Existing Conditions

Existing conditions regarding traffic, socio-economic and environmental aspects were analyzed in the study area. These include average traffic volumes, truck percentages, average traffic speeds and crash rates. Also presented are economic activity, county inflow/outflow and work destination analyses, trip origin and destination analyses and environmental constraints, as well as planned and programmed improvements.

Table of Content

    Traffic Volumes

    Traffic volumes were obtained from the 2019 TxDOT Roadway Inventory. Reported as Annual Average Daily Traffic, abbreviated AADT, this is a measure used in transportation planning to describe the average number of vehicles on a roadway. Traditionally, AADT represents the total volume of vehicles of the year divided by 365 days.

    The following observations were made regarding 2019 traffic volumes in the study area, as shown in the interactive map:

    • AADT varied between 30,000 and 53,000 vehicles on I-30
    • Traffic volumes on I-369 were around 30,000 vehicles
    • Traffic volumes on US 59 decreased from 22,500 vehicles at the I-369/US 59 intersection to 15,000 vehicles close to the US 59/FM 2148 intersection.
    • Traffic volumes on FM 2148, from US 59 to US 82, varied from 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles.
    • Along US 82, traffic volumes varied from 12,000 vehicles close to I-369 to 4,000 vehicles close to I-30.
    Use the arrows at the bottom of the interactive map to switch views between general traffic (personal vehicles and trucks) and truck traffic.

    I-30 recorded the highest percentage of truck volumes, between 31.8% and 46.2% of AADT. Truck volumes along US 59 ranged between 18.7% and 23.1% of AADT, truck volumes on I-369 ranged between 13.8% and 15.6%, and truck volumes on US 67 and FM 2148 were around 3% and 5.7% of AADT, respectively.

    2019 Truck Percentages
    2019 Truck Percentages

    Average Travel Speeds

    Average travel speeds for weekday and weekends were calculated for the highway segments in the study area and contrasted to the corresponding speed limit. The aim is to establish which segments exhibit significant speed reductions due to congestion.

    The speed analysis presented was based on data made available by INRIX, and contains information on both personal vehicles and freight truck movement. The original data was recorded from mobile phones, cars with GPS devices, trucks, delivery vans, and other fleet vehicles equipped with GPS locator devices. The data collected is processed in real-time 24 hours a day, creating traffic speed information for major freeways, highways, and arterials across North America. While data availability for this dataset is very broad, there are still some locations where data is not reported to accurately estimate speeds. Such is the case for several sections of US 82, US 67 beyond FM 2148, FM 989, and SH 8.

    A comparison of the average speed and speed limits for each segment shows that most corridors have relatively high average speeds (i.e., close to the speed limits), suggesting that there is not much congestion on any of the major corridors, with a possible exception made for the US 67 corridor. Furthermore, there does not seem to be a temporal trend to the speeds – for each segment, speeds remain rather constant across all years, and for both weekdays and weekends.

    2019 Average Speeds
    2019 Average Speeds

    Crash Analysis

    Crash analysis is an essential component in safety analysis. It aims at distinguishing which segments exhibit the highest number of collisions, in addition to their severity. Crash data from 2015 to 2019 for Bowie County roads was obtained from the TxDOT Crash Records Information System. The analysis performed included classifying crashes by type and severity, identifying patterns and causes for the different types of crashes, calculating crash rates, defining hotspots, characterizing crashes within hotspots, and identifying crash contributing factors.

    A total of 3,664 crashes were recorded along roads included in the analysis. I-30 recorded the highest number of crashes (1,230), followed by US 82 (591) and US 67 (584). US 59 recorded 363 crashes over the same five-year period. Most crashes were property damage only (PDO) crashes for which no passenger injuries were recorded. Access controlled roads, such as I-30, I-369, and SL 151, exhibit the highest percentage of PDO crashes. The highest percentage of fatal crashes is on SL 151, which also has one of the highest incidences of injury-inducing crashes, second only to US 67 and US 59.

    Crash Rates

    Crash rates were calculated to determine the relative frequency of crashes on a facility. Crash rates can be used to highlight locations with a high number of crashes in relation to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The crash rates along the entire corridors are referred to as "crash rates along a corridor".

