Texas pre-research tips

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Kraake
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Texas pre-research tips

#1 Post by Kraake » 12 Nov 2018 18:22

Hello everybody!

As we're doing some pre-research for ATS, we'd like to know your opinion on some of the things which we shouldn't miss in the game in our future planned DLCs - in this case for the TEXAS state.

Unfortunately it can be very easy to miss some key spots when planning a future road network. We can judge only from what we read or see, while those who live there, have driven there or visited there, can point us towards some famous truck stops, interesting landmark, points of interest etc.

So we'd appreciate any tips which could be helpful for us and that could easily work with in-game mechanics. Try to keep in mind that we're interested in places connected with trucks and roads. So if you have some tips, we'd be grateful. Don't be shy to add photos / videos of said locations (in better quality, so our graphics can use them as pattern).

:arrow: For example THIS was a really great job.

In case you would like to also help us with other states check the list bellow:

COLORADO | IDAHO | MONTANA | OKLAHOMA | UTAH | WASHINGTON | WYOMING

Please be aware, that states listed here mean absolutely no promise of what's the next DLC or what states will come first. Also we can't guarantee that we'll use the research you give us - it depends on many aspects (which can't be all written here).

:arrow: General discussion about pre-researches is HERE.

Cheers!
Last edited by Kraake on 14 Nov 2018 09:56, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Kalando82
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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#2 Post by Kalando82 » 13 Nov 2018 00:26

well first of all, Texas is very big and there is a lot to cover. i live in Austin Tx (please put Austin in Texas if y'all make this map) and as of now there is a ton of construction going on and the roads are becoming tolls and highways all over the place, i think it would be cool to add tolls to ATS because here in Austin and Houston there are a ton of them. one of the longest Interstates, I35 runs straight down the middle of Tx and in Dallas well actually just outside of i think its Hillsboro I35 splits into 35 west and 35 east. and on 35 east about a mile after the split there is a truck stop its nothing fancy or big, but its one of really the only truck stops i remember is Carls Corner, i think its a Petro. I' am a truck driver and recently i have been delivering Mats to pipeline work going on here in Texas, more specifically west Texas towards fort stockton, and the San Angelo area. there are probably more places to that i havent been yet but i think Mats will be a cool load to add to the freight market. Mats are kinda what they sound like, they are huge wooden Mats for front end loaders, cranes and other heavy vehicles to drive on in the muddy road so they wont sink. at least that what i think, there might be more uses for them, I'm just the guy who delivers them. and before i forget, Port Author Tx at night looks like a city but really its because they have so many oil plants there for the offshore drilling we have in the coast. i hope yall add at least on thing i posted on here. i have been playing ATS for a long time and less time now because i just started driving IRL for a company full time, love the game and hope to see Texas soon.

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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#3 Post by JtotheC11 » 13 Nov 2018 05:58

I live in DEEP South Texas, we have a Mcallen Foreign Trade Zone. Alot of trucks come in and out that area. Trucks stops are in the city of Edinburg,TX on Interstate 69C, Not much of any landmarks here, but we do have the Largest Single Floor Library in the Entire US. ALot of Border Patrols running around. plus, Border Patrol cars doesn't have State License Plates, they have Government Plates lol

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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#4 Post by MandelSoft » 13 Nov 2018 08:35

I've been to Texas once, and being such a road geek, I tend to spend more attention to stuff like signage and road layout. Though I've mainly been around the Houston region, there were quite a few things that were typical for Texas.

1. Frontage roads
Most highways in Texas aren't running unaccompanied. Although the central highway is limited access only, as usual, parallel to the highways you have so-called frontage roads in many places. These don't have limited access and you can often find business, restaurants or even motels and gas stations there. Frontage roads are often one-way in urban areas - in the same direction as the highway is going - but two-way frontage roads can exist in rural areas. Ramps from the highway don't connect to the crossing road, but to the frontage road, often without an intersection.

Here's an example of such a frontage road:
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.0820226 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Often you'll find these U-turns near ramps:
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.0853658 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Example of a two-way frontage road in a rural area
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.8267656 ... 312!8i6656

2. Light Towers
A lot of urban Texas highways resort to tall light towers to light up their freeways instead of regular lamp posts. What is however notable is that these light towers are almost rarely placed in the center of the road, but rather on the side, often on one side only.

