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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:01 pm 
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If you look on the same map, there are a number of present day interstate highways that were not originally included on that map. A number of them have been added at various times over the years, since 1956, the passage of the original bill. One instance is Interstate 49 between Shreveport, LA and Lafayette, LA. That was not built until the 1980's and completed in the 1990's. Various federal Transportation bills through the years have frequently included expansion of the National Interstate and Defense Highway system. Through lobbying and political power plays, new interstate designations have and can be added to the system. The 1955 map, or other later versions are not the "be all and end all" of all interstate highways that will ever be built. Politics does play a role, whether it is for the good or bad of this country. Pork barrellism is the flaw of the system, and the National Interstate and Defense Highway System is not the result of some non-political, non-pork barrell, purely-for-the-good-of the country designation.

Here is a map of the National Highway System, High Priority Corridors, including the present day I-29 (placed on there because of NAFTA as the reasoning, but with 3,500 cars per day at the ND/SD border one may wonder about the need for the designation), and including a number of corridors that are not currently a part of the National Interstate and Defense Highway System, that could be someday:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep10/nhs/hipricorridors/hiprimap.html

Note: As with almost anything created through politics, this map could change in the future, and some road or corridor you wouldn't think should be included could through political influence and be justified through not only economic development and traffic needs but also through the National Defense needs. There may need to be some demonstration, but a like a lot of things, it could be arbitrary in determining it as a National Defense Highway if enough politics is played.

Another example is Interstate 22, which is almost built between Memphis, TN and Birmingham, AL. The road atlas doesn't show the I-22 designation, but the road markers are being changed as we speak. If you look at the 1955 map I included in the previous post, there was no interstate designated in 1955 between Memphis and Birmingham. It has been added in recent decades and is almost built and is now a part of the National Interstate and Defense Highway system, an amendment through politics, whether it be for the good or the bad.

Also, there is talk of a new Interstate 14 to run from Augusta, GA to Natchez, MS and eventually on into Austin, TX to provide an alternative east-west inner coastal South roadway because of the current damage and potential damage to Interstate 10 which is vulnerable to Hurricanes.

These routes were not a part of the original map that the Eisenhower Adminstration designated 50 years ago if not more. Things changes, human needs changes and the politics change.


Last edited by metropolitan on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:25 pm 
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Why do you think it was built?

Eisenhower authorized the Interstate HIghway System, including I-29

A map can be found here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/Interstate_Highways.png/350px-Interstate_Highways.png

As part of the national highway system you will see that some stretches of road are dedicated to defense. Your map might even be current enough to accurately portray that. But all highways are dedicated at least in part to defense, including the stretch of I-29 that we are talking about. In fact, since about 1934 all federal highways have been financed under the same federal highways act. Its just been updated regularly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Highway_System


Right.

And as there are opportunities to update the designations, theoretically the politics could emerge that puts pressure on the Congress and the President to build a road anywhere if they can find the justification for it. An "Interstate 98" from Portal, ND to Sault Sainte Marie, MI, via Minot, Grand Forks, Duluth, Marquette, Sault Sainte Marie is theoretically possible and could be justified for National Defense purposes if enough pork barrel politics was played during future federal transportation bills. Not saying such a highway is needed nor would it necessarily be build for the good of the country, but such pork barrellism has happened in the past and justified (though wrongly in many cases) in such a manner. NOTE, some of these highways could be necessary, perhaps the I-14 is needed.


Last edited by metropolitan on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:59 pm 
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Or maybe even Highway 2! ::)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:36 pm 
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US Highway 2 is not a Interstate Controlled Access Highway like I-29. But yes, one could determine that expanding may not be needed, and that Interstate 29 could have been just a Super 2, as you described for US 2 in Northern Minnesota, and just remained its old names of US Highway 77 and US Highway 81. I seem to remember more traffic on US 2 in Minnesota than on I-29 between Fargo and Sioux Falls. Maybe it could have been 4-laned from Sioux Falls to Watertown then Super 2 into Fargo as one travels south to north from Sioux Falls to Fargo.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:23 pm 
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I-29 was built in the 70's. Im not sure about traffic counts, but it is a key N/S route in the United States. Traffic, whatever it is, is tough to judge from a trip or two up and down the road. In fact, observation means nothing. A super two? No, a 4-land defense highway? Yes.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Ahh good old I-29. Starts here in KC.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:05 pm 
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According to wikipedia, Interstate 180 in Central Illinois, from Princeton south to Hennepin, IL is the least traveled interstate in the US. Hennepin, IL is a very small community about 13 miles south of I-80 and has less than 1,000 people. Unitl I read this article I couldn't for the life of me figure out why there was an interstate going from I-80 to this very small town 13 miles south of I-80 in the middle of rural Central Illinois. It turns out that they originally built Interstate 180 there for the purposes of serving a steel plant, that subsequently closed 1 year after the interstate spur was opened. The steel plant just reopened though.

