TxDOT has plans big plans for 2017

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - The calendar year may be ending, but TxDOT will remain hard at work into 2017.
2016 was a very big year for TxDOT as they spent $65 million dollars in repairs across nine different counties in Texoma. 
    "We did some work on FM 172 and 174," Adele Lewis, P.I.O. of TxDOT said. "And we widened those FM roads."
As well as demolishing and rebuilding the Huntington bridge over highway 287 and making highway 277 near Mankins four lanes.
Lewis is pleased.
    "With the $65 million dollar construction budget for 2016, it was very successful," Lewis said. "And we got some very important projects paid for and under construction."
They believe 2017 will be a very big year as well with numerous projects planned.
TxDOT will continue work near the Harold Truck Stop adding more lighting, left turn lanes, as well as acceleration and deceleration lanes.
Lewis said TxDOT plans ahead as far as 2060, but will move a project, like the truck stop, if it becomes a top priority.
    "As soon as we can get projects cleared and move with the design of the schematics, then we can apply for funding and get those projects built," Lewis said.
In 2017 the Wellington bridge over highway 287 will be demolished and replaced.
Sidewalks will be added to Kemp from Southwest Parkway to Midwestern Parkway.
They will also pay $6.4 million dollars towards the red river bridges construction.
Lewis said their top priority is finishing work on highway 277 to make it four lanes.
    "We've got a lot of trucks using that corridor as we expand," Lewis said. "Having a four lane divided with nice wide lanes makes everyone a lot safer as they drive through there. And it reduces the chance of head on wrecks, which are so dangerous and deadly."
She adds they have been working for 15 years to make highway 277 a four lane highway all the way to Abilene.
Lewis said the fact that it will be done in 2017 makes her and the rest of the TxDOT staff very happy.
She said that the safety lighting and rumble strips they have been installing in much of the area have been very successful.
As a result, more will be added next year.

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