obvious bottleneck. If service roads help, explain this phenomenon on the stretch of road where they want to add service roads.
    Probably the best explanation -- if a bit cynical -- is that there are a lot of property owners along I-20 and I-30 who would love for TxDOT to subsidize the return on their investment.

    To be a bit less cynical, frontage roads make it easier on city planners -- or perhaps, they let the planners be a bit lazy. With intersection-based development, you have to plan for retail and services extending along the street perpendicular to the highway. That requires interacting with existing neighborhoods and robust traffic control. But if you put all the retail on the frontage road, you can do your planning with a straightedge and a pencil -- retail along the highway, apartments behind that, single-family behind that, and so on. Is that good planning, or just easy planning? I don't have enough experience to know.

    All I know is that when I lived in Grand Prairie, I found the lack of frontage roads to be no problem... but the roadgeek in me kept wondering why we didn't have them.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

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    The simple explanation is that when roads are added, traffic will follow. There is an urban philosophy, and I can't attribute it because I don't remember, that says more roads and expanded highways will never flow freely all the time because cars will always follow. The reason is that cars and some kind of development will follow. Another example is I-20 in South Dallas, where there isn't a lot development compared to its counterpart, 635. Yet with its 4 lanes, traffic still backs up frequently.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    This question goes out to RobertB if you are looking. Do you know what this first phase of 161 is going to be at the I-20 interchange. The columns are going up but the alignment of them is not looking like a freeway interchange.

  21. #21
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    This question goes out to RobertB if you are looking. Do you know what this first phase of 161 is going to be at the I-20 interchange. The columns are going up but the alignment of them is not looking like a freeway interchange.
    How did you know I'd have an answer?

    161 *ends* at I-20. South of I-20, it will dump into a grade-level arterial. The interchange won't need to include high-speed ramps from south to east/west.

    Of course, ending the freeway at I-20 means that 1) residential streets in South Grand Prairie will be subjected to excessive traffic loads and 2) I-20 for the three miles between SH 161 and SH 360 will be an absolute mess -- think of what the Grapevine Funnel area was like 20 years ago.

    The only reason I can see for not extending SH 161's travesty another few miles south is that it would have run afoul of Joe Pool Lake -- and the ensuing environmental filings would have derailed the project. Not to mention the fact that the interchange's cost is now artificially decreased by nearly half. TxDOT accounting at work again.

    As it is, they'll build the atrocity, and then in another 10 years they'll push forward the extension, citing increased traffic volume. When I drive past the south end of DFW and see the road pushing south, and I think of the families displaced and the neighborhoods between SH 161 and SH 360 that will be forever cast aside as "the strip club area", it makes me glad I moved out to the middle of nowhere. I figure I've got another 15 years before Kaufman turns into Frisco, and I have to move to Athens.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

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    While there is some displacement as a result of this project, I don't think it will be the disaster you imply, Robert.

    It is weird to drive north or south along NW 19th from I-30 these days, though - a big swath of land that's been cleared. And, there are a couple of neighborhoods near 19th and Carrier where nice houses can now be had for a song...

  23. #23
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB
    How did you know I'd have an answer?
    I have just been around this board long enough to know who knows what these days. Thanks for the info. I will continue to watch it progress across I-20 in the coming months.

  24. #24
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    From the TxDOT press release. This is the segment of the project that is the most disturbing to me -- the part that wiped out an entire working-class neighborhood. Also notable: TxDOT describes the project as "the proposed SH 161 toll road". For all the destruction and the years of lawsuits, TxDOT is building on spec, not even knowing what form the final roadway will take.
    Construction of SH 161 Frontage Roads Continues

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; May 3, 2006

    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will begin construction of the second segment of frontage roads for the proposed SH 161 toll road in southwest Dallas County on Monday, May 8. The second phase construction will span from Spur 303 (Pioneer Parkway) to I-30.

