CLAY COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - The Texas Department of Transportation has released updates on two major highway projects across Texoma that have been raising concerns and questions for months.
The first is TxDOT's plan to widen Highway 82 from Henrietta to Nocona. There was talk of a road being widened and a reroute that some residents were against.
They said they were concerned that reroute, also known as a bypass, would hurt the businesses in town.
However, on Tuesday a new study shows that is off the table, at least for now, after TxDOT got a lot of feedback from residents.
Adele Lewis, TxDOT Public Information Officer, said they will not take another look at it until traffic becomes an issue, which could be 20 to 40 years from now.
As for widening the stretch of road of Highway 82 between Henrietta and Nocona that is still a go, with a focus right now on buying right of way or land in
that area needed for the expansion.
"Depending on the parts of that 25 miles, some will be to the north some will be to the south in order to minimize the impact to homes and businesses that are already there," said Lewis.
While things are moving along TxDOT does not actually plan to break ground on the widening until January 2021. Once they start it will take 15 years to complete.
Another road expansion between the Wichita and Archer County line on U.S. 277 is hitting an even bigger roadblock, and it is all because of money.
TxDOT still has to secure funds for the right of way, which will be pretty pricey because this is a business district.
It is the area where Kell Freeway turns into a four-lane undivided road. This project is known as "The Gap" and rightfully so because it is less 3.8 miles long.
Lewis said it needs to be widened in order to construct a four-lane divided highway there instead, with exits and on ramps.
"The people that live in that area really were in favor of us widening and taking out their properties and a few businesses in order to do the project," said Lewis.
One of those people is the owner of Simpson Carpet Co.
"They've been having accidents up and down this road for 15 years that I know of," said Simpson.
Other drivers and business owners agreed with Simpson and TxDOT and pointed out the fact that the speed limit is 60 mph and semi trucks travel that route frequently.
TxDOT also reports there has been an uptick in car accidents in this area.
Lewis adds they will have to move a few businesses that are too close to the road.
Simpson said he does not think it will hurt his business because it is 100 feet from the road.
While no concrete dates are set for this expansion public meetings and hearings are expected when things get rolling.