Examples:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7770513 ... 312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7882424 ... 312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7314914 ... 312!8i6656

3. Black Lines Matter!
Texas uses quite bright concrete for its roads. As a result, white lines aren't that visible during the day. To solve this issue, they often paint black lines behind the white ones as well, to create enough contrast:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7292832 ... 312!8i6656

In some cases, they make the sides of the lines black for the same reason:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7512355 ... 312!8i6656

4. Traffic lights
Just like in New Mexico, Texan traffic lights are sideways:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.757276, ... 312!8i6656

What is typical in texas is that most left turn signals seems to have a "double red" light. This is for redundancy, in case one of the lamps breaks. These signals often have a small sign with the text "LEFT TURN SIGNAL" hanging underneath them:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.753296, ... 312!8i6656

Alternatively, if you have a dedicated turn lane that's in a separate phase of the traffic light sequence, you'll have to place this sign as well, as without it, the light only indicates when it's safe to turn without any conflicts (correct me if I'm wrong): https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7613535 ... 312!8i6656
Or alternatively, when you don't have dedicated left turns, but you do have a combined signal:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7688747 ... 312!8i6656

As you can see, the traffic lights are either on steel posts or mounted on cables. There's ALWAYS one traffic light for each lane.

5. I-10 Katy Freeway
This is the widest highway in the world. More than 20 lanes of insanity in stretching for tens of kilometers. Just make its representation in the game notably wide:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7841798 ... 312!8i6656

Anyway, that's it for me.
(It's a bit strange for me to post as an SCS employee on this thread; But my main concern and responsibility involves ETS2, not ATS ;) )
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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#5 Post by supersobes » 13 Nov 2018 11:03

MandelSoft wrote:
13 Nov 2018 08:35
4. Traffic lights
Just like in New Mexico, Texan traffic lights are sideways
Also, unlike New Mexixo, most Texas traffic signals have a yellow backgrond both on the back and the front.

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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#6 Post by TwinShadow » 13 Nov 2018 14:56

Oh boy where to begin. There's a crapton of diversity in Texas alone when it comes to road networks, how lines are paved, and all that.

A fair few of the highways have clover leaf intersections like that of I-20 and one of the major streets through the city I live in: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6753498 ... a=!3m1!1e3 | Often times though, they will mainly consist of 3-way traffic controlled sections for each side of the highway going onto a surface street: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6781033 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Some major city streets that lead into clover leaf exits (or entries) will typically have a dedicated lane that doesn't disrupt highway traffic. These exist on some prefabs for ETS2 through France and I believe I've seen them in ATS in a couple areas, but they do exist here in DFW: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6747713 ... 312!8i6656 | https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6749625 ... 312!8i6656

Moving along, here's one of our Welcome to Texas signs: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3585/3460 ... 2f43_b.jpg | Some may come in the flavor that they don't mention Bush Jr., thus it'd simply look like this: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media ... s-sign.jpg

One of the remarkable sights to see when travelling through DFW is the Dallas skyline one can see: https://www.imagesfromtexas.com/images/ ... -612-2.jpg | There are more photos at the following link: https://www.visitdallas.com/about/media ... yline.html | Another that showcases the night side more effectively: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7508/1595 ... fc63_b.jpg

Ft. Worth doesn't have a whole lot going for it, but here is an image of the skyline for that city: https://www.imagesfromtexas.com/images/ ... noon-1.jpg | And one that shows a bit of the night lights: https://www.imagesfromtexas.com/images/ ... rama-3.jpg

Arlington is home to a few things. First of all is Six Flags Over Texas, directly off of I-30 and Highway 360: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7560005 ... a=!3m1!1e3 | There's some construction going around on the 360 side of things due to additions being made to transfer traffic from I-30 to 360 and vice versa, this link is facing Southwest towards one of the rides for Six Flags: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7580413 ... 384!8i8192 | A minor glimpse facing southeast from I-30 going eastbound: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.759517, ... 384!8i8192

It is also home to Hurricane Harbor just on the other side of I-30, here's a shot of looking at the water park going westbound and looking northwest: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.75997,- ... 384!8i8192 | This is only a part of the parking lot for the place: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7632052 ... 384!8i8192

[begin petty remark]
We are also regrettably home to the AT&T Stadium which is found just south of I-30 on Collins in Arlington: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.75106,- ... a=!3m1!1e3 | Here's a street view of the stadium itself: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7451309 ... 312!8i6656
[end petty remark]

We are also home to the Ballpark Stadium for the Texas Rangers Baseball Team: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7495968 ... a=!3m1!1e3 | https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7496503 ... 312!8i6656 | https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7528184 ... 312!8i6656

Scattered along I-20 are several car dealerships, not sure if its terribly important, but here's a street view going east bound on the Frontage access road: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6759811 ... 312!8i6656

All street signs, at least in Arlington, have been making a transition to Blue instead of Green. There might still be a few Green ones here and there, but the new ones use blue: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6596702 ... 312!8i6656 - This also shows a dual-turn lane with a protected left. No car shall enter the intersection unless this arrow is green when making a left turn.