    The $24.9 million, 2.5-mile project will include construction of three frontage lanes in each direction, bridge structures over South Fork and Cotton Creek, and retaining and noise walls, said Mike Bostic, P.E., TxDOT’s Southwest Dallas County area engineer.

    Phase one construction of the SH 161 frontage roads, from I-20 to Spur 303, began in October 2005, and has a completion date set for September 2008. Work on the third phase of frontage roads, which encompasses the I-30, SH 161 interchange, is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Contractor for the project is J.D. Abrams, L.P. of Austin. The project is expected to take 24 months to complete.

    For more information contact: Dianah Ascencio Public Information Office at (214)320-4484.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  25. #25
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Thanks, I didn't realize the frontage roads would be complete so soon.

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    Why is it we need this again? This is already developed area. It is not like the northern suburb area. This is a relatively older suburb, especially in that area. Now all of a sudden, they have a need for a freeway. All this is, is waste.

  27. #27
    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoUTASportscaster
    Why is it we need this again? This is already developed area. It is not like the northern suburb area. This is a relatively older suburb, especially in that area. Now all of a sudden, they have a need for a freeway. All this is, is waste.
    Just taking a guess:

    It helps people in the southwest Dallas County area get to work in Las Colinas and Plano. It should help with urban infill the southwest Dallas County area.

  28. #28
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psukhu
    Just taking a guess:

    It helps people in the southwest Dallas County area get to work in Las Colinas and Plano. It should help with urban infill the southwest Dallas County area.
    You may be confusing southwest Dallas County with southwest Dallas. Grand Prairie and Cedar Hill are developing a set of sprawling suburbs -- you're not getting urban infill, just more of what you already have in Frisco and Allen (though closer and cheaper).

    The enabling of sprawl is actually used as a justification for SH 161, because many leaders accept without question the idea that people in southwest Dallas County *need* to work in Las Colinas and Plano. I would like to suggest that we find ways to develop jobs in Grand Prairie, instead, lest the city find itself forced to raise residential property taxes to support city services to far-flung developments.

    But SH 161 even fails as a sprawl enabler. It doesn't extend across I-20 -- it'll dump into a new surface street. On the Cedar Hill side, there's one road across the lake, limiting their choices to US 67 or soon-to-be-packed surface streets. There's no good reason to build SH 161, except for the simple fact that it's in the Dallas TxDOT district, while SH 360, just three miles away, is in the Fort Worth TxDOT district.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  29. #29
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Big work in Grand Prairie this weekend:
    I-30 to close this weekend near Tarrant-Dallas line
    08:57 AM CST on Thursday, November 2, 2006
    From Staff Reports

    Contractors are tearing down the Carrier Parkway bridge over Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie this weekend, closing the interstate between Loop 12 to the east and State Highway 360 to the west.

    The highway will close at 8 p.m. Friday and won't reopen until 5:30 a.m. Monday, rain or shine.

    Westbound traffic must exit at Loop 12, and eastbound traffic must exit at Highway 360.
    More details at the link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...0.e0d2df6.html

    The Carrier Pkwy bridge over I-30 is a unique construction. Like a baby version of the landmark Hampton Ave. bridge, it arches over the former toll road in a rainbow shape. Unlike the Hampton bridge, though, the bridge deck itself is part of the curve -- which makes for terrible sightlines and hazardous conditions at the traffic light just south of the bridge. I don't think it will be much missed by area residents. Too bad it took the SH 161 boondoggle to get it replaced.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  30. #30
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Is this where 161 crosses I-30? I am unclear on where that is.

  31. #31
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    Is this where 161 crosses I-30? I am unclear on where that is.
    It's just to the east of the new intersection. I-30 will have to be widened throughout the area. The Carrier bridge over I-30, in addition to its other faults, couldn't be widened for more freeway lanes (AFAIK). This Google Maps link should help you get your bearings. SH 161 crosses I-30 in the area of NW 19th St.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  32. #32
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    ^Ok, so down around Division is where they will be taking out homes to run 161 through. I am assuming right there around 19th street or so on both sides of Division.

