More funding could mean sooner start dates on TxDOT projects in Texoma

MONTAGUE COUNTY,TX (KAUZ) - Some planned TxDOT projects could be starting sooner than first anticipated.

That includes work on U.S. 82 between Henrietta and Nocona.

The Texas Transportation Commission approved an update to TxDOT's $70 billion dollar Unified Transportation Program.

The entire state of Texas stretches over 80,000 miles, resulting in lots of roads constantly needing work.

"We only get the money to address about 30 percent of the needs," Adele Lewis with TxDOT said. "So there is a bunch of unmet needs of 70 percent that really need to start being built tomorrow."

That is why additional funding from the Rainy Day Fund and Proposition 7 has Lewis and TxDOT optimistic they will be able to move their biggest projects forward sooner.

"We are optimistic that we are going to be able to move these projects up and we are excited," Lewis said. "So we are getting ready. We are buying right-of-way. We are finishing up the plans in engineering so that we can move these things up."

One of those includes a $26 million dollar project to make U.S. 82 four lanes from Nocona to 12 miles west of that city.

The project was planned to begin January of 2021.

One Nocona resident we talked to in February said it is a dangerous stretch of road.

"We've had multiple accidents from here to Henrietta," Darlene Six said. "So it needs to be done."

However, Lewis said this is a living document and the process itself could speed up or slow down depending on if the projections are accurate.

"It's a best guess of what type of money we are going to be able to receive over the next 10 years," Lewis said.

She said it is exciting to meet more needs than they have been able to in the past.

"It's important," Lewis said. "It's vital to commerce, to safety. It really needs to be done and the more money we get, the more we can do for Texans."

Lewis said emergency repairs can also change those projections because they would have to use money already budgeted.

She added they want to move the U.S. 82 project up because of it's importance and funding from proposition seven is meant to update corridors, just like U.S. 82.

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