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cloud713

Dallas proposal to eliminate i-345 elevated through deep ellum/east downtown denied

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There's nothing wrong with the Pierce Elevated. It serves a purpose and can't easily be replaced. As for Dallas, from looking at the map, there's no real alternative to I-345, unless you route traffic going through Dallas many miles out of the way, and increase the volume on already crowded roads.

Edited by Ross

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Uh...good?

 

I mean, the road still serves a purpose, and freeway removals are super-rare (the San Francisco removals were taken out mostly because earthquake damage made them unusable, others were simply superseded by a larger highway, etc.)

 

Repairing it and upgrading it (maybe make it more attractive) would be the best option in this case, though to be fair, sinking it and actually designing it with a plaza above it instead of attempting to graft one on later (Klyde Warren) would've been nice.

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Don't forget that the Pierce was totally rebuilt about 15 years ago. I've seen it built twice now, don't make me go through it a third time.

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yeah, the pierce is over a decade older than 345, so hopefully TxDot would think differently about refurbing this one. i would personally love to see it go along 59 and 10, opening up the south and west sides of downtown to additional development and better interconnecting them. it would be nice to see them submerge 59/45 just north of GRB with a park on top to interlink the east end with downtown, but i dont see that happening.

and i agree, Dallas didnt really have any solid alternatives for it besides tunneling, which we already know how TxDot feels about long tunnels (they said no to our proposal to tunnel this stretch of 45).

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and i agree, Dallas didnt really have any solid alternatives for it besides tunneling, which we already know how TxDot feels about long tunnels (they said no to our proposal to tunnel this stretch of 45).

Because the Pierce Elevated wasn't very old at all. Highways are built to last--the ramps at Beltway 8 and Interstate 10 were maybe about 17 years old (I can't remember the exact number) before they were dismantled...TxDOT probably didn't like the fact that they weren't very old.

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If the Pierce Elevated can't be tunneled, for that is surely beyond the realm of engineering possibilities, they should just dismantle it and route the traffic on 59 and 10.

 

 

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Because the Pierce Elevated wasn't very old at all. Highways are built to last--the ramps at Beltway 8 and Interstate 10 were maybe about 17 years old (I can't remember the exact number) before they were dismantled...TxDOT probably didn't like the fact that they weren't very old.

I'm not sure I understand your post. Pierce elevated was built over 50 years ago.. Highways and bridges are only meant to last 20-30 years according to some quick google searching. But yeah I bet txdot wasn't happy about replacing a perfectly good 5 stack interchange (possibly the first 5 stack in the world..?) after less than 20 years.

Of course I read somewhere that even if they had the money today, they wouldn't get around to rebuilding 45 until at least 2025, bu which time the Pierce will be ~65 years old.

Edited by cloud713

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I'm not sure I understand your post. Pierce elevated was built over 50 years ago.. Highways and bridges are only meant to last 20-30 years according to some quick google searching. But yeah I bet txdot wasn't happy about replacing a perfectly good 5 stack interchange (possibly the first 5 stack in the world..?) after less than 20 years.

Pierce Elevated itself went through a substantial rebuilding/repair project that stripped it of everything but the support poles in 1996-1997. No doubt at the time work was done to ensure that the Pierce Elevated would last for several more decades.

The highway cannot be widened without additional buildings being condemned, either.

Here's a snippet from a 1997 Chron article after the reopening, bolded parts for importance.

The old Pierce was notable for its rhythmic thumping, which highway officials blamed on the bowing of the support beams. Now the old thumps are gone.

Boyd also is grateful that his trips across town are easier. "That was hell," he said, referring to the five months of closure. But if the Pierce Elevated can be redone so swiftly, he would like to see a similar pace on other local street projects.

Saol Diaz agreed that closing the Pierce caused "big trouble," but the result is good. "It's very good for everybody, nice and smooth, a very good job," he said.

Martin Ramos, who was one of the first motorists over the Pierce after the reopening, said the new stretch of freeway is a lot better than the streets he had been using.

"I'm sure was glad to hear it was open," he said. "It was a lot faster."

Dennis said the new bridges should last 50 years, at least. "I won't have to worry about it in my career," he said

Edited by IronTiger

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I dont get why this highway is designated as I-345. Why not leave it as I-45 or US 75? I haven't spent a lot of time in downtown Dallas but I dont recall seeing signs for I-345, nor is it designated as such.

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I dont get why this highway is designated as I-345. Why not leave it as I-45 or US 75? I haven't spent a lot of time in downtown Dallas but I dont recall seeing signs for I-345, nor is it designated as such.

