Monday, February 19, 2018




State: Area road projects on target

By Jimmy Daniell Isaac
Jan. 11, 2018 at 12:09 a.m.


Property acquisition or public meetings are on the horizon this year for as many as four area road projects.

The state has more than half of the rights of way needed for the Phase 1 widening of Harrison Road, and the project is targeted for bids in August 2019, said Vernon Webb, district engineer with the Tyler office of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Webb spoke Wednesday at the meeting of the Longview Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board.

Harrison Road, also known as FM 2206, is designated for a two-phase widening project from Loop 281 to Texas 42, with the contracts for Phase 2 scheduled to be awarded in 2020. Plans call for widening the road to four lanes with a median and sidewalks among other amenities.

TxDOT has acquired at least 50 percent of the needed property and has about 60 percent of construction plans completed for Phase 1, he said.

George Richey Road, also known as FM 2275, is another two-lane road from Gilmer Road west to White Oak Road that is slated for widening to four lanes with a median. Construction on Phase 1 between Texas 300 and FM 1845 is tentatively slated for 2021, and the Phase 2 widening between FM 1845 and White Oak Road is slated for 2022, Webb said.

TxDOT plans to hold a public hearing on the George Richey project this summer, although an exact date hasn't been set, he said.

"We've gotten a lot of local support" for widening Texas 42 between U.S. 80 and Interstate 20, Webb said, "which is greatly appreciated."

TxDOT held its first public meeting about widening Texas 42 on Nov. 2, and about 50 people showed up at White Oak school to see the plans, which are available at www.txdot.gov.

State engineers are trying to get a quick start on the Texas 42 project "because of the vast amount of utilities," he said.

Webb said he hopes to hold the first public meeting on reconstruction the I-20-Texas 31 interchange this summer or early fall, he said. TxDOT held its first stakeholder meeting on the project last month.

In other business, the board revised the 2017-20 Transportation Improvement Plan to include bicycle and pedestrian paths in Longview and White Oak.

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