Grande Extension Project Approved - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/28/04 - Tyler

Grande Extension Project Approved

The Tyler City Council today approved the construction of the Grande Boulevard Extension. City officials say the extension will help relieve traffic congestion south of Loop 323. The new section of Grande will run from Spring Creek Dr., west of Broadway all the way east to Paluxy Dr. Phase 1 of construction will extend Grande east to Sutherland Dr. Phase 2 will continue on through, all the way to Paluxy.

About 5,000 cars every day use the south part of Loop 323. The only other east-west route drivers can take in South Tyler is Rice/Shiloh Rd. So the city's plan to extend Grande Boulevard comes as welcome news to most drivers.

"Just help with the traffic right here," Ty Coates, a driver on Loop 323, said. "Really tough sometimes."

Another Loop 323 driver, Jason Owens, said "I'd take the other route, if it'd be faster."

But for residents living on either side of the ditch where the new road will be paved, it's a different story. The price of the project will be all the added noise -- jackhammers and bulldozers for an estimated two years during construction.

"I'm not real thrilled about getting to hear it 'cause we heard them putting through the pipeline," Jill Williams, homeowner, said. "But I bought the house knowing the road was coming through. I'm not real sure that all my neighbors are really happy about it. They're pretty unhappy."

Also, more traffic problems could be caused during construction. That's because one lane in each direction on South Broadway will be closed for about 15 days.

"Our contract will allow for our construction crews to work 24 hours a day so that we minimize the amount of time that Broadway will be restricted at that area," Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber said.

A small inconvenience, the mayor says, for a much-anticipated project that has been in the works for more than a decade. The city says the project will include drainage improvements near the Broadway intersection. City officials say funding for the project comes from the Tyler Half-Cent Sales Tax. The city says it eventually wants to extend Grande Boulevard all the way to Spur 248, near UT-Tyler.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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