|Hall says Radio Road, railroad money top priorities|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Aug. 30, 2005 -- Taking advantage of the congressional recess, Cong. Ralph Hall is spending time traveling around his district and was in Commerce and Sulphur Springs Monday.
Meeting with the North East Texas Mobility Council in Commerce Monday morning, the congressman said securing funding for the proposed extension of Radio Road to connect with State Highway 11 east and SH 154 south is his top priority.
Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell said U.S. Rep. Hall’s announcement was exciting.
�We already knew Radio Road was in the works and Congressman Hall had made it his number one priority,� Maxwell said. �What we did not know was that he also was requesting $4 million for SH 154 widening and $7.1 million for the NETEX Railroad, and that was just super exciting to hear � he is doing a great job for us.�
The funding was not included in a transportation bill signed into law last month by President Bush, but Hall said he would ask for it to be included in the upcoming appropriations bill.
�We get another shot at it when we go back in the normal appropriations,� the congressman said. �I have asked for some more, even some bus money for these senior citizens.�
Transportation for senior citizens would, according to Hall, include transportation to doctors and hospitals in Dallas, Tyler and other cities.
Along with the proposed $4 million Radio Road extension, Hall included an additional $4 million to upgrade and widen the remainder of SH 154 from Gafford’s Chapel to the Wood County line as a priority item.
Rail transportation also received favorable attention from the congressman, who said he was going to seek $7 million for improvements to the short-line railroad that extends from Mount Pleasant to Greenville.
�It is for rehabilitation of the NeTex Railroad line,� said Leslie Gilbert in Hall�s Washington, D.C., office. �It includes the replacement of the ties and ballast rock.�
The city manager said it was encouraging to have a congressman that is in tune with Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County.
�He just got the high-priority corridor designation for Interstate 30, which is a huge deal for us,� Maxwell said. �Now, it looks like he will be bringing home quite a bit of money to the district, and I could not be more excited about the way this congressman works.