Study Overview and Findings

The purpose of the Western Connection Needs Assessment is to determine the need for a potential new highway alignment from US Highway 59 (US 59) to Interstate 30 (I-30), between Interstate 369 (I-369) on the east, Red River Army Depot (RRAD)/TexAmericas Center/United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) properties on the west, and Wright Patman Lake [USACE] on the south.

The 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

Table of Contents

    Study Area

    The study area encompasses Bowie County and portions of Miller County to evaluate specific roadway characteristics. The analysis performed examined multiple elements including:

    • Main lanes and frontage roads
    • Vertical clearances
    • Bridge conditions
    • Right-of-Way (ROW)
    • Medians
    • Cross Sections
    • Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) and Truck Volumes
    • Crashes
    • Average speeds
    • Planned and Programmed Improvements
    Study Area

    Project Schedule

    Project Schedule
    The study was initiated in May 2020 with data collection and an analysis of current conditions. Data collection and analysis concluded in December 2020 with the completion of traffic analyses. Various coordination meetings were held with stakeholders representing the public and private sector in Bowie County. The study is expected to conclude in Spring 2021 with the publication of a final Needs Assessment.

    Working Group Activities

    Working Group members included representatives from Bowie County, TexAmericas Center, City of Texarkana, City of Nash, Red River Army Depot (RRAD), Texarkana Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NETRMA). The TxDOT Atlanta District assisted the Working Group throughout the study and helped facilitate the meetings.

    Draft Technical Memos

    The list of draft technical memos reviewed by the Working Group are:

    Public Survey Results

    A public survey was launched in September 2020 with three main objectives: to gather feedback from the public regarding potential improvements in the study area, to assist in prioritizing regional transportation needs, and to help identify areas of concern. A total of 112 survey responses were obtained from various parts of Texas and counties surrounding the study area, with 61% of the responses coming from Cass County. The slides below summarize results from the public survey.