But read the article. The average daily traffic there along that 13 mile stretch is 2,000 to 2,500 cars per day, the lowest in the nation for an interstate. But of course this is a interstate spur and not a long distance or transcontinential or transnational interstate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_180_%28Illinois%29

Now this compare this with the average daily traffic flow found at the North Dakota-South Dakota border on I-29, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation:

http://www.sddot.com/pe/data/Docs/trafficmaps/Traffic2005.pdf

In the very northeastern corner where I-29 is just south of the North Dakota-South Dakota (just north of the South Dakota Highway 127 interchange) border, the traffic count is 3,840 Average Daily Traffic Count. That is not much more than the 2,000 to 2,500 average daily traffic counts on the very least traveled stretch of interstate highway in the nation (The Illinois Interstate 180 Hennepin Steel Plant Freeway), and I-29 is a much more transnational interstate highway, at least subnationally speaking (Kansas City to Pembina, ND) compared to the Hennepin, IL Steel Plant Freeway Spur and it only has less than double the traffic. That's pretty small amount of traffic for a 4-laned controlled access freeway. Contrast that with I-90 east-west through South Dakota and it never really drops below 5,000. Also, in Minnesota, the I-29 traffic count is not much difference than the lowest traffic count along US 2 in Minnesota, which is about 3,000 near Deer River, MN and thats a 2-lane highway there. Not much difference, as you can see from the Minnesota map:

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/tda/maps/trunkhighway/2004/state_and_metro/stateflo.pdf

Its not a well-traveled stretch of interstate, probably the lowest in the nation among interstates longer than 1,000 miles. Now between Fargo and the Canadian border it picks up, and south of Sioux Falls it picks up some. Its not too small of traffic between Sioux Falls and Watertown. But north of that and south of Fargo, its not a well-traveled road.

Anything can be considered a "Defense Highway" if you want to get a new freeway interstate highway. All you need is the politics, stir, and out comes the pork.


Last edited by metropolitan on Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:39 am 
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Metro and star2city called it. The Feds will build another interstate through Grand Forks. This will lead Grand Forks to wean itself from the massive infusion of tax dollars that keep its economy going. Somehow Fargo will suffer because Fargo is some sort of boastful, deceitful empire that owes any success to serendiptious or, some might say, nefarious public works planning. While cities like Fargo, Sioux Falls, and Bismarck have much healthier private sectors, they will all be outflanked, outfoxed, and outdone by Grand Forks' ingenious two-pronged approach to economic development (i.e. making Grand Forks a top vacation destination while subsidizing retail outlets and hotels). The new interstate will feed this new economic monster and in turn will help the University of North Dakota go DI at which time they will resume the rivalry with NDSU because, after all, traffic counts across the ND/SD border are only marginally higher than those in some place in Illinois. QED, I guess. Did I miss anything?


Last edited by bisondefender on Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:51 am 
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Can't we all just get along? As the commom saying goes.


Last edited by metropolitan on Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:08 am 
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I hear that Bisondefender. If thats not the point of the endless ramble on traffic counts it has to be something more serious with that guy? He is substituting US 75 traffic counts for I-29!? I-29 was built to replace US 75. It became the secondary route once I-29 was built.

Saying that every highway can be a defense highway is wrong. It has to be part of the interstate system. I-29 is a defense highway, US 75 is not. One is part of the interstate system and one is not. Its not a declaration a local authority makes.

I-29 is going to be a great asset in the Mid Con for NDSU and SDSU. It will also help Und get to Fargo for any guarantee games NDSU might schedule with them.


