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Nate99

I-10 West of the Brazos River

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I had the displeasure of driving back in to town from San Antonio on a Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure if the folks coming from Austin were thicker than usual due to the avoidance of 290 construction (or closure), but from the TX 71 interchange to the Brazos, it was stop and go traffic, with the final choke point being people merging back in to the main lanes from the frontage roads (two way on each side). 

 

Given the numerous improvised exits from the main lanes, this has to be a fairly regular thing.  I guess for once a week, you don't expand a major highway by a lane, but the load of people on that road and the congestion out in the middle of nowhere was eye opening.

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I was in the same traffic, and I assumed that there had to have been a huge wreck or something. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was just traffic.

 

Added an hour to my trip if my GPS is to be believed

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Traffic has been like this for at least a decade. I actively avoid taking weekend trips to San Antonio because of it.

 

My understanding is that I-10 is going to be expanded to 3 lanes all the way to the 71 exit.

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38 minutes ago, samagon said:

Traffic has been like this for at least a decade. I actively avoid taking weekend trips to San Antonio because of it.

 

My understanding is that I-10 is going to be expanded to 3 lanes all the way to the 71 exit.

 

It may have been that long since I did that drive at that time of week.

 

It could use the extra lane.

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I take that drive about once a month, but I usually try to leave SA first thing in the morning to avoid that traffic.  This weekend was the worst that I had seen it in a while though.

Glad to hear about the widening to TX 71

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Bids were opened last week for the expansion to 6 lanes from FM 359 (or wherever the current 6 lanes is reduced to 4) to the Brazos River.

 

Williams Brothers was the low bidder, but for some reason the results are no longer on the TxDOT bid results site. I don't know if the absence of the results means anything.

 

The next 10-mile section from the Brazos River westward is slated for bidding in August 2018, with an estimate of $233 million.

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2018/austin.htm#027102055

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I was caught up in that jam, too! I was coming back from San Antonio as the co-pilot and told the driver to just stay on I-10 instead of taking US 90 thinking that everybody else would have the same idea. I could see US 90 traffic was moving faster, but I think those savings were cut once they encountered backed up intersections. Taking US 90A from Seguin to Houston would be a more scenic alternative to I-10. Perhaps a bit slower, but at least you'd be moving at a steady speed and less stressed out. Plus, it feels different coming into Houston from San Antonio via SW Houston.

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On 6/12/2017 at 2:43 PM, cspwal said:

I take that drive about once a month, but I usually try to leave SA first thing in the morning to avoid that traffic.  This weekend was the worst that I had seen it in a while though.

Glad to hear about the widening to TX 71

 

The eventual plan is to expand I-10 between Houston and San Antonio to at least 6 lanes minimum. TxDOT's Houston and San Antonio districts are working on it together. The San Antonio District would be responsible for widening the section between San Antonio and Columbus, even though some sections of I-10 between San Antonio and Columbus fall under the Yoakum and Austin Districts. It'll be interesting to see if the San Antonio and Houston Districts continue their respective design themes along those stretches. Maybe we'd see a structure near Columbus with a mixture of San Antonio's Mission Design Theme and Houston's Horizontal Theme at the point where each district's portion comes together?

http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/TxDOT-proposes-adding-lanes-to-I-10-6180343.php

 

Note that the article states that I-10 passes through 3 districts between Houston and San Antonio. They list San Antonio, Houston, and Yoakum. It's actually 4. People forget that a sliver of I-10 near Luling passes through the Austin District in Caldwell County.

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As a major coast-to-coast thoroughfare, I-10 is wholly inadequate right now for the trucking tonnage that it carries. Three lanes makes sense, especially if they could then restrict semis from one of those lanes at all times.

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17 hours ago, JLWM8609 said:

I was caught up in that jam, too! I was coming back from San Antonio as the co-pilot and told the driver to just stay on I-10 instead of taking US 90 thinking that everybody else would have the same idea. I could see US 90 traffic was moving faster, but I think those savings were cut once they encountered backed up intersections. Taking US 90A from Seguin to Houston would be a more scenic alternative to I-10. Perhaps a bit slower, but at least you'd be moving at a steady speed and less stressed out. Plus, it feels different coming into Houston from San Antonio via SW Houston.

US90 traffic has to rejoin I10 West of Sealy, so you still get a lot if backup. 90A is s great alternate, especially if you take 10 to Schulenburg and then go South to catch 90A. 

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Yep this is a mess every Sunday afternoon. Been this way for at least 5 years and probably a lot longer on Holiday weekends, etc. -- Like I-35, waiting until it's way too late. Not sure if 3 lanes in some of those sections would be enough. 

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On 6/26/2017 at 11:52 AM, WestUdweller said:

Yep this is a mess every Sunday afternoon. Been this way for at least 5 years and probably a lot longer on Holiday weekends, etc. -- Like I-35, waiting until it's way too late. Not sure if 3 lanes in some of those sections would be enough. 

 

I-10 may need to be a minimum of 8 lanes (4 in each direction) between Katy and Columbus to fix that issue since you have 2 lanes of Highway 71 from Austin dumping onto 2 lanes of I-10. Since the issue only exists on Sundays and holiday weekends and isn't a daily problem, TxDOT may not justify it. Just thinking about it, 8 lanes of rural interstate would be a monster. Do any 8 lane rural interstates currently exist?

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Schematics have been released for the expansion of I-10 in Colorado County. As expected, it'll be 3 lanes minimum in each direction to just west of Highway 71. The biggest surprise in the plans is a realignment of I-10 between Alleyton Rd. and Columbus to eliminate curves. The new I-10 bridge over the Colorado River will be 8 lanes wide.

Schematics: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/ykm/i-10-sh71-fm2761/092518-schematic.pdf 

Project Website: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/yoakum/092518.html

 

 

Edited by JLWM8609

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What a unique interstate highway  I-10 is.  Houston and eastward to Florida,  I-10 could be called the Aquatic highway for all the myriad of water ways ( swamps, rivers, lakes, bayous, bays) west of Houston it becomes the Dry highway.

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^^I've driven I10 from Houston to New Orleans and Houston to Kerrville, TX so I know what you mean. 

I stopped going I10 to Austin due to the construction and take 290 now.

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