Forecasted Conditions

This document summarizes forecasted roadway volumes and level of service conditions in the study area based on population projections and employment estimates.

Table of Content

    Population Projections

    Population projections were examined as part of the needs assessment. Key findings from the population projections include:

    • The combined population for Bowie, Miller, and Cass Counties is estimated to decrease by 4.3% from 167,520 in 2020 to 160,298 by 2050.
    • Bowie County, Texas, had the largest population of the three counties with 92,570 individuals.
    • While Bowie and Cass Counties are projected to decrease by 9% and 16% by 2050, respectively, Miller County, AK is projected to experience a population increase of 11% from 44,623 in 2020 to 50,161 in 2050 within the same period.

    County Population Projections 2010-2050
    Historic and Forecasted Populations 2010-2050 (source: Texas Demographic Center. retrieved: October 2020)

    Forecasted Employment Statistics

    In 2015 zonal employment data was projected to 2050 estimates using the Statewide Analysis Model (abbreviatedSAM). The SAM model was developed as a primary tool for evaluating intercity transportation projects throughout Texas. The SAM model was calibrated to account for the fact that the proposed Western Connection is an arterial road serving local and regional traffic.

    Forecasted 2050 No-Build Scenario

    An analysis of traffic conditions based on estimated growth rates from the Statewide Analysis Model (SAM v4) was performed. The SAM growth rates resulted in increased traffic volumes on most roadways, including I-30, I-369, US 59, US 67, and US 82 (Slide 1). The level of service (LOS) was then estimated based on the volume/capacity ratios and peak period traffic volumes. The AM period is 6:30 – 8:30 and the PM period is 14:30 – 18:30.

    From the LOS analysis, sections along I-30 at I-369 and US 59 at I-369 are projected to experience congestion during morning and evening peak traffic in 2050 (Slide 2 and Slide 3). These routes and others in Texarkana may require improvements to address any anticipated increased traffic volumes. The projections from SAM were based on pre-COVID-19 outbreak conditions; thus, the long-term effects of stay-at-home policies and other COVID-19 impacts are still unknown for future employment and traffic patterns.

    Use the arrows at the bottom of the interactive map to switch views between Forecasted No Build Daily Traffic Volumes, Forecasted No Build AM LOS, and Forecasted No Build PM LOS.

    A 2050 Build Scenario for the proposed Western Connection was also analyzed; however, it was found that traffic volumes to RRAD/TexAmericas Center were less than 5,000 vehicles. The anticipated demand may not warrant construction of a new roadway at this time. As traffic conditions and demand change in future years, the proposed Western Connection could be analyzed again to assess the need for it.

    Summary of Findings

    The Western Connection Needs Assessment determined that based on current travel patterns, the projected 2050 traffic volume for the proposed Western Connection is less than 5,000 vehicles a day. This projected traffic volume does not warrant a new roadway facility. Future needs assessments may be conducted in the next 5 to 10 years to determine if travel patterns have changed and warrant the need for the proposed facility.

    Other findings from the study include:

    • There is a potential future need for improvements on existing roadways
    • Most traffic from US 59 heads northeast – both for truck and personal vehicles
    • US 59 near I-369, and other local roads within the City of Texarkana are forecasted to be congested by 2050.
    • Most industries are located within the vicinity of the Texarkana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
    • People who work in Bowie County mostly live in Bowie or Miller County
    • Bowie and Cass County population estimates are projected to decrease by 9% and 16%, respectively, by 2050