Last edited by 11jbb11 on Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:34 am 
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US 75 does not go through, nor did it ever go through the Dakotas. I-29 replaced US 77 and US 81. The traffic count is located at the ND/SD border on I-29. And yes, the politics can be charged up to the Federal level to get a defense highway if you had the right political stuff going your way. Afterall, why on earth is there a little spur freeway in the middle of nowhere in rural Illinois for supposedly a steel plant that closed 1 year after the little freeway was open. Its an economic development highway, disguised as a defense highway. Anyone can argue the national defense for highways if they have the political power with them. Otherwise many other interstate highways wouldn't have been built since the inception of the system well over 60 years ago.

And yes, I-29 does provide an advantage as to why UND and NDSU should schedule each other, distance and quick and efficient and easy bus travel which saves money for both schools and even makes them money.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:45 am 
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I'm pretty skeptical of the idea that I-29 (a highway?) makes a school attractive to a conference, but at least I can see what the connection to the topic is.

Having a highway is not a good reason for NDSU to schedule a DII program - if that were the case, Minnesota State (Moorhead) is five miles away and there are two more DII schools in easy drives on I-94, one in ND's capital city and another in St. Cloud - both of which bigger distinct markets than Grand Forks. Sure, there are several reasons for NDSU and UND to resume playing but I-29 just isn't one of them. Besides, it doesn't matter how many reasons there are for playing the game - nothing will change until UND either goes DI or agrees to play all the games at NDSU. That's the only way it makes sense for NDSU.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:34 am 
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Actually, there is some truth to what you are arguing against. In NDSU's Division I Study, as well as SDSU's Division I Study, both had the very same conclusion. From the NDSU study:

"The most difficult hurdle to cross prior to making the decision to reclassify to Division I-AA is that of establishing a mutually beneficial athletic conference relationship with respected regional peer institutions.

NDSU should begin immediately to assess its options for conference membership by conducting informal interaction with leaders of selected institutions. Viable options should be in place before making the decision to reclassify to I-AA."

For the most part, the vast majority of current Division I conferences membership ranks that are near the Dakotas and the Upper Midwest region could easily be considered outside of the region and not similar peer institutions. The institutions that NDSU has the most in common with are in their region and are nearby. While they may not have as much desire to schedule with one another now as they did in the past, it would benefit both NDSU and the other schools of the NCC if more schools moved-up and scheduled NDSU on a regular basis. Unless NDSU can frequently play schools that are in the Big 10, Big 12 and the Missouri Valley, and the neighboring Montana schools of UM and MSU, really most schools in the Mid Con, and the remainder of the Big Sky would not generate the interest and attendance levels of some of the NCC schools, including UND. A road is part of the infrastructure that allows it to happen. If UND was located in Williston, and NDSU in Whapeton and a 15,000 foot mountain range 250 miles wide with 60% grade separated the two, and only curvilinear and rugged steep swithback roads separated the two, then it may not make sense. But then, if North Dakota had that kind of topography and terrain, along with it, most likely, comes the scenery, and thus, people, and thus a bigger market that could compell both schools at a higher level playing each other anyway and a bigger budget to pay for the chartered air flights. But in this case, they are 75 miles apart on a really flat road with 0% grade and are nearly the same size market, even with being at two different levels.


Last edited by metropolitan on Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:03 pm 
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I was not arguing against NDSU getting into a conference. NDSU's top priority should be getting into a DI conference with a basketball autobid. That's a given. If current NCC teams move up, NDSU will schedule them. That's a given too. Forming a conference with them, however, is not a given - that would only be a last resort. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:13 pm 
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I didn't say anything about NDSU not getting into a conference. I was simply illustrating the inherent challenges that NDSU faces with getting into a conference from what the consultant that NDSU hired to do their NDSU D I Study concluded in that study. NDSU needs to find regional peer institutions, and really the NCC schools, IMO, would not be a last result, but the best result for all parties involved over the long term. UND provides more benefits as a scheduling collaborater than Centenary, Oral Roberts and Southern Utah, Utah Valley State would. Ultimately they could end up in the very same conference, which could be an existing conference with an NCAA autobid someday. That would be the best result.


Last edited by metropolitan on Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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