    To better identify hotspots along each corridor, crash rates were also computed for each roadway segment by following the AADT segment breaks defined in the 2019 TxDOT Roadway Inventory File. The crash rates for the individual segments are referred to as "segment-level crash rates."

    In both the corridor-level and segment-level analyses, changes in AADT affect the Daily Vehicle Miles Traveled (DVMT), which subsequently affect the crash rates.

    Crash rates are computed by dividing the number of crashes in a given roadway segment by the roadway's vehicle miles travelled (VMT). Crash rates are typically represented in number of crashes by 100 million VMT. Finally, crash rates are compared to the statewide average crash rates.

    There are locations along each corridor with crash rates greater than the crash rate of the entire corridor. These locations are of interest as they warrant further review with regards to potential safety improvements. Some of the hotspots identified within the potential improvement area and I-369 include:

    • I-30 (and frontage roads) at I-369, FM 989, and Spur 74
    • I-369 (and frontage roads) at US 82, and between US 67 and US 59
    • US 59 from FM 2148 to I-369
    • US 82 at Bowie Parkway, FM 2148, FM 989
    • US 67 at FM 2148 and FM 989

    Crash Rates

    Economic Activity

    This section presents the results of an economic profile analysis performed as part of the needs assessment. It discusses the region's gross domestic product, employment statistics, and current industry trends.

    County Inflow/Outflow and Work Destination Analysis

    The county inflow/outflow analysis was conducted via Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Data. The LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data series is one of the data sets produced by the U.S. Census Bureau for studying a local economy. The LODES data, which is accessible primarily via the OnTheMap application, helps users understand, analyze, and visualize where they work and where they live.

    Trip Origins and Destinations

    To determine all the possible trips originating from or destined to the Red River Army Depot/TexAmericas Center area, US Census Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZ's) were used to define StreetLight/INRIX trip origins and destinations. Analysis on routes used by passenger vehicles and trucks to and from various locations was conducted for October 2019 and June 2020. These dates were selected to compare the region's economy during one of its strongest periods before the COVID-19 outbreak. Scroll through the slides to view the results of the analysis.

    Environmental Constraints

    This section presents findings regarding environmental constraints in the study area. Scroll through the slides to learn about the different types of constraints identified.

    Planned and Programmed Improvements

    Planned projects are included in TxDOT’s Unified Transportation Program. The Unified Transportation Program (UTP) is TxDOT’s 10-year plan that guides the development of transportation work across the state. Planned projects might not have funds allocated while programmed projects have funding available for construction and have been assigned a tentative letting date. TxDOT’s Atlanta District has nine projects that will be completed in the next two decades, with some of them scheduled for or under construction at the time of this study. The total value of investments in the vicinity of the study area is $205.6 million (as of Summer 2020). The location of these projects was identified in the Planned & Programmed Improvements map.

    Summary of Findings

    • The highest traffic volumes of 53,000 vehicles per day were recorded at the intersection of I-369 and I-30. Traffic between the City of Nash and the western portion of the RRAD/TexAmericas Center/USACE properties also recorded traffic volumes as high as 40,000 vehicles per day.
    • Traffic volumes on US 59 decreases from 22,500 vehicles at the I-369/US 59 intersection to 15,000 vehicles close to the US 59/FM 2148 intersection.
    • Truck traffic from US 59 to I-30 through I-369 was found to be quite low at 500 vehicles per day. Majority of the trucks on US 59 continue unto SL 151 which recorded truck volumes greater than 1,000.
    • A comparison of roadway segment peak traffic average speeds and their respective speed limits showed that most corridors have average speeds close to the speed limits, suggesting that there is not much congestion on any of the major corridors between US 59 and I-30.
    • In 2017, 5,975 workers lived in Miller County and worked in Bowie County, and 5,042 lived and worked in Miller County. In comparison, 3,267 workers lived and worked in Cass County, and 1,915 lived in Cass County and worked in Bowie County.
    • The majority of businesses are located within the City of Texarkana, the City of Nash, and the surrounding environs, which means that most work trips are destined for these locations.
    • The percentage of traffic from US 59 to the RRAD/TexAmericas Center is quite minimal compared to traffic from I-30 east and west of the study area.
    • More than 50% of truck trips traveling northbound on US 59 continued eastward on I-30 with only 2% turning westward on I-30.