Texas Interstate 169
Interstate 169 or I -169, formerly also known as State Highway 550 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Texas. The road forms a toll road around the town of Brownsville in the far south of the state in the Rio Grande Valley and is 15 kilometers long.
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I-169 forms the northern and eastern bypass of the large city of Brownsville, located on the border with Mexico. I-169 connects Interstate 69E ]], the highway from Harlingen to Brownsville, with SH 48, the main road to Port Isabel on the Gulf of Mexico. The largest part has 2×2 lanes, with the frontage roads partly being used as main carriageways for the time being. The road is completely uneven. The southernmost part is a super two with partial frontage roads.
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SH 550 originally existed as FM 511, a regional highway around Brownsville. On May 13, 2015, the first 2.5 kilometers was approved as I-169, east of I-69E. On November 9, 2015, the award became official and on February 16, 2016, the first signposts with I-169 were placed.
Work began in 2009 to convert FM 511 into a toll road, the first section, a flyover over FM 1847, opened to traffic on March 10, 2011. On June 1, 2013, an extension opened from FM 3248 to SH 48. The actual access road from SH 550 to the Port of Brownsville opened to traffic on February 20, 2014. In 2012, the construction of the flyovers to and from I-69E was awarded. This section was finally opened on 5 June 2015 over 3 kilometers. This allowed the road to run through and free-flow from I-69E to SH 48 at the Port of Brownsville. However, the traffic is partly on the frontage roads and the southernmost part is a super two.
SH 550 is a toll road, operated by the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority. The toll road is fully electronic, with a transponder or with an invoice afterwards. The use of the toll road was about 40% lower than expected shortly after opening.
Every day, 13,000 vehicles travel along I-69E, descending to 9,000 vehicles along the east side of Brownsville.
Texas Interstate 345
Interstate 345 or I -345 is an unsigned Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Texas. The freeway connects the southern end of US 75 and the northern end of Interstate 45 in Dallas and is I-45’s only auxiliary route. The highway is 2 kilometers long and runs along the east side of downtown Dallas.
I-345 is an extension of Interstate 45 to US 75 and runs along the east side of Downtown Dallas. The highway has 2×3 through traffic lanes, with parallel overpasses of 2 lanes each for exiting traffic to and from I-30, so through traffic has 4 to 5 lanes in each direction. I-345 runs mostly on overpasses with a large downtown exit complex that opens onto three streets.
I-345 was built in the early 1970s to connect I-45 and US 75. US 75 – known as the Central Expressway at the time – is Dallas’ oldest highway and opened to traffic in 1949. The extension of the highway along the east side of downtown opened to traffic on August 23, 1973. Three years later, I-45 was also completed south of downtown.
There are wishes to modify or even demolish I-345. There are four scenarios;
- no modification, only renovation of the viaducts
- demolish exit complex to the center, reconstruction viaducts and move exits to just outside the center
- sunken location with 2×5 lanes
- demolition of I-345 without replacement
Removing the exit complex around Main Street is relatively inexpensive, costing less than $100 million. In this scenario, the exits are moved to the north and south sides of the center and traffic has to travel the last kilometer on the street network. This will increase the load on the local street network, but reduce the visual impact of the viaduct and exit complex.
Construction of the sunken site is estimated at $100-500 million. This is the most expensive scenario, but it keeps the connection from I-45 to US 75 while making the area more livable. In this scenario, the exits to the center are also moved to the north and south of the center, with a slightly higher load on the street network because traffic has to drive a longer part over the street network to reach the center.
Demolition of I-345 is the least realistic scenario. This would significantly increase the traffic on the street network, also significantly increase the load on other highways around Downtown Dallas and make recent investments in the Horseshoe Project of I-30 and I-35E less useful due to the need for much more traffic to be diverted, with more turning traffic at the interchanges around the center. The cost of the demolition is also estimated at $100-500 million.
On May 25, 2022, the preferred alternative was presented, the construction of I-345 in a sunken location without frontage roads.
Every day, 184,000 vehicles drive on the part along the center where only through traffic drives, and 211,000 vehicles on the north side of the center, which also uses traffic to and from the center.