  33. #33
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    ^Ok, so down around Division is where they will be taking out homes to run 161 through. I am assuming right there around 19th street or so on both sides of Division.
    They'll be taking out a number of homes, businesses, and churches from Main/Jefferson (aka Division/Abram in Arlington) right up to I-30. The intersection with Main/Jefferson will be a bit east of NW/SW 19th, though. "Freeway" is the name of the street that runs alongside an industrial area, a ROW that has been reserved for some sort of freeway for a long time. But it's always pointed like a double-barrelled shotgun at the working-class neighborhood across the railroad tracks. By the time people figured out it was loaded, it was too late. The homes have been boarded up and bulldozed for at least three years now.

    When you look at the map, or even the aerial view, it just seems to make so much sense to run a highway along there. It's not until you get down to ground level that you see the hundreds of families who will be relegated to second-class status, locked into GP's officially designated Sexually Oriented Business district by SH 360 on the west and SH 161 on the east. I'll say it again (and probably again and again): Grand Prairie leaders talk about a new North LBJ Freeway, but all I see is South and East RL Thornton Expressway.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

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    The homes and businesses have been gone from the entire right-of-way for about 1 year now. FYI

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    Found the below on a Grand Prairie Road construction website. Looks like the final segment of frontage roads south of the park mitigation projects just started construction. Segments 1 and 2 are already progressing, from I-20 to Dalworth. Segment 3 goes from Dalworth, follows the existing 19th street, and crosses over I-30 all the way north to Carrier Parkway. There will be no frontage roads through the park mitigation projects (Mike Lewis) going north close to SH183, where it will meet the existing expansion of SH161.

    Looks like this sucker is being built quick!

    ---------------------------------------------------
    11/14/06

    The first of several stages of construction for SH-161, segment three, began today. NW 19th Street has been reduced to one lane north and south between Dalworth and W. Tarrant and also between IH-30 and Carrier Parkway. LONG DELAYS SHOULD BE EXPECTED. These lane closures are expected to last for some time. This also means that Egyptian, Danish and Roman are all CLOSED at NW 19th Street. Alternative routes should be used

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    Here is a link to a pdf which shows the plans for the parks and how 161 will flow.....FYI

    http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/NR...bit_091807.pdf

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    Nice update from Hartzel in the DMN yesterday....

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.3f2b428.html

  39. #39
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAROD
    Nice update from Hartzel in the DMN yesterday....

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.3f2b428.html
    Wow, there's an awful lot of underground work in this project. The childhood line-on-a-map roadgeek in me is facinated, even as the live-on-a-budget grownup cringes at how much is being spent to destroy the between-the-highways neighborhoods.
    The work is much more than just building new frontage roads. Contractors must tunnel under the existing railroad tracks between Main Street and Jefferson Boulevard for about 500 feet, all while keeping the busy rail lines open right beside them.

    [...]
    At I-20, the main lanes of Highway 161 will require ramps and columns much taller than those being built. In addition, the project calls for a five-level interchange at I-30, with ramps towering 120 feet above the future lanes of Highway 161, which will go under the existing lanes of I-30.
    And in the adding-insult-to-injury department:
    About the time the existing projects end, the state expects to award a contract to a private group to build the main lanes of Highway 161, all the way from I-20 to State Highway 183 near the south end of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

    Before deciding to turn the project over to a private bidder, the state estimated that Highway 161's main lanes would cost about $650 million. The private group will pay for the rights to build the road and collect tolls for an undetermined time period.

    That work should begin in early 2008, and some portions of the main lanes could open by 2010. The section from Highway 183 to I-30 could open even earlier, if the state and contractors agree to make it a priority to open the road to coincide with the fall 2009 opening of the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium in Arlington, Mr. Bostic said.

    [...]
    The 11.6-mile project should open by 2012, and a drive on the entire road should cost about $1.75.