 

It is officially designated 345, but it's not signed as such. Just because there's no I-345 signs doesn't mean it's not designated as I-345. The Hardy Toll Road between Crosstimbers and 610 is designated as Spur 548, but there's no Spur 548 signage.

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I was just on I-345 a few days ago.  And this is the first time I've heard of I-345. ;)  That whole stretch is horrible from a sign standpoint; what's there now is confusing.  I don't think an I-345 sign would help.

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Unfortunate. If it was taken down the values of the areas that would spring up would be astronomical, and thus more property taxes for Dallas. That tells you something about the power of the highway lobby.


There's nothing wrong with the Pierce Elevated. It serves a purpose and can't easily be replaced. As for Dallas, from looking at the map, there's no real alternative to I-345, unless you route traffic going through Dallas many miles out of the way, and increase the volume on already crowded roads.

 

There's nothing wrong with...

 

has been used many times in the past for other issues as well. And retrospectively usually a backwards view.

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That tells you something about the power of the highway lobby.

 

Or it tells you that no one knows where to route the 160,000 cars that travel that highway daily if it's not there.

 

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Or it tells you that no one knows where to route the 160,000 cars that travel that highway daily if it's not there.

 

this. unlike our plan to reroute 45 along a widened 59 and i10, they had no option to widen/put "45/75/345/whatever" lanes along 30, 35 through the mixmaster, and then down Woodall Rogers under Klyde Warren (they would have to do serious reconstruction to widen that underpass/"tunnel"). they just planned on letting the vehicles have a free for all on the surface streets of downtown/deep ellum Dallas..

Edited by cloud713

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The people advocating taking out i-345 view it as a unnecessary short cut, particularly for people not from Dallas. First if the car is just passing through they can use 35, 635, loop 12 or 190. I can't find the source but taking 645 to get to 45 is an extra 6 or 7 minutes. Removing the freeway could encourage much needed DART ridership. I think a major compromise that might be necessary is to add more capacity for the one lane on ramp loop from Woodall Rodgers West Bound on to i-35 S and to do that same for the on ramp from i-35 N on to Woodall Rodgers East Bound,

 

If these are commuters from outside of Dallas who work within the CBD and Dallas wants to foster density then it's time to stop easily accommodate the growth of the suburbs at the expense of Dallas proper. The metroplex's employment hubs (high rise) are pretty spread out (Fort Worth, Las Colinas, Dallas Tollway, Richardson) so it's not as if a third of the metro works within a 5 mile radius of downtown. While we still need Arlington, Grand Prairie, Collin Country to join DART and the Cotton Belt Rail Line but for the most part the rail infrastructure is there, it's just time to start using it.

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The people advocating taking out i-345 view it as a unnecessary short cut, particularly for people not from Dallas. First if the car is just passing through they can use 35, 635, loop 12 or 190. I can't find the source but taking 645 to get to 45 is an extra 6 or 7 minutes. Removing the freeway could encourage much needed DART ridership. I think a major compromise that might be necessary is to add more capacity for the one lane on ramp loop from Woodall Rodgers West Bound on to i-35 S and to do that same for the on ramp from i-35 N on to Woodall Rodgers East Bound,

 

If these are commuters from outside of Dallas who work within the CBD and Dallas wants to foster density then it's time to stop easily accommodate the growth of the suburbs at the expense of Dallas proper. The metroplex's employment hubs (high rise) are pretty spread out (Fort Worth, Las Colinas, Dallas Tollway, Richardson) so it's not as if a third of the metro works within a 5 mile radius of downtown. While we still need Arlington, Grand Prairie, Collin Country to join DART and the Cotton Belt Rail Line but for the most part the rail infrastructure is there, it's just time to start using it.

 

Removing a freeway that's a throughway with 160,000 cars that travel it daily would be a very interesting social experiment that I'm sure would be studied heavily as most prior removals have been stubs not throughways. 

 

Your comment appears to assume that removing the freeway and encouraging DART ridership would not have an adverse effect on economic growth in the Dallas area.  Given that vacancies in the CBD are currently in excess of 30% with the existing freeway and DART in place, I'm think that it's reasonable to question whether restricting ease of access to the CBD would have a positive impact on that area and whether it would lead to your desired result.

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The Pierce needs to be double decked. There is always a bottle neck where 59,288,45 meet from 5 or 6 lanes to 3. No matter what time of day you travel is it horrible and everybody tries to cut in front of you. Even coming from the north. Three more lanes on top of it with new connectors would solve the problem for a while. But I cannot think of any solution.

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Houston has five more functioning miles of light rail transit extending the Main street line from the University of Houston Downtown to the Houston Community College campus at the Northline Mall, according to ABC 13.