Some lights may have 4 signals: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6593325 ... 312!8i6656 - They are as follows from left to right: Solid Red, Solid Orange, Blinking Orange, Solid Green. Whenever one side has green lights and the other red, this will be a solid green for a protected left turn. The opposing side will be a blinking orange, meaning all traffic must yield to oncoming traffic and only proceed if it is safe to do so. When both sides are green, both sides of the turn lights will be blinking orange.

These are the light poles used on city streets: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6592733 ... 312!8i6656

Going westward, you'll eventually run into a couple of things. First is the highway interchange for I-20 and Highway 287, as well as exchanging towards Loop Highway 820. Here's what the interchanges look like for all three highways: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6700233 ... a=!3m1!1e3 | 287 shortly splits back off from Loop 820 back into its own highway to continue northwest towards Downtown Ft. Worth more directly: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6929437 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Way north of Ft. Worth is home to Alliance Airport. Air shows happen here once a year, but is also home to some major distributions hubs from FedEx and UPS that are in this area. Here's a sat. view of the airport and part of the area: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9829893 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Alliance Airport Control Tower: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9867758 ... 312!8i6656

On the other side in Dallas is Love Field: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8370771 ... a=!3m1!1e3 - Major hub of Southwest Airlines

Towards the north end of Dallas along Loop Highway 635 and US Highway 75, it is home to one of the worlds strangest roads and interchanges: Dallas High Five Interchange. Here's an overview: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9243213 ... a=!3m1!1e3 | Here's a look at a better angle: https://dallashighfive.org/wp-content/u ... ader-2.jpg | And something to get an idea of how massive this thing is: http://www.falconsteel.com/wp-content/u ... Five-3.jpg

This is an overview of DFW International Airport: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8888677 ... a=!3m1!1e3 - Its got a major freeway that cuts through the exact center of the airport and is a toll road. This next street view is at the southern end just after transferring to highway 121 going north towards the airport. This is one of the speed limit signs with a Radar Enforced sign right underneath it: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8472417 ... 384!8i8192 | While driving a little more, here's a close up of the DFW Sign: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8486427 ... 384!8i8192

Unlike most of the highway signs, these are not actually green but more of a bluish-green color: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8504579 ... 384!8i8192 - this is an exit sign. The overhead sign, like here: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8510516 ... 384!8i8192 - for instance, the blue is to point to a surface street or something similar. The other is specific to the airport to direct drivers to the correct terminals if they plan to do anything at the airport; otherwise they can drive on through to continue northbound. Various "Reduce Speeds" are placed along the road in areas where they will be noticed: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8569818 ... 384!8i8192 | Another reduce speed sign off to the side: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.859524, ... 384!8i8192

Due to the toll booths, these low clearance signs are posted to give anyone in high-rise vehicles such as 18 wheelers or big box trucks heads up about the clearance: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8634391 ... 384!8i8192

Toll booth itself: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8658749 ... 312!8i6656 | Texas has what is called "Texas TollTag" which is essentially a pre-paid pass to go through toll booths much more easily.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8686304 ... 312!8i6656 | I'm not entirely sure what this building is off hand. Someone with more knowledge about airport infrastructure than me can probably go in a bit of detail than me.

Getting closer to the airport, there will be the occasional left exit, like this one: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8794762 ... 312!8i6656

Here's a look at the light tower used around the airport to light up the roads at night: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.883101, ... 312!8i6656 | Just up ahead is a bridge specific for aircraft crossing over. Something like this already exists in ETS2: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8844989 ... 312!8i6656 | And here's a sat view of the bridge itself in question: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.885483, ... a=!3m1!1e3 - There's a couple more like it on the north side of the airport.