    "If you need to go south in a hurry, this will be the way to go," Mr. Bostic said.
    Hey, it's a slogan! "Highway 161: You're Going South in a Hurry!" Handbasket not included.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  40. #40
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    Hey RobertB, I know it's not always pretty, but if you've ever taken commuted regularly on 360, that road is already way overburdened. Another example of how the "if you don't build it, they won't come" crowd is wrong. SH360 has been in its existing state for what 20 years? No new freeways have been built either. Yet traffic counts in the area keep climbing. Development is not being deterred by the lack of transportation infrastructure in the area. Add Jerry World to the mix in 2009 and you have a mess if 161 isn't built

    Additionally, NTTA declined to build and maintain the mainlaines as an extenstion of PGBT. So it went back to TXDOT. I don't like they are selling the lanes either, it smells of a TTC boondoggle.

    But fact is 90% of the right of way has been sitting empty for 20 years, only a 10acre sliver of park, and 1 dilapidated neighborhood just north of Jefferson, and a Taco Bell and gas station on 30 has been in use in the entire corridor. A new 60acre park is going to replace the 10 acres lost. It is well past time to get this thing built and complete the western half of the 161/190 loop around the Dallas metroplex.

  41. #41
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAROD
    But fact is 90% of the right of way has been sitting empty for 20 years, only a 10acre sliver of park, and 1 dilapidated neighborhood just north of Jefferson, and a Taco Bell and gas station on 30 has been in use in the entire corridor. A new 60acre park is going to replace the 10 acres lost. It is well past time to get this thing built and complete the western half of the 161/190 loop around the Dallas metroplex.
    I *lived* in Grand Prairie for 10 years. There was more than a Taco Bell at that corner -- in addition to the fast food shops, there were convenience stores and other services. Replacing the "sliver of park" with a multilane high-speed expressway has a detrimental effect on more than just those 10 acres, and much of the mitigation land will be a strip along the highway. Great for a bike trail, sure, but not exactly equivalent to what was lost. I love how the article quotes them saying it was "the right thing to do" -- so why did they have to be forced?

    As for "1 dilapidated neighborhood" -- if there were ever an argument for highways generating the wrong priorities, that's got to be it. The neighborhood is in poor shape in part *because* of the highway project. It's not like you can get a loan to build a nice house on a piece of land that's set to be demolished. Then the condition of the neighborhood is used to justify the freeway plans that made the condition so bad in the first place. It's a vicious circle.

    And let's go back to SH 360. Don't tell me that it's overloaded until you do something about the intersections with I-30 and Division/Abram! Remove those bottlenecks and the traffic can actually flow... without kicking hundreds of families out of their homes and destroying the community where hundreds more will have to live next to Grand Prairie's designated sexually oriented business zone -- another "development" made possible by SH 161.

    And Jerry Jones? You're telling me that those people's homes should be sacrificed so that some self-important billionaire can pipe more cars into his playground? I thought you were argueing in *favor* of the highway?
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  42. #42
    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    I noticed that the freeways in metro LA have more lanes per direction, yet they have less of a footprint compared to the freeways in Texas. Their freeways have walls on both sides with no service roads, similar to the Dallas North Tollway between Mockingbird and Northwest Highway.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAROD
    Hey RobertB, I know it's not always pretty, but if you've ever taken commuted regularly on 360, that road is already way overburdened. Another example of how the "if you don't build it, they won't come" crowd is wrong. SH360 has been in its existing state for what 20 years? No new freeways have been built either. Yet traffic counts in the area keep climbing. Development is not being deterred by the lack of transportation infrastructure in the area. Add Jerry World to the mix in 2009 and you have a mess if 161 isn't built
    So you are saying this needs to be built because of 360? I am sure you are aware of the plans TxDoT has for 360 and Division which would bring the freeway up to current standards.

