|TxDoT sets meetings to discuss SH 11 extension route, SH 19 expansion|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
January 9, 2003 -- Two public meetings are being planned for next month by the Texas Department of Transportation to present proposed plans and options on two major highway projects being planned for Sulphur Springs.
The first meeting, to be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, will cover construction on the planned extension of State Highway 11 between State Highway 19 and the S.H. 11-S.H. 154 intersection.
"The intent of that meeting is to discuss the S.H. 11 extension project, interacting with property owners and any other interested parties, discussing route possibilities before we make any final determination of what route we need to take through there," said Ernest Teague, TxDoT area engineer in Sulphur Springs.
The state highway department will have already performed a large amount of work, including aerial surveying and interacting with the county and city in looking at the intersections where the extension will tie in with existing highways.
"I guess it's the interior portion of that between highway 19 and highway 154 where we need to come to an agreement on where we go through those properties," Teague said.
In the meeting, TxDoT will present to the public the area being considered for the route and make everyone aware of the area being looked at, as well as to ask for public comment before making a final route determination on the highway extension.
The second meeting, planned for Thursday, Feb. 26, at 6:30 p.m. will be a more informal gathering to provide information to residents along State Highway 19 between Rockdale Road and F.M. 2285 about a project that will change that section of S.H. 19 from two lanes to a five-lane highway with curbs and gutters.
"As might be expected, when we widen from two lanes to five lanes, there will be times of disruption," Teague said. "We need to discuss with everyone what our plans are for that so there will not any surprises when construction starts next fall."
One segment of the project, from just south of the Interstate to the Kansas City Southern Railroad crossing, will involve concrete paving to accommodate heavy trucks that use that particular segment of the road.
"When we pour concrete past a driveway, or when we pour the driveway itself, up to the property line, it's obvious that you can't use that concrete for a week or so while it cures." Teague explained. "We want to meet with everyone, property owners and business adjacent to that area."
TxDoT will be mailing out letters to those property owners in the next few weeks with information about the meeting in an effort to contact everyone that might be affected by the project.
When the extension of S.H. 11 is completed, it is anticipated it will relieve some of the traffic congestion in the South Broadway Street area and open up new areas for retail, commercial and residential development along the new thoroughfare.
The completion of the widening of S.H. 19, when connected with the S.H. 11 extension, will relocate the S.H. 11 truck route from city streets and help eliminate some traffic congestion in the downtown area.