QUESTION: On George Richey Road, off Gilmer heading west, the rumors are — they said from Panther Park back to the east they’re going to take all of the houses out. Are they going to take all the houses out or are they going to take 15 or 20 feet? I can’t find out the truth. If this is where the city is not in charge of it or somebody else, I would like a phone number or address so I can call them or write them and find out what’s going on. If they are planning on tearing down the houses we need to know so we can get some money for the homes.
ANSWER: It seems you somehow missed the public hearing that the Texas Department of Transportation held on this topic in February.
Current plans (although they have not been finalized) would widen George Richey Road in a four-mile stretch between Longview and White Oak. That would affect properties in different ways. TxDOT spokeswoman Kathi White said the agency expects to have the necessary environmental clearance by the end of this month. Acquisition of affected properties is expected to start later this year.
“As shared at the FM 2275 public hearing held Feb. 28, the 4.04-mile project would require approximately 41.7 acres of right-of-way, displacing 31 single-family residences and one commercial business. The latest information shows the displacement of 31 single-family residents and no commercial businesses,” she said in an email.
You can see the proposed alignment and how it affects properties in the project area by visiting tinyurl.com/txdotstudy and clicking on the subhead that says “Final Recommended Alternative” under the “downloads” heading. It’s a little difficult to see because of the word “preliminary” that’s stamped on top of it, but I bet you can find your property.
For additional information, contact Steven Swindell with TxDOT at (903) 510-9100.
Q: Regarding the road repairs the city has been doing: At Eastman and Birdsong, there there’s a spot there that somebody needs to check. They recently worked on the short Magnolia Street at Green Street. Everywhere there was a hole in that asphalt before they resurfaced it, that same hole is there. Somebody needs to check behind these people and make sure they fill these holes in and do the work properly.
A: The city does assign inspectors to check over contractors’ work, said Assistant Public Works Director Dwayne Archer. The city was aware of your concerns and is working to get them fixed.
“The Eastman/Birdsong paving work is under warranty by the contractor, and we are working with them to correct the defective work,” Archer said in an email. “As for Magnolia and Green, this contract is for a different type of paving work. Typically, we make repairs to the roadway before the contractor installs the seal coat. At this location, the contractor began applying the seal coat before the repairs were 100 percent completed. Those repairs are being completed now, and we will have the contractor repair the seal coat.”