Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT) Area Engineer Paul Schneider of the Tyler District, addressed the Visions Forum group yesterday at the Van Zandt Country Club, and shared the fact that TXDoT plans to spend approximately $70 million on State-maintained roads in Van Zandt County between now and the fiscal year end, 2020.
After discussing recently completed projects, Schneider went on to discuss current and upcoming projects. Farm to Market Road (FM) 314 from Interstate Highway 20 (IH 20) to Edom has seasonal restrictions on it, so that the “rehab project” will carry over into next year, with an expected completion date of May 2018. Other road projects expected to continue into the new year include work being done on Farm to Market Roads 1256, 1861, 1652, and 1653. Schneider explained, “All those roadways, we’re completely rebuilding, widening the structures out, and widening the roadway out to create a little bit more of a shoulder and make it safer.”
With the project on IH 20 at FM 314 TXDoT is diligently working to realign the ramp and get the roadway completed. “We are going to construct the concrete in front of all the businesses,” he added.
It will probably be a couple of months, Schneider said, before beginning work on the County Road 1825 bridge in Grand Saline. They are waiting on a Railroad agreement for right-of-way before the project begins.
Regarding State Highway 243 (SH 243), there is a pre-construction meeting Schneider will attend at the end of the month, and thereafter, construction will commence. TXDoT is widening SH 243 from two lanes to four, from SH 64 to SH 198 in Canton. “It’s slotted to take a year and a half,” said Schneider.
In March of 2018 a realigning is scheduled at FM 16 at the intersection of FM 314 in Van. At that intersection, trucks have had some trouble turning, so there will be a widening of radiuses.
In September of 2018, there will be a Super 2 project for passing lanes at SH 64 between FM 16 SE and FM 858.
Other upcoming projects include: planing and repaving the west-bound lanes of IH 20, as seen in the diagram on marker #26; along with several bridge replacements, and plans are in the make to widen roadways for passing lanes on SH 19 throughout the County. According to Schneider, there are no current plans to purchase right-of-ways along SH 19. “I don’t think we’re purchasing any right-of-ways right now…but,” he allowed, “it’s always possible.”
A Visions member asked TXDoT Deputy District Engineer Vernon M. Webb, P.E. whether there are any plans to build more toll roads in the district. Webb answered, “The Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NETRMA), is responsible for Toll 49. Once they connected to 20, that system became theirs. They’re obviously finishing in Lindale right now. They have a consultant that they’re negotiating with right now to start environmental coordination to go from 110 between Whitehouse and Tyler east, to US 271 near the UT Tyler Health Science Center. They’re planning to start the environmental coordination for that corridor in the next few months.”
Some of the new construction is set to begin the end of August, so be watching for construction road crews!