Houston’s Main Street light rail line is the most successful modern light rail line in the nation in terms of ridership per mile of rail, according to Wikipedia, behind only Boston’s green line, which opened in 1897.

Federal transportation officials now have a much better relationship with Houston’s Metro than several years ago, according to KUHF:

Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff says he thinks Metro has done a good job with the light rail projects, with no reports of cost overruns or major delays.

And he’s pleased to see Metro is opening the North Line extension ahead of schedule.

“More recently, their performance in building out the north and southeast lines, as well as delivering the system on time and on budget, they’re actually ahead of time, ahead of schedule, and providing the service to the citizens a lot sooner than expected, which is all good news.”

...

Rogoff expects Houston will be a strong candidate for more federal money in the years to come, especially if local officials are able to come up with matching funds.

But he says it’s hard to predict what the future holds, despite the Obama administration’s request for more money for bus and rail projects around the country.

However, Metro is having issues with the vendor for new light rail vehicles that will be used for the coming additional expansions of the East and Southeast line expected later this year, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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Houston has five more functioning miles of light rail transit extending the Main street line from the University of Houston Downtown to the Houston Community College campus at the Northline Mall, according to ABC 13.

Houston’s Main Street light rail line is the most successful modern light rail line in the nation in terms of ridership per mile of rail, according to Wikipedia, behind only Boston’s green line, which opened in 1897.

Federal transportation officials now have a much better relationship with Houston’s Metro than several years ago, according to KUHF:

Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff says he thinks Metro has done a good job with the light rail projects, with no reports of cost overruns or major delays.

And he’s pleased to see Metro is opening the North Line extension ahead of schedule.

“More recently, their performance in building out the north and southeast lines, as well as delivering the system on time and on budget, they’re actually ahead of time, ahead of schedule, and providing the service to the citizens a lot sooner than expected, which is all good news.”

...

Rogoff expects Houston will be a strong candidate for more federal money in the years to come, especially if local officials are able to come up with matching funds.

But he says it’s hard to predict what the future holds, despite the Obama administration’s request for more money for bus and rail projects around the country.

However, Metro is having issues with the vendor for new light rail vehicles that will be used for the coming additional expansions of the East and Southeast line expected later this year, according to the Houston Chronicle.

 

I think that you might have accidentally posted this on the wrong thread...

 

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Removing a freeway that's a throughway with 160,000 cars that travel it daily would be a very interesting social experiment that I'm sure would be studied heavily as most prior removals have been stubs not throughways. 

 

Your comment appears to assume that removing the freeway and encouraging DART ridership would not have an adverse effect on economic growth in the Dallas area.  Given that vacancies in the CBD are currently in excess of 30% with the existing freeway and DART in place, I'm think that it's reasonable to question whether restricting ease of access to the CBD would have a positive impact on that area and whether it would lead to your desired result.

 

It's not really the armageddon you predict. Pierce elevated was closed here for months, and the result was not much of an issue. Even with the demolition of its freeway by downtown, it hasn't caused too much of a stir. People will find alternative routes. It says something you have to resort to fear to win your argument.

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It's not really the armageddon you predict. Pierce elevated was closed here for months, and the result was not much of an issue. Even with the demolition of its freeway by downtown, it hasn't caused too much of a stir. People will find alternative routes. It says something you have to resort to fear to win your argument.

 

To clarify, Pierce elevated was not completely closed for the rebuild.  They demolished and rebuilt the northbound bridge in 88 days while maintaining traffic on the southbound bridge.  Then traffic was switched to the new northbound structure while they demolished and rebuilt the southbound structure, which took 72 days.  Further, the project involved very extensive engineering design and scheduling work to minimize the time taken for the rebuild, suggesting that keeping it at low capacity (never closed completely) for long periods of time was unworkable.

 

Additionally, as unworkable as it was to reduce the capacity of the Pierce elevated for long periods of time in 1997, it would be that much more unworkable to completely close it in 2014 when it carries 200,000 cars a day.

 

To say "well, we closed Pierce elevated for months in 1997 so we can just close it permanently with no ill effects" is (a) false (it was never closed in 1997) and (B) jejune.

 

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It's not really the armageddon you predict. Pierce elevated was closed here for months, and the result was not much of an issue. Even with the demolition of its freeway by downtown, it hasn't caused too much of a stir. People will find alternative routes. It says something you have to resort to fear to win your argument.

I'm going to ignore your obvious trolling and will merely point out the 1.4 mile stretch of I-345 under discussion carries 135,000 vehicles daily. The entire DART network carries 95,000 people daily.

