|Planning for Trans Texas Corridor in North Texas continues|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Aug. 17, 2006 -- Sulphur Springs City Manger Marc Maxwell, who serves as a member of a citizens advisory panel for Texas Department of Transportation, was in Austin Wednesday for still another meeting on the planned Trans Texas Corridor.
Tentative plans calling for the route to bypass both Dallas and Fort Worth have drawn enough opposition from those cities to have them included in a second environmental impact study.
The primary study is nearing completion, and the proposed alignment has been determined, and it shows the corridor coming far to the east of Dallas.
D-FW Metroplex communities and organizations are not happy with the plan.
"They have proposed the first tier should be10-miles wide until it reaches the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and the study should encompass the Metroplex. It would then return to 10 miles when it got north of the Metroplex," Maxwell said. "That is what they have been pushing for, and in the final analysis, that's what the Trans Texas Corridor Citizens Advisory Committee decided to do."
Maxwell said that Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the study, and sent a letter to TxDoT saying he agreed with the Metroplex cities in that the study should be expanded in that first tier to include the Metroplex.
The decision to to expand the study was only one part of a 15-point white paper prepared by the citizens committee. The main point, Maxwell said, was that the transportation corridor should be built.
""We all felt, unanimously so, that the 'no build option' was not an option at all, and we gave the commission credit for having the foresight to pursue a project like this," he said.
The city manager said that although environmental impact studies will be broadened to include the Metroplex, the plan calls for the new transportation route linking the port of entry at Laredo with the Oklahoma state line to cross Interstate 30 between Greenville and Royse City.
That intersection would, according to Maxwell, bring an increase in traffic, especially trucks, through Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County and would have a positive effect on the local economy.