This particular bridge: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8869988 ... 312!8i6656 - this is a tramway that goes around the airport for transportation of the terminals. I'm not sure how many cars in total are on the system here, but I believe there are only two cars per train, so I imagine there's probably about 4-7 of these in use on the rails.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8901841 ... a=!3m1!1e3 - This is an overhead view of Terminal E along with the express south parking. Due to the modular nature of DFW Airport, it was built in mind of expansion later on as the need arises. This is why the airport appears to be split completely down the middle. In theory, DFW Airport can house up to 8 terminals on each side. Here's a look at the north side of the airport for the express parking on that side: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9140242 ... a=!3m1!1e3

As you drive along the road, you will notice some complicated road networks as you get into the premises of the terminals themselves: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8930182 ... 312!8i6656

DFW South Tower: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8953417 ... 312!8i6656

DFW North Tower: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.901591, ... 312!8i6656

Just in North Central Texas, we're home to several different lakes. A couple of the most popular would be Joe Pool Lake to the south of DFW metroplex right off Highway 360: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.609299, ... a=!3m1!1e3 | Just north of it is Mountain Creek Lake.

Where the interchange happens for I-20, Loop 820, and HWY 287, Lake Arlington makes its home there: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6954353 ... a=!3m1!1e3

The Trinity River has a tendency to snake through Dallas and Ft. Worth as well. Here's a bit on the Ft. Worth side: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7580372 ... 3354,14.2z | The same river going a bit eastward on the north side of I-30: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7822073 ... 4632,14.2z | The Dallas side of the river: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7883389 ... 1486,13.7z | Flowing more to the southeast: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.714041, ... 865,13.95z - More in-depth research would probably need to be done depending on what areas end up actually making it into the game in the future.

There are so many things about landmarks that I couldn't begin to possibly list them. I'm sure there are many I haven't listed even in DFW alone. I don't travel a lot between the two cities, but know a thing or two when necessary. Below will be some emergency vehicles used and their paint schemes, depending on what is actually used. If the cities are not used, maybe inspiration can come from them, but I'll note them just in case.

Ft. Worth cruiser: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/loca ... W%20police | Ft. Worth SUV: https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/652*367/BANK-PIC.jpg

Ft. Worth Fire Department: Utility Pickup: http://www.svitrucks.com/wp-content/upl ... ront-2.jpg | Ladder: http://www.cityofwestworth.com/uploads/ ... efire2.jpg | Fire Truck: https://forums.radioreference.com/attac ... 5x3761.jpg

Arlington, TX Police SUV: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8864/2889 ... 2e34_b.jpg (this is a VERY Dark Blue, not black - I want to make that clear) | Dodge Charger: https://dallasnews.imgix.net/1510947696 ... 0&fit=clip (we no longer use Crown Vics or Chevy Impalas)

Arlington, TX Ambulance: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/news/wp-con ... -25-15.jpg

Arlington, TX Fire Truck (ladder): http://www.texasfiresource.com/p/Arling ... rgdorf.jpg | Fire Truck: http://www.mfas.com/images/sized/images ... 37x449.jpg | Fire Rescue Unit: http://www.svitrucks.com/wp-content/upl ... etside.jpg | Fire Department Utility Pickup: https://farm9.static.flickr.com/8347/82 ... ec94_b.jpg

Dallas cruiser: http://www.dallaspolice.net/PublishingI ... ce-car.png | Dallas police USV: https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5089/53 ... 28e319.jpg | Dallas Sheriff: http://hendonpub.com/assets/articles/44 ... 156536.jpg

Dallas Fire Department: Ladder 1: https://photos.smugmug.com/Fire-Apparat ... TL19-L.jpg | Ladder 2: https://www.fireapparatusmagazine.com/c ... ge.img.jpg | Ladder 3: https://www.spartanerv.com/uploadedImag ... sTDA-1.jpg | Fire Truck 1: http://www.usfirepolice.net/tx_texas/tx ... _(4)-1.jpg | Fire Truck 2: https://www.spartanerv.com/uploadedImag ... llas-3.jpg

If the city liveries are not used, the highway patrol below would suffice.

