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Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

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muncien
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Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby muncien » 26 Sep 2017 14:47

I didn't see a thread for this project, but wanted to post an update. It appears that the new Texpress lanes along the 114 rebuild are nearly complete. The last layer of asphalt is going down on the last section now. Most signage has gone up over the last couple of weeks. I assume some final striping here and there and it should be about ready to go. But, I don't see an official opening date. Here is the link to the project http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/dallas/sh183.html
Here is a picture from today...
114fwy.JPG
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flyswatter
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby flyswatter » 27 Sep 2017 07:26

Good to see it almost done. 183 still has a long way to go though....they post aerial photos occasionally on their site: http://drivemidtown.com/view/photos/

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muncien
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby muncien » 01 Aug 2018 16:08

Not sure if anybody here can help me with this, but I'll ask anyway...
What's up with the unbuilt flyover exit from 114 West to PGBT South?

Those support columns have been there for as long as I have lived here, but other than a small bit of pavement along PGBT itself, it doesn't see like there is any rush to build those ramps. I figured they may get some life with the Midtown Express project, but that obviously wasn't the case.

The PGBT North to 114 East is probably the biggest looser here. You currently need to use the frontage road to make that transition, yet there isn't even a dedicated turn lane. It's not unusual for traffic there to backup all the way onto the turnpike itself during rush hour.

Curious... I don't use any of these, but I see them everyday. Just seems weird.
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itsjrd1964
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby itsjrd1964 » 02 Aug 2018 00:12

I've not been able to find anything online, including on the DFW Freeways website. I assume there was some initial plan to do at least a partial set of direct ramps between 114 and the Bush Turnpike, but maybe it was postponed/cancelled due to funding at the time. My uneducated guess. I've not heard anything about doing direct ramps as part of a Midtown Express phase. It's very likely that there will have to be new direct ramps done there eventually, with traffic the way it is going around here.

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exelone31
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby exelone31 » 02 Aug 2018 09:09

This has almost nothing to do with this project, but based off the fact that there are now THREE things called "Midtown" in the Dallas area, are we to assume that this is the size of the nebulously-defined Midtown? Seems a tad large.
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muncien
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby muncien » 02 Aug 2018 09:51

itsjrd1964 wrote:I've not been able to find anything online, including on the DFW Freeways website. I assume there was some initial plan to do at least a partial set of direct ramps between 114 and the Bush Turnpike, but maybe it was postponed/cancelled due to funding at the time. My uneducated guess. I've not heard anything about doing direct ramps as part of a Midtown Express phase. It's very likely that there will have to be new direct ramps done there eventually, with traffic the way it is going around here.


I feel the same way... It just seems odd to start something that you don't have money to finish. The aesthetic of the columns themselves match that of the PGBT, so you think toll revenue would have been the funding source. I know NTTA has repeatedly proposed converting the stretch of 190 immediately south of here into a tolled section (which makes total sense), but various parties have staunchly opposed such a conversion (for reasons nobody fully understands).
Perhaps the state can work with NTTA on converting that section to tolls, with the understanding that funds be used to complete the flyovers, and expand that section of 190 to match the rest of PGBT.

Of course, if that were to ever happen... we'd loose our last 'Stone Hinge' in Las Colinas. The Music Factory already took away our other Stone Hinge of columns that were remnants of the ancient People Mover society.
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TNWE
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby TNWE » 02 Aug 2018 11:07

muncien wrote:
itsjrd1964 wrote:I've not been able to find anything online, including on the DFW Freeways website. I assume there was some initial plan to do at least a partial set of direct ramps between 114 and the Bush Turnpike, but maybe it was postponed/cancelled due to funding at the time. My uneducated guess. I've not heard anything about doing direct ramps as part of a Midtown Express phase. It's very likely that there will have to be new direct ramps done there eventually, with traffic the way it is going around here.