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If they ripped out DART tomorrow. No one would miss it. The 10 people that use it would probably find alternate routes.

 

As someone who would actually like to see more rail in Houston, I wish Slick Vic would quit promoting it. Sometimes I think his arguments, miscalculations and convoluted logic only give ammunition for the opposition. No offense Slick Vic, but anyone who would advocate the removal of the Pierce with nothing to replace it would never be allowed to sit at the grown-ups table.

 

Although I admire your outside-the-box thinking, you can't ignore common sense. Sending 200,000 cars on to other freeways and roads in downtown Houston (or Dallas) sounds worse than armageddon - especially if you try to do that before you even have any rail, Futurama tubes or flying Jetson cars to replace it.

Edited by Hugh Stone
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I'm going to ignore your obvious trolling and will merely point out the 1.4 mile stretch of I-345 under discussion carries 135,000 vehicles daily. The entire DART network carries 95,000 people daily.

 .......

 

The vehicles can find alternate routes.

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If they ripped out DART tomorrow. No one would miss it. The 10 people that use it would probably find alternate routes.

 

As someone who would actually like to see more rail in Houston, I wish Slick Vic would quit promoting it. Sometimes I think his arguments, miscalculations and convoluted logic only give ammunition for the opposition. No offense Slick Vic, but anyone who would advocate the removal of the Pierce with nothing to replace it would never be allowed to sit at the grown-ups table.

 

Although I admire your outside-the-box thinking, you can't ignore common sense. Sending 200,000 cars on to other freeways and roads in downtown Houston (or Dallas) sounds worse than armageddon - especially if you try to do that before you even have any rail, Futurama tubes or flying Jetson cars to replace it.

 

If the pierce itself was removed, there would still be 59 and 10. Also that property would immediately become valuable, and more property taxes for the city instead of maintaining the structure that is there.

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If the Pierce itself was removed, 200,000 extra cars would hemorrhage all over downtown and midtown Houston much like a person would bleed to death after their jugular vein is sliced open.

 

The properties would eventually be valueless because it would be such a nightmare putting 200,000 cars over roads that were never designed to support them that no one in their right mind would want to live there, work there, stop there or spend money there. Every street in midtown and downtown would be one long, continuous, endless, parking lot all day and all night. Imagine the intersection of Post Oak and Westhiemer at 6:00pm on Friday times 100 all day, every day. Add in a little Houston 100 degree heat and humidity and Armageddon should start looking pretty good now by comparison.

 

Don't believe me? Try slicing a vein open and just see what happens! The pouring blood WILL go elsewhere, but probably not where you wanted it to go. I don't know about you but I'd rather the blood keep the heart pumping and not diverted on to my nice clean floors just to force people to use mass transit against their will!

 

Or better yet, just take my word for it. Slick Vic, you aren't ready to be a city planner unless your objective is to get people to move away from the inner city. BTW, I'm not so sure that isn't your main objective anyway.

 

Your ideas read like the logic of a James Bond super villain who is out to destroy a city. No one gets it, but you.

 

 

Edited by Hugh Stone
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If the Pierce itself was removed, 200,000 extra cars would hemorrhage all over downtown and midtown Houston much like a person would bleed to death after their jugular vein is sliced open.

 

The properties would eventually be valueless because it would be such a nightmare putting 200,000 cars over roads that were never designed to support them that no one in their right mind would want to live there, work there, stop there or spend money there. Every street in midtown and downtown would be one long, continuous, endless, parking lot all day and all night. Imagine the intersection of Post Oak and Westhiemer at 6:00pm on Friday times 100 all day, every day. Add in a little Houston 100 degree heat and humidity and Armageddon should start looking pretty good now by comparison.

 

Don't believe me? Try slicing a vein open and just see what happens! The pouring blood WILL go elsewhere, but probably not where you wanted it to go. I don't know about you but I'd rather the blood keep the heart pumping and not diverted on to my nice clean floors just to force people to use mass transit against their will!

 

Or better yet, just take my word for it. Slick Vic, you aren't ready to be a city planner unless your objective is to get people to move away from the inner city. BTW, I'm not so sure that isn't your main objective anyway.

 

Your ideas read like the logic of a James Bond super villain who is out to destroy a city. No one gets it, but you.

 

I am not out to destroy a city, I'm trying to improve it. Fear mongering like this is not an argument.

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Fear mongering like this is not an argument.

As I recall correctly, most of your arguments involve "Traffic is getting to critical mass, prices of ROW are going up, we need to build NOW". Sounds like fear mongering to me!

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I am not out to destroy a city, I'm trying to improve it. Fear mongering like this is not an argument.

