Transportation plan

Texas 42 between FM 2206 and Interstate 20 on Friday, September 20, 2019. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

A proposal to rebuild and widen Texas 42 from U.S. 80 to Interstate 20 in Gregg County would displace six homes and five businesses, the Texas Department of Transportation reported.

Property owners would be uprooted because the project would require more than 90 acres of new right of way and 0.8 acres of temporary construction easement, according to a notice posted on TxDOT’s website. The notice said TxDOT would provide relocation assistance to homeowners and businesses affected by the 5.99-mile project, should it be approved. It did not specify which homes and businesses on the stretch of road would be impacted.

The notice was posted to give residents a chance to request a public hearing about the project.

The project would add a continuous left-turn lane to the section of road and replace and widen bridges over the Sabine River and a Union Pacific Railroad bridge to accommodate the additional travel lanes.

At a public hearing in July 2018 about the project, some residents expressed concerns about losing their lawns to the widening of Texas 42. Other residents said their concerns were alleviated after talking with TxDOT officials about previous alternatives to the project that were no longer being presented.

White Oak Mayor Kyle Kutch told the News-Journal in 2018 that the widened road would make it easier for drivers to travel between two of Gregg County’s three largest cities.

Construction could begin as early as 2024, TxDOT Longview Area Engineer Vernon Webb said during the 2018 meeting. State engineers designed the latest proposed alignment using public input they received when they showed three possible alignments in November 2017.

Any environmental documentation or studies, maps showing the project location and design, tentative construction schedules and other information are on file and accessible to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at TxDOT’s Longview office at 4549A W. Loop 281.

Residents can submit comments or request a public hearing covering the social, economic and environmental effects of the proposed location and design by submitting them in writing, postmarked by Feb. 4, to the TxDOT Tyler District office at 2709 W. Front St., Tyler, TX 75702.