I feel the same way... It just seems odd to start something that you don't have money to finish. The aesthetic of the columns themselves match that of the PGBT, so you think toll revenue would have been the funding source. I know NTTA has repeatedly proposed converting the stretch of 190 immediately south of here into a tolled section (which makes total sense), but various parties have staunchly opposed such a conversion (for reasons nobody fully understands).
Perhaps the state can work with NTTA on converting that section to tolls, with the understanding that funds be used to complete the flyovers, and expand that section of 190 to match the rest of PGBT.

Of course, if that were to ever happen... we'd loose our last 'Stone Hinge' in Las Colinas. The Music Factory already took away our other Stone Hinge of columns that were remnants of the ancient People Mover society.


IANAE (I am not an Engineer), but my impression is that the ghost columns at that interchange were built prior to 161/PGBT being extended north of 114, and don't have the appropriate clearance required to add direct connector ramps from 114 to 161. While the un-tolled section is 2 main lanes, the PGBT section is 3 lanes (plus extensive on/off ramps through that area), making the slope and angles required to use those columns seem a bit extreme. But again, IANAE...

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flyswatter
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby flyswatter » 02 Aug 2018 13:35

It's a shame because that interchange is dying to have some ramps. It's rough to go through there even without rush hour, especially going westbound 114 to northbound PGBT.

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northsouth
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby northsouth » 02 Aug 2018 19:03

A similar situation has more recently occurred over in Fort Worth with the Chisholm Trail Parkway/I-20/SH183 interchange. According to the thread over on the Fort Worth forum, most of the direct connectors were planned to be built later, so only two pairs have been built, but bases were built for another one anyway. I guess money ran short for it.

As for the 161 upgrade situation, the issue is mainly one of history. The PGBT was originally planned as a freeway. TXDOT was the builder, so it was designated as a state highway. Access roads were built first, with main lanes to come later. But, except for the stretch of 161 from 183 to Belt Line, money became the issue. NTTA stepped in to take over the project and built the main lanes. Thus, we have the situation where the access roads are state highways but the main lanes aren't. Then there's the odd section from 183 south to just north of I-30: it was decided to accelerate construction on this section in advance of the Super Bowl in Arlington in 2011, so TXDOT joined the project, hence adding state highway designation. So the section is now signed as Toll SH161, using the same type of signage as tolled state highways outside North Texas.

But anyways, a few years ago the state legislature passed a law forbidding the conversion of existing freeways into tollways. So even if NTTA gets full control of the freeway section (I think they already do the maintenance), they're stuck with a section they can't put tolls on to help fund its own maintenance/expansion. The compromise in the mean time has been the expansion of the inside shoulders into full lanes, but for reasons beyond my understanding they're only "open" during rush hour. There's no barrier separating them, just a series of electronic signs above them that display open or closed and a solid line of paint. Nothing to keep people from driving on them outside rush hours other than asking them not to. If they've gone ahead and built the lanes, why not just make them full lanes? Were they built to lower construction standards and they don't want them to wear out quickly? That can't be legal, and is at least as stupid as the current situation. Was the funding designated for express lanes but they needed a work-around to expand the highway in any way possible? It's just completely asinine.

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muncien
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Re: Midtown Express Project 114 & 183

Postby muncien » 06 Aug 2018 15:58

northsouth wrote:...The compromise in the mean time has been the expansion of the inside shoulders into full lanes, but for reasons beyond my understanding they're only "open" during rush hour. There's no barrier separating them, just a series of electronic signs above them that display open or closed and a solid line of paint. Nothing to keep people from driving on them outside rush hours other than asking them not to. If they've gone ahead and built the lanes, why not just make them full lanes? Were they built to lower construction standards and they don't want them to wear out quickly? That can't be legal, and is at least as stupid as the current situation. Was the funding designated for express lanes but they needed a work-around to expand the highway in any way possible? It's just completely asinine.


Thx for the info...

But yes... What you said above is so true. I had family just off Rochelle over there, and watched in bewilderment as they built that 'rush hour' lane. It makes absolutely no sense. Surely, it was more expensive to put up those fancy signs and signals, than it would have been to simply make it a normal lane, with a regular paint job... ??? So weird.
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