Actually, it seems that your argument is that it's vitally important to get people out of cars and into trains and that this is a fact beyond any discussion. Therefore, any point that supports that conclusion is accurate and any point that refutes it is wrong regardless of whether the points are factually correct or not.

The funniest part of that is that you are basically an ideological twin to John Culbertson in a yin/yang relationship.

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This isn't an argument. This is more like teasing a cat with a ball of yarn than it is an argument. It's harmless and funny watching kitty spaz out over something he doesn't have the capacity to understand. 

 

Cutting a vital artery in the heart of downtown Houston that carries hundreds of thousands of cars per day with nothing to replace it is NOT an improvement. As an idea, it is idiotic, asinine and is so removed from the possibility of actually happening in the real world, a serious discussion on the idea wouldn't be taken any further than the dayroom of a lunatic asylum.

 

 

Go read the title of this thread. It's not happening in Dallas. It's not happening in Houston.

 

Clinging to the fantasy that one day you will wake up and all the freeways are going to magically disappear and and 6 million+ people are going to sell their cars to the junk yard and only use mass transportation in metro areas that span hundreds of square miles in every direction is borderline psychotic if were truly taken seriously by anyone. 

 

BTW, I'm not calling Slick Vic borderline psychotic. I don't even think he is taking the idea of removing the Pierce seriously. He just comes here for the attention. 

 

That reminds me, I need to pick up some kitty litter.

Edited by Hugh Stone
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The group that helped fund Klyde Warren Park has jumped on this as their next project.

 

TREC to fund study eyeing controversial I-345 project

http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2014/03/12/trec-to-fund-study-eyeing-controversial-i-345.html

I visited Klyde Warren Park, it was great. However, I doubt that it's particularly practical to remove I-345, and either way, I think that by the time they finish the study it will be too late (repaired or already well on that way). The reason why Klyde Warren Park worked out particularly well was twofold:

1) The highway was sunken, eliminating the extremely high price of actually digging out and sinking the road. What would be a major operation: digging out the highway, redirecting traffic, et cetera, et cetera, was already done decades before. Of course, the park wasn't exactly cheap but wasn't prohibitively expensive.

2) Traffic was not impeded for the most part (there may have been lane closures). If the idea had been to backfill or otherwise demolish the freeway (like what they want to do to 345), then there would be some difficulty since it's still a major thoroughfare and lots of cars use it.

P.S.: I used your Dallas tunnel map, it was great! While I still prefer Houston's tunnel system hands down, it helped me navigate to the Chick-fil-A in the Renaissance Tower food court.

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Yup. I feel like people seem so enamored with the idea of connecting the two parts of Dallas with the park are forgetting that highways still have a purpose, and that Woodall Rodgers Freeway wasn't actually affected very much as a throughfare.

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In this article on Texas transportation, the author states that highways like I-45 are a necessary regional link, but then advocates for the demolition of I-345 and mentions that he was one of the individuals that pushed for its demolition. How do you support necessary regional links and also support tearing down the connections to those very regional links?

 

http://tribtalk.org/2014/06/22/why-the-fate-of-a-dallas-highway-matters-to-all-texans/

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It looks like the "new highway" to the southeast is just a redirection of 345 through the MixMaster and under Klyde Warren, both of which seem almost impossible to accommodate.

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Looks interesting. Might give the CBD extra breathing room to grow. I like the idea.

 

Tired of too many damn freeways, Thats what messed up things to begin with.

Edited by JasnoDTX
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IDK - ever been on Atlanta's Downtown Connector? 

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yeah the Atlanta downtown connector is horrible. hopefully Houstons i45 rerouting doesnt pose the same problems.

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yeah the Atlanta downtown connector is horrible. hopefully Houstons i45 rerouting doesnt pose the same problems.

 

Don't think it would - Atlanta's Downtown Connector is much longer, mixes traffic, and has several more major intersections than what currently exists in Downtown Houston. From the posted schematics, it appears that traffic on 45 would stay separate from 59/69 traffic.

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yeah thats what i was hoping and thinking too. having all the highways merge together as one big mass through the middle of the city ended up being a total cluster **** for Atlanta.

though it looks like this Dallas idea would be another downtown connector waiting to happen if it just dumps the 45 traffic onto 35, having to weave through the mix master and somehow squeeze the new lanes for additional capacity through the tunnel below Klyde Warren Park/downtown/uptown. way too many obstacles for anything of the sort to ever be feasible IMO. i feel like their only viable shot is trenching/decking 345.

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345 trenched with attractive bridges wouldn't be all that bad in terms of traffic feasibility and aesthetics, plus no flooding problems like in Houston.

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