    But once that is done, and they redo the I-30 and 360 interchange, it will back up too. However, you want to make another freeway and have two freeways that back-up and bring their negative effects.

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    20 years of no-build have done wonders for the area right? The 360 corridor is a perfect example of "no-build - no one comes" not working. People are still coming. The Ballpark still got built. Lone Star Park still got built. Advanced manufacturing facilities still located to GP. Jerry World is still coming.

    And yet in all that time, not one lane was added, not one interchange was rebuilt, and a grand total of 1 arterial was redone - Belt Line.

    Did not building keep people and development from coming? NO. Did leaving the roads as is keep the Jerry Joneses of the world from staying away? NO.

    It is once again - if you leave it alone, and hundreds of thousands of people keep moving into the area, you are just hoping beyond hope that you can leave the roads alone to stop development.

    161 is going to provide another north-south freeway to the area, and keep North Dallas Metroplex drivers off of 360. It completes a long planned loop around Dallas. If the people weren't coming, we wouldn't need it. But they are, and we need to deal in reality.

  45. #45
    Low-Rise Member ajmstilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAROD
    20 years of no-build have done wonders for the area right? The 360 corridor is a perfect example of "no-build - no one comes" not working. People are still coming. The Ballpark still got built. Lone Star Park still got built. Advanced manufacturing facilities still located to GP. Jerry World is still coming.

    And yet in all that time, not one lane was added, not one interchange was rebuilt, and a grand total of 1 arterial was redone - Belt Line.

    Did not building keep people and development from coming? NO. Did leaving the roads as is keep the Jerry Joneses of the world from staying away? NO.

    It is once again - if you leave it alone, and hundreds of thousands of people keep moving into the area, you are just hoping beyond hope that you can leave the roads alone to stop development.
    Your argument basically says roads have no effect on economic development. Why build the new 161 if the development is going to happen anyways. Why spend the billions of dollars if it won't do anything but ease traffic for a few years? (or more likely just cause more traffic)

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajmstilt
    Your argument basically says roads have no effect on economic development. Why build the new 161 if the development is going to happen anyways. Why spend the billions of dollars if it won't do anything but ease traffic for a few years? (or more likely just cause more traffic)
    In a rapidly growing city, development is going to come whether you expand your road system or not. If we were living in the Northeast, with a static population, then maybe the argument that if you build it, you attract development from other areas and create congestion holds a little water.

    But in a city that has doubled in population in 30 years, the development is going to come. PERIOD. You can't hope that "if I leave the roads alone" the developers will stay away. Just drive thru Austin to see what that gets you. Just imagine the road/freeway system circa 1970 with 2006 population. It would be unliveable. Yes, there is still congestion, but it is manageable. You know that after 6:30-7pm on most of the freeways, traffic will be fine. You know that after 9am and until around 3:30pm you can get on a freeway and expect to go 55 and get to your destination quickly.

    If we had left every freeway alone in its 1970's, 2 lane configuration and put 8 million people on them, this would be a totally miserable, horrible place to live, with 2 and 3 hour commutes to go 20 miles every single day, virtually any time of the day. The city would be in a standstill.

    161 has to get built. 360 cannot handle all the north-south by itself anymore.

  47. #47
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    TxDOT narrows list competing for Dallas County toll project
    Dallas Business Journal - 5:37 PM CST Tuesday
    The Texas Department of Transportation has selected four teams to move forward in competing for a contract to do work on State Highway 161 in Dallas County .

    The firms were narrowed down from 10 companies that submitted proposals, TxDOT said.

    The firms are :

    Babcock & Brown, Transurban & Fluor
    Mid-Cities Transportation Partners
    OHL Infrastructure
    Skanska
    The winning team will design, develop, construct, finance and operate an 11.5-mile stretch of toll lanes along the SH 161 corridor.

    The project extends from State Highway 183 south to Interstate 20, passing through the cities of Grand Prairie and Irving.