Texas State Highway Patrol: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3814/9324 ... 0441_b.jpg | SUV: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4540/3808 ... 154f_b.jpg

At this time, these are the current license plates used in the state of Texas: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... C_1234.png - However, we do have an economy of custom plates. I know this may not always be feasible, but if there is at least one additional design I would like to see for World of Trucks in the future along with the plain white/black plate, is this one used years ago: https://discoverspringtexas.com/wp-cont ... _plate.jpg


If I have some time, I'll try to get some more out of the way, but this is about the most I can do for now with about an hour and a half of research in just DFW alone.
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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#7 Post by supersobes » 13 Nov 2018 21:37

TwinShadow wrote:
13 Nov 2018 14:56
Unlike most of the highway signs, these are not actually green but more of a bluish-green color: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8504579 ... 384!8i8192 - this is an exit sign. The overhead sign, like here: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8510516 ... 384!8i8192 - for instance, the blue is to point to a surface street or something similar. The other is specific to the airport to direct drivers to the correct terminals if they plan to do anything at the airport; otherwise they can drive on through to continue northbound. Various "Reduce Speeds" are placed along the road in areas where they will be noticed: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8569818 ... 384!8i8192 | Another reduce speed sign off to the side: https://www.google.com/maps/@32.859524, ... 384!8i8192
Do you know if this road is owned by the Texas DOT or privately owned by the airport? For example, at Dulles Airport, the signs are grey on Dulles Access Road because it is airport property this is not owned by VDOT: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9628195 ... 312!8i6656
Last edited by supersobes on 14 Nov 2018 02:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#8 Post by Sora » 13 Nov 2018 21:52

At one spot roughly an hour north of Houston, you can see a statue of Sam Houston. It's probably the most memorable thing on the entire stretch of I-45 between Houston and Dallas.
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.6609376 ... 312!8i6656

Also, here are some things to keep in mind regarding roadways and road construction:
  • Highway 99, marketed as the "Grand Parkway", is currently under construction surrounding Houston. This is a toll-road that will, when complete, form a nearly-complete loop around Houston. Due to scale it may be preferred if you would like to erect a loop around Houston (as you should, since Houston has three); however, Beltway 8 is more complete, and Interstate 610 is more formally tied to the national network of roadways. Consider weighing all three of these options.
  • Also in Houston is the Pierce Elevated section of I-45. This one may be more properly labelled as "demolition": the section of I-45 between I-10 and I-69 in Houston is currently planned to be demolished within a few years. I-45 through downtown Houston will instead be routed to somewhere along the path of I-10 and I-69, possibly involving an underground section. (I've heard of similar talks in Dallas regarding the I-45 and US-75 connector, but I think that one's safe for at least a decade, so don't worry too much about that one.)
  • Throughout southeastern Texas as a whole is I-69. This project has somewhat stalled out, but the long and short of it is that there are plans to eventually connect Mexico to Canada through Texas, and so they're trying to upgrade three Texas U.S. routes to Interstate quality as branches of Michigan's I-69, for... some reason. For practical purposes, this means that you should probably either add the I-69 routes in advance (upgrading them as the time comes) or simply prepare for their addition which might be lord-knows-how-many-years from now. Specifically, this requires US-59, as well as US-77 and US-281 south of US-59.
  • If you would like to ensure that every "main" Interstate is in the game, don't forget I-2, I-14 and I-44! I-2 connects two cities on the southern border of Texas and may eventually consume more of US-83 to connect to Laredo if they can ever bother to spend the funds, and I-44 has a major terminus in Texas (Wichita Falls) that should probably be in the game no matter what for that reason alone. I-14 is an extremely small Interstate that doesn't currently have much obvious value to a game like ATS, but you may be able to justify it by adding Killeen and allowing for deliveries to nearby Fort Hood. It may eventually extend to San Angelo or I-10 or I-20 or Georgia or something but considering the last two paragraphs I don't expect it for another 40 years.
There may be more, but this is most of what I'm aware of.

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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#9 Post by Blackspots » 14 Nov 2018 02:12

@Supersobes @Twinshadows: highway signs on roads maintained by TxDot are always green (since they follow federal standards). They are generally different colors when that roadway is maintained by another entity.

International Parkway, since it goes through the middle of Dallas/Fort Worth International, is owned by the airport (or the city of Dallas). The tollgate further up the road suggests its maintained by https://www.ntta.org/Pages/default.aspx
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Re: Texas pre-research tips

#10 Post by supersobes » 14 Nov 2018 02:19

@ShirBlackspots That's what I meant. I made a typo and said that Dulles Access Road was now owned by VDOT, when I meant to say that it is not owned by VDOT. One letter can really change the meaning! :lol:

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