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Gregg County inks deal for east-west corridor construction

By Glenn Evans
March 12, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Gregg County commissioners on Monday inked a final agreement with the state highway department to build an east-west corridor across Longview's northern edge.

The extension of George Richey Road through woods beginning at Gilmer Road and culminating at U.S. 259 will be a partnership among the Texas Department of Transportation, Gregg County, the city of Longview and the Longview Economic Development Corp.

The extension is planned to run parallel to and north of Hawkins Parkway, connecting with U.S. 259 at Henderson Lane south of where Spur 502 and U.S. 259 converge.

The road, which also is FM 2275, will be five lanes wide.

"This is going to dramatically improve traffic flow in that area," County Judge Bill Stoudt said. "In two years, we'll be looking at another outer loop. It certainly will open up thousands of acres of land for development."

The city and LEDCO each are pitching in $3 million, and the county $5.9 million. The rest of the $17 million project is state money voters approved under a constitutional amendment dedicating up to $6 billion to road work.

Stoudt said Gregg County was earmarked to get $20 million of that fund so far, money that with local contributions has helped fund improvements to Texas 42 and Texas 149.

Rights of way negotiations by the city of Longview already have begun, Stoudt said, and planners hope for an April groundbreaking on the new road.

In other action Monday, commissioners appointed former White Oak Mayor Tim Vaughn to the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The RMA makes long-term transportation recommendations for this area.

Vaughn already has served 18 years on the transportation planning board for Longview and White Oak. He recently was appointed to the transportation committee of the Texas Association of Business.

The court also acknowledged the annual racial profiling report from Pct. 4 Constable Robby Cox. The constable reported no citations or arrests during the fiscal year, which ended in September 2011.



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