    TxDOT will now solicit detailed proposals from the four teams competing for the project. TxDOT expects to select the best proposal by the end of 2007.

  48. #48
    High-Rise Member eirin's Avatar
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    Any updates on this project? The construction seems to be developing pretty fast around I-20 in GP.

  49. #49
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    Posted on Fri, Dec. 14, 2007

    Planners push ahead with construction on Texas 161

    By GORDON DICKSON
    Star-Telegram staff writer

    Bridges and frontage lanes on Texas 161 would open in August 2009, before the Dallas Cowboys' first season in their new stadium, according to a plan approved Thursday by the Regional Transportation Council. And most of the toll road's main lanes would open in time for the 2011 Super Bowl.

    The RTC, North Texas' official planning body, voted unanimously to temporarily divert $272 million from other regional road work through 2010 to speed up construction of the Texas 360 reliever route in Irving and Grand Prairie.

    The move increases the possibility that construction on the road can begin by summer. Officials from two agencies vying to build the road -- the North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation -- say they're still working to agree on business terms by next week's deadline.

    "The money you put into this project you will get back in two years," Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, told the RTC.

    A state law passed this year gives the Plano-based tollway authority first refusal to build the road. But first, the tollway authority and the Transportation Department must agree on the value of the road, which determines how much money can be generated from tolls for use on other projects.

    Drawn-out negotiations over those terms have threatened to delay the project. However, the RTC's action makes it possible to hire contractors to build frontage roads and bridges over the Trinity River and Trinity Railway Express by August 2009, while the negotiations continue.

    Whichever agency wins the right to collect tolls on Texas 161 for the next 50 years or so would repay the RTC its funding.

    The plan also calls for the RTC money to be used to build the main lanes from south of the TRE bridge to Interstate 30 by November 2010.

    The Texas 161/I-30 interchange and the main lanes from I-30 to I-20 would then be built by June 2012, by whichever agency is selected to develop the project.

    The tollway authority is interested in making Texas 161 a part of its tollway system, and an extension of the President George Bush Turnpike. The Transportation Department prefers to farm out the project to the private sector and get a large, upfront cash payment for the right to collect tolls for 50 years.

    Other action

    On Thursday, the Regional Transportation Council also:

    Agreed to hold public meetings on a proposal to expand the RTC's metropolitan planning area to include all of Johnson, Parker, Ellis and Kaufman counties, and parts of Wise, Hood and Hunt counties.

    Voted unanimously to support a proposal to build an Amtrak train station in Krum, west of Denton. The station would be served daily by Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, which operates daily from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City.

    Learned from Maribel Chavez, the Transportation Department's Fort Worth district engineer, that most Tarrant County projects will be spared from a statewide cutback of $1.1 billion in road work in 2008-09. Those projects are backed by tolls and private investment.

    Expansion of Texas 26 in Colleyville and Hurst is not on the list of projects to be cut because it is not scheduled for construction until 2010. However, buying right of way could be delayed, she said.

    Agreed to get involved in a dispute between the tollway authority and the Transportation Department over $51 million in interest rate funding involving the Texas 121 toll road project north of Grapevine. The RTC wants to spend the disputed money on the Dallas Trinity Parkway, then repay it when the dispute is resolved.

    Held the first of what is expected to be many committee meetings to gear up for the 2009 legislative session, during which the RTC intends to push state lawmakers for permission to hold local elections on a regional rail system, to be funded by a proposed sales tax increase of up to 1 cent.
    By the power of greyskull!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    The RTC, North Texas' official planning body, voted unanimously to temporarily divert $272 million from other regional road work through 2010 to speed up construction of the Texas 360 reliever route in Irving and Grand Prairie.
    How long until we need a reliever route for this road?

    Voted unanimously to support a proposal to build an Amtrak train station in Krum, west of Denton. The station would be served daily by Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, which operates daily from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City.
    Is this a yes, we will build it, or is it like a pre-promise ring, which is a pledge to